title bar L.M. Montgomery and the 116th Battalion
montage of newspaper clippings
Two dramatic war stories emerge from the scattered images in the : one is of the Ontario County 116th Battalion; the other is of the Battalion's commander, Lt.-Col. Sam Sharpe of Uxbridge, Ontario. Both stories bring the war literally to Montgomery's front door, and inspire her when she later writes the war novel Rilla of Ingleside (1920).

newspaper clipping Receiving the 116th BattalionThe "Umpty Umps," the Ontario County 116th Battalion

The 116th Battalion was made up of Maud's and Ewan's neighbors and parishioners--of farmers and village workers and their sons. The "Honor Roll" of the dead, from the book The 116th Battalion in France, contains the names of six men from Uxbridge, Leaskdale's neighboring village, and dozens from villages and towns close by (Adjutant, 95-111).

When war broke out in 1914, Major Sharpe of the 34th Regiment of Uxbridge raised 200 recruits to fulfil Ontario County's part of the First Contingent sent overseas. These first recruits joined the 2nd and 4th Battalions. When Sharpe asked Ontario County in 1915 for enough men to create its own battalion, the response was overwhelming: eventually 1145 men were under the leadership of Lt.-Col. Sharpe as commanding officer of the 116th Battalion. The new recruits spent the winter of 1916 in Uxbridge.

go to Virtual Museum of Canada Website newspaper clipping Soldier M.P. Dies newspaper clipping Col. Sam Sharpe Dies at Montreal L.M. Montgomery's photo of Giant Arch newspaper clipping  First Casualty 116th Battalion newspaper clipping  First Casualty 116th Battalion newspaper clipping  Receiving The116th Battalion newspaper clipping Lt.-Col. S.S. Sharpe is Dead                 Newspaper clipping describing a funeral