To the Men of Muskoka: A Letter from Walter William Kinsey

By June 1914, conflict was arising in the European powder keg. Very soon Canadians were called on to come and help the Empire. So, with a sense of duty, communities across Canada formed recruiting leagues to help the war effort and Bracebridge was no different.

In 1915, the Bracebridge Recruiting League was formed with Walter William Kinsey leading the effort. The effort was begun with a letter published in the editorial section of the Muskoka Herald.
5 August 1915

To the Men of Muskoka,

As chairman of the Bracebridge Recruiting League, which has been organized to assist in securing recruits in this town and vicinity. I wish to emphasize the necessity for the men of the District to rally quickly to the colors and till up the ranks of the 122nd Battalion. Muskoka grows the kind of men that are needed and there is every reason to believe that the Muskoka Battalion will give a good account of itself. The men are needed now. A volunteer this spring may be worth half a dozen next fall. If the war can be won this summer it means a tremendous saving of life and money. We must all be willing to do our share and every man of military age who is not absolutely tied at home by circumstances over which he has no control should present himself for medical examination. This part of the District has given some splendid men who are already in the trenches and some of whom have won distinction, but we must not fall behind. Make it a matter of earnest consideration today and the County and Empire the best service of which you are capable.

Yours faithfully,

W. W. Kinsey
Two members of the family entered the call and enlisted with the 122nd Battalion - the Muskoka Foresters - of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. William Hugh Kinsey enlisted very shortly before his 18th birthday and his friend and future brother-in-law, Burnett Alexander Ward signed up a few weeks later.


The 122nd Battalion of the CEF eventually went overseas in 1917 and was soon absorbed into the Canadian Forester Force with many members entering the 43rd Company. Most of the war effort was cutting down trees in France for railway ties and telegraph poles.

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