In Our Youth

The Lives, Adventures, and Sacrifices of Early Canadian Flyers

By (author): Angus Scully
ISBN 9781772034219
Softcover | Publication Date: October 18, 2022
Book Dimensions: 6 in. x 9 in.
320 Pages

About the Book

A fascinating, photo-rich exploration of early aviation in Canada, told through the backstories of pilots who flew, fought, and risked their lives in the First World War, through the interwar period, and beyond.

In Our Youth explores the lives of thirty-two young Canadian military and civilian flyers, viewed through the medium of archival photography. All of these young men were pilots in the First World War, a time when flying was pure adventure and danger. Some of them were from humble origins, some from elite families, some became heroes, one was cowardly, and most have now faded from our attention. However, all embraced the romance of flight and the danger of war.

Although much of the book is focused on military experiences—including the mental stress and injuries faced by pilots who had barely reached adulthood—the book looks beyond war, examining the fascinating world of civilian aviation from 1908 to 1941. Featuring long-hidden photography uncovered from provincial archives, confidential military records, and precious family collections, this book covers the lives of many young Canadians who made important contributions as they flew and fought in what seem today to be the flimsiest of machines.


About the Author(s)

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.


"In Our Youth, by Angus Scully, offers a captivating glimpse into the lives of Canada’s trailblazing aviators . . . while offering valuable insights into the broader context of Canadian aviation development."
Canada's History
"The book is well-illustrated ... interesting and informative."
Cross and Cockade International , The Journal of the Great War Aviation Society
"A super-sleuthed book stuffed with little-known facts about early Canadian pilots." 
BC BookWorld
“From a picture of twenty-nine young men standing in front of a biplane, Scully aptly describes each one. Also featured are Osborne Orr, Earl Godfrey, and George Trim, three pilots who helped build Canada’s aviation industry in the 1920s and 1930s. This, plus the black and white photos of the pilots and their planes make In Our Youth a fascinating read.”
—Roger Gunn, author of Raymond Collishaw and the Black Flight and Masters of the Air: The Great War Pilots McLeod, McKeever and MacLaren
“Angus Scully has created a picture of early Canadian aviation. Using a group photo of pilot trainees, he weaves together their tales of heroism or tragedy with Canada’s early aviation history and First World War aviators. Scully has created a history of this period that young readers will easily understand.”
—Mathias Joost, retired from the Directorate of History, Department of National Defence
“From a single photo of twenty-nine young men in front of an aircraft in 1916, Scully teases out their respective stories: how they learned to fly, fought—and sometimes died—over French battlefields, then returned to play pioneering roles in Canadian aviation. Accessible, well researched, and fascinatingly personal.”
—Keith C. Ogilvie, editor of Failed to Return: Canada’s Bomber Command Sacrifice in the Second World War
"Angus Scully takes readers on a fascinating journey into the world of Canada’s Great War pilots, the young men who flew the Sopwith Camels and Handley-Pages over Germany and France. In Our Youth honours these heroes by telling their riveting stories."
—James Thayer, author of House of Eight Orchids