WWI Enlistment FAQs

Recruiting Advertisements
A government advertisement in a December 1915 editon of Goderich’s The Signal newspaper provided an FAQ about the terms and conditions of WWI army duty.

(1) How long am I to serve?
Answer: Until the end of the (Great) war and six months after, if required.

(2) What pay shall I receive?
Answer: Your pay as a private will be one dollar per day and ten cents extra for field allowance (front line duty). Besides this you will receive clothing, equipment and sustenance (food) from the government.

(3) What will my wife receive in my absence?
Answer: Every month she will be paid twenty dollars separation allowance, in addition to your pay.

(4) What will happen if I am wounded, sick or taken prisoner?
Answer: You will be cared for by the government and pay continued until discharged. If permanently disabled, allowance will be $264, $132, or $75 per annum depending on disability. In the case of total incapacity, wife is to be paid $11 per month and each child, $3.50 per month. If a prisoner of war, pay continues as if you were still in the field.

(5) What will be done for my wife and children if I die in active service?
Answer: The government will provide a pension of $23 per month for a widow and $5 per month for a child. A widowed mother of a single man, if son be her sole supporter, is treated the same way as a wife.

The newspaper ad finished with the following statement: “The terms stated above apply to ‘Private’ soldiers and increase according to your rank. If you wish further details apply at your local recruiting office.”