About Saint Mary's

SMU student contributes profiles to African-Canadian war heroes celebration

10 November, 2016


Hometown Heroes Display at Library

Until November 18, visitors to the Patrick Power Library can get a look at one Saint Mary’s student’s contribution to a national effort to commemorate Canada's contributions to the First World War.


James During (right, beside his profile of Pte. George Downey) is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in History. He researched and wrote biographies of five African-Canadian soldiers for an exhibit in Parks Canada’s “‌Hometown ‌Heroes" initiative, which commemorates the stories of Canadians who fought in the Great War, with exhibits at National Historic Sites nationwide. A permanent display of James’ work can be found at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, with the Patrick Power Library hosting a copy.

James’ research focused on members of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, the only black battalion in the Canadian Forces during World War I. The battalion, largely comprising African-Nova Scotians, also included black soldiers from Ontario, Western Canada, and the United States.

James conducted research at the Nova Scotia Archives and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia.