Nicholson Utility

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Important Notice:

In using the information on the page, you agree not to republish this information in any form or to use it for any commercial purpose. At any time the material is used, you must acknowledge the source of the information and reference the original text as follows:

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.

A direct link to the document is also available here:

Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War: Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919, 1964 (PDF Version, 32.7 MB)

Updates:

  • January 21, 2013: The Nicholson Matrix Utility was copied over to the new Matrix Wiki Project. Although DND now has a realistic copy of the Nicholson works, the Matrix version continues to be well used as a separate resource as the chapters are separate and the maps are all provided as Google Earth Overlays. The January 2013 Wiki Version contains the new web site links for the Google Earth Overlays, which resulted from the major changes in the structure of the Google Earth Community. Any CEFSG member that wishes to have a copy of the Nicholson text in WORD may contact the team directly.
  • May 26, 2009: The DND Historical Section has released a complete copy of the Nicholson text, including all the illustrations that are not included in the MATRIX version. That PDF version is hyper-linked in the title posted above. If you want specific chapters, images or maps, the Matrix version is still your best bet. For those that want the WORD version, contact us directly.
  • December 27, 2006: For those that want to download the Nicholson files directly, we have added a table that will take you to the "raw directory". There are no index pages in these directories, just the files.
  • November 29, 2006: The Matrix index was reconfigured so that all files can be downloaded from this page. The references and Index pages have not been completed as of this date.
  • November 30, 2006: The Google Earth links were changed so that you now go directly to the Google Earth Community, so as long as your Google Earth program is open the images will automatically load. If you wish to download the KMZ file (KML file + images) you can use the secondary link.

In the Fall of 2006, the Matrix Team (rlaughton; 2003springy) initiated another major assignment, that being the transcription of the DND PDF Version of the Nicholson text back into the original format, as the PDF version is not paginated properly and lacks the maps, sketches and appendices. This was accomplished using text recognition software, manual reformatting of the pages, and a laborious task of proofreading and corrections. For more information on this project, links to the material or and additional updates, please check the Nicholson Text Transcription Project on the Forum. Please see the Google Earth Overlay topic for additional instructions on that topic (manual use of KMZ or KML files).


Section Transcription Normal Maps Google Earth Overlays Sketches
Front Cover none Operations, CEF France and Belgium 1915-1917 Operations, CEF France and Belgium 1915-1917
- Download KMZ File
none
Back Cover none Operations CEF France and Belgium 1918 Operations CEF France and Belgium 1918 - To Mons
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Operations CEF France and Belgium 1918 - To Cologne and Bonn
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none
Contents Contents none none none
Forward Forward none none none
Preface Preface none none none
Chapter 1 Canada At War none none none
Chapter 2 Forging the Weapon none none 1: Camp Valcartier
2: Canadians on Salisbury Plain 1914-1915
3: The Western Front Initial German Advances August-September 1914
Chapter 3 The Battles of Ypres, 1915 1: Ypres The Gas Attack 22 April 1915 1: Ypres The Gas Attack 22 April 1915
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4: The Battle of Neuve Chapelle 10-12 March 1915
5: The Northern Sector 21 April 1915
6: The Open Flank 23 April 1915
7: Closing The Gap 23 April 1915
8: The Apex Lost 24 April 1915
9: The Battle of St. Julien 24 April 1915
10: The Second Brigade Holds Firm 25 April 1915
11: The Battle of St. Julien 25 April 1915
12: The Attack by the Lahore Division 26 April 1915
13: The Salient 22 April - 4 May 1915
14: The Battle of Frezenberg Ridge 8 May 1915
Chapter 4 Festubert and Givenchy, 1915 2: Festubert 15-21 May 1915 2: Festubert 15-21 May 1915
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15: The Front from Ypres to Arras
16: Givenchy 15 June 1915
17: The Canadian Corps in the Line 23 September 1915
18: The Approaches to the Black Sea 1915
19: The Eastern Front 1915
20: North-Easter Italy 1915
21: La Petite Douve Night Raid 2nd Brigade 17 November 1915
22: The Canadian Corps Front 23 December 1915
Chapter 5 The St. Eloi Craters and Mount Sorrel, 1916 3: The St. Eloi Craters 4, 6 April 1916

4a: The Battle of Mount Sorrel 2 June 1916

4b: The Battle of Mount Sorrel 3 June 1916

4c: The Battle of Mount Sorrel 13 June 1916
3: The St. Eloi Craters 4, 6 April 1916
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4a: The Battle of Mount Sorrel 2 June 1916
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4b: The Battle of Mount Sorrel 3 June 1916

4c: The Battle of Mount Sorrel 13 June 1916
23: The St. Eloi Craters 10 April 1916
24: The Attack on Hooge 6 June 1916
Chapter 6 The Battles of the Somme, July-November 1916 5: The Battles of the Somme July-November 1916

6: Courcelette 15 September 1916
5: The Battles of the Somme July-November 1916
- Dowlodad KMZ File

