WWI CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE BADGES
By Chris Brooker
2nd Edition, October 2020
Unlike previous books describing the badges worn by the CEF, usually just a list of the numbered battalions, this work attempts to place the badges in chronological order in which these were issued and worn.
To accomplish this it becomes necessary to follow the history of the Canadian Army over the course of WWI. From the inception of the first contingent at Camp Valcartier in August 1914 to the return of the Siberian Canadian Expeditionary force in 1919. At all times the Infantry Battalions were supported by Lines of Communication troops and Artillery Batteries. The CEF growing from a small rather disorganized organization to a huge extremely efficient fighting force.
On the outbreak of WWI, Canada like the other countries of the British Empire, offered their services to the Imperial Government initially offering to provide a (1st) Division that was immediately accepted. This was organized and sailed for England in October 1914. Even as the 1st Division was in formation the offer of a 2nd Division was made and accepted by the Imperial Forces. The 2nd Division sailed for England in the spring of 1915. Both of these divisions proceeded to the Western Front in 1915. At the end of 1915 a 3rd Division was formed from Canadian units in England these having continued to be raised and sent overseas these unlike the first two divisions that had sailed for England fully formed. The 3rd Division also included the permanent force Royal Canadian Regiment that since August of 1914 had served on garrison duty on the Island of Bermuda and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. The PPCLI was a privately financed battalion raised in Canada in 1914 from mainly expatriate British Servicemen previously having served in the British Army with which it served until December 1915. (Although reinforced by Canadian volunteers.) With the formation of the 3rd Division the Canadian Corps was formed to co-ordinate operations of the Canadian Army overseas. A 4th Division was raised in Canada this proceeding to England in the fall of 1916. Almost simultaneously a fourth division had been raised from troops already in England. After the arrival of the 4th Division from Canada this was renumbered as the 5th Division and later was broken up and used as reinforcements. The 4th Division proceeded to France in early 1917.
This brief synopsis illustrates the complexity of compiling a logical chronology of when the various badges were issued. In addition many changes in the composition of the various infantry and artillery brigades over the course of the war this adds further complication to the chronological organization of when the various badge issues were made. Different orders were issued regarding the procurement and wearing of badges were made by the Militia Headquarters in Canada, Canadian Expeditionary Forces Overseas Headquarters in London, England and at the Canadian Corps Headquarters in France these orders often being quite contradictory.
- Part 1 The introduction to CEF Badges Including Army & Corps troops and generic Maple leaf badges.
- Part 2 Administration (Includes H.Q., Clerks, Pay, Postal, Chaplains, Instructional Troops, Police, C.O.T.C., RMC, and UK Infantry Training Brigades.)
- Part 3 Cavalry
- Part 4 Artillery
- Part 5 The Canadian Infantry Divisions
- Part 6 Engineers, Signals, Pioneers, Labour Battalions, Railway Troops
- Part 7 Canadian Army Service Corps
- Part 8 Section 8 Canadian Army Medical Corps and Canadian Dental Corps
- Part 9 Canadian Forestry Corps
- Part 10 Canadian Garrison and Reserve Battalions in Canada
- Part 11 Auxiliary Services associated with the CEF
- Part 12 Infantry Battalion badges
- RCA artillery titles 1946 - 1968
- WWII RCA shoulder titles part 1
- WWII RCA shoulder titles part 2