Letters, Memos, Clippings, Etc. from 1914 to 1993
Memorandum on the enlistment of Negroes in Canadian Expeditionary Force
Sir Willoughby Gwatkin, Chief of the General Staff, 13 April 1916
Memo to The Naval Secretary 21 February 1917
Memo to The Military Secretary 23 February 1917
Submission to The Historic Sites and Monuments Board 18 October 1991
Black Battalion to be Commemorated 11 December 1992
Canada's Only Black Battalion To Be Honoured
For Service to King & Country, Pictou, 10 July 1993
List of Men Who Served in No. 2 Construction Battalion by Regimental Numbers
With thanks to Dr. Calvin W. Ruck, who made this historical information available.
Ruck, The Hon. Calvin Woodrow, C.M., LL.D.
Parliament of Canada
Sorrow at Passing of Calvin Ruck
Premier of Nova Scotia
Tributes to The Late Honourable Calvin Woodrow Ruck, C.M.
Hansard Report of the Debates of the Senate of Canada
...Aside from his tenure in the Senate, which ran from 1998 to 2000, Mr. Ruck is best remembered for single-handedly rescuing an important piece of Canadian military history from an obscurity it did not deserve. Outlandish as it seems now, during the First World War, a debate raged over whether blacks were worthy to serve in the Canadian military. The government formed an all-black unit called the No. 2 Construction Battalion, which served overseas during the conflict. Although it attracted recruits from other parts of Canada and the United States, most of its members were Nova Scotians.
After the war ended, the unit was largely forgotten.
But not by Mr. Ruck. After years of diligent research, he published a book called The Black Battalion: 1916-1920: Canada's Best-Kept Military Secret, which accorded the soldiers the recognition they deserved...
Hon. Jack Austin (Government Leader in the Senate of Canada), speaking on the floor of the Senate on 28 October 2004, as reported in the official Hansard record.
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