A ‘White Man’s War’ No More: Black Volunteers in the CEF

At the outbreak of the Great War, Canadians from Nova Scotia to British Columbia flooded to the recruiting offices as a patriotic fervour swept across the nation. A large number of Black volunteers, however, were turned away from what they were told was a “white man’s war.” [1] As we enter February and make an effort to recognize and remember the too-often neglected history of Black Canadians, I thought we would take this opportunity to shed light on what was described as “one of the best kept secrets in Canadian military history.” [2] According to Calvin W. Ruck, it is one of Canada’s best kept secrets because many Canadians are unaware that roughly 600 Black soldiers served in Canada’s first and only all-Black Battalion during the First World War.  Continue reading “A ‘White Man’s War’ No More: Black Volunteers in the CEF”