Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Jeff Pitre

97th Battalion Where did they serve?

Recommended Posts

Jeff Pitre

My Grand Uncle Paul Vincent Peters born in Bloomfield PEI, enlisted in Manitoba and was put in the 212th battalion. His regimental number was 261026.  He was later transferred to the 97th Battalion. I have his service file which was only 8 pages, and after enquiring, was told, there should be more but it must have been lost or damaged. I want to know if and where in Europe he served. Conflicting information on various websites said the 97th went to England but no further, or that they went to France and fought.   Does anyone know where the 97th went to, and if they were in combat.  Paul returned to Canada and no evidence or family stories of him being wounded.   Thank you in advance to anyone who may be able to answer my questions.  Jeff Pitre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
travers61

97th Btn CEF is mentioned in several threads on the GWF. This is an extract from one:

 

 97th Infantry Battalion CEF, Toronto Americans. Raised and organized in Toronto, Canada on 22 December 1915 with a strength of 798 men and affiliated with the 211th, 212th and 213th Battalions. This battalion was one of four raised from American volunteers as well as members of American Legion branches active in Canada. This battalion was broken up and absorbed by the 6th Reserve Battalion to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field – a normal event for most battalions upon reaching England.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Pitre
2 hours ago, Jeff Pitre said:

My Grand Uncle Paul Vincent Peters born in Bloomfield PEI, enlisted in Manitoba and was put in the 212th battalion. His regimental number was 261026.  He was later transferred to the 97th Battalion. I have his service file which was only 8 pages, and after enquiring, was told, there should be more but it must have been lost or damaged. I want to know if and where in Europe he served. Conflicting information on various websites said the 97th went to England but no further, or that they went to France and fought.   Does anyone know where the 97th went to, and if they were in combat.  Paul returned to Canada and no evidence or family stories of him being wounded.   Thank you in advance to anyone who may be able to answer my questions.  Jeff Pitre

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnmelling1979

A pasasage from a  https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj8z9e7mq7oAhWXEMAKHWt5BY04ChAWMAB6BAgEEAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.unomaha.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1369%26context%3Dstudentwork&usg=AOvVaw0c4DKbpD5FCXWT3p7QPzs1

 

The inability to mobilize the American Legion and the agitation the Legion
caused the Canadian government with the United States prompted the CEF’s military 
hierarchy to disband this recruiting experiment. The 97th Overseas Infantry Battalion 
came the closest to participating in the war, but during its final training maneuvers in 
England it was demobilized and its troops were assigned to other CEF battalions as 

reinforcements.

239239741_97canadianpic.png.1f0269e722563791c78a4e9dcd8abd93.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Pitre

Thanks to those who replied. Looks like without Paul Vincent Peters full records, I may never know where he served overseas. Thanks again really appreciate all your responses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnmelling1979

The 97th Overseas Infantry Battalion  had a publication called The American Legion Magazine 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnmelling1979

 

Within the link I earlier sent you below I have found out this -

 

Although unknown to the battalion or its commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel 
Jolly, at the time, the 97th was prohibited from being transferred to England for further
training because the United States government objected to any battalion serving in the war 
under the designation of the “American Legion"

 

After the Department of Militia and Defence canceled the 97th’s orders 
to leave Canada for service on the Western Front in May 1916, some of the battalion’s 
officers resigned their commissions, several men deserted, and many others reinlisted in 
battalions about to be sent overseas.

 

And others just went over to England to join up !

 

John :whistle::thumbsup:

 

 

 

7 hours ago, johnmelling1979 said:

A pasasage from a  https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj8z9e7mq7oAhWXEMAKHWt5BY04ChAWMAB6BAgEEAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.unomaha.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1369%26context%3Dstudentwork&usg=AOvVaw0c4DKbpD5FCXWT3p7QPzs1

 

The inability to mobilize the American Legion and the agitation the Legion
caused the Canadian government with the United States prompted the CEF’s military 
hierarchy to disband this recruiting experiment. The 97th Overseas Infantry Battalion 
came the closest to participating in the war, but during its final training maneuvers in 
England it was demobilized and its troops were assigned to other CEF battalions as 

reinforcements.

239239741_97canadianpic.png.1f0269e722563791c78a4e9dcd8abd93.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnmelling1979

Further into the link PAGE 129 , now this may give you a big help !!!:thumbsup:

 

October 1916

 

The reorganized 97th protested to the British War 
Office, but it was to no avail. Initially, three hundred men were transferred to the CEF’s 
4th Overseas Infantry Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, as reinforcements; and on 
October 22 and 27, 1916, 150 and 120 men were respectively transferred to the Royal 
Canadian Regiment on the Western Front, which was deployed near the French city of 
Courcellette as a part of the 7th Brigade, 3rd Division. The remainder of the unit, 428, 
either transferred to the Royal Canadian Regiment or Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light 
Infantry on November 1, 1916, one week before the 1916 Presidential Elections. The 
97th officially disbanded on April 5, 1918, in accordance with Privy Council Order 
Number 532.315

 

 

John 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Pitre

Thanks so much John ! Part of Paul Vincent Peters records I do have say he shipped out on the SS Olympic, a large troop ship, older sister ship of the Titanic 18/9/16 so I know he made it to England. I'll hope to find a list someplace showing what battalion he ended up in. Thanks for your help.

