This is the story of a remarkable regiment that was born within a week of the outbreak of war and today is one of Canada’s three remaining regular army infantry regiments. A business man and South African War veteran Mr A. Hamilton Gault offered to raise a unit at his own expense for active service in Europe. The offer was taken up and for $100000 an infantry battalion was raised and named after the daughter of the Governor General H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught. The first CO was Lt Col F. Farquhar Coldstream Guards the Military Secretary of the Governor General. The call for volunteers preferably ex-regulars or S African War veterans went out on 11th August and the response was such that by 19th the battalion had mobilized 1098 strong out of some 3000 who had come forward from all over Canada. Some statistics of the so-called ‘originals’ are of interest: ninety percent were British born 1049 had served with the colours and between them possessed 771 decorations/medals 456 had seen war service. The battalion went to France in December 1914 as part of 80th Infantry Brigade 27th Division - a newly formed regular division. It fought on the Western front throughout the war transferring to 3rd Canadian Division in December 1915 when that division formed in France. All this and the battalion’s doings in France and Belgium make up volume 1. Volume 2 is all about the personnel of the battalion beginning with the Roll of Honour. Three COs were killed and two RSMs and the dead are listed alphabetically officers and other ranks. separately. There is a summary of the War Diary 1914-1919 followed by various letters and documents and then strength and casualty statistics. During the war 5086 served in the battalion of whom 4076 became casualties. A summary shows a total of 369 awards three of them VCs for whom citations are given in full. The icing on the cake is the nominal roll and record of service of everyone who served in the PPCLI. These records are tabulated and read across the page giving the following information: number and name original unit date of joining PPCLI (identifying the ‘originals’) rank on joining with any higher rank held when struck off strength casualties with dates date when finally struck off strength transfers and unit of subsequent service decorations and awards. At the end of this volume is the index to volume 1. A marvellous history!
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