2nd Canadian Division

The history of the 2nd Canadian Division

On 6 October 1914, the first Division having been successfully raised, the Governor-General of Canada offered a second to the British Government. The 2nd Division sailed in May 1915 and arrived in England shortly afterward. It completed training at Shorncliffe and crossed to France 15-18 September 1915. Thereafter the Division fought in many of the major actions of the war, including:

1916
The Actions of St Eloi Craters
The Battle of Mount Sorrel
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*
The Battle of Thiepval*
The Battle of Le Transloy*
The Battle of the Ancre Heights*
The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

1917
The Battle of Vimy**
The Attack on La Coulotte**
The Battle of Arleux**
The Third Battle of the Scarpe and the capture of Fresnoy**
Operations towards Lens**
The Battle of Hill 70**
The battles marked ** are phases of the Arras Offensive
The Second Battle of Passchendaele (a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres)

1918
The Canadian Divisions were not affected by the restructuring of the army to having three brigades per Division, that took place in the British Divisions in February 1918.
The First Battle of Arras 1918 (a phase of the First Battles of the Somme 1918)
The Battle of Amiens and actions around Damery
The Battle of the Scarpe+ (a phase of the Second Battles of Arras 1918)
The Battle of Cambrai (a phase of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line)
The pursuit to the Selle
The Battle of the Sambre, notably the passage of the Grand Honelle

The Division was selected to advance into Germany but demobilisation commenced in late 1918. The last elements returned home in May 1919.

The order of battle of the 2nd Canadian Division

4th Canadian Brigade formed when the original 4th Brigade, initially with 1st Canadian Division, was converted into a reserve
18th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario)
19th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario)
20th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario)
21st Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Eastern Ontario)
4th Canadian Machine Gun Company formed January 1916
left to move into 2nd Canadian MG Battalion March 1918
4th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery joined March 1916
5th Canadian Brigade
22nd Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Canadien Francais)
24th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Victoria Rifles)
25th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Nova Scotia Rifles)
26th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (New Brunswick)
5th Canadian Machine Gun Company formed January 1916
left to move into 2nd Canadian MG Battalion March 1918
5th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery joined March 1916
6th Canadian Brigade
27th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (City of Winnipeg)
28th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (North West)
29th Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Vancouver)
31st Bn, the Canadian Infantry (Alberta)
6th Canadian Machine Gun Company formed February 1916
left to move into 2nd Canadian MG Battalion March 1918
6th Canadian Trench Mortar Battery formed May 1916
Divisional Troops under direct command of Divisional HQ
2nd Canadian Pioneer Battalion joined March 1916
14th Canadian Machine Gun Company joined February 1917
left to move into 2nd Canadian MG Battalion March 1918
2nd Canadian Machine Gun Battalion formed March 1918
2nd Canadian Divisional Train ASC later titled 672, 673, 674 and 675 Companies
2nd Canadian Mobile Veterinary Section AVC
2nd Canadian Divisional Employment Company joined June 1917
Divisional Mounted Troops under direct command of Divisional HQ
A Sqn, the 7th Canadian Mounted Rifles joined March 1916, left May 1916
2nd Canadian Cyclist Company joined May 1915, left May 1916
Borden’s Armoured Motor Battery joined May 1915, left December 1916
Divisional Artillery
4th Canadian Brigade, RFA left May 1917
5th Canadian Brigade, RFA
6th Canadian Brigade, RFA not sent to France and disbanded
7th Canadian Brigade, RFA broken up March 1917
2nd Canadian Divisional Ammunition Column
CXXXI (Howitzer) Brigade, RFA British unit. Joined September 1915, left June 1916
6th Canadian Brigade, RFA formed as 8th Brigade but retitled before joining January 1916
W.2.C Heavy Trench Mortar Battery RFA joined June 1916, retitled as V.2.C in 1918
X.2.C, Y.2.C and Z.2.C Medium Mortar Batteries RFA formed March 1916; in February 1918, Z broken up and batteries reorganised to have 6 x 6-inch weapons each
Royal Engineers Field Companies formed into a 2nd Brigade in June 1918
4th Canadian Field Company
5th Canadian Field Company
6th Canadian Field Company
2nd Canadian Divisional Signals Company
Royal Army Medical Corps
4th Canadian Field Ambulance
5th Canadian Field Ambulance
6th Canadian Field Ambulance

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