Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

BRACEBRIDGE — Lest we forget — not in your life or theirs.

Muskoka author and historian Patrick Boyer has his latest book out now, appropriately for Remembrance Day.

“Muskokans Fight the Great War” is the first book in his MODERN HISTORY OF MUSKOKA series.

Patrick Boyer knows the story well and tells it equally well in the first of a new series of books he has out on Muskoka. Hear him speak at book events the next few weeks.

In August 1914 Muskokans rushed to enlist in the British Empire’s war that was supposed to be over by Christmas.

After four years, with millions of soldiers and millions more civilians killed, the euphoria had long since turned to grim despair.

Many Muskokans marched into that war – and other world conflicts – and didn’t return.

Some did. And this is both their stories.

Launched this fall, this book includes previously undisclosed events and many never-before-published photos.

Boyer began a local fall book tour with it this morning, talking about it and sharing some photos and stories that didn’t make it into the final cut of the book.

Oct 17, Thurs – Veterans’ Luncheon: Huntsville Legion, 11:15 a.m.

Oct 18, Fri – Bracebridge Rotary Club: 12 noon.

Oct 19, Sat – Book signing, VERANDA, Bracebridge: 10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

Oct 20, Sun – Sunday Speakers Series, Muskoka Discovery Centre, Gravenhurst: 2 p.m.

Oct 23, Wed – Gravenhurst Public Library: 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Oct 25, Fri – Village Square, Vankoughnet: 6 p.m.

Oct 26, Sat – Bracebridge Public Library: 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Nov 8, Fri – Port Carling Legion: 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Nov 9, Sat – Book signing, Coles Books, Huntsville: 10:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

Nov 20, Wed – Port Carling Library, Seniors Club: 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Nov 24, Sun – Huntsville Legion, upstairs: 3 to 5 p.m.

The Oct 20, 23, and 26 and Nov 8 and 24 events are open to all, free admission, with a PowerPoint presentation of many never-before-published photos from the book.

In addition to being available at those events, copies of Muskokans Fight the Great War are also for sale at:

VERANDA’s Muskoka Books, 22 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge

Coles Books, Huntsville Place Mall, 70 King William Street, Huntsville

Artisans of Muskoka, 67 Main Street East, Huntsville

Muskoka Heritage Place, 88 Brunel Road, Huntsville

Muskoka Discovery Centre, 275 Steamship Bay Road, Gravenhurst

or on-line at www.muskokabooks.ca



  1. Canada’s Prime Minister Interrupts His Muskoka Vacation
  2. Canada’s War Minister Rallies Muskokans
  3. First Flush of War Euphoria
  4. Christmas Comes, Christmas Goes
  5. Muskoka’s Home Front Shoulders Its War Work
  6. Confronting Spies and “Enemy Aliens” in Muskoka
  7. Indigenous Warriors Show Up for Battle
  8. Muskoka Raises Its Own Battalion of Fighting Men
  9. A Hundred Mile March
  10. The 122nd Becomes Military Police, Sports Champs, and Farmers
  11. Muskoka Soldiers Next Add a Foresters’ Role
  12. The 122nd Resumes Military Police Duty
  13. Women Galvanize Muskoka’s Home Front
  14. Europe’s Aching Womb of Death
  15. A Long Journey to War
  16. Muskoka’s Overseas Battalion Meets Its Fate
  17. War’s Imperatives Rebrand Britain’s Germanic Monarchy
  18. Muskokans and Other Canucks Hew Wood to Fell the Foe
  19. Fear of Looming Defeat Conjures Extreme Measures
  20. Dr. McGibbon Goes to Ottawa
  21. Making Up an Army of Unwilling Soldiers
  22. Shutting Down “The War to End All Wars”



  1. Patrick Boyer’s ancestors homesteaded in Muskoka before Confederation. Born and raised in Bracebridge, he holds an honours degree in economics and politics from Carleton, a Masters in history from University of Toronto, and a doctorate of law from the UofT’s faculty of law. Boyer’s been partner of a major Toronto law firm, a Member of Parliament, and parliamentary secretary for both External Affairs and National Defence. Dr. Boyer has taught at four universities, worked on democratic development overseas, and is author of some 24 books.

This book inaugurates new series BOYER’S MODERN HISTORY OF MUSKOKA

Book includes extensive subject index and references

Price: $24.95

335 pages

Numerous photos, many published for the first time

ISBN: 978-0-9864867-8-4

Publisher: Muskoka Books, 2019

The compelling story – and photos – of Muskoka men marching off to war are a timely treat for history buffs locally and otherwise.

Email Mark Clairmont at mark@muskokatoday.com

Or news@muskokatoday.com

Celebrating 25 YEARS of ‘Local Online Journalism’

Follow him at Twitter @muskokatodaily

And on Facebook at mark@muskokatodaily.com

Letters to the Editor always welcome:

Let us know what you’re thinking. Click on the Comment button at the end of this story to leave your comments.

Or write a Letter to the Editor …

And … please Subscribe: