The 119th Batallion
Citizens from our local Townships; Laird, Macdonald, Tarbutt and St. Joseph were part of the history and courage of this great war. Details are sketchy and many of those who returned to Canada after the war were more intent on returning to their former way of life than re-living the past tragedies of their war experiences. The 119th Battalion that trained in Echo Bay during the First World War is one example of the commitment that Canadians exhibited in the fight for freedom. The Honour Roll from this area of those who served and risked their lives reads long and proud; for some the ultimate price was paid by those who defended our right to live as free citizens today.

Members of the 119th Batallion
Left to Right, Back Row: J.W. Beatty, C. Hurley, W. Browne, G.P. Nash, F. Hurley, W. Collins, NN. Monroe, J. Smith, M. Browne, P. Howard, J. Brodie, A.H. McWatters, F. Pine; Middle Row: P. Thomas, A. Murray, J.F. Jerrall, J.S. McBain, J. Bagler, Lieut. E. Depencier, D. Buckannan, A. Alton, E. Elliott, R.L. Evoy, W. Bartlett, W. Bookman, Front Row: W. Scott, L. Gibson, A.W. Hurley, G. Gibb, Corp. J. McLean, Corp. H. Barkley, P.H. McWatters, P.R. Murray, A. Johnson, W. Vincent, H. Swen.

The 119th Battalion was formed in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for the purpose of recruiting and training soldiers. Following basic training, some of which took place in the Echo Bay area, the men of 119th were shipped to Toronto then to the east coast and finally to Europe. The 119th was used to fill the gaps in the other divisions in France. For this reason, there is no identifiable Canadian battalion that fought in France. Nevertheless, Canadians did earn a reputation for their bravery and fierce fighting.

Although there was a heavy concentration of men from Laird Township in the 119th Battalion, many others from the communities enlisted and were willing to dedicate their lives in the cause of freedom. They served in other units of the conflict.

Curious to know more?  Delve Further Into The 119th Batallion Here:
Laird Chronicles Chapter 9 – The Military Effort
Laird History Volume Two – Military
Photos – Military Collection