At the height of the war in 1943, the future head of the First Canadian Army,
General Harry Crerar, penned a long memorandum in which he noted that
there was still much confusion as to “what constitutes an ‘Officer.’” His words
reflected the army’s preoccupation with creating an ideal officer who would
not only satisfy the immediate demands of war but also conform to pervasive,
little-discussed notions of social class and masculinity. Geoff Hayes’ talk will
explore the making of the wartime army’s officer corps, with special focus on
some of those drawn from Waterloo County.
Geoff Hayes is a Waterloo native who went to Lexington Public School, Lincoln Heights Public School, Waterloo Collegiate, and
Wilfrid Laurier University. He then enrolled at Western University, earning a Ph.D. in 1992. He has been teaching Canadian and
Canadian military history at the University of Waterloo for over 30 years. His most recent book, Crerar’s Lieutenants: Inventing
the Canadian Army Officer Corps, 1939-1945 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017) won the C.P. Stacey Prize for best book in Canadian
military history published that year.