The Minute Book
Tuesday, 25 October 2016

With a 70-Pound Pack (US Army, 1925)
Topic: Soldiers' Load

All of the new death machines made things harder for the foot soldier than they had ever been before, it is true, but made him none the less essential in every military operation.

With a 70-Pound Pack (US Army, 1925)

Lawrence Journal-World, Lawrence, Kansas, 16 October 1925

Whenever a regular army man opens his mouth these days he must expect to have a critic pounce upon his words and show him where he is wrong. The Ottawa herald's military critic is inclined to be severe with General Summerall for saying recently that the main reliance of this country for the defence must be placed in infantry soldiers.

This, the Herald says, is just the traditional view—meaning that it is old-fashioned and behind the times. The Herald doubtless has learned that from the brilliant young aviators, some of whom were in training during the world war, who recently have been giving the country the benefit of their opinions on defence.

One of the curious things about General Summerall's statement, when carefully considered, is that it seems to be true. It would be an easy matter to blow the "traditional view" sky-high by producing some means of defence that would dispense with the lowly infantry man "with the dust behind his ears." This all the inventors have conspicuously failed to do.

Tanks, trench mortars, long range guns such as were never seen before, poison gas and combat aircraft were used for the first time in the world war. But no ground was gained and held by any of these means. The infantry had to occupy and consolidate positions. He was always at the finish of every job, no matter who began it. All of the new death machines made things harder for the foot soldier than they had ever been before, it is true, but made him none the less essential in every military operation.

The Herald makes us think of some of the fiction turned out in the early days of the war when imaginative American shrank somewhat from what they saw ahead. Innumerable stories were printed that featured some imaginary invention which mowed the enemy down without loss or hard work on our side.

All these fancies belong in the category of things that haven't happened yet. Let us imagine all we please a war confined to the air, the men who will win the next one probably will do a lot of foot-slogging, just as has been done in the past.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 24 October 2016

Will Mark Graves of Canadian Heroes (1920)
Topic: Remembrance

Will Mark Graves of Canadian Heroes (1920)

Berkeley Daily Gazette, Berkeley, California, 6 December 1920

Private William Lawrence King returned from the front and died in Winnipeg. He is buried in the Winnipeg (Brookside) Cemetery and is commemorated with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission stone.

Ottawa, Ont., December 6,—Six thousand soldiers' graves, located in 1200 cemeteries scattered throughout Canada, are to be marked with suitable headstones and given perpetual care by the Imperial War Graves Commission. These are the graves of members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and the Royal Air Force who died in Canada on the way to or from the front.


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Note: These graves would also include those soldiers who were repatriated from overseas sick or wounded, and who died in Canada before 31 August, 1921. That date was the cut-off used by the Imperial War Graves Commission for official recognition of war dead. Canada would extend that date a number of times for the provision of soldier's gravestones at the expense of the Canadian Government for those who died later of causes related to their wartime service.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 23 October 2016

Memorial at Vimy Finished in Two Years (1928)
Topic: Remembrance

Expect Memorial at Vimy Finished in Two Years (1928)

Premier Suggests Plaster Casts of Carvings from Tunnels for Museums in Canada

Ottawa Citizen, 23 October, 1928

Encouraging reports of the progress made on the Canadian National War Memorial on Vimy Ridge continue to be received by the Dominion authorities here, and its is confidently expected that the whole massive monument will be completed within the next two years. It was visited by the prime minister, Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King, a few weeks ago. The premier also made a trip through that part of the old front line which is still being preserved on the ridge and inspected the subterranean passages in the vicinity of La Folie farm where Canadian soldiers left carvings on the chalk walls of the tunnels. Mr. Mackenzie King expressed his satisfaction with the work being done and also suggested that he would as parliament at the next session to vote a small sum in order to have plaster casts of the carvings made and deposited in the museums of the country.

A polite exhortation to visitors not to defile these Canadian relics is contained in a notice on the entrance of the tunnel, which reads:

"These walls bear the names of the soldiers who lived here. Kindly omit yours."

At present the base of the memorial, about 200 feet square and 20 feet high, is finished, but several tremendous tasks confront the builders. Huge slabs of stone, some weighing ten tons, have to be hoisted in place at the extremities of the base and out of these will be carved the symbolic figures. This stone comes from Jugo-Slavia and its shipment and handling are matters of great delicacy. Following this the pilons which rise from the base, surmounting the whole thing, will have to be built up and the sculpture work on those groups at the top proceeded with.

The monument, which stands within a park of 25 acres, the gift of the government of France to Canada, is one of the six which the Canadian people are erecting at various parts of the front. The others are now finished. There are two in Belgium and five in France.

In Belgium are the memorials at:

  • St. Julien, to commemorate the Second battle of Ypres, April 22nd-25th, 1915, and
  • Passchendaele, October and November, 1917.

The French memorials are at:

  • Vimy Ridge, April 9th, 1917;
  • Dury, September 2nd, 1918—Drocourt Queant Line;
  • Courcelette, September 15, 1916—the Somme; and
  • Le Quesnel, August 8th, 1918—Amiens.

All are simple in design and totally devoid of any flamboyant inscriptions, merely recording that at these points the Canadian Corps fought and defeated the enemy.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 22 October 2016

Slang of the Great War
Topic: Soldier Slang

Slang of the Great War

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 30 November 1929
By F.W.H.

A comprehensive list of the unique words and phrases coined and used during the Greta War would require a volume; and what an interesting book it would be. Some of them—surprisingly few—have become part and parcel of everyday language; the majority, however, are quickly passing into oblivion, being only remembered when a few old comrades foregather at the anniversary of the armistice or the celebration of ANZAC and other memorable days.

Much of the war-time slang was inspired by an instinct for self-protection against the terrible assaults of reality. As one writer expressed it: "To mitigate his (the soldier's) often atrocious sufferings, to lessen his sense of the perils surrounding him at all times and in all places, he was at pains to become familiar, indeed cheeky, with them all; and, like Beaumarchais' Fiargo, "make haste to laugh lest he be compelled to weep." Thus "what the soldiers said in the war" is evidence of many things. It is evidence of his sufferings, and of the amazing powers of adaptation which the human mind can summon to the breach of all ordinary habit, outlook and experience. But above all, it is evidence of the innate humor of the typical Digger and Tommy.

What humorous and suggestive appellations he coined for food. Thus poached eggs on toast were dubbed, "Adam and Eve on a raft"; fried eggs and bacon were "Two dots and a dash": sausages were "barkers"; milk became "cow juice" and "Dooley"; cheese was "cough and sneeze"; a bun was a "wad"; whilst a thick slice of bread became a "doorstep." Whilst butter was invariably "grease," salt became dignified as "Lot's wife"; gravy was "gippa"; Potatoes were of course "murphies" and "spuds," and also "totties"; and onions were "violets." A favourite estaminet dish, "Pomme de terre frites," was promptly christened "Bombardier Fritz"; porridge was invariably "burgoo"; and food generally was "chuck," "rooti" and "toke."

