Raymond Chandler fought in World War I with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He signed up in the second half of 1917 with his best friend at the time, Gordon Pascal and they were both assigned to the Fiftieth Regiment. It is likely that Chandler joined the Canadian army because they offered support to their soldiers’ dependents and this meant that Raymond’s mother, Florence, would be looked after whilst he fought abroad.
What I had not realized, until today, is that Chandler sought exemption from the US draft in June1917. At this time he was living in Santa Barbra, where he managed a branch of the LA Creamery. He was twenty eight years old, tall and, according to his US army draft card, of medium build. His public school education at Dulwich College insilled in him a keen sense of his duty, one that would have made him want to serve in WWI. However in his US draft card he seeks an excemeption “on account of mother”. No further details are given but it goes to show how Florence Chandler always had to be factored into all his thinking. He always felt that it was his first duty to look after and protect her.