Kenora Great War Project


The War to End all Wars

In 1914 empires clashed in what was to be “the war to end all wars.” France, Great Britain, and Russia allied as the Triple Entente while Germany, Austro-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, sided together as the Central Powers.Between August 1914 to November 1918 these two sides waged a titanic struggle across the globe.

Canada was a small Dominion of the British Empire with a population of about 10 million people in 1914. When Great Britain declared war on Germany, Canada was legally compelled to follow. Canadians enthusiastically answered the call of the British Empire and formed the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Many believed that the war would be over by Christmas, so young Canadians enlisted for a brief chance at glory, for adventure, and for patriotism.

Like communities across the country, the Kenora District answered the call. Over 1800 local men and women enlisted to serve king and country in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the Canadian Navy, and the Royal Air Force.

In the four years of war that followed 1914, the sons and daughters of the Kenora District were scarred mentally and physically in the fields of Belgium and France. Some returned with memories of fallen comrades, while others with scars that would last a lifetime, still others never returned at all.

This is their story.