Panoramic view of the 219th Overseas Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders. Photograph taken by W.G. MacLaughlan, 1916: WHS CC.587

219th Battalion

Photograph taken by W.G. MacLaughlan, Halifax NS, using a panoramic camera (a common camera in 1916). The battalion stood in a semicircle while the camera panned the group with film rolling at the same pace. The camera also used a rotating lens. The photograph took about ten seconds to shoot.
The battalion in the image is the 219th Overseas Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders, CEF. Recruiting took place in Kings and Hants Counties and Halifax in 1916. Later that year the battalion sailed to England on RMS Olympic (sister ship of RMS Titanic). After serving for a period in England the men from the battalion were reassigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion and the 85th Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders. The 219th (Highland) Battalion, CEF, was commanded by Lt Col W. H. Muirhead

13 comments

      • Randalladmin says:

        This photo in its frame was part of our War Comes to Wolfville Exhibit in the summer of 2014. Unfortunately this photograph is still in its frame and is difficult to get a good digital shot of it as it is. We are planning this season (when Randall House is open again) to remove the photo from the frame and get it scanned which is a bit of a process because of its size. When we are able to do that we would be pleased to get you a copy. You might be interested in the following information. The 219th Overseas Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders, CEF was based in Halifax and began recruiting in early 1916 throughout the province. Later that year the battalion sailed to England on RMS Olympic (sister ship of RMS Titanic). After serving for a period in England the men from the battalion were re-assigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion and the 85th Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders. The 219th (Highland) Battalion, CEF, was commanded by Lt Col W. H. Muirhead. You might also be interested in the material on the battalion which is available on NovaMuse our database for Community Museums in the province. There may be some photos of smaller groups there. http://www.novamuse.ca/index.php/Search/objects/search/219th+battalion

  1. Ron Lagace says:

    I am currently researching my grand fathers background and according to his WW I military records he was with the 219 highland Battalion (CEF) and sailed to England in 1916. His name was Walter Joseph McDougall, born in Halifax on September 2, 1895 died in 1925. Is there any way of knowing whether he is in your photo.

      • Wendy says:

        How would I be able to get a copy of this digital photo. My grandfather was in the 219th Battalion. He arrived in England on the SS Olympic on Oct 18/1916 and from there went to Le Tréport France. I am hoping he is in that photo

        • Randalladmin says:

          We do have now a digital copy of this photograph which we can make available to you. We will contact you by email about the details of getting it to you.

    • Kim Jarrett says:

      Hi Ron,

      My name is Kim my grandfather was in the 85th battalion. I have book of photo’s titled Nova Scotia Overseas Highland Brigade CEF that was given to my grandfather. Included are photo’s for the 85th,185th,193rd and 219th battalions. I believe I have found a photo of your grandfather.

      • Hi Kim,

        My name is Steve O’Malley and my grandfather started his service in the 219th and traveled on that same trip on the SS Olympic on 12 Oct to Liverpool on 18 Oct 1916. Transferred to the 17th reserve Bn at Bramshott and then Taken on Strength with the 85th not long after their Vimy battle. Gassed twice and hit with shell fragment on another occasion and died at the age of 50 from lung cancer. Any change there are any pics of him in the 219th or 85th in that book of yours?

  2. I have a poor copy of the picture it was weathered with age and brittle and broke on one end and some faces in that area are missing. My mother put mac tac on it to hold it together so when I tried to take photos or scan it. There was glare on the photo and I couldn’t get a good quality copy of it. My grandfather’s brother was in that group and I would like a good copy of it when one is available. My email is: garysch@platinum.ca

    • Randalladmin says:

      Hi Gary. Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story! I’ve sent you an email with details on how you can acquire a copy of the photo.

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