The CANADIAN GREAT WAR HOMEPAGE
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CANADIAN INFANTRY BATTALIONS
When Great Britain accepted Canada's offer to send an infantry division on Aug 06 1914, it was expected that it would be comprised of some of the 60,000 members of the Canadian militia. Instead Colonel Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence 1911-1916 decided to organize volunteers into new consecutively-numbered battalions.
The First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, which sailed on Oct 03 1914, was comprised of the 1st to 17th battalions plus the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. By the end of the war there would be two hundred and sixty numbered battalions in existence.
First Canadian Contingent
Shortly after the First Contigent left for England, the government of Canada authorized the recruiting of a second contingent. During the winter of 1914-1915 the units composing this new force were mobilized and trained. In the spring of 1915 the Second Contingent sailed for England, but instead of sailing in a great armada like the First Contingent they left in separate transports. The summer of 1915 was spent in training at Shorncliffe on the coast of Kent and in September they left for the front as the Second Canadian Division. The 23rd and 30th Battalions remained behind in England as reserves.
As the war progressed and casualties began to mount it became necessary to replace losses in the field with fresh troops. New Battalions were now being trained and sent to England as fast as possible. Upon arrival in England most of the new Battalions were absorbed into reserve Battalions. From there troops were sent where they were needed ~ either as reinforcements for the 1st and 2nd Divisions or to the 3rd and 4th Divisions as they were being formed in England.
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|These pages were researched and written by Brian Lee Massey & are Copyright © 1997 - 2007. This site may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion without my consent.||Poppy graphic and poppybar graphic designed by Brian L. Massey and may not be used on other sites
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