The Great War

First World War


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A Theatre of War Honour formally entitled “The Great War” with year dates for units which were disbanded in England onlyFootnote 1.


Because of the policy followed by Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence from 1911 to 1916, the Canadian Expeditionary Force recruited infantry battalion after infantry battalion for the war effort, while making no effort to provide a system of re-enforcements for these units once they were in the field. Each battalion was expected to be complete in its establishment of approximately 1,000 personnel of all ranks before it left Canada for the United Kingdom. For most units arrival in Britain was followed by the immediate disbanding of the unit so that the junior officers and junior ranks could be used as re-enforcements at the front. This unwieldly and wasteful system was changed after Hughes' removal from office, but it left a legacy of many units raised in many communities across the country in the expectation that they would fight at the front as a unit. In recognition of the efforts and sacrifices of these units in manning the combatant units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force the Honour “The Great War” followed by the appropriate year-dates, was granted. In the case where these units were perpetuated by other units the Battle Honour would have been perpetuated as well but would not be displayed if the unit held Honours from the 1914 – 1919 conflict.

Awarded to:

Currently Serving Units

Units on the Supplementary Order of Battle

Disbanded Units

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