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CEF Histories


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I know other Canadian Pals have made this offer, but perhaps I can help out as well. I have a fairly good collection of CEF unit histories, and in particular, the following provide good nominal rolls, including casualties and not just a list of those who died:

- 2nd, 16th, 20th, 26th, 38th, 42nd, 73rd, 85th, 102nd, 2nd CMR.

If you want anyone checked please let me know.

Cheers from Canada


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Hi Terry,

If I may I would like to request a fair size chunk fo the 16th's History.

Please contact me off forum I will be happy to pay any expenses and reimburse you for your time.

Thank you,


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Hi Terry:

May I suggest the Canadian Pals share our CEF histories and create a resource spreadsheet listing: battalion, book title, author, year published, holder of the book, etc. The spreadsheet could then be posted for forum members to download. I don't mind creating the spreadsheet.

I've got histories for the PPCLI, 4th CMR, 2nd, 29th, 44th, 64th, 102nd, and 116th Infantry Battalions and the 2nd Canadian Railway Troops and 6th Field Company C.E. histories. Other histories are Nicholson's CEF official history and his Gunners Of Canada (Volume 1) and the History Of The Canadian Forces 1914-1919: Medical Services.

Let me know what you think.


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Hi Garth,

Sounds like a good idea. I have the following histories:

LSH, RCR, 2, 10, 13, 14, 16, 20, 22 (in French), 25, 26, 27, 29, 42, 46, 50, 58, 64, 85, 102, 116, 137, 160 Bns; 127 CRT; 2 CMR; 6 Engineers; 2 Div Amm Column; plus nom roll with casualties for 38th Bn; cas lists for 73rd Bn; plus the usual histories.

Anything I can do let me know.

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I don't own any "official" histories, but I have now accumulated quite a bit of archival material on the 41st (Canadien Français) Battalion and the 3rd Pioneer (48th Victoria) Battalion. I have also visited Vancouver City Archives for their holdings on the 29th (Vancouver) Battalion.


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One of the men remembered on my local war memorial is:

Pte. 192242

Cyril Ralph Hill

42nd Battalion

Quebec Regiment

He died of wounds on 09/10/16, at the 2/1 South Midland CCS,are you able to give me any information on him or the action in which he received his wounds.

Thanks in advance


Ian Chambers

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Pte.C.R.Hill is indeed listed in the unit's roll of honour with the correct date of death. When I checked the unit itinerary for the period, it appeared that the unit had just returned to the trenches from a rest period on 5 Oct., and then were relieved on the 7th, moving back into brigade reserve. However, on the 8th they were called up again.

During the first period (5-7 Oct.) a unit recce party was moving forward to liase with HQ 43rd Bn when a direct hit caused numerous casualties, killing the battalion scout officer, wounding three acting company commanders, "...as well as a number of other ranks." Apparently some 15-20 all ranks injured, so Hill may have been with this group.

Once the unit was in their position a sharp bombing attack occured on their post at Kenora Trench. The attack was repulsed but the 42nd had "numerous casualties".

During the second tour (on the 8th) they suffered more casualties, but no numbers are given.

Sorry that I can't be more specific. As is usually the case in WW1 histories, the officer casualties are normally mentioned by name but the other ranks are not.

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Hi All:

I've stared a Excel spreadsheet listing just the infantry battalion histories (as a start) in my library. I've converted the file to a pdf for downloading.

Take a look at it and please make suggestions for the layout; I'm open to any changes. Once we've decided on a format, I'll fill it in with your submissions. We should list duplicate histories and their owners. For example, both Terry and I have histories for the 2nd, 29th, 64th, 102nd and 116th battalions.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello, A couple of questions. Many of the Canadian WWII regimental histories contain chapters or sections on their regiment's perpetuated battalion's contributions to the CEF. Should these be listed? (Often skimpy in detail, but a history none the less.) Other histories cover the entire units existence, for example the RCD history by Greenhous. Should these be included? And finally, organization or municipality commemoratives? Eg the Roll of Honour Ontario Teachers 1914-1918, or the many University or commercial commemoratives? These often give biographical details not found elsewhere.

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Hi Bill:

I'm open to any suggestions as to format and content. To respond to a couple of your questions:

Point 1 - I know what you mean about some of the regimental histories. I've got a copy of 'A History of the First Hussars Regiment: 1856-1980' that devotes only 7 pages to WWI. (I think they should be included in the listing of regimental/battalion histories.)

Point 2 - You'll often find some fascinating and useful information in these books, pamphlets, etc. (Maybe they should be listed in an 'Other Publications' category.)