For drink and its intoxicating effects the soldier had a varied vocabulary. Beer was "suds," "stagger juice," "pig's ear" and "berai," and a glass of beer was a "blob." To be drunk was to be "blotto," "canned" or "cut"; any one very drunk was "blindo"; whilst being merely tipsy was to be "Bosky." When one set out on a carouse he was said "to go on the batter," or "on the binge"; and "canteen medals" was the term applied to drippings of beer on a tunic. Rum for some undiscovered reason was "scoach," also "red eye."

Originality was displayed in the nomenclature of enemy shells. These in general were dubbed "iron rations," the title originally applied to the tin rations supplied to the troops. Individual enemy shells were known by such distinctive names as "Asiatic Annie," "Whistling Percy," "Pip Squeak," "Jack Johnson," "Wooly Bear," "Minnie," "Tube Train," "Black Maria," "Whizz bang" and "Coal Box." Anti-aircraft shell were invariably "Archirs." Some famous guns were "Big Bertha," "Grandmother," "Lazy Eliza," "Coughing Clara," and "Billy Wells."

As might be expected many grimly ironical phrases were coined to describe wounds and death. A bad head wound was dubbed "a cushy one on the bake"; a nasty wound was "a dull thud" or "a loud one"; to be hit by a bullet was "to stop one," and to feel ill was to "feel like death warmed up." Being taken to undergo an operation was "to go to the pictures"; an anesthetic was a "dope"; to be in hospital was to be "in dock." An expectation of inevitable death was expressed by "I s'pose I'll be a land owner," and the cemetery was known as "the rest camp." The war zone was often referred to as "the shooting gallery," and the soldier's bayonet was described as a "toothpick," a "toasting fork," a "winkle-pin" and "a persuader." His identity disk was his "cold meat ticket," and his clasp knife a "cat stabber." The cheaper cigarettes supplied to the troops were known as "yellow perils" and "canteen stinkers," while Woodbines were "coffin nails," and the butt of a cigarette was a "blink."

Divisional orders were irreverently dubbed "Comic Cuts" and flying was known as the "comic business."

The soldier delighted in transforming the alliterative and distinguished names of regiments and decorations into unflattering titles. Thus the A.S.C. became "Ally Sloper's Cavalry," the Durham Light Infantry were the "Dirty Little Imps," the D.S.O. was "Dirty Shirt On," the A.O.C. were known as "All Old Crooks" and the R.A.M.C. as the "Linseed lancers."

One important class of slang words naturally sprang from the fighting men's attempt to pronounce and adapt French words and phrases. Thus "katsoo" preserved somewhat the French pronunciation of quatre sous, while allez toute de suite became "alley toot sweet." "Sanferian," or "snaffer," contained all the elements of cela ne faire rien. "Comprey?" for comprenez? Was very popular, as also were "bon," or "Bong," "fashy" (fache) and "mongee." Ypres became "Wipers" and "Eepray." "Balloo" was as near as he could get to Bailleul.

That most familiar of war words "Boche" has an interesting pre-war history. Originally it had nothing to do with the German, and it was not so applied until after the war of 1870. It originally signified "a bad lot." Zola, in "L'Assommoir," called the Alsatian concierges "les boches"; later Germans were described as Alboches (Allemend-boche), and then the al was dropped. Boche, in France, became the parent of such words as bochiser, to Germanise, bochonnie, Germany, and bochonnerie, German villainy.

Two slang words which apparently could mean anything whatever were "oojar" and "gadget." The latter was applied to almost every device or appliance used by soldiers and airmen, and when they were at a loss for a word to express their feelings about a circumstance. Person or thing they invariably described it as an (adjective to oojar or oojiboo).

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 10 October 2016 10:51 AM EDT
Friday, 21 October 2016

Recipes from Tobruk (1941)
Topic: Army Rations

Recipes from Tobruk (1941)

Diggers as Cooks

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 4 October 1941

The ingenuity of the men in the Tobruk garrison has extended to cooking. The mother of a gunner who has been in Tobruk for some seven months received a letter in which he gave her some of the recipes submitted at a recipe competition held among the gun crews.

The first is called "Fig Tree Hamburger." The gunner writes:—

"Take 2 tins of bully beef, 1 tin of bacon, 2 handfuls of flour and 3 onions. Cut the bully beef, bacon and onions finely. Mix two-thirds of the flour with a little water to make a thick paste. Mix the bully beef, bacon and onions in and mould into small rissoles, roll in the flour, fry in boiling margarine and serve hot with potato chips. This is enough for six men."

"In the sweet department," he continued, "there is Libyan flap-jack. Take three cups of flour and half a cup of oatmeal, and mix with enough water to make a thick liquid. Add a quarter cup of milk, half a teaspoon of marmite and 2 oz. of grated cheese. Mix and fry as a pancake in margarine."

"Marrow has been plentiful," he added, "and can be stuffed with rice and bully beef and roasted. Even bully beef with other ingredients can be made into something edible."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Decision to Offer Battle
Topic: Military Theory

The Decision to Offer Battle (1920)

Field Service Regulations, Volume II; Operations, 1920 (Provisional), General Staff, War Office

1.     Decisive success in battle can be gained only by offensive action. Every commander, therefore, must be determined to assume the offensive sooner or later. If the situation be temporarily unfavourable for such a course it is wiser to manoeuvre for a more suitable opportunity; but when superiority in moral, armament, training, or numbers has given a commander and advantage he should turn it to account by forcing a battle before the enemy has restored the balance. Superior numbers on the battlefield are an undoubted advantage, but greater skill, better training, and above all, a firm determination in all ranks to conquer at any cost, are the chief factors of success.

2.     Half-hearted measures never attain success in war, and lack of determination in the most fruitful source of failure. A commander who has once decided either to give or to accept battle, must act with energy, perseverance, and resolution.

3.     Time is an essential consideration in deciding whether an opportunity is favourable or not for immediate offensive action. A commander who has gained a strategical advantage may have to act at once in order to prevent the enemy bringing about conditions more favourable to himself. On the other hand, ample time may be available before any material change can occur in the strategical situation, and it may then be more effective to act deliberately, or to aim at manoeuvring and enemy out of a strong position with a view to forcing him to fight later under conditions which admit of more certain or more decisive results.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 23 September 2016 9:24 PM EDT
Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Soldier's Kit (1932)
Topic: Soldiers' Load

The Soldier's Kit (1932)

The Glasgow Herald, 19 January 1932

It is unlikely that radical alterations in the pattern of the infantry soldier's uniform will result from its condemnation by the Director-General of the Army Medical Services. Apart from the natural conservatism of the War Office and the Commands who would have to be satisfied that there is good cause for a change, the experience of dress reformers in the sphere of mufti has not been encouraging.

Perhaps the reformers have attempted too much and that too suddenly. There seems little disposition anywhere to "dress by the Left," and the Army is not likely to be found in the van of a "health and aesthetics" movement. Therefore nobody need be surprised if the infantry jib at "a new jacket with a turned-down collar open at the neck in front," and fail to accept, even for health's sake, "a drab Angora shirt of tennis shirt pattern to be worn with a tie." A tie is admittedly lacking in ferocity, but why should it be felt to be unsoldierly it is difficult to say. Officers of the line performed heroic deed with ties immaculately adjusted round their necks in the War, yet that is probably no passport to popularity for neckwear on the Queen's Parade at Aldershot or in the Maryhill Road.

Descending to trousers, it must be admitted that rugged efficiency rather than elegance has hitherto clothed the Army leg. It is proposed to replace the current useful and enduring garments by "something in the nature of plus fours." Most people connect plus fours with golf and country life, but they were developed, so far as is known, from a dressy adjustment of the puttees of the Guards—a withdrawal, as it were, of the skirts of chivalry from contamination with Flanders mud. If they now appear in infantry service kit, Wellington Barracks rather than Walton Heath should be given credit for the inspiration.

Working downwards from the neck to the extremities we come to an item that should have come first under critical fire—puttees. Granted that at the sound of the word "gaiters" no man will hear the bugle and a roll of drums, but peaceful associations ought not to obscure the fact that they do have a real respect for a soldier's veins. Puttees, even when adjust with precision in the best of conditions, look (and often feel) like the makeshifts they are. Given canvas or soft leather, a little steady thinking should produce something better for the parade ground and the campaign.

We look now at the very foundations of the fighting soldier—his boots and the feet within them. Not even a "fu' wame" will keep a linesman in spirit while every step is a pain and an anxiety. The British boot has been justly praised by thousands of "tenderfoot" soldiers who were happily fitted during the war, but those who had to refit on the catch-as-catch-can principle during the course of the campaign will be able to recall their twinges even to-day. They will feel that concentration on the puttee and boot question to the point of fastidiousness is the first duty of the reformers.

A kindred matter is having the attention, we believe, of the Army Council. An attempt is being made to reduce the weight of the infantry soldier's equipment, and while there is an irreducible minimum of gear which must be carried into action and which the men must get the feel of on the march and in manoeuvre, it should be remembered that every ounce that comes off the back will go into the heart. The whole question is governed by present economies, but it is not unlikely that a close kit inspection would reveal adjustments that would in themselves bring savings. An industrial psychologist might serve very usefully in any investigations undertaken. Mechanisation, which is putting more and more spanners into military hands, touches infantry only indirectly. While the remainder of the Army seems to move slowly but surely towards mechanical skills and seats on waggons (wheeled or winged), the soldier on foot remains more or less as he was in the older wars. He therefore deserves all the creature and fighting comforts the wits of Whitehall can provide for him.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Bacon for the Garrison (Halifax, 1908)
Topic: Army Rations

Bacon for the Garrison (Halifax, 1908)

Militia Department Gets It Cheap, but Soldiers Don't Like It—May Be Roll Bacon

The Montreal Gazette, 10 April 1908

Halifax, N.S., April 9.—(Special.)—The prices quoted in the House of Commons by the Militia Department as paid to J.F. Outhit on his contract for supplies of breakfast bacon to the Halifax garrison were interesting to the trade in this city. The parliamentary return shows that J.F. Outhit tendered to supply the Militia Department with breakfast bacon at 13 3/4 cents per pound. The packers' wholesale price for breakfast bacon all last year was 15 cents. No one could buy it for less from any reliable packer. In 1906 Outhit tendered at 14 cents, and this year his tender is 13 3/4 c, the packers' wholesale price being 14 c. At this rate, in three years, the loss would be about $1,500, the quantity taken each year being about 47,000 pounds. It is to be noted that while breakfast bacon was worth 14 and 15 cents at the packers' warehouses, roll bacon was offered at 10 5/8 cents. The question is asked: was there a mistake under which the garrison may have got roll bacon instead of breakfast bacon. Davis & Fraser say that such was the case. The department asserts that the supply officer of the department, Major E. Dodge, made no complaint, but the rank and file of the garrison complained bitterly. Often the men refused to eat the bacon, and it became a custom for the soldiers to take this bacon to the canteen, which is run as a private venture at the barracks, and get that institution to take the bacon at a valuation, and, instead of money, take other goods that they could eat in exchange for it.

This bacon affair at the barracks has been a fruitful source of trouble, and the soldiers say that even is the supply officer does not complain about it, the amount of breakfast bacon they received seemed small, and was seen at rare intervals. The soldiers think that Judge Cassels, who is to report on the Civil Service Commission's report, could very profitably spend a portion of his time looking into the Halifax military contracts. They think he might learn a lot.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 17 October 2016

Filling Gaps in Ranks (RCR, 1915)
Topic: The RCR

Filling Gaps in Ranks (RCR, 1915)

Royal Canadians Have No Difficulties in This Respect

The Montreal Gazette, 15 September 1915
(Special to the Gazette)

Halifax, N.S., September 14—The Royal Canadian Regiment. Which arrived in England a week ago, sent a request for sixty-six men to go overseas at once to fill gaps in the ranks. Sydney, hearing of this, telegraphed that sixty recruits there had volunteered for this service and their offer was accepted.

The other six will be taken from Halifax and will be forwarded without delay. The Royal Canadians hereafter will take drafts every three months and possibly at shorter periods if necessary. Halifax, being the depot for this regiment, it follows that all training will take place here. These drafts will give an opportunity for recruits who wish to go overseas at once to gratify their desire, a chance which no other force in Canada has yet had.

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Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

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The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War

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The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Battalion on the March (1922)
Topic: Drill and Training

The Battalion on the March (1922)

A battalion which is slack in march discipline is generally slack in battle.

Infantry Training, Vol. I; Training, 1922, Provisional

1.     Before commencing a march platoon commanders should inspect the men's feet as well as the fit of their boots. Equipment should also be fitted to prevent discomfort and chafes. Water-bottles should be examined and cleaned. Platoon commanders will arrange for short lectures to their men on the importance of march discipline, the orders to be observed during the march, how smoking affects endurance and how thirst is aggravated rather than reduced by frequent recourse to the water-bottle. Every endeavour must be made to develop self-discipline in the men. The success of this training will depend on the efforts and preparations made by platoon commanders as well as on the example they set themselves. March discipline is the ceremonial of war. A battalion which is slack in march discipline is generally slack in battle. Want of march discipline has been the cause of battalions being unable through fatigue to take part in a battle after a march. The strictest march discipline will be enforced at all times, especially when marching to and from the range, when working parties are marching to and from work &c., &c.

