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CHAPTER XVIII

 

PRINCESS PATRICIA'S CANADIAN LIGHT INFANTRY

WAR was declared on Germany by Great Britain at midnight on August 4th, 1914. Before noon on the following day, the Government of Canada received an offer from Mr. Andrew Hamilton Gault of Montreal to equip a regiment for active service overseas. It was to be a regiment composed, as far as possible, of men who had already seen active service; and so eager were the experienced soldiers in Canada to fight once more the battles of the Empire that within seven days after enlistment began the ranks were full and the "Princess Patricia's" was a regiment in being.

The regiment was named "Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry " in honour of the daughter of His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, then Governor-General of the Dominion. The command was entrusted to Lieut.-Colonel Francis D. Farquhar, D.S.O., the Military Secretary to the Governor-General. No better or more fortunate choice could have been made, for Colonel Farquhar, although barely forty years old, had had a wide military experience—a training which covered both the practice and the theory of war. A Guardsman, he had joined the Coldstreams in 1896, and three years later went with them to the South African campaign, and there won his D.S.O. After the settlement at Vereeniging in May, 1902, Colonel Farquhar did not long enjoy his honours at home, for 1903 found him in Somaliland, where he again distinguished himself on the battlefield. On the close of that campaign and for the next five years, his training in the art of war was continued as a member of the General Staff at the War Office; in 1913 he was transferred to Canada on the personal staff of the Duke of Connaught. The experience thus

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