No. 2 Construction Battalion Map

When the First World War began in August 1914, many Black Canadian men who tried to enlist alongside white Canadians were told they were not welcome. Although there were no written policies allowing army officials to discriminate against Black Canadians, local recruiting officers and commanding officers were left to decide who joined their units. For two years, Black Canadians and their allies pressured the Government of Canada to end discrimination, but officials declared that enlistees could not be refused based on their race. By 1916, federal officials fell on the idea of creating No. 2 Construction Battalion as one of the ways Black Canadians could serve.

This map was created to serve as a visual representation to show the journeys of each serviceman and perhaps provide further insight into their lives. The map also helps highlight African Canadians and how they played important roles in the defence of Canada. They are honoured and celebrated for the victories they helped create at home and overseas. Regardless of their identities, construction battalions were vital to the war effort, and thus the No. 2 Construction Battalion is an important part of Canadian history.

The information on this map has been utilized from the "Nominal Roll of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men 'on strength' as of 28 March 1917" that are held and digitized by the Nova Scotia Archives.

We are also very thankful to Kathy Grant and Black Canadian Veterans for their assistance in providing valuable research and support. This is a continuously ever-growing project where additional resources and military records of the No. 2 Construction Battalion service members are being added to the map, through the support of our important partners at Black Canadian Veterans. We hope this will encourage further research in this area of Canadian military history.

 

No. 2 Construction Battalion Map Use the interactive No. 2 Construction Battalion Map.

Instructions

Screenshots

The Google MyMap on the No. 2 Construction Battalion is divided into five categories that reflect the Country of Birth of the service members. 

When a category is checked off, the map will reflect the servicemen's Address that was provided on their attestation papers.

Addresses at the time of enlistment are either personal addresses, addresses of next of kin, addresses of the enlistment site, or the town/municipality/city of birth.

How to Use the Map Step 1

For example, if you wish to only see servicemen born in Canada, the map will show only those individuals.

Again, the markers on the map will reflect the servicemen's Address that was provided at the time. It is normal to see them scattered internationally.

How to Use the Map Step 2

To read the full description, hover over the text in the top left corner of the screen until you see a 'white glove cursor' - click on the text.

How to Use the Map Step 3

You should now be seeing the full description of the map and a very short history of the No. 2 Construction Battalion. Use the scroll wheel in the description interface to move up or down.

How to Use the Map Step 4

At the bottom of the description text, you will find the important sources of information. Please click on them to learn more!

You will also find our contact email for the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) Museum & Archives. Please email us at museum@yrdsb.ca if there is any inaccurate information, or suggested changes.

No. 2 Construction Battalion Sources

To select the menu, please click on the three dotted lines. 

How to Use the Map Step 6

Once clicked, the menu will be on display. Here you can select the following options:

Collapse map legend: This will remove the legend to view the map without it.

Map Details: This will give you the map description in plain text.

Copy Map: Allows you to copy and share the map with others.

Print Map: If you wish to print the map on paper, please follow the printing instructions.

Zoom to Viewport: This option will zoom out and display all markers that are highlighted.

Embed Map: Provide a URL link that will allow you to share the map.

Download KML: Download the data for viewing in Google Earth.

How to Use the Map Step 7

 

Instructions

Screenshots

To search a soldier, first click on the magnifier icon. Secondly, you can also type in a name (first and/or last) or regimental number. 

Research a Soldier Step 1

For example, if you are searching for Private John Mansfield, simply type in his name. If you typed in "Mansfield", the search result will show all the results that contain the name Mansfield.

Research a Soldier Step 2

Click on the name you are seeking, and it will bring you directly to a marker on the map as well as load his profile.

The search results may vary based on the amount of research data available. In this case of John Mansfield, Black Canadian Veterans has provided a research profile on this soldier.

Research a Soldier Step 3

 

This map has been created based on the Nominal Roll of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men 'on strength' as of 28 March 1917, that has been digitized by the Nova Scotia Archives. Additional information and research found on the map has been supported through the important work completed by Black Canadian Veterans. Lastly, the Personnel Records of the First World War are available through Library and Archives Canada. You can continue your research at all of these locations.

If you find any errors or omissions, please email us at museum@yrdsb.ca.

YRDSB Black History Google MyMap

In order to centre Black voices in Canadian History, the YRDSB Museum & Archives has created this map to profile some of the many noteworthy people of African descent in Canada. Highlights include early settlement locations, historical profiles, in addition to places of significance to Canadian history. This map is continually being updated and edited as more research is completed by our team. 

YRDSB Black History Map

Alternatively, you can download PDF versions of how to research a soldier and how to use the map. Please contact us for more information on this resource.

No. 2 Construction Battalion Map

A visual representation to show the journeys of each serviceman and perhaps provide further insight into their lives.
Use the Interactive Map

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