Military History

CWM 19710261-0056, Beaverbrook Collection of War Art, Canadian War Museum

Over the Top – Neuville Vitasse, by Alfred Bastien.

Yes, French Canadians Did Their Share in the First World War

by Jean Martin

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Jean Martin, Ph.D., is an historian with the Directorate of History and Heritage at National Defence Headquarters, and he is responsible for the official history of Canada’s participation in the first United Nations Emergency Force (1956-1967) in Egypt. Dr. Martin also has a specialized interest in military geography and the defence of Canada’s territory during the Second World War.

Introduction and Background

In 2014, I published a book in which I boldly suggested that, contrary to popular assumption, the enlistment of French Canadians into the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) might have far exceeded the maximum of 35,000 stated by the American author and historian Elizabeth H. Armstrong in 1937, and taken for granted by most Canadian historians in the following decades.1 My estimates were then based upon three elements: 1- an assessment of the maximum possible Anglophone enlistment in the province of Quebec; 2- casualty data extracted from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) records, and 3- a 1927 letter written by the Director of Records at the Department of National Defence.2 I was later given access to a database assembled by a team of researchers at Guelph University with all the enlistment records of soldiers whose name began with the letter ‘B’, representing roughly 10% of all the enlistees in the CEF.3 After a thorough analysis of this quite sizeable sample, I predicted that the total number of Francophone members of the CEF, once all the records had been examined, would most likely range between 70,000 and 75,000, possibly up to 79,000. This prediction was contested by certain historians who refused to challenge the traditional view of a much smaller participation by Canadian Francophones.

Well, I have personally been through the 627,586 enlistment records held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), and I can now confirm that, at least 74,795 French Canadians were at some point during the First World War members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. I say “at least,” for it is certain that a substantial number of Francophone soldiers escaped my scrutiny. There is no certain way to determine who is a Francophone, and who is not from the enlistment records of the CEF. There is no declaration regarding the language spoken by the recruit, and the only reliable basis upon which Francophones can be identified is the origin of their name. One therefore needs to go through all the 627,586 names and extract all those that are clearly French in origin.4 This is the methodology that was applied in my analysis.

The Method

The only available database containing all the CEF enlistment records is held at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), and it can only be downloaded in an XML format, which defies any attempt at whatever kind of processing.5 It was therefore necessary to use LAC’s website to retrieve all the records for each alphabetical letter, one by one, and to copy them into a spreadsheet.6 The maximum size of a downloadable batch being of 2,000 records, it was necessary to launch our requests using at least two initial letters, and sometimes three, or even four.7 On every spreadsheet, the names were all reviewed to identify those of clearly French origin. It was impossible to check every enlistment sheet to make sure that the recruit with a French name was really from a French-speaking family, so it was assumed that all those with a French name were francophone.8 This method can be disputed, as some would argue that not every person bearing a French name does actually speak French, but we believe that this is a quite reliable way to determine the overall number of Francophones for two reasons.

First, although it is possible that a certain number of “false Francophones” may thus be included in our count, this is largely counter-balanced by the fairly large number of Francophones who will be lost because of their English-sounding name. Last names like Martin, Gilbert, Lambert, Page (Pagé) and several others are quite popular in both languages, and, unless the individual bore a clearly French first name, such as Onésime or Anatole, none of those with this kind of ambiguous last names were considered as Francophones. We also know that a good number of Francophones had their name transformed or distorted beyond recognition, most of the time to make it more acceptable to their English-speaking colleagues and superiors, and those true Francophones were therefore also lost. We have seen no example of an English-speaking soldier who would have had his name changed to look or sound more French, on the other hand.9

CWM 19900348-021, Canadian War Museum

Wartime recruiting poster – Canadiens français.

Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-28-779

Wartime recruiting poster – 178th Battalion.

The second reason is that ‘anglicisization’ had yet to make much progress in Canada at that time. The laws banning French schools in the west only dated from the last years of the 19th Century and early years of the 20th Century, and the young men of 1915 in those provinces had no reason to have forgotten their native French. In other older provinces in the east, strong French-speaking communities thrived, and in Eastern Quebec, it was the descendants of Irish and Scottish settlers, like the Harveys, Murrays, or Blackburns, who had long started to swing from their native English or Gaelic to French. The 1941 census gives us an idea of the languages spoken by Canadians of different origins. Among the 3.5 million persons of French origin still living in Canada at that time, more than two million spoke only French, and in excess of one million more spoke both French and English. Overall, more than 20 years after the First World War, it is nearly 95% of the Canadians of French origin who could still speak French. No doubt this proportion was even higher two decades earlier, in fact, probably not very much less than 100%. There were certainly many French Canadians who had learned to speak English in 1914, and even more so in 1919, but as long as they could still speak French, I cannot see how they should not be regarded as Francophones.

