14th BATTALION STRENGTH FLUCTUATION IN THE FIELD

14th BATTALION STRENGTH FLUCTUATION IN THE FIELD

Tuesday, August 3, 1915

Piggeries

The Battalion War Diarist wrote nothing for this day: “Supplied working parties – 200 men for improvement of trenches etc. under Engineers.”[1]


THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: The 14th Bn. strength (all ranks) between Feb 27 to May 2, 1915 suffered a 35% reduction due to casualties of all types, mostly suffered during the Second Battle of Ypres.  However, by August 1st, 1915 the Battalion numbers were down only 22 %, as enumerated in this table for the Third Brigade of the First Canadian Division which is extracted from Col. Duguid’s Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War, (Appendix 852).   During that period several drafts of reinforcements had been received, including April 9th (25 men), May 6th (275 men) and May 19th (25 men); the last two drafts being from the 23rd Reserve Battalion.

Effective Strengths in The Field - Jan 31- Aug 29, 1915
Effective Strengths in The Field – Jan 31- Aug 29, 1915

Battle Casualties in the Field: During the period of 158 days from Feb 24th 1915 when elements of the 14th Battalion first entered the lines until August 1st, 1915, the 14th Battalion is recorded as having 19 officers and 543 other ranks listed as battle casualties, most of which occurred during the Battles of Ypres 1915 (22 April – 3 May) where the Battalion lost 13 officers and 271 other ranks.

When compiling his statistics on battle casualties, Colonel Duguid based his figures on information “… compiled from the personal records of individuals, includes killed, died of wounds, wounded, missing (later presumed dead) and prisoner of war. Sick are not included, but a number of those evacuated sick, particularly during the Battles of Ypres 1915, were in fact suffering from the effects of poison gas, hence proper battle casualties. For that period also, owing to the nature of the fighting, casualties were frequently not discovered until after units had been withdrawn; this accounts for most of the figures opposite dates on which units were not in the forward area.” [3]

[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, August 3, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089768.jpg
[2]   Details extracted from - Col. A.F. Duguid, “Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War, 1914-1919, Vol. I, Part 2, Chronology, Appendices and Maps, King’s Printer, Ottawa, 1938. Appendix 852, pp. 442-443.
[3]   Footnote to “Table of Battle Casualties Canadian Forces in the Field to 12th September 1915”, found in Col. A.F. Duguid, “Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War, 1914-1919, Vol. I, Part 2, Chronology, Appendices and Maps, King’s Printer, Ottawa, 1938. Appendix 851, pg. 438-439.

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