RCRM Speakers Series Podcast

Hard Labour: Beyond the Internet Search

Episode Summary

“Hard Labour: Beyond the Internet Search” literally takes us to the depth of historical research. With information available at the click of a mouse button, it is easy nowadays to overlook how much data remains undigitized. When the assumption that all the important information is accessible has been stripped away, a change in perspective is needed. Working with previously overlooked material, a researcher can find new ground from which to challenge established views and find areas where the accepted history falls short in capturing the full story.

Episode Notes

Before announcing episode 6 of The RCRM Speakers Series, the museum wishes to acknowledge all our loyal followers of this program. The past four months have brought changes and unrest, but they also opened large doors in the cyberspace. A big thank you to all those who downloaded episodes in Canada, US, France, UK, Germany, Australia, Dominican Republic, Belgium, Ireland and Bahrain. Our museum has produced digital content more than ever, and we encourage you to continue engaging with us via social media, website, Simplecast and YouTube.

For episode 6 of the RCRM Speakers Series, we have invited Captain (ret’d) Michael O’Leary to share his experience as a researcher of … all things RCR! 

Michael O’Leary is well known by the larger regimental circles across the country, but also by the local community, especially The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, where he volunteers for many years. He served 40 years in the Canadian Forces, with the Princess Louise Fusiliers and The Royal Canadian Regiment. He published in the Infantry Journal, the Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin, and Pro Patria, the regimental journal of The RCR. In his published work, Michael has explored many facets of the infantry and the military history, but he maintains a central focus on researching The Royal Canadian Regiment. In 2015, he was awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers for his work on researching First World War soldiers and for sharing his work with the Canadian public through the website “The Regimental Rogue.” On this website, Michael has collected, displayed and wrote about a variety of military topics. He is also a collector of badges and medals to The RCR, which allowed for continuing his research on the Regiment and expand upon his understanding of soldiers' experiences. Michael lives in London with his wife, Reverend Laurie, and they have three children and three grandchildren.

Expanding on his research of The RCR soldiers, Captain O’Leary has compiled, transcribed, and analyzed information in regimental sources on soldiers of the First World War and the decades before and after. Michael O’Leary describes and discusses projects he has undertaken to go beyond the established views cultivated by decades of adherence to limited published sources. His approach offers the advantage of unveiling material so far unknown; ultimately this leads to a deeper understanding of regimental life that has long been overlooked. To the diligent researcher, the task is both, daunting and rewarding.