When Britain declared war on Germany in August, 1914, Canada was automatically included and responded enthusiastically to Britain’s request for soldiers. There was great support for the war initially. People marched in the streets and waved the Union Jack, which was Canada’s flag at the time.
There were roles on active duty for everyone, depending upon their skills. For example, the Canadian Forestry Corps was established in 1916, when it was realized that large quantities of wood were needed on the western front for making crates, shoring up trenches, and building other defenses.
Recruitment for war service was undertaken in both official languages. Initially, the same message was simply translated into French, but it quickly became apparent that the appeal to British sovereignty did not resonate with the French Canadians. Campaigns in Quebec yielded few recruits, causing tension between the pro-war English Canadians, and the French Canadians who felt that this was not their war.