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Duncan

'CRI' as unit on Canadian Victory Medal.

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Duncan

Anyone know what CRI stands for as the unit on a Canadian Victory Medal? He was French Canadian if that has any relevance?

Duncan.

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Broznitsky

Could it be CRT? That would be Canadian Railway Troops; about 13 battalions worth.

Peter in Ladner, B.C.

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Borden Battery

Here is some additional background on the Canadian Railway Troops:

From 1917 to the end of the war all light railway construction and maintenance on the British front was carried out by Canadian troops, assisted by attached labour. During the German offensives of 1918 railway units were diverted to the necessary reorganization of the L. of C. and to the construction of a rear defence system. The 2nd Battalion C.R.T., it may be recalled, assumed an infantry holding role. The ready ability of the railway troops to undertake this commitment was a vindication of the policy laid down by the Canadian military authorities - that every Canadian engaged at the front on work of a technical nature must first be trained as a fighting soldier. All British railway, labour and other troops assigned to the defences came under the orders of General Stewart. At one point seven Canadian railway battalions and sixty British units - a total of 22,400 all ranks - were so employed. The 2nd Canadian Battalion, working day and night under heavy shelling, maintained lines linking the British and French systems, making it possible to remove much valuable rolling stock which otherwise would have been destroyed or abandoned. To salvage valuable stocks of timber from the advancing Germans, the Canadians dumped the logs into the canals, forming them into rafts on which they carried to safety large quantities of steel rails, telephone poles and railway ties. By the late summer of 1918 Canadian railwaymen were heavily involved in preparing for the great Amiens offensive which opened on 8 August. They continued to play an important role in the subsequent operations which eventually brought victory to the Allies.

Source: Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War - Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919, Colonel G. W. L. Nicholson, p 462

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In addition, this CEF Study Group Recommended website will enable you to view some digitized film of these railways in action.

The National Film Board WW1 Film Project

The NFB continue a program to digitize Canadian films from WW1. The only downside is having to use my least favourite media player, RealPlayer. However, the images have a haunting impact on the viewer.

http://www.nfb.ca/ww1/

Borden Battery

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