Topic: Canadian Militia
Carling's Brewery, Ann Street, London, Ontario.
Built 1873-75, and rebuilt in 1879 after fire destroyed the building.
District Military Stores (1897)
The Sarnia Observer; 12 Novemnber 1897
From the London Advertiser
There are thousands of useless knapsacks, some of which have never been in service. There is also a large quantity of old smooth-bore, shot and shell, 9, 24 and 32 pounder, which is decidedly out of date.
As a result of the visit to London of Col. MacDonald, director-general of stores for the Dominion of Canada, there will likely be many changes in the stores department in this city in a very short time. Col. MacDonald spent two days here inspecting the stores, kept at the old building formerly used as Carling's brewery. He was not well pleased with the gun sheds, which are leaky and cold. The colonel thoroughly examined all the stores, and will recommend that a great amount of the material be sold or burned. In one shed there is a pile of useless gun carriages and wheels, which have been laying around the country one place or another ever since the Crimean war. Several off the marquee tents used here at camp time will be sold, with 150 of the smaller tents. There are thousands of useless knapsacks, some of which have never been in service. There is also a large quantity of old smooth-bore, shot and shell, 9, 24 and 32 pounder, which is decidedly out of date. This will be returned to Ottawa, and other shot and shell of more modern manufacture will replace it. Of the old blankets only 280 remain to be sold or sent to the Indians. A few weeks ago 600 of these old blankets were shipped to the Windsor, N.S., fire sufferers. Within the last few days nearly 600,000 rounds of steel Lee-Enfield rifle cartridges have been received, together with a large quantity of diaphragm shells of various descriptions. Besides these there are about 38,000 rounds of Martini cartridges, 52,000 Snider rifles cartridges. The Snider rifles, returned by the Seventh Fusiliers, have all been thoroughly cleaned, and as good as new. The long triangular bayonets, which have been superceded by the short sword-bayonet, lie in small piles at convenient places. They are very unlike the old rusty arms returned a few days ago, having all been polished, and they glisten equally as brightly as the new arms. These bayonets and rifles will be boxed up and returned in a few days to the militia department at Ottawa. One hundred and eight Martini-Metford rifles will also go back.
Sergt. Henry Pratt, an old soldier, who entered the service in 1866, and has been for the last 28 years in the stores department, in in charge of the place, and the cleanliness and order seen there reflect great credit upon him.
When the orders are issued for the artillery, they will be very different from those sent out last year. Two weeks ago two nine-pounders field guns were received from Hamilton, thus making the London Field Battery six guns instead of four. This of course will necessitate the enlistment of one-third more men than the battery has heretofore numbered. The guns and accoutrements are in charge of Sergt.-Major Taylor, who keeps everything in a very creditable condition.