|Great War Rages|
"Lieutenant-Colonel McPhee wants 177 Barrie and district men to join his battalion in the present whirlwind campaign" -- commanding officer, 177th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Forces.
|George signs up
|Replying to adds like this one found in the Bradford Witness,
George enlisted in the army in
April 1916. This Great War was like no other, even by European accounts.
By 1916, the War had long been stalemated for years. The German offensive
that had swung across the low countries and north-eastern France had been
halted in 1914. The Western Front had remained stable, in part, because
of the surprise involvement of Russia. When attacked by Russia on the Eastern
Front, the Germans High Command defended with two corps removed from the
attack on France -- a chink in their armour wide enough to exploit and
halt their sweep through Europe. Each of the German and Allied forces had
entrenched along a muddy, crater-pocked no-man's-land, and so far killed
over one million of each other's soldiers.
leaves for England
3 May 1917
|George was 'taken on strength' by the Canadian Expeditionary Force
near Barrie at the newly opened Camp Borden. He was attached to the 177th
Battalion which recruited men from all of Simcoe County and was known thereafter
as the Barrie Foresters. They completed more than a full year in training,
and on May 3, 1917, left Halifax on the H.M.C.S Metagama bound for