The 196th (Western Universities) Battalion was authorized under General Order 69 of July 15th 1916 being recruited from students and former students of various universities located in the different Provinces of Western Canada. The battalion mobilized at Winnipeg with volunteers being attested at Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Vancouver and Edmonton. The coat-of arms of each of these universities being represented on the cap and collar badges. The 196th Battalion embarked for England November 1st 1916 under command of Lieutenant-Colonel D.S. MacKay (79th Cameron Highlanders), with a strength of 32 officers and 974 other ranks where in January 1917 it amalgamated with a number of other battalions raised in Western Canada to form the 19th Reserve Battalion.