Topic: Canadian Militia
Two Thousand Troops in Line (1900)
Toronto Garrison Parades to a Divine Service
Was a Splendid Spectacle
Crowds on the Streets—Sermon at Massey Hall by Rev. Armstrong Black
Daily Mail and Empire, 15 October 1900
Toronto dearly loves a military spectacle, and it is not surprising that a great portion of the populace lined the streets yesterday to witness the autumn church parade of the city garrison. And a very imposing spectacle it was, confirming Toronto's just pride in its citizen soldiery. The splendid brigade of 2,000 men represented every branch of the service, horse, foot, and artillery. It was a body fit to stand with the flower of the British army.
"They are much larger men than the British regulars," said a bystander, who accompanied the first Canadian contingent from Cape Town to Paardeberg. "the Guards are the only Old Country regiment I saw who can compare with them in stature."
Men From the Front
Sprinkled through the ranks were a number of South African heroes, whose presence denoted the new Imperial role of the Canadian militia, as well as its valor and devotion, which are not new. Among these campaigners were Capt. A.E. Ryerson, Pte. C. Millar, and Pte. James S. Taylor, of the Governor-General's Body Guards; Sergt. Kennedy, Sergt. Hewitt, and Pte. Ward, of the Queen's Own Rifles; Pte Vickers and Pte. Cuthbert, of the Grenadiers; and Corp. Smith and Pte. Mitchell, of the Highlanders.
Lieut.-Col. Peters, D.O.C., was the commander-in-chief, his staff being Lieut.-Col. Young, Major Heward (R.C.D.), Major Galloway (14th Regiment, Kingston), Lieut.-Col. Graveley (superintendent district stores), Assistant Surgeon-General Ryerson, Major Heakes, and Lieut. Carling (R.G.). The infantry were brigaded under Lieut.-Col. Delamare, his staff officer being Capt. Wyatt.
Order of the Parade
The garrison left the Armoury about 3 p.m. in the following order:—
- Lieut.-Col. Peters and staff.
- Lieut.-Col. Delamare and staff.
- Royal Canadian Dragoons.
- Ninth Field Battery.
- Governor-General's Body Guards.
- Royal Grenadiers.
- Queen's Own Rifles.
- 48th Highlanders.
- Medical Service Corps.
The several regiments combined to make a striking pictorial effect owing to the variety and contrast of colour presented by their uniforms and accoutrements. It was a very inspiring sight for the multitudes along the line of march.
The Dragoons, 39 officers and men, were in command of Capt. Johnson, and the Field Battery, 63 strong, was officered by Capt. Grier, Lieut. Hughes, and Lieut. Brown.
The full strength of the Body Guards was 161. Lieut.-Col. Clarense Denison commanded, assisted by Lieut.-Col. Dunn, Surg.-Major Grasert, Capt. Campbell, Capt. Thomson, and Capt. Peters (adjutant). "A" squadron mustered 35, "B" squadron 35, and "C" squadron 42.
The Royal Grenadiers, 526 strong, were officered by Lieut.-Col. Bruce, in command, Major Tassie, Major Stimson, Surg.-Major King, Capt. Montgomery, and Rev. A.H. Baldwin, chaplain. The company strength, rank and file, was as follows:— "A" 32, "B" 49, "C" 38, "D" 31, "E" 44, "F" 35, "G" 48, "H", 41 "I" 34, "K" 47.
The Queen's Own had the strongest showing, 609 all ranks. Major Murray commanded, the other officers being Major Gunther (adjutant), Capt. Thorne, Surg.-Major Palmer, and Paymaster Lee. The rank and file numbered 417, the company strength being:— "A" 43, "B" 47, "C" 42, "D" 41, "E" 34, "F" 47, "G" 45, "H" 43, "I" 36, "K" 36. There were 6 captains, 17 subalterns, and 34 sergeants.
The bonnetted Highlanders were 454, all ranks. The officers were:—Lieut.-Col. Macdonald in command, Major Robertson, Surg.-Major Stewart, Capt. Donald (adjutant), and Major Orchard (quartermaster). The rank and file numbered 312, distributed by companies as follows:— "A" 43, "B" 32, "C" 35, "D" 38, "E" 37, "F" 42, "G" 45, "H" 43. There were 7 captains, 7 subalterns, and 26 sergeants.
The Medical Service Corps made its first appearance in garrison parade, and the neat and soldierly appearance of the young men, who are mostly students, excited very favourable comment. They were handsomely uniformed, and marched in capital style. In fact, the marching of every one of the regiments was so uniformly good that it would be hard to say any particular company excelled. The route was along Beverly, College, and Yonge streets to Massey Hall.
At Massey Hall
Patriotic Sermon by Rev. Armstrong Black
A great audience assembled for the divine service, both galleries being filled by the general public, and the ground floor and platform by the garrison. The band of the Governor-General's Body Guards furnished the instrumental music, which was admirably rendered. The devotional exercises were conducted by Rev. Armstrong Black, assisted by Rev. Arthur Baldwin, and the vast congregation joined heartily in the singing.
The sermon, which was delivered by Rev. Armstrong Black, was of a fervidly patriotic character. He spoke of the time, less than a year ago, when the cloud of adversity lowered upon the British Empire, and there were searchings of heart among the British people. It was true that Great Britain was caught unprepared, but she was unprepared in a noble sense, because she had been too generous to her foe, and too trustful in her confidence when she negotiated for the rights and liberties of citizens in a land which British arms had saved not two generations ago. It was well for England to know how loyal and self-sacrificing were her sons in the colonies. That she had splendidly learned, and that she would never forget.
"She is strong in your strength," said the preacher, "Henceforward your weal or woe will be identified with the Motherland."
The speaker said that Canada had stepped into the arena of the world since her sons had been brigaded with the gallant lads of Britain. The reaction of that service to the Mother Land had more than compensated Canada. She was no longer regarded as a colony, but as a nation. Only the other day Lord Rosebery, speaking at a banquet tendered Lord Hopetoun, the first Governor-General of Federated Australia, referred to Canada as a subsidiary empire. In concluding, the speaker said that in this new world, and in the new century now dawning, the problems of humanity were to be worked out, and it behooved everyone to realize his responsibility, and strive to do his duty to God and to man. He urged the soldiers to cultivate a noble manhood, to be obedient to the voice of conscience, and to be good citizens in times of peace.
The troops returned to the Armouries via Yonge, King, Simcoe, and Queen streets. Dense crowds again lined the route.
The actual number of officers, non-commissioned officers, and men in the parade was 1,924.
From the same edition of the Daily Mail and Empire:
Ottawa Garrison Parade
Special to the Mail and Empire.
Ottawa, Oct 14.—The annual church parade of the Ottawa brigade took place this afternoon, and was witnessed by thousands. The corps taking part were the G.G.F.G., 43rd Regiment, P.L. Dragoons, 2nd Field Battery, and No. 2 Bearer Co., the total number on parade being 930. The men were reviewed by General O'Grady Haley and Col. Aylmer, adjutant-general, as they returned from church. The Guards looked well in their usual scarlet, and the 43rd in Khaki.