6: Courcelette 15 September 1916
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25: Pozières Ridge 3-8 September 1916
26: Pozieres Ridge 9-11 September 1916
27: The Courcelette Sector 20 September 1916
28: The Courcelette Sector 22 September 1916
29: Thiepval Ridge 26 September 1916
30: Thiepval Ridge 27 September 1916
31 Thiepval Ridge 28-29 September 1916
32: The Battle of Ancre Heights Regina Trench 1 October 1916
33: The Battle of Ancre Heights Regina Trench 8 October 1916
34: The Battle of Ancre Heights Regina Trench 21 October 1916
35: The Battle of Ancre Heights Regina Trench 11 November 1916
36: The Battle of Ancre Heights Desire Trench 18 November 1916
Chapter 7 Behind the Front none none none
Chapter 8 The Battle of Vimy Ridge, 9-14 April 1917 7: Vimy Ridge 9-12 April 1917 7: Vimy Ridge 9-12 April 1917
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37: The Balkan Front 1916
38: Nivelle's Plan and the German Withdrawal
39: The Battles of the Scarpe April-May 1917
Chapter 9 The Capture of Hill 70, 1917 8: Hill 70 and Lens 15-25 August 1917 8: Hill 70 and Lens 15-25 August 1917
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40: Arleux-En-Gohelle 28 April 1917
41: Fresnoy En-Gohelle 3 May 1917
42: The Souchez-Avion Sector May-June 1917
Chapter 10 Passchendaele, October-November 1917 9: Passchendaele 26 October - 10 November 1917 9: Passchendaele 26 October - 10 November 1917
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43: Flanders 1917
44: The Italian Front 1917
45: Cambrai November-December 1917
Chapter 11 Conscription none none none
Chapter 12 The German Offensives of 1918 10: The German Offences March-July 1918 10: The German Offences March-July 1918
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46: Moreuil Wood and Rifle Wood 30 March and 1 April 1918
Chapter 13 Amiens, 8-11 August 1918 11: The Battle of Amiens 8-18 August 1918 11: The Battle of Amiens 8-18 August 1918
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47: The Western Front from Avricourt to the Sea July 1918
48: Amiens The Battle Area 8 August 1918
49: Amiens The Battle Area 9-19 August 1918
Chapter 14 Through the Hindenburg Line to Cambrai 12: The Battle of Arras 26 August - 5 September 1918

13: The Canal du Nord and Cambrai 27 September - 11 October 1918
12: The Battle of Arras 26 August - 5 September 1918
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13: The Canal du Nord and Cambrai 27 September - 11 October 1918
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50: The Advance to the Hindenburg Line and The Canal du Nord 20 August - 26 September 1918
51: Rolling Back the Enemy 8 August - 15 October 1918
Chapter 15 The Final Advance, 12 October-11 November 14: Valenciennes 1-2 November 1918

15: The Final Advance Cambrai to Mons 12 October - 11 November 1918
14: Valenciennes 1-2 November 1918
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15: The Final Advance Cambrai to Mons 12 October - 11 November 1918
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52: The Canadian Cavalry Brigade at Cateau 9 October 1918
53: Operations Canadian Division Between the Scarpe and the Sensee 8-12 October 1918
Chapter 16 Outside the Corps none none 54: The Middle East 1915-1918
55: Northern Russia 1918-1919
Chapter 17 After the Armistice none none none
Appendix A Person's Holding Principal Appointments none none none
Appendix B Canadian Units in France and Belgium, November 1918 none none none
Appendix C Appointments, Enlistments, Strength and Casualties (4 Tables) none none none
Appendix D Infantry Battalions, Names and Mobilization none none none
Appendix E Results of Military Service Act (Conscription) none none none
Appendix F CEF Battles and Engagements 1915-1919 none none none
Appendix G Distinguishing Patches Canadian Units in the Field none none none
Table Page 226 Composition of the Territorial Regiments in November 1918 none none none
Abbreviations Abbreviations none none none
References References none none none
Index Part I Index Part I none none none
Index Part II Index Part II none none none


A great deal of supporting information for the Matrix Project comes from the classic text by Colonel G. W. L. Nicholson, C.D. of the Department of National Defence, Army Historical Section. This text was published in 1962 and is considered a "Rare Book" by most standards. You can expect to pay upwards of US$350 for a copy of this text, if you can find one. Note however, that many local libraries have this book in their Archives, they just have no idea how valuable it is!

Appendix D is the primary reference for the Matrix, along with Love's text "A Call to Arms" for the Matrix outline. As such, the Matrix as it now exists is a representation of the 1918 ORBAT (Order of Battle) for the Army Corps and Army Troops listings. However, the Matrix is more than just a "static" ORBAT as you will now see that we have added the "Fluid ORBAT" data for 1914 to 1917.

The Government of Canada was contacted on numerous occasions to seek permission to reprint the book from the original master. A contract to another firm to do this in 2004 failed due to lack of interest. As the text is available in PDF format from the Government of Canada, they have in essence made this book available by that means. The transcription that appears here on the Matrix was made from the web based PDF version released to the public on the DND site. As such, they do not have any issue with the additional posting of the missing components, as found here or on the Great War web site. If at any time an objection is filed, these pages will be removed, however that possibility is very remote.


Web Version Nicholson Utility