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Kelly Miller's History of the World War for Human Rights By Kelly Miller Characters: 34384

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04

Canada's Recruiting-Raise 33,000 Troops in Two Months-First Expeditionary Force to Cross Atlantic-Bravery at Ypres and Lens-Meeting Difficult Problems-Quebec Aroused by Conscription.

The world has marvelled at the achievement of Canada at Valcartier camp near Quebec and the dispatch across the Atlantic Ocean of a fully equipped expeditionary force of 33,000 men within two months of the outbreak of war between Great Britain and Germany. But the magnitude of that feat cannot be appreciated properly until one considers that on August 4, 1914, Canada had a permanent force of only about 3500 men.

These soldiers, who for the most part were instructors and men on guard duty, provided a nucleus for a training organization. In addition to its "standing army," the Dominion had an active militia numbering approximately 60,000 men. Their training consisted of what has been aptly called "after-supper soldiering." Members of city regiments drilled for one night each week, participated in an annual church parade and spent two weeks every year in summer camp.

The training of the rural regiments consisted almost entirely of the two weeks in summer camp. Yet from these militia units were drawn a large proportion of the men in the first Canadian oversea contingent, while the militia regiments, to a large extent, formed the basis of Canada's recruiting organization after the outbreak of hostilities.

Enlistments during the first two years in the expeditionary force numbered approximately 415,000, while probably 150,000 applicants were rejected as physically unfit.

Immediately upon the declaration of war Major General Sir Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia, telegraphed the officers commanding the militia regiments to commence recruiting for oversea service. After the recruits were signed up and accepted, they lived at home and drilled during the day at the armories throughout the Dominion.

Meanwhile, Valcartier camp was being prepared for the gathering army. The building of this great military center almost overnight was an engineering feat of no mean magnitude. Two weeks after work was started, troops recruited by the militia regiments began to arrive, and before the end of a month Valcartier was a tented city of 25,000 soldiers.

There were some complaints, of course. They were inevitable in an encampment so hastily prepared. But the essentials were there, and when the contingent sailed from Gaspe, on the coast of Quebec, on October 3, it was a well-trained, efficient body of soldiers, besides being the largest army that ever crossed the Atlantic at one time.


The contingent was in command of Lieutenant-General Edwin Alfred Hervey Alderson. He was born at Ipswich in 1859 and began his military career with the Militia, going to the regular army in 1878. He joined the Royal West Kent Regiment as Second Lieutenant and rapidly won promotion. He served in the Transvaal, later in Egypt and participated in actions at Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir, receiving the Khedive's bronze star. Service in South Africa and in India followed, during which General Alderson successively became Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel. He became a Colonel in 1903 and was placed in charge of the Second Infantry Brigade, and in 1908 commanded the Sixth Division, Southern Army of India, having meantime been given the rank of Major General.

After the departure of the first contingent recruiting was continued by the militia regiments, and during the winter the men were quartered in exhibition grounds, Y.M.C.As., sheds, etc. In the spring of 1915 existing camps were enlarged and new ones opened.

During this period the recruiting machinery developed from the militia regiments. Through the latter officers were recommended to command new battalions. These O.Cs. selected most of their subordinate officers from their own militia regiments and used the parent organization as a general basis for recruiting operations, headquarters being located at the regimental armories.

The keen competition existing between the militia units was maintained between the new oversea formations, and battalions were raised in a few weeks. For months enlistments all over Canada averaged more than 1000 men daily, and with recruits coming forward at this rate, there was no necessity of protracted delay in bringing battalions up to strength.


There was a disposition, especially in military circles, to attribute the increasing difficulty of the recruiting situation during the winter of 1915-16 and since to a change of system and the introduction of the so-called "political colonels." The change, however, was rather the result of new conditions than the cause of it. Recruiting had slowed down-largely from natural causes.

A new appeal was needed to reach a class of eligible men who had not yet enlisted. The recruiting problem apparently had outgrown the facilities of the militia organizations. Rightly or wrongly, the government commissioned a number of well-known men, without military experience, to raise battalions. Their popularity and local confidence in them were the excuses for their appointment-and the experiment was in the main successful.

Perhaps there was a suggestion of politics about it, although it may be stated emphatically that politics had not been a serious influence in connection with the recruiting, training or leadership of Canada's oversea forces. That such is the case stands to the enduring credit of Major General Hughes.

