The Minute Book
Monday, 17 November 2014

Montreal Military Tournament; 1928
Topic: Canadian Army

Royal Canadian Dragoons Musical ride at the Canadian National Exhibition ca. 1920 (NLA)

War Panorama in Panoply of Peace

Second Night of Military Tournament Again Enthused Audience With Admiration

The Montreal Gazette, Saturday, 19 May 1928

With the complete panoply of peace, where the spectacular is rendered beautiful yet reminiscent of the still more strenuous days preceding the last decade, Montreal's non-permanent active militia, with permanent force units from Kingston and St Johns, was enabled last night to demonstrate part of the rigorous training necessary to become efficient "Soldiers of the King." No check marred the second day of the Naval and Military Tournament, which was evolved rapidly before the dancing eyes of a packed Forum to end in a glorious crescendo, both of sound and color, banked together at one end of the amphitheatre. Nine hundred men, with massed regimental bands in rear, presented a veritable magician's carpet of color on the drab tan bark.

No dull moment was to be experienced throughout the whole programme, a great tribute to the organization committee, and the enthusiastic spectators showed their approval in no uncertain manner. Precision in the various movements, military or gymnastic, captured the applause of the audience who were ever anxious for more.

It was only natural that there should be outstanding features, but this was through no lack of perfection with which the different items were performed by respective units, but rather the nature of the display. Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College caught the greatest measure of admiration and received an ovation on their every entrance to the arena. Their wok, or play as it appeared, was almost mechanical, except in the individual gymnastic performances, the individual was given more scope to show degrees of merit. No circus troupe could outshine the apparatus work, and the riding display was put on without a dingle fall.

Used alike by raw recruit and proficient senior at the college, the horses did not show that degree of trained intelligence which stamps a Cossack animal, but this did not prevent the performance of spectacular displays. In fact, a little touch of humor was added to the programme when a horse proved refractory.

The arm drill of the Gentlemen cadets, performed with rifles, demonstrated the drill, efficiency and discipline imparted, each exercise bringing a round of applause from the Forum gathering. It seemed almost incredible that any body of men should appear so mechanical, moving as one.

Other units were none the less efficient. The Canadian Grenadier Guards, with fifes and drums, opening the programme with "retreat," an impressive display practised daily by British troops wherever the flag is flown. The R.C.N.V.R. staged an interesting show, bringing two field guns into action. Another attractive exhibition was that of guard mounting, put on by the Royal Montreal Regiment and the Royal Highlanders of Canada.

"A" Squadron, Royal Canadian Dragoons, performed in a musical ride that was a spectacular item on the programme, perfect control of their fine mounts being shown at all times. This culminated in a charge with lowered lance and fluttering pennon. Under the leadership of Lieut. H.G. Jones, R.H. of C., selections were rendered by the massed bands. The musical drive of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Kingston, provided a rare treat, the whole being at the canter in a relatively small area with a four-gun battery. Under these circumstances it was remarkable how taut the traces were kept.

In addition to their arm drill, the R.M.C. cadets figured in three events, each of which was met with acclaim. The trench raid was staged last night by Les Carabiniers Mont-Royal, with the co-operation of detachments from other units.

The R.C.H.A. band played the incidental music throughout, but did not participate with the massed bands on account of the instruments being of different pitch.

Major-General J.H. MacBrien, C.B, C.M.G., D.S.O., late Chief of Staff, took the salute. He was accompanied in his box by Mayor George Hogg, of Westmount, and Mrs. Hogg, Brig.-General W.B.M. King, C.M.G., D.S.O., commanding Military District No. 4, and the Hon. Mrs. Shuttleworth King, Colonel W.H.P. Elkins, D.S.O., Colonel Commandant C.F. Constantine, D.S.O., commandant of the Royal Military College, and Mrs. Constantine, and Miss Currie.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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