Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), Was Not Authorised/Active On 10th August 1914.

The status quo mainstream historical accounts as fallows: —

On 6 August 1914, Captain Gault’s offer was accepted by the Canadian Government. Authority was granted on 10 August to raise and equip an infantry battalion, with the remainder of the cost being covered by the department of Militia and Defence.

Volume 3, Part 2: Infantry Regiments PRINCESS PATRICIA’S CANADIAN LIGHT INFANTRY LINEAGE: This Regular Force regiment originated in Ottawa, Ontario on 10 August 1914, when the ‘Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry’ was authorized to be formed.1 Source: Regimental Charter authorized by the Minister of Militia and Defence on 10 August 1914; and Report of the Committee of the Privy Council, PC 2112 dated 14 August 1914.

PPCLI Active Date: 10 Aug., 1914: The government temporarily accepted his offer on August 6, 1914, and officially authorized it on August 10, 1914……[a 2][b 9] The charter of the regiment was signed on August 10, and the Governor General of Canada, HRH The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, approved the existence of the regiment.

On 6th August 1914 Captain Gault’s offer was provisionally accepted by the Canadian Government. Authority was formally granted on 10th August (by way of a Report to the Privy Council of Canada (PC 2112)) to raise and equip an infantry battalion, with the remainder of the cost being defrayed by the Department of Militia and Defence.

How it Works: — For many years, Cabinet operated in a surprisingly informal manner: There was no agenda, no secretariat and no official present at meetings to record discussions. The Clerk of the Privy Council left a box in front of the Prime Minister’s chair with orders from government departments submitted for approval. At the end of the Cabinet meeting, the Clerk returned to find which items had been approved and rejected.

There was no system to communicate Cabinet decisions to the departments for implementation. With no minutes of decisions taken, the Prime Minister was the arbiter of what was decided the PCO’s pre-Confederation roots can be traced to the position of the clerk of the executive council of the Province of Canada; under the Constitution Act, 1867, the PCO was only responsible for preparing and registering Orders-in-Council.

Order-in-council, at the federal level, is an order of the GOVERNOR GENERAL by and with the advice and consent of the Queen’s PRIVY COUNCIL for Canada. “In fact, it is formulated by CABINET or a committee of Cabinet and formally approved by the governor general.” Some orders simply make appointments.

The fact is, P.P.C.L.I., High Brass chose too celebrate their official foundation/birthday, when the Regiment’s Charter was signed on 10th August by Gault & Hughes; noted the Report was dated 11th August 1914. On the 3rd Aug., Gault presented his proposal of raising a battalion to the C.-in-C. “Uncle Sam” Hughes’ temporarily accepted the offer on 6th August.


Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, (P.P.C.L.I.) Leaving Ottawa 1914.

Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, (P.P.C.L.I.) Leaving Ottawa 1914.

The registered documents in full, supporting the facts from historian folklore as fallows: —

 Source: Call To Arms Montreal Roll of Honour, published 1915. — Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry: — The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, while not a Montreal regiment, having been recruited at a number of points throughout the Dominion, contains a large number of Montreal men and may be said to belong to this city in a peculiar sense. In as much as it owes its very existence to the generosity and energy of a patriotic Montrealer. In the very first week of the war Captain Hamilton Gault, a wealthy young merchant in Montreal, who had served the Empire with distinction on the fields of South Africa thirteen years before, made an offer to the Canadian Government to equip and maintain a battalion of light infantry, to the extent of one hundred thousand dollars. The offer was accepted by the Privy Council and approved by the Governor-General on August 14, and permission was granted to name the battalion after the Princess, who had captured all Canadian hearts during her residence at Rideau Hall. The battalion was composed entirely of men with previous service records, and was an extremely high-class body of fighters. Captain Gault is himself among the officers. The battalion sailed for England in company with the First Contingent. Following are the names of those who joined in Montreal, and the complete list of officers:

  • LIEUT.-COL. F. D. Farquhar, D.S.O.
  • MAJOR: A. H. Gault
  • ADJUTANT: H. C. Buller (Captain)
  •  QUARTERMASTER: C. A. Wake (Hon. Lieut.)
  • MAJORS: J. W. H. McKinery, J. D. H. Shaw, C. Q. Court R. T. Pelly
  • CAPTAINS: J. S Ward, A. S. A. M. Adamson, C. F. Smith, D. O. C. Newton.
  • LIEUTENANTS: F. Fitzgerald, J. L. Carr, D. E. Cameron, E. L. Christie, P. V. Cornish D. F. B. Gray, C. E. Crabbe, S. L. Jones, W. G. Colquohoun, C. H. Price.

