At the outbreak of war in Europe in August 1914, Canada had no regular military forces. Captain Andrew Hamilton Gault raised the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry named after the Duke of Connaught’s daughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught. The Duke of Connaught was Queen Victoria’s third and and the Governor General of Canada. It was the first Canadian infantry unit to enter the conflict, arriving in Europe in December 1914.
Motorcycles were developed in 1880-1890 with the first motorcycle company coming into existence in 1894. The motorcycle first saw military duty in 1913 with the US military in the borderland conflict between US forces and Mexican revolutionaries.
On January 28, 1915 Canadian Army dispatch riders prepare to set out on a training ride across Salisbury Plain in England on their Douglas 2.75 horse-power motorcycles. Their role as messengers is hoped to be invaluable.