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Published on 6 Feb 2011
School
UTSG
Department
History
Course
HIS263Y1
Professor
HIS263 Feb 1
World War One: The Soldiers Story
The War Begins
Robert Borden took Canada into the First World War
It begins with the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand
Germany invaded Belgium and Britain declared war to protect Belgium
Canada was automatically at war, once Britain declared war, but it still held the
power to arm troops or not
There is no question that Canada will send troops
The initial reaction to the war is extremely enthusiastic
Canada stood shoulder to shoulder with Britain according to Borden
Laurier declared his support for the war
Henri Bourassa also gave support to the idea
Enthusiasm for the war is not just occurring at the level of the elites but is in the
population as well
Signing Up
At the beginning of WWI (1914), Canada was not very well prepared
The permanent army consisted of about 3000 troops and a militia of 60000
The training consisted of a few nights at the armoury and a type of training camp
Over 600000 would serve in the Canadian Expeditionary Army for the war by the
end
The government hoped to assemble 20000 volunteers, but they got over 30000
immediately
2/3 of these people were British born men who immigrated during the Laurier
period
The organization was very chaotic
By October 1914, the first contingent sailed for England
Slowly, a more comprehensive and organized recruitment centre (establishment)
emerges
There were two interrelated levels
The official government level used propaganda to recruit soldiers
The exact burden of recruiting was on the local level
Recruitment into the army is a form of community mobilization
It was one of the few class integrated institutions of the time
Other groups also mobilized to try and encourage men to enlist
Churches, fraternities, and womens groups, etc.
A lot of the recruitment is due to spoken word
This recruitment establishment was fairly successful
By mid 1916, Canada had 4 divisions in the fields
Later into the war, Canadians corps were led by Arthur Currie, the first Canadian
commander
By 1916, recruiting had begun to slow down
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Document Summary

Robert borden took canada into the first world war. I t begins with the assassination of the archduke ferdinand. Germany invaded belgium and britain declared war to protect belgium. Canada was automatically at war, once britain declared war, but it still held the power to arm troops or not. There is no question that canada will send troops. The initial reaction to the war is extremely enthusiastic. Canada stood shoulder to shoulder" with britain according to borden. Henri bourassa also gave support to the idea. Enthusiasm for the war is not just occurring at the level of the elites but is in the population as well. At the beginning of wwi (1914), canada was not very well prepared. The permanent army consisted of about 3000 troops and a militia of 60000. The training consisted of a few nights at the armoury and a type of training camp.