It is therefore quite safe to consider that all the CEF enlistees who bore a clearly French name, such as Fréchette, Simard, or Turgeon, were Francophones, and I have personally counted 75,755 of them in the 627,586 files held at LAC. Now, there are a certain number of duplicates among those files, which also include an unknown number of records associated with defaulters or deserters under the terms of the Military Service Act (MSA). The number of those records is not known, but we know from other sources that the official number of CEF members was 619,636.10 This represents a bit more than 1% records in excess, and so the number of Francophones was accordingly prorated and adjusted to 74,795.

Some Details

It is somewhat interesting to look at the distribution of Francophones throughout the alphabet. Although Francophones generally account for 12% of all the enlistees, their proportion can be as high as 35% with respect to certain letters, such as ‘L’. Nearly 13,000 Francophones were found with this letter initial only. This is followed with respect to most common usage by the letters ‘B’ (11,145), ‘D’ (7,840), and ‘G’ (7,199). More than half the Francophones bore a name with one of those four initial letters. Other initial letters were much less popular, such as ‘W’ (no Francophone), or ‘K’ (only 20), but the letter ‘M’ was a special case, where apart from the nearly 30,000 Scottish names beginning with Mc, Francophones accounted for nearly 9% of the rest, including a significant number of “Mac” and Martin (1,970 cases) that had to be disallowed.


Figure 1 – Proportion of francophone enlistees for each initial letter.

Click to enlarge image

I have already suggested that one reason that can partly explain the gross underestimation of Francophone enlistment in the CEF was the large number of Francophones who enlisted outside Quebec, around 35% of the total.11 We cannot tell where the recruits came from, or where they enlisted from the basic list we have consulted here, but there are still some clues. We found, for instance, around 400 Arsenault and 800 Leblanc, two very popular names among Acadians, but not as popular in Quebec. By comparison, Tremblay, by far the most popular name in Quebec, was found only 650 times, although Tremblay is at least three times more popular than Leblanc in the province of Quebec. This seems to indicate a strong representation for the Acadians, and, it is reasonable to assume, a generally lower proportion of enlistment in Quebec than with Francophones outside this province.

There is little more analysis that can be done with these numbers, because this is basically only what it is: a list of numbers, with no other information attached to it. However, as the total number of enlistees that was found confirmed the validity of the extrapolation that was made from the ‘B’ database in my previous article, we can assume that the other analyses can also be reliably extended to the whole body of Francophones that were found. The ‘B’ database, contrary to the crude list consulted here, contains all the information available from the enlistment sheets of all the soldiers with a surname starting with the letter ‘B’, representing roughly 10% of the entire CEF. All manner of calculations can be performed with these records.

DND/Library and Archives Canada, PA-000298

Draining trenches: 22nd infantry battalion, July 1916.

The first thing to remember is that not all those 75,000 French Canadians were enthusiastic volunteers, far from that. About 52% of the Francophones in the ‘B’ database were conscripts. If the same proportion is applied to our general count, this would mean that roughly 39,000 Francophones in the CEF were conscripts, and, consequently, 36,000 would have been volunteers. Compared to the entire CEF, it is clear that French Canadians enlisted much less readily than others, but there are good reasons for that. First, it is true that French Canadians felt less concerned with a war that was fought on a continent where they had very little connection, compared with the English Canadians, who were either born in Britain, or, very often, still had close relations living there. Most French Canadians came from families established for more than 150 or 200 years in North America, and there is a good chance that they had never met a true Frenchman in their life. Henri Bourassa was quite right when he declared in 1916: “In short, English-speaking Canadians enlist in much smaller numbers than the newcomers from England, because they are much more Canadian; French-Canadians enlist less than English-Canadians because they are totally and exclusively Canadian.”12

Second, the Canadian Expeditionary Force was an English-only institution, and those who could not speak the language did not always feel welcome in it. Some unit commanders were prepared to accept new recruits from all backgrounds, but others simply rejected volunteers who did not fit well within an all-British environment, particularly in the first few months of the war, when everyone expected the conflict to be over by the end of 1914. For the first contingent that left Valcartier in October 1914 with over 30,000 men, 3,280 volunteers were rejected. One in every four Francophone volunteers was rejected, against only one in twelve for the others.13 Francophones were rejected three times more easily than any other volunteers. Was this a matter of racism? Probably not, in most cases, but it is understandable that, when one has a choice between an applicant who cannot speak his language or even understand the orders he is given, and another one who speaks good English and sometimes stems from the same county in England, the latter stands a much better chance of being accepted.


