Corporal Robert Stephen who joined the 143rd Battalion CEF on June 30 1916 aged 29 wrote verse regarding recruiting in and around Victoria, British Columbia in late 1916 whilst he was actually directly engaged in recruiting locally for his own battalion. These verses appeared in “The Daily Colonist” Victoria B.C. immediately after Corporal Stephen’s indignant letter to the editor of the same paper and in which letter Stephen alleged that the provincial government was harbouring eligible men.
The Daily Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia Saturday, December 16 1915 page 5
Where on the streets in the daytime are those
Who have failed to enlist and wear khaki clothes?
They’re skulking away from the light of the day:
You’ll find them at dance halls quite cheery and gay.
Since girls who have sweethearts that fight for the right
Don’t dance with these fellows who keep out of sight,
Are the “slackers” confined to the masculine kind?
Oh no! We have girls just the same, bear in mind!
If you’ve never felt it your duty to knit,
Or help all you can the lads that show grit,
We ask you tonight to give us a name
Of a fellow you know not “playing the game.”