WW1 - 16th Battalion
I have the WW1 service records for my grandmother’s cousin John O’Connor.
He enlisted in Manitoba, Canada in January 1916 and was assigned to the 108th Battalion. In England he was transferred to the 14th Reserve Battalion (Manitoba).
John arrived in France on 5 March 1917 and that same day was “transferred to 16th Batt., B.E.F., France.” One further reference to his unit says “16th Bn Can Sup.”
John died at Hill 70 on Aug.15-16, 1917 and I believe the 16th Battalion refers to the Canadian Scottish, which has Hill 70 listed as one of their battle honours. I’ve been reading their war diaries which are online and include a narrative of their attack on Hill 70.
My question is, why the reference to “B.E.F.” when he arrived in France? At first I thought he’d been transferred to the British Army but that seems unlikely now.
BEF would refer to British Expeditionary Force. A full explanation can be found on Wikipedia
Thanks Neil but I didn't word my question very clearly!
John was with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) and was attached to the three battalions I listed.
Why would a Canadian Battalion (the 16th) be referenced as B.E.F.?
Hope I can explain this. Right here goes its to do with the Empire at the time, you see Canada was part of the the Birtish Empire, so hence would come under "British" even though he was a Canadian, have the same thing with my Grandfather joining up with the Australians and then becoming part of the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (M.E.F.) I hope that explains it. In Australia the call to fight was to fight for the mother land e.g. Britian I think that is the reason.