Major General Aleck McDougall
224th (Lumbermen’s) Battalion
Many of these men have left families at home, and are looking forward to rejoining them at the end of the war, and it is a scandal that the minds of these people should be disturbed by the thoughts that our soldiers are in the midst of dire temptation and are falling victims to it, when as a matter of fact the behaviour of the men of this corps since its formation has been exceptionally satisfactory and it is my opinion when they return home they will demonstrate that their overseas activities have improved them in every way.
(MacDougall to Montreal Gazette, 25 Apr 1918, 10)
In February 1916, British Colonial Secretary Bonar Law requested the Canadian Government provide a special battalion of lumbermen for overseas service. Ottawa timber magnate Alexander McDougall, who had proposed a forestry unit, was quickly appointed commander of the 224th Battalion. Born in Renfrew, Ontario in January 1878, McDougall was an experienced woodsman and leading figure in the North American lumber industry. Continue reading