The Minute Book
Saturday, 20 April 2013

Commonwealth War Graves Commission; The Cemeteries
Topic: CEF

Anyone who has followed the news reporting around Remembrance Day each year is aware of the cemeteries maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. When they are shown in news clips, it is usually one of the larger cemeteries, the reports comments remarking on the many roes, hundreds or thousands of graves, and the inevitable line about "the horror of war." But what seldom gets shared is not the overpowering images of the large cemeteries, which convey sacrifice in numbers beyond easy comprehension, it is the fact that there are thousands of smaller cemeteries, some with only a few burials, that poignantly rest among the hills and valleys of the French and Belgian countryside.

While researching the First World War casualties of The Royal Canadian Regiment, I expected to find them lying in a number of cemeteries following the Regiment's movements about the theatre of war. But I did not expect to identify, locate and record 183 separate burial and commemorative sites in seven countries. And this, to place it in perspective, was in searching for the fallen of only one infantry battalion (of the CEF's 48 battalions within the four infantry divisions).

Quiet beautiful cemeteries are the resting places for many of the Canadian casualties of the First World War. Well cared for in perpetuity, these sites exist in a state of grace, where visitors automatically fall into pensive silence as they walk between the rows of white or grey stones, either to visit an ancestor, perhaps the first of the family to do so, or to absorb the immensity of the sacrifice of so many fallen from so many families.

For those without the opportunity to visit the CWGC cemeteries in Europe, similar experiences may be found in many community cemeteries in Canada. Many soldiers, wounded or sick, managed to return to their families before succumbing to their wounds or illness. They too are among the dead of the Great War, and lie in cemeteries closer to home, most still marked by the familiar gravestone supplied through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Sacred Places; Canadian Cemeteries of the Great War

For those with an interest in learning more about the CWGC cemeteries, a new series of books now available from Norm Christie identifies each cemetery in France and Belgium with Canadian burials. Each entry is supplemented by notes on some of the soldiers whose graves can be found there.

  • Sacred Places, Vol I – Belgium = "...tells the stories of the 168 cemeteries that contain the graves of Canadians who died in Belgium during the Great War."
  • Sacred Places, Vol II – France (A-K) - "...the details of 240 Great War cemeteries in France and explained, giving location, historical background and stories of the Canadians buried there."
  • Sacred Places, Vol III – France (L-Z) - "...the details of 241 Great War cemeteries in France..."

Remembered; The History of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

For anyone seeking more in depth information into the history of these cemeteries, I would recommend the following volume:

Remembered; The History of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission"This lavishly illustrated book marks the 90th anniversary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which pays tribute to the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars. Charting the development of the magnificent cemeteries and memorials built in 150 countries, "Remembered" emphasizes the importance of the commission's work not only in commemorating the dead, but also in preserving the sites of some of the most historically significant battles of the twentieth century. The first major illustrated history of its kind for almost fifty years, "Remembered" is an engaging introduction to the work of the CWGC and its enduring relevance today."

Lest we Forget

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 April 2013 12:38 AM EDT
Friday, 19 April 2013

The Royal Canadian Regiment Gate; Halifax, Nova Scotia
Topic: Halifax

On Gottingen Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia, set into the wall of the main Royal Canadian Navy shore establishment in the city, HMCS Stadacona, is a gate named for Canada's senior infantry regiment. While most Haligonians have probably never noticed the gate, and even for those whose daily commute takes them along that street it has probably faded from notice, even fewer could probably explain the connection between an infantry regiment and a unused gate in the wall of a Navy property.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Gate (The RCR Gate) links the City to its past, when The RCR was the garrison battalion in Halifax from 1905 to 1914. The Regiment's links to Halifax reach back even further, to when a 3rd (Special Service) Battalion was raised in 1900 and served in Halifax until 1902 while the British Army was focusing its efforts in South Africa. But in 1905, the British Army withdrew its last garrison soldiers from Canada, and that led to the expansion of The Royal Canadian Regiment, with a battalion headquarters and six new companies of infantry being formed to man the defences of Halifax.

