The Irish Canadian Rangers began as a Militia Regiment in 1915 after Catholic and Protestant Irish agreed to cooperate. After the battle of Second Ypres, the regiment contributed a full company to the 60th Battalion and began a campaign to persuade Sam Hughes to promise that an Irish Canadian Rangers battalion would go overseas as the 199th under its own officers. Recruiting began in 1916, continuing despite the Easter Rebellion in Dublin and the growing turmoil in Ireland. The 199th struggled to reach full strength but responded favorably to a British request to tour Ireland before joining the 5th Canadian Division. Drawing upon research for his recent book, Montreal At War, 1914–1918, Terry Copp examines both Irish and Canadian history in this dramatic, formative period.
Terry Copp is Director Emeritus of the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada and the leading scholar of Canada’s military role in the Second World War and an influential advocate for military history in both military and civilian post-secondary education. Terry’s most recent project is Montreal at War 1914-18, available now from the University of Toronto Press.