The Freemans and World War I

World War I (1914-1918) had a significant impact on the Cape Breton community, including American Consul Charles Freeman and his family while they were living in Sydney.

As the reality of war became apparent at the beginning of August 1914, Cape Breton was alive with a wave of general enthusiasm and an eagerness to serve the empire. When it became a certainty that Britain would declare war and news reached Sydney, people cheered. Approximately two thousand people were at the Intercolonial Railway station in Sydney to welcome the first soldiers arriving from Halifax.   

During the War, Charles Freeman became very active recording the activities taking place in Industrial Cape Breton through photographs and commercial reports that he sent to the Department of State in Washington, D.C. Although the United States did not join the war until 1917, the disruption of trade between Europe and North America provided opportunity for U.S. companies.