In August 1914, Great Britain and France went to war against Germany. The Canadian govemment sent a part of its troops to assist the British army, with the level of military participation being decided by Ottawa.
Many Canadians were excited about helping the Allies, especially recent immigrants from the British Isles, who volunteered in large numbers. To prepare for combat, the Canadian troops received basic training in a hastily built camp in Valcartier, Quebec.
On October 3, the first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, made up of 32,000 men, sailed for Britain. At the same time, the British colony of Newfoundland sent 500 soldiers.
Did you know...
In 2012, the Bank of Canada released a new 20-dollar bill, choosing to honour the Canadian Vimy Memorial in tribute to the Canadians who fought on French soil during the First World War.