Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) 1, Order of Battle

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395561)

Observation and Advanced Listening Post 30 yards from the German Lines. September 1916.

(IWM Photo, Q 1634)

Whiz Bangs

For the curious, a Whiz-Bang was an artillery shell fired by the Germans.  It traveled with great speed, and was fired by a fast action gun.  There was not much time to duck as one just heard Whiz.  Bang!  A Woolly Bear was another type of shell that was used for demolition, and when it burst on impact, it made a big hole and left a tremendous cloud of black smoke.  They were slower than a Whiz-Bang and could be ducked by a man with a sixth sense. (Walter Ray Estabrooks)

The Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) was the entire overseas force fielded by Canada during the First World War. Many Canadians enlisted between 1914 and 1918, most of them volunteers, serving as soldiers, nurses, doctors, and forestry and railway crews. Of the 630,000 Canadians who enlisted for military service, 424,000 went overseas as part of the CEF. Of the 234,000 Canadian casualties during the war, nearly 61,000 were killed.

For Canada, the First World War began on 4 August 1914, when Britain's ultimatum to Germany to withdraw from Belgium expired. The British Empire, including Canada, allied with Serbia, Russia and France was at war with the German and Austro-Hungarian empires.  Although Canada only had very small navy, a small professional army of about 3,000 soldiers, and a variety of part-time militia units, the Canadian government immediately offered to provide the Imperial government with an Infantry battle formation, the 1st Canadian Division, which was immediately accepted.  The First Contingent of 30,617 men with the 1st Canadian Division was quickly organized and sailed to England in a large convoy on 3 October 1914. While the 1st Division was being formed, the Canadian government offered to form and send a 2nd Division to the Imperial government.  This offer was also immediately accepted, and in due course the 2nd Division sailed for England in the spring of 1915.  Both of these divisions were in the front lines on the Western Front in 1915.

At the end of 1915 a 3rd Division was formed from Canadian units in England, based on reinforcements that had been raised and sent overseas.  The 3rd Division included soldiers from the permanent force, the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR), that had served on garrison duty on Bermuda from August of 1914 and the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), a privately financed unit raised in Canada. As the 3rd Division was being raised, a Canadian Corps was formed to co-ordinate operations. A 4th Division was raised in Canada in 1916, and in turn, sailed to England in the fall of 1916. At the same, time a 4th Division was being raised from troops already in England. When the 4th Division arrived from Canada, it was renumbered as the 5th Division. Mounting casualties at the front made it necessary to break it up in order to supply reinforcements to the remaining four divisions. The 4th Division proceeded to France in early 1917.

With the arrival of the 2nd Division on the Western Front in September 1915 the Canadian Corps was established with headquarters at Bailleul, France on 13 September 1915. At that time, it was under the command of British Lieutenant-General Alderson, formerly the CO of the 1st Canadian Division. The Canadian Corps brought together the Canadian formations that had previously served under divisional headquarters on the Western Front. In December 1915 the 3rd Canadian Division was formed from units already in England becoming effective in France in January 1916. In late 1915 the offer of a 4th Canadian Division was accepted by the Imperial Government if Canada agreed to complete the 18 reserve battalions then in England. These were considered essential to continue the necessary flow of reinforcements to the 36 battalions of the first three Divisions then serving in the field. The 4th Division sailed for France in August 1916.

Canadians were spared the early battles of the Somme in the summer of 1916, though a separate force, the 1st Newfoundland Regiment, was annihilated at Beaumont Hamel on the disastrous first day of 1 July. When Canadians entered the battle on 30 August, their experience helped toward limited gains, though at high cost. By the end of the battle the Canadian Corps had reached its full strength of four divisions.

The Canadian Cavalry Brigade also served in France; the Canadian Railway Troops served on the Western Front and provided a bridge-building unit for the Middle East; and the Canadian Forestry Corps cut timber in Britain and France for the Allied war effort. Other specialized units also operated in the Caspian Sea area, in northern Russia and eastern Siberia. The overall peak strength of the CEF was 388,038, in July 1918. Thousands of Canadians also served during the war in the British flying services, in the Royal Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy and in other Allied units, but these were not part of the CEF.

The Canadian Railway Corps and the Canadian Forestry Corps were independent establishments. In Canada recruiting for a further 56 Infantry Battalions had been authorized to be raised by September 1915. From these battalions, reinforcing drafts for the 1st and later 2nd Divisions had proceeded overseas at a rate of around 5000 men per month. When the 3rd Canadian Division was formed in December 1915 from units already in England, it was comprised of the 7th, 8th and 9th Infantry Brigades.

The four battalions of the 8th Brigade were formed from the thirteen Canadian Mounted Rifle Regiments, which were combined into four infantry battalions as the 8th (Canadian Mounted Rifle) Brigade. The thirteen regiments of the Canadian Mounted Rifles had previously been authorized in December 1914 for proposed service with the Imperial Forces in Egypt, but when they were found to be surplus to Imperial needs, they volunteered to fight as infantry.  (Chris Brooker)

Conscription

Canadians volunteered in large numbers for the CEF through 1914 and 1915. By late 1916, however, recruitment had slowed to a trickle, partly due to growing awareness about the horrors of trench warfare and the slaughter on the Western Front. In 1917, as Canadian casualties mounted, and the need for reinforcements increased, the Canadian government introduced calling up younger civilian men via the authority of the Military Service Act.

Conscription was wildly unpopular among some Canadians, especially in Quebec, but it was supported elsewhere. It deeply divided the country The Military Service Act was also inconsistently applied. Ultimately, about 100,000 men were conscripted, only 27,000 of whom were sent overseas. Of those, 24,132 served at the front. These conscripts (“MSA men”) were vital to the war effort in the final months of the conflict. With 48 battalions of infantry in the CEF, each with roughly 1000 men, the 24,000-plus conscripts represented a boost of about 500 men per battalion in the final battles of the war.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397028)

Canadian wounded being placed in Ambulance during advance on Lens. October, 1917.

Throughout the war, 630,000 Canadians served in the CEF, mostly volunteers. About 425,000 of those went overseas. The price of their sacrifice was high, more than 234,000 were killed or wounded, and thousands more came home alive but traumatized by their experiences. (The Canadian Encyclopedia)

Reference reading:

  • Tim Cook, At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1914-1916 Volume One (2007).
  • Tim Cook, Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1917-1918 Volume Two (2008).
  • Desmond Morton,When Your Number's Up: The Canadian Soldier in the First World War (1993).
  • G.W.L. Nicholson,Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919 (1964).
  • Bill Rawling, Surviving Trench Warfare: Technology and the Canadian Corps 1914-1918 (1992).
  • Timothy C. Winegard, For King and Kanata: Canadian Indians and the First World War (2012).
  • https://www.silverhawkauthor.com/books/whiz-bangs-woolly-bears-walter-ray-estabrooks-the-great-war

Old Hands

“I have seen troops coming out of the line tired and dirty after a big push, make their first halt for a little rest.  Sometimes a band would be waiting for them.  Marching when not weary and with a good band will give some folks a tremendous thrill.  But can you imagine a depleted unit coming out of the line from a hard position, tired, dirty, muddy and lousy, stumbling along just after dark, a few minutes halt just out of maximum gun range?  “Fall in.  Quick March.”  Imagine that a band has been waiting for them and what it would feel like as it begins playing “The British Grenadiers.”  The men would hunch their equipment up higher on their backs and their shoulders would straighten up.  They would all have fallen in line four abreast without an order.  No need for left-right.  The muddy boots would seem to lighten up, and darned if the feet don’t seem to get the beat of the music.  They are old hands, and would soon be disappearing into the night."  (Walter Ray Estabrooks, from Carleton County, New Brunswick)

Plans for the introduction of identifying coloured formation patches were made in August 1916. The colours initially selected for the three divisions in the field were red for the 1st Division, blue for the 2nd Division and white for the 3rd Division. These patches were introduced in September 1916. Initially being worn sewn on the back 1-inch below the collar. Within days of being introduced the colour of the 3rd Division was changed from white to black and later to grey. The units of the 2nd Division were given permission to move these to the sleeves within days. Presumably the other divisions also moved the patches from the back to the sleeves in the fall of 1916. The initial colour selected for the formation patches of the 4th Division which arrived in France in August 1916 was yellow but 4th Division formation patches were not adopted until 2 April 1917 these being green in colour and 1 ¾ by 3 ¾ inches in size. All Divisional signs were later formalized at 3 x 2-inches. In May 1917, after the battle of Vimy Ridge, the colour of the 3rd Divisions patches was changed from black to French-grey.

In addition to the rectangular colored divisional signs, the three infantry brigades within each division were also assigned identifying colours, these being green for the first brigade, red for the second, and blue for the third. Each of the four battalions within an infantry brigade were identified by an identifying geometric shape. This being a circle for the first battalion (a symbol with a single side), the second battalion a half or demi-circle (a two sided figure), the third battalion by a triangle (three sides), and the fourth battalion a square (four sides), a simple and elegant way of identifying soldiers of any unit.

By 1918 the wearing of formation patches had become formalized and encompassed almost all units in France. Brigade Headquarters personnel were identified by green red or blue 3 x ½ inch ‘bars’ worn over the divisional sign. The 5th Division formation patches were Garnet (Deep wine red) in colour and worn without brigade distinctions. Authorized Officers patterns were embroidered with an angular gold ‘bullion’ wire letter ‘C’ inset with five bars. It is known that the divisional sign was painted in white on all vehicles and examples are found painted in white on the steel ‘Brodie‘ helmet. (Chris Brooker)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3195150)

Large Naval guns being fired behind Canadian lines, April 1917.

