August 1914, Britain and France went
to war with Germany. The Canadian government
immediately offered Britain troops for
overseas service, although Ottawa controlled
the level of Canada’s military
participation. Most Canadians greeted
the outbreak of war with enthusiasm,
especially those born in the British
Isles who volunteered in large numbers.
They were unaware, along with the rest
of the world, of the horrors that twentieth-century
warfare would bring.
were gathered and given basic training
at the hastily-built camp at Valcartier,
Québec. On October 3, the first
32,000-strong contingent of the Canadian
Expeditionary Force sailed for Britain.
The British colony of Newfoundland also
sent 500 troops at this time.