All in One with the Irish Canadian Rangers 199th Overseas Battalion


In World War I, many Irish immigrants to Canada volunteered to serve in the Canadian armed forces. To assist with recruitment, the Canadian government established a purely Irish battalion, the Irish Canadian Rangers 199th Overseas Battalion. Based in Montreal, the unit began signing up volunteers in the winter of 1915–16. Also known as the Duchess of Connaught's Own Irish Rangers, after their royal patron, wife of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Governor-General of Canada, the rangers sailed for Europe in December 1916 and made a triumphal tour of Ireland in January–February 1917. The Irish-Canadians then were sent to France. The battalion never fought as a unit, however. Its men were used to replace soldiers killed or wounded in other Canadian units fighting on the Western front, and on May 17, 1917 the battalion was absorbed into the 23rd Reserve Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. This recruitment poster from Montreal features the insignia of the battalion and a map of Ireland with its four historic provinces: Connaught, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster. The name of commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel H.J. Trihey, is listed at the bottom.

Last updated: October 16, 2012