Volunteers (approximate)












Table 1 – Rejection of volunteers for the first contingent, 1914.

But whatever the reason, many of the first French Canadian volunteers felt undesired and humiliated by the Canadian military, and they were certainly not good publicity when they returned to their respective communities. Some tried, sometimes successfully, to re-enlist some time later with another unit, but others swore that, if they were not good enough for the army in 1914, the army would never be good enough for them in the future. This constituted a poor beginning for the recruiting of French Canadians in the CEF. We can see in the ‘B’ database that the enlistment pattern of the Francophones follows a similar evolution to the general enlistment pattern. In general, the number of enlistments increases sharply from 1914 to 1915. Then, it continues to grow, although much more slowly, in 1916, prior to a dramatic decline in 1917. That said, Conscription more than doubled the number of new recruits in 1918, bringing it back to the level of 1915.

The evolution is quite similar with Francophones, with the exception of 1918, which accounts for more than half their total contribution. From 1914 to 1916, the number of Francophone enlistments, all volunteer, actually grows at a substantially higher rate than the general enlistment pattern. It also falls sharply in 1917, although not as low as with the rest of Canada. Thus, as far as volunteering is concerned, Francophone enlistment between 1915 and 1917 appears to have been somewhat more stable than recruitment in the other sectors of society. The two problematic years for the Francophones were 1914, when French Canadian recruits were not that welcome, and 1918, when so many of them were called up under the Military Service Act. Nearly 21% of the francophone volunteers joined in 1917, compared with only 14% in general. However, it must be said that the majority of the 1917 Francophone volunteers joined in the last months of the year, after the MSA had been adopted in Parliament, which was not the same with respect to the general enlistment pattern.


Figure 2 – Enlistment pattern of volunteers, 1914-1917.

Click to enlarge image

Clearly, the majority of the French Canadians joined the CEF through the effect of the MSA, but not only French Canadians were conscripts, nor were they all conscripts, either. An estimate produced in 1920 stated that approximately 25% of the English-speaking Canadian-born recruits were conscripts.14 According to that estimate, 52% of all the conscripts were English-speaking Canadian-born, versus 22% French Canadians and 26% who were not born in Canada. We now know that, just as the total number of Francophone members of the CEF was underestimated, the number of their conscripts, as a consequence, was also underestimated. Instead of the 27,757 French Canadian conscripts stated in the statistic table produced by the Department of National Defence, our own evaluation sets this number at about 39,000. Admitting that the total of 92,302 Canadian-born conscripts stated by DND still remains valid, this would bring the number of English-speaking Canadian-born conscripts down to about 53,300. The total number of Canadian-born CEF members is 318,728, and French Canadians account for 75,000 of them, so this leaves roughly 240,000 other Canadian-born enlistees, of which at least 53,000 were conscripts. We therefore have a possibility of 187,000 Canadian-born volunteers who were not Francophones, versus 36,000 Francophones. This is a ratio of one French Canadian volunteer for every five other Canadian-born volunteers.















Dir. of records 1920











Our count












Table 2 – Canadian-born enlistment.

French Canadians represented about 24% of the whole Canadian population in 1915, but probably at least 30% of this population had been born in another country. Therefore, about 35% of the Canadian-born population spoke French. This is much more than the 16% of the Canadian-born volunteers who were French Canadians, although this proportion is far from negligible. Considering that the 75,000 French Canadians we were able to find is a minimum, this means that, among the Canadian-born population, one-in-six volunteers was a Francophone, and one-in-four of all those who served in the CEF, either as conscripts or volunteers, spoke French, while Francophones represented roughly one-in-three persons born in Canada. Considering the greater difficulty to serve and the much weaker connection with Britain, or even with the European continent, this is actually rather remarkable.















Other Canadian-born







All others















Table 3 – Total enlistment in the CEF.


