My grandfather, Charles Stanley Kinrade, joined the Canadian army in 1916 in Trail, B.C. where he was a company painter. At 32 he was deemed to be too old to be in a fighting unit so joined up with the 1st Canadian Overseas Pioneer Detail. He arrived in England June 29th, 1916 and his unit was immediately shipped across to France to join the Somme offensive where he was involved with digging trenches, bringing up shells, burial details and the such.
Sunday, April 9th will be the 100th Anniversary of the assault on Vimy Ridge in the Nord-Pas-de-Calaise and Arras region of France. On a snowy, Easter Monday morning, for the first time in the Great War, four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force attacked a fortified German position as a fighting unit. When the day was barely halfway through the main German stronghold on the top of the ridge had been taken and its defenders killed, captured or fleeing in disarray.
August 1: Germany declares war on Russia
August 3: Germany declared war on France.
August 4: Great Britain declares war on Germany. Canada, as a colony of Great Britain, is also at war. Prime Minister Robert Borden calls to support Great Britain. Canadians rush to enlist in the military. Germany unleashes the Schlieffen Plan, a military strategy that requires it to invade neutral Belgium on its way to defating France.