Jessie Tyrell’s War: A Canadian Girl’s WWI Scrapbook of Childhood and Loss

Kristine Alexander, University of Lethbridge

The Canadian War Museum (CWM) is a publicly funded institution whose mandate focuses on the promotion of “public understanding of Canada’s military history.” Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the museum’s extensive archival collections focus primarily on adult understandings and experiences of armed conflict. This paper will look closely at one of the CWM’s few child-produced primary sources from the First World War: a scrapbook made by an Ottawa girl named Jessie Tyrell, who was seven years old when her father George Tyrell joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1916. The scrapbook includes photographs, numerous letters Jessie received from her father during his two years of service in France and Belgium, and evidence (including a condolence telegram, obituary, and press clippings from the 1920s) of how George Tyrell’s death in 1918 continued to affect his daughter’s life.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 233. Negotiating Imperial and Racial Identities and Spaces in Albums and Scrapbooks