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HIST 1253 (10)

March 4th & 6th.docx

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HIST 1253
Charles Baxter

Canada and the First World War, 1914-1918 March 4 th Canada Joins the Struggle o Britain declares war against Germany on August 4, 1914 - Canada is automatically at war - Though Canada doesn’t have a choice to enter the war, they can decide how to cooperate with the wartime effort - Thousand Canadians flee to the registration to serve in the army o Forming the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) - Thousands of volunteers - Through 1914-1915, the interest was enough to create several volunteers - Some experienced personnel came from the Canadian Permanent Force and the Militia  The volunteer militia • Part-time volunteers • Show up on weekends, go to a 2 week summer camp • Spend their time, training, drilling, etc. • Over 70,000 of these in 1914 • They are the first group to be drawn upon for the CEF because they have done a stint of service in the militia - Home grown militias don’t get sent overseas, they remained as training camps, etc.  At first they were upset that they weren’t being sent overseas, but that they were separated to help support those who did go overseas • Artillery units, machine gun units, engineering troops, transportation • All absolutely essential for supply, communication and transportation for their troops The Canadian Expeditionary Force o By the end of the war 619,636 men and women would enlist in the CEF - Mostly volunteer, but by 1918 more conscripts - Almost 4,000 women nurses - Over 424,000 would serve overseas - Population of Canada in 1914: just under 8 million o Who were these soldiers? - Occupations before joining up  Vast majority were blue or white collar workers – mostly coming from towns and cities  Not all under the stereotype of farmers, etc. - High proportion were born in the British Isles  Only about 51-52% of all CEF members were Canadian due to the massive boom of immigration earlier on - Education levels; marital status  Not highly educated: on average a grade 6 level
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