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ID Number


Item Name



Mackintosh, E.


Afro-Canadian Unit, No. 2 Construction Battalion / Unité Afro-Canadienne, No.2 Construction Battalion

Title (Fre)

Unité Afro-Canadienne, No.2 Construction Battalion




Black and white photograph of the officers and men of the No. 2 Construction Battalion; there are five rows of men in the photograph, the majority of who are black; two of the men in the first row are leaning in toward a drum; four white men are seated in the centre of the second row from the bottom; the photograph was taken by E. Mackintosh. "November, 1916" is hand printed in the bottom left corner of the photo.


The Construction Battalion was built around a nucleus of Nova Scotia born railway workers and included men from New Brunswick, Ontario and western Canada. Recruiting centres for the unit were Windsor, Ontario and Truro, Nova Scotia. At full strength the Battalion had a total of 605 men, however only one of the battalions 19 officers, Honorary Captain, William A. White, was black. The company was led by Lieutenant Colonel D. Sutherland. The battalion headed to France in May, 1917 to serve with the No. 5 District Canadian Forestry Corps. As a non-combatant unit, it was denied opportunity for distinguished service, however the unit spent the war building roads, railways, bridges and defences, often on terrain studded with unexploded ordnances and areas dangerously close to the front line.

Place made

Canada - Ontario - Windsor

Collection Name

Museum Windsor


Bicycles & tricycles / Bicyclettes & tricycles

Black Canadians / Population noire canadienne subject

Canadian Army organization

Drums / Batterie subject

Jones, Deacon Sydney person

Mackintosh, E. person

Military officers / Officiers militaires

Military personnel / Personnel militaire

No. 2 Construction Battalion organization

Traffic Engineering Department / Ingénierie et gestion du trafic routier

Uniforms / Uniformes subject

World War, 1914-1918 / Guerre mondiale, 1914-1918

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