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What were the casualties of the Great War?

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Four years of fighting ensued after the declaration of the Great War on 4 August 1914. Canada and Newfoundland, as all colonies and dominions of the British Empire, was automatically at war, and its citizens from all across the land responded quickly to the call to arms. Affected cities fell into ruins, communities became annihilated and resulted in over 37 million casualties, including more than 68,000 Canadians who gave their lives. Depicted in the photograph is the Swanley War Memorial - unveiled in March 1922 and is located in Kent, approximately 15 miles southeast of central London, England, where it officially records Staff Paymaster Joseph T. Gedge as the first British officer to fall in the Great War. When his ship was sunk by a mine in the North Sea on 6 August 1914, there were 149 others who lost their lives, including Admiralty civilian George Jennings, a Canteen Server. Many from all walks of life enlisted and served in different ways.

On this day, 4 August 2021, we commemorate the 107th anniversary of when Britain officially declared war on Germany and mark more than 99 years since the unveiling of the Swanley War Memorial in Kent, England.

André M. Levesque

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