The War Hits Home (29 April 1915)

The heavy casualties of the Second Battle of Ypres suddenly made Canadians more aware of their vulnerability. It also inspired involvement, particularly in areas like Toronto and Ottawa, because an especially high number of casualties originated from these areas.
At the end of April, there was still widespread confidence in the Allies and the war effort. Nonetheless, the rising Canadian casualty count was beginning to cause concern over the sustainability of the Canadian war effort.
A report from Ottawa indicated that over 300 Canadian soldiers had died up to that point and the total casualties were over 1000. This led to concerns that Canada and the Entente might not be able to recruit and train more men in time to replace the mounting casualties.
Reports of high casualties stressed the importance of patriotism and perseverance. By late 1915, these ideas would contribute to a heavy and aggressive push for recruitment in all parts of the country, and not least of all in Waterloo.

(James Wood, Militia Myths: Ideas of the Canadian Citizen Soldier, 1896-1921, (Toronto: UBC Press, 2010): 225.; “Canadians’ Death Roll Totals over 300,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 22 April 1915.; “The War is Coming Home to Canadians,” Elmira Signet, 29 April 1915.)The War is Coming Home to Canadians