The Regiment maintained one Company of infantry in the Citadel, but for the bulk of the Regiment's solders in Halifax, their home was Wellington Barracks. Wellington Barracks was located within the bounds of the current HMCS Stadacona property, with the soldiers' barrack building near Gottingen St and the officers' quarters closer to the harbour by a hundred metres or so. And the gate? The RCR Gate on Gottingen Street was the original entrance to Wellington Barracks.

The officers' Quarters was damaged in the Halifax Explosion on 6 December, 1917. The damage to the buildings was such that it took some days for the elements of the Regiment remaining in Halifax to recover the Regimental and King's Colours from the wreckage of the Officers' Mess. This was, no doubt, an important task in addition to aiding and assisting rescue and recovery efforts after the devastating explosion of the Mont-Blanc. The officers' quarters remained unoccupied until 1931 following extensive repair work, while the soldiers barracks was repaired and reoccupied after the 1917 Explosion.

In 1941 , the Wellington Barracks property was transfered to the Navy and HMCS Stadacona was forned from the expansion of the adjoining Navy property. The current sailor's barracks, "A" Block, occupies the orginal location of Wellington Barracks soldiers' barracks, which was known as "A" Mess. In the evolving reconstruction of the Stadacona site, and particularly the need to accommodate increased traffic flow, a new main gate was built further south on Gottingen Street and The RCR Gate became a historical artifact, maintained as a link to the past.

Today, The RCR Gate remains part of HMCS Stadacona, a reminder of when the local garrison included a Canadian Permanent Force (i.e., Regular Force) infantry battalion. The gate can be seen adorned with a regimental banner and cap badge over the gates, and the emblazoned battle honours of the Regiment on the stone Gate posts. The regimental cypher also decorate the two pedestrian doors flanking the main gate.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 April 2013 11:19 PM EDT
Thursday, 18 April 2013

Library and Archives Canada; Courts Martial - First World War
Topic: LAC

Among the digital collections accessible on line at Library and Archives Canada is the database listing Canadian Soldiers of the First World War who were convicted by Courts Martial while serving overseas.

Searchable by surname, regimental (service) number, unit and offence, the database will let you see if your ancestor was a bad boy, and exactly what he may have done to contravene the expectations of the military justice system.

When checking search results, keep in mind that soldiers moved through a variety of holding and administrative units on their way to the front lines, so a listing with an unfamiliar unit should not be disregarded as being the wrong soldier.

Looking at the Courts Martial details for The Royal Canadian Regiment, out of about 4700 who served overseas with the Regiment, there were about 170 Courts Martial, some may be yet to be counted if they were serving with another unit titles at the time of their convictions. This gives a general estimate that one in 27 soldiers, or about 3.5% of the CEF may have been sentenced by Court Martial once or more (for the infantry that is, your mileage may vary in other Corps).

The offences as detailed in the King’s Regulations and Orders can also be researched further. As with many official orders and regulations, it is often the detailed context that is paramount to understand the nature of the offence and how it relates to what may sometimes seem to be a random award of punishment. Luckily for researchers, the 1907 edition of KR&O can be found online. The LAC search help page also provides a brief outline of the offences.

The LAC Courts Martial Database can also be the starting point to order a copy of the Court Martial transcript for more detailed research. See the file reference which forms part of each detailed record on the database and the search help page for guidance on ordering a file.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Canada General Service Medal 1866-70
Topic: Medals

The Canadian Militia participated in the defeat of the Fenians in 1866 and 1870. Twenty-eight years after the actions of 1870, a medal was authorized for participation in those events. The following Militia General Order provides the instructions for applying for the medal and its clasps as published in the Canada Gazette in 1898.

Militia General Orders

Ottawa, 1st July, 1898

General Order No. 63

Medals, General Service for Canada

Her Majesty having graciously approved of the establishment of a general service medal for Canada, and having approved of the bestowal, by the Government of Canada, of medals for service in the Fenian Raid, 1866, Fenian Raid, 1870, and the Red River Expedition, 1870, a Board to be known as the "Medals Claim Board" has been formed at Headquarters to consider claims for medals for such campaigns.

Those Entitles to Medals

All surviving Officers, N.O. Officers and men, who during the operations in question, (1) performed Active Service in the Field, or (2) served under orders from competent authority as Guards at any point where an attack from the enemy was expected, or (3) were detailed by competent authority for some specific or special service or duty.


