They served with distinction, and they were willing to risk their lives to preserve the very rights and freedoms that weren’t always afforded to them before, during and after the First World War. From the unit’s formation in 1916 until its disbandment in 1920, the members of No. 2 Construction Battalion—the largest all-Black battalion-sized unit in Canadian military history—persevered in the face of anti-Black racism to provide vital support to Canada’s war effort, by assisting Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) lumber operations in France.
Designed by Canadian artist Kwame Delfish, your coin’s reverse honours the legacy of No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), and its contributions to Canada’s war efforts during the First World War. At the centre of the design is a member of Canada’s largest all-Black battalion-sized military unit, and an enlarged view of No. 2 Construction Battalion cap badge appears to the left of him. Behind the Black soldier and to the right, members of the battalion are shown marching in a parade prior to deployment in March 1917. On the other side, the landscape represents the Jura region of France, where the battalion assisted with logging and lumber operations, and with building a railroad that, on this coin, symbolizes the journey and hardships endured by Black Canadian soldiers more than a century ago. The obverse features a maple leaf pattern and the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. The obverse also bears a special marking that includes four pearls symbolizing the four effigies that have graced Canadian coins and the double date of her reign.
- Celebrate black history. Coin #5 in our annual Commemorating Black History series, which celebrates the achievements of Black Canadians and highlights the struggles that are an important part of Canada’s story.
- A military theme. This is the first coin to highlight Black military history in Canada and the experiences of Black Canadian soldiers. It’s a timely theme: in July 2022, the Government of Canada issued an apology for the historic racism endured by members of No. 2 Construction Battalion.
- Pure silver. Crafted in 99.99% pure silver.
- Includes serialized certificate. The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins, including this one, which has a limited mintage of just 5,500 coins worldwide.
- No GST/HST.