September 1916 was the first month of World War I in which no Deseronto men or women joined the services. As the graph above shows, enlistments hit their peak in January 1916, with more than 30 local people joining the forces in that month. After a busy spring, the summer months showed a marked decline in rates of enlistment as news of heavy loss of life at the Battle of the Somme reached home.
This drop in recruitment was true across Canada and led to the passing of the Military Service Act in August 1917 [text of the Act], which introduced conscription. The graph below shows the number of Deseronto people who joined the forces voluntarily alongside those who were drafted under the Military Service Act.