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The Young Soldiers Battalion

Heroes Remember

The Young Soldiers Battalion

I wasn't conscripted. I signed up and I was going to France if I could have, but they put me in this Young Soldier's Battalion and they just drilled the hell out of us. They drilled us for eight hours a day and I mean they drilled us. We were trained by a (inaudible) and we had officers too. They did a four and four, there was four of us deep and had the (inaudible) on the left form platoon and we'd just say if the odd numbers don't mark down two paces, how the hell can the rest form a platoon and we used to sing that...

Mr. Babcock describes being assigned to the Young Soldiers Battalion, and in particular a daily ration of eight hours of parade drill served by veteran NCO's and officers.

John Babcock

John Babcock was born on July 23, 1900 in Kingston, Ontario. He had twelve brothers and sisters. His father died in a lumbering accident when he was six years old, leaving his mother to run the family farm. Mr. Babcock enlisted in Sydenham, Ontario at the age of fifteen, joining the 146th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. He joined the 26th Reserve, Royal Canadian Regiment on his arrival in England, but because of his youth was placed in the Young Soldiers Battalion. The war ended before he had to be deployed to France. Because of this, Mr. Babcock never considered himself a true veteran. His death on February 18, 2010 marked the passing of the last surviving member of Canada's First World War Expeditionary Force.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Babcock
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War

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