Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group
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3rd Battalion

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Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group


Component: 3rd Infantry Battalion
Active Dates: August 6, 1914 - September 15, 1920
Contributors: canadawwi, rlaughton
Theatre of Operations: France and Flanders
Major Battles / Battle Honours: Ypres 1915, 1917; Gravenstafel; St. Julien; Festubert 1915; Mount Sorrel; Somme 1916; Pozières; Flers-Courcelette; Ancre Heights; Arras 1917, 1918; Vimy 1917;Arleux; Scarpe 1917, 1918; Hill 70; Passchendaele; Amiens; Drocourt-Quéant; Hindenburg Line; Canal du Nord; Pursuit to Mons.
Location of War Diaries:
Library and Archives Canada (WD Link)
War Diary Transcription (in progress = IP - now complete)
Completed by QORC November 2012


According to Stewart, the battalion served in France and Flanders with the 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division from February 12, 1915 until the armistice.

Nicholson reports on the 3rd Infantry Battalion on the following pages (see the Matrix Nicholson Transcriptions):

Ypres: 63, 66, 71, 76, 78
Mount Sorrel: 153
Vimy Ridge: 256-257
Fresnoy: 274-276
Somme: 401, 413

From Library and Archives Canada:

The 3rd Canadian Infantry Battalion was organized at Valcartier under Camp Order 241 of 2 September 1914 and was composed of recruits from Toronto. The battalion was commanded successively by Lieutenant-Colonels R. Rennie, W.D. Allen DSO and J.B. Rogers DSO, MC.

The battalion embarked at Quebec on 25 September 1914 aboard TUNISIAN, disembarking in England on 16 October. Its strength was 42 officers and 1123 other ranks. The battalion arrived in France on 11 February 1915, becoming part of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade. It was later reinforced by the12th Canadian Reserve Battalion. The battalion returned to England on 23 March 1919, arrived in Canada on 21 April 1919, was demobilized on 23 April 1919 and disbanded by General Order 149 of 15 September 1920.

The battalion band was organized in September 1915, its composite air was `The March of the Buffs', `British Grenadiers' and `Men of Harlech'. The battalion colours were purchased in England in 1919 and the mascot was a goat.

The 3rd Canadian Infantry Battalion was perpetuated by The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada and by The Toronto Regiment. The latter amalgamated with The Royal Grenadiers in 1936 forming The Royal Regiment of Canada.

canadawwi has provided this information for the Matrix:

Link to my transcription of a poem on the 3rd Battalion's experience at the 2nd battle of Ypres with my interpretation:

Here is the test piece for your use on the Matrix. This one relates directly to the 3rd Battalion, rather than one of the shorter stories (I wrote about previously) by an individual. This could be a link with the data underlying as discussed in my previous postings.

Third Battalion Keeping Up Record it Started at the Call in 1914.
Wood Sorrel From Toronto Worn to Celebrate Re-Capture of Mount Sorrel.

The Toronto Regiment, 3rd Battalion, which left Toronto at this first call in August, 1914, is adding to its hard-won early laurels, according to information trickling back to Toronto from France.

The battalion took an honorable part both in the capture of Vimy Ridge and subsequently in the capture of Fresnoy. At Vimy two battalions of the 1st Brigade made the initial attack and the other two battalions advancing immediately after were given a set of objectives beyond those captured in the first advance. The 3rd Battalion was in the second pair. It is reported that it reached all its objectives and pushed half a mile beyond. For that day's operations eighteen officers and men were named for honors, but a sad feature is that seven of the eighteen were a few days later killed at Fresnoy.

A pleasing incident in the battalion's life occurred on June 13th when a box of wood sorrel arrived from a Toronto lady. A spray was distributed to each of the men. This they wore in their caps to celebrate the re-capture of Mount Sorrel in the Ypres salient on June 13th of last year.

The battalion's official mascot in the shape of a goat which has been with the unit for more than a year is reported to be alive and well.

Another item of news of interest to the battalion and its friends is that the bandmaster has been outfitted with a leopard's skin which was originally equipped and reinforced by contributions from readers of The Star.

Source: Toronto Star - July 5th, 1917.



Primary References:

Stewart, C. H. 1970. "Overseas" The Lineages and Insignia of the Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914 -1919.  Little & Stewart, Mission Press, Toronto, Canada.

Nicholson, G. W. L. 1962. Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. Queens Printer and Controller of Stationary, Ottawa, Canada.

Secondary References:


Internet References:

Library and Archives Canada - Infantry Historical Records


This Page Last Updated On: Friday November 23, 2012 08:01:17 PM -0500

Copyright 2006-2013 Richard Laughton
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