Local author highlights Vic High in historical book

="new historical book local"

Being released on Remembrance Day. Written by Local Author Barry Gough

Local author Barry Gough’s new book on Victoria High School students and staff that fought in the First World War will be released just in time for Remembrance Day.

The book launch for From Classroom to Battlefield: Victoria High School and the First World War takes place in the high school’s library Monday, Nov. 10 at 11:15 a.m. following a brief Remembrance Day ceremony in the school’s auditorium.

Gough will also be holding signings on Tuesday, Nov.11, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in downtown Victoria’s Munro’s Books, and on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at Bolen Books in the Hillside Shopping Centre.  

The book highlights the military experiences of 20 young men and women associated with the school. Several of them served at the front line in some of the war’s bloodiest battles, including the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, and Amiens.

Drawing on the school’s extensive archives from the period, along with stories and photos provided by local families, the book offers a poignant examination of the First World War and its legacy for a school, a city, and an entire generation.

“It is very important to write this account, as it is a part one of the greatest untold stories in Canadian history,” says Gough.

“I am speaking of course about the generation of young Canadians who, in my opinion, were the greatest generation of patriots this country has ever known. They went selflessly to war without question, and the losses suffered by the youth during this period were extreme. By this measure they were also the ‘lost generation’. They left the shores of this nation for one of the most devastating conflicts in world history. In their wake was a national out pouring of grief when they did not return.” 

Gough is a well-known and accomplished historian and academic.

He and his family have a long relationship with Victoria High School, and the City of Victoria, as both he and his parents attended the school.

Gough would return to the school for a brief period as a teacher before commencing his doctoral studies in London, England.

He is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Medal, the B.C. Book Prize, and the North American Society for Oceanic History Prize.

Gough’s curiosity in the Canadian Armed Forces has deep local roots.

“My interest with CFB Esquimalt and its fleet was the catalyst for one of my most important dissertations on naval power called The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America. I have always been interested in Canada’s military. This led me to an eventual position as an adjunct professor at Venture where I taught a professional development class on the theory and practice of war from 2005 to 2011.”

A special alumni edition of the book will be available for purchase at the Nov. 10 launch. The reception is open to the public, but space is limited. Please RSVP to the VHS Alumni Association at linkin@telus.net or 250-474-5951.

A/SLt Melissa Kia : Base Public Affairs

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  1. Vic Simeoni says:

    Hi Barry, I avidly read your excellent above-captioned book. As a former U.B.C. student (Law 69-72), I am most familiar with the iconic WALTER GAGE. On page 124 of your said book, you mention Walter’s surname as “Sage”. Obviously a typographical…however, if another edition of your book is to be published, I bring this error to your attention. Again, an excellent read…keep tilting at the windmills of war ! Vic.

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