2.     The following rules will be observed by infantry on the march:—

i.     Fours [i.e., files] will be kept dressed, closed up and covered off. No officer, warrant officer or non-commissioned officer will march outside the column.

ii.     An officer, warrant officer or non-commissioned officer will march in rear and another at the head of each platoon.

iii.     Halts will be made for ten minutes at ten minutes to every hour, irrespective of the hour of the start or the nearness of the end of the march.

iv.     Every man in a four will change places after each ten minutes halt.

v.     A battalion should start and halt by companies by whistle or signal, or by both. The battalion as a whole should be warned by whistle one minute before each halt or start.

vi.     Troops will march at attention when the warning signal to halt is given. They will wait for orders from platoon commanders before falling out after a halt is signalled. Troops will fall in when the warning signal to start is given. On the command Advance they come to Attention, Slope and march off, then march at ease without further orders.

vii.     During halts cross roads and road junctions will be left clear for traffic.

viii.     Every man will take his equipment off during each clock hour halt and put it on again one minute before starting. Men should be practised in taking off and putting on equipment quickly. They should be made to lie down during halts and, if possible, raise their feet so as to relieve them of pressure and allow the blood to circulate.

ix.     Medical officers should spend most of their time looking after the rear, not the front, of their units and should regulate the pace to avoid distress behind.

x.     Men should never be allowed to double. If distance is lost it will be picked up gradually. If this fails word should be sent to the head of the column to march slower. Mounted company commanders can see to this.

xi.     Organized singing on the march should be encouraged in every battalion. It helps men to march well even when fatigued.

xii.     The more tired the men are at the end of a march, the more strictly must march discipline be enforced.

xiii.     Men unable to keep up until the next halt should be instructed to fall out and follow in the rear of the column. Written permission to fall out should be given them by an officer. Section commanders will remain with their sections and not fall out to take care of sick men.

xiv.     Men's feet will be inspected by platoon commanders immediately after every march.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 15 October 2016

Two Thousand Troops in Line (1900)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Two Thousand Troops in Line (1900)

Toronto Garrison Parades to a Divine Service
Was a Splendid Spectacle
Crowds on the Streets—Sermon at Massey Hall by Rev. Armstrong Black

Daily Mail and Empire, 15 October 1900

Toronto dearly loves a military spectacle, and it is not surprising that a great portion of the populace lined the streets yesterday to witness the autumn church parade of the city garrison. And a very imposing spectacle it was, confirming Toronto's just pride in its citizen soldiery. The splendid brigade of 2,000 men represented every branch of the service, horse, foot, and artillery. It was a body fit to stand with the flower of the British army.

"They are much larger men than the British regulars," said a bystander, who accompanied the first Canadian contingent from Cape Town to Paardeberg. "the Guards are the only Old Country regiment I saw who can compare with them in stature."

Men From the Front

Sprinkled through the ranks were a number of South African heroes, whose presence denoted the new Imperial role of the Canadian militia, as well as its valor and devotion, which are not new. Among these campaigners were Capt. A.E. Ryerson, Pte. C. Millar, and Pte. James S. Taylor, of the Governor-General's Body Guards; Sergt. Kennedy, Sergt. Hewitt, and Pte. Ward, of the Queen's Own Rifles; Pte Vickers and Pte. Cuthbert, of the Grenadiers; and Corp. Smith and Pte. Mitchell, of the Highlanders.

Lieut.-Col. Peters, D.O.C., was the commander-in-chief, his staff being Lieut.-Col. Young, Major Heward (R.C.D.), Major Galloway (14th Regiment, Kingston), Lieut.-Col. Graveley (superintendent district stores), Assistant Surgeon-General Ryerson, Major Heakes, and Lieut. Carling (R.G.). The infantry were brigaded under Lieut.-Col. Delamare, his staff officer being Capt. Wyatt.

Order of the Parade

The garrison left the Armoury about 3 p.m. in the following order:—

The several regiments combined to make a striking pictorial effect owing to the variety and contrast of colour presented by their uniforms and accoutrements. It was a very inspiring sight for the multitudes along the line of march.

The Dragoons, 39 officers and men, were in command of Capt. Johnson, and the Field Battery, 63 strong, was officered by Capt. Grier, Lieut. Hughes, and Lieut. Brown.

The full strength of the Body Guards was 161. Lieut.-Col. Clarense Denison commanded, assisted by Lieut.-Col. Dunn, Surg.-Major Grasert, Capt. Campbell, Capt. Thomson, and Capt. Peters (adjutant). "A" squadron mustered 35, "B" squadron 35, and "C" squadron 42.

The Royal Grenadiers, 526 strong, were officered by Lieut.-Col. Bruce, in command, Major Tassie, Major Stimson, Surg.-Major King, Capt. Montgomery, and Rev. A.H. Baldwin, chaplain. The company strength, rank and file, was as follows:— "A" 32, "B" 49, "C" 38, "D" 31, "E" 44, "F" 35, "G" 48, "H", 41 "I" 34, "K" 47.

The Queen's Own had the strongest showing, 609 all ranks. Major Murray commanded, the other officers being Major Gunther (adjutant), Capt. Thorne, Surg.-Major Palmer, and Paymaster Lee. The rank and file numbered 417, the company strength being:— "A" 43, "B" 47, "C" 42, "D" 41, "E" 34, "F" 47, "G" 45, "H" 43, "I" 36, "K" 36. There were 6 captains, 17 subalterns, and 34 sergeants.

The bonnetted Highlanders were 454, all ranks. The officers were:—Lieut.-Col. Macdonald in command, Major Robertson, Surg.-Major Stewart, Capt. Donald (adjutant), and Major Orchard (quartermaster). The rank and file numbered 312, distributed by companies as follows:— "A" 43, "B" 32, "C" 35, "D" 38, "E" 37, "F" 42, "G" 45, "H" 43. There were 7 captains, 7 subalterns, and 26 sergeants.

The Medical Service Corps made its first appearance in garrison parade, and the neat and soldierly appearance of the young men, who are mostly students, excited very favourable comment. They were handsomely uniformed, and marched in capital style. In fact, the marching of every one of the regiments was so uniformly good that it would be hard to say any particular company excelled. The route was along Beverly, College, and Yonge streets to Massey Hall.

At Massey Hall

Patriotic Sermon by Rev. Armstrong Black

A great audience assembled for the divine service, both galleries being filled by the general public, and the ground floor and platform by the garrison. The band of the Governor-General's Body Guards furnished the instrumental music, which was admirably rendered. The devotional exercises were conducted by Rev. Armstrong Black, assisted by Rev. Arthur Baldwin, and the vast congregation joined heartily in the singing.

The sermon, which was delivered by Rev. Armstrong Black, was of a fervidly patriotic character. He spoke of the time, less than a year ago, when the cloud of adversity lowered upon the British Empire, and there were searchings of heart among the British people. It was true that Great Britain was caught unprepared, but she was unprepared in a noble sense, because she had been too generous to her foe, and too trustful in her confidence when she negotiated for the rights and liberties of citizens in a land which British arms had saved not two generations ago. It was well for England to know how loyal and self-sacrificing were her sons in the colonies. That she had splendidly learned, and that she would never forget.

"She is strong in your strength," said the preacher, "Henceforward your weal or woe will be identified with the Motherland."

