The Ypres Salient - CWGC

The 1st Canadian Division was formed from the first Canadian contingent of troops which reached England on 14 October 1914. After training on Salisbury Plain during the winter (an exceptionally wet, cold and uncomfortable time), the Division embarked for France in February 1915. Commanded by Lieutenant-General E A H Alderson the Division in April 1915 included the following infantry units :

1st Canadian Brigade: 1st Battalion (Western Ontario Regiment); 2nd Battalion (Eastern Ontario Regiment);
3rd Battalion (Toronto Regiment); 4th Battalion

2nd Canadian Brigade: 5th Battalion (Western Cavalry); 7th Battalion (1st British Columbia Regiment);
8th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles); 10th Battalion (10th Canadians)

3rd Canadian Brigade: 13th Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada); 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment);
15th Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada); 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish)

Eventually to become one of the most well known members of the Canadian 1st Division, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae (author of the poem, 'In Flanders Fields') served as a medical officer (with the rank of Major) with 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery at Ypres in April-May1915. It is likely he drafted the poem in early May.

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