Unwanted Warriors: Rejected Volunteers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force by Nic ClarkeUnwanted Warriors: Rejected Volunteers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force by Nic Clarke

Unwanted Warriors: Rejected Volunteers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force

byNic Clarke

Paperback | April 15, 2016

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Far from the bloody mire of Europe’s battlefields, the Great War extracted another price – the dignity of Canada’s rejected volunteers. Unwanted Warriors tells the history of these first casualties of war: the tens of thousands (perhaps even hundreds of thousands) of men who tried to enlist but were deemed “unfit for service” by medical examiners.

Condemned as shirkers for not being in uniform, rejected volunteers faced severe ostracism. Their own sense of nagging guilt, coupled with self-doubt about their social and physical worth, was often crippling. Faced with external and internal assaults, some rejected volunteers exiled themselves from society ... others chose to end their lives.

Nic Clarke draws on the service files of 3,400 rejected volunteers to examine the deleterious effects that socially constructed norms of health and fitness had on individual men and Canadian society during the First World War. Unwanted Warriors is the first book to consider the mechanics of the military medical examination, the physical and psychological characteristics that the authorities believed made a fighting man, and how evaluations changed as the war dragged on. It also brings to light the experiences of those who deliberately claimed disability to avoid service – a minority within the large population of rejected volunteers who felt denigrated, if not emasculated, by their exclusion from duty.

Nic Clarke is the curatorial manager of Diefenbunker,Canada's Cold War Museum.Nic Clarke is the curatorial manager of Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum. His research primarily focuses on disability and health in Canada during the Great War period. He has published articles on a variety of subjects, including the diet of Canadian s...
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Title:Unwanted Warriors: Rejected Volunteers of the Canadian Expeditionary ForceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2016Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774828897

ISBN - 13:9780774828895

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Reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction

1 Grading Blocks of Meat: The Fit and the Unfit

2 No Longer Cause for Rejection

3 An Imperfect System

4 Clashing Concepts of Fitness

5 Not Visibly Different: Describing the Rejected

6 Uncounted Casualties: The Costs of Rejection

7 Claiming Disability to Avoid Military Service

Conclusion

Appendices, Notes, Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

Unwanted Warriors uncovers the history of Canada’s first casualties of the Great War – men who tried to enlist but were deemed “unfit for service.” What impact did military exclusion have on these men? Nic Clarke looks for answers in the service files of 3,400 rejected volunteers and explores the mechanics of the medical examination, the physical and psychological qualities that the authorities believed made a fighting man, and how evaluations changed as the war dragged on. In the process, he exposes the deleterious effects that socially constructed norms about health and fitness had on individual men and Canadian society during the First World War.Vast numbers of men tried to enlist during the Great War and were turned down, sometimes repeatedly. Until now, we have known little about these individuals – why they were rejected by the army and the impact this had on them personally and in their community. In Unwanted Warriors, Nic Clarke answers these very questions, adroitly documenting the war’s impact on Canadian society. - Pat Brennan, fellow of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, University of Calgary