World War 1 Remembered

49th Canadian Overseas Infantry Battalion

1915 – January to March 

    Having just gone overseas with the 19th Alberta Dragoons Special Service Squadron in October 1914, Lieut. Colonel William (Billy) Griesbach arrived back in Edmonton on the morning of December 26 with orders from Ottawa to recruit and train a new battalion of infantry.  The 49th Battalion started recruiting men on January 4, 1915, and was up to strength in eight days.  As soon as the initial recruiting, medical examination, and documentation of the other ranks was completed training began.

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World War 1 Remembered

Major General Griesbach – Citizen Soldier

    In the early 1900’s Canada’s Non-Permanent Active Militia, like today’s Army Reserve, was made up of citizens who lived and worked in the community and were also part-time soldiers training to answer their nation’s call.  As a civilian he practice law in Edmonton and was an alderman, Edmonton’s youngest mayor and a member of the Canadian Parliament and the Senate.  On the military side he served as a trooper in the Boer War and was a squadron commander in the 19th Alberta Dragoons at the outbreak of WW1.  During that war he commanded the 49th Canadian Overseas Infantry Battalion and the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade. During WW2 he served as Inspector-General of the Canadian Army for Western Canada.

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