The speaker said that Canada had stepped into the arena of the world since her sons had been brigaded with the gallant lads of Britain. The reaction of that service to the Mother Land had more than compensated Canada. She was no longer regarded as a colony, but as a nation. Only the other day Lord Rosebery, speaking at a banquet tendered Lord Hopetoun, the first Governor-General of Federated Australia, referred to Canada as a subsidiary empire. In concluding, the speaker said that in this new world, and in the new century now dawning, the problems of humanity were to be worked out, and it behooved everyone to realize his responsibility, and strive to do his duty to God and to man. He urged the soldiers to cultivate a noble manhood, to be obedient to the voice of conscience, and to be good citizens in times of peace.

The troops returned to the Armouries via Yonge, King, Simcoe, and Queen streets. Dense crowds again lined the route.

The actual number of officers, non-commissioned officers, and men in the parade was 1,924.

elipsis graphic

From the same edition of the Daily Mail and Empire:

Ottawa Garrison Parade

Special to the Mail and Empire.

Ottawa, Oct 14.—The annual church parade of the Ottawa brigade took place this afternoon, and was witnessed by thousands. The corps taking part were the G.G.F.G., 43rd Regiment, P.L. Dragoons, 2nd Field Battery, and No. 2 Bearer Co., the total number on parade being 930. The men were reviewed by General O'Grady Haley and Col. Aylmer, adjutant-general, as they returned from church. The Guards looked well in their usual scarlet, and the 43rd in Khaki.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 14 October 2016

Airborne Brigade Group (1948)
Topic: Canadian Army

Airborne Brigade Group (1948)

… the only immediate danger on the defence horizon—the possibility of a diversionary attack.

Ottawa Citizen, 15 July 1948
By Douglas How, Canadian Press Staff Writer

The Airborne Brigade Group, slated to be the ever-ready 7,000 strong fighting segment of the permanent Canadian army, will start training as a unit next year, the chief of defence staff disclosed today.

It would then be ready, Lt.-Gen. Charles Foulkes said in an interview, to meet what Defence Minister Claxton recently pictured as the only immediate danger on the defence horizon—the possibility of a diversionary attack.

Gen. Foulkes said the group, to be a self-contained, all-arms body, now is in component unit concentrations, training at company and squadron levels in various camps across the country.

Set Up In Fall

Its infantry, armored, artillery and other regiments would step up their training to battalion or regimental levels this fall as a final prelude to schooling of the brigade as a brigade next year. A commander would probably be named then.

Its two-fold purpose was to act as a training ground for instructors, soldiers and commanders and to be ready to meet any emergency. Gen Foulkes said one of its three infantry battalions—The Royal Canadian Regiment, now at Petawawa; the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, now at Calgary, of the Royal 22e Regiment, at Valcartier—would start airportable training at Rivers [Manitoba] this autumn. The unit has not yet been picked.

More to Follow

It would be followed by the various other outfits until they were ready to take to the air to meet any emergency. As a further step, platoons from some of the units would do northern training this winter.

The group was estimated at better than 70 per cent of its target strength and would be recruited up to the total, possibly by next April. Its strength will be more than 25 per cent of the full army.

Its regiments are now scattered this way:

Mr. Claxton, when he recently announced that present recruiting targets would be ignored, visualized the possibility of an additional combat force if it "is considered necessary" to deal with the danger of any diversionary attack.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 13 October 2016

Infantry (1920)
Topic: Military Theory

The main objective of the infantry, therefore, to which all other operations are merely preliminaries, is to close with the enemy and destroy him by killing or capture.

Infantry (1920)

Field Service Regulations, Volume II; Operations, 1920 (Provisional), General Staff, War Office

1,     Infantry is the arm which in the end wins battles. The co-operation of the other arms is necessary, but neither separately nor together can they defeat the enemy.

2.     The weapons of the infantry consisting of the rifle and bayonet, the Lewis gun, the rifle grenade, the hand grenade, and the light mortar enable it to develop rapidly in any direction a large volume of fire, to combine fire and movement, and to engage an enemy at a distance or hand to hand.

3.     The movements of infantry on foot are slow, and the distance it can cover in a day is relatively small. On the other hand, infantry is capable of moving over almost any ground by day or night, and can find cover more readily than the other arms. When roads permit, it can be moved with rapidity in motor vehicles, and brought fresh into action at distant points.

4.     Fire alone will seldom force determined troops out of their position. To drive an enemy from the field, assault or the immediate threat of it is necessary.

5.     The main objective of the infantry, therefore, to which all other operations are merely preliminaries, is to close with the enemy and destroy him by killing or capture. It is this power of closing with the enemy which makes infantry the decisive arm in the fight.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 23 September 2016 10:32 PM EDT
Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Fudge Block Army Ration (1941)
Topic: Army Rations

Fudge Block Army Ration (1941)

Piece de Resistance Gives Food Value and Satisfies Sweet Tooth

Reading Eagle, Reading, Pennsylvania, 10 July 1941

Atlanta, July 10 (AP)—The piece de resistance of "iron rations" issued American soldiers on the arch is a domino-size fudge block—a sugary hunk that packs 125 calories of energy.

The army itself concocted the recipe for the one-ounce piece of candy serving the dual purpose of packing in the food value and satisfying the fighting man's sweet tooth. Vitamin C in the form of brewer's yeast is added in the ingredients of corn sugar and cane sugar, chocolate, vegetable fat, powdered egg albumen and powdered milk.

New Item on Display

This new item was on display along with an innovation in lollipops—a sucker employing a cord loop instead of a stick so the stumbling youngster won't spike his throat—in the exhibit room of three candy conventions in progress here.

The candy industry is gearing its production line to the national defense theme in two other items, said Philip C. Gott, of Chicago, president of the National Confectioners Association.

One is a four-ounce high vitamin candy block for parachute troopers and the other a salty gum drop fed to soldiers in sultry sections to replace body salt lost through perspiration.

The candies made for the army are not available to civilian retail trade, Gott said. Manufacturers who wish to bid on them obtain the recipes from the Quartermaster Corps, and rigid inspection is conducted, he added.

Given Exhaustive Trial

The type C or "iron rations" menu got an exhaustive test in the recent Tennessee maneuvers and the Fourth Corps Area quartermaster's office here, which feeds one-third of the U.S. Army, reported "excellent results."

Three of the one-ounce candy blocks go into a day's "iron rations" and other items include meat, vegetables, biscuits and soluble coffee. All are canned, conserving space and load.

"We could concoct a chemically pure food for soldiers, which the boys wouldn't eat—the army's food has to taste good," Lieut. Col.Rohland A. Isker said of the candy ration. Isker is in charge of the subsistency research laboratories of the army.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Comment Declined on Halifax Base (1929)
Topic: Halifax

Comment Declined on Halifax Base (1929)

Ottawa Interested in Intimation of Demilitarization in N.Y. Despatches

The Montreal Gazette, 11 October 1929
(By Canadian Press)

Ottawa, Oct. 10.—Canadian officials here received with interest but with no comment the intimation contained in New York news despatches from Washington that on his visit to Canada the Rt. Hon. J. Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister of Great Britain, would discuss with the Canadian Government the matter of demilitarizing the naval base at Halifax. This, the despatches said, would be done together with the dismantling of the British naval bases in the West Indies as a "grand gesture" of goodwill towards then United States.