The attempt to "popularize" recruiting was soon found to entail serious evils. Competition for recruits in an already well-combed field became very keen. The new political colonels realized that their reputations were at stake, and in the effort to fill up their battalions various undignified and regrettable expedients were employed. Cabarets, bean-counting contests, lotteries and callithumpian methods generally marked a period in Canada's recruiting history not pleasant to review, and which brought discredit upon the entire voluntary enlistment system as a permanent method of filling up armies.


Besides the moral influence of such schemes to get men in khaki, the recruiting efforts of the political colonels had a serious effect in delaying the training of new men. With their personal reputations as organizers involved, the commanding officers were reluctant to admit inability to fill up the ranks of their units, and repeatedly pleaded for more time.

For months partly recruited battalions made little or no progress with their training, while the officers devised new recruiting "stunts" and while men were being sought in the highways and byways.

The situation was complicated by allowing a number of infantry battalions to recruit in the same area at the same time, with the result that the new men came in driblets, valuable time was lost and much money wasted. In some cases it has taken well over a year from the date when they were authorized before battalions were dispatched oversea-due very largely to ineffective recruiting methods. Battalions were allowed to continue the heart-breaking quest for recruits long after they should have been amalgamated and sent to England. Such amalgamations came ultimately, battalions retaining their identity when leaving Canada only when 600 or more strong.

The high cost of recruits was a direct consequence of competition among battalions recruiting independently in the same territory at the same time. The government allowance was not adequate to maintain the pace and had to be supplemented by private funds.

There was in Toronto a certain group of fifty recruits referred to as the "$10,000 squad," because it is estimated that the cost of recruiting them averaged nearly $200 each, the money coming from private funds of officers and their friends. Perhaps the estimate involves some exaggeration, but many units added to their ranks only at a cost of $50 or more per recruit.

Some idea of the waste of such a system may be secured when it is stated that, with men coming forward freely, the cost of recruiting is considerably less than $10 per man, even after allowing a generous bonus to the recruiting sergeants. More serious than the cost in money was the delay in training men needed at the front.


Canada's experience constitutes a severe indictment of the voluntary system of recruiting, although sterner measures at the outset were a political impossibility. The free-will enlistment plan had to be given a thorough test, and its inadequacy demonstrated and repeatedly emphasized before public opinion would support resort to compulsion.

English-speaking Canada at least learned that lesson, and it is extremely doubtful whether the United States would have adopted the selective draft system at the commencement of its participation in the war, if it had not been that the experience of Canada and the United Kingdom established the weakness inherent in the voluntary system.

Besides the camp at Valcartier, a great artillery camp was set up at Petewawa, where the best facilities existed for long range gun practice. Ontario saw two camps at Niagara and Camp Borden; Manitoba saw one on the plains, Alberta another in the picturesque district near Calgary, while British Columbia had its camp at Vernon.


The volunteer recruiting in Canada, in its incipiency, while resultful, was soon found to be not adequate. Under it, however, there was a widespread response that stirs the blood, for men hurried to the lines from the Yukon and the Peace Rivers; from Hudson's Bay and the farther hinterlands, from prairie and mountain; white men and the red men; cowboys and city chaps, harvesters and hunters, mechanics and mountaineers, backwoodsmen and frontwoodsmen. And also among the enlisters were thousands of Americans who fought side by side with Canadian, Briton and Frenchman.

Canada has large German settlements, including 300,000 German and Austrian settlers in the western provinces. Prompt action was taken on the outbreak of the war to deal with the alien element that might prove dangerous and disloyal. Nearly 10,000 were speedily interned, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. A large proportion were Austrian laborers who had been railway navvies. These were placed in western camps and used in building trails and roads in national parks, or in clearing the forest for future settlement in Northern Ontario.

Many individuals of known pro-German sympathies were also put out of harm's way, and some famous trials were held which served to give salutary warnings to all others that freedom of speech has its limitations in times of war, and that the rumors that the sinking of the Lusitania was being celebrated behind closed doors was hardly palatable.

Others, again, were caught in attempts to destroy property and it is to the credit of police and military vigilance that few succeeded in their nefarious designs. The internment camp proved a wholesome example, and the pro-German in Canada took the advice of the United States Government to its German subjects "to keep their mouths shut." It is also a fact that the occupants of the detention camps in the Dominion were well fed and treated, in striking contrast to the disturbing reports that leaked through as to the way Canadian war prisoners in Germany fared.