MEN ENROLLED IN MONTREAL: — Samuel, R. A.; Shuter, Hugh; White, Geo. E.; Cameron, A. F.; McKenzie, Hugh; King, Wm.; Kerr, Thos.; Sanders, F. C.; Laing, Robt. Monser, Geo. E.; Penswick, Edward; Williams, Fred. A.; Young, Edwin; Goodwin, A. B. Ager, Mordant; Cooper, Frank; Chapman, Percy; Chess, Chas. H.; Dickie, John; Harfleet, J. T.; Duchesney, Antoine’; Bain, Jas. Wm.; Fortier, Ernest; Tomlins, Albert; Appleton, Cedric; Triggs, Guy; Haggard, Rider Lancelot; Stuart, H. J.; Fuller, L.; Higgins, Wm.; Palmer, A.; Heddick, L.; Jaggs, M.; Garvey, P.; White, H. E.; Clarson, Alex.; Lowe, Wm.; Whitten, Geo. W.; Conway, John; Thomas, C. D.; Keates, A. A.; Devolpi, B. P. W. Johnson, T. S.; Krammer, Geo.; Lang, A.; Bishop, A.; Mangin, H. R. F.; Howling, H.; Hodgson, Jas. S.; Leach, F.; Reynolds, Fred.; Harris, John; Galbraith, Wm. H.; Deforge, A.; Leach, P. W.; Lover, Henry; Chubb, R. N.; Pitcher, C. O.; Percy, Geo.; White, J. N. Stephens, W. J.; Adams, Jos.; Bell, John; Gibb, H. A.; Gould, Fred.; Venables, Herbert Peacock, Chas.; Harvey, Fred.; Logue, Robt.; Mason, Ed.; Turner, John B.; Bithell, John Chas.; Loyd, John Wm.; Mcrae, Colin J.; Kelly, Thomas; Appleton, Raymond J.

Men of Princess Patricia's Light Infantry, (P.P.C.L.I.), Resting on Advance East of Arras. Sept. 1918.

Men of Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, (P.P.C.L.I.), Resting on Advance East of Arras. Sept. 1918.

Privy Council. — P.C. 2112: — certified copy of a Report of the Committee of the Privy Council, approved by His Royal Highness the Governor General on the 14th August, 1914.

The Committee of the Privy Council have had before them a Report, dated 11th August, 1914, from the Minister of Militia and Defence, recommending, with the approval of the Imperial Government, that authority be granted for the formation of a battalion under the style and title of “Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.” The Minister states that the battalion will be organized on the lines indicated in Expeditionary Force War Establishments, 1914 (pp. 121-120); and when it embarks it will leave behind a regiment depot for recruiting purposes. That towards arming, clothing, equipping, paying, subsisting, transporting. and towards any other expense connected with the formation, training and maintenance of the Battalion, whether in or out of Canada, the sum of one hundred thousand dollars will be contributed by Captain Hamilton Gault, of Montreal, the remainder being defrayed by the Department of Militia and Defence. The Minister further recommends that authority be granted to the various branches of the Department of Militia and Defence to issue the arms, accoutrements, ammunition, vehicles, clothing, equipment, stationery and other articles comprised in the ‘War Outfit’ of a battalion; to provide horses (riding and draught); and to issue such stores and supplies as may be required during the process of organization, at Ottawa or elsewhere.

  • That to enable officers, non-commissioned officers and men to join the battalion, transportation requisitions will be supplied to them by Officers Commanding Divisions and Districts; and the Quartermaster-General is hereby authorized to issue the necessary orders.
  • That the pay of all ranks will be at the same rate as that approved for the other battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force; and the Accountant and Paymastergeneral is hereby authorized to issue it from the date on which each officer is gazetted mid each man attested.
  • That the principle of the financial relations between Captain Gault and the Department of Militia and Defence is that all payments will, in the first instance, be made by the Department, and that a total sum of one hundred thousand dollars will be received, subsequently, from Captain Gault.
  • That the foregoing arrangements are to hold good until the discharge of the officers and men after the return of the Battalion to Canada.
  • The Committee concur in the foregoing recommendations and submit the same for
  • (Sgd.) RODOLPHE BOUDREATJ, Clerk of the Privy Council.

Known All Men By these Presents that I. Hamilton Gault, of the City of Montreal in the Dominion of Canada, Merchant, am held and firmly bound to the Government of the Dominion of Canada in the penal sum of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars of lawful money of Canada, to be paid to the said Government for which payment well and truly to be made, I bind myself, my heirs, executors and administrators, respectively, firmly by these presents.

