Gault’s Light Infantry: Raising the Patricias in 1914

For over a century, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry has been one of the most celebrated regiments in Canadian history, in part for its earned reputation as “first in the field.” [1] Privately founded and raised by Montreal businessman A. Hamilton Gault, the regiment would bear the name of the Governor-General’s daughter, Princess Patricia. In an effort to “be in the field within weeks,” however, the requirements for recruitment were strict and only the best would be selected. [2]

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A ‘White Man’s War’ No More: Black Volunteers in the CEF

At the outbreak of the Great War, Canadians from Nova Scotia to British Columbia flooded to the recruiting offices as a patriotic fervour swept across the nation. A large number of Black volunteers, however, were turned away from what they were told was a “white man’s war.” [1] As we enter February and make an effort to recognize and remember the too-often neglected history of Black Canadians, I thought we would take this opportunity to shed light on what was described as “one of the best kept secrets in Canadian military history.” [2] According to Calvin W. Ruck, it is one of Canada’s best kept secrets because many Canadians are unaware that roughly 600 Black soldiers served in Canada’s first and only all-Black Battalion during the First World War.  Continue reading “A ‘White Man’s War’ No More: Black Volunteers in the CEF”