In January 1917 the siege and heavy artillery that had served under Imperial Command since their entry into France came under command of the Canadian Corps. On the 1917 reorganization of the Canadian Field Artillery the 8th Brigade CFA was also brought under command of Canadian Corps.

The Canadian Corps was formed from the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September 1915 after the arrival of the 2nd Canadian Division in France. The corps was expanded by the addition of the 3rd Canadian Division in December 1915 and the 4th Canadian Division in August 1916. The organization of a 5th Canadian Division began in February 1917 but it was still not fully formed when it was broken up in February 1918 and its men were reallocated to reinforce the other four divisions.

The Canadian Corps that fought on the Western Front was the CEF’s largest formation and its principal combat element, but not its only one. Other units in the CEF served outside the Corps, including the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, forestry and railway units, and various medical hospitals.

Canada’s first fighting division in Europe, comprised mainly of troops from the First Contingent who had sailed in fall 1914, served as an individual division under British command. The growing size and complexity of Canadian forces overseas led in September 1915 to the creation of the Canadian Corps, an operational and administrative grouping of most Canadian fighting units and their supporting services. At first commanded by British Lieutenant-General Sir E.A.H. Alderson and, from May 1916 to June 1917, by British Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng, the Corps grew from an initial establishment of two divisions with approximately 35,000 troops to a powerful striking force of four divisions with 100,000 troops by early 1917. (Canadian War Museum)

Canadian Army Officer's General List cap badge. During the First World War the cap badge for officers on the General List included the Royal Arms, with a king's crown. It also bore the motto of the monarch “Dieu et mon droit” and the Order of the Garter Motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense.”

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

General List badge, version 1.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

General List badge, version 2.

General List

The general list cap badge was a standard badge worn by soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War. In principle, the general list cap badge distinguished Canadian soldiers from their British counterparts. In practice, however, most Canadian units and formations designed and purchased their own distinctive cap badges.

During the First World War, the Canadian government did not send existing Militia forces overseas. Instead, it solicited volunteers for a series of newly organized numbered battalions (1st Battalion, 2nd Battalion, etc.) for overseas service. These battalions became the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

A Canadian battalion in the First World War consisted of approximately 1,000 infantry soldiers. The battalion was normally organized into four equally-sized companies of soldiers. Battalions were the key elements that commanders used to attack the enemy, or to defend positions against enemy attacks. In the British and Canadian forces, four battalions were grouped together to form a brigade, and three brigades formed a division.

Note: the Master Reference for the data listed here is extracted from Chris Brooker's book on CEF badges: https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/insignia/brookerpdfs/Part%201%20Introduction.pdf

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3212819)

Lieutenant-General Edwin Alfred Hervey Alderson, KCB,(1859-1927), commander First Canadian Division (1914-15), commander Canadian Army Corps (1915-16), inspector-general, Canadian forces (1916-18).

The British and Canadian governments found no Canadian general qualified to command the First Contingent. Instead, Lieutenant-General E.A.H. Alderson, an experienced British officer who had commanded Canadian soldiers in the South African War, received the post. Alderson would guide the Canadians well through the first year and a half of war, but had difficulty fending off political interference from Ottawa.

MIKAN No. 3217368)

A Canadian Lance Corporal being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) by Lieutenant-General E.A.H. Alderson, near Loker, Belgium, on 9 March 1916.

The majority of soldiers of the Canadian Corps were British-born until near the end of the war, when the number of those of Canadian birth who had enlisted rose to 51 percent. They were mostly volunteers, as conscription was not implemented until near the end of the war in 1917. Ultimately, only 24,132 conscripts made it to France before 11 November 1918. In the later stages of the war the Canadian Corps was regarded by friend and foe alike as one of the most effective Allied military formations on the Western Front.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194438)

A Canadian speaking to a German prisoner, October 1916.

Great War Order of Battle, Canadian Army Corps, 1914-1918

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397919)

German guns inspected by Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur W. Currie, Amiens, France, in August 1918.

General Officer's badge

Canadian Corps Headquarters, General Officer Commanding: Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur W.  Currie.

When Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng was promoted to a higher command during the summer of 1917, he was succeeded by General Sir Arthur Currie, the commander of the 1st Division, giving the corps its first Canadian commander. Currie was able to reconcile the desire for national independence with the need for Allied integration. He resisted pressure to replace all British officers in high-ranking positions, retaining those who were successful until they could be replaced by trained and experienced Canadians. British staff officers made up a considerable part of the Corps – although by 1917, 7 of 12 infantry brigades were commanded by Canadians trained during the war, British regulars were the staff officers of the divisions and British officers held two-thirds of senior appointments across the infantry, artillery and Corps headquarters with only four of the most senior appointments being Canadian. Among the British officers were Alan Brooke (at the time a major of the Royal Artillery who planned the artillery barrages for Vimy Ridge and later) and William Ironside. Both became Field Marshals and held the position of Chief of the Imperial General Staff. (Alchetron)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3362396)

LGen Sir Arthur W. Currie being decorated by General Orth of the Belgian Army, in January 1918. From June 1917, the Canadians were led by Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie, a Canadian militia officer who rose during the war from command of a brigade to command of the entire Corps. Currie, who remained in command until 1919, is widely considered one of the war’s most capable generals.

Vimy Ridge

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3521906)

Large Naval Gun in action supporting Canadians in assault on Vimy Ridge, April 1917.

The Canadian Corps captured Vimy Ridge in April, 1917, in a daring attack that was a turning point in the war, and as Currie called it, "the grandest day the Corps ever had". During the German Spring Offensive of the spring and summer of 1918, the Canadian Corps supported British and French soldiers while they held the Germans back. Between August 8 and 11, 1918, the corps spearheaded the offensive during the Battle of Amiens. Here a significant defeat was inflicted on the Germans, causing the German commander-in-chief, General Erich Ludendorff, to call August 8 "the black day of the German army." This battle marked the start of the period of the war referred to as "Canada's Hundred Days". After Amiens, the Canadian Corps continued to lead the vanguard of an Allied push that ultimately ended on 11 November 1918 at Mons where the British Empire had first met in conflict with Imperial German forces in 1914. (Alchetron)

(Wikipedia ID: HD-SN-99-02150)

German General Headquarters, General Paul von Hindenburg, Kaiser Wilhelm II, General Erich Ludendorff, January 1917.

Canadian Corps General Staff: Brigadier-General P.P.  de B Radcliffe.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3404773)

Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng, General Officer Commanding the Canadian Corps, 29 May 1916 to 8 June  1917, with Brigadier-General J.G. Farmer, CMG, and Brigadier-General P.P. de B Radcliffe, DSO, May 1917.

Although the Canadian Corps was within and under the command of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), there was considerable political pressure in Canada, especially following the Battle of the Somme, in 1916, to have the corps fight as a single unit rather than have the divisions spread out through the whole army. The corps was commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir E.A.H. Alderson, until 1916. Political considerations caused command to be passed to Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng.

Deputy Adjutant and Quarter-Master-General: Brigadier-General J.G. Farmer.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Ordnance Corps

The Canadian Ordnance Corps served as a component of the Quarter-Master General’s Branch. The duties of the Ordnance Corps were to provide clothing, rifles, guns, equipment and ammunition and to maintain supplies of the same; and to provide the personnel to maintain the efficiency of equipment in the field. The Permanent Force component of the Corps was authorized 1 July 1903 under the designation Ordnance Stores Corp. Badges were authorized under General Order 30 of 1904 which reads in part ‘Collar: Gilt or gilding metal, The Ordnance Arms surmounted by the Beaver; height, 17/8-inches; width, 1 ¼-inches. On Puggaree and cloth Forage cap. Same as for collar badge, with a scroll below inscribed “Ordnance.” Height 1-5/8, width 1 ¼-inches. The title was changed to ‘The’ Canadian Ordnance Corps 2 December 1907. A Militia component was authorized 1 April 1912 as the Canadian Ordnance Corps this with three detachments No. 1 at London, No. 2 at Toronto and No. 3 at Kingston.

Thirty two all ranks of the (PF) Canadian Ordnance Corps sailed for England with the first contingent in October 1914, where an Ordnance Depot was established at Ashford in Kent, in the spring of 1915. The C.O.C. personnel were attested into the C.E.F. at Salisbury in England in February 1915. The only other listed numbers block is for No. 9 Detachment from Halifax in1918 these troops remaining in Canada. The establishment in England rose to 118 all ranks by September 1915. Overseas the maximum number of C.O.C. personnel serving with the C.E.F. was 25 Officers and 1,291 other ranks this in August 1917 by 31 December 1918 this number had been reduced to 20 Officers and 642 other ranks. An Ordnance Armourer Sergeant served with each infantry battalion and an Ordnance Armament Artificer with each artillery brigade. In the field each division was assigned a C.O.C. Armourer Sergeant Major, each infantry brigade an Armourer Quarter-Master Sergeant and each battalion an Armourer Staff-Sergeant. For the Canadian Artillery, the C.O.C. maintained two Light and one Medium Ordnance Mobile Workshops, which were attached to the Canadian Corps. In addition each battery of Heavy or Siege Artillery was assigned a C.O.C. Armament Officer. In the field, equipment that became unfit for use was returned to an Ordnance Corps Depot for repair. In the field, minor repairs were performed by Ordnance Mobile Workshops. The personnel of the Ordnance Workshops at the base depots comprised of armourers, wheelwrights, tailors, cobblers, carpenters etc. These men being selected from other units and trained for their special duties.

