First World War
First World War Facts
Last Updated August 16, 2006
Canada in the war at a glance:
Aug. 4, 1914 - First World War begins when Great Britain declares war on Germany. Canada automatically joins the war as a part of the British Empire.
Oct. 14, 1914 - First contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force arrives in Britain.
April 24, 1915 - Poison gas first used against Canadians at St. Julien.
May 8, 1915 - Lt.-Col. John McCrae writes In Flanders Fields.
July 1, 1916 - Royal Newfoundland Regiment takes heavy casualties in the Battle of the Somme.
April 9, 1917 - Battle of Vimy Ridge begins.
Aug. 29, 1917 - Conscription becomes law in Canada.
Dec. 6, 1917 - Halifax explosion.
Aug. 8, 1918 - Battle of Amiens. The period that came to be known as "Canada's Hundred Days" begins.
Nov. 11, 1918 - An armistice ends the First World War.
Aug. 17, 2006 - Twenty-three Canadian First World War soldiers who were executed for cowardice or desertion during the conflict are given posthumous pardons on moral grounds by the British government. They were a part of a group of 306 soldiers who were shot for cowardice or desertion, sometimes after hurried court martial hearings.
The posthumously pardoned soldiers:
- Sgt.W. Alexander
- Pte. C. Laliberte
- L/Bdr. F.S. Arnold
- Pte. W.N. Ling
- Pte. F. Auger
- Pte. H.E.J. Lodge
- Pte. H.G. Carter
- Pte. T.L. Moles
- Pte. G. Comte
- Pte. E. Perry
- Pte. A.C. Dagesse
- Pte. E.J. Reynolds
- Pte. L. Delisle
- Pte. C. Welsh
- Pte. E. Fairburn
- Pte. J.H. Wilson
- Pte. S. McD. Fowles
- Pte. E. Young
- Pte. J.M. Higgins
- Pte. J.W. Roberts
- Pte. H.H. Kerr
- Pte. D. Sinizki
- Pte. J. Lalancette
- Total enlisted: 595,000
- Total served overseas: 418,000
Canadian military casualties:
- Total deaths: 60, 383 (includes killed in action, died of wounds and died of disease)
- Total wounded: 155,799
- Prisoners of war: 4,671
Canadian civilian casualties:
- In the Halifax explosion, on Dec. 6, 1917, 1,630 people were killed. About 9,000 were injured.
More on the First World War:
- Total estimated military deaths: 8,300,000
- Total estimated military "maimed for life": 7,000,000
- Total estimated civilian deaths: 8,000,000 (does not include influenza)