Next, the story of how Canada is financing her share of the war, for it is a costly business. Three domestic war loans, totaling $450,000,000, were voluntarily subscribed, each in fact being doubly underwritten, and yet the savings of the people in the banks is (1917) the highest on record-over a billion and a quarter. Part of the war revenue is being raised by war taxes on letters, checks, legal documents and some articles of import. Happily the normal revenue of the country was never so large nor the trade of the Dominion so buoyant. All these factors are helping to carry the war burden.

The generosity of the people, under the heavy strain, was most marked. Many millions were given to the various war help funds, chiefly to the Red Cross and the Canadian Patriotic Fund, of 700 branches, which supplements the Government separation allowance to soldiers' dependents by other grants. Canada had, up to that time, by the way, the highest paid soldiery in the world, privates getting $33 a month.

It is interesting to note that there are several branches of the Canadian Patriotic Fund in the United States, which looked after the families and dependents of Americans who enlisted in the Canadian ranks.

Canadian total givings in cash and kind to their own, as well as to the Belgians, French, Servian, Armenian and other funds and Governmental grants of grain and provision, would represent a very much larger figure than that here mentioned.

The orders placed in Canada averaged $1,500,000 worth for every day in the year.

The women of Canada in every way render practical patriotic service. Hundreds of nurses were placed in overseas and home hospitals. The farmers' wives raised large sums of money as did the school children. Organizations of all kinds came into existence, not alone collecting money, but contributing vast quantities of war material and soldiers' comforts, and sending packages of food and clothing regularly to Canadian prisoners in German camps.

Still another war problem was the care of the returned wounded soldiers, and a serious problem it was. The procession of the disabled was a pathetic one. Military convalescent hospitals were set up in many centres, in addition to the opening of private homes for the same beneficent purpose.


Canada may be an English possession, but to us it is part of America, and certainly no two countries have rested side by side in greater friendship than the "Dominion" and the United States. You can find no great fortifications along the 3000 odd miles of border between Canada and the United States. The countries have lived in peace and harmony and together, or side by side they have battled for peace on the fields of Flanders.

All the world knows what Canada has done on the battlefields abroad, fighting with those troops from Australia, New Zealand, India and lesser English territory, to drive the ruthless Germans back and crush the Empire to which they swear allegiance.

The Canadian troops were taken after landing in France to a point within the country between St. Omer and Ypres, where they served with honor to themselves, their presence having a salutary effect on the British soldiery, who had been facing the German forces. At the battle of Neuve Chapelle the Canadians held part of the line allotted to the first army, and while not engaged in the main attack, rendered valuable help, their artillery being very active, and at the battle of Ypres in April, 1915, they took a notable part.

In the latter part of April, the Canadian division held a line of about 5000 yards, connecting with that of the French troops, and faced the memorable gas attack of the Germans, which was the first noted in the war. The asphyxiating gas was projected into the trenches by means of force pumps and pipes laid under the parapets, the German sappers having carefully placed these conductors. The bulk of the gas was directed against the French, largely made up of Turcos and Zouaves, who were driven back, suffering agonies.


The Canadians suffered to some extent from the poison, and though there were in the commands lawyers, college professors, business men, clerks and workers of all sorts, who had been turned into soldiers within a few months, and without previous military experience, they held their position bravely. The Canadians were, of course, compelled to change their position after the French fell back, and the Allied troops were, to all effects and purposes, routed. But when the Germans, recognizing the weakened position of the Canadians, attempted to force a series of attacks, the Canadian division, as a matter of record, fought through the day and through the night, for forty-eight consecutive hours, and finally, in a counter-attack, drove the Germans back and regained a position which had been lost by the British troops in the earlier conflict.

Later, in the face of a devastating fire, in which many officers were killed, battalions of the Canadians carried warfare to the first line of German trenches, and in a desperate hand-to-hand struggle won the trench. This attack, it is said, secured and maintained during the most critical moment of the campaign the integrity of the Allied line.

In connection with the experience of the Canadians with the gas fumes, it is necessary to note that at that time they were unprovided with gas masks, or means of protecting themselves against the fumes, and the best they could do was to stuff wet handkerchiefs in their mouths. The fumes, although extremely poisonous, were not so effective with the Canadians as on the French lines, lar

gely because of the position of the Canadians, and the direction of the wind, but in the several attacks a number of the Canadians were asphyxiated.


