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“C” Squadron Ready for Service in the Canadian First Contingent (5-6 August 1914)  

Thirty-five members of the “C” Squadron, 24th Grey’s Horse, volunteered to go to the front for active service overseas on 5 August. At this time however, Canada’s offer of a Contingent had not yet been accepted by Britain. Regardless, these men displayed their patriotism and their desire to support the motherland during the present crisis.

The 24th Regiment Grey’s Horse was a militia cavalry regiment in the Oxford and Waterloo counties. The “C” Squadron was stationed in the Waterloo Region, while their headquarters and the regiment’s “A” squadron were stationed in Woodstock, Ontario. At this point they did not know if they would be ordered to go to camp as scheduled on 17 August, or if they would receive orders from Ottawa to mobilize. When Canada’s offer to send a contingent overseas was accepted by Great Britain, men across Waterloo Region and Canada rushed to try to enlist; among those men were members of the “C” Squadron.

(““C” Squadron is Ready for Service,” Berlin Daily-Telegraph, 6 August 1914)



The Canadian Government Prepares for War (5-6 August 1914)  

On 5 August, it was announced that the Canadian Cabinet had called a special session of parliament to meet on Tuesday 18 August. The session was deemed necessary after Canada was officially informed that the Britain had declared war against Germany on 4 August 1914. Prime Minister Borden did not announce what types of proposals would be presented to the parliament, but it was evident that the parliament would need to pass legislation in regards to the war effort.

The Minster of Militia, Samuel Hughes, was given authorization by the Canadian government to carry out partial mobilization. Already the Royal Canadian Regiment, Canada’s permanent force, had been mobilized and sent to strategic ports for the coastal defense of Canada. Until the imperial government announced what they wanted Canada to do there would be no general mobilization. An order for the mobilization of at least 20,000 men was expected to come within the next few days. That order arrived on 6 August and Hughes immediately sent notices to the pre-existing military districts across Canada to begin recruitment.

(“House is Summoned,” Berlin Daily-Telegraph, 5 August 1914, Visual:





Call for Volunteer Nurses (6 August 1914)  

On 6 August, the Canadian National Nurses Association made the call for volunteer nurses. Women who were willing to perform their duty to the empire on the field of battle and wherever else they were needed were asked to answer this call. Only those who were prepared for such a duty were asked to register their names with Miss Rodgers, the Superintendent of the Berlin & Waterloo Hospital, or Miss Masters, the Secretary of the Graduate Nurses’ Association in the Waterloo Region. By 8 August, five young women from the region had offered their services and reported to Miss Masters. The women would join the volunteer Red Cross Society in overseas service with the first contingent.

(“Volunteer Nurses Wanted for War Duty,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 6 August 1914; “Five have Volunteered,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 8 August 1914; “Five have Volunteered,” Waterloo Chronicle Telegraph, 13 August 1914)

Volunteer Nurses


Berlin Band Concert This Evening (6 August 1914)  

Life proceeded normally in Waterloo region for the first few days after war was declared. Waterloo region’s industries continued to bustle, and so did their festivities. On 6 August, the Berlin City Band played in the Market Square. They performed many traditional German, Czech, Italian and British songs. What is important to note about their program is the emergence of songs like “The Volunteers” with its patriotic message. As the month progressed, patriotic songs became more prominent in band concerts across the region in response to the war. This demonstrated the region’s urge to display patriotism and their support of the British Empire during the war.

(“Band Concert This Evening,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 6 August 1914; “Patriotic Band Concert,” Ayr News, 13 August 1914; “Band Will Play Tonight,” Ayr News, 20 August 1914; “Concert a Fine One,” Waterloo Chronicle Telegraph, 27 August 1914.)


Band Concert


Canada Can Feed the Motherland (6 August 1914)  

By 6 August, Canadians were adamant that they could help the motherland by feeding her people. Prior to war, two-thirds to three quarters of Great Britain’s food supply was actually imported goods from Canada, the United States, India, Argentina, and Australia. Canada traditionally supplied one third of Great Britain’s wheat and flour.

There was normally only enough food in the United Kingdom at one time to feed its inhabitants for a maximum of six to seven weeks, meaning that if Britain did not receive its imports, it would likely be starved into submission. It was up to Canada, and the other members of the British Empire, to help make sure that that did not happen. Canada would supply Great Britain with grains, bacon, fish and cheese, but would not be able to supply much more than that. Canada’s foodstuff contributions were part of her patriotic and imperialistic duties to Great Britain.

(“Can Feed Motherland with Bread and Cheese,” Berlin Daily-Telegraph, 6 August 1914, “Britain is Quiet,” Berlin Daily-Telegraph, 6 August 1914; Visual:






The War’s Impact on Canada’s Agriculture (6 August 1914)  

Immediately after the war was declared economists, and many others, became concerned with how the war would affect the Canadian market. By 6 August, there was already a price increase in sugar and flour, which were two of the main necessities of Canadian homes. It was also predicted that the prices of other foodstuff and clothing would increase in the near future.

On 6 August, the Berlin Daily Telegraph reported that Mr. J. Uffelman, of the Ontario Seed Company, stated that while the war would not affect the 1914 harvest, next year’s harvest might be affected. This was because the war might potentially prevent the importation of certain varieties of seeds, especially those that were normally imported from Germany. This would affect the Waterloo Region, where some farmers grew a European variety of rye.

(“Prices for Foodstuffs Increasing,” Berlin Daily-Telegraph, 6 August 1914)


The War’s affect on Canada’s Agriculture (6 August 1914)