160th Battalion


On December 2, 1916, Lt. Col. Adam Weir, former commander of the 32nd Bruce Regiment, was instructed to form a Battalion made up entirely of Bruce County citizens. Four companies were mobilized: A Company from Walkerton, Cargill, Paisley, Port Elgin and Southampton; B Company from Chesley, Tara, Hepworth and Teeswater; C Company from Wiarton, Lion’s Head, Tobermory, Cape Chin and the First Nations; and D Company from Kincardine, Lucknow, Ripley and Tiverton. The Military Band was mobilized mostly of men from the Chesley Citizen’s Band. Men from each of the districts were relied upon to encourage others to join and recruitment rallies were held across the County.



Allan Peter Todd, Quartermaster article

Peter Allan Todd was born on October 7, 1882 in Walkerton to Peter Todd and Isabella Allen, produce merchants. He went by Allan, so as not to get confused with his father. Alan went west to Saskatchewan to become a travelling salesman. He returned home to join the 160th Bruce Battalion. He had been a member of the 32nd Bruce Regiment for four years. He was already a Captain in rank and was the Quartermaster for the 160th Battalion. Allan went to London, Ontario with the Battalion for training, and then overseas for further training at Witley Camp in England. The Battalion was in Witley from June 1917 to February 1918 at which time the soldiers were drafted into the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion, the 2nd Canadian Pioneer Battalion or the 4th Reserve Battalion, Bramshott. At a band concert by the 160th Battalion Band, Major Moffatt reminded the men that they must give unqualified loyalty and support to the units they were about to join, and that they were ever to remember that the good name of the 160th was in their keeping. He warned them to expect a new type of discipline and new methods. In December 1919 at the age of 37 years, Allan Todd married 32-year-old Charlotte Eliza (Daisy) McFarlane in Walkerton. Daisy was the daughter of Registrar William Henry and Agnes Kerr Hay McFarlane. Their wedding announcement reported that "the happy couple boarded the C.P.R. train for Toronto, New York and Sulphur Spring, Virginia. On their return they will reside in London, Ontario where the groom is attached to the Civil Service Commission." Through the generosity of the Bruce County Historical Society, the Bruce County Museum has acquired a very complete collection of military artifacts formerly belonging to Captain Allan Peter Todd. Captain Todd's tunic, "sam browne" belt, gaters, webbing, sword hanger, and photos have been donated by the Society to the Museum. Also included in the collection is memorabilia from Captain Todd's son, R. A. Todd who served during the Second World War. Sources: Library & Archives Canada, www.collectionscanada.ca, Bruce County Archives Military collection, military.brucemuseum.ca, Pailsey Advocate, Ontario Vital Statistics.

"Here's to the Boys of the 1-6-0" article

Song: "Here's to the Boys of the 1-6-0" by Muriel Farrell - 1916 Chorus: "Here's to the boys of the One-Six-O. Cheer them on for they're soon to go, To lick the Kaiser and to fight like sin And they won't let up till they get to Berlin (Just see them) They will fight and do what's right For the land they love, And when they meet the foe, Three cheers for the One-Six-O (Hurry up, Hurry up, and join them)" On December 2, 1915, Lt. Col. Adam Weir, former commander of the 32nd Bruce Regiment, was instructed to form a Battalion made up of Bruce County citizens. Canada was mobilizing another 100,000 men to join the troops already overseas. Joining him in mobilizing the 160th Bruce Battalion was Arthur McNally, a Walkerton man home recovering from wounds. McNally was charged with recruiting and training. Within a month, 225 men had enlisted. Four companies were mobilized in Bruce County, with men from each district relied upon to encourage others to join. Rallies were held in all of the communities. By the end of January 2016, 606 men had enlisted. The Bruce Battalion Band, organized when the Chesley Citizens Band enlisted, toured the County, appearing in parades and military balls. Those who joined up were listed in the local papers and hailed as heroes. Basic training was held in each community. By the beginning of May, over 1,200 of Bruce County's finest men were on their way to Walkerton for a month of training. From there they marched to Chesley. Tara native, Premier William Howard Hearst, was on hand in Chesley on June 4, 1916 to present the Battalion's colours. The Chesley Enterprise reported on June 8 1916: "The Premier's speech at the presentation of the colors was a forceful one. He referred to the boys of the Battalion being the worthy sons of pioneer fathers... It was with a glow of pride that he instanced the fact that the Bruce Battalion had been formed more rapidly than any other rural Battalion in Ontario." The men of the Battalion moved to London, Ontario for training in the summer of 1916. They were sent to England in October for another year of training before being sent to the front lines. While overseas "Bruce in Khaki", the Battalion newspaper, was started. It acted as "inspiration to our boys" and was of "interest to the folks in the old home land." Honour the Boys of the 1-6-0 this Remembrance Day along with all the other men and women who have served our County and our Country in times of war and as peacekeepers. Sources: Chesley Enterprise, Heroes in Waiting, Bruce County Archives Military Collection - military.brucemuseum.ca.

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