The Imperial government has no authority whatever over Canadian military or naval activities, it was pointed out, all property which was once under Imperial jurisdiction having at various times passed into Canada's hands. The last Imperial troops to garrison Halifax left the Nova Scotian capital as far back as 1906, since when the Dominion has had complete control.

Canada's military and naval establishment in Halifax is extremely modest, and scarcely one that could be considered as constituting a menace to the United States.

At present there is one destroyer, the Champlain, on loan to this country from the British Admiralty, and two minesweepers, the Ypres and the Armentieres. There is also a shore training school, and a dockyard.

With regard to soldiers, Halifax is garrisoned by a small company of the Royal Canadian Regiment, some coast artillery and a few engineers, army service corps troops, ordnance and other administrative personnel.

During the Great War liberal use was made of the port of Halifax by the United States in the transportation overseas of American troops. Since then it has been visited by American warships conveying the midshipmen of the Annapolis Naval Academy on their summer cruise.

Officials here declined to comment on whether this demilitarization question might constitute an interesting feature of the projected London conference, to be held in January. It was suggested to them that the proposal would draw Canada directly into the discussion.

The Prime Minister, a few days ago, declared that no formal invitation had been received by Canada to attend the Assembly.

"There have been communications between this Government and Great Britain," he added, "I suppose these communications might be construed as an invitation."

In any case, he himself would not be able to attend, he declared, on account of the nearness of the parliamentary session to the date of the conference.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 10 October 2016

Canada's Militia Masquerade (1938)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Canada's Militia Masquerade (1938)

Now Unpopular, Obsolete, it Needs Overhauling for National Service

The militia is ill-equipped. Service uniforms are old, badly fitted. Web equipment is broken. The men have no boots. Generally a lack of imagination has been shown.

The Financial Post, 3 December 1938 By Lt.-Col. Louis Keene

Lieut.-Col. Louis Keene, who rose from the ranks during the war and has served actively in the militia, in the accompanying article, urges the complete reorganization of Canada's defence forces which he brands as not just antiquated but unpopular. On the foundation of Canadian defence he would build a national service corps.

A few Sundays ago Toronto saw four parades all in the trappings of tradition. The Ancient Order of Foresters were there in their picturesque regalia, The Queen's Own in their last century rifle green uniforms, the Grenadiers in their guard's uniforms, the Toronto Scottish in their hodden grey kilts.

People on the street, if they thought at all, probably felt quite secure in the knowledge that the brave men of Canada's militia would meet the foe without flinching.

Equipped for action (as these men will be in ill-fitting uniforms, obsolete equipment and weapons, this whole force, despite their bravery, could be destroyed by one sections of two cars of trained, well-armored fighting vehicles.

Why perpetuate the obsolescent Canadian militia?

Antiquated, Unpopular

If my judgment is correct, it has little or no public support. It is antiquated, ill-equipped, unpopular. It has hew if any links with any other part of Canadian life.

A few weeks ago competent authorities stated that we are unable to protect ourselves on land, sea, or in the air. Some steps are now being taken to remedy this situation.

Following staff reorganization dating back to 1936, efforts have been made to remove some of the glaring weaknesses of our antiquated system. As yet the rank and file have felt little of its impact. And nothing has been done to fit the militia for the larger responsibilities of national and community life.

Yet canada spends from $15 to $20 millions annually on its militia. It boasts many fine traditions, much able, conscientious personnel.

Is it not time we looked closely at some of the criticisms which have been levelled at it; time we took a national stocktaking to see what might be done to link this branch of public service with the larger responsibilities of individual and national well being?

In other countries, soldiers are used to aid the community. A few years ago in Sweden there was a big forest fire and 10,000 Swedish troops were turned out to aid in putting out the flames.

Even the German army is used for helpful community work. This summer they were turned out to help the farmers fight a plague of caterpillars.

National Guards in the United States are called out to restore order and help in times of disaster. In France, service in a fire brigade is counted as service—army service.

Overall Army

Britain now has her "Overall" Army and her Women's Air Guard. She is paving the way for volunteer service which can be used for achievement in peace as well as strength in war. Why should Canada not have her own National Service Corps?

It could be of great peace-time service.

In northern communities it could be trained in fore protection to help preserve our timber wealth. Other communities have equally important public service jobs to be done. Jobs that would appeal to men and women with a sense of good citizenship. Equally important is the job such as National Service Corps could do to train the individual; to build up his physique, his morale, his technical skill. Yet today the Canadian militia is ignored, treated with indifference.

Why is this so?

For one thing our militia is antiquated.

It is an out-of-date carryover from the period of the Crimean War. It was formed at the time when England was so short of men that she had to withdraw all her troops from Canada. At that time our young country was told that it would have to look after its own defence. Immediately and enthusiastically the militia was formed. It was new and up to date, smart, popular and efficient.

As the peaceful years rolled by the threat of foreign foes ceased to worry us. The militia settled down to being a responsible part of Canadian life. No one of importance missed being in some way connected with their local militia unit. There was some remarkably fine shooting done years ago by the old militia. Even rural regiments had their fine shots who went to Bisley.

Pushed Aside in 1914

The great opportunity which came in practically every other military force in the world was, of course, the Great War. But in Canada the political situation, plus jealousy and muddling pushed the miltia to one side. A new setup was arranged.

Thousands of Canadians who fought in the war had nothing to do with the organized militia in any form either before, during or after the war. Great opportunities to build a desirable tradition were lost. When the war was over, few of the returning soldiers were interested in the militia.

The militia never got another chance to get back its rightful position in the community. After the war was over, General Sir Arthur Currie, at a famous reunion dinner, asked returned officers to look after the militia. This meant nothing to many of them. They didn't bother.

At the time of the Coronation, instead of a smart, single unit being sent over to represent the whole of Canada, a miscellaneous, conglomerate group was formed. It was one of the few units which was not youthful and dressed up for this gala occasion. Without the Royal Canadian Mounted Police the Canadian contingent would have made a very poor showing at the Coronation.

The crowning blow of all was at the time of the international crisis when war seemed neat—a matter of hours—and patriotic citizens rushed to military district headquarters and offered to raise battalions. The Canadian Corps offered to furnish a division of troops. The militia was not even considered, was again given a back seat.

The militia is ill-equipped. Service uniforms are old, badly fitted. Web equipment is broken. The men have no boots. Generally a lack of imagination has been shown.

Men do not like getting out of their own civilian clothes and putting on old uniforms.

Recently at Camp Borden we saw rifles tied with handkerchiefs to indicate anti-tank guns. Even the new anti-aircraft guns were on mounts dated 1918. At the last camp at Niagara-on-the-Lake, the airplane operating with us was 16 years old. The small arms ammunition we used at the rifle ranges was dated 1917.

