Saturday, July 13, 2013

First military draft of the Second World War

On July 13, 1940, the Canadian government announced the first conscription of the Second World War for 40 days' compulsory military training on or before September 15 by the first draft under the National Mobilization Bill.

The National Mobilization Bill arose because of the stunning German victories in Belgium and France, and we felt, that as a nation, we should get ready to repel the German Forces, if they ever decided to invade out shores. The act enabled the government to requisition the property and services of Canadians for home defence.

Single men between 21 and 34 would be called up first for training. This would affect approximately 800,000 Canadians.

It was modified in August 1942 to permit the government to send conscripts overseas via an order in council after a plebiscite in April 1942. In 1944, the government passed such an order.

To read about the National Mobilization Bill in the newspapers of the day, go to

The individual forms are available but they cannot be released until the person has been dead for 20 years. It will cost $40.00 to get access to the record. You also need a death certificate, or an obituary notice can be accepted.

You can send inquiries to Census Pension Searches Unit, Census Operation  Division, Statistics Canada, B1E-34 Jean Talon Bldg, Tunney’s Pasture, Ottawa, ON K1A 0T6  

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