Perpetuation of the Units of the
Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.), 1914-1919

Introduction - Cavalry - Artillery - Infantry Battalions 1-50, 51-100, 101-150, 151-200, 201-230, 231-260 - Machine Guns


As the end of the Great War became a realistic possibility, the Canadian Government knew that it would have to resolve the dilemma of maintaining the memory of the achievements and successes of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The C.E.F. was a separate structure than the existing Militia, which precluded simply bringing the active service battalions back home with their war service achievements intact. In January of 1918, Major General Sir Willoughby Gwatkin proposed that General William Otter should head up a committee "to consider and report how best, on demobilization, to preserve the identity of battalions and other units, which have fought in France by incorporating them into the Militia: this as far as possible without increase in establishment, without prejudice to the divisional system of organization, and with due regard to services rendered by the Militia both before and during the present war."(1)

The guidelines as described by Gwatkin precluded the option of replacing the existing Militia organization with the C.E.F. divisional structure and its battalions and units. The Reorganization Committee, also known as the Otter Committee (or Commission), spent many months examining the task at hand, holding hearings across the country in the fall of 1919 to obtain the collective opinions of the public, the Militia and members of the C.E.F. 

Understandably, contemplation of military organization and preparedness for future wars was not high on the agenda of any of these groups after the long and exhausting experiences of the First World War. Despite the general mood, the units of the Militia contested in many cases the proposals for rights of perpetuation of various C.E.F. battalions. Eventually the clashes were settled, and  through a series of decisions and memoranda issued by McNaughton and Gwatkin, the results of the Reorganization Committee, combining the perpetuation of C.E.F Units as well as Militia reorganization, were issued.   

The following links show tables compiling the perpetuation of C,E.F. units in the units of the Canadian Militia. Compiled references date from 1932, 1939 and 1964: