23rd BATTALION, CEF Departs Quebec in 1915

Tuesday, February 2, 1915

In Camp, Lark Hill, Salisbury Plains

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Working on equipment.  O.C. and Adjutant reconnoitered ground where King’s review is to take place.  Major H. Barré proceeded to France with Advance Party from 3rd Brigade.” [1]

Officers of the 23rd Battalion
Officers of the 23rd Battalion

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: On this date in 1915 the 23rd Battalion, C.E.F. sailed from Halifax as part of the first detachment of the Second Canadian Contingent.  This battalion was initially composed of men recruited in Montreal from The Canadian Grenadier Guards, and the 58th Westmount Rifles.  The present day Royal Montreal Regiment proudly perpetuates both the 23rd Battalion and the 58th.

02 Feb 15_B
Capbadge od the 23rd CEF

“The 23rd Reserve Battalion, CEF was an infantry unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.[1]

Formed as the 23rd Infantry Battalion on August 6, 1914, the battalion mobilized at Quebec City, and recruited in various cities across Canada, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and Quebec City. The initial core of the battalion comprised trained recruits from The Canadian Grenadier Guards and the 58th Regiment Westmount Rifles.[2]

The battalion sailed for England on the S.S. Missanabie on February 2, 1915, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel F.W. Fisher, with a complement of 35 officers and 942 other ranks. On April 29, 1915, the unit was re-organized as the 23rd Reserve Battalion.[2]

For the duration of the war, the 23rd Reserve Battalion, based in England, trained and provided reinforcements for Canadian infantry units fighting in France. The unit routinely received reinforcements from Canada, both directly and through the absorption of other infantry battalions. On May 11, 1917, the battalion was re-designated the 23rd Canadian Reserve Battalion (199th Duchess of Connaught’s Own Irish Canadian Rangers).[2]

The battalion was disbanded by general order on September 15, 1920, and is currently perpetuated by The Royal Montreal Regiment.[2]

  1. “THE ROYAL MONTREAL REGIMENT”. Official Lineages: Volume 3, Part 2: Infantry Regiments. Directorate of History and Heritage. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  2. 23rd Reserve Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group (CEFSG) Matrix Project.”    [i]
[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Feb 2, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089693.jpg
[2] http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1MrUMkS4r1E/VB85FItH_cI/AAAAAAAAAqM/-8wY66jBBdI/s1600/23rd%2Bofficers.jpg 
[3] Wikipedia contributors, "23rd Reserve Battalion, CEF," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=23rd_Reserve_Battalion,_CEF&oldid=616072737 (accessed December 7, 2014).

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