Canadian Arms Inspection Department

On arrival in England in 1915 a small repair shop the Canadian Arms Inspection and Repair Depot(C.A.I.R.D.) was established this small unit wearing its own distinctive badges these being authorized 31 October 1915.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3219264)

General Officer Commanding Royal Artillery: Brigadier-General E.W.B. Morrison, November 1917.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3404976)

BGen W.B. Lindsay, 5th from the left, inspecting a monorail car. July 1918.

Chief Engineer: Brigadier-General W.B. Lindsay, later Major General William Bethune Lindsay, CB, CMG, DSO (3 October 1880 – 27 June 1933)

Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) Administration Units

The CEF was formed in 1914 under the Department of Militia in Ottawa which continued to be in overall command. After the arrival of the 1st Contingent in England a General Headquarters was established in October 1914. At the end of 1915 after the arrival of the 2nd Division a Corps Headquarters was established in France.

Administration Headquarters UK, Corps H.Q. France

Corps of Military Staff Clerks

The Corps of Military Staff Clerks was established as a Corps of the Permanent Canadian Militia in 1906with a single detachment in two sections located at Ottawa. One as the Corps of Military Staff Clerks and the second The Staff Orderly Service. The uniform of the Corps being authorized under General Order 125 of July 1907. The Corps remained a tiny regular force unit until the First World War when it was greatly expanded to meet the needs of both the Militia in Canada and the CEF overseas. After the First World War, the corps was again reduced to just 110 personnel.

(Fredericton Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Postal Corps

The Canadian Postal Corps was raised on 3 May 1911 with 8 detachments representing most of the Military Areas in Canada. On 11 September 1914 No. 4 Postal Detachment, Canadian Postal Corps from Montreal was ordered to Camp Valcartier to take up postal duties at Camp Valcartier. In addition one officer and 16 OR’s were selected from the NPAM to join the CEF. Of these one Officer and 8 OR’s sailed with the first contingent in October 1914.

(Fredericton Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Army Pay Corps

The Corps was formed as the Canadian Army Pay Corps (CAPC) under General Order 168 of 1906 with effect from 1January 1907. The establishment was set at 11 Officers and 22 other ranks. Prior to the formation of the CAPC district paymasters belonging to the Militia Staffs formed part of the Volunteer and Service Militia Corps. By the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 the establishment of the C.A.P.C. had been increased to 16 Officers and 44 Other ranks. A Chief Paymaster, five officers with 14 other ranks sailed for England with the 1st Contingent in October 1914. Each CEF Battalion had a Paymaster and Pay Sergeant who were members of the unit in which they served but did not belong to the C.A.P.C. In 1917 all Paymasters and Pay Sergeants were transferred to the Canadian Army Pay Corps. By the war’s end almost 2000 personnel, both military and civilian, were serving overseas with the C.A.P.C. Under General Order 2 of 2 January 1919 the establishment of the Canadian Army Pay Corps C.E.F. in Canada was set at 245 Officers and 615 other ranks. Under General Order 90 of November 3rd 1919 the establishment of the Permanent Canadian Army Pay Corps was set at 40 officers and 100 other ranks however only 20 officers and 70 other ranks were appointed. Under General Order 190 of 1 November 1920 King George V granted the Canadian Permanent Army Pay Corps the designation ‘Royal’ for their services in the First World War.  (Chris Brooker)

Department of the Auditor General

Prior to the First World War there was only a need for a very small Pay Corps Staff by the end of the First World War a staff of 1000 other ranks was working in England as well as a small staff on the Continent. The function of the Canadian Army Pay Corps was the administration of matters relating to Pay and allowances of All Ranks. Payment of all debts incurred by the Canadian Government with its contractors, with the British, and with other Governments and making of all payments to the troops of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada and to their dependants. In France there was a Field Cashier for each Division and one for Corps Troops each with a Paymasters and OR’s for clerical work. In England where the bulk of the record keeping was kept, the Canadian Army Pay Corps Ledgers were posted during the day and these were checked by staff from the Auditor General’s Staff each night. The Department of the Auditor General was established by Order in Council 1614 in 1917.

Canadian Army Chaplain Corps

In October 1914 33 chaplains accompanied the 1st Contingent when it sailed from Canada, at this time listed as “surplus to establishment”. The War Office in London thought that 11 was sufficient to accompany the 1st Division to France and 22 were left behind to administer to the 2nd Division on its arrival from Canada. In France the Canadian Chaplains Services was formed on 15 March 1917 and was organized under an Assistant Director of Chaplain Services, a Deputy Assistant Director of Chaplain Services, four Senior Chaplains, one Corps Chaplain and 90 Chaplains serving the needs of the Canadian Corps. By 1917 the number of Chaplains serving in France had risen to a total of 280. Church of England (102), Roman Catholic (53), Presbyterian (58), Methodist (33), Baptist (14), Congregational (2), Salvation Army (4), Russian Orthodox (1) with a further 13 undetermined (Jewish?), a further ten being added in 1918. In total 426 Chaplains served overseas. It was not until October 1918 that the Canadian Chaplain’s Services adopted the distinctively Canadian pattern cap and collar badges. (Chris Brooker)

Canadian Military Police

Just two officers and 18 Military Policemen sailed with the 1st Contingent on October 3rd 1914. No detail appears in General Orders concerning the organization and operation of the Canadian Military Police overseas. Presumably two detachments were organized one serving under HQ in England and a second under Corps HQ in France. In Canada the Military Police Corps was organized under General Order 93 of 1917.

Canadian Army Gymnastic Staff

The Canadian Army Gymnastic Staff was a small cadre of specialists who provided training to the personnel to become the qualified instructors in physical training, bayonet fighting, recreational training and remedial gymnastics for the Canadian Army Overseas. The school, this was originally located at Shorncliffe but later moved to Bordon. All instructors had previously been wounded in the field. The cap and collar badges were worn only by the instructors at the school and not by their students, a uniform has been noted with a collar badges also worn on the shoulder straps. A larger size badge was also worn as a sleeve badge over the chevrons by sergeant instructors both at the school and by the NCO graduates. During the course of the First World War, a total of 1,300 Officers and 2,966 Other ranks attended courses provided by the Canadian Army Gymnastic Staff.

Canadian School of Musketry

The Canadian Musketry School was established in November 1916 at Mytchett Camp located between the two great Infantry Camps of Witley and Bramshott. This was set up to train Musketry Instructors for the Reserve and Training Battalions of the CEF troops in England. The Canadian Musketry School was one ofa number of specialized establishments staffed by experienced sergeants who had previously been wounded in the field. The school at Camp Mytchett was used to train Musketry Instructors for the revolver, Hotchkiss and Lewis Gun in addition to the rifle. Musketry Instructors were identified by arm badges consisting of a crown over crossed rifles. The 1912 General Orders describe these as drab or gold on red but gilding metal badges were worn during the First World War. Badges were only worn by the staff at the school and were not worn by the ‘students’. From its opening in November 1916 until it closed at the end of the war the tiny school staff of the Canadian Musketry School trained 2,142 Officers and 4,657 other ranks as qualified instructors.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Officer’s Training Corps

Beginning in 1901 and pre dating the formation of the C.O.T.C. a number of engineer cadet companies were established at some of Canada’s larger universities. These including the University of Toronto (1901) this designated as No. 2 Field Company C.E. in 1904. At Dalhousie University at Halifax in 1907, at Queen’s University at Kingston this designated as the 5th Field Company in 1910. In 1912 the first Canadian Officers Training Corps (COTC) was established at McGill University with contingents being formed at most colleges and universities shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. Many of Canada’s universities were established by religious organizations with which they remained affiliated until the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968. During both World Wars all male students of Canada’s Universities were enrolled in the COTC.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Royal Military College Gentlemen Cadets

Khaki University

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Alberta University Contingent

In Military District 13 the Alberta University Contingent, Canadian Officers’ Training Corps was authorized under General Order 202, of December 1914 reading in part “Military District No. 13. - The formation of a contingent consisting of 1 Company of the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps, to be designated the “Alberta University Contingent, Canadian Officers’ Training Corps” is authorized at Alberta University, Edmonton, Altberta.” In 1916 the University of Alberta C.O.T.C. provided a company of 250 volunteers to the 196th (Western Universities) Battalion.

Dalhousie University Contingent

Dalhousie University. Organized on 2 November 1914. 4 Companies. No.7 (Dalhousie University)Stationary Hospital was organized October 21st 1915 being authorized under General Order 151 of 22 December 1915.

Laval University Contingent

Laval University. Organized on 15 April 1913. Reorganized 1 July 1916. 2 Companies. During the war Laval University raised the No. 6 (Laval) Canadian Stationary Hospital.

McGill University Contingent

The McGill University Contingent Canadian Officers Training Corps was organized under General Order 18 211 of November 1912 with two companies. This was the first C.O.T.C. contingent raised. By 1917 the McGill Contingent had been expanded to eight companies. A satellite contingent with two companies having been formed at MacDonald College on 15 December 1914 . Another satellite company at McGill (British Columbia) was disbanded in September 1915 when the University of British Columbia became an independent university. Its COTC contingent was organized with three companies. McGill University provided a large number of volunteers to the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the war. In addition to the majority of reinforcements for the P.P.C.L.I., the faculty, students and alumni raised the No. 3 Stationary Hospital, The McGill Siege Battery and the 148th Infantry Battalion; and companies for the 1st and 2nd Canadian Tank Battalions C.M.G.C. and the Canadian Engineers.