All claimants for medals will be required to submit their applications separately, and those who served in more than one campaign must submit an applications for each.

A Form (Militia Form A.17) for this purpose, which embodies a declaration of particulars of service to be made before a Justice of the peace by the applicant, and also a declaration of a comrade who has personal knowledge of the applicant's service, will be forwarded to all claimants whose applications are on file at Headquarters. All claimants whose applications have not yet been sent in, may obtain copies of this Form by applying to District Headquarters. This Form of application having been completed as therein required, is to be forwarded to the senior surviving Officer of the Corps to which the claimant belonged, or in th event of there being no Officer now surviving, direct to the present District Officer Commanding the District in which the service is alleged to have been performed.

The senior surviving Officer, if any such, will forward, and, if he has any documentary evidence or personal knowledge of the alleged service, recommend the application to the District Officer Commanding the District in which the service is alleged to have been performed.


Only one medal will be issued to any individual.

With each medal there will be granted a clasp indicating the occasion on which the services for which the medal is granted were rendered, and to those who served in campaigns subsequent to that for which the medal is granted, there will be issued, in addition, a clasp for each such campaign. The clasps will be designated "Fenian Raid 1866," "Fenian Raid, 1870," and "Red River, 1870."

Delivery of Medals

Medals for parties residing at headquarters of any District, the headquarters of any Corps of Active Militia, or of any Unit thereof, will be forwarded to the District Officer Commanding, or the Officer Commanding such Corps or Units, for delivery.

In localities where there are Veterans Associations and it is desired to have public presentation of medals to the members of the Associations, the medals will, on the recommendation of the District Officer Commanding, be forwarded to the Presidents of such Associations. Medals for parties other than provided for above, will, by permission of the Honourable Postmaster General, be sent to the Postmaster of the City or Town where the owner of the medal resides.

A receipt must be signed for each medal at the time of delivery.

It was during the first Fenian raids in 1866, that the only Victoria Cross to be awarded for actions in Canada was granted. This award, for an act of gallantry not in the presence of the enemy (which was allowed by the terms and conditions for the VC for a brief period) was earned by Private Timothy O'Hea of the 1st Battalion, The Rifle Brigade, when he put out a fire in a railway car loaded with ammunition.

From the excellent British service medals reference "British Battles and Medals," we find that over 15,000 General Service Medals were awarded to Canadians, along with another 821 to Imperial troops. Of these, the vast majority received only one of the three clasps, with 1601 receiving two clasps and only 20 soldiers eligible for all three clasps to the medal. The same reference also lists the approximately 340 separate units of the Canadian Militia to which eligible applicants belonged.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The fine line betweem Desertion and Absence (1914)
Topic: Discipline

Manual of Military Law, 1914

Desertion, Fraudulent Enlistment, and absence without leave.

13.     Desertion, Fraudulent Enlistment, and absence without leave.—A distinction is made by the [Army] Act between desertion and fraudulent enlistment. The latter, which is constituted a separate offence bu s. 13 is dealt with hereafter.

The criterion between desertion and absence without leave is intention. The offence of desertion—that is to say, of deserting or attempting to desert His Majesty's service—implies an intention on the part of the offender either not to return to His- Majesty's service at all, or to escape some particular important service as mentioned in para. 16; and a soldier must not be charged with desertion, unless it appears that some such intention existed. Further, even assuming that he is charged with desertion, the court that tries him should not find him guilty of desertion, unless fully satisfied on the evidence that he has been guilty of desertion. On the other hand, absence without leave may be described as such short absence, unaccompanied by disguise, concealment, or other suspicious circumstances, as occurs when a soldier does not return to his corps or duty at the proper time, but on returning is able to show that he did not intend to quit the service, or to evade the performance of some service so important as to render the offence desertion.

14.     It is obvious that the evidence of intention to quit the service altogether may be so strong as to be irresistible, as, for instance, if a soldier is found in plain clothes on board a steamer starting for America, or is found crossing a river to the enemy; while, on the other hand, the evidence is frequently such as to leave it extremely doubtful what the real intention of the man was. Mere length of absence is, by itself, of little value as a test, for a soldier who has been entrapped into bad company through drink, or other causes, may be absent some time without any thought of becoming a deserter but in the case above put, of a soldier found on board a steamer starting for America, there could be no doubt of the intention, though he might only have been absent a few hours.

