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