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Canadian History for Kids: World War 1

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One and Canadian History for Kids have assembled 31 remarkable stories about incredible people, places and events which helped shape our amazing nation.

To the men and women who lived and died during that terrible and extraordinary time, we salute you. We can never give enough thanks to our veterans for their incredible sacrifice.

World War 1 was a military conflict lasting from 1914 to 1918 which involved nearly all the biggest powers of the world. It involved two opposing alliances – the Allies and the Central Powers. The countries of the Allies included Russia, France, British Empire (including Canada), Italy, United States, Japan, Rumania, Serbia, Belgium, Greece and Portugal.
The countries of the Central Powers included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria.

World War 1 was triggered on 28 June 1914 by the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his pregnant wife Sophie.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was the nephew of Emperor Franz Josef and heir to the throne of Austria and Hungary. The assassination was planned by a Serbian terrorist group, called The Black Hand and the man who shot Franz Ferdinand and his wife was a Bosnian revolutionary named Gavrilo Princip.

The war had many causes. There was a tangle of groupings made between countries, to maintain a balance power in Europe, which brought about the scale of the conflict. The Bosnian Crisis where Austria-Hungary took over the former Turkish province of Bosnia in 1909 which angered Serbia. Also countries wanted to regain lost territories from previous conflicts and build empires.

Other names for World War 1 include ‘The War to End All Wars’, The War of the Nations and ‘The Great War’.

65 million troops were mobilized during the war, 8 million troops died and 21 million troops were wounded. 58,000 British soldiers were lost on the first day at the Battle of the Somme. Chemical weapons were first used in World War I. The chemical was mustard gas.

Close to 61,000 Canadians were killed during the war, and another 172,000 were wounded. The small colony of Newfoundland suffered 1,305 killed and several thousand wounded.

619,636 Canadians enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the war, and approximately 424,000 served overseas.

But Canada’s involvement goes far beyond just simple numbers. The individual stories, heroics and sacrifices are what we are remembering this month. Follow Canadian History for Kids as we explore the remarkable lives, battles, tragedies and triumphs.

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