I hope we can get this off the ground.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry last reply was sent inadvertently:

I have the following CEF unit histories:

Second Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column and its part in the Great War (nominal roll).

Gun-fire, An Historical Narrative of the 4th Brigade, CFA (nominal roll)

The Seventh (7th Canadian Siege Battery)(nominal roll)

War Diary, 10th Canadian Siege Battery (nominal roll)

The Diary of 13th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, 1914-1919 (nominal roll)

16th Brigade, CFA, NREF (in Northern Russia) (nominal roll)

Battery Action! The Story of the 43rd Battery, CFA (nominal roll)

History of the Fifty-Fifth Battery, CFA (nominal roll)

The 60th CFA Battery Book, 1916-1919 (nominal roll)

The Story of the Sixty-Sixth CFA (nominal roll)

Canadian Artillery Officers Who Served Overseas, 1914-1919

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, Ottawa, 1855-1952

I also have embarkation rolls for all the RCHA, CFA and CGA units that went overseas during the Great War.

Regards. Dick Flory

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I have seen a couple of your posts greatly assisting with info on Artillery units.

Please could i trouble you to have a look at the units of a couple of men, whom i am researching. The first was a Driver Fred Lambert, "B" Bty, 92nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery(died 12/02/17 & buried in the Devonshire Cemetery) and the second Gunner Herbert Sutcliffe, 220th Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery(died 06/02/17 & buried Sailly-Au-Bois).



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  • 4 months later...
Borden Battery

In the similar fashion of the OCR scanning of the Canadian Emma Gees book currently posted on Brett Payne's website in New Zealand:


I am looking to borrow from somewhere "The History of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps, C.E.F. by H.T. Logan and M.R. Levey, 1919. It is a rare document and would be another useful reference text to be placed onto the Internet for serious military historians who cannot access it.

Can anyone advise where a copy might be borrowed for about 8 weeks?

Finally, we are currently talking to some recent military history graduate students and may be able to post thesis material on this web-site in the near future. In fact, if any of the subscribers are aware of new research material from graduate students - please refer them to us.

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  • 3 weeks later...


Most of what I have are repeats but I will include all of what I have.

The twenty fifth Battalion

The Story of the 64th Battalion C.E.F.

The Eighty Fifthin France and Flanders

The Black Battalion (No2 Const.)

I also have the following although not Regt. Histories some have a wealth of information.

Fighters For Freedom (Sketches of some of the men fron Nova Scotia who Served)

Over the Top With the Twenty Fifth (by Lieut Ralph Lewis of the Battalion)

Nova Scotia's Part in the Great War (Great source for basic information on units and list all the Nurses and Doctors form Nova Scotia.)

Booklet Dalhousie No. 7 Stationary Hospitial (Includes brief history, shipping list and a list of men struck and taken on strengh while in England Printed 1916)

106th Battalion picture book (has photos of almost all Officers and men who served with the battalion.

Highland Brigade picture book (Includes the 85th, 185th , 193rd and the 219th battalions note I do not have a scanner at the time but am going to aquire one

within a month.)

Best regards


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Borden Battery

I am working on transcribing the War Diaries of the Borden Motor Machine Gun Battery of the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade. In addition, I am also working on transcribing the War Diaries of the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade. Then I will start to detail the Eaton and Yukon Batteries.

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  • 11 years later...

The transcription of the 900+ History of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps is largely complete. Here is the preliminary biographies of Logan and Levey. Details on Brutinel will be added shortly.

Short Biographical Sketches on the Authors Logan and Levey

History of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps

Harry Tremaine Logan was born in Londonderry, Nova Scotia in 1887 during a period when the town was a rough and bustling iron ore mining and steel centre of some 5,000 people. Today only overgrown spoil piles remain. Logan was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia where his father was a Doctor of Divinity in the Presbyterian Church. Mark Robert Levey lists Kingston, Ontario as his 1893 birthplace and his Attestation Papers designate a Miss Pearl Levey, care of George Marshall of Hespeler (near Kitchener, Ontario), as next of kin. Levey and his sister Pearl may have been orphans and more research is required. However, the University of Alberta website refers to its important alumni as "Mark Robert Marshall" and Mark Marshall (Levey) but with the location of his birth being in Austria. If his birthplace was indeed Austria, this might explain the use of Kingston, Ontario and his listing as Presbyterian as his religion. Further, Hespeler is adjacent to Kitchener, Ontario - a city which changed its name from Berlin in 1916 during a period of strong anti-German feelings from the Great War.

