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World War One: Armed Forces - Canada

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  • Lieut. Coln. John E. Leitch,231st Bt., Canadian Expeditionary Force (1872 - 1950)
    The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The regiment is subordinate to 39 Canadian Brigade Group, 3rd Canadi...
  • Brigadier General, Robert Gilmour Edwards Leckie, 72nd Seaforth Highlanders (1869 - 1922)
    The narrative of the Second Battle of Ypres was written on the spot and immediately after the action. It was not until long afterwards that it was possible to collect and collate the whole of the batta...
  • Lt John Ure Garrow (1889 - 1916)
    Residence : 1911 - Toronto North Sub-Districts 11-84, Ontario, Canada** Reference: FamilySearch Family Tree - SmartCopy : Oct 27 2018, 10:19:31 UTC
  • Edward James Gibson Holland (1878 - 1948)
    Edward James Gibson Holland was born in Ottawa, Canada on February 2nd, 1878 to Andrew and Charlotte Holland. He lived at 216 copper street. When Edward was a teenager, he attended modeling school at O...
  • Albert Speechly (1875 - 1916)
    Reference: Ancestry Genealogy - SmartCopy : Sep 15 2018, 20:41:27 UTC

World War One: Armed Forces - Canada

The British declaration of war automatically brought Canada into the war, because of Canada's legal status as a British dominion which left foreign policy decisions in the hands of the UK parliament.

Please link any GENi profiles of Canadian Servicemen to this project. From Canada: 418,035 served of a total 628,964 in arms.

On August 5, 1914, the Governor General declared a war between Canada and Germany. The Militia was not mobilised and instead an independent Canadian Expeditionary Force was raised.

Before the war, Canada had a small permanent standing army and a much larger Canadian militia. The Minister of Militia and Defence, Sam Hughes, was ordered by Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden to train and recruit an army for overseas service. At the time, Canada had a regular army of only 3,110 men and a fledgling navy.

Although the Chief of the General Staff, Willoughby Gwatkin, had been planning for a mass mobilisation of Canada's armed forces for some time, the mobilisation plans were scrapped in favour of mobilising a completely new land force, the Canadian Expeditionary Force, to be based on numbered battalions and reporting to a separate ministry, the Ministry of Overseas Forces of Canada.

600,000 men and women participated in the war by enlisting as nurses, soldiers and chaplains. The Canadian Corps was formed from the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September 1915. The soldiers of the Corps were mostly volunteers, as conscription wasn’t implemented until the end of the war. The Corps was expanded by the addition of the 3rd Canadian Division in December 1915 and the 4th Canadian Division in August 1916.[

Although the Corps was within and under the command of the British Army, there was considerable pressure among Canadian leaders, especially following the Battle of the Somme, for the Corps to fight as a single unit rather than spreading the divisions through the whole army.

Originally commanded by Lieutenant General Sir E.A.H. Alderson until 1916, command was then passed to Lieutenant General Sir Julian Byng, later, Lord Byng of Vimy and Governor General of Canada. When Byng was promoted to a higher command in the summer of 1917, he was succeeded by the commander of the 1st Division, General Sir Arthur W. Currie, giving the Corps its first Canadian commanders. In the later stages of the war, the Canadian Corps was among the most effective and respected of the military formations on the Western Front.

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