Topic: Canadian Army
An array of Yukon Field Force images as displayed by Google image search.
Canadian Troops for the Yukon
In May, 1898, part of [The Royal Canadian] Regiment joined a mixed force, under the command of Major Thomas D.B. Evans, Royal Canadian Dragoons, which was sent as the Yukon field force, to police the new gold fields. Embarking at Vancouver they sailed for Glenora. From there they marched four hundred and thirty miles to Selkirk over mountainous and comparatively unknown country. Much difficulty and hardship was encountered, crossing swamps, lakes, and swift dangerous rivers. The column had to construct boats and scows to cross the latter. This journey from Glenora to Selkirk took about four months in all to complete.
In October, part of this force was sent to Dawson City, to assist the Royal North-West Mounted Police, to supply gold train and other guards. In 1899, Lieutenant-Colonel Hemming, of the Regiment, assumed command of the Yukon field force. Half of this force was withdrawn from the Yukon in 1899, the remainder in 1900. Although this force did not participate in any fighting, yet the police duties in such a district were most arduous, and the climatic and other conditions were quite as severe and as trying as any active campaign. This force was thanked by the Government for its good and arduous services.
Regimental History Pamphlet dated 1917, by "H.T.C."
Dr. Borden Makes a Statement in the House
The Force Will Number 200
The Expeditions Will Cost $300,000 for the First Year—The Route and Equipment.
Special to the Mail and Empire, 5 May 1898
Ottawa, May 4.—Dr. Borden, Minister of Militia; informed the House this afternoon that the detachment of the permanent force of Canada, numbering 200, which was being sent to the Yukon district, were being sent there to support and maintain the civil power. The Government, he said, had decided that the presence of this force was necessary owing to the extent of the territory, and the rich gold discoveries. There were 190 members of the North-West Mounted Police in the Yukon now, and it was at first intended to send more of this force into the country, but finally it was decided to augment it by a detachment of the permanent force. The total number, 200, included officers and non-commissioned officers. They would be accompanied by a few artificers and boatmen, to assist in carrying the expedition through. Dr. Borden said that the United States had four companies, comprising about 300 men, in Alaska at present. Two of these companies were at Skaguay, but he was not aware of the distribution of the other companies.
Cost of the Expedition
As far as he could ascertain, the expedition would cost $200,000 for the first year, in addition to the cost if the men were left at home, which would be $100,000. The cost in succeeding years would be materially less. The pay of the North-West Mounted Police had been doubled while they were in the Yukon country, and the Government proposed to treat the permanent force in the same manner. The force would go to Vancouver, via the C.P.R., thence to the mouth of the Stickeen by the C.P.R. Navigation Company, up the Stickeen to Glenora, thence to Lake Teslin, and on to Fort Selkirk, where it was proposed to construct necessary works and establish a barracks. They would be assisted in the navigation of the Stickeen by the Hudson Bay Co. The force would be under the control of the administrators of the territory. Part of the force would be left at Lake Teslin for a time. The men would be armed with Lee-Enfield rifles, 300 rounds per man. Two maxim guns, and two seven-pound field guns would also be taken.