Fighting From Home: The Second World War In Verdun, Quebec
Serge Marc Durflinger
Verdun’s English-language population was overwhelmingly British, often British-born or first-generation Canadian. They enlisted in the armed services in incredible numbers, so much so that in some neighbourhoods most of the able-bodied men were on active service. French speakers had no such emotional commitment to France, but they were Verdunites, and supported their concitoyens. Even the Verdun branch of the Société St-Jean-Baptiste, although alienated from the European conflict, helped its fellow Verdunites. The sense of community overrode all other considerations.
Verdun might have been an anomaly: a city that lived with age-old divisions had such a strong sense of itself as an entity that all these divisions were weak by comparison. But it does show what such a sense of community can achieve.
Fighting From Home was originally a doctoral dissertation, but in this (presumably) less academic version, Durflinger has captured a fascinating era in Canadian history, reporting without judgement on how a community excelled in extraordinary times. mRb