Painting the Canadian Forestry Corps
Horses and Chargers of Various Units France and Britain sought to reduce timber imports by tapping their own forests. However, logging skills were more readily available in Canada. In February 1916, the British government requested that a forestry battalion be raised in Canada for overseas service.
The Dominion acted quickly; 1,600 men were recruited in six weeks; $250,000 was spent on logging and milling equipment. The 224th Canadian Forestry Battalion, as the new unit was designated, was sent overseas in several drafts. The first sawn lumber was produced in England on May 13th, 1916.
Fatigue Party Making Bomb-Proof Shelters at Smallfoot Wood Three more forestry battalions were raised, but this form of organization proved unwieldy. Ultimately the Canadian Forestry Corps was organized into 101 companies operating in Great Britain and France. The foresters numbered some 22,000. Attached personnel (Canadian Army Service Corps, Canadian Army Medical Corps, Chinese labourers, employed prisoners of war) brought the total strength to approximately 31,000. Many Canadians who would otherwise have been ineligible for military duty, owing to age or physical problems, served in the forestry units.
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