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Advanced Army Training

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Advanced Army Training

I was there from the 24th of May until October. We sailed... on the Olympic for England on the, get this one, Friday the 13th of October. I say, we were all sure we were going to be torpedoed before we got there, but we made it. Interviewer: That was 1916 was it? Yeah that was in October 1916. We were on the Olympic, the biggest ship afloat at that time. The Titantic had been lost 4 years before that. Interviewer: Do you remember how many men were aboard the Olympic with you? Well there was a whole brigade. The Highlander's brigade. Anyway they, they had formed the 85th Battalion and as I told you in ‘15 and they trained in Halifax under the regiment under..They decided to recruit the brigade. So they recruited us, the 125th, the 193rd and the 219th different parts of Nova Scotia as the whole Nova Scotia brigade, see 4 battalions, 4 battalions is a brigade. So we went over all together as a brigade, but were broken up in England. Interviewer: This is to reinforce other battalions? Yeah. Yeah. Partly and another part was because Sam Hughes was the Minister of war at that time in Ottawa. He had a, a son Garnet Hughes had attained to a Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Colonel or a Major, no Lieutenant General or Major General and they formed this, our brigade into a full brigade into, hoping that he would have charge, but there was so many, casualties.. casualties in France they had to keep drawing from us and, and they never got to France as a, as a unit, as a brigade you know. They took so many recruits from our ranks that we had to break up and they finally broke us up when I went to France... with the heavy machine guns... the British guns, you know the big, the big ones.

Mr. MacDougall took advanced army training during the Spring of 1916 at Camp Aldershot in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.

Alec MacDougall

Alec MacDougall was born on September 12, 1896 in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. His father was a coal miner and also had a small farm. Alec quit school after completing Grade 10 and went to work in the Glace Bay Foundry. He remained there for three years before joining the Canadian Army in 1916. He enlisted with the 185th Cape Breton Highlanders and took basic training in Brampton, Ontario followed by advanced training at Camp Aldershot, Nova Scotia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alec MacDougall
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
185th Cape Breton Highlanders

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