Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a unit
raised for service in the First World War.
was organized in Valcartier Camp on 6 August 1914 under the
official authority of Camp Order 241 dated 2 September 1914.
The unit drew its recruits from New Brunswick, Prince Edward
Island and Quebec. The unit's commanding officer was
Lieutenant-Colonel H.F. McLeod.
sailed from Quebec City on 1 October 1914 aboard S.S.
Scotian and arrived in the United Kingdom on 14 October
1914 with a strength of 54 officers and 1156 other ranks.
the 12th Battalion, along with the 6th, 9th and 11th
Battalions, were formed into a Canadian Training Depot on 17
January 1915. The 12th was absorbed by a new 12th Canadian
Reserve Battalion on 4 January 1917.
disbandment of the 12th Battalion came through General Order
149 of 1920.
The unit had
a brass band and a stand of colours were presented at
Valcartier by Lady Hazen on 30 September 1918. They were
later deposited in Christ Church Cathedral, at Fredericton,
was affiliated with the 104th Battalion, and after the war,
a dual perpetuation was granted to The York Regiment and The
Royal Rifles of Canada.1
Regiment was amalgamated with The Carleton Light Infantry in
1936 to become The Carleton and York Regiment, and after the
Second World War became the 1st battalion of The Royal New
6 August 1914
Initial Strength: 54 officers, 1156 other
Service: Used for reinforcements for the
Disbanded: 15 September 1920 (GO
Perpetuated by: The York Regiment and The
Royal Rifles of Canada
In 1914, there had been little time to
adopt distinctive unit badges for the hastily assembled battalions
of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. As many battalions were drawn
from men from several of the pre-war Militia regiments, there was a
desire to avoid using existing badges and forming associations with
those existing units, in favour of creating new identities - the
General Officer Commanding the 1st Canadian Contingent (later 1st
Canadian Division) is quoted as saying sometime in October or
November of 1914 "there must be distinctive badges for each unit."2
Until unit badges were approved and issued, a mixture of
pre-war Militia badges and maple-leaf pattern General Service badges
Metal cap and collar badges were also
worn on service dress.
General Order 123 of 1929 awarded "The
Great War, 1914-17" to the 12th Battalion.3
Stewart, p.5 and Guide to
Harper, Joseph A Source of
Pride: Regimental Badges and Titles in the Canadian
Expeditionary Force 1914-1919 (Service Publications,
Ottawa, ON, 1999) ISBN 0-9699845-8-8 p.5
Stewart lists several other honours:
Ypres 1915, '17
Arras, 1917, '18
Pursuit to Mons
Love, David W.
A Call to Arms: The Organization and Administration of
Canada's Military in World War One (Bunker to Bunker
Books, Calgary, AB, 1999) ISBN 1894255-03-8
H. Overseas: The Lineages and Insignia of the Canadian
Expeditionary Force 1914-1919 (Little & Stewart,
Toronto, ON, 1970)
Guide to Sources Relating to
Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Infantry Battalions (Library
and Archives Canada, Ottawa, ON, 2012)
The following holdings at Library and
Archives Canada may be useful for further research on this unit:
War diary, 21 Oct. 1914 -31 Jan.
Inspection reports on clothing and
Overseas Ministry file, 1915 - 1916
Reinforcements, 1915 - 1916
Overseas Ministry file
Nominal rolls of men for transfer to
Organization, orderly room
Canteen reports, inspections
Attachment of officers
Nominal roll on embarkation, 1914