Queen’s University Contingent

Queen’s University Contingent was organized on 1 February 1915 with 4 Companies. Faculty, students and alumni of Queen’s University raised numerous units for service with the C. E. F. The No. 5 (Queen’s University) Canadian Stationary Hospital, (later redesignated as No. 7 (Queen’s University) Canadian General Hospital, and the No. 9 (Queens University) Canadian Field Ambulance, serving with the C.A.M.C. The 253rd (Queen’s University) Infantry Battalion, and a number of artillery batteries served with the Canadian Artillery.

Saskatchewan University Contingent

The Saskatchewan University Contingent was organized on 15 December 1915 with three Companies. Being authorized under General Order 149 of 1915. During the war 342 students, faculty, and staff enlisted in the C.E.F. of which 67 were killed, 100 were wounded, and 33 received decorations. In the war, the No. 8 (University of Saskatchewan) Stationary Hospital was organized at the University of Saskatchewan.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

University of Toronto Contingent

General Order 177 of November 1914. 2nd Division. The formation of a contingent consisting of 9 companies of Canadian Officers’ Training Corps, to be designated the “University of Toronto Contingent” is authorized at the University of Toronto, on 15 October  1914. As Canada’s largest university the U of T supplied many volunteers for the C.E.F. and also provided its grounds and buildings for training and organizing forces for the C.E.F. Both the 123rd and 228th Battalions assembled on the campus and in January 1916 the headquarters of the Canadian branch of the Royal Flying Corps was also established there. Some 4,113 Officers and 1,538 other ranks from the faculty, students and alumni served in the C.E.F. Of these, 613 were killed in action or died while in service in the war. The university supplied the staff for the No. 4 Canadian General Hospital and raised the 67th Depot Battery, CFA. Also the majority of Officers of the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, established in October 1915, were graduates of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Under General Order 69 of July 1916 the No. 6 Toronto University Company was called out on active service.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian branch of the Royal Flying Corps

Militia Regiments raised during the First World War

During the First World War, a number of "new" militia regiments were established to attest volunteers into the militia, a requirement made at the beginning of the war. Some of these regiments were given regimental numbers of defunct military regiments. Although not part of the CEF they are included here for information on the formation of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. These militia regiments were the 55th Irish Canadian Rangers the 58th (Westmount) Rifles, both located at Montreal, Quebec, the 70th Regiment at Hull, Quebec, the 108th Regiment raised at Berlin (later renamed Kitchener), Ontario, and the 109th and 110th Irish Regiments, both raised in Toronto, Ontario.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

55th Irish Canadian Rangers

The 55th Regiment (Canadian Rangers) was authorized under General Order 144 of 29 August 1914 as an eight company regiment of infantry with headquarters at Montreal. Under General Order 202 of December 1914 the regiment was reorganized as a four company regiment.

58th Westmount Rifles

The 58th Regiment (Westmount Rifles) was authorized under General Order 2 of November 1914 as a four company regiment of infantry with headquarters at Westmount, Quebec. In 1917 the regiment was redesignated the 58th Regiment and later in the war became the regimental depot for the 14th Battalion.  In the 1920 post-war reorganization of the Canadian Militia, the 58th Regiment was disbanded and immediately reconstituted as the Royal Montreal Regiment.

70th (Hull) Regiment

The 70th Regiment, was authorized under General Order 7 of 7 August 1914 as an eight company regiment of Infantry with headquarters at Hull, Quebec.

The 109th Regiment

The 109th Regiment was authorized under General Order 201 of December 15th 1914 as an eight company regiment of infantry with headquarters at Toronto, Ontario. The battalion was commanded by J.J Fee and headquartered in the town of Lindsay prior to embarkation. By the spring of 1916 the battalion had reached a strength of 1050 men and was embarked for England. On arrival in London the battalion strength was reallocated as reinforcements to replace the dead in the 20th, 21st, 28th and Battalions.

110th Irish Regiment

The 110th Irish Regiment was organized at Toronto under General Order 15 of 15 October 1914 with a single battalion of eight companies. During the war the regiment raised the 1st Canadian Machine Gun Battalion, the 180th (Sportsman) Battalion, and the 208th (Canadian Irish) Battalion.

Corps Troops of the CEF

Cavalry

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3404510)

Canadian Cavalry in France, in training, descending a steep bank. August 1917.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3404510)

Canadian Cavalry charging up a steep hill in France, August 1917.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3403162)

Canadian Cavalry bringing in prisoners, Amiens, France, August 1918.

The Canadian Cavalry Brigade was raised in December 1914, under its first commanding officer, Brigadier-General J.E.B. Seely.  It was originally composed of two Canadian and one British regiments, and an attached artillery battery. The Canadian units were the Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD), Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) LdSH (RC), and the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA) battery. The British regiment was the 2nd King Edward’s Horse (The King’s Overseas Dominions Regiment (2 KEH). 2 KEH was replaced by The Fort Garry Horse in February 1916.

The Canadian Cavalry Brigade was concentrated at Maresfield Park near Uckfield in Sussex. When the 1st (Canadian) Division sailed for France early in April 1915 Seely’s Detachment was left in England but by 4 May 1915 losses in the 1st Division had reached 200 Officers and almost 6,000 other ranks killed, wounded or gassed. The desperate need for reinforcements saw the Canadian Cavalry Brigade being asked to serve as infantry and Seely’s Brigade less the RCHA sailed for France on 4 May 1915 serving as infantry for the remainder of the year. In January 1916 the 2nd King Edward’s Light Horse was withdrawn from the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and replaced with the 34th Fort Garry Horse. For the remainder of the war the Canadian Cavalry Brigade served with the British Cavalry Corps.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3521740)

General Sir Sam Hughes and Party at Canadian Cavalry Headquarters. August, 1916.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3219797)

Brigadier General Walter Robert Paterson, CMG, DSO, GOC Canadian Cavalry Brigade, February 1919.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405859)

RCD riding through Camp Valcartier, c 1914-1919.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3667184)

(Fredericton Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Royal Canadian Dragoons. The regiment was placed on active service on 6 August 1914 for instructional and camp administration duties. On 14 September 1914 the regiment mobilized The Royal Canadian Dragoons, CEF, which embarked for England on 3 October 1914. On 5 May 1915 it disembarked in France, where it fought dismounted in an infantry role as part of Seely's Detachment (really the Canadian Cavalry Brigade), 1st Canadian Division. On 24 January 1916, it remounted and resumed its cavalry role as part of the 1st Canadian Cavalry Brigade with whom it continued to fight in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The overseas regiment disbanded on 6 November 1920. (Official Lineages Volume 3, Part 1: Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments – Armour Regiments. Directorate of History and Heritage)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397634)

Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), June 1916.

(Fredericton Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Lord Strathcona’s Horse. The regiment was placed on active service at the start of the Great War on 6 August 1914 for instructional and camp administration duties. On 14 September 1914 the regiment mobilized Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), CEF, which embarked for England on 3 October 1914. On 5 May 1915 it disembarked in France, where it fought dismounted in an infantry role with Seeley's Detachment (really the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, part of the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division), 1st Canadian Division. On 27 January 1916, the regiment remounted and resumed its cavalry role as part of the 1st Canadian Cavalry Brigade, with whom it continued to fight in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The overseas regiment disbanded on 6 November 1920.

2nd King Edward’s Light Horse (1914 - 1915)

The 2nd King Edward’s Horse was an Imperial regiment raised effective 10 August 1914 from colonialex-soldiers living in Great Britain, the unit containing a large proportion of Canadians. The regiment served in the Canadian Cavalry Brigade until February 1916 when it was replaced in the Canadian CavalryBrigade by the Fort Garry Horse.

34th Fort Garry Horse

The Fort Garry Horse was raised as the 34th Regiment of Cavalry at Winnipeg effective 15 April 1912 being redesignated as the 34th Fort Garry Horse on 12 January 1913.  During the war, the 34th Fort Garry Horse contributed about one quarter of the troops forming the 6th (Western Cavalry) Battalion CEF, to serve as an infantry battalion. The unit was formed at Camp Valcartier in August 1914 from the personnel of various Western Cavalry Regiments. The 18th Mounted Rifles (160), 20th Border Horse (123), 22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse (175), 23rd Alberta Rangers (78), 32nd Manitoba Horse (44), and the 34th Fort Garry Horse (234). The 6th Battalion sailed for England with the 1st Contingent on 3 October 1914. After its arrival the battalion was found to be surplus to divisional requirements and was redesignated as the Canadian Cavalry Depot this being relocated to Canterbury by 3 September 1915 with a total of 1758 all ranks.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405682)

Fort Garry Horse passing through a village on the Cambrai in front, December 1917.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405681)

Some of the 43 soldiers of the Fort Garry Horse who charged the Germans at Cambrai. December 1917.

(Fredericton Museum Collection, Author Photo)

6th (Western Canada) Battalion, Fort Garry Horse. Authorized 10 August 1914, disbanded 5 April 1918.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Machine Gun units in the CEF

Three different machine gun elements were to serve in the CEF during the war. The Canadian Cavalry Brigade Machine Gun Squadron, the Motor Machine Gun squadrons, (later brigades), and infantry machine gun sections, these later being augmented with brigade machine gun companies and eventually divisional machine gun brigades under command of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps.