Paul Military 2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnmelling1979

Hello

 

So he did make it to England

 

Do you happen to know what year he went home?

 

Because if he served to the end of the war? Then I reckon he must have been at the battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

As many of the former 97th and other "American Legion battalion" members were definitely there! 

 

Initially, three hundred men were transferred to the CEF’s  4th Overseas Infantry Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, as reinforcements

 

And on October 22 and 27 1916, 150 and 120 men were respectively transferred to the Royal 
Canadian Regiment
on the Western Front, which was deployed near the French city of 
Courcellette as a part of the 7th Brigade, 3rd Division

 

The remainder of the unit,428 men, either transferred to the Royal Canadian Regiment or Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light 
Infantry
on November 1, 1916, one week before the 1916 Presidential Elections.

 

The CEF’s 38th Overseas Infantry Battalion - also a possibility as there were previous members of the 97th it that battalion

 

Or he could have joined a British Battalion I suppose?

 

The 97th officially disbanded on April 5, 1918

 

John

 

 

 

 

Edited by johnmelling1979

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
regimentalrogue
53 minutes ago, johnmelling1979 said:

The remainder of the unit,428 men, either transferred to the Royal Canadian Regiment or Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light 
Infantry
on November 1, 1916, one week before the 1916 Presidential Elections.

 

I can eliminate The Royal Canadian Regiment from the possibilities, Paul Vincent Peters does not appear in the unit's nominal roll for the CEF.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnmelling1979
3 minutes ago, regimentalrogue said:

 

I can eliminate The Royal Canadian Regiment from the possibilities, Paul Vincent Peters does not appear in the unit's nominal roll for the CEF.

 

 

 

 

 

Hello regimentalrogue

 

Thanks for helping to look into this, as its a clutching at straws situation :thumbsup:

 

Managed to get Jeff something to looking into at least!

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
regimentalrogue

DIgging deeper into my files, he also does not appear in the roll of those who served in the CEF with the PPCLI that that regiment published in 1923.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Pitre

Thanks again John, Travers61, and also Regimentalrogue.  This is good information and a new place to start searching. I just checked and in 1921 he was back in Manitoba with his soon to be or already married and staying with her family.  This has been a great help, thank you. John, I see you are from England, my mother was a WW2 war bride. Dad was over there with the Royal Canadian Engineers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnmelling1979

Hello Jeff

 

Glad to be of some help.. at least it gives you a general direction of new research to do ….

 

Well I certainly am from England.. near Preston, Lancashire in the North West to be exact.

And I too have Canadian connections, as had family go over to Canada In the 1920/30s and living in Brag Creek, Alberta

Where they eventually helped build the first YHA hostels c 1933. Some of them came back over to my mum and dads wedding, cowboy hat and all :thumbsup:

 

 

John

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Pitre

Thanks again John, Travers61, and also Regimentalrogue.  This is good information and a new place to start searching. I just checked and in 1921 he was back in Manitoba with his soon to be or already married and staying with her family.  This has been a great help, thank you. John, I see you are from England, my mother was a WW2 war bride. Dad was over there with the Royal Canadian Engineers.

Found this too: 

Screenshot_2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
johnmelling1979

Jeffe

 

Good find ;P

So yes  brilliant as that is also confirming what I posted previously , extractions from the link :thumbsup:  matching your info above.

Also reimentalrogues attempted to find his name with the PPCLI roll, its not on, or it was missed.

Or he was instead drafted into one of the other Regiments ! 

 

23 hours ago, regimentalrogue said:

DIgging deeper into my files, he also does not appear in the roll of those who served in the CEF with the PPCLI that that regiment published in 1923.

 

 

Good work so far 

 

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Pitre

Yes Thanks John, I realized after that it was repetitive, but maybe a different source so confirming the other post. I'm a bit slow at this with other research I'm doing and keeping busy because of the current virus situation. Trying to keep up with the virus updates is important but time consuming. I will keep looking !! thanks again, Jeff Anyone who wants to communicate by email which is easier than this forum for short questions etc. my email is jefpit@shaw.ca 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mancpal

Jeff,

Ive found this thread very interesting and hope you discover more.

I don’t usually read up on colonial armies preferring regiments much closer to home.

If he did serve in Europe I wonder if he may have been involved somehow in the Canadian mutiny at Kinmel Camp, North Wales. I know it’s a long shot. From memory I think the mutiny was sparked by troop ships transporting US troops home who hadn’t reached the front before the battle hardened Canadians and tempers frayed. I visited the graves of the 5 victims of the mutiny. So very sad to have gone through all they had to perish in a ‘safe’ country thousands of miles from home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Pitre

mancpal, Hmmm very interesting indeed!! Well no way of knowing so far. It seems the 97th was absorbed into several different regiments/units and unless I can find a list with his name on, I'll probably never know. He did make it to England and he did come home, that much I have proof in documents. He died in California in 1969, and must have lost all contact with family as I would have heard his name mentioned by my Dad and his 9 siblings and grandparents when growing up. I will continue to research and thank you and the others for your input!! Jeff 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jeff Pitre

John,  I missed thisfrom one of your posts: 

Because if he served to the end of the war? Then I reckon he must have been at the battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

As many of the former 97th and other "American Legion battalion" members were definitely there! 

The records I have didn't include his discharge information, so no way of knowing a date. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...