Conscription Necessary (18 August 1915)

In 1915, Canadians were still enlisting voluntarily at a high enough rate to maintain their units overseas, so conscription was not yet a serious topic of discussion. However, Canadians still took note when the United Kingdom began to debate the issue, as reported in this article reprinted from a London newspaper. The issue was particularly concerning in a region like Waterloo where enlistment rates had been lower than national averages because of its large German population. As in the UK, young men in Canada who would not enlist were demeaningly referred to as “slackers” and sometimes harassed when in public. For the time being, however, enlistment was high enough throughout Canada that nobody would need to be legally forced into the service.

Berlin Daily Telegraph August 18, 1915.

English, Kitchener, 109.