  • SEALED with my Seal and dated at the said City of Montreal, this day of August, A.D. 1914.
  • WHEREAS at my request His Royal Highness the Governor General in Council, by an Order in Council dated the day of August, One Thousand Nine Hundred and Fourteen, has authorized the formation of a Battalion to be styled the “Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry,” and
  • WHEREAS the said Government, at my request, has undertaken to arm, clothe, equip, pay, subsist, train, transport and maintain the said Battalion both in and out of Canada, and
  • WHEREAS in consideration of such undertaking on the part of the said Government I have promised arid agreed to pay to the said Government the sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars on or before the First day of September, 1914.

Now the condition of this bond is such that if I, the above bounder. Hamilton Gault, my heirs, executors or administrators, do and shall well and truly pay or cause to lie paid to the said Government the said sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars on or before said First day of September, 1914, then this obligation shall be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.

•   Signed, Sealed and Delivered in the presence of
•   SEAL

Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, (P.P.C.L.I.) Duke of Connaught Inspecting No. 5 McGill University Company Reinforcements 1915.

Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, (P.P.C.L.I.) Duke of Connaught Inspecting No. 5 McGill University Company Reinforcements 1915.


1. The following instructions (provisional) are issued for general guidance:
It has been decided to mobilize for service Overseas a “Canadian Expeditionary Force” consisting of:
(a) One Division (less a brigade of howitzer artillery); and
(b) Army Troops-i.e. certain units (such as the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) in excess of divisional requirements.
2. The Division and the units described as Army Troops will be organized as closely as possible on the lines indicated in Expeditionary Force War Establishments, 1914; and the Force will be equipped in a manner similar to that of the British Regular Army.
3. The Canadian Expeditionary Force will be Imperial and have the status of British regular troops.
4. (a) An officer before being appointed as such, and a man before being enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, will be required to sign a declaration (copies of which will be issued from Militia Headquarters) to the effect that he accepts the conditions therein set forth, and that he engages to serve for a term of one year, unless the war lasts longer, in which case his services will be retained until the conclusion of the war; provided that if employed with a hospital, depot, or a mounted unit, or as a clerk, etc., he may be retained after hostilities until his services can be dispensed with, but in no case for a period exceeding six months. Officers or men may be attached to any arm of the service as required.
(b) Subject to authority and with their consent officers of the Permanent Staff and Force may be appointed for general service, such service will count towards promotion and pension in the Permanent Staff and Force after the conclusion of the war, subject to authority and with their consent men of the Permanent Force may be enlisted for general service. Only in special cases will it be possible to accept the-service of men who belong to the Permanent Garrisons of Halifax, Quebec, or Esquimalt.
5. Men must be physically fit for service in the field; minimum height 5′ 3″; minimum chest measurement 33}”; under 45 years and over 18 years of age; preference will be given to men who have previously served; or, who have undergone some form of military training. In regard to musketry and general proficiency a high standard will be required.
6. Enrolment is voluntary for all ranks, applicants will be selected in the following order:– Unmarried men. Married men without families. Married men with families.

  1. Division and Army Troops will concentrate at Valcartier, P.Q., where mobilization will be completed; except the Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry, which will concentrate and mobilize at Ottawa. In .accordance with detailed instructions which will be issued separately to all concerned, Divisional and District Commanders will take the necessary steps for the entrainment of volunteers ordered to proceed to Valcartier.


DHH 2, OH Cdn Forces The Great War, 1938: — THE FORMATION OF THE CANADIAN CORPS AUGUST 1914 — SEPTEMBER 1915 PRINCESS PATRICIA’S CANADIAN LIGHT INFANTRY: — Of the four independent infantry battalions offered on 7th August, only the one towards the cost of which Captain Hamilton Gault contributed the sum of one hundred thousand dollars was organized. Recruited from all Canada of exsoldiers, unconnected with the Canadian Militia, this unit, as it happened, contained representatives of every regiment in the British Army save one. The commanding officer, Lieut.- Colonel F.D. Farquhar, D.S.O., was a Guards officer holding the appointment of Military Secretary to the Governor General. The battalion, named Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry after the daughter of the Governor General, was rapidly mobilized in Ottawa and embarked for England on 28th August [99] but, owing to Admiralty orders governing the convoy of troops, was not allowed to proceed;[100] it was therefore disembarked at Levis and trained under canvas there until it subsequently sailed with the First Contingent.[101]






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