Link Gallery Exhibit: The Great War, November 2015 – January 2016, 1st Floor, Murray Library
On June 28, 1914, a young Bosnian nationalist in the then obscure Balkan town of Sarajevo shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This violent but seemingly isolated act set in motion a series of policies that were to culminate in August 1914 in the outbreak of the most destructive war up to that time. The struggle, called by contemporaries “the Great War”, ended in November 1918, after nearly four-and-a-half years of fighting. It also had a great and lasting impact on University of Saskatchewan.
The Great War was the first truly global conflict. Over twenty separate countries and empires fought in the conflict that cost the lives of an estimated 15 to 18 million combatants and civilians. The bulk of the Canadian force was sent to the Western Front primarily in Flanders and France. Canadians also saw action in Macedonia, Dardanelles, Egypt and Palestine, North-West Persia and Caspian, Murmansk, Archangel and Siberia. The war opened in August of 1914 and closed in November of 1918 but its influence can be felt today. When peace finally came, three of the world`s great empires – Russian, Austria-Hungarian and Ottoman – no longer existed. The Great War changed everything. People would no longer view war as a romantic adventure. The era of Kings and empires was coming to a close. Germany and Turkey were republics and Russia was the first communist state. The nationalism that had sparked the conflagration was given legitimacy in the Treaty of Versailles and the Balkans was a patchwork of nation states. The Great War changed borders, politics, science, art and literature. It was the death of the old world and the birth of the world we know today. The war to end all wars did not.
The gallery contains material exclusively from the University Archives and Special Collections. The subjects covered are driven by the archival and printed sources in the collection. It is hoped that the presentation of one of a kind and rare material will aid in the research into and knowledge of the Great War.
Please visit the RememberUS website for more Great War material at University Archives and Special Collections.
The web page was conceived by the University of Saskatchewan Great War commemoration committee that was formed in February of 2014. The site contains material scanned exclusively from the University Archives and Special Collections.