Scouts Canada’s World War One Remembrance Day Program
One hundred years ago, Canada was at war. Canada entered the First World War in August of 1914 when Britain officially declared war on Germany. At that time, Canada did not have the independence that it does today. If and when Britain declared war, it meant that Canada was at war as well.
The Canadian government immediately offered its troops to support the war effort, and the declaration of war was widely supported in our country. Many Canadians at that time had been born in Britain, or their parents had been born there.
Newfoundland, not yet a part of Canada at the time, was also at war with the same declaration. On October 3, 1914, the first Canadian troops set sail for Europe. 32,000 soldiers headed to war. 500 troops from Newfoundland also went to Europe at the time.
From 1914 until the war’s end in 1918, approximately 620,000 Canadians served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. More than 60,000 were killed, and another 172,000 were wounded.
In 1919, Canada signed the Treaty of Versailles — an act that symbolized Canada’s growing sense of nationhood in the wake of the war. After all, Canada had not independently declared war. Canada joined the League of Nations following the war as a nation in its own right.*
*Source: Canadian War Museum; warmuseum.ca