“A City Goes to War” is a project of the University of Victoria made possible by a generous grant from Veteran’s Affairs Canada.  In the summer of 2013 a team of history set up the framework for the site and collected the initial data sets to support the on-line archive and service record database.  In addition, the team developed a package of material to support high school history  programs. Over the period 2014-2018, the site will provide a platform for the on-line publication of new research material about Canadian cities during the Great War.

The Development Team

This site was very much a team effort, with all members contributing to the collection of archival material, site design and writing. Principal authors are  identified at the bottom of each major section.


Dr John Lutz – Principal Researcher

Jim Kempling – Project Manager

Jim is a PhD student with an interest in Canadian, Military and Digital History.  His MA thesis, published as a web site titled “Birth of a Regiment” is a study of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the Great War.

Ashley Forseille – Digital Archive Team Lead

Ashley holds a B.A. (history and sociology) from Thompson Rivers University and an M.A.(Canadian history) from the University of Victoria. As an independent researcher, she specializes in local history, gender, and education. She became involved in this project because of her interest in the digital preservation of archival material as a means to provide wider access to research material. Contact her at ashleyforseille(at)gmail.com.

Jeremy Buddenhagen – Teaching Package Development

Jeremy holds a BA from the University of Victoria and is writing his MA thesis. His studies focus on the history of intelligence and national security practiced by colonial police forces. Jeremy is an active digital historian with a keen interest in digital pedagogy.

Greg Newton – Technical Advisor – Humanities Computing and Media Centre

Françoise McNeil (translator) and Marie Gagnon (editor) – French Translation Team

Françoise and Marie form a linguistic team specialized in translation for the humanities, more specifically in history. Since 2003, they have worked with the Department of History at UVic (notably, Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History and A City Goes to War), the Department of Education at UBC (THEN/HiER and The Historical Thinking Project), Bishop’s University (the Journal of Eastern Townships Studies), the Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, and the Centre de réadaptation Estrie / Planetree Québec Network (person-centered approach to healthcare). They translate, edit and proofread primary and secondary sources, lesson plans, teacher’s guides and promotional material. Reach them at francoise.mcneil@cgocable.ca.

Hannah Anderson – Researcher

Hannah is completing a History Honours degree with a minor in Philosophy. She has volunteered and worked at many museums on Vancouver Island. Her research interests include B.C. history, women’s history, and American history. Contact her at handerson1776@gmail.com.

Ben Fast – Researcher

Ben is currently entering the fifth year of his Honours History B.A. at the University of Victoria.  He is an avid musician, photographer, and traveller and has played for two years with the UVic Cricket Club.  He has worked internationally in museum settings and hopes to travel again soon.  Ben has worked with the A City Goes to War project as a co-op student and originally found interest through his studies of the relationship between war and religion in the modern era.  To contact Ben, email benfastbf@gmail.com.

Kirsten Hurworth – Researcher

Kirsten is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Victoria, pursuing a BA in History and English. She plans to follow this degree with a Bachelor’s of Education.

Our Supporters

This site has been made possible by the collaborative effort and support of an entire community.  Local archives, families and individuals have generously shared their memories and archival material. If you have letters, photos, diaries, scrapbooks or other material that you would like to share with others we are eager to work with you. See a full list of our supporters here.

The On-going Research Effort.

Although this project has started with Victoria, it is our earnest hope other Canadian cities will join our research effort in the months ahead.  For history under-grad and graduate students, our site will support the on-line publication of research into Canadian communities during the Great War.  At the same time we will facilitate the shared use of primary source material by adding the new material uncovered by their efforts to our online archive. To support the widest possible access, all original material published on this site excluding all material that is from the Royal BC Museum and Archives will be openly available through a Creative Commons license. Over the next four years, students at the University of Victoria alone are expected to add up to twenty new supporting micro-history sites linked to this project.  You can help us advertise our project by telling people about our site.

Join the project

If you are interested in joining our research project or working with a student website development team you can contact Jim Kempling at jimk@uvic.ca