World War I

The First World War of 1914–1918 was the bloodiest conflict in Canadian history, taking the lives of nearly 61,000 Canadians. The great achievements of Canadian soldiers on battlefields such as Ypres, Vimy and Passchendaele, however, ignited a sense of national pride and a confidence that Canada could stand on its own, apart from the British Empire, on the world stage.

World War I, also known as the Great War, was an international conflict that began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918.

The Great Powers were divided into two opposing alliances, the Triple Entente, consisting of France, Russia, and Britain, and the Triple Alliance, made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.

Canadian Minister of Militia Sam Hughes summoned 25,000 volunteers to train at a new camp at Valcartier near Québec; some 33,000 appeared. On 3 October, the First Contingent of 30,617 men sailed for England.

Newfoundland was not part of Canada at this time but still sent the 1st Newfoundland Regiment.  Beaumont Hamel was disastrous for this regiment and the regiment was badly defeated on the first day, 1 July.

The German government signed the Armistice of 11 November 1918, bringing the fighting to a close. The 1919 Paris Peace Conference  imposed various settlements on the defeated powers, the best known being the Treaty of Versailles.

One of the deadliest conflicts in history, an estimated 9 million were killed in combat, while over 5 million civilians died from occupation, bombardment, hunger or disease.

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic spread by the movement of combatants during the war caused many millions of additional deaths worldwide.

*information taken from the Canadian Encyclopedia