In the Shadow of the Great War




Stuck in the muskeg. Photo: Land Titles Survey Authority



In 1913 British Columbia commissioned two 18-month explorations to north-eastern BC, the most remote and least known region of the province. George Berry Milligan, a young talented BC land surveyor, led one small party; while E.B. Hart, a self-styled explorer with a controversial past, often worked alone.

drawing a map

Drawing a map in the sand. Photo: Royal BC Museum


The Milligan and Hart explorations produced the first detailed maps and descriptions of the geography of the region. Their accounts showed the difficulty in travelling through the wet terrain of this area. Both men realized that fire played an important role in the ecology of the land.


By the time Milligan and Hart completed their explorations in the fall of 1914,
World War I had started, and the information gathered was filed away and forgotten
in the shadow of the Great War. 

Dog Sled Team

 Dog sled team. Photo: Land Titles Survey Authority