So, all through the Ypres campaign, the Canadians faced the shot, shell and poisonous gases of the Germans, and won recognition for their heroic conduct which will stand to the credit of Canada for all time. At Festubert, Givenchy, and, last but not least, Lens, the Canadians, step by step, kept pace with the Allied advances.

In their general advance on Lens the Canadians occupied the strongest outpost in the defense of that place, and pushing their troops on toward La Coulotte, entered that village. The Germans withdrew in this neighborhood from a line about one and three-quarters miles long.

The task of the Canadians was to capture German outposts southwest of Reservoir Hill. The attack was evidently expected. The Germans scuttled, abandoning ground upon which machine gun fire was immediately turned by Germans located on the hill. This was speedily followed by heavy artillery fire, which continued during the night in the vicinity of the Lens electric station.

The enemy's dugouts were searched, found to be empty, and wrecked.

The German retirement ceased during the night. Patrols sent out opposite Mericourt and to the south found the enemy's front line strongly held. The Germans made huge craters at all cross roads in Avion and leading towards Lens.

Patrols which were sent out reached the summit of Reservoir Hill without opposition and pushed on down the eastern slope and the strong Lens outpost was effectively occupied. Meanwhile, south of the Souchez River the Canadians drove forward on the heels of the retiring Germans. Railway embankments east of Lens electric station were occupied. The advance was then continued toward La Coulotte. As night fell strong parties were sent out to consolidate the positions occupied, while patrols were sent forward to keep in touch with the Germans.


Several days previous the Germans were known to be destroying houses in the western part of Lens, with the object of giving a wider area of fire for their guns. It was their intention of clinging to the eastern side of the city and prolonging the struggle by house-to-house fighting.

Under a protecting concentration of artillery fire, Canadian troops successfully stormed and captured the German front line before Avion, a suburb of Lens. By the advance the British line was carried forward to within one mile of the centre of Lens.

The Canadians, heartened by successes gained in a few days at a relatively small cost, decided to attack across the open ground sloping upwards to Avion and the village of Leauvette, near the Souchez River. They met with opposition of a serious character at only one point, where a combination of machine gun fire and uncut wires delayed the advance. The attack was not intended to be pressed home at this particular spot, as the ground specially favored the Germans, so that the delay did no harm. The assaulting troops comprised men from British Columbia, Manitoba, Central Ontario and Nova Scotia.

The attack was made along a two-mile front. On the extreme left, Nova Scotians pushed their way up the Lens-Arras road to the village of Leauvette. Here they took a number of prisoners. At the other end of the line, east of the railway tracks, enemy dugouts were bombed. Their occupants belonged to the crack Prussian Guards Corps, the Fifth Guard Grenadiers, who refused in most cases to come out and surrender.

At daybreak, Canadian airplanes, flying low over Avion, saw few Germans there. Craters which had been made by mine explosions at the crossroads, seriously hindered them in bringing up troops from Lens for counter-attacks.


In an air duel fought at probably the highest altitude at which aviators, up until that time, had met in combat, nearly four miles, a Canadian triplane pursued and defeated a German two-seated Aviatik. The German machine had sought safety by climbing upward and the triplane pursued. At a height of 20,000 feet the pilot of the German craft either fell or jumped from it and disappeared at the moment of the first burst of fire from the gun on the Canadian. The German observer then was seen to climb out upon the tail of the machine, where he lost his hold and plunged headlong. The Aviatik turned its nose down and fell.

It is meet that some note be taken of the fact that while the Canadian soldiers were battling for humanity and the preservation of the British Empire in Flanders there was being celebrated in their native land the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Dominion. All Canada took part in the celebration on June 1, 1917, as did large numbers of men from the United States officers' training camp at Niagara, where recruits were preparing to receive Commissions in Uncle Sam's Army.

Up until 1867 Canada had been the scene of bitter strife between the French and British. At that time the provinces were brought quite closely together, and commenced a new era of prosperity. The foundation was then laid for a wonderfully prosperous country, one filled with almost limitless possibilities.

