The 1st Canadian Division in 1914-1918

On 1 August 1914 - three days before Britain declared war - the Governor-General of Canada offered help should war break out. On 7 August Lord Kitchener responded that the Canadians might form a Division. An Expeditionary Force soon began to assemble at Valcartier (Quebec). The Division sailed on 3 October 1914 and arrived in England eleven days later. Training re-commenced on Salisbury Plain and the Division embarked for St Nazaire in early February 1915. It arrived in the Hazebrouck-Strazeele area on 15 February and thereafter the Division fought in many of the major actions of the war, including:

1915
The Second Battle of Ypres
The Battle of Festubert
The Second Action of Givenchy

1916
The Battle of Mount Sorrel
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
The Battle of Thiepval*
The Battle of Le Transloy*
The Battle of the Ancre Heights*
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
The Battle of Vimy**
The Battle of Arleux**
The Third Battle of the Scarpe and the capture of Fresnoy**
Operations towards Lens**
The battles marked ** are phases of the Arras Offensive
The Second Battle of Passchendaele (a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres)

1918
The Canadian Divisions were not affected by the restructuring of the army to having three brigades per Division, that took place in the British Divisions in February 1918. They were also fortunate in avoiding the defensive fighting against the German offensives of spring 1918.
The Battle of Amiens and actions around Damery
The Battle of the Scarpe+
The Battle of Drocourt-Queant+
The battles marked + are phases of the Second Battles of Arras 1918
The Battle of the Canal du Nord++
The Battle of Cambrai++
The battles marked ++ are phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line

The Division was selected to advance into Germany but demobilisation commenced in late 1918.

The order of battle of the 1st Canadian Division

1st Canadian Brigade  
1st Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario)  
2nd Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario)  
3rd Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Toronto)  
4th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario)  
1st Canadian Machine Gun Company formed January 1916
left to move into 1st Canadian MG Battalion March 1918
1st Canadian Trench Mortar Battery formed May 1916
2nd Canadian Brigade  
5th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Western Cavalry)  
6th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Fort Garry Horse) left December 1914
7th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (1st British Columbia)  
8th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (90th Rifles)  
10th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Canadian) joined December 1914
2nd Canadian Machine Gun Company formed February 1916
left to move into 1st Canadian MG Battalion March 1918
2nd Canadian Trench Mortar Battery formed April 1916
3rd Canadian Brigade  
13th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Royal Highlanders)  
14th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Royal Montreal)  
15th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (48th Highlanders)  
16th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Canadian Scottish)  
3rd Canadian Machine Gun Company formed March 1916
left to move into 1st Canadian MG Battalion February 1918
3rd Canadian Trench Mortar Battery formed April 1916
4th Canadian Brigade broken up by January 1915
9th Bn, the Canadian Infantry converted into a reserve unit
10th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Canadian) to 1st Brigade in December 1914
11th Bn, the Canadian Infantry  
12th Bn, the Canadian Infantry  
Divisional Troops under direct command of Divisional HQ
17th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Nova Scotia Highlanders) left January 1915, became reserve unit
18th Bn, the Canadian Infantry disbanded September 1914
Newfoundland Contingent left December 1914, later formed complete Battalion
1st Canadian Pioneer Battalion formed march 1916
13th Canadian Machine Gun Company joined January 1917
left to move into 1st Canadian MG Battalion March 1918
1st Canadian Machine Gun Battalion formed March 1918
1st Canadian Divisional Train ASC later titled 437, 438, 439 and 440 Companies
1st Canadian Mobile Veterinary Section AVC  
1st Canadian Divisional Employment Company joined June 1917
Divisional Mounted Troops under direct command of Divisional HQ
Service Sqn, the 19th Alberta Dragoons left May 1916
1st Canadian Cyclist Company left May 1916
Royal Canadian Dragoons joined October 1914, left February 1915
Strathcona's Horse joined October 1914, left February 1915
Automobile Machine Gun Brigade No 1 left February 1915
Divisional Artillery  
1st Canadian Brigade, RFA  
2nd Canadian Brigade, RFA  
3rd Canadian Brigade, RFA left May 1917
Royal Canadian Horse Artillery RHA joined September 1914, left February 1915
1st Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column  
CXVIII (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA British unit. Joined February 1915, left June 1916
22nd Canadian Brigade, RFA formed June 1916, disbanded March 1917
W.1.C Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA joined June 1916, retitled as V.1.C in 1918
X.1.C, Y.1.C and Z.1.C Medium Mortar Batteries RFA formed March 1916; in February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
Royal Engineers Field Companies formed into a Brigade in June 1918
1st Canadian Field Company  
2nd Canadian Field Company  
3rd Canadian Field Company  
1st Canadian Divisional Signals Company  
Royal Army Medical Corps  
1st Canadian Field Ambulance  
2nd Canadian Field Ambulance  
3rd Canadian Field Ambulance