Colonel Charles Perry Stacey (30 July 1906 – 17 November 1989) was a Canadian historian and university professor. He served as the official historian of the Canadian Army in the Second World War and published extensively on military and political matters.
Charles Perry Stacey
|Born||30 July 1906|
|Died||17 January 1989 (aged 82)|
|Years of service||1924–1959|
|Unit||Historical Section, General Staff|
|Alma mater||University of Toronto (B.A., 1927)|
Oxford University (B.A., 1929)
Princeton University (A.M., 1931, Ph.D., 1933)
Doris Newton Shiell
(m. 1939; died 1969)
Stacey was born in Toronto, Ontario to Dr Charles Edward Stacey (1860 – 1927) and Pearl Perry (1878 – 1964). The Stacey family was of Anglo-Irish, Church of Ireland origin. After attending the University of Toronto Schools, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Toronto in 1927. In 1924 he joined the Canadian Militia.
From 1933 to 1940, Stacey was a member of the history department at Princeton University. With the advent of the Second World War, he was given the rank of major and appointed as historical officer to the Canadian Army. He served in the United Kingdom for most of the war, headed a team dedicated to collecting and collating information for future historians, and wrote contemporary reports. His reports provided factual details about many military operations, including the Dieppe Raid and Operation Spring.
After the war, Stacey worked with a team to create an official history of the Canadian military operations during the conflict. He 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. The three volume set was published in 1948.
Stacey eventually attained the rank of colonel. In total, he served in the militia and the army for 35 years (1924-1959).
From 1959 to 1975, Stacey was a professor of history at the University of Toronto. He continued to research and write analysis of Canadian military operations. He published an autobiography, 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 those themes in volumes The Half Million (dealing with the Canadian forces stationed in Britain) and Arms, Men, and Government (concerning the government in Canada) during the war.
Stacey also wrote a critical analysis of the writing process 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.
Since 1988, an award called the C.P. Stacey Prize has been given by the Canadian Committee for the History of the Second World War "for distinguished publications on the twentieth-century military experience."
On 26 August 1939 Stacey married Doris Newton Shiell, daughter of R. T. Shiell. Doris was born in Toronto in 1903. After Colonel Stacey's retirement from the Army in 1959, the couple lived in a house at 89 Tranmer Avenue in Toronto. Doris died in Toronto on 5 December 1969. Colonel Stacey died in Toronto on 17 January 1989 at age 82. He is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto.