Unit Histories - First World War

Unit histories encompass those books written about a specific unit, generally a regiment of armour, artillery, or engineers, a battalion of infantry, etc. Books written about a specific corps (in the organizational sense rather than the operational sense, i.e. the Canadian Army Medical Corps rather than Canadian Corps) may also be considered "regimental" histories, though generally the term would apply to books about specific units within those corps. The militaries of some other nations have focused their writing on "formation-level" histories, i.e. writing histories about entire divisions.

Unit histories have undergone a dramatic shift in focus. Those published immediately after the war (some were written while the unit being profiled was still in Europe) tend to be written by former officers of the unit; they tended to be written more as an aid to memory, intended for those who had actually participated in the war with that unit. Controversial aspects of the unit's performance or certain individuals tended not to be mentioned out of respect for comrades still alive. Technical terms, matters of tactics, and other military knowledge essential to understanding the history were usually deemed as self-evident by the authors. Unfortunately, decades after the fact, even elementary military terms in common contemporary use have fallen into disuse making the understanding of older histories a challenge to get through for casual readers and even full fledged historians. As the years progressed and true historians gained an interest in the war and the performance of individual units, the trend has been to write more fully rounded works. The increased capability to reproduce photographs has helped in this regard.

Formation Histories

1st Canadian Division

The Old Red Patch: The 1st Canadian Division 1915-1988 Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1988

Corps Histories

Canadian Artillery

  • Nicholson, Gerald W. L. The Gunners of Canada: the History of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (Volume I : 1534-1919) McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, ON: 1967 478pp.

Canadian Engineers

  • Kerry, A.J. and W.A. McDill. The History of the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers Military Engineers Association of Canada, 1962-1966.
  • Holmes, K.J. The History of the Canadian Military Engineers: Volume III Toronto: Military Engineering Institute of Canada, 1997. 502 pp.

6th Field Company

  • From the Rideau to the Rhine and Back: the 6th Field Company and Battalion, Canadian Engineers in the Great War a narrative by K. Weatherbe. Toronto: Hunter-Rose, 1928. 519 p.

Canadian Signals Corps

  • Moir, John S. Editor, edited by John S. Moir. History of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, 1903-1961 Ottawa, ON, 1962.

Canadian Army Service Corps

  • Warren, Arnold Wait for the Wagon: the Story of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, Ontario, 1961. 413pp.

Canadian Army Medical Corps

  • Nicholson, Gerald W. L. Seventy Tears of Service: a History of the Royal Canadian Army Medical CorpsOttawa: Borealis Press, 1977. 388pp.

1 General Hospital

  • Cameron, Kenneth. History of no. 1 General Hospital, Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919 Sackville, NB: The Tribune Press, 1938. 667pp.

No. 8 Canadian Field Ambulance

  • Gunn, J.N. Historical Records of No. 8 Canadian Field Ambulance: Canada, England, France, Belgium, 1915-1919 Toronto: Ryerson, 1920. 169 pp.

Canadian Corps

  • Acland, F.A. The C.A.M.C. With the Canadian Corps During the Last Hundred Days of the Great War Ottawa, ON, 1924. 292 pp.

Canadian Ordnance Corps

  • Rannie, William F., Editor. To the Thunderer His Arms: the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps, Lincoln, ON, 1984 360pp.

Canadian Cavalry

Lord Strathcona's Horse

  • Fraser, W.B. Always a Strathcona Comprint Pub. Co.,Calgary, AB, 1976. 252 pp.

Royal Canadian Dragoons

  • Greenhous, Brereton. Dragoon: the Centennial History of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, 1883-1983. Guild of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Ottawa, ON, 1983. 557pp.

Canadian Light Horse

  • Graves, Donald E. Century of Service: The History of the South Alberta Light Horse SALH Foundation, 2005

19th Alberta Dragoons

  • Graves, Donald E. Century of Service: The History of the South Alberta Light Horse SALH Foundation, 2005


  • Crerar, Duff W. Padres in No Man's Land: Canadian Chaplains and the Great War Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995. 424pp.

Intelligence Service

  • Hahn, James Emanuel. The Intelligence Service Within the Canadian Corps, 1914-1918 Toronto: Macmillan, 1930. 263pp.
  • Elliott, S.R. Scarlet to Green: A History of Intelligence in the Canadian Army 1903-1963 Toronto: Canadian Intelligence and Security Association, 1981. 769pp.

Machine Gun Corps

  • Lynch, Alex. Dad, the Motors and the Fifth Army Show Privately printed, Westport, ON, 1978

Canadian Infantry

1st Canadian Division

1st Battalion
  • Greenhous, Brereton (Editor) Semper Paratus : the History of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment), 1862-1977 Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Historical Association, Hamilton, ON, 1977.

2nd Battalion
  • Murray, W.W. The History of the 2nd Canadian Battalion (East Ontario Regiment) CEF in the Great War 1914-1919 Ottawa, ON: 1947

3rd Battalion
  • Goodspeed, Donald James Battle Royal: a History of the The Royal Regiment of Canada, 1862-1962

4th Battalion
  • Gibson, W.L., Captain. Historical Record of the 4th Canadian Infantry Battalion, 1914-1919. Compiled by Capt. W.L. Gibson, Paymaster and Historian in 1924.

5th Battalion
7th Battalion
8th Battalion
  • Tascona, Bruce and Eric Wells. Little Black Devils: A History of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles

10th Battalion
  • Dancocks, Daniel G. Gallant Canadians: The Story of the Tenth Canadian Infantry Battalion 1914-1919 Calgary, AB: Calgary Highlanders Regimental Funds Foundation, 1990.

13th Battalion
  • Hutchison, Paul P. Canada's Black Watch: The First 100 Years (1862-1962) The Black Watch (RHR) of Canada, Don Mills, ON, 1962.

14th Battalion
  • Fetherstonhaugh, Robert C. The Royal Montreal Regiment, 14th Battalion, CEF 1927

15th Battalion
  • Ackland, P.P. All Else is Folly (novel based on the author's experiences with the 15th Bn.)
  • Beatty, Kim: Dileas (The History of the 48th Highlanders 1881 - 1928)
  • Currie, Lt. Col. John. The Red Watch: With the First Canadian Division in Flanders McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart, Toronto, ON. 1916 294pp.

16th Battalion
  • Urquhart, Hugh MacIntrye. The History of the 16th Battalion (The Canadian Scottish) Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War 1914-1919 Toronto, ON: Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd., 1932
  • Zuehlke, Mark. Brave Battalion: The Remarkable Saga of the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish) in the First World War John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd., Mississauga, ON, 2008 ISBN 978-0-470-15416-8

2nd Canadian Division

18th Battalion

19th Battalion
20th Battalion
  • Corrigall, David J. The History of the Twentieth Canadian Battalion, Central Ontario Regiment: Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War 1914-1918 Toronto, ON: Stone & Cox, for the Trustees of the Twentieth Canadian Battalion, 1935. 268pp.
  • Frost, Leslie M. Fighting Men Clarke, Irwin, Toronto, ON, 1967. 262 pp.

21st Battalion

22nd Battalion
  • Chaballe, Joseph. Histoire du 22e Bataillon Canadien-Francais Montreal, PQ: Les editions Chatecler Ltee., 1952
  • Gagnon, Jean-Pierre. Le 22e bataillon (Canadien-Francais), 1914-1919: Une Etude Socio-Militaire Quebec, PQ: Presses de l'universite Laval, 1986

24th Battalion
  • Fetherstonhaugh, R.C. The 24th Battalion CEF Victoria Rifles of Canada 1914-1919 Montreal, PQ: Gazette Printing Co., 1930

25th Battalion
  • McDonald, F.B. and John J. Gardner The Twenty-Fifth Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force: Nova Scotia's Famous Regiment in World War One Sydney, NS: City Printers, 1983

26th Battalion
  • Gould, R.W. and S.K. Smith The Glorious Story of the Fighting 26th Montreal, PQ: Montreal Standard, 1918
  • MacGowan, S. Douglas, Harry (Mac) Heckbert and Byron O'Leary New Brunswick's Fighting 26th - A History of the 26th New Brunswick Battalion, C. E. F. 1914-1919 428pp.

27th Battalion
28th Battalion
  • Hewitt, G.E. The STtory of the Twenty-Eighth (North-West) Battalion 1914 - 1917 (This series of histories is written under the direction of and edited by Capt. T. G ROBERTS of the Canadian War Records Office.) Printed and Published for the CANADIAN WAR RECORDS OFFICE, 15, Tudor Street, London. E.C. 4. By CHARLES and SON (W. Charles), London, England.

29th Battalion
  • Clyne, H.R.N. Vancouver's 29th Vancouver, BC: Tobin's Tigers Association, 1964
  • McLeod, John N. A Pictorial Record and Original Muster Roll, 29th Battalion Vancouver, Canada ISBN 0659916304

31st Battalion
  • Fraser, Donald (Edited by Reginald Roy). The Journal of Private Fraser, 1914-1918, Canadian Expeditionary Force Nepean, ON: CEF Books, 1998 (334 pp) ISBN 1896979289
  • Graves, Donald E. Century of Service: The History of the South Alberta Light Horse SALH Foundation, 2005 ISBN 1896941435
  • Singer, H.C. History of the 31st Canadian Infantry Battalion, CEF 1938

3rd Canadian Division

Royal Canadian Regiment
  • Stacey, Charles Perry 100 Years: the Royal Canadian Regiment, 1883-1983 Collier-Macmillan, Don Mills, ON, 1983. (184 pp.)

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
  • Adamson, Agar. Letters of Agar Adamson, 1914 to 1919: Lieutenant Colonel, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Nepean, ON: CEF Books, 1997
  • Bercuson, David. The Patricias: The Proud History of a Fighting Regiment Stoddart, 2001. 320pp. ISBN 0773732985
  • Hodder-Williams, Ralph. Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 1914-1919 Toronto, ON: Hodder & Stoughton, 1923
  • With the Patricia's In Flanders 1914-1918: Then & Now. ISBN 0-96876-960-8 266 pp.
  • Williams, Jeffery Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Leo Cooper; in association with Secker & Warburg, London, 1985. 124pp.

42nd Battalion
  • Bird, Will R. Ghosts Have Warm Hands Toronto: Clark, Irwin, 1968; reprint ed. Nepean: CEF Books, 1997
  • Hutchison, Paul P. Canada's Black Watch: The First 100 Years (1862-1962) The Black Watch (RHR) of Canada, Don Mills, ON, 1962.
  • Topp, C. Beresford The 42nd Battalion CEF, Royal Highlanders of Canada Montreal, PQ: Gazette Printing Co., 1931

49th Battalion
  • Stevens, G.R. A City Goes to War Brampton: Charters, 1964

1st Canadian Mounted Rifles

2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles
  • Johnston, Lt-Col G. Chalmers, DSO, MC. The 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles (British Columbia Horse) in France and Flanders Vernon, BC: The Vernon News Printing and Publishing Company Limited, 1931.

4th Canadian Mounted Rifles
  • Bennett, S.G. The 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles 1914-1919 Toronto, ON: Murray Printing Company, 1926

5th Canadian Mounted Rifles

43rd Battalion
  • Tyler, G.C.A. The Lion Rampant: A Pictorial History of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada 1910-1985. Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, Winnipeg, MB, 1985.
  • Gordon, Charles W. Postscript to Adventure New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1938; reprint ed. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1975
  • McMillan, David. Trench Tea & Sandbags Chessington, Surrey: R, McAdam, 1996 (printed privately)
  • Pringle, George C.F. Adventures in Service Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1929
  • Pringle, George C.F. Tillicums of the Trail Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1922
  • Strachan, Alexander Davidson A Wee Herd Laddie's Memories - Printed Privately, c. 1970

52nd Battalion

58th Battalion

60th Battalion

116th Battalion

4th Canadian Division

44th Battalion
  • Russenholt, E.S. Six Thousand Canadian Men: Being the History of the 44th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, 1914-1919 Winnipeg, MB: De Montfort Press, 1932

46th Battalion
  • McWilliams, James L. and R.J. Steel. The Suicide Battalion Edmonton, Alberta, 1978 by Hurtig Publishers. ISBN 0888301529

47th Battalion
  • Luciuk, Lubomyr Y. Konowal: A Canadian Hero Kingston, ON: Published for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 360 by Kashtan Press, 2000

50th Battalion
  • Van der Schee, W. Nominal Rolls: 50th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1915 Calgary, AB: Alberta Family Histories Society, 1994. 43pp. ISBN 1895717396
  • Wheeler, Victor W. The 50th Battalion in No Man's Land Calgary, AB: Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, 1980

54th Battalion

75th Battalion
  • Becker, John Harold. Silhouettes of the Great War: The Memoir of Corporal Harold Becker, 1915-1919: 75th Canadian Infantry Battalion Ottawa, ON: CEF Books, 2001

87th Battalion

102nd Battalion

38th Battalion

72nd Battalion

73rd Battalion
  • Hutchison, Paul P. Canada's Black Watch: The First 100 Years (1862-1962) The Black Watch (RHR) of Canada, Don Mills, ON, 1962.

78th Battalion

85th Battalion
  • Hayes, Joseph. The Eighty-Fifth in France and Flanders Halifax, NS: Royal Print and Litho, 1920

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