Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)
Enlistments in England
Report of the Ministry; Overseas Military Forces of Canada; 1918
Applications for enlistment into the Canadian Forces in England were constantly being received. Some of these were from persons who alleged themselves to be Canadians, and who had been called up for Service by Imperial Authorities and who desired to serve with the Canadians rather than with the Imperial Forces; others were from Canadians, who, for various reasons, happened to be resident in England and who desired to join the Canadian Forces there. Requests were also received from Canadian who had, voluntarily or otherwise,
The last class of applicant was advised that he must apply through his Imperial Unit for transfer to the Canadian Forces, and where the Imperial Authorities saw fit to forward his request for such transfer, together with the statement that there was no objection to his discharge from his Imperial engagement and his re-enlistment in the Canadian Forces, his application was approved, provided that the man concerned satisfactorily passed a medical examination by the Canadian Authorities and was found in Category A as fit for General Service. All individual applying for enlistment in England were advised that their applications could not be considered unless they furnished a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship issued by the High Commissioner for Canada in London. This certificate was only issued by the High Commissioner after he has satisfied himself that the man's claim as to Canadian citizenship was well founded. In addition, all applicants had to submit to examination by the Canadian medical Authorities and be found fit for General Service.
The applicant having fulfilled these conditions was sent to a territorially affiliated Reserve Unit. There he was again medically examined, and if considered fit, was enlisted. His completed documents were returned to the Adjutant-General's Branch and a record kept of his enlistment. The documents were sent to the Canadian Record Office, London, and a copy of the Attestation Paper sent to the Department of Militia and Defence, Ottawa, for custody. The man's Certificate of Canadian Citizenship was kept on file in the Adjutant-General's Branch.
The number of enlistments completed in England from the beginning of the War to December, 1918, was 1,733, representing approximately 10 per cent. of the applications actually received, the balance of applications having been rejected either as a result of medical examination or through inability to produce the requisite Certificate of Citizenship.
In some cases applicants were unwilling to persist in their applications after they had filed them.
Except in special circumstances applications for enlistment in England were only accepted for service in the Infantry.