The 185th Battalion (Cape Breton Highlanders) was authorized on the first day of February, 1916 by the appointment of Lt.-Col. F. P. Day, as its commanding Officer. Cape Breton Island, particularly the industrial sections, had already contributed a long list of men in various units such as the 17th, 36th, 25th, 40th, 64th, 85th, and 106th infantry units. It was felt, however, that the authorization of a Battalion recruited from all sections of the Island would be met with a strong response, and the authorities were not disappointed. Within a period of three weeks from the day the first recruit was signed on, the battalion was up to strength and ready to mobilize. For recruiting purposes, the 185th divided the Island into four districts: "A" Company from Inverness, Richmond and Victoria Counties; "B" Company from the towns of Glace Bay, New Waterford, and adjacent districts; "C" Company from Sydney Mines, North Sydney and suburbs; "D" Company from Sydney and the Mira district.
Fonds consists of the register of recruits ledger, casualty forms, nominal rolls for drafts, absentee list, declaration and attestation papers, and the list of members of the 185th during World War 1.