Topic: Canadian Army
Many Canadian Athletes Enlisted in Non-Permanent Militia Units
Survey Shows Practically All National Hockey League Players in This Country Have Signs for Home Defence. Football Stars Also Taking Training.
Ottawa Citizen, 7 August 1940 By Dick Sheridan, Canadian Press Staff Writer
Coast to Coast: Hockey in Canada to the Second World War
John Chi-Kit Wong (Editor), 2009
"The government quickly passed the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA) in June 1940, providing for national registration of all Canadians … The immediate intent of the Act was to provide for national registration and a training period (initially thirty days) for men who were eligible for call-up, to be administered by a newly formed Department of National War Service (DNWS). Since it was announced that voluntary militia enlistment would end on 15 August 1940, thousands volunteered in August to avoid the stigma of being conscripted and lebelled as unwilling to fight for their country.
"In response to the NMRA, NHL managers actively encouraged their players to sign up with Non-Permanent Active Militia (NPAM) units." (p. 89)
Toronto, Aug. 6.—In two's and three's and even teams, Canada's athletes are flocking to the recruiting depots throughout the country to enlist in the Non-Permanent Active Militia units before the Aug. 15 deadline. And leading the parade is the country's most valuable athletic asset—her hockey players.
A survey conducted by The Canadian Press today disclosed that practically all of the National Hockey League players in this country have signed up for home defence. Crowding them are nationally-known football players from such squads as Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Canadian champions, Toronto Balmy Beach, Toronto Argonauts and Sarnia Imperials.
Manager Conny Smythe of Toronto Maple Leafs announced today the majority of his players had enlisted in the Toronto Scottish and will go into active training almost immediately. Players from other N.H.L. teams residing in Toronto joined the Scottish also.
Frank Boucher Enlisted
Canadiens' players living in Montreal are slated to enlist with the 17th Duke of York Royal Canadian Hussars while the Scots Fusiliers have enrolled Boston and new York Rangers players living in Kitchener.
Frank Boucher, Ranger coach, join the Princess Louise Dragoon Guards at Ottawa, and was accompanied by a number of other players living in the Capital. The Royal Winnipeg Rifles unit has players from Ranger, Toronto Leafs, Boston and Chicago Black Hawks in its ranks.
Ted Reeve Among Group
Syd Reynolds, Cec Fotheringham, Bert Haigh and George Shield, current or former Balmy Beach players, are members of the Toronto Scottish, along with Floyd Muirhead, sponsor of the club. Ted Reeve, sports columnist and a member of the Balmy Beach championship team a decade ago, is with the Scottish.
Alex Hayes and Hugh (Bummer) Stirling help give Sarnia Imperials representation in the N.P.A.M. Hayes, a great quarterback, is with the Essex Scottish. Stirling, the brilliant backfielder, enlisted with the 55th Battery, London.
Entire Team Training
Calgary Stampeders, Allan Cup finalists last year, is the only hockey team known to have enlisted as a unit. Stampeders joined the Calgary (Tank) Regiment and are expected to be known as the "Tankers" this coming season.
Athletes enlisting in the N.P.A.M. are able in most instances to arrange their period of training in camp so that it does not interfere with the playing of their respective games. This applies particularly to the N.H.L. players.
Many other athletes are with Canadian Active Service Force units and a number of these are already in England. These include Ross (Sandy) Somerville, former amateur golf champion, and Johnny Loaring, Windsor hurdler.
More Ottawans Enlist
Orville Burke, star Rider quarterback, has enlisted in the Governor General's Foot Guards, it was learned last night. Two other local athletes—Jack Wilkinson, former Ottawa Senator hockey star, and Rick Perley of the Rough Riders—joined the First Field Brigade Royal Canadian Artillery on Monday night. Several other athletes of the Capital were already in this brigade.