|October 29, 1999||Volume 7, Number 5|
Plaque in northeast corner of Bowl honors 46th Cdn. Infantry Battalion
By Patrick Hayes
A memorial stone and plaque honouring the memory of those who served with the 46th Canadian Infantry Battalion (South Saskatchewan ), Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1918, rests under a tree on the northeast corner of the Bowl. "Designed by a well known sculptor of Winnipeg", it was presented to the University at a solemn ceremony in Convocation Hall on November 11, 1933.
The Great War exacted a heavy toll on the U of S. Of the 336 students, faculty and staff who enlisted, 67 "passed out of the sight of man by the path of duty and self-sacrifice".
More than 100 more were wounded and 33 were awarded medals of valour. The School of Engineering closed its doors for the 1916-1917 session when the faculty and students enlisted en masse.
Formed in February of 1915, the 46th Canadian Infantry Battalion (South Saskatchewan ) was to have a strength of 600 men. Its ranks were filled primarily with Saskatchewan youths, many via the University of Saskatchewan.
Also known as the "Suicide Battalion", it fought in some of the bloodiest encounters of the war. Reinforcements were constantly needed as battle after battle decimated its ranks. Of the 5,374 men in the 46th Battalion, 4,917 were either killed or wounded.
A particularly costly battle was Passchendaele, where there were 403 casualties from the battalion's strength of 600 men.
With the end of the war came demobilization and the end of 46th Battalion. The soldiers became veterans and returned to civilian life. Many re-enrolled or entered the university for the first time.
Many others did not return. Among those honoured on the plaque are Harold Blair and Reginald Batemen, two members of faculty killed in France.
Patrick Hayes works in the University Archives, located on the Third Flr. of the Murray Bldg.
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