On Aug. 4, 1914, Britain entered into the conflict today known as the First World War. At that time, Canada did not conduct its own foreign policy and found itself also at war. The next day, the Canadian government determined that it would raise a Canadian Expeditionary Force at its own cost, to serve in Europe alongside British and allied troops. For the Canadian military, this represented a problem because the tiny permanent army was not up to the task. Rather than mobilize the militia, it was decided to raise a separate force, using numbered battalions made up of active militia and civilian and veteran volunteers. Continue reading →
By now, I’m sure pretty much everyone in Canada knows that the First World War started a century ago. I don’t think we can come close to really understanding the significance of the event. Back in 1914, I imagine things were a bit different. For one thing, it wasn’t called the First World War, or even the World War, it was just a war, which later became known as the Great War. People thought it would be over in just a few months. Our real challenge in comprehending the conflict comes from the fact that the world of 100 years ago was so very different from the one we live in today.
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