WWI Veternas of Guysborough County

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Bruce MacDonald of Antigonish, Nova Scotia has a blog “World War I Veterans of Guysborough County” (http://guysboroughgreatwarveterans.blogspot.ca/). The goal of the blog is to compile a biographical sketch of each WWI veteran who was born and/or lived in Guysborough County.

With 38 posts to date, he has the story of 19 individuals and a side story providing information of the unit/corps/situation. As a bonus, Bruce has provided references for each post, including online sources.

The Canadian Military Engineers are well represented with the following stories:

Pte. James Leo McDonald – A Canadian Forestry Corps Soldier’s Story / The Canadian Forestry Corps – http://guysboroughgreatwarveterans.blogspot.ca/2012_02_01_archive.html

Lance Cpl. Frank Burton ‘Burt’ McLane – A Sapper’s Story / BEF & CEF Tunnelling Companies – http://guysboroughgreatwarveterans.blogspot.ca/2013_01_01_archive.html

Sapper Francis ‘Frank’ Stewart Manson – A ‘CRT’ Soldier’s Story / Canadian Railway Troops – http://guysboroughgreatwarveterans.blogspot.ca/2013_02_01_archive.html

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Canadian Forestry Corps

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The importance of the Canadian Forestry Corps to the nation’s war efforts is symbolized on the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa where one of the twenty three statue figures is a member of the Canadian Forestry Corps.

As the First World War raged on and on, it was realized that huge quantities of lumber were needed. Trenches, tunnels, rail and road systems all required large quantities of lumber in their construction. Lumber was also required for duckboards, shoring timbers, and crates.

The British recognized that Canadians had the experience and qualifications to harvest timber and asked for Canada’s assistance. Thus the Canadian Forestry Corps was created on 14 Nov 1916 to harvest the forests in the United Kingdom and France. The Corps would serve until being disbanded in 1920. Almost 32,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in the Corps and produced  43.5 million cu ft of lumber products.


Again during the Second World War, there was a requirement for men to harvest timber for the war effort. The Corps was re-activated in 1940 for the duration of the war.

Bob Briggs has researched the Canadian Forestry Corps, posting his efforts on the web at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jmitchell/cfc.html

 Bob comes from a military family with connections to the Forestry Corps. Among family members was a great-grandfather who served with the 222nd South Manitoba Overseas Battalion in the Canadian Forestry Corps, during the First World War. A grandfather served with No. 28 Company, Canadian Forestry Corps during the Second World War.

Newfoundland also contributed the Newfoundland Forestry Corps during the First World War : http://www.heritage.nf.ca/greatwar/articles/forestry.html and the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit for the Second World War: http://www.mgl.ca/~cpike/NOFU.html

Provincial Labour Companies

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One of the lesser know activities of military engineers in Canada is the Provincial Labour Companies in Upper Canada, 1813 – 1815. With the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 being observed, the War of 1812 website has posted an article on these early engineers. http://www.warof1812.ca/artificers.htm