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The #2 Construction Battalion was Canada’s first and only all Black Battalion created on July 25, 1916 and comprised of over 600 men from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, and the United States. They were part of the Canadian Forestry Corps in France.
In 1986, Senator Calvin Ruck (1925-2004) wrote the book Canada’s Black Battalion: No 2 Construction, 1916-1920 Canada’s Best Kept Military Secret. In July 1993 the first annual ceremony in honour of these brave men was held and a monument was erected in Pictou, Nova Scotia.
In May 2017, The Canadian Postal Service released a stamp created by artist Lara Minja in honor of the #2 Construction Battalion.
Donna's paternal grandfather - Joseph Alexander Parris is second from the left.
On July 9, 2022 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on behalf of the Government of Canada, apologized to the descendants of the men who were members of the #2 Construction Battalion. The ceremony took place in Truro, Nova Scotia on the grounds were the men trained before shipping overseas.