Off to War – August 1914

Recently, I wrote about my own family and how they were impacted in Hamilton by World War I. Henley’s Hamilton includes some awesome and historical additions to my posts on the same subject. Most of his sources are generously shared by the Hamilton Public Library Archives department.

henleyshamilton1

The above commercially sold postcard was sent and post-marked on August 27, 1914 – seven days after the photo was taken.

To the right is the large red brick railway station, by 1914 known as the CPR depot. The camera is pointed westward.

The dense crowd filling Hunter street as far as the eye can be seen is made up with family and friends of the first contingent of Hamilton volunteers heading off to fight in what has become to be known as World War One.

War had broken out in Europe on July 28, 1914 and when England formally declared war on Germany on August 4, all members of the British Empire were automatically at war as well.

As in all cities in the British Empire, that formal declaration of war set off a tidal wave of patriotism and war fever. Recruiting stations were quickly established and were taxed…

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