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Highland Connections: Port Hood, the First World War and the Cape Breton Highlanders Overseas
Chestico Museum
Port Hood , Nova Scotia


   Like many young men in
Cape Breton at the time,
Angus L. MacDonald (later
Premier of Nova Scotia) and
his two brothers enlisted to
serve in the First World War
(1914-1918). Although their
hometown of Port Hood was a
small seaside village on the
west coast of Cape Breton

Island, it sent nearly a
tenth of its population off
to war.
   Because of their Scottish
ancestry, MacDonald and his
fellow volunteers were eager
to join a Highland regiment.
In early 1916, the 185th
Battalion began to recruit
men for the Nova Scotia

Highland Brigade --Canadian
Expeditionary Force.
Recruitment was headquartered
in Sydney and rough training
began at the nearby abandoned
mining town of Broughton.
This battalion, which came to
be known as the Cape Breton
Highlanders, joined three
others--the 85th, 193rd and

219th--to form the brigade.
Further training was carried
out at Camp Aldershot, Nova
Scotia during the summer and
in October, the entire Nova
Scotia Highland Brigade
consisting of four thousand
men sailed aboard the S. S.
Olympic for England.
   As part of the British

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