Author's Note

I've attempted to introduce the background of the characters in the body of the novel but in answer to special requests have compiled this list of major characters, both historic and fictional.


Principle FICTIONAL characters


  • Robert McLaren, nephew of Canadian munitions plant owner, and a Canadian journalist
  • Evers Chance, businessman with connections to British intelligence.
  • Count Moldov, Russian bureaucrat
  • Maria Pavlova –Dickson, Russian refugee
  • Dmitri Pavlov- Maria's brother and chauffer for the Count
  • William Drummond- Canadian munition plant owner/manager
  • Ben Dewar, Drummond's account
  • Vicky Stevens, a widow who conducts tours of the Gettysburg Battlefield,
  • John Stevens, Vicky's son and government employee
  • Carl Struthers, Canadian Liberal party organizer
  • Fred Sinclair, Ottawa official of the munition’s bureau
  • Donald Fleming, wounded veteran and later candidate in Federal election
  • Dorothy Fleming, his wife
  • Brad Irvine, assistant to US Senator
  • Col Frank Tucker, an associate of Irvine
  • Ellen Evans, an assistant to Evers Chance.
  • Willi Stern, an army truck driver
  • Delmer Williams, army press officer
  • Sergeant Harris, a soldier in the trenches,
  • The Mohawk scout,
  • Bill Givens, Canadian army artillery officer,
  • Wes Bryon, American war correspondent
  • The Captain at Vimy, a Canadian officer,
  • Evan, a young soldier unsettled by conditions,
  • Indigo aka Rene Duval, French intelligence officer
  • Curtis Frank, underage Canadian soldier
  • Rick Frank, father of Curtis and a Fleming friend
  • Barney, a farmer and Fleming neighbour
  • "Red" a union organizer
  • The various Press 'minders'
  • Michel Cloutier, Quebec politician
  • Maggie, a munitions plant worker
  • Billy Mills, a Halifax resident,
  • The Ottawa election night reporters  
  • Dick Beardsley, a prison camp escapee
  • Private Reeves, army driver


Historic figures


  • Robert Borden, Canadian Prime Minister
  • Rasputin, Russian Monk and friend of the Imperial Russian family
  • Felix Yusupov, assassin of Rasputin.
  • Joseph Pope, Canadian public servant and foreign affairs specialist
  • David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister
  • Alexander Kerensky, interim Russian leader
  • Vladimir Lenin, leader of Bolshevik revolution
  • Leon Trotsky, Bolshevik strategist
  • General Julian Byng, British army commander
  • General Arthur Currie, Canadian army commander,
  • Andy McNaughton, a Canadian artillery specialist and later W.W. 2 General  
  • Ellis Sifton, awarded posthumous Victoria Cross at Vimy Ridge
  • General Robert Nivelle, French army commander at the Battle of Chemin Des Dames
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canadian Liberal Leader,
  • Dwight Eisenhower, U.S army officer, future President
  • Sam Hughes, politician, former Canadian Militia Minister
  • Billy Barker, decorated Canadian flyer
  • Laura Hughes, niece of Sam.
  • John Diefenbaker, soldier, future Canadian Prime Minister
  • Field Marshall Douglas Haig, British army commander
  • George Yates, an assistant to Robert Borden
  • Dr John McCrae, poet and Canadian doctor


For Further Reading


It's difficult to focus on any one book while dealing with the Great War. Military histories abound with detailed studies as do biographies of the major military leaders including Haig, Currie, and Pershing. The politicians of the day, from David Lloyd George, to Woodrow Wilson, the young Winston Churchill or in Canada, Robert Borden, and Wilfrid Laurier, all have space on the library shelves. Much of my reading included the early lives of figures who would emerge as leaders in the years following the war, the men like William Lyon Mackenzie King or Dwight Eisenhower. Below are only a few examples of books that may be of special interest to Canadians.


On the major Western Front Battles of 1917:

  1. Burton, Pierre. Vimy. Pen and Sword, 2003.
  2. MacDonald, Lynn. They called it Passchendaele. Penquin 1993.
  3. Cook, Tim. Shock Troops, Canadians fighting the Great War. Viking 2008.


On the view from the trench:

  1. Bird, Will. Ghosts have Warm Hands. Clarke Irwin, 1968
  2. Scott, Cannon Frederick. The Great War as I saw it. Goodchild, 1922.


On Politics and War:

  1. Cook, Tim. The Mad Man and the Butcher, the sensational wars of Sam Hughes and General Arthur Currie. Penguin 2011.
  2. Vance, Jonathon. The Maple Leaf Empire, Canada, Britain and the two World Wars. Oxford University Press 2012.


On the Home Front:

  1. Booth, Jeffery, editor. All is Well with Ellis tonight, the letters of Ellis Wellwood Sifton,V.C. Elgin Military Museum, 2007.
  2. Gwyn, Sandra. Tapestry of War, Harper Perennial 2004.
  3. McKegney, Patricia. The Kaiser's Bust, Bamburg Press, 1991.
  4. Roberts, David. In the Shadow of Detroit. Wayne State University Press, 2006.