In Our Youth by Angus Scully

Only six years after the first heavier-than-air flight in Canada, the first intrepid young Canadians were training to fly combat for the war raging in Europe. In his new book, In Our Youth, retired history educator and author Angus Scully tells the story of thirty-two young men at the forefront of this swiftly evolving technology.  It is the story of the earliest days of aviation in Canada, the development of Canadian pilots for the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Squadron, and the birth of civil aviation in Canada in the post-war years.

“Scully tells the story of Canadian aviation through a lens I like best: the personal stories of the men involved.”

I was raised with Snoopy, the WWI flying ace; read Donald Jack’s hilarious series of novels involving a Canadian in the RFC during the war, and at 14 years old yearned to learn to fly a Sopwith Camel. So, it was with great delight I was asked to read and review this book and I was not disappointed. Scully tells the story of Canadian aviation through a lens I like best: the personal stories of the men involved. Using archival photographs, and giving back the names, personalities, and life stories of the young men gazing hopefully out from the past takes this book beyond dry history. It is the tale of bravery and cowardice, of lives cut short and histories reclaimed. Researched in detail, Scully brings these stories to detailed life.

The book is divided into three sections: Youth Ascending, Youth Lost and Youth Transcending. The first is the story of the twenty-nine men who made up the Toronto-based Curtiss School of Aviation, class of July 1916, beginning with a photo of the young, care-free Canadians. The second part reclaims a young flyer from British Columbia, who had been mistakenly cast in the history books as an American until Scully’s research returned him to his proper place as a Canadian. The last part details the journey of two very different men united in the development of civil aviation in the post-war years. Filed with photographs, this book is an entertaining and educational read, a must for fans of aviation in general and the pioneers of the First World War flying in particular.

About the Author

Angus Scully is a writer, editor, historian, and educator. He is the author or co-author of fifteen Canadian history textbooks for elementary and high school, including Canada Today, now in its fourth edition with more than 100,000 copies sold. He is the current editor of the newsletter of the Vancouver Island Military Museum and also sits on the board of directors.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Heritage House (Oct. 18 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1772034215
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1772034219

Heather McBriarty is an author, lecturer and Medical Radiation Technologist based in Saint John, NB. Her love of reading and books began early in life, as did her love of writing, but it was the discovery of old family correspondence that led to her first non-fiction book, Somewhere in Flanders: Letters from the Front, and a passion for the First World War. She has delivered lectures to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, NB Genealogy Society, and Western Front Association (Central Ontario Branch), among others, on the war. Heather’s first novel of the “Great War”, Amid the Splintered Trees, was launched in November 2021.