In the Shadow of the Great War

Jay Sherwood


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In 1913, the BC government hired George Milligan and E.B. Hart to lead two small expeditions to explore northeastern British Columbia. These 18-month explorations helped provide the first detailed information about this remote region. Unfortunately, World War I began just as the men completed their work, and the data they gathered was filed away and forgotten in the shadow of the Great War.

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2013, paperback, 208 pages

70 b/w photographs

ISBN 978-0-7726-6637-6

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A century later, historian Jay Sherwood documents the Milligan and Hart explorations, using information directly from their diaries, reports and correspondences. Milligan, at just 25 years old, was already the consummate professional, conducting his surveys efficiently and accurately. At 41, Hart had never before done any surveying but secured his exploration contract through political connections. His inexperience and checkered past caused many problems for him and for Surveyor General George Dawson, who had to contend with compounding expenses and demands from Hart’s debtors.

In the Shadow of the Great War tells the story of how two very different men completed difficult tasks in a harsh environment dominated by cold winds, raging rivers and waterlogged muskeg.


About the Author

From 1979 to 1986, Jay Sherwood lived and taught school in Vanderhoof. There, he learned about the ledgendary land surveyor, Frank Swannell, through his involvement with the local history society. A former surveyor himself, Sherwood embarked on a study of Swannell that would result in the publication of three books about him. His research also inspired him write about other important land surveyors and explorers.

Other books by Jay Sherwood
Furrows in the Sky
Return to Northern British Columbia
Surveying Central British Columbia
Bannock and Beans by Bob White (edited by Jay Sherwood)


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