Search Great War Images from the U of S

Chaplain Edmund Oliver

Edmund Oliver was a man of many accomplishments: scholar; theologian; teacher; and administrator. One of the University of Saskatchewan’s first faculty members, he left in 1914 to join the affiliated Presbyterian Theological College as principal. By 1916 he had enlisted in the Canadian Army as chaplain. In December 1917, the University of Vimy Ridge was established for the Canadian forces in France, with Oliver as president. The University was intended to be “a school of efficiency and citizenship, a sort of combination of an Agricultural High School and a Technical School.” Courses were offered in agriculture, business efficiency, elementary practical science, and citizenship. Classes were scheduled so that battalions could attend during their rest periods. Operations were suspended in April 1918 because of the massive German offensive. By November, the war was over and Oliver returned to Canada. President Murray wrote to Oliver: “The centre of interest is now shifted from the armies in the field to the army at home. Demobilization is giving rise to a number of very difficult problems, and the attitude of the returned soldier is incalculable and important.”

Married just five years when he enlisted, Oliver left behind his wife, Rita, and their two small sons, to whom he wrote almost daily (housed in the Oliver Papers, MG 6, I. Correspondence with his wife. - June 1916 to May 1919). The letters written while serving overseas are presented here. Original order has been maintained

Through the above link you can read the correspondence from Edmund Oliver to his wife Rita.  They were scanned from the Edmund Oliver Papers, MG 6, University Archives and Special Collections.