The state and training of the militia in Edmonton during the period from 1900 to 1914 reflected the attitude of the federal government at the time, which can be summed up in Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier's statement that "You must not take the Militia seriously, for though it is useful for suppressing internal disturbances, it will not be required for the defence of the country, as the Monroe doctrine protects us against enemy aggression." Right down to the last months before the outbreak of the First World War, few expected that a war would happen. With the declaration of war, however, mobilization of new infantry units progressed quickly and the 49th Battalion was born.

Lieutenant-Colonel W.A. Griesbach, Edmonton, AB, 1915.
City of Edmonton Archives (Loyal Edmonton Regiment Collection, A96-215, Box 53, 27991, 49th Battalion Scrapbook).

Lieutenant-Colonel W.A. Griesbach, Edmonton, AB, 1915.

Canadian Militia

The state of the militia in Canada prior to the First World War is examined.

Edmonton Militia

Read about the militia in Edmonton prior to the First World War, including references to the 19th Alberta Dragoons, the 101st Regiment (Edmonton Fusiliers) and Billy Griesbach.

Not Prepared

Further comment is provided on the state of militia training immediately prior to the war.

Outbreak of War

The final months before the outbreak of the First World War and the immediate effect on the militia in Canada and in Edmonton are examined.

Birth of the 49th Battalion

The early months of the war and the birth of the 49th Battalion under Lieutenant-Colonel Billy Griesbach are detailed.

 

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