1st Canadian Machine Gun Squadron

The Canadian Cavalry Brigade Machine Gun Squadron was formed at Tully in France from the machine gun sections of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (RC), and the Fort Gary Horse under command of Captain W.T. Lawless (Permanent Force) on 20 February 1916 but command passed to Major W.R. Walker on 5 March 1916 and later on the same day to Major J.H. Boulter. The Canadian Cavalry Brigade Machine Gun Squadron was equipped with the .303-inch Lewis light machine gun. The designation being altered to the 1st Canadian Machine Gun Squadron on 4 April 1917.

The Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade

Independent Motor Machine Gun Companies

Although prior to the War the Canadian Government was slow to adopt the Machine Gun some far sighted individuals saw that in any future conflict this weapon would hold a decisive role. Major Raymond Bruitinel persuaded a number of wealthy Canadian Businessmen to defray the cost of purchasing the equipment for an armoured car battery. Eight armoured cars, each with two colt machine guns, 12 unarmored trucks , four cars, 18 motorcycles (scouts) and a motor ambulance. On 29 August 1914 Sir Clifford Sifton’s offer was accepted and Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No. 1 was formed with a compliment of nine Officers and 114 other ranks. The armoured cars being built by the Autocar Company of Ardmore, Pennsylvania to Bruitinel design.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395368)

Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade Carrier, France, April 1918.  

Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No. 1

(The Canadian) Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No. 1, or Sifton’s Battery, was formed under General Order 150 of 15 September 1914 and sailed for England with the 1st Contingent in October 1914, where it was located at Bustard Camp. The AMGB was joined in England by the ‘Houghton Detachment’. This was a group of 2 Officers and 55 OR’s who enlisted at Winnipeg and Port Arthur as a machine gun section for the Fort Garry Horse, though not part of the battalion establishment. One officer and 15 OR‘s sailed with the 6th Battalion (FGH) on 3 October 1914. The rest of the detachment, one officer and 40 OR‘s arrived too late to sail as part of the 1st Contingent and sailed in civilian clothes at their own expense to Scotland where the British Army arranged their transport to join the rest of the detachment on Salisbury Plains, where the unit became part of the Automobile Machine Gun Brigade. The Automobile Machine Gun Brigade did not sail for France with the 1st Division but remained in England attached to the British South Eastern Mounted Brigade at Ashford in Kent on a Home Defence role until June 1915. The brass ‘AMGB’ over a Colt machine gun ‘regimental’ shoulder title is believed to be a post war pattern.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3623108)

Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade Carrier, Amiens, France, 8 August 1918.

The Independent Machine gun Batteries

After the 1st Automobile Motor Machine Gun Corps had been raised and proceeded to England with the first Contingent three other machine gun batteries, two of them motorized, were raised with financing from private funds. All three proceeded to England with the 2nd Division although the War Office had advised against their inclusion, and they sailed without equipment or vehicles.

Borden’s Armoured Battery

Borden’s Armoured Battery, named for the Prime Minister Robert Borden, was raised in Ottawa and Northern Ontario under General Order 86 of 1 July 1914, the first members of the unit, two officers and 16 OR‘s, having been taken on strength by 31 December 1914. Legend on the collar badges reads ‘Borden’s Armoured Battery’.

Royal Canadian Horse and Garrison Artillery

The histories of the permanent force Royal Canadian Artillery and the militia Canadian Artillery during the war is extremely complicated. The non-permanent militia Canadian Artillery was established in 1857 long before the permanent force Royal Canadian Artillery. On the withdrawal of the bulk of the British troops from Canada during the period of the Crimean war in 1857, the Canadian Government issued a ‘white paper’ reorganizing the Canadian Militia. At this time a small non permanent artillery component of seven batteries was established. By 1892 this number had grown to 31 batteries of Garrison and 17 batteries of Field Artillery. The Permanent Force Artillery was established on 20 October 1871 when two batteries of Garrison Artillery, ‘A’ Battery located at Kingston, with a battery at Toronto, and ‘B’ Battery at Quebec City, were formed on the withdrawal of the British garrisons from these cities. These batteries were designated as Schools of Gunnery on 6 February 1880 and as Royal Schools of Gunnery on 10 August 1883. On this date a third battery, ‘C’ Battery was authorized for Victoria on Vancouver Island but this was not activated until 1887.

On 23 May 1893 the permanent force artillery was designated as the Royal Canadian Artillery. Also in 1893 ‘C’ Battery located at Victoria was disbanded and its personnel returned to Quebec City. The withdrawal of the Canadian gunners being occasioned by the British Government decision to build a Fortress at Esquimalt, initially manned by gunners of the Royal Marines Artillery, later replaced by No. 58 Company Royal Garrison Artillery. On 23 May 1893 the Canadian permanent force artillery was designated as the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA). Under General Order No. 50 of 18 August 1893 the permanent force artillery was reorganized into two components; the Royal Canadian Field Artillery and the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery. The R.C.F.A. with lettered batteries, ‘A’ Battery located at Kingston, and ‘B’ Battery at Quebec City. The R.C.G.A. was formed with numbered companies No. 1 and No.2 both being located at Quebec City. The nucleus of No. 2Company R.C.G.A. being formed mainly from the personnel of the disbanded ‘C’ Battery. In 1905 the last remnants of the British Army in Canada returned to England turning over the great coastal forts at Halifax and Esquimalt in BC to the Dominion Government. Effective 5  September 1905 the Royal Canadian Field Artillery was designated the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery increased from two to five companies.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Royal Garrison and Royal Canadian Horse Artillery 1911 - 1918

In 1910 the Royal Cypher of King George V was adopted replacing that of King Edward VII for the insignia throughout the British Empire.

The Canadian Light Horse

The 19th Alberta Dragoons

The regiment was formed as the 19th Alberta Mounted Rifles with headquarters at Edmonton effective 1 February 1908, being redesignated the 19th Alberta Dragoons in 1911. On 6 August 1914 Sir Sam Hughes named the 19th Alberta Dragoons as the Divisional Cavalry Squadron, the only cavalry regiment to be selected for service in the CEF. A total of 196 volunteers concentrated at Camp Valcartier with 190 sailing with the 1st Contingent on 3 October 1914. In England the 1st Divisional Cavalry Squadron was located at Bustard Camp and sailed for France on 9 February 1915. Of the troops of the 1st Division, the 19th Dragoons was the only Canadian regiment initially equipped with the SMLE (Small Magazine Lee Enfield) rifle, and not the longer Ross Mark III. (The only other exception being the PPCLI which served with the British Army until 1916). On 19 March 1917 the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Divisional Cavalry Squadrons were redesignated as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Squadron Canadian Light Horse.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

1st Hussars

The 1st Hussars were originally raised with headquarters at London, Ontario effective 31 May 1872. During the war, the regiment contributed 66 troops to the 1st Infantry Battalion on its formation in August 1914. Effective 1 December 1914. (Authorization date being 15 March 1915) The 7th Canadian Mounted Rifles, a three squadron regiment was formed from the 1st Hussars. With two squadrons, ‘A’ and ‘B’, at London, Ontario, and ‘C’ Squadron at Toronto. Effective 30 March 1915 ‘C’ Squadron was withdrawn from the 7th CMR while ‘A‘ and ‘B’ Squadrons were designated the 2nd Divisional Cavalry Squadron under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ibbotson Leonard sailing for England on 9 June 1915 without horses. After being equipped, the regiment sailed for France in mid 1915.

2nd Divisional Cavalry Squadron March 1915 -January 1916

Special Service Squadron First (Canadian) Hussars January 1916 - March 1917

In January 1916 authority was granted for the unit to be designated the Special Service Squadron First (Canadian) Hussars. In May 1916 the First Canadian Corps Cavalry Regiment was formed with a Headquarters and the three Divisional Cavalry Squadrons then serving in France. Effective 19 March 1917 the designation of the Special Service Squadron 1st (Canadian) Hussars was altered to ‘B’ Squadron Canadian Light Horse (1st Hussars).

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3624863)

Canadian Light Horse going into action at Vimy Ridge, April 1917.

3rd Divisional Cavalry Squadron (16th CLH) December 1915 -May 1916

16th Canadian Light Horse

The 16th Canadian Light Horse was organized July 3rd 1905 under the designation of the 16th Mounted Rifles with Regimental Headquarters and ‘C’ and ‘D’ Squadrons at Regina, ‘A’ Squadron at Moosamin and ‘B’ Squadron at Moose Jay. In 1907 ‘D’ Squadron was relocated from Regina to Grenfell. Effective 1 October 908 the designation was altered to the 16th Light Horse. The squadron sailed for France as Headquarters troops in January 1916 where in May 1916 the three divisional cavalry squadrons were amalgamated under the title of the First Canadian Corps Cavalry Regiment this designation being changed to the Canadian Light Horse effective 19 March 1917. The 19th Alberta Dragoons, formerly the 1st Divisional Cavalry Squadron becoming ‘A’ Squadron CLH. The 2nd Divisional Cavalry Squadron (Special Service Squadron First (Canadian) Hussars) becoming ‘B’ Squadron CLH. The 3rd Divisional Cavalry Squadron the 16th Canadian Light Horse becoming ‘C’ Squadron CLH.