The confederation of Canada had its birth in a meeting of delegates from all over British North America, which was held in 1864, and these delegates, after deliberating for nearly three weeks, passed a large number of resolutions which formed the basis of what eventually became the Act of Union. In the following January these resolutions were submitted to the Legislature of Canada and after due debate there was passed in both chambers of Parliament a measure for the purpose of uniting the provinces in accordance with the provisions of the Quebec resolutions. The meeting was in Quebec.


A number of difficulties were encountered, so that it was 1867 before the plan of union was submitted to the Imperial Parliament, where it was warmly received and passed without alteration of any description within a few days. The royal assent was given on March 29, and the act constituting the new Canada went into effect on July 1, which day has since become known as Dominion Day, and is the chief of all Canadian holidays.

The federal Constitution of Canada is contained in an Imperial Act of Parliament, known as the British North America Act, and it is based very largely upon that of the mother country. The ministry of the day holds office at the pleasure of the House of Commons, the members of which are elected by the people. At the head of the affairs is a Governor-General, who is appointed by the Crown and paid by the people of Canada. As is the case with the British sovereigns, he acts with and on the advice of the ministers for the time being, and also like the King, he can dissolve the Parliament.

The number of members of the House of Commons is regulated by the following clauses of the act: "On the completion of the census in the year 1871, and of each subsequent decennial census, the representation of the four provinces shall be readjusted by such authority in such a manner, and from such time as the Parliament of Canada from time to time provides."

Previous to the passing of the British North America Act, the great Dominion had consisted of a conglomeration of provinces, some of them of almost fabulous extent, into which the white man from the West had penetrated. Tradition has it that some thousand years ago a Norseman, by name Leif Ericson, coming in his great beaked galley, through the northern seas, from Greenland, was the first white man to stand on Canadian soil.

Another five centuries were, however, to pass before John Cabot, sailing from Bristol, in the days of Henry Bolingbroke, brought the first British ship into a Canadian port. After him the fishermen of Europe came in increasing numbers to the great banks, with the result that little by little, as their tiny vessels touched the American shores, the great continent began to be known to the people of Europe.


It was not really, however, until the year 1534 that the foundations of the Dominion may be said to have been sunk. In that year Jacques Cartier sailed from the port of St. Malo, with two little ships, intending to attempt the northwest passage to Japan. Francis the First was then ruling in Paris, and there was great adventure in the air of France. Cartier did not make the northwest passage, but he did touch the coast of Canada, or, to be more exact, the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. It was then the 10th of May, and having sailed around the island, he steered south, and crossing the gulf entered the bay which, by reason of the great heats of midsummer, he named Des Chaleurs. Holding along the coast, he came to the little inlet of Gaspe, and here, at the entrance to the harbor, he erected a huge cross surmounted by the arms and lilies of France. He could find no passage, however, to the northwest, and so he turned his ship, and sailed back to St. Malo.

The Court in Paris heard his story with interest. His cause was taken up by the King; and, as a result, in the succeeding May, he sailed again to the new world with three well found ships. On the day of Saint Lawrence he entered the great bay, to which he at once gave the name of the Saint, and passing on came, in September, to anchor in the Isle of Orleans.


The man, however, with whose name the early history of Canada is most fully connected, had not as yet been born. Nor was it until the year 1567 that, at Brouage in Saintonge, Samuel de Champlain came upon the scene. In the year 1603, when Elizabeth was ruling in England, and Henry of Navarre in France, Champlain came to Canada. He had been a soldier of le Bearnais, in the great wars with the League, an officer of marine, and a man with no little knowledge of natural science, as knowledge was then accounted. He came now in command of an expedition, fitted out by the merchants of Rouen, with the idea of forming a Canada company, as England had her Barbary Company, her Eastland Company, her Muscovie Company, or her Turkey Company. And in this way the French came into Canada.

Thus there began those American wars between the two countries, divided at home only by the English Channel, which went on century by century, largely through the employment of the Indian tribes, until that September night when Wolfe's boats drifted in, from the fleet to the shore, and the battle on the Plains of Abraham permanently settled the question of domination in favor of the British.

The British conquest of Canada did not, however, mean the cessation of fighting. There came, presently, the war between Great Britain and the American colonies, one of the most amazing exploits of which was the marvelous march of Arnold and Montgomery through the forests of Maine to the St. Lawrence, ending in the wonderful siege, of the year 1775, and the heroic failure to storm the defenses by scaling the rocks from the river bed. Eventually the boundary between the United States and the British possessions was settled by the Treaty of Paris, in 1783, just twenty years after an earlier Treaty of Paris had recorded the surrender of Canada by France to Great Britain.


For the last century and a half the story of Canada has been the story first of a British colony and then of a British Dominion. A great flood of new colonists had come into the country after the victory of the States in the War of Independence, when many of the royalists of New England crossed the border. As a result, there had grown up the two new provinces of Upper Canada, now known as Ontario, and New Brunswick. The relations between all the provinces were, however, far from harmonious, with the result that what between quarrels among themselves and risings against the British authority, the condition of Canada was anything but promising, when, after the Rebellion of 1837, Lord Durham was sent over to try to evolve order out of chaos.

He found the "habitant" still unreconciled to the British rule; he found a condition of many little Pontiacs, all very much as was that famous village on the summer evening when Valmond threw the hot pennies to the children, as the auctioneer and monsieur le cure came down the street; he found another Canada of British colonists with so little sympathy for the habitant, that, he declared, the two never met save in the jury box, and there only to obstruct justice.

It was then that Lord Durham, by a great stroke of statesmanship, brought peace to Canada. A democratic form of representative government was bestowed on the people. The division of Quebec into two provinces, which the habitant had desired when they were one, and resented when they were two, was annulled, with the result that the ground was prepared for the union which was to come just thirty years later.

Lord Durham made history and made a nation, for the confederation, when it came, was the inevitable superstructure built upon the foundations of his laying, but he ruined a reputation. His contempt for the conventions of politics, the radicalism of his methods, his failure to make any obeisance to the governmental deities, official or ex-official, combined with his almost superhuman tactlessness, gave his enemies every opportunity they could desire.

He was viciously attacked, and finally throwing up his mission, returned to England and gave up politics.


The good, however, men do lives after them. Lord Durham's report, drafted for him by two master hands, those of Charles Buller and Edward Wakefield, could not be disposed of by perfervid orators or ill-informed editors. It passes into the category of historic and illuminating state papers. And, though Lord Durham fell, when, on the first of July, 1867, the British North America Act became operative, it was the handle of his trowel that struck that great cornerstone of liberty and empire, and declared it well and truly laid: the first of the Dominions, now having a population of approximately 8,000,000.

Thrown upon their own resources, when Great Britain began to draw in its loans of 1911-12, the people of Canada were temporarily at a loss as to how to meet the situation; the hardships which followed, however, prepared them to meet, with resolute determination, the greater problems that crowded upon them in 1915-16. Canada, through all the past, had been a dependent and a debtor nation; the war made it self-reliant, spurred its people on to the development of natural resources, and assured them, not only that the Dominion could stand alone, but that, throughout all the future, it can be a pillar of strength to the Empire and to democracy.

There were times when she was threatened by more than the ordinary difficulties which come to a nation, as when it became necessary in 1917 to pass a Conscription Act, the Province of Quebec threatened to secede. Quebec is a French territory, and it was a matter of world-wide comment that the volunteer enlistments for the Canadian army from the province were insignificant.

While the French Canadians were proud of France and their cousins across the seas, they were opposed to being compelled to fight for England, and the proposal to secede was largely advocated by the French-Canadian clergy.


Among the heroic troops that faced the Germans in Flanders none was more honored in all Canada and England than the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry. Out of this battalion, which sailed away from Canada's shores with the first expeditionary force, scarcely one-fourth of the proud number lived through the terrible campaigns of Flanders, in which the Dominion forces participated.

The battalion constituted what was regarded as one of the most efficient military units in Canada, and in August, 1914, had been presented with colors wrought by the hand of Princess Patricia, daughter of the Governor General of Canada, the Duke of Connaught. The Princess, standing beside her mother, the Duchess of Connaught, in Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, presented the colors to the little force, wishing them a safe return, while thousands applauded and the spirit of patriotism ran high.

The "Princess Pats," as they came to be known, had within the organization a large portion of men of military experience who had seen service in South Africa and elsewhere, and consequently when they landed in France they were the first to be sent into the trenches and to action. In the winter and spring of 1914-15 they had some bitter experiences and participated in several desperate attacks and defenses, but it was not until the campaign at Ypres that the organization was almost annihilated, when it faced one of the most terrific bombardments of the war, and fought in a section largely cut off from the main line. Here Lieutenant-Colonel Farquhar, commander of the battalion, lost his life and nearly all of the officers were wounded.

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