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Sketch History 1914

The following is a very basic sketch outline of history of the 10th Battalion which will be embellished in greater detail on other pages of this website.

4 August Britain declares a state of war exists between the Empire and Germany; the Dominion of Canada offers assistance to one of its founding countries.
21 August Two trains leave Calgary for Valcartier, Quebec, where the Canadian Expeditionary Force will be formed. None of the 226 units of the Canadian Militia will go overseas as formed units; instead, volunteers from across Canada will be grouped into regionally organized numbered units of the CEF.  Large numbers of men on these two trains come from the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles).
22 August Twelve provisional infantry battalions authorized for the CEF.  The 10th Battalion was listed in Camp Order 28 on this date, to be formed from the 60th Rifles of Canada (Moose Jaw), 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina), 90th Winnipeg Rifles (Winnipeg) and 99th Manitoba Rangers (Brandon).
31 August 10th Battalion given an allocated strength of 53 Officers and 1528 Other Ranks.


Near the headquarters of the Canadian Division in Valcartier, September 1914.
(Library and Archives Canada photo)

1 September Vast numbers of recruits compel a reorganization of the first contingent of the CEF, now expanded to 16 battalions.
2 September 10th Battalion formally organized (taking this date as their official date of formation), to include men from the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) and the 106th Regiment (Winnipeg Light Infantry). 
September The 10th Battalion is among the last of the battalions to be formed; all "leftover" men not assigned to other units put into the Tenth regardless of their unit of origin.  By early 1915, the provisional strength of almost 1600 men would be pared down to 1124 Officers and Other Ranks.
25 September CEF reorganized on British lines; only three of the four brigades being formed would be used as line units, the fourth brigade is to be used as a reinforcement depot.  The 10th Battalion, originally part of the 3rd Brigade, is dropped from the list of units to be employed at the front when the entire 3rd Brigade is renumbered as the 4th Brigade.
27 September Major Russell Lambert Boyle assumes command of the 10th Battalion, replacing Lieutenant Colonel John Grant Rattray.
29 September The Battalion departs Valcartier for Quebec City and embarks on the Scandinavian, 1094 officers and men strong.


Canadian soldiers in Valcartier in 1914 looking every bit like a 19th Century army, wearing pith helmets and in some cases, the kilt. Nearly all the equipment and clothing that was issued to them would eventually be replaced by hardier British materiel in the war zone, though the controversial Ross Rifle would soldier in the trenches for many months until finally replaced. (Library and Archives Canada photo)

3 October Scandinavian sets sail as part of the largest armed force to cross the Atlantic Ocean in history to that time.  Thirty-two transports are escorted by four warships.
14 October Scandinavian arrives at Plymouth in the United Kingdom.
19 October Battalion departs Plymouth for Salisbury Plain.   This is also the first date for which the Battalion War Diary has an entry.
20 October The first full day of training on the Plain; of the next 123 days, rain would fall on 89 of them.
24 October Battalion inspected by Field Marshal Lord Roberts
1 November Battalion reorganized into four companies rather than eight.  The battalion would change back to eight on orders from the British War Office in December and in January 1915 back to four again.
4 November Battalion inspected by His Majesty King George V, Her Majesty Queen Mary, and Field Marshal Lord Roberts

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