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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Empire on the Western Front

The British 62nd and Canadian 4th Divisions in Battle

When Great Britain and its dominions declared war on Germany in August 1914, they were faced with the formidable challenge of transforming masses of untrained citizen-soldiers at home and abroad into competent, coordinated fighting divisions. The Empire on the Western Front focuses on the development of two units, Britain’s 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division and the Canadian 4th Division, to show how the British Expeditionary Force rose to this challenge. By turning the spotlight on army formation and operations at the divisional level, Jackson calls into question existing accounts that emphasize the differences between the imperial and dominion armies.

Table of Contents


1 Raising and Training the Divisions

Part 1: Forging Fighting Forces

2 The 4th and the 62nd Divisions: First Months in Line

3 The 62nd Division: Second Bullecourt and Aftermath

4 The 4th Division: Road to Vimy

5 The 4th Division: Lens and Passchendaele

6 The 62nd Division: Road to Bourlon

Part 2: The Final Year

7 The 62nd Division: Training and Fighting

8 The 62nd Division: The Hundred Days

9 The 4th Division in 1918: Towards the Hundred Days

Conclusion: Producing Combat-Capable BEF Divisions in Wartime

Appendix: Orders of Battle for 62nd and 4th Divisions

Notes; Bibliography; Index

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