The militia is ignored by most people. It has not the support of the employers of labor. Businessmen do not take it seriously.

Employers must be shown that the discipline and training which men can learn in camp should be of value to them in their business. Today they feel that by letting men go to camp they are doing them a great favor.

As now constituted, the militia has not the support of the workers. It has very little appeal to the imagination of youth who have many other spare-time attractions unknown 30 years ago.

Country Lulled to Sleep

For 20 years we have listened to people condemn the militia, condemn cadet training, so that the whole country has been lulled to sleep.

For years we have been subject to a continual barrage of pacifist literature, the Cry Havocs, the films. We have listened to sob lectures and our prayers have been full of the soothing syrup of peace so that we are now fat, coddled, comfortable, unafraid, unarmed, unprepared.

Napoleon said of London: "What a city to sack!" It might well be said now of Canada, what a country to exploit.

When any civilian job has to be done which would prove of military training value, militia are scarcely considered. For example, in building the Toronto-Hamilton highway, at least one bridge had to be blown up. Here would have been a grand opportunity for our militia engineers to have had the chance to try out their training in demolitions, an important part of their war-time activities.

Our militia is never expected to do anything constructive. There is no affiliation with the youth of the country, service clubs or other groups, and there is very little link with veterans. It stands alone. So, instead of being a tremendously vital thing in the community at large, of which the public is proud, it is struggling along with the aid of a few public-spirited officers, N.C.O.'s and men who must devote a great deal of their time to an expensive, unpopular duty.

Complete Overhaul

I suggest that a complete overhaul is necessary.

One alternative is to develop an organization with wider opportunities for constructive work with individuals, with the community, with the nation as a whole—an organization which will be of use for peace as well as war.

The name "militia" is long out of date. It has been abolished by every other country that ever used the term.

"Militia," like the name "Regiment of Foot," came into effect years ago. Both names have long since disappeared from the vocabulary of Anglo-Saxon countries except as historical terms.

The army in England has had a great capacity for improvisation, It has been slower to recognize the necessity for reorganization, yet during the last hundred years two extensive reorganizations have been carried out. The first was by Cardwell 70 years ago. The second was by Haldane 35 years later, following the Boer War.

When Cardwell came into office as Secretary of State for War at the end of 1868 he found the army in a state of obvious unfitness to meet an emergency, yet our reorganization was prior to this.

Haldane reorganized the militia and the volunteers. He converted the former into a special reserve to feed the regular army with drafts in war, and the latter into a territorial force. This was the end of the militia. We should have followed Britain's example and reorganized when we threw out the pill box.

Starting Points

One specific reform Canada should adopt at once from British experience is the appointments of a paid adjutant for each non-permanent militia unit. This should be the starting point for other improvements.

Another starting point in reorganization is new equipment. This must be forthcoming immediately in exchange for pre-war uniforms.

The militia needs tanks, steel helmets, gas masks, new equipment and up-to-date weapons if it is to be anything more than a defence farce.

Almost 90% of the time of the Canadian militia officers is spent trying to get the men to turn out. They are under no obligation to attend. They say they do not like the uniforms, they don't like the puttees, they don't like to wear ill-fitting jackets.

Machine power, not manpower, is the determining condition of success in modern warfare. We, in Canada, haven't a sprinkling of the essential machines, so we get more pre-war uniforms at not cost to the public because they are not issued or paid for by units themselves.

We must know something of the weapons which are to be used and we must have the men who can use these machines. If we had new weapons, an overwhelming interest would immediately be created and we would have no trouble getting men in the militia. We could pick and choose them, could interest men who are mechanically minded, students and others who are incorporated into all the other armies in the world.

What possible chance have we to train or make use of the skilled worker who must eventually be the soldier if we have nothing to train with?

We cannot possibly expect to enjoy the benefits of civilization, comfort, security, our boasted high standard of living, even our investments and savings, without doing something to protect them. The most dreadful thing now is that preparation for protection takes time. We cannot spring to arms without having something to spring to. Fortunately some steps in this direction are now being taken.

If a highly industrialized nation like Britain decides to re-arm and three years later is far behind because she has had to make all the basic machinery, dies, stamps before production commences, how much more are we in Canada helpless?

It is not time for new purposes?

If a policeman's sole job was to shoot murderers he would be looked upon very differently to the way we look on him now. The policeman of today is being continually called on to do helpful, constructive jobs. He is looked upon with respect and confidence.

Why can't the militia be linked up in a movement that will be popular, constructive and useful besides "forming fours" and being "steady on parade?"

Think what might be done for the individual by a well-rounded-out militia which would take its place in the larger field of community and national service. The physical instruction training programme in itself would be of great help to many of the organizations of youth, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, Girl Guides, Service Clubs, Y.M.C.A.'s. This branch of the service could supply physical, swimming and recreational instruction for boy's camps and the leaders in a general fitness campaign. It could and should work more closely with veterans' organizations.

The militia should have a rehabilitation programme to meet, help and guide unemployed youth, the transients who are now drifting across Canada. There must be given the right kind of leadership. Why should it not come from a national service organization of which the nucleus would be the militia.

Training Opportunities

There should be a training programmes so that members could have the opportunity of learning some other trades than their own outside of office hours and become artists, mechanics or professional men. In this way we could build for the future by increasing the usefulness and earning power of thousands of citizens.

We could give technical opportunities to men and women to learn telephone and telegraph work and other specialized trades, all vital in the life of a nation.

Our armouries are public buildings. Why should they not become centres of community and family life, embracing the activities of all members of the family. They could be used by Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, for all clubs and societies willing to commit themselves and their programme to national service.

In this way existing barriers and mistrust on the part of the general public would be overcome. The individual would benefit. So would the country and the community.

We cannot go on forever feeling that the youth and future of the country is going to be allowed by circumstances to drift safely down the middle of the stream. Responsibility must be taken and the right kind of leadership given. If not, we will suffer as others in the past have suffered when they became lazy and it became too much trouble to look after national affairs.

My plea is that there is no better starting point in such a campaign than a Canadian National Service Corps. To create such a body we should first overhaul the Canadian Militia.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 9 October 2016

Leadership and Tactics (1954)
Topic: Leadership

Leadership and Tactics (1954)

The section and platoon are the teams upon which, in war, the successful handling of the battalion rests.

Canadian Army, Manual of Training; Infantry Section Leading and Platoon Tactics, 1954


1.     A leader must first of all have the confidence of his men, and to gain this he must have confidence in himself. To have justified confidence in himself he must know his job. He must be able to make up his mind, and having done so, stick to his decision. He should keep calm. To show doubt and indecision is a sure way of shaking the confidence of his men. A stout-hearted man will always go on trying; and by doing so he will instil his own fighting spirit into his followers.

2.     Loyalty is an essential of leadership; unless a leader is himself loyal to his superiors, he cannot expect loyal support from his subordinates.

3.     Finally, he must understand discipline. He must command the men of his section firmly, but with common sense and fairness. He must give his orders clearly and, having given an order, must insist on it being efficiently carried out.


1.     The section and platoon are the teams upon which, in war, the successful handling of the battalion rests. Once committed to battle, success or failure will depend largely on the initiative of junior leaders and the efficient tactical handling of their sub-units.

Minor tactics is the application of weapons and formations to the ground. Every platoon and section commander must reach a high standard in the following:—

(a)     Weapon handling.

(b)     Fieldcraft and appreciation of ground.

(c)     Selection and construction of fire positions.

(d)     Concealment and the use and construction of cover.

2.     In war, platoon and section commander have power over the lives of their men. Junior leaders must make every effort to improve their military knowledge in all its aspects, and putting that knowledge into practice, justify themselves as leaders in action.

3.     Tactics are essentially common sense and officers and NCOs should regard them as such. There are certain factors which are constant. These are:—

(a)     The aim. The junior leader must always have a clear picture in his mind of the aim of the commander. From this he must decide on his own immediate aim and make his plan with that aim constantly in mind.

(b)     Surprise. The element of surprise must never be forgotten. Junior leaders should place themselves in the enemy's position and then avoid the obvious course which the enemy would be most likely to expect. Deceiving the enemy, concealment, and speed of action all go towards achieving surprise.

(c)     Simplicity of Plan. A simple, straightforward plan, executed with speed and determination, will always be better than a complicated one. The latter will take longer to prepare and details my be forgotten in the heat of battle.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 9 October 2016 12:06 AM EDT
Saturday, 8 October 2016

Tabloid Food Ousts Tommy's Bully Beef (1932)
Topic: Army Rations

Tabloid Food Ousts Tommy's Bully Beef (1932)

Scientific Ration to replace Soldiers' Tinned Food

The Pittsburgh Press, 21 March 1932

London, March 22.—The familiar bully beef tin is about to make way for a scientific food tablet in the British Tommy's pack.

The new emergency ration is a four-inch block of concentrated sugar, cocoa powder, tea powder, beef powder, oil of lemon and cocoa butter. It will sustain a man for 24 hours.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 7 October 2016

Given Ranking as Members of CEF
Topic: CEF

Given Ranking as Members of CEF

Members of the Headquarters staff and those employed in Canada in organizing or training corps for overseas are members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Order Issued by Militia Department Appreciated by Men Serving at Home

Ottawa Citizen, 17 May 1917

Members of the Headquarters staff and those employed in Canada in organizing or training corps for overseas are members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

This is made clear in an order which has just been issued by the Militia department. While those doing duty at home are thus given their ranking as among the C.E.F. thay are not entitled to the special pay or allowances for those who go overseas.

This notice will provide a welcome announcement to officers and men who are affected by the regulations. Many of them were prevented from going overseas, being retained in this country by the military authorities to carry on the organization and training of Canada's new troops. Others were recalled from service at the front to take up the work of training and supervising the troops in this country. At times the allegation has been made by people who were ignorant of the fact that these men were enjoying "soft" jobs, and were not doing their bit. But now the militia department has officially recognized them as full-fledged members of the Expeditionary Force, and has thus has shown the value of their services.

The Order

The order, as published by the Department of Militia and Defence, reads:—

"The Canadian Expeditionary Force is composed of the following classes of the Canadian Military Forces, namely:

"Those officers and men, who, during the present war have been are, or in the future shall be, serving under the government of the United Kingdom outside of Canada but in the pay of the Dominion Government.

"Those officers and men of the Canadian Military Forces who, during the present war have been are, or in the future shall be, serving in Canada with units intended to be sent overseas.

"Those officers who, during the present war, have been, are, or in the future shall be, serving as members of the Militia Council, and those officers and men of the permanent staff, and of the active militia, who have been, are, or in the future shall be employed in organizing, administering and training the units intended to be sent overseas.

Those officers and men of the permanent force of Canada, who, during the present war, have been, are, or in the future shall be, employed on garrison duty in Canada, or on instructional duties in connection with the units intended to be sent overseas.

"Nothing herein contained shall authorize or entitle the officers and men aforesaid to receive the special pay and allowances granted to the Canadian forces serving overseas, but they shall continue to be entitled to such pay and allowances as are prescribed for them by law and regulations."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 6 October 2016

Regulations for the Annual Drill (1880)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Regulations Issued for the Annual Drill (1880)

The Sarnia Observer, 14 May 1880

In order to bring the expenditure for drill and training of the active militia, for the fiscal year 1880-81, with the appropriation made by Parliament, the strength of the force to be drilled and pid for that year, has been limited by Order-in-Council to 21,250 officers, non-commissioned officers and men, and 1,275 horses. Payments for drill to be made after the commencement of the financial year (1st July.) As the nominal strength of the active militia is in excess of the number which can be paid, and as it is not desirable to reduce the strength of corps below that established for drill and training of 1879-80, viz., forty-two non-commissioned officers and men, including staff sergeants and bandsmen, provision has been made for the selection of the corps which may drill in the different districts, each district being allotted its full quota in proportion to the total strength of all corps therein. The maximum number of officers, non-commissioned officers and men to receive pay for drill in each district will therefore be:—

  • Mil. Dis. No. 1 – 2,500
  • Mil. Dis. No. 2 – 3,600
  • Mil. Dis. No. 3 – 2,000
  • Mil. Dis. No. 4 – 1,300
  • Mil. Dis. No. 5 – 3,300
  • Mil. Dis. No. 6 – 1,500
  • Mil. Dis. No. 7 – 2,200
  • Mil. Dis. No. 8 – 1,500
  • Mil. Dis. No. 9 – 2,200
  • Mil. Dis. No. 10 – 400
  • Mil. Dis. No. 11 – 300
  • Mil. Dis. No. 12 – 450
  • Total – 21,250

In the selections from corps for drill of 1880-81, field batteries of artillery are to be first taken; 2nd, corps in cities; 3rd, corps not drilled last year; 4th, to complete quota authorized, corps to be selected from the different arms in each district, in proportion as their strength bears to each other. When practicable, the selection is also to be by battalion.

Men going to camp a distance of five miles of more will be allowed one and one-half cent per mile in lieu of transport. Six days, exclusive of Sundays, are to be spent in camp. Officers to receive the pay of their ranks. Men will be paid 60 cents per day, and for horses $1 per day will be allowed. For rations—i.e., fuel, food, water, and light—25 cents per day for each man will be allowed, and for horses 35 cents. The officers, non-commissioned officers, gunners and drivers will be paid for the days (not exceeding ten) they are actually present in camp as follows: The officers and non-commissioned officers the pay of their ranks; the gunners and drivers at the rate of 60 cents, and for horses 41 per diem. Rations and forage will not be issued in kind, but an allowance will be granted in lieu thereof for rations (food, fuel, water and light) at the rate of 25 cents for each officer, non-commissioned officer, gunner and driver per diem, and forage at the rate of 35 cents for each horse per diem.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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