Retired colonel will speak about conscription at GVA next month

Life-long interest leads to writing career

  • Apr. 5, 2018 10:44 a.m.

(Book cover courtesy of Patrick M. Dennis)

During the Hundred Days campaign of the First World War, over 30 per cent of conscripts who served in the Canadian Corps became casualties — yet, they were often considered slackers for not having volunteered.

Challenging long-standing “myths” such as these is just one of the topics retired Canadian Air Force colonel, Patrick M. Dennis tackles in his his recently published book Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War (University of British Columbia Press in co-operation with the Canadian War Museum, Sept.,2017.)

Dennis, a former fighter controller who served abroad for over twenty-two years, will speak about how conscripted soldiers, “many of whom came from northern B.C.”, performed in combat, and provide “previously unknown” details regarding their historic contribution to the success of the Canadian Corps in the Great War during his upcoming visit to Vernon.

The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives (GVMA) announced this week, that the former fighter controller will be featured at their next Speaker Series on May 14.

Following the presentation, which is entitled Canadian Conscripts at War: 1918, those in attendance will have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of his book, which he says challenges long-standing myths and examines the participation and performance of the conscripts in the Great War.

Dennis served abroad for over twenty-two years, including tours as Canada’s deputy military representative to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium, and as the Canadian defense attaché to Israel.

He is also graduate of the United States Armed Forces Staff College, the NATO Defense College, and Canada’s National Security Studies Course, and holds a master’s degree in Leadership and Communication from the University of Northern Colorado.

He has lectured on global political-military issues at Wilfred Laurier University, and written articles for numerous publications including the Canadian Military journal, and Canada’s History.

Dennis will be signing copies of his book, Canadian Conscripts at War: 1918 at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives from 7 to 8 p.m. on May 14. Tickets are $5 at the door, but seating will be limited and early registration is required. To register, or learn more contact the GVA at 250-542-3142 or visit www.vernonmuseum.ca


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