When Canadian men rushed to the recruiting stations in 1914, professionally trained nurses could enlist with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC); the first contingent, composed of 101 nursing sisters, sailed for England as early as September 1914.  For women who were not trained nurses, however, there were relatively few opportunities to actively participate in the war, much less overseas. One such opportunity was the Voluntary Aid Detachment.
The First World War period in Canada, an across the British Empire, saw an unprecedented amount of activity by charitable organisations towards the war effort. Groups like the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE), and the Red Cross raised millions of dollars for medical supplies and for the care of prisoners of war. Others were more concerned with the welfare of the young men fighting in Europe, particularly the YMCA and the Salvation Army. Continue reading “Wholesome entertainments: The YMCA in the First World War”