Some, although very few historians, have hinted at the possibility of a Francophone recruitment somewhat higher than the 35,000 suggested by Elizabeth Armstrong in the late 1930s. and Canadian historians Jean Pariseau and Serge Bernier in 1986 and David Bercuson in 2008 simply repeated Armstrong’s guess, but distinguished historian Jack Granatstein wrote in 2002: “After conscription came into force, the usual guesstimate, almost certainly too generous, is that 50,000 Francophones served during the war, a number that would include volunteers and conscripts.”15 Only Professor Patrice A. Dutil of Ryerson University, in a 2005 article, wrote: “Although no records of language spoken were kept by the military, it is commonly asserted that roughly 62,000 French Canadians enlisted in some way in the war effort. By the end of the war, it is estimated that there were 35,000 French-speaking men from all parts of Canada in uniform”.16 I have no idea from where this “common assertion” might have materialized, but this shows that at least a few people were ready to accept the idea of a larger recruitment for the Francophones.

In general, however, very few people wanted to question the comfortable perception of a general refusal to enlist on the part of the French Canadians, and if the possibility of a larger number of Francophone enlistees was sometimes accepted, it had to come largely from conscription under the 1917 Military Service Act. All this had been ‘given legs’ because of one crude estimate pitched in a 1937 book, which everyone seemed to have accepted unquestionably: between 32,000 and 35,000, including the CEF, RFC, and merchant marine. But where had this estimate come from exactly? Nobody ever seemed to have asked that question, since it was so tempting to blindly accept it.

Elizabeth Armstrong gives no reference for her figures. She just quotes a letter from retired General Léo Richer Laflèche, then Deputy Minister of National Defence, in answer to one or her inquiries, stating that: “…there is not nor ever can be, any precise, accurate or authentic statement as to the number of French Canadians who served in the Canadian Forces in the World War 1914-1919.” This is basically what Colonel F. Logie Armstrong, Director of Records, had answered to General Louis-Alexandre Panet, Adjutant-General of the Canadian Militia, in December 1927. Colonel Armstrong sent a breakdown based upon national and geographic origin of the 619,636 enlistees to the CEF on 6 December 1927.17 He had added a note saying that, although no official numbers could be provided regarding the linguistic origin of the recruits, he could submit these unofficial, approximate, figures: 260,895 English-speaking Canadians and 57,833 French-speaking Canadians.

Three days later, General Laflèche forwarded to the Chief of the General Staff the exact same table he had received from Colonel Armstrong, but the table had been amputated from the note on linguistic origin.18 Then followed, on 13 December 1927, a letter in response to an inquiry from one Colonel W. Wood about French Canadian enlistment in the CEF.19 This letter explains at great length why it is impossible to provide official figures for French Canadian enlistment, but it concludes with this interesting sentence: “Your figure of 20,000 French Canadian enlistments prior to enforcement of the MSA is certainly too low by half at least, but as above, the exact figures cannot be arrived at.” In March 1929, Major Clyde R. Scott, Assistant Director of Records, sent a response to another inquiry, this time from the Prime Minister’s Office, with a series of enlistment statistics for the CEF. The last sheet shows a breakdown of English and French-Canadian enlistment prior to and following the enforcement of the MSA. They are those exact same numbers that had been offered by Colonel Armstrong in December 1927. Major Scott explained that these numbers were compiled in 1920 and had never been divulged, and he insisted upon the importance that they must be kept secret. One can only wonder why it was so important to keep those numbers secret.

The fact is, however, that National Defence’s subsequent response to any inquiry regarding this was that no official figures existed; which was essentially true, although there could have been reasonable estimates available, had Colonel Armstrong’s note and earlier compilations been retained. How Elizabeth Armstrong’s estimate of 1937 could be deduced from this absence of answer, however, remains a mystery to this day.

So, a very precarious guess, then, has been almost universally repeated, without being seriously questioned for eighty years. How can that be? How can so many historians from both English and French Canada possibly have accepted so easily such an unwarranted evaluation of French Canadian participation in the First World War? I guess this was rarely contested because this idea of a low participation by the French Canadians in the war satisfied everyone in Canada. In English Canada, this just comforted the old lament of the pro-conscription campaigners of 1917 about French Canadians not giving their share, so that English Canadians could remain the sole heroes of this nation-building war. French Canadians, on their part, particularly in Quebec, were just happy to use this as further evidence of their being different from English Canadians: They claimed French Canadians had refused to fight because they were a peace-loving people, not interested in military matters. Although historians of the New France era could easily dispute such an assertion, this is a very popular belief nowadays in Quebec.

William Rider-Rider/DND/Library and Archives Canada, PA-002045

22nd Battalion resting in a shell hole on their way to the front line, September 1917.

Yet, it would have been fairly easy to do what I have just done with the enlistment records. Any interested university teacher could have given the assignment to a team of students and what I have just done by myself would have been completed in just a few weeks. But it was never attempted. For nearly a century now, no one ever thought of counting the French names in the enlistment records to have a better idea of the scale of French Canadian participation in the First World War. Everyone was content with the idea that French-speaking Canadians had not “given their share,” and nobody seemed to really want to know.

But when one thinks of it, it simply made no sense that so few French Canadians might have joined. As I demonstrated in a previous article, it was impossible that the pool of Anglophones living in the province of Quebec had provided much more than 30,000 servicemen (of the total of 88,052 men, who enlisted in the province of Quebec),20 and the million Francophones living outside the province of Quebec must have given at least 30,000 soldiers to the CEF.21 Therefore, the total of French-speaking recruits could hardly be lower than 60,000.22 Yet, the idea of only 35,000, which could perhaps be stretched up to a weak 50,000, endured. This could only be possible through a blind act of faith.

So now, instead of a mere 5% of the CEF coming from French Canada, we find ourselves with 12% Francophones who served. But more importantly, French Canadians represented nearly 24% of the soldiers born in Canada. It is not fair to compare the French Canadian contribution to that of all the other enlistees, as more than 50% of them had arrived from Britain or elsewhere, most of them less than 15 years earlier, and in many cases, much more recently. French Canada had not benefited from the same kind of French-speaking immigration, and the vast majority of Francophone enlistees were born in Canada and had deep roots there.23 Thus, French Canadians among the whole of the Canadian-born enlistees, actually represented a fair share.

The population of French origin in Canada represented nearly 29% of the 7.2 million inhabitants of Canada at the 1911 census. By 1915, though, nearly 1.6 million more immigrants had arrived, mostly from Britain, and the Canadian population had grown to nearly 9.4 million. The population of French origin meanwhile had not grown in the same proportion, and it now stood barely above 24% of the whole. This proportion is actually very close to the proportion of French Canadians among the Canadian-born members of the CEF. This must certainly be regarded as a fair share. A hypothetical requirement from the French Canadians to provide 24% of all the 619,636 members of the CEF, regardless of their country of birth, would require a contribution of nearly 149,000 soldiers, almost one-in-two Canadian-born soldiers, when they represented only one-third of that population.24 Such a commitment would far exceed their fair share.




Natural growth







French origin





Proportion of Francophones





Table 4 – Evolution of the Canadian population, 1911-1915.

In France, the participation of troops from the colonies is rightly praised and emphasized by historians, although their contribution represents barely 7% of the total mobilized by the French army.25 French Canadians provided 12% of all the members of the CEF, 24% of those who were born and raised in Canada. This is a remarkable contribution for a people who had no strong connection with the people and culture of Great Britain, and, for most of them, had to quickly learn a foreign language at the same time they were learning to fight. Because there was only one French-speaking fighting unit in the field during the war, it is too often forgotten that Francophones served in a wide variety of units from all over Canada. Less than 6,000 soldiers served with the 22nd Battalion (French Canadian) during the war, but if all the French Canadians had been brought together into distinctive units, like most French Colonial troops, they could probably have manned two full infantry brigades from 1916 to 1918. One famous Canadian historian once wrote: “However apologists then and later massaged the data, Francophones had not given their ‘share’ to the war.”26 Well, I did not need to ‘massage the data’ to determine that far more French Canadians had joined the CEF than the number that has been traditionally accepted. All I did was what any other interested historian could easily have done: simply by counting the names, one by one.

Historians have now started to study and recognize the participation of Aboriginals, immigrants, Black Canadians, and other minorities in the First World War. This is all good, but is it not about time that we put an end to a century of delusion and start to acknowledge that French Canadians also gave their fair share to this war? French Canadians did take part in large numbers in that war, if not necessarily in quite the same manner as their English-speaking counterparts. It would be a good thing if we would no longer have to answer this meaningless yet so often repeated question: Why did French Canadians not play their part in the First World War?

DND/Library and Archives Canada PA-003778

22nd Canadian infantry battalion crossing the Rhine at Bonn, December 1918.


