Remembering the Great War

100th Anniversary of the First World War
One hundred years ago on Aug. 4, Britain and the Commonwealth entered the First World War. From 1914 to 1918, the residents of Vaughan Township and the Village of Woodbridge (which today comprise the City of Vaughan) sacrificed both at home and abroad.

Today we remember the young men who battled their way across Europe through muddy trenches amidst the deafening explosions of shells, while their families at home volunteered for war work, rationed food and anxiously awaited news of their loved ones.

At the City of Vaughan we remember the service and sacrifice made by so many and are fortunate to preserve some of these memories in our Archives.

Lt. Addison Alexander Mackenzie on horseback

Lt. Addison Alexander Mackenzie on horseback

Lt. Addison Alexander Mackenzie on horseback

This photo of Woodbridge Lt. Addison Alexander (Lex) Mackenzie was taken at the start of the First World War. Mackenzie served with the fourth Canadian Mounted Rifles and was quickly promoted to captain as a result of his prewar experience serving as a member of the governor general’s bodyguard.

Mackenzie ultimately rose to the rank of major before being sent home after sustaining severe wounds at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. Despite his injuries, Mackenzie continued to serve in the Canadian Army’s training system until the end of the war and was awarded the Military Cross for valour for his efforts at Regina Trench at the Battle of the Somme.

Later, Mackenzie served as a councillor for the Village of Woodbridge from 1922 to 1926, as well as reeve of the village and member of the York County Council from 1927 to 1935.

Members of the fourth Canadian Mounted Rifles

Members of the fourth Canadian Mounted Rifles

Members of the fourth Canadian Mounted Rifles

Three members of the fourth Canadian Mounted Rifles pose for a photo moments before the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917: Capt. (later Maj.) Addison Alexander Mackenzie (left), Lt. William George Butson (middle) and Lt. William Robert Muirhead (right).

Soldiers of the First World War

Soldiers of the First World War

Soldiers of the First World War

A Canadian troop poses in full military dress, ca. 1915.

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