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Explanation of Military Terms (20 August 1914)  

With recruitment ended and troops from across Canada making their way to Valcartier for training, it became evident that Canadians needed to understand the various military terms that would be used in war news articles. Here you can see a list of definitions that the Waterloo Chronicle Telegraph provided their readership with on 20 August 1914.

In addition to explaining military terms, local newspapers also explained the time differences between all of the belligerent countries. This was important, as not every country worldwide had adopted standard time by the outbreak of the war; some areas were still using ‘local time.’ By explaining what time it was in places like Paris, London, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Belgrade, Rome and Berlin, the region’s residents were better informed of time differences across the globe and across the areas involved in the war.

(“Explanation of Militia Terms” Waterloo Chronicle-Telegraph, 20 August 1914; “War News,” Elmira Signet, 13 August 1914.)

Militia Terms


Canadian National Exhibition (20 August 1914)

Despite Canada’s preoccupation with the war effort and the mobilization of troops at Valcartier, Canadian culture continued to thrive. Although it was suggested that the Canadian National Exhibition might be cancelled due to the war, the Exhibition was held as planned in Toronto at Exhibition Place. It concluded on Labour Day (7 September) after running for eighteen days. The Exhibition included big attractions such as the Water Carnival featuring the ‘Indian’ canoe races, celebrations for one hundred years of peace with the United States through song, and a performance called ‘Babylon’ that featured over a thousand performers. The large fair provided an entertaining distraction from the European war for thousands of Canadians.

(“Nothing Can Stop It!,” Hespeler Herald, 20 August 1914; Visual:




Factories will be Busy (20 August 1914)  

Waterloo Region understood that the war would greatly benefit Canada’s economy, the Elmira Signet going as far as to say “one continent’s ‘down’ is another continent’s ‘up.’” Waterloo region’s factories plunged into wartime production almost immediately. Multiple Berlin and Waterloo industries received large orders from the Militia Department. Trunk companies, leather companies, boot and shoe firms, textile manufacturers and rubber companies in the region were among the many who received contracts across Quebec and Ontario.

An order for 7000 sets of Oliver equipment, 2000 rifle buckets and 5000 rifle slings were divided between the McBrine Company, the Berlin Trunk and Bag Company, and the Duering Trunk Company. Additionally, five boot and shoe companies in the Waterloo Region were to produce 20,000 pairs of shoes, while another company was to produce 10,000 service shirts. These orders needed to be filled within five weeks to secure a second contract with the Militia Department. By mid-August, the already bustling industries in the Waterloo Region were further stimulated by wartime demands.

(“The Outlook in Canada,” Elmira Signet, 27 August 1914; “Factories will be busy,” Waterloo Chronicle-Telegraph, 20 August 1914; “Industry Hysteria,” Waterloo Chronicle-Telegraph, 27 August 1914; “Factories will be busy,” Waterloo Chronicle-Telegraph, 20 August 1914; “Cannot buy German goods,” Berlin Daily Telegraph, 11 August 1914.)

Busy Factories