Logan was a graduate of McGill University (1909) with Honours in Classics, a Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of Oxford University (1911). In 1913 he began teaching at McGill University College of British Columbia (McGill Collage) which was a private institution under an independent governing body, known as the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, and gave courses "leading to degrees of McGill University". McGill College became part of the University of British Columbia in 1915 with Logan on the original faculty. Levey lists his occupation as surveyor on his September 1914 Attestation papers. He was 21 years old.

Levey's Attestation papers were filed on 19 September 1914 and he was taken on strength at Valcartier, Quebec on 23 September 1914 as Private 18215 - one of the "Originals". A notation in the upper left corner denotes the "Auto Machine Gun Brigade", however, he is not listed on the 1915 Nominal Roll for this Brigade and must have joined in Europe. In comparison, Logan's "Officer's Declaration Paper" is dated 13 April 1916 with him joining as a 29 year old lieutenant with the 72nd Overseas Battalion (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada) from Vancouver. Logan also had two years prior experience with the "King Edwards Horse" and lists both the British Columbia University's R.O.T.C which was attached to the "72nd S.H. of C." and the King Edwards Horse as prior military experience. Also known as the "King's Overseas Dominions Regiment", he was likely a member of the King Edwards Horse while at Oxford University prior to graduation in 1911.

Details remained to be researched, however, both men later served with the Canadian Machine Gun Corps and became integral with its operation and later in the recording of its history after the Armistice. The first mention of Levey in the "History" relates to the Canadian Machine Gun School for Officers which operated at Pernes just prior to the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The excerpt states, "The Staff was composed of Major M.A. SCOTT, and Lieut. M.R. LEVEY, both of the 1st C.M.M.G. Brigade. Special lectures were also delivered by Lieut.-Colonel R. BRUTINEL. Classes consisted of 1 Officer from each Machine Gun Unit in the Corps. Each Course lasted 8 days."

In a 1962 CBC interview on Tape No.5 of the transcribed Brutinel Tapes Brutinel is quoted, "Intense training was given to the Officers and Gunners, thanks largely to that born teacher, Capt. Mark R. Marshall (Levey) and to Major G. Forster, my Brigade Major." So we can assume Levey had a detailed and in-depth knowledge of the doctrine and workings of the machine gun. In Tape No. 16 of the Brutinel Tapes, Brutinel further states, "This doctrine [machine gun employment] forged steadily ahead during these years of incessant fighting. It is implemented in great detail in the excellent books compiled by Major Harry Logan and Captain Mark R. Marshall (Levey), when in charge of the Historical Section of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps in Bonn during the occupation of Germany. This precious compilation, too expensive to be printed and diffused, rests in the archives of the Historical Section of the department of National Defense." Later in the "History" it states "In the Summer of 1918, the addition of a Staff Learner to the Staff was authorised and Captain M.R. LEVEY was appointed to fill the position." Levey was now formally engaged in training of staff officers and the documentation and transfer of knowledge in the basic enhanced instruction of recruits as well as understanding the emerging machine gun doctrine which had proved so successful for the Canadian Corps.

Logan is mentioned in the "History" as being with the 16th Machine Gun Company and active in late October and early November 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele. However, as he was likely the lead author of the "History" it can be supposed a natural modesty resulted in an understatement of his actions in the Machine Gun Corps. More research will be required on Logan who was awarded the Military Cross.

While Logan was a Rhodes Scholar with a known capacity for writing, Levey must have been recognized as both highly intelligent and with a detailed understanding of the training and doctrine of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps as the "Staff Learner" and "Chief Instructor". Brig-General Brutinel, always a keen judge of character and strategic view of the importance of this work, likely hand-selected these men to lead the documentation and writing of the drafts. It is assumed Brutinel would have done some of the editing. During the intense period of writing of this Corps manuscript, Logan was 32 and Levey 26 years old respectively.

In terms of exposure within the Machine Gun Corps, while Levey was involved in combat with the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade (The Motors), instruction of officers and other ranks and also in regular contact with headquarters; Logan was from the 16th Machine Gun Company and brought the background and experiences of the non-Motors "Emma Gees".

Both men rose through the ranks, with Levey starting as a raw private and Logan as a genteel lieutenant with exposure to the Imperial militia. A range of sub-units were within their experience and they would have had a good understanding of the horizontal and vertical elements of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Brutinel, having once been a conscripted sergeant in the French Army prior to emigrating to Canada, would have also understood the importance of the chain of command and in engaging the "Other Ranks". Nevertheless, as was the custom, officers get mentioned by name and it is rare for an "Other Rank" to be mentioned by name.

