Padres in No Man's Land is the compelling story of brave and deeply committed army chaplains who brought faith and courage to Canada's troops during one of history's most devastating wars. Tracing the growth of the Canadian Chaplain Service from its chaotic and controversy-ridden early days to its maturation as an efficient field force, Duff Crerar highlights both the role of the Service on the battlefield and the personal experiences of the chaplains. Refuting the widely held view that chaplains serving overseas were cloistered from front-line realities, Crerar describes the padres' experiences in camps, hospitals, and on the battlefield. He examines how they maintained their faith in the face of death and destruction, and explores the bonds forged between chaplains and troops. Padres in No Man's Land concludes in the postwar era with the decline of the chaplains' hopes for spiritual renewal upon their return to Canada - their dreams dashed not by the war, but by the subsequent peace.
Duff Crerar is Instructor Emeritus of History, Department of Arts and Education, Grande Prairie Regional College.
"The book will fill a gap in the history of Canada's greatest war and in modern Canadian church history." Desmond Morton, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University