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Colonel Charles Perry Stacey, OC, OBE, CD, FRSC (30 July 1906 – 17 November 1989) was a Canadian historian and university professor. He was the official historian of the Canadian Army in the Second World War, and has been published extensively on matters both military and political.

Early life, educationEdit

Stacey was born in Toronto, Ontario. After attending the University of Toronto Schools, he received a B.A. degree in History from the University of Toronto in 1924. He received a second Bachelor's degree in History from Corpus Christi College, Oxford in 1929. In 1933, he received a Ph.D. degree from Princeton University. From 1933 to 1940, he was a member of the History department at Princeton University.

Service in Canadian ArmyEdit

Stacey joined the Militia before the Second World War. His service as one of the Canadian Army's historians is well chronicled in his autobiography. He served in the United Kingdom for the majority of the war, collecting and collating information for future historians, as well as writing contemporary reports. Stacey's works have contributed much to the study of certain controversial operations such as the Dieppe Raid and Operation Spring. Stacey benefited from his access to the major Canadian military and political figures involved in the War, both during the conflict and afterwards, when the official histories were being finalized for publication. He attained the rank of Colonel. In total He served in the Army for 35 years (1924-1959).


From 1959 to 1975, he was a Professor of History at the University of Toronto. Stacey published an autobiography entitled A Date With History, which presented much background information regarding the writing of the Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War. He extended these themes in volumes such as The Half Million (dealing with the Canadian forces stationed in Britain), and Arms, Men, and Government (concerning the government in Canada) during World War II. He also sheds light on the poorly managed writing of the Official History of World War I (only one of the projected eight volumes by the original author ever appeared in print).

He died in Toronto in 1989. His personal and research papers are in the University of Toronto Archives.

A comment he made following World War II regarding war brides, calling them "Most excellent citizens," became the title of a book on the subject by Eswyn Lyster.

Selected bibliographyEdit

See alsoEdit

  • Most Excellent Citizens - a book on the World War II war bride experience, title based on a quote from C.P. Stacey


External linksEdit

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