It must be assumed that Brutinel, Logan and Levey realized there was limited period of time and resources available to research and document the actions of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Starting in the Bonn, Germany during the latter part of occupation phase, to London, England and finally Ottawa, the writing team completed this draft between February – August, 1919 as listed on the front cover. Other administrative duties would have continued during this time and it was perhaps only during the latter part of the period where the authors could devote a major portion of their time. Time was a factor in writing the product.

With regard to the writing of the "History"; on 9 January 1919, the War Diary of Canadian Machine Gun Corps states Brutinel leaves Bonn for "the HESDIN [France] area to compile the history of the Canadian Corps for 1918". From Andenne, Belgium War Diary refer to Levey and Logan beginning work on the History of the Canadian Machine Gun Corp on 16-17 February 1919 respectively. Prior to this, there are numerous statements to working on the history in the War Diary. The War Diary further states on 1 April 1919 that Major Logan and the Narrative Section of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps was now located at 15 Tudor Street in London EC, whereas on 7 April 1919 the War Diary states the GOC the CMGC and the Canadian War Narrative Section staff moved from Hersin to Bramshott, England. Green Arbour House in London is a second location mentioned. It is not clear if the writers cohabited during the writing and this might explain some of the differences in the detail and writing styles of Part 1 and Part 2.

Capt. Levey, on 12 April 1919, is recorded in the War Diary as having just returned from England after distributing buttons and Honourable Discharge Certificates to members of the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade and the 2nd Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade. Finally, War Diary of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps states the unit will cease to exist as of 18 April 1919 and that all remaining officers were to report to the Adjutant-Generals Headquarters in London for "disposal". No further War Diary entries are recorded. Work on the drafts would have continued over the summer in Ottawa, Canada before everyone was discharged and "disposed" and the manuscript was turned over to Canadian War Narrative Section.

After discharge from the Army, Harry T. Logan returned to the University of British Columbia and continued a long career as a professor of the Classics. The UBC website states, "In 1936 he accepted appointment as Principal of Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School at Duncan, BC, where underprivileged youngsters from the United Kingdom were given a healthy start in life. He went to England as secretary of the Fairbridge Society in 1946 returning to the University as Head of the Department of Classics in 1949. He reached the age of retirement in 1952 but remained as Chairman of the Department for two years. Then, at the urging of his successor and his colleagues, he continued to teach and for thirteen remarkable years where scores of fortunate students read Plato and Vergil under Logan's tutelage. In March, 1967, the Department celebrated "the Colonel's" 80th birthday and in the following month he taught his final class. In the last four years he visited frequently and maintained his interest in men and things Classical." Harry Logan passed away on 25 1971, one week before his 84th birthday.

Capt. Levey settled in Edmonton, Alberta after his discharge and listed himself as an engineer in 1920 before entering medical school. He earned an MD from McGill University in 1926 before completing post-doctoral studies in McGill and Vienna, Austria. Returning to the University of Alberta he progressed from a demonstrator to lecturer before becoming a clinical professor of ophthalmology (1940) and then head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Rhinootolaryngology (1940-60). During the Second World War he re-enlisted in 1943, returned to medical practice after the war and retired in 1961. Marshall passed away October 23, 1990 in Toronto, Ontario.

Finally, it must be assumed that Brig-General Raymond Brutinel had a significant role in the review and editing of the drafts being produced by Logan and Levey. The following short biography is offered by the living descendents of Brutinel.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello, I have already posted a similar post in a different form but this ones subject matter is more appropriate to my question because it is connected to the CFE 42nd Battalion.I am researching a Post Card that was sent to Montreal, My Goal is to identify the author (Dick) but he lacks a surname. All I know is listed bellow.

- Letter was sent to Montreal in 1916 to a Ms. F harris at the Royal Victoria Hospital and is most likely from the front because he is not allowed to tell the recipient where he is.

- Letter makes mention of a wounded mutual friend between the author "Dick" and Ms. Harris. This friends name is Charles McPherson reg number (418763) and I believe he served 42nd Canadian Battalion I believe. Here is a link to his Attestation paper http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/first-world-war-1914-1918-cef/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=134841.

​- Does anyone have any other knowledge about Charles McPherson Reg 418763?

- Hexagonal Field Censor Stamp (3672) This may be from the 2nd Canadian Hospital, if some one know how I could link this stamp to a specific unit for which there is a record of, that may help me find my missing man.

- If this number is truly associated with the 2nd Canadian Hospital, is there some sort of registry available where I can search for a Richard or a Dick?

Post Card Attached as PDF :D

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 5.05.39 PM.pdf

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