This year marks the 100 year anniversary of Canada’s role in the First World War. When war was declared by Britain in 1914, Prime Minister Robert Borden offered Great Britain Canada’s support, Canada was at war! The Canadian Regular Force consisted of 3,110 men and a Navy. Within a few weeks of war being declared there were 32,000 Canadian volunteers headed for training. The first Canadian troops arrived in France in December 1914 and saw battle near Ypres Salient.
For a nation of eight million people, Canada’s war effort was remarkable. Over 650,000 Canadian men and women served in uniform during the First World War, with more than 66,000 giving their lives and over 172,000 more being wounded. Nearly one of every ten Canadians who fought in the war did not return.
It was the Canadian war record that won for Canada a separate signature on the Peace Treaty signifying the national status had been achieved. Nationhood was purchased for Canada by the gallant troops who stood fast at Ypres, stormed Regina Trench, climbed the heights of Vimy Ridge, captured Passchendaele and entered Mons on November 11, 1918.
For all of the sacrifices made by these brave Canadians, we are a nation who will never forget.