On the afternoon of 3 October 1914, 32 transport ships carrying 33,000 troops and 7,000 horses assembled off the coast at Gaspé, Quebec. Ten British warships escorted the small armada as it sailed into the Atlantic waters. Eleven days later, the fleet arrived at Plymouth Hoe, England. The troops were then sent to complete their training on Salisbury Plain in southern England before being sent to France.
Sam Hughes, the Canadian Minister of Militia, also made the journey. He had seen the troops off under the command of Canadian battalion officers in Quebec before boarding a fast passenger liner bound for England