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Citizen Soldiers

Heroes Remember

You see in those days, there was every man at that time used to have to spend three years in the army. From when he was 17 until he was 20 years of age he had to spend in the army. And of course if he didn't stay in the army he went out, but he was always subject to recall you see. And we were known as citizen soldiers because we hadn't gone through that. We didn't have compulsory military training you see in Canada at that time. We found that those men that had been trained it was out of date. There was all brand new tactics and new system altogether. Their training was really out of date, that's what we found.

Mr. Boyce describes the fact that Canada's 'citizen soldiers' had more innovative training than those Allied soldiers who had had three years of compulsory training.

Harry Boyce

Harry Boyce was born in Bonshaw, Prince Edward Island on September 4, 1893. After moving to Regina to work as an architect, he returned to P.E.I. to enlist with the 8th Canadian Siege Battery. He trained in Charlottetown then went overseas and continued his training at Aldershot, England, where he specialized on the 8-inch siege gun, which fired a 200 pound shell. In the autumn of 1915 he was sent to France and served during the Somme, Vimy Ridge and Le Preol. He was gassed and repatriated to Canada.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Harry Boyce
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
Warrant Officer

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