Dominion Day

July 1, 1916

A holiday! Though rather a strenuous one, according to Gordon Brown:

Everybody here had a holiday on Dominion Day yesterday. In the afternoon there were sports behind the YMCA here. There were 100 yd dashes, walking races, mile, ½ mile and ¼ mile runs, three legged races, sack races, an obstacle race (they ran a short distance and had to pull their shoes out of a sack, put them on and finish the race in the sack. There was a pick-a-back race – one fellow carried another on his back to the end of the course then they turned and came back, the one who rode carrying the other. Another interesting thing was the horseback wrestling. Teams of four men from some of the brigades rode bareback with just a halter on the horse and tried to throw their opponents from their horses.

1916 06 17 wrestling on horseback

In the evening, there were some boxing and wrestling contests. The YMCA are giving prizes to the winners in these events.(1)

(1) Brown, Robert Gordon. Letter to his mother, July 2, 1916. Available from the Canadian Letters and Images Project. A comparison of the transcription with the image of the original reveals some errors which have been silently corrected above.

The image is from John Boyd’s First World War Photographs, City of Toronto Archives.

Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.”



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