Presentation on theme: "Canada and WW1 The Soldier’s Life. Canadian Expeditionary Force In 1914 Canada had a small standing army and a much larger militia Canada had a regular."— Presentation transcript:
Canadian Expeditionary Force In 1914 Canada had a small standing army and a much larger militia Canada had a regular army of only 3110 men and a fledgling navy within a mere two months, Canada could boast of an army of over 32,000 men as men flocked to recruiting stations. 1000’s of men signed up to fight “for the Duration” Men signed up out of need as well as patriotism. Many were bored, hungry, homeless or simply needed a job. No one had any idea about war and what it would entail In Niagara over 8000 men signed up for war and joined either the 81 st or 98 th battalion or the 176 th Niagara Rangers.
The 1 st Days: 1914 Britain declared war on Germany 4 Aug 1914. Because Canada did not control it’s own foreign policy, it too was automatically at war. Sir Robert Borden, Canada’s Prime Minister directed that Canada would not send it’s entire army but instead create a force of volunteers to go and fight.
Volunteering to Fight! Most men who signed up were told that they would be on an ‘adventure’ they would get to ‘see’ the sights of Europe and they would be ‘home by Christmas’ There was much pressure to sign up. If you did not sign up you would be labelled a coward by your friends and family Recruiting stations popped up all over the country. In Niagara Recruiting stations were located in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland and Port Colborne By volunteering you could boast of your courage and loyalty to the King
Training For War Camps Were setup all over the country to train new soldiers. Two of the Largest were at Val Cartier in Quebec and Camp Niagara in Niagara-on-the- Lake. Many found it difficult to make the adjustment to becoming soldiers and not civilians. Men were trained in the use of rifles, grenades, machineguns and taught basic military tactics.
Welland Canal Protection Force All goods heading from the interior of the continent to Europe had to go through the Welland Canal. The force was created to guard the canal against Sabotage. If the canal was destroyed, supplies for the war would stop. Hundreds of men from Niagara joined the force. Many died because they fell into the water and could not swim.
Life at the Front Life was nothing like they were told it would be. Soldiers were constantly surrounded by death.
Relief From Battle Typically, a battalion would be expected to serve a spell in the front line. This would be followed by a stint spent in support, and then in reserve lines. A period of rest would follow - generally short in duration - before the whole cycle of trench duty would start afresh. a man might expect in a year to spend some 70 days in the front line, with another 30 in nearby support trenches. A further 120 might be spent in reserve. Only 70 days might be spent at rest.
Punishment During the First World War, members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force were subject to British military discipline, which allowed execution by firing squad for crimes such as desertion or cowardiceFirst World WarCanadian Expeditionary Forcefiring squaddesertioncowardice 25 Canadian soldiers were executed for purely military offences. Excluding the two who were found guilty of murder Field Punishment Number One, often abbreviated to "F.P. No. 1" or even just "No. 1", consisted of the convicted man being placed in handcuffs or similar restraints and attached to a fixed object, such as a gun wheel, for up to two hours per day. This was applied for up to three days out of four, up to 21 days total handcuffsrestraints This humiliating punishment was intensely disliked by the soldiers, who nicknamed it "crucifixion"