Item MC3148 - Voluntary enlistment register, Charlotte County

Title proper

Voluntary enlistment register, Charlotte County

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  • Textual record

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  • 27 September 1915-30 August 1917 (Creation)
    Volunteer Enlistment Register

Physical description

1.5 cm of textual records

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(27 September 1915 - 30 August 1917)

Administrative history

When Britain declared war on Germany, on 4 August 1914, Canada was automatically at war. Recent British immigrants and unemployed workers were the first to enlist for military service. By the summer of 1915, the Canadian Expeditionary Force was looking for 150,000 recruits, and in January 1916, Prime Minister Robert Borden pledged 500,000 Canadian soldiers for the war effort in Europe.

In the fall of 1917 massive enlistment rallies were being held in New Brunswick to encourage men to volunteer for military service. However, recruitment in New Brunswick was slow, as it was in other regions of the country. At the same time, Allied casualties were mounting at the front. In May 1917, Prime Minister Borden returned to Canada from the Imperial War Conference in London and from visits to the trenches, having decided to conscript men for overseas service. On 29 August 1917 the Military Service Act, which introduced conscription or the compulsory enlistment of citizens for military service, became law.

Custodial history

Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

This register records the voluntary recruitment of 553 men in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, for service overseas during the First World War, dating from 27 September 1915, when a major recruiting drive was underway in the province, until 30 August 1917, the day after Prime Minister Robert Borden's Military Service Act became law. It may be a manuscript copy of the enlistment register in which names of volunteers were recorded initially during or immediately after recruitment rallies.

Each entry provides the recruit's name, place of residence, age at recruitment, marital status, date of enlistment, nationality, and the unit to which he was assigned. Most of the men were Canadians, natives of Charlotte County, N.B. Other places of residence include Albert, Charlotte, St. John, York, Carleton, and Kings counties in N.B.; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Ontario; United States of America (Maine); England; Ireland; Scotland; Newfoundland; Denmark; and Romania. A very few gave their nationality as Italian, Danish, Norwegian, Russian, or Syrian.

A few notations, such as "stopped by mother," "discharged," "wife objected" or "rejected," are recorded in the margins. Occasionally, the name of the recruiter -- H. V. Dewar, Herman G. Smith, or ? McDowell -- and the place of recuitment -- St. George, St. Andrews, Castalia -- are given. The entries are in several different hands.

On the record book's cover is printed "Hospital Admission & Discharge Book". The recruitment entries begin at the back of the book.

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