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113th Battalion

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Component: 113th Battalion, The Lethbridge Highlanders
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Contributors: Neil Burns
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Neil Burns CEFSG Forum Post: 113th Battalion, The Lethbridge Highlanders

 

Most of this information was gathered from 'Lethbridge at War' by Major Christopher R. Kilford, CD.

This is one of the 'chapters' for the summary I am attempting to write for my family regarding my G-uncle's service. I've edited out any reference to him personally which leaves a nice little synopsis of the 113th.

The point of mobilization for the 13th Military District was Lethbridge and the Headquarters for the District was Calgary. The 113th Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) the Lethbridge Highlanders were organized December 22, 1915, they were part of a Canadian recruiting drive where men from the same region could enlist and serve together. This type of community spirit recruiting was very popular as it drew in friends, neighbors coworkers etc. with the promise of serving together throughout the war.

The 113th consisted of 883 men and officers and had it’s barracks at the exhibition grounds in Lethbridge. The Battalion was not issued Highland Kit (Kilts, Glengarry caps etc.) although it’s three pipe and drum bands were! Standard Basic Training in the CEF lasted 14 weeks so the Battalion spent the beginning of 1916 in training and drilling in Lethbridge at the exhibition grounds. Basic training in the CEF involved rifle training, bombing or hand grenade practice, route marches, rifle drill and many inspections. Inspections were very popular for the 113th as many wished to hear their three bands.

In Late May 1916 the Battalion moved to Sarcee Camp outside Calgary for further training that lasted until September. During the time spent at Sarcee the Battalion used painted rocks to construct their Battalion Number on nearby Signal Hill in Calgary. This bold white stone ‘113’ is still visible today and preserved as a park.
In early September 1916 orders came for the Battalion to entrain for the east and by September 19 the Battalion was on its’ way.  On September 26th 1916 the 113th embarked along with the 111th and 145th Battalions on the SS Tuscania, a transport ship, the trip across the Atlantic took ten days and upon arriving in England the Battalion was taken to a holding camp at Sandling near Shorncliffe. It was at Sandling that Lt. Colonel Pryce-Jones the commanding officer learned that the 113th would be broken up for replacements and would not see action as a unit after all. One can only imagine the disappointment of these men as they learned the fate of the 113th, their Battalion, after 10 months training together.


The 113th was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion CEF the Nova Scotia Highlanders affiliated with the Scottish Seaforth Highlanders. The 17th was at Bramshott Camp located South of London.
On October 12, 1916 most of the old 113th proceeded to France arriving at a camp near Le Havre France. Almost immediately 300 men of the old 113th were assigned as replacements to one of the most famous Battalions in the CEF, the 16th Battalion, The Canadian Scottish. An idea of the casualties suffered by the 16th in the Somme fighting of the Fall of 1916 can be understood by this reinforcement. This would mean that roughly 30% of the 16th were new transfers from the 113th.

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This Page Last Updated On: Tuesday September 04, 2012 04:43:39 PM -0400
 

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