On 6 January 1915, the first Canadian troops entered the trenches on the western Front. The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry had arrived in France in December of 1914 as part of the British 27th Division, 80th Brigade, and deployed with that division into the St. Eloi sector. They continued to serve with that division until November of 1915 and joined the Canadian Corps in December (3rd Division, 7th Brigade).
The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry was composed of Canadian veterans of the Boer War and ex-British regulars who had immigrated to Canada. Hamilton Gault, a wealthy and influential Alberta businessman, had provided $100,000 to raise and equip the force in Canada. The British senior commanders deployed the regiment first because it contained troops with previous combat experience.