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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. 

See the actual ad

George signs up 
April 1916 
circa 1916-19
George in Highland Uniform
Replying to adds like this one found in the Bradford Witness, earlier story 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. 
177th Battalion Pin
177th Battalion -- Simcoe Foresters Overseas Badge
Pin of the 177th.
Badge pin of 177th
Barrie Foresters Overseas
George 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 England earlier story