Canadian Light Horse. The CLH was formed as the Canadian Corps Cavalry Regiment in May 1916, by the amalgamation of three divisional cavalry squadrons then serving in France: the 1st Divisional Cavalry Squadron (19th Alberta Dragoons), the 2nd Divisional Cavalry Squadron (1st Hussars), and the 3rd Divisional Cavalry Squadron (16th Light Horse). The First Canadian Corps Cavalry Regiment was redesignated the Canadian Light Horse effective 19 March 1917. The CLH participated in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the 100 Days Offensive. The regiment's duties included mounted patrol work, dispatch riding, escort duties, and traffic control, as well as pursuit of the enemy during offensive operations. On 10 October 1918, at 2:15 pm, A and C Squadrons charged the enemy with 280 horses at Iwuy, a village 9 km northeast of Cambrai.  The 4th Divisional Cavalry Squadron authorized under General Order 69 of 15 July 1916, was absorbed into the Canadian Cavalry Depot in England though not officially disbanded until General Order 207 of 15 November 1920.

Royal North West Mounted Police Squadron. In May 1918, a force of 738 mounted police were sent overseas to form "A" Squadron, and a further 186 were deployed to Siberia to support the British forces engaged in the civil war.   In October 1918 ‘A’ Squadron RNWMP was attached to the Canadian Light Horse serving with the CLH until the conclusion of hostilities on 11 November 1918. The RNWMP were not authorized by General Order but created under authority of the Order in Council P.C. 2067 of 6 August 1914.

The North West Mounted Police became the Royal North West Mounted Police on 24 June 1904 and by an Order in Council dated 27 January 1920 became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In May 1916 the First Canadian Corps Cavalry Regiment was formed with a Headquarters and the three Divisional Cavalry Squadrons then serving in France (The 4th Divisional Cavalry Squadron authorized under General Order 69 July 15th 1916, was absorbed into the Canadian Cavalry Depot in England though not officially disbanded until General Order 207 of November 15th 1920.) The First Canadian Corps Cavalry Regiment was redesignated the Canadian Light Horse effective 19 March 1917. The Royal North West Mounted Police was finally granted permission to raise a cavalry draft in May 1918with regimental numbers block 2,683711 - 2,685710. The RNWMP Draft enlisted 12 officers and 231Other ranks under command of Inspector (Rank of Major) G.L. Jennings being joined by 495 other recruits(Many of these retired former members of the RNWMP.) From these ‘A’ Squadron was formed this sailing for England on 6 June 1918 with 6 Officers and 154 troopers where it was assigned to the Canadian Reserve Cavalry Regiment being formed into four troops ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ for service with the Canadian Light Horse in France. ‘B’ Troop under command of Lieutenant T. Dann and C’ Troop under command of Lieutenant S.T. Wood sailed for France on 6 October  1918, ‘A’ and ‘D’ Troops were amalgamated and sailed for France on 4 November 1918 just days before the Armistice. The ‘Special Squadron RNWMP’ did not serve as a unit but as general reinforcements for the CLH where it is reported the personnel were reassigned to Corps Headquarters serving as dispatch riders. The CEF component of the R.N.W.M.P. was disbanded under General Order 207 of November 15th 1920.In Canada in the autumn of 1918 Force under General Order 128 of November 1918 a further six officers and 181 other ranks were recruited to serve in ‘B’ Squadron for the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary. The RNWMP Draft was disbanded under General Order 215 of November 1920.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395415)

Canadians with Russian 37-mm McLean light gun, Northern Russia, c. May 1919.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194493)

Personnel of the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force with truck, Jan-May 1919.

Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force

Under General Order 128 of 1918 an expeditionary force was authorized for service in Siberia. The General Order detailing the various units to comprise the force the preamble reading ‘His Excellency the Governor in Council has been pleased to authorize for dispatch for duty in Siberia of the following and other Corps or Details and Detachments thereof, and such other personnel as the circumstances require for Headquarters, Base, Record, Remount and other like duties:’ Commissioner Perry was ordered to recruit a cavalry squadron to assist the CSEF six Officers and 181 other ranks embarked for Russia as ‘B’ Squadron RNWMP serving until returning to Canada in May 1919.

(Author Photo)

Corps of Guides

The Corps of Guides was an elite mounted corps of the non-permanent militia formed by the Dominion Government following the experience gained during the Boer War. The purpose of the Corps of Guides was to be familiar with the terrain of Canada so as to render vital intelligence to any forces sent to defend Canadian Territory from an invading force. The Corps was established in under General Order 61 of April 1903 with companies serving under Headquarters of both Commands and Districts. Officers badges were authorized under General Order 85 of 1905 and shoulder badges for other ranks under General Order 165 of 1912. Under General Order 55 of 1913 the establishment was set at 40 all ranks for each company. On the outbreak of the war the Corps of Guides sent 235 personnel to Camp Valcartier in August 1914. With the exception of the Indian Army ‘Guides’ were not carried on the establishment of the British Army, this being the basis on which the 1st Contingent was formed. The troopers then volunteered for other units then being formed at Camp Valcartier. Including the R.C.D., L.S.H., 1st Divisional Cavalry Squadron and the 1st Divisional Cyclist Company. The title ‘Corps of Guides’ is also emblazoned on the badge of the 5th (Western Cavalry) presumably a large contingent transferred to the 5th Battalion after its arrival in Great Britain. During war, as the use and reliability of motorized vehicles saw the need for mounted troops decline and in the post-war reorganization of the Canadian Militia the Corps of Guides were reorganized into cyclist companies. Effective 31 March 1929, the Corps of Guides was disbanded and the personnel absorbed into the non-permanent Canadian Corps of Signals.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3403150)

German prisoner interrogated by Intelligence Officer. February, 1918.

(Fredericton Region Museum, Author Photo)

Artillery

 

Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Brigade

 

8th Army Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery

           

24th, 30th, 32nd Field Batteries

           43rd Howitzer Battery

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194797)

Pack horses taking up ammunition to guns of 20th Battery, CFA, Neuville St. Vaast, April 1917.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3404888)

Canadian Artillery getting fodder from a forage dump for their horses, May 1918.

8th Army Brigade Ammunition Column

The 8th Canadian Field Artillery Brigade, 3rd Divisional Artillery was reorganized and redesignated as the 8th Army Brigade CFA. in France on 8 July 1917 under command of Lieutenant-Colonel J.C. Stewart D.S.O. (27th Battery CFA). From the original establishment the Brigade retained only the 30th Battery and taking the 32nd Battery from the 9th Brigade, the 43rd (Howitzer) Battery from the 10th Brigade and a new ad hoc 24th Battery formed with surplus personnel. The 8th Army Brigade CFA was the only artillery brigade to retain a brigade ammunition column.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194240)

 Anti-aircraft gunners preparing to engage German fighters in October 1916.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395208)

13-pounder 9-cwt QF Anti-Aircraft Gun in action, Oct 1916.

“E” Anti-Aircraft Battery

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522268)

Canadian Corps Heavy Artillery in action. Advance East of Arras. September, 1918.

Corps Heavy Artillery

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395600)

Canadian Artillery Observation Post in reserve line, Jan 1918.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405482)

Canadian gunners loading an 18-pounder field gun.

 

1st Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery

           1st, 3rd, 7th, Siege Batteries

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

9th Overseas Siege Battery

The battery was formed in June 1916 as a draft giving depot battery at Saint John, New Brunswick under command of Major P.W. Wetmore. The 9th Overseas Battery Siege Artillery was disbanded under G.O.191 of 15 November 1920.

 

2nd Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery

 (Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Cobourg Heavy Battery Overseas badge. The Cobourg Heavy Battery was placed on active service on 6 August 1914 and served in Lévis, Quebec, and Vancouver, British Columbia, providing coastal artillery support in the fall of 1914. The 2nd Heavy Battery, which was authorized on 7 November 1914 as the '2nd Heavy Battery, CGA, CEF' embarked for Britain on 15 June 1915.  The battery disembarked in France on 16 September 1915, where it provided heavy artillery support as part of the 2nd Brigade, CGA, CEF in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battery was disbanded on 23 October 1920.

           1st, 2nd Heavy Batteries

           2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th Siege Batteries

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522237)

BL 60-pounder field guns in action. Battle of Amiens. August 1918.

3rd Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery

 

           8th, 10th, 11th, 12th Siege Batteries

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194805)

Large Naval gun in action at night behind Canadian lines, May, 1917.

5th Divisional Artillery

 

13th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

50th Overseas Depot Battery

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

52nd Overseas Depot Battery

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

53rd Overseas Depot Battery

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

55th Overseas Depot Battery Battery

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

51st Howitzer Battery

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

13th Brigade Ammunition Column. This unit was unique in the Canadian Field Artillery by adopting an unauthorized regimental cap badge. The Motto on wheel reads ‘Brigade Ammunition Column’.

 

14th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery

60th Overseas Depot Battery

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

61st Overseas Depot Battery

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

66th Overseas Depot Battery

58th Howitzer Battery

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3517339)

 8-inch Mk. VI Howitzer, April 1917.

5th Divisional Ammunition Column

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Engineers

 

           1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Army Troops Companies

           Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Company

           3rd Tunneling Company

Corps Survey Section

1st Tramway Company, 2nd Tramway Company

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Machine-Gun Corps

 

1st Canadian Motor Machine-Gun Brigade

The Eaton Machine Gun Battery was mobilized on 1 January 1915, under the patronage of Sir John Craig Eaton and arrived in England on 15 June. In January 1916, the name was changed to the Eaton Motor Machine Gun Battery. When the battery arrived in France on 26 February, it served as part of the 3rd Canadian Division. From July 1916 to June 1918, it was transferred to the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade as D Battery, and the troops were allowed to wear their own badges. In June 1918, the battery was absorbed into the 2nd Canadian Motor Machine Gun Battery as B Battery.

