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A wave of patriotism and enthusiasm greeted the news in Canada, where many believed the war would be a short and glorious campaign. While pre-war Canada had a sizeable militia, it had a small standing army of only 3,110 men. Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence, moved quickly to mobilise and equip Canada's military contribution to the world stage.
Across the Dominion, men of different backgrounds flocked to recruiting stations. Many were recent British immigrants or native-born Canadians of British stock, but there were also more than 1,000 French Canadians, many members of the First Nations, along with non-British immigrants and black Canadians.
Within two months of the onset of war, 33,000 Canadian volunteers were in training at the newly constructed Valcartier camp near Quebec City. These men formed the First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), which became the largest single movement of Canadians when they – along with 7,000 horses – set sail for Britain in October. Also accompanying them on this voyage were the "Blue Puttees," a contingent of 500 soldiers from Newfoundland and Labrador, which was a separate British colony before it joined Canada in 1949. These fathers, husbands, sons and brothers formed the first wave of Canadian troops that would engage in this world conflict.
By 1916, Canada was able to field an army corps of four divisions at the front. Eventually commanded by a Canadian, Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie, the Canadian Corps won laurels on the Somme and at Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Passchendaele, and the battles that took place in the decisive last hundred days of the war. Women also played a key role, with 2,504 Nursing Sisters serving overseas as part of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Together, their exemplary courage and the contributions made on the battlefields helped Canada come of age as a nation.
The Proof Silver Dollar Coin
Designed by Canadian artist Bonnie Ross, your proof silver dollar depicts a couple's emotional farewell at a train station, where the first wave of volunteers is boarding a train bound for the Valcartier camp. Time stands still for this couple as they savour one last embrace before his departure, both of them uncertain of the future that lies ahead. It is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who answered the call of duty, and their loved ones who remained on the home front.
• Your proof silver-dollar coin is an exceptional keepsake that expresses your affection and pride for all Canadians who served the cause of freedom.
• Your beautifully detailed coin commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
• Five finishes! The relief (raised foreground) incorporates the use of five (5) different finishes using a new laser engraving which beautifully accentuate the design. Note the different finishes used on the background, the ground and the top windows on the train, the uniforms of the soldiers and the lower windows on the train, the train, bags and skin of all the people, and the lady's dress and the main soldier's socks.
• A tribute to hope, courage and sacrifice to those who helped Canada rise to nationhood through their bravery and resolve.
• Hand polished! The field (flat background) has a highly hand polished mirror-like finish.
• Featuring new premium finishing techniques: the circulation-based coins boast brings an enhanced look to the standard.
Your proof dollar set comes in elegant book-style packaging, with removable lens, that complements your beautiful coins.
Order your coin set today!