You Are No Exception. Join Now
This World War I poster from Canada, issued by the Central Recruiting Committee in Toronto, shows a silhouette of a well-dressed man scratching his head and saying: “I should go but!!!” The title proclaims: “You are no exception. Join now.” Canada supplied 600,000 men and women to the Allied war effort; the vast majority of them were volunteers. Recruiting sufficient manpower for the armed forces was a major challenge for Canadian authorities. Prime Minister Robert Borden initially promised that Canada would not institute obligatory military service, but on May 18, 1917, Borden changed tack and introduced the Military Service Act, a conscription bill. People in French-speaking Quebec generally were opposed to fighting in what they saw as England’s war and adamantly opposed conscription, as did some people in English-speaking Canada as well. The Canadian parliament passed the Military Service Act on July 24, 1917, and conscription was put into effect on January 1, 1918. The requirement to serve was riddled with exceptions and opportunities for appeal, however, and Canada continued to suffer manpower shortages until the end of the war.
Central Recruiting Committee, Number 2 Military Division, Toronto
Type of Item
1 print (poster) : lithograph, color ; 97 x 63 centimeters
- Canadian War Museum, “Canada and the First World War: Conscription, 1917,” http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/guerre/conscription-e.aspx.
Last updated: February 10, 2014