Between 18 August and 8 September 1914, 32,665 volunteers responded to the call to arms sent out by Canada’s Minister of Militia, Sam Hughes. Carried in a hundred special trains from virtually every militia unit across the country, they assembled in a newly-constructed camp at Valcartier, a few miles north-west of Quebec City. Here they were sorted out into units of all arms of the service, and these units are all listed in this book, with the names of the officers and men allocated to them. The infantry were formed into seventeen numbered provisional battalions, plus one raised within a few days of the outbreak of war – Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry (PPCLI) consisting of veterans with previous military service. From the regular or Permanent Force came the two cavalry regiments, the Royal Canadian Dragoons and Lord Strathcona’s Horse (R.C.) – the letters stand for ‘Royal Canadian’, – and two batteries of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. Just over five weeks after the first of the volunteers had arrived at Valcartier, a convoy of 32 ships carrying some 30,600 officers and men, with their horses and equiment, sailed for England. From among this contingent were selected the units to form the 1st Canadian Division which would land in France in February 1915, the first non-regular division to join the BEF. The introduction gives the background story, including a list of all the non-permanent militia cavalry and infantry regiments of 1914, the regiments from which these volunteers came.
LIST OF OFFICERS AND MEN SERVING IN THE FIRST CANADIAN CONTINGENT OF THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, 1914
Complete list of more than 30,000 Canadian volunteers who were the first to respond to the call to arms in 1914. A new introduction gives the background history of the Canadian contingent of the BEF in the Great War.