Valcartier Camp as of Aug. 31, 1914

This is a list of Militia units and Officers present at Valcartier on August 31, 1914. It’s derived from a number of sources, the most important being information compiled in Valcartier Camp Order No. 241 on September 2nd and 3rd. It was a Provisional list and does not reflect the final configuration of the First Canadian Contingent when it left for England at the beginning of October. This list is a work in progress so if you are able to provide corrections or additions please let me know.

Most but not all Militia units and officers were in camp by the end of August 1914. I’ve included arrival dates and bolded the names of units & individuals  that were in camp according to contemporary newspaper reports and regimental histories. Unbolded entries do not imply they weren’t in camp, just that I’ve yet to find a source confirming their presence on that day. Notably absent are Lt-Col. Arthur W Currie who left Victoria on August 27 and was en-route to Valcartier, and Major John McCrae who did not return to Canada from England until September 4.

Below you’ll find a read-only Excel Workbook that you can download or view in Excel Online. I will update it when I receive new information so please leave a comment below or contact me. The Excel Workbook includes three spreadsheets listing Infantry Brigades & Battalions, Other Units and Officers.

The sources used to compile this list include Appendix 84 and 85 in The Canadian Forces in the Great War 1914-1919 (11mb PDF), The Quarterly Militia List June 1914, Regimental Histories, and various editions of The Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto World and the British Colonist via Google News.

Note: to view high-resolution images and to participate please visit the Valcartier Crowdsourcing Project page.

Tip: for easier viewing click the right-most icon in the black footer bar below. This will open the workbook in its own window.

7 replies

  1. Your spreadsheet is a really good start and is helpful for those conducting research.

    I am in the process of conducting research to write a book about the 3rd Infantry Battalion C.E.F., including its origins as the 3rd Provisional Battalion and 3rd Composite Battalion. I have done a very detailed review of the service records of every man listed on the Third Battalion Nominal Roll (Sailing List) prepared for the embarkation of September 25, 1914. I found that the numbers of men of the QOR, Royal Grenadiers and GGBG on the Nominal Roll is just a fraction of the number of men from those units who mobilized to Valcartier in August 1914. Many of the men who originally mobilized were shuffled to other C.E.F. Battalions prior to mobilization. The reason for this was an ugly dispute between Sam Hughes, the Minister Of Militia and Defence, and Sir Henry Pellatt, who was the benefactor of the QOR.

    Pellatt wanted the QOR to form its own overseas battalion, but Hughes decreed that none of the overseas battalions would be recruited and formed by a single ‘home’ regiment. Hughes, of course, won the dispute and the 3rd Battalion was formed as a Composite Battalion made up of volunteers from many backgrounds and prior service origins. This dispute rankled Pellatt for the rest of his life.

    The results of my research into the Third Battalion Nominal Roll, as it relates to the QOR, 10th Royal Grenadiers and the GGBG, shows the following numbers:
    – Officers = 29
    – Other Ranks = 250
    10 RG
    – Officers = 10
    – Other Ranks = 94
    – Officers = 3
    – Other Ranks = 42

    All other Officers and Other Ranks came from a variety of backgrounds and prior service.

    • Thanks very much for providing the detailed breakdown of men and officers from the 3rd Battalion Nominal Roll and for your feedback on the spreadsheet. Hughes rankled many and is one of the most fascinating characters from this period. His over-the-top personality and controversial decisions would make an interesting movie. Thanks again,


  2. This is a great resource. Thank you. I’m currently writing a story about R.C. Royston (Creston, B.C) who was captured at 2nd Ypres and taken as a Pow – later escaped. However, I’ve been sidetracked as I try to flush out the full names/records of the first 6 soldiers from Creston. I have all but 1: H.B. Ford. I have searched all the logical service records for “Ford” (even assuming typo’s in initials), newspaper references, etc – and I’ve gone through the nominal al rolls where Kootenay and BC men logically ended up. . . yes, obsessive since he is a tangent to the story 🙂 So, your spreadsheet is a great reference to cross correlate the regiments to battalions. . . . but sadly I think he vanished off the map.

    • Hi Scott, what was the original source for the name “H.B. Ford”? Just wondering in what context his name appeared. I’m glad the spreadsheet has been helpful. Cheer, Steve.

  3. Hello Steve. The original source was the Creation Review from Aug 28th, 1914 which I downloaded from UBC. Subsequent references are just repeats in the other issues of the paper. I tried other variations on Ford (Forde, Foord etc…) but still came up empty. Fortunately he’s very peripheral to the story so eventually I decided to drive on.

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