33rd Battalion Ladies’ Group

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33rd Battalion Ladies’ Group

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33rd Battalion Ladies’ Group was formed in April of 1935, by the wives of the members of the 33rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. The 33rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force was an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War. The Battalion was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Great Britain on 1 April 1916. It was re-designated as the 33rd Reserve Battalion, CEF on 6 April 1916 and it provided reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field until 6 July 1916, when its personnel were absorbed by the 36th Battalion, CEF. The battalion was disbanded on 17 July 1917.
The 33rd Battalion Ladies’ Group held monthly social meetings. The last entry in their meeting minutes book was October 1968. The groups likely had connections to the 33rd Battalion Comrade’s Club, a men’s social group.
The donor of the records in this fonds, Joan Turner, stated the following about her recollections about the group: "My grandfather, Harry Heard, was a member of the 33rd Battalion in WWI. After the war, several members of the group would meet at the legion for Friday night (or other nights) drinks, share stories etc. Their wives formed the 33rd Battalion Ladies’ Group. My grandmother, Florence Heard, was part of this group and often served as secretary - hence she had the minute book. My understanding is that the group dissolved due to few remaining members still alive and able to participate. I think it was in existence until the 1960’s. They would visit fellow members in hospital, arrange showers, trousseau teas, refreshments at wakes and funerals, celebrate birthdays, and anniversaries. I don’t know of any specific philanthropy work that they did, but knowing my Grandmother, I’m sure they donated their time and energies whenever possible. My Grandmother was a very strict tea totaler and only allowed for the drinks for my Grandfather at the Legion. It was difficult (understatement) in WWI. I know Harry was in the trenches and was injured twice. It was understood that the men needed an outlet to vent, share and deal with the horrible memories of traumas they experienced. Despite the fact that most of the members of the 33rd came from St Thomas and Elgin areas, they also originated from England and were relatively new immigrants at the time of the war - very proud to fight for Canada".

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