15.     Nor can desertion invariably be judged by distance, for a soldier may absent himself without leave and depart to a very considerable distance, and yet the evidence of an intention to return may be clear; whereas he may scarcely quit the camp or barrack yard, and the evidence of intention not to return (by the- assumption of a disguise, for example, and other circumstances may be complete.)

16.      A man who absents himself in a deliberate or clandestine manner, with the view of shirking some important service, though he may intend to return when the evasion of service is accomplished, is liable to be convicted of desertion just as if an intention never to return had been proved against him. Thus if a man on the eve of the embarkation of his regiment for foreign service, or when called out to aid the civil power, conceals himself in barracks, the court will be quite justified in presuming an intention to escape the important service on which he was ordered and in convicting him of desertion.

17.     A man may be a deserter though his absence was in the first instance legal (e.g., being authorised by leave on furlough), the criterion being the same in all cases, namely, the intention of not returning. It is clearly shown by the King's Regulations, and by returning, the explanation on the furlough itself, that a soldier on furlough is still under orders, and that, if without leave, he quits the place to which he has permission to go, or if he disguises or conceals himself so that orders cannot reach him, or if he goes on board a ship about to sail for a distant port, he is liable to be tried and convicted of desertion though on furlough at the time. A soldier, for example, at Ipswich, who obtains a pass to Bristol, and during his leave when without permission to go to Liverpool is found there in civilian costume on board a ship about to sail for New York, may be tried for desertion. It would be for him to show that the absence without leave from Bristol proved against him. was innocent, and had nothing to do with desertion.

18.     If a soldier commits an act which is apparently a prelude to, or an attempt at, desertion, although no actual absence can be proved, as if he is caught in the act of slipping past a sentry, or climbing over a barrack wall in plain clothes, he may be charged with an attempt to desert.

19.     The fact that a soldier surrenders is not proof by itself that he intended to return, even though he is in uniform at the time of surrender. The prosecutor may not be able to prove where the man has been during his absence, but evidence that the military patrols had searched carefully in the neighbourhood of the barracks without finding him, would show that he must have gone to a distance or concealed himself. From this and other circumstances the court may infer that he surrendered because he could not effect his contemplated escape.

20.     A soldier charged with desertion may be found guilty of attempting to desert or of being absent without leave; and, on the other hand, a soldier charged with an attempt to desert may be found guilty of actual desertion or of being absent without leave (a). In any case of doubt as to whether one or the other offence has been committed, the court should find the prisoner guilty of the less offence. A soldier guilty of desertion forfeits, if serving on his original engagement, the whole of his prior service, and, if sering on a re-engagement, all prior service rendered during the period of re-engagement, and is liable to serve for the term of his original enlistment, or re-enegagement as the case may be, reckoned from the date of his conviction, or of the order dispensing with his trial (b).

21.     As a general rule, a soldier quitting his corps and enlisting in another should not be charged with desertion, but with fraudulent enlistment for the very act of his enlisting in another corps (unless in an exceptional case) shows that he did not intend to leave His Majesty's service. On the other hand, if he does so for the purpose of avoiding a particular service—e.g. service abroad—or if during his absence he conducted himself so as to show that when he quitted he did not intend to return to the service, but changed his mind he is, as above pointed out, guilty of desertion, and may be tried But as already observed, it will suffice, except in very accordingly. for fraudulent enlistment alone.

The 1907 edition of the Manual of Military Law an be found online at the internet archive.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 15 April 2013

The Royal Canadian Regiment; 1946
Topic: The RCR

After the end of the Second World War, the overseas battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment returned to Wolseley Barracks in London, Ontario, where it was disbanded. Before the war's end, as part of Canada's intended contribution to the Pacific theatre, a new battalion had been formed at Barriefield, Ontario, on 1 August 1945. This unit, the 1st Battalion, 1st Canadian Infantry Regiment, 6th Canadian Division, was parenthetically designated "(RCR)". This unit was designated "2RCR" on 27 September 1945, moved to Brockville in November 1945, and, after the disbanding of the overseas battalion, formally became "The RCR" on 1 Oct 1946.

The following excerpt, from the January, 1946, edition of