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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

238 Canadian Forestry Battalion

Tyneside Chinaman

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Can anyone help with this photograph

The man is obviousley a sergeant and the collar badge is definitley that of the 238th Infantry Battalion (Canadian Forestry Battalion).

This unit was raised in Ontario and Quebec with mobilisation HQ at Valcartier under the authority of GO 69 15th July 1916. The battalion sailed on 11 September 1916 under the command of Lt Colonel W R Smith with Forty Four Officers and one thousand and eighty one other ranks. In England it was absorbed into the Canadian Forestry Corps.

Why then does the Sergeant have a cloth CALGARY below his CANADA tiltle.

Any ideas anyone


Tyneside Chinaman


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Haven't got an answer for you on the S/T, but there is a sister forum to the GWF which is dedicated to the C.E.F., who are known simply as the "C.E.F. Study Group". They have a number of members who are collectors/reserchers of CEF uniforms and badges, who may give you the correct answer you seek.



Also check this website out regarding Canadian uniforms and insignia;-


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The "city" or "provincial" cloth shoulder titles are a bit of a mystery. One explanation suggests they were worn by the reinforcement or provincial depot battalion and only came into use late in the war. They don't appear to be in use until at least 1917. This fellow may have been transfered to a unit that reinforced the western battalions or was associated with the reinforcement of Calgary area battalions.

These "city and provincial" cloth titles are usually found in blue on khaki or red on khaki. They are not to be confused with the early issue cloth titles for the first Canadian contingent. In the fall of 1914, some battalions of the first contingent wore cloth shoulder titles, including the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 12th Battalions.

There is evidence of cloth shoulder titles being worn by Canadian Corps battalions. For example, NOVA SCOTIA has been associated with the 25th Battalion, and 27 CITY OF WINNIPEG with the 27th. The 46th Battalion wore a cloth shoulder title almost exclusively late in the war, but it read 46th CANADA. The 46th titles have been documented as a wartime issue battalion title. There are several more cloth shoulder titles that are connected to Canadian Corps battalions.

Another version of the provenance for the cloth "city or provincial" titles has it that they were issued for repatriation. The destination for demobilization of the soldier was was identified by the cloth shoulder title.

At this point in time, the first explanation appears to be the most likely.

A great reply from Bill Alexander on the CEFresearch forum


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