Tuesday, 5 August 2014


On the morning of August 5th, 1914, Hamilton Gault received a telegram from Col Farquhar telling him to come at once to Ottawa, that he had a plan. 

When Gault arrived he learned that it was very likely his proposal would be accepted by the Canadian Government but that he wouldn't be permitted access to recruits from the Militia. The government would use every trained officer and soldier for it's own expeditionary force. 

Farquhar went on to discuss his plan with Gault. There were thousands of former soldiers from the British Army as well as experienced veterans of the Boer War that would make excellent recruits and need minimal training before going overseas. 

The following was Farquhar's Project Outline:

1. The raising of two double companies, organized as a self-contained half battalion, strength all ranks 500 men. 

2. Recruiting.
The scheme of recruiting not in any degree to clash with the Militia, my object being to make use of the many men now in Canada who have seen service and who are not at present enlisted in any unit. These men should shake down quickly. 

3. Sources of Recruiting. 
(a) Police forces such as the CPR, Toronto and Winnipeg police, etc. 
(b) Various veterans' societies or associations.
(c) Advertisement in papers. 

4. Qualifications. 
(a) Having seen active service (?)
(b) Age 35 or less
(c) Physically fit. 
(d) Ed-regular soldiers to have at least a 'fair' character certificate. Other recruits to have an analogous 'character'. 
(e) Any man drawn from the Militia to produce written permission to enlist from the O.C. his Militia Battalion.

Lt-Col Francis D. Farquhar, 1874-1915

Gault had confidence in Farquhar and they talked long into the night until an outline was drafted for the formation of the Regiment. Farquhar volunteered to be the Commanding Officer and Gault would be his senior major.

A senior officer with the Coldstream Guards and Military Secretary to the Governor General, Farquhar would make an excellent choice as commander of the Regiment. 

Born in England in 1874, Farquhar was highly educated and spoke many languages. He served in South Africa during the Boer War and was awarded a DSO. He served as intelligence officer in Somaliland after the Boer War and then on the General Staff at the War Office until coming to Canada in 1913. He was charming and Gault very much enjoyed his company as they shared a common interest in international and military affairs.

Gault, having originally been interested in a cavalry unit, had thought 'Light Horse' would be fitting in the name of the new regiment. However, with the proposed infantry unit, he thought that 'Light Infantry' had "an irregular tang to it" that appealed to him. Farquhar suggested they ask the Duke of Connaught's permission to name the new regiment after his beautiful and much admired daughter, Princess Patricia.