The 118th Battalion

The 118th Battalion was one of two battalions raised for overseas service in the modern Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area. Headquartered in what was then Berlin, Ontario, the battalion was authorized on 22 December 1915 and recruiting took place mainly in the northern part of Waterloo County and so the battalion was known as the North Waterloo battalion. The ‘South Waterloo’ Battalion, the 111th, was also authorized on 22 December 1915 and was based in Galt. Although the 111th sailed for Europe in the fall of 1916, the 118th Battalion had more difficulties with recruiting and did not leave for England until the next year. Neither battalion served on the Western Front as a distinct unit as they were broken up to reinforce existing units fighting in France and Belgium soon after arrival in England.
Presented here are the personal papers of Colonel W.M.O. Lochead, a local insurance manager, who served as the 118th Battalion’s commanding officer during the Great War. The original paper files are held by the LCMSDS at Wilfrid Laurier University and were scanned by undergraduate and graduate students so that they are now fully available and searchable in PDF format.