Canada At War!

August 4th, 1914: The British Government was certain the House of Commons would support a policy of resistance to Germany, and on this morning the British sent an ultimatum giving Berlin until midnight to withdraw her demands on Belgium.  This went unanswered by the midnight deadline.  At the stroke of midnight Britain found itself at war with Germany in support of her allies, Belgium, whose neutrality it had guaranteed, and France whom it supported.

In the many weeks leading up to this date the regiments of the Canadian Militia took steps to prepare detachments for whatever service might be required of them.  Amongst the units to do so were the 1st Regiment, Canadian Grenadier Guards; the 3rd Regiment Victoria Rifles of Canada, and the 65th Regiment, Carabiniers de Mont-Royal.  These regiments, each with proud traditions of  its own, had their respective armouries in Montreal, the Guards on Esplanade Avenue, facing Fletcher`s Field; the Victoria Rifles on Cathcart Street west of University Street, and the Carabiniers de Mont-Royal on Pine Avenue, between Drolet and Henri Julien Streets. [1]

On declaration of war each of these armouries became the scene of intense activity.  Initially each regiment wanted to send their own battalion to the front, but the Department of Militia and Defence refused to permit this and ordered the three regiments to combine forces.


[1] Featherstonhaugh, R.C., The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925,  pp. 4-5


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