The No. 2 Construction Battalion

Torn and stained recruitment poster
Credit: Courtesy of Esther Clark Wright Archives at Acadia University

The No. 2 Construction Battalion is a temporary exhibit created by the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. This small exhibit commemorates the overseas departure of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, the first and last all-Black Canadian Army unit. On March 25, 1917, the battalion’s 600 men sailed from Halifax Harbour and arrived in France in May. The unit was an achievement for the African-Canadian community which had been denied opportunities to enlist. The battalion served mainly with the Canadian Forestry Corps in logging and construction work until the end of the war and returned to Canada in 1919.