Cape Breton Island is a part of the Province of Nova Scotia and located on the east coast of Canada.
This website was created in 2016 to showcase, document and preserve the rich military history relating to Cape Breton Island and to commemorate its men and women who served in uniform during times of war and conflict. It does this through collections of high resolution digital images of photographs, letters, documents, newspaper clippings, artifacts and more. It is essentially an on-line archive that is of value to students, historians, family researchers or those just interested in military history.
The images in the collections on this site are high resolution scans of original photos and documents from personal and family collections, private collectors, museums and institutions. Most of the images have been edited and restored to some extent by cropping, improving the contrast, and by removing cracks, marks, staining, etc., all to provide the best quality images possible. For archival purposes, unedited images are stored in our off line digital archive. In addition, each image is individually researched to provide the most accurate details. Credits for the images are clearly indicated.
This website is not intended to be all encompassing with respect to military units, lists of personnel, etc., but is a work in progress, and will continue to grow as additional photos, documents, artifacts, etc., come to light, and can be added.
The collections on this website are divided into two main categories. The Personal Profile Collections and the Theme Collections.
The Personal Profile Collections are composed of digital images of photos, documents, letters, artifacts, etc., pertaining to military personnel, either from Cape Breton, or that served in military units from Cape Breton. The source material that make up the images, in many cases, was generously provided by the individuals themselves or from family members. All images contain reference numbers and are documented as to their source. The Personal Profile Collections pay tribute to the veterans and help to document and preserve the details of their military service. Some Personal Profile Collections may only contain a single image, while others may contain hundreds of images. The Personal Profile Collections are organized alphabetically by last name.
To access the Personal Profile Collections, click on the Collections icon in the menu bar at the top of the page, or click HERE.
The Theme Collections are composed of images of photographs and documents, including booklets, pamphlets, manuscripts, battalion newspapers, etc., all pertaining to specific military units, time periods, places, etc. They are mostly Nova Scotia related but with a high percentage of Cape Breton related content. The images in the Theme Collections were acquired mostly from private collections, institutions and museums. You may also see some images duplicated from the Personal Profile Collections in order that they may fit into a specific Theme Collection.
To access the Theme Collections, click on the Collections icon in the menu bar at the top of the page, or click HERE.
Any publication, reproduction or distribution of this website’s content or images, without our express permission, is strictly prohibited. If you are interested in copies of any of the images, please contact us by phone or email so permission from the owners of the original items can first be obtained.
Robert MacLellan is the originator of the website. He grew up in Sydney, NS, and obtained a degree in civil engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. He currently resides in Halifax and is co-owner of Matrix Construction Limited, a general contracting company.
Robert always had a strong interest in military history which stemmed from veteran family members. His grandfather and great uncle were both Second World War veterans and his father served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Korean War.
Robert started collecting militaria and photos as a teenager. The main focus of his collection was the Cape Breton Highlanders during the Second World War. In the 1990’s he was invited to several of their annual reunions where he exhibited some of his collection. He got to know many of the veterans and they later shared their photos and stories so Robert could document their history. In later years, Robert’s interest expanded to cover Cape Breton military history in general, especially as it relates to the two world wars.
Robert developed this website as a way to share images of the photos and items that he collected over many years, and to grow the digital collection into an important data base relating to the military history of Cape Breton and its veterans.
A new member to the website team in the past year is Terry McCully who brings to the table his expertise in research and photo editing.
Terry grew up in Pictou, NS and served in the 1st Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders and 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment. After army life he returned to school and studied Computer Networking in Halifax. He worked in the oil fields of Alberta, and on offshore oil rigs around the world as a gas technician/instrumentation specialist. He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.
With a strong interest in family history, coupled with his own military background, Terry began researching the military history of the numerous veterans in his family. His interest grew, and in 2005 he began collecting military photos relating to Nova Scotians and the First World War. His spare time photography working weddings and modelling shoots, and his versatility using Photoshop, led him to begin restoring vintage military photos. He now works with Ancestry.com and museum archivists to track down families of soldiers of both world wars in search of photos and important artifacts.
Terry’s work in restoring vintage photos using modern digital techniques, and showcasing them on this website, will ensure his goal to keep the memory of our war veterans alive for future generations and to remember their tremendous sacrifice.