My friend Bruce Patterson sends me a blog post about the Canadian Cyclist Corps in the First World War.
The Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion was formed from the Canadian Divisional Cyclist Companies and existed from May 1916 until the battalion was disbanded on 15 November 1920. Ironically, the “gas-pipe cavalry” was done-in by peace and not war. As has been outlined in other historical texts, the Cyclists were an instrumental unit of Brigadier-General Raymond Brutinel’s “Independent Force” (also known as the Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade or simply “Brutinel’s Brigade”) in the 100-Day offensive which brought about the conclusion of the First World War, and the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion distinguished themselves in the offensive. Today, the Intelligence Branch of the Canadian Armed Forces perpetuates the Canadian Cyclists as they were originally formed from the Corps of Guides troops massed at Valcartier Camp, outside Quebec City, and were intended to fill what we would recognize today as a tactical field intelligence/reconnaissance role on the battlefield.
Of particular interest is their recruiting poster. Bruce writes: “In terms of sugar-coating the reality of the Western Front, this can’t be beat.”