Topic: Canadian Militia
The Military Strength of the Dominion
The Val d'Or Star; 8 April 1885
At the present crisis we often hear the question asked as to the condition and actual strength of the military force of the country. Regarding the efficiency of the enrolled volunteer force, with the exception of some pet city corps, we far very little indeed can be said. If our own local battalions are any criterion, the country now, in this time of need, finds the want of a well-disciplined and equipped body of men. Sufficient money has been yearly expended by the government to have things otherwise. But, it is needless to find fault and recriminate on the errors and foolishness of the past.
The trouble is upon us, and it must be bravely and patriotically met. As we intimated in our last, the time is approaching when somebody will have to render to the people a strict account for all the shortcomings of the past. In his annual report, Dec. 30th, 1884, Major-General Middleton, commander of the forces, says the total strength of the active militia on the 31st of December last including all branches, was 37,036.
The officers and men composing this force are distributed among twelve military districts, of which four are in Ontario, three in Quebec, one each in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and the Northwest territories, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. There are altogether 194 companies, of which 180 are normally in twelve military districts and eight are made up of the Royal Military College cadet corps (one), the Cavalry School corps (one), the regiment of Canadian Artillery (three) and the Infantry School corps (three).
- Of cavalry, the force in the cities is composed of 225 officers and men (including the Cavalry School corps 43); and that in the rural districts of 1,462, making a total of 1,987.
- The field artillery numbers 1,440 — 722 in the cities; 718 in the country.
- The garrison artillery has a strength of 2,472 — 1,550 in the cities (including the regiment of Canadian artillery), and 922 in the country.
- Of engineers there are 243, of whom 198 (including the Royal Military College cadet corps, 64 strong) are in the cities and 45 in the country.
The entire strength of the infantry is 30,894, of which 7,414 (including the Infantry School corps, 315) belongs to the cities and 23,480 to the country.There is thus a total strength for the cities of 10,409, and of the rural militia of 26,627.