The Minute Book
Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Infantry School Corps (1892)
Topic: The RCR

Canadian Militia parading at Stanley Barracks, Toronto (circa 1910).

The Infantry School Corps (1892)

The Active Militia of Canada

The Qu'Appelle Progress; 7 January 1892

Lientenant-Colonel William Dillon Otter

I must give honor to an institution which is doing a good work in raising the militia of Canada to as higher state of efficiency, "C" School of Infantry, established in New Fort Barracks, Toronto, under the command of one of Canada's leading military men, Lieutenant Colonel Otter.

As the law makes it compulsory to hold a certificate from one of the schools before confirming an officer's commission, the immediate and vast benefit to our militia of having three trained officers at the head of each company and a thoroughly qualified staff with each battalion must be apparent.

"C" Royal School of Infantry accommodates from twelve to fifteen officers and men each course of three months; and the officer or man going there for a lark finds out his mistake very quickly. Steady work and close application to the numerous books placed in his hands are necessary to win the requisite marks to entitle him to the coveted papers necessary to hold a position of trust in our militia force. Officers receive pay at the ate of $1 per day and rations, out of which are taken their mess expenses, but the nonuser of tobacco or wine generally has a few dollars coming to him at the end of the month. The men receive 50 cents per day and rations. Each one receives free transportation to the school, but there is no allowance for the trip home unless successful in winning papers, which of course means staying the full time.

Arduous as may be the work in the drill sheds and on the wide expanse of common, few officers who have passed a course but look ahead eagerly for the time when they shall have another three months to devote to military duties.

The "Old Fort" and the "New Fort" are the names which respectively designate the abandoned quarters and the new group of fine stone buildings half a mile farther west on the shore of Toronto Bay. Both the old and the new quarters are close to the shore, which rises at the latter place to a sodded awn, on whch are planted two heavy smooth-bore cannon mounted on ship gun carriages. Through the weedy embrasures of the old earth-work peep the muzzles of a dozen small old smooth-bore ship guns. All these are said to be of the spoils of Sebastopol, and in their day flamed against the stubbornly defended trenches and wooden walls of the British besiegers.

Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario (circa 1907).

In 1885 the Government of Canada became aware of the necessity of an additional school for military instruction in Ontario, and selected London, in the western portion of the province, as a suitable site. The extensive and imposing three-story brink barrack in the form of a huge crescent dominates the crest of a slight eminence, and affords a charming view of the young "Forest City," as London the lesser is called. The force here, as at Toronto, is composed of one company (D) of the permanent infantry of Canada, and with the non-commissioned officers and the school of instruction it makes up a body of about 100 non-commissioned officers and men. Lieutenant Colonel Smith, who wears the medal and clasp of 1885, is in command. His staff is as follows: Surgeon, M.J. Hanavan; captains, D.D. Young, R.L. Wadmore and R. Cartwright. And Lieut S.J.A. Denison. They turn out well-trained officers and men from this institution, which is a proof of capable management. The officers of the Thirty-second and Thirty-third battalions acquire their training at this school.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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