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A Township at War

By Jonathan F. Vance
Subjects History, Military History, Cultural Studies, Canadian History
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Hardcover : 9781771123860, 308 pages, October 2018
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771123884, 308 pages, October 2018
Audiobook : 9781771124935, October 2020
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771123891, 308 pages, October 2018

Audiobooks available at


A Township at War is the story of one community, the southern Ontario township of East Flamborough, during the First World War. It takes the reader from rural Canadian field and farm to the slopes of Vimy Ridge and the mud of Passchendaele, and shows how a tightly knit community was consumed and transformed by the trauma of war.
In 1914, East Flamborough was like a thousand other rural townships in Canada, broadly representative in its wartime experience. A Township at War draws from rich narrative sources to reveal what rural people were like a century ago – how they saw the world, what they valued, and how they lived their lives. We see them coming to terms with global events that took their loved ones to distant battlefields, and dealing with the prosaic challenges of everyday life. Fall fairs, recruiting meetings, church services, school concerts – all are re-imagined to understand how rural Canadians coped with war, modernism, and a world that was changing more quickly than they were.
This is a story of resilience and idealism, of violence and small-mindedness, of a world that has long disappeared and one that remains with us to this day.


  • Winner, Chalmers Award for Ontario History 2018
  • Short-listed, Ontario Speaker's Book Award 2019
  • Winner, C.P. Stacey Award 2018


A Township at War is done well, engagingly so, by a gifted writer mindful of his roots

- David Roberts, The Fife and Drum, April 2019

A beautifully written book by one of Canada’s best historians, A Township at War is a loving, brilliantly researched examination of the impact of the Great War on a largely rural area near Hamilton, Ontario. The war touched everyone, the local politicians and clergy, the mothers and sisters of the men who went off to fight, and those who returned and those who did not.

- J.L. Granatstein, author of Canada’s Army: Waging War and Keeping the Peace and former Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum