Where Did The RMR Come From?

Saturday, May 8, 1915

In billets, Bailleul (Nouveau Monde)

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “New men drafted to Companies, several exchanges of men arranged with Ontario battalions and other battalions of 3rd Brigade”. [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: This exchange of men between battalions was occasioned by the fact noted in the previous day’s diary – “Large draft of about 276 men arrived from England, mostly men from Toronto and Ontario points.  It was discovered that men from Montreal who had come to England with 23rd Bn. C.E.F., and who were mostly from home units of the 14th Bn. had been sent to Ontario units in France.  Much resentment felt by all ranks at this.  Draft sent 14th Bn. was however, of good quality.”  [2] 

Although the First Canadian Division, C.E.F. had been mobilized in August and September 1914, and sailed for England in October, it was on this date that an article detailing its composition appeared in the national press. The article published May 8th, 1915 in The Globe, Toronto under the following title, gave a listing of all the infantry battalions that made up the First Canadian Division.  Each battalion was listed by brigade, with the name of its commanding officer, and then the names of the various units which had contributed men to the formation of the twelve battalions.

08 May 15

Although it would seem rather late in the day to publish a detailed listing of the many  units making up the various infantry battalions of the First Canadian Division, such news had perhaps not been publicly disclosed before in such a detailed format.  Without repeating the details for all sixteen battalions of the Division, suffice it to say that the 14th Battalion was correctly shown as part of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, commanded by Colonel R.E.W. Turner, V.C., D.S.O., R.O.

The Globe’s listing for the 14th Battalion (RMR) shows it was commanded by Lt.-Col. F.S. Meighen, (1st Regiment), and showed the 14th  (RMR) was composed of detachments of troops from the following regiments:

  • “14th King’s Canadian Hussars;
  • 1st Regiment (Canadian Grenadier Guards);
  • 3rd Regiment (Victoria Rifles of Canada);
  • 63rd Regiment (Halifax Rifles);
  • 65th Carabiniers (Mont Royal);
  • 66th Regiment;
  • 69th Annapolis Regiment;
  • 75th Lunenburgh Regiment;
  • 76th Colchester and Hants Rifles;  and the
  • 81st Regiment.”   [4]

This list agrees with the list recorded in Col. A.F. Duguid’s “Official History,” Vol. 1 Pt 2, which also details the numbers of officers and men coming from each unit.

08 May 15_B

This table, however, does not mention two additional units that apparently supplied troops to the 14th on its establishment, but the 14th Battalion history records:  “To bring the battalions of the newly formed 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade up to war strength, reinforcements were allotted as required.  To the 14th Battalion drafts were allocated from the

  • 45th Lindsay Regiment (Ontario),
  • 63rd Rifles (Halifax), and a
  • small detachment from the Queens Own Rifles (Toronto).”  [6]
[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, May 8, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089731.jpg
[2]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, May 7, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089731.jpg
[3] “Canada’s Battalions: Where they Came From,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, May 8, 1915, pg. 23.
[4]   Ibid.
[5]   Col. A.F. Duguid, “Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War, 1914-1919, Vol. I, Part 2, Chronology, Appendices and Maps, King’s Printer, Ottawa, 1938, appendix 85, pg. 57.
[6]   R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette, Printing Co., Ltd., 1927, pg. 9.



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