  1. Jean Martin, Un siècle d’oubli : les Canadiens et la Première Guerre mondiale (1914–2014), (Outremont, Athéna Éditions, 2014); Elizabeth H. Armstrong, The Crisis of Quebec: 1914–1918, (Toronto, McClelland & Stewart 1937).
  2. Jean Martin, « La participation des francophones dans le Corps expéditionnaire canadien (1914–1919) : il faut réviser à la hausse », in The Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 96, No. 3, September 2015, pp. 405-423.
  3. Jean Martin, « Francophone enlistment in the CEF, 1914-1918: the evidence », in Canadian Military History, Vol. 25, No 1 (Spring 2016), Waterloo (Canada).
  4. Excluding the French-sounding names of the enlistees from the Channel Islands.
  5. The website also owns a complete database of the CEF soldiers, but they hold exclusive rights on its use.
  6. The records can be found at:
  7. With the initial ‘P’, for example, there were more than 9,000 enlistees bearing a name starting with ‘Pa’, and more than 3,000 with ‘Par,’ so it was necessary to go through the entire alphabet with up to four initial letters.
  8. It could be possible to confirm that a person is really a Francophone through his place of residence, for example, or his next of kin’s first name (Télesphore, Adéodat or Étiennette, for instance can only be French).
  9. Just a few examples of those French Canadians serving under a different name: Ernest Joseph and Louis Leblanc both served under the name White; Georges Legault was known as George Hall; George Mainville had his name transformed into Mayville; Edmond Maillet became Edmund Myers; Sylvestre Mercier was known as Samuel Stanley Mercer. And those are only a few examples that could be found. How many more were never discovered?
  10. This is the number that was produced in the 1920s by the Director of records at DND, and repeated in official history this is what was published in G.W.L. Nicholson’s Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War. Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919 (Ottawa, Department of National Defence, 1962).
  11. See J. Martin, 2016.
  12. Henri Bourassa, Canadian Nationalism and the War, (Montréal, Le Devoir, 1916); quoted in Pariseau and Bernier, pp. 86-87
  13. Those records are also available from the LAC website at:
  14. LAC, “CEF Statistics – Enlistment and Medical Unfitness 1919-1938” RG24-C-1-a. Volume 1163, File HQ-64-1-24, Letter of 1929 to the Prime Minister’s office.
  15. Jean Pariseau and Serge Bernier, French Canadians and Bilinguaslism, Vol. 1, 1763-1969: the Fear of a Parallel Army, (Ottawa, Depatment of Supply and Services Canada, 1986), p. 88. David J. Bercuson, The Fighting Canadians, (Toronto: Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, 2008), p. 161. Jack L. Granatstein, Canada’s Army. Waging War and Keeping the Peace, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), p. 75.
  16. Patrice A. Dutil, “Against Isolationism: Napoléon Belcourt, French Canada, and ‘La Grande Guerre’” in David Mackenzie (ed.), Canada and the First World War. Essays in Honour of Robert Craig Brown, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), p. 115.
  17. LAC, “CEF Statistics – Enlistment and Medical Unfitness 1919-1938” RG24-C-1-a. Volume 1163, file HQ-64-1-24. Letter from F. Logie Armstrong, Directeur of Records.
  18. LAC, “CEF Statistics – Enlistment and Medical Unfitness 1919-1938” RG24-C-1-a. Volume 1163, file HQ-64-1-24 Letter from Léo Richer Laflèche, Adjutant-General of the Militia.
  19. This might well be the same Colonel William Wood who was member of a special mission sent to Europe by the Dominion Archivist of Canada in 1918-1919 to document the war effort. William Wood had been a long time resident of Quebec City. He was in 1927 assistant archivist of the Province of Quebec, and he had been for many years a prominent member of the Quebec Historical and Literary Society. See Robert McIntosh, “The Great War, Archives, and Modern Memory,” in Archivaria, (Journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists), No. 46 (Autumn 1998).
  20. See J. Martin, CHR, 2015.
  21. About half a million French Canadians lived in other provinces, and over half a million more Francophones were living in the United States at that time.
  22. 88,052 men enlisted in the province of Quebec. If only 30,000 of them were Anglophone, this means that over 58,000 were not. Even allowing for as many as 15,000 to 20,000 enlistees coming from outside the province to enlist in Quebec, this still leaves between 30,000 and 35,000 Francophone soldiers enlisted from Quebec.
  23. French immigration accounted for less than 1% of total immigration in 1914. According to DND statistics, only 1,319 members of the CEF, or less than 2% of the Francophones, were born in France.
  24. 318,728 members of the CEF were born in Canada. 24% of the total of 619,636 would provide 148,713 French Canadians, against the 170,015 remaining.
  25. About 565,000 colonial troops served in the war, from a total of eight million mobilized.
  26. J.L. Granatstein, p. 75.