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Subject > Politics and Society > War Victims > Prisoners of War

Canadian POWs

Type: Document

During the First World War nearly 3,000 Canadians became prisoners of war.

Site: National Defence

Harsh Terms of Surrender

Type: Document

Since the fortifications of Montreal were too weak to withstand a siege by the British in September 1760, French commanders Vaudreuil and Lévis were forced to surrender. The terms were harsh, with the defenders being refused the honours of war.

Site: National Defence

Treatment Of Prisoners

Type: Document

One problem of raid warfare was the treatment of prisoners - they were often brutally tortured, as was the custom of the Amerindians. This was ironic, as the Canadians themselves had suffered badly this way from the Iroquois.

Site: National Defence

The Americans Repulsed

Type: Document

During the battle of New Year's Eve of 1775, a column of American rebels led by General Arnold made one last attack on Quebec City. Arnold was wounded and many of his men captured when British governor Carleton attacked the rebels from behind.

Site: National Defence

Another Round Of Iroquois Wars

Type: Document

The Iroquois pressed their advantage, raiding and spreading fear among the colonists. A French attempt to force a pitched battle was unsuccessful.

Site: National Defence

Prisoner’s of War

Type: Document

Those who had been prisoners of war rejoiced at the end of the war and their return to Canada. They were marred by the maltreatment they had received in forced marches, concentration camps and brutal guards. Accompanying these returnees, were new Canadians – foreign spouses and dependents, and other nationals - such as the Poles - who had fought alongside the Canadians.

Site: National Defence

Cannibalism and Scalping

Type: Document

Captives taken in warfare by Amerindian peoples were sometimes eaten. More common was the practice of taking scalps as a trophy.

Site: National Defence

Upper Canadian Patriotism

Type: Document

The 1838 Rebellion in Upper Canada led to a huge call up for the militia. More than 20,000 were under arms, supporting British troops in the colony. In later years, the population remembered the rebellions more for this outpouring of patriotism than for its relatively few casualties.

Site: National Defence

A Strong Move

Type: Document

The first move in the campaign of 1757 was by the French. Governor Vaudreuil sent Montcalm to take Fort William Henry, hoping to forestall British attacks north along Lake Champlain. The fort was taken, but there was a massacre of prisoners of war by Amerindians.

Site: National Defence

Advance to Disaster

Type: Document

British general Burgoyne's plan for his attack against the American rebels called for two columns to move south in 1777. Burgoyne's main force moved down the Champlain valley where it was first surrounded and then defeated by an army of American rebels at Saratoga in October.

Site: National Defence