Shoulder patch - 3rd Infantry brigade - 1st Canadian Division

"Faithful Forever"

Book Cover: Training for Armageddon

Training for Armageddon: Niagara camp in The Great War 1914-1919

15th Battalion CEF Memorial Project Chairman Brigadier General (ret) Greg Young assisted author Richard Merritt who was writing about the role that Niagara camp in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario played in preparing Canadian soldiers for service in the First World War. His book deals with training that went on within the camp as it endeavored to prepare over 50,000 young men for the Overseas Canadian Expeditionary Force. However, the Camp’s vigorous daily routines, comprehensive instruction and discipline could not ready them for the horrors of the Western Front and …Armageddon. Many never returned. As many men raised by the 48th Highlanders for service in The Great War – especially those of the 134th Battalion – trained in Niagara camp, the Memorial Project was able to provide the author with a great many period photographs related to their time at the camp. His finished book “Training for Armageddon’ was published in 2012.

Several years later we discovered that the author had a relative – 192143 Private Orlando Wilcox – who had joined the 92nd Battalion (48th Highlanders). Wilcox was killed in action at Vimy ridge while serving with the 15th Battalion and his name appears on the battalion’s Vimy cross. During 2017 work on the Vimy cross’ return to France for the Centenary, the Memorial Project was able to connect the author with John Ingram ,a medal collector in British Columbia, who had his relative’s service medals. The collector graciously donated the medals and reunited them with the Merritt family.

Link to author’s book: Training For Armageddon by Richard D. Merritt | The FriesenPress Bookstore

Date: June 1, 2015
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