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History General

Filling the Ranks

Manpower in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1918

by (author) Richard Holt

foreword by Tim Cook & J.L. Granatstein

McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2017
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2017
    List Price

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Manpower is the lifeblood of armies regardless of time or place. In the First World War, much of Canada’s military effort went toward sustaining the Canadian Expeditionary Force, especially in France and Belgium. The job was not easy. The government and Department of Militia and Defence were tasked with recruiting and training hundreds of thousands of men, shipping them to England, and creating organizations on the continent meant to forward these men to their units.

The first book to explore the issue of manpower in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Filling the Ranks examines the administrative and organizational changes that fostered efficiency and sustained the army. Richard Holt describes national civilian and military recruitment policies and criteria both inside and outside of Canada; efforts to recruit women, convicts, and members of First Nations, African Canadian, Asian, and Slavic communities; the conduct of entry-level training; and the development of a coherent reinforcement structure. Canada’s ability to fill the ranks with trained soldiers ultimately helped make the Corps an elite formation within the British Expeditionary Force.

Based on extensive research in British and Canadian archives, Filling the Ranks provides a wealth of new information on Canada"s role in the Great War.

About the authors

Richard Holt (1948-2017) was a retired lieutenant colonel of the Royal Canadian Regiment and an independent researcher and historian.

Richard Holt's profile page

TIM COOK is the Great War historian at the Canadian War Museum, as well as an adjunct professor at Carleton University. He is the author of five other books, including Shock Troops, which won the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction in 2009. He was also awarded the Ottawa Book Award and the J.W. Dafoe Prize for At the Sharp End. Cook lives in Ottawa with his family.

Tim Cook's profile page

J. L. GRANATSTEIN is the author of over 60 books, including the bestsellersWho Killed The Canadian Military? and Whose War Is It?, along withYankee Go Home?, Victory 1945 and The Generals, which won the J. W. Dafoe Prize and the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography. A distinguished research professor of history emeritus at York University, he was a member of the RMC Board of Governors and is chair of the Advisory Council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. He lives in Toronto. Visit Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein's profile page

Other titles by Tim Cook

Other titles by J.L. Granatstein