“A”, “B”, Borden, Eaton, Yukon Batteries

1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th

Machine-Gun Companies

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3933431)

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Army Service Corps

The main duties of the Canadian Army Service Corps (CASC) in France centered on the transport and supply of food, forage, ammunition, equipment, clothing and engineering material and stores. Corps personnel also repaired motor vehicles and each division had an ambulance repair workshop. In England, the CASC was also responsible for feeding the troops.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397955)

German transport wagon captured by Canadians, Oct 1918.

Canadian Corps Supply Column

Organized at Houdain in February 1917 under the command of Major E. M. Harris. Disbanded 15 April 1918: personnel absorbed by Canadian Corps Troops Mechanical Transport Company and by Nos. 2 and 3 Canadian Divisional Mechanical Transport Companies.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3404747)

 Canadian Corps Headquarters, group of Light Car Drivers, August, 1916.

           Corps Motor Transport Company

                       1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Motor Transport Companies

Engineers Motor Transport Company

                       Motor Machine Gun Motor Transport Company

                       5th Divisional Artillery Motor Transport Company

           

           5th Divisional Train Detachment

Organized at Witley in January 1917 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel E. C. Dean. Personnel from No. 3 Depot Canadian Army Service Corps. Detachment under the command of Captain G. M. Cooper. Arrived in France 21 August 1917 and served with 5th Canadian Divisional Artillery, 13th Brigade. Remainder disbanded 7 March 1918 and personnel transferred to Canadian Army Service Corps Depot.

  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194342)

Private Lawrence, aged 17, who was wounded fifteen minutes before the declaration of the Armistice ending the First World War.

Medical Corps

No. 1 Canadian General Hospital,

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 5065553)

Surgery Tent, No. 2 Canadian General Hospital, Le Tréport, France, 1917.

No. 2 Canadian General Hospital,

No. 3 Canadian General Hospital,

No. 6 Canadian General Hospital,

No. 7 Canadian General Hospital, No. 8 Canadian General Hospital

No. 2 Stationary Hospital, No. 3 Stationary Hospital, No. 7 Stationary Hospital,

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

No. 8 Stationary Hospital.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

No. 9 Stationary Hospital.

No. 10 Stationary Hospital

Forestry Corps Hospitals (6)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395761)

Operating Room. No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station, July 1916.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395809)

Casualty Clearing Station. The Princess Christian Hospital Train at the Front filling up with wounded. October, 1916.

No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station, No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station, No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station, No. 4 Casualty Clearing Station.

No. 7 (Cavalry) Field Ambulance.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395880)

Officer Commanding and Sisters of the 2nd Canadian Stationary Hospital, France. February, 1918.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395813)

Wounded soldiers being brought to a casualty clearing station from the front, October 1916.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395883)

A Canadian Field Ambulance in the forward area during the advance. Battle of Amiens. August, 1918.

Number 14 Field Ambulance

 

Canadian Railway Troops

(Author Photo)

Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps

As early as October of 1914 Canada offered to raise a railway construction corps of 500 skilled railwaymen at its own expense for service with the Imperial Government at that time the offer was declined.However the offer was accepted by telegram on January 21st 1915 and on February 2nd 1915 themobilization of the Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps commenced from experienced workersfrom the Canadian Pacific Railway at Saint John, N.B. The Corps comprising of a regimental headquarterswith two companies plus a 100 man reserve the organization being completed by May 15th 1915 the unit sailing for England June 15th 1915 and to France on 15 September 1915. Under General Order 11 of September 1918 the Overseas Canadian Railway Corps established March 5th 1915 and organized under General Order 86 of 1 July 1915 was disbanded. This brought under command of the Corps of Canadian RailwayTroops on its formation authorized under General Order 109 of 3 September 1918. Headquarters in Francewas under command of Major-General J.W. Stewart from March 2nd 1917 until demobilization. In England command was under Colonel B.M. Humble from March 18th 1917 until demobilization.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3405543)

Canadian Railway Troops passing through the ruins of a town after laying the track, October 1917.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3403701)

No. 1 Construction Battalion, street car being used for recruiting, 3 July 1916.

No. 1 Construction Battalion

No. 1 and No. 2 Construction Battalions were authorized under General Order 69 of July 1916 and disbanded under General Order 149 of 15 September 1920. Both units were raised in April 1916 from skilled but experienced building labour. The 1st Canadian Construction Battalion arrived in France in October 1916 where effective 11 November was converted and designated as the 1st Canadian Railway Construction Battalion. In February 1917 the designation was changed to the 1st Battalion Canadian Railway Troops. This unit was disbanded in 1920 under General Order 196.

(Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia Photo)

No. 2 Construction Battalion badge.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

1st Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, 2nd Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (formed from 127th York Rangers), 3rd Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (formed from the 239th Battalion), 4th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, 5th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, 6th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (formed from the 25th Battalion), 7th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, 8th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (formed from the 218th and 211th Battalions), 9th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (1st Pioneer Battalion), 10th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (formed from the 256th Battalion),

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

11th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (3rd Labour Battalion), 12th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (2nd Labour Battalion), 13th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops (Depot unit), 14th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops.

(Author Photo)

(New Brunswick Military History Museum Collection)

No. 1 Section, Skilled Railway Employees, No. 2 Section, Skilled Railway Employees, No. 3 Section, Skilled Railway Employees.

On 27 July 1916 the British Government asked if Canada could supply railway specialists in addition to the railway construction battalions either serving in France or being formed. Three sections of skilled railway employees were raised and later a fourth was formed from skilled personnel in France. These were raised as operating and engineering companies and not construction units, all serving under the British Royal Engineers.

No. 58 Broad Guage Railway Operating Company

No. 13 Canadian Light Railway Operating Company

No. 85 Canadian Engine Crew Company

No. 65 Wagon Erecting Company (Broad Guage Railways)

No. 1 Canadian BridgingCompany

Corps of Canadian Railway Troops April 1918

The Corps of Canadian Railway Troops was formed in France on 23 April 1918 under General Order 109 of September 1918. bringing all thirteen Canadian Railway Troop companies and the formerly independent Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps, the 58th Broad Gage Operating Company, the 13th Light Operating Company, the 85th Engine Crew Company and the 69th Wagon Erecting Company under itsadministrative control. Also under the supervision of the Corps of Canadian Railway Troops were the5000+ British Royal Engineer Railway Troops. A generic Canadian Railway Corps cap badge design was approved in October 1918 but the Armistice saw its manufacture cancelled. In Canada a depot was established June 5th 1918 as the Railway Construction Depot, M.D. 2, (this originally organized as aForestry Depot under G.O. 74 of 1917) under General Order 110 of September 1918 laid down as a depot battalion with a headquarters and four companies. During the last great German offensive in the spring of 1918 a number of Canadian Railway Troops were included in ad hoc infantry brigades to stem the German advance. 400 officers and men of the 2nd Battalion Canadian Railway Troops March 25th - 26th at Amiens and the personnel of the 5th and 11th CRT to help hold part of the front for the British 1st Division being bolstered by the addition of the 7thCRT a few days later.

Labour

(Internet Archive Photo)

1st Infantry Works Company, 2nd Infantry Works Company, 3rd Infantry Works Company, 4th Infantry Works Company

5th Area Employment Company, 6th Area Employment Company, 7th Area Employment Company, 8th Area Employment Company, 9th Area Employment Company

5th Divisional Employment Company. Organized in England in June 1916 under the command of Captain A. L. Brick. Designated Canadian Corps Headquarters Employment Company. Arrived in France 29 June 1917. Redesignated as 5th Canadian Area Employment Company on 11 August 1917. Ceased to exist on 6 February 1919. Its personnel returned to their original units.

6th Divisional Employment Company. Formed at Canadian Corps Headquarters, France in August 1917 under the command of Major J. Agnew. Absorbed by 8th Canadian Area Employment Company on 13 January 1919

7th Divisional Employment Company. Organized in France in September 1917 under the command of Major J. R. Vicars. Absorbed by 8th Canadian Area Employment Company on 17 January 1919.

8th Divisional Employment Company. Organized in France in September 1917 under the command of Major D. H. McLean. Personnel from Composite Company, Canadian Corps. Served in V and XIII (British) Corps, October - November 1917. Returned to Canadian Corps in November 1917. Absorbed 4th, 6th and 7th Canadian Employment Companies in January 1919. Ceased to exist on 9 May 1919.

9th Divisional Employment Company. Organized at Hersin in July 1918 under the command of Captain R. Pearson. Ceased to exist on 4 February 1919.

Miscellaneous Corps Troops

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194259)

A Canadian cyclist shouting down a dug-out in German for men to come out. Advance East of Arras, September 1918.

(Author Photo)

Canadian Cyclist Corps badges, ca 1914-1918, Author's Collection now in the New Brunswick Military History Museum, 5 Canadian Division Support Group Base Gagetown, New Brunswick.

Canadian Cyclist Battalion

Effective 16 May 1916 the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisional Cyclist Companies were amalgamated to form the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion, (authorized under General Order 63 1917) The 4th Divisional Cyclist Battalion in England was disbanded and the troops assigned to the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company as reinforcements. The formation patch for the Canadian Corps cyclist was a triangle of Red, Royal blue and French Grey representing the colours of the Division patch of the three Divisional Cyclist Companies forming the unit. The Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion was disbanded under General Order 208 of 15 November 1920.

1st Divisional Cyclist Company

Authority was issued on 14 September 1914 to form a cyclist company for inclusion in the 1st Contingent this being raised from volunteers at the Cyclist Depot. Five officers and 78 OR’s were selected forming the 1st Canadian Division Cyclist Company this sailed with 1st Contingent in October 1914 being billeted at Bustard Camp, where they were to spend the next four months under canvas. In December 1914 the establishment of the 1st Divisional Cyclist Company in England was increased by adding 200 more personnel, these being obtained from volunteers in England. The Cyclist Company of the 1st Divisional Mounted Troops sailed for France on the 8th February 1915 with a total of eight officers and 195 OR’s (and two horses). The additional troops formed the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company at the British Army Cyclist Depot at Hounslow, attached to the British Army Cyclist Corps. The badges being worn by the 1st Divisional Cyclist Company on sailing to England were likely the 1914 dated General Service Maple Leaf patterns. The 1st Divisional Cyclist Company was disbanded under General Order 208 of 15 November 1920.

2nd Divisional Cyclist Company

The Cyclist Company of the 2nd Divisional Mounted Troops was raised at the Canadian Cyclist Depot at Camp Valcartier in November 9th 1914 with a strength of 200 All Ranks. Each Military District, with the exception of the 1st, 5th and 13th contributing a platoon. Most of the 2nd Division Cyclist Company sailed for England May 16th 1915 with a final platoon sailing on 15 June 1915. The Company settled at Dibgate Camp under canvas.

3rd Divisional Cyclist Company

The Cyclist Company of the 3rd Divisional Mounted Troops was raised in February 1916 from the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company in England which was being replenished by volunteers from the Canadian Overseas Cyclist Depot in Canada. The infantry battalions of the 3rd Division sailed for France in the fall of 1915, followed in the spring of 1916 by the 3rd Divisional Cavalry and Cyclists. Almost immediately, in May 1916 (authorized under General Order 63 1917), the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisional Cyclist Companies were amalgamated to form the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion. The 3rd Divisional Cyclist Company was disbanded under General Order 208 of 15 November 1920.

Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion

Effective 16 May 1916 the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisional Cyclist Companies were amalgamated to form the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion, (authorized under General Order 63 1917). The 4th Divisional Cyclist Battalion in England was disbanded and the troops assigned to the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company as reinforcements. The formation patch for the Canadian Corps cyclist was a triangle of Red, Royal blue and French Grey representing the colours of the Division patch of the three Divisional Cyclist Companies forming the unit. The Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion was disbanded under General Order 208 of 15 November 1920.

4th Divisional Cyclist Company

Formed in England April 1916 disbanded May 1916, the 4th Cyclist Company Divisional Mounted Troops was raised from the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company in England in April 1916, being authorized under General Order 63 1917 with other personnel in Canada ready to sail. A shortage of accommodation in England restricted the movement of these troops from Canada. Effective 16 May 1916 the 1st 2nd and 3rd Divisional Cyclist Companies were amalgamated to form the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion, (authorized under General Order 63 1917).  At this time, the 4th Divisional Cyclist Battalion was disbanded and the troops in England were re-assigned to the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company as reinforcements. Those in Canada were assigned to the Canadian Divisional Cyclist Depot. The 4th Divisional Cyclist Company was disbanded under General Order 208 of 15 November 1920.

Canadian Cyclist Draft

The Canadian Cyclist draft was raised in Military District 2 with cyclists slated for 1st through 4th Divisional Cyclist Companies. The date of the formation of the Draft is uncertain but as reference is made to the 4th Division in the regimental block numbers listing likely early in 1916. Only cap badges and shoulder titles are currently noted both by Birks.

5th Divisional Cyclist Company

The 5th Canadian Division was formed in England in 1916 and disbanded early in 1917 with the exception of the Divisional Artillery and 5th Divisional Machine Gun Battalions. Although authorized, the 5th Cyclist Company Divisional Mounted Troops was never formed.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Army Veterinary Corps

The Canadian Army Veterinary Corps was established in 1906 with two branches. The (Permanent) CAVC and the (Militia) CAVC. The (Permanent) CAVC was designated the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps in November 1919, the prefix ‘Royal’ not being granted to the (Militia) CAVC until July 1936, when, both branches adopted the same pattern badges. With the exception of the wartime period, the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps was only ever a tiny unit. The greatest establishment being at the time of  in November 1918 when there were 72 Officers and 756 OR’s serving in France, The Permanent CAVC provided administration and acted as inspectors of the Militia units as well as conducting schools and examination of officers aspiring to advance in Rank. The 1919 establishment of the RCAVC was set at seven officers and 23 other ranks. The establishment of the post-war militia CAVC being nine officers and 88 other ranks.

The Canadian Army Veterinary Department 1906 - 1912

Both branches of the Corps were established in 1906. The (Permanent) Canadian Army Veterinary Corps as a Department of the Permanent Force under the designation of the Army Veterinary Department and the(Militia) Veterinary Department as a Department of the Active Militia. The designation Army Veterinary Department was changed in 1912 to the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps.

Three officers and 24 OR’s of the CAVC mobilized at Ottawa on 31 August 1914, with this number rising to three officers and 55 OR’s training at Levis, Quebec, prior to embarking with the 1st Contingent on 3 October 1914. Both Permanent Force and Militia troops were re-attested into the CEF. On arrival of the 1st Contingent in England in October 1914 the CAVC split into two groups a base depot and CAVC stores, named No. 1 Mobile Section CAVC and No 2. Veterinary Section (A Veterinary Hospital) were established at West Down Camp); and No. 2 Mobile Section CAVC and No.1 Veterinary Section (Another Veterinary Hospital) at the Cavalry School at Netheravon. No.1 Canadian Mobile Veterinary Section crossed to France on 9 February 1915, followed by No.1 Canadian Veterinary Hospital on 3 April, this unit having been increased to 195 all ranks. The base details in England remained at around100 all ranks until 1918 when they were disbanded and the duties being taken over by the Imperial Forces. By the wars end, the total in the CAVC in France numbered 72 Officers and 756 OR’s which included the Canadian Corps Veterinary Evacuation Section. This unit was established in 1918 with one officer and 30 other ranks, rising to 38 by the time of the Armistice. The various units of the CEF CAVC were disbanded under General Order 195 of 1 November 1920.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Canadian Army Service Corps Remount Depots

A remount Depot was organized at Camp Valcartier on 1 September 1914, with temporary personnel being supplied from the militia No.5 Company CASC. The establishment of a division was 5,030 horses but with the addition of riding, artillery and draught this number had risen to 7,264 by the time the 1st Contingent sailed for England. In addition the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps supplied 27 all ranks which worked in conjunction with the CASC remounts depot. An Overseas Remount Depot was organized by the Canadian Army Service Corps at Romney in Kent England in September 1915, regimental numbers between 49770 -50000, this with an establishment of approximately 6 Officers and 30 OR’s being authorized under General Order 86 of 1 July 1915. Prior to this in France the CASC maintained 1st and 2nd Divisional Remounts Depots. In the earlier part of the war the Remounts Depot came under command of the Director General of Veterinary Services and Remounts but in 1918 most of the organization and training duties of the CASC Remounts Depot in England were taken over by the Imperial Forces. The (Overseas) Remounts Depot was disbanded under General Order 193 of November 1920.

1st Army Auxiliary Horse Company (CASC)

Initially named the 1st Canadian Reserve Park the unit was located in the Army area and carried three days of emergency food and forage for the 1st Division. Early in 1916 after the formation of the 3rd Division the units were reorganized as general purpose transportation to support the 1st and 2nd Divisions. In mid 1918, the unit was re-designated as the 1st Army Auxiliary Horse Company.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

Corps Signal Company

           Corps Reinforcement Camp

           Corps Schools

Forestry Companies (58)

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)

12th Company, Canadian Forestry Corps Overseas

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3642858)

Canadian Forestry Corps at Work, making railway sleepers for France with a Canadian Mill.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3642867)

Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Ernest William Turner, VC, KCB, KCMG, DSO, CD, 3rd from the left, visiting Canadian Forestry Corps at Cliburn, Westmorland.

Divisional Troops

The soldiers of the four divisions and their supporting troops learned to work together and could pool resources to improve combat effectiveness. This cohesion and stability, jealously guarded by most senior Canadian military and political figures, bred a sense of identity and pride in national accomplishment among both soldiers and civilians.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3519870)

1st Canadian Division: Major-General, later Lieutenant-General Archibald Cameron MacDonnell, KCB, CMG, DSO, VD. He is shown here as a Brigadier-General with his staff in the 5th Infantry Brigade in July 1916.

First Canadian Division

1st Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery

           1st, 3rd, 4th Field Batteries

           2nd Howitzer Battery

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395353)

6-inch 26 cwt BL Heavy Howitzer, Canadian Front, Feb 1918.

 

2nd Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery

 

           5th, 6th, 7th Field Batteries

           48th Howitzer Battery

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395220)

9.2-inch Heavy Howitzer on the Somme, Nov 1916.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3522407)

12-inch Naval Howitzer in Action, November 1917.

1st Divisional Ammunition Column

 (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3404772)

1st Infantry Brigade, Brigadier-General W.A. Griesbach, CB, CMG, DSO and Bar, shown here with Lieutenant-General, later Field Marshall Sir Julian Byng, GCB, GCMG, in May 1917.

The numbered battalions of the CEF are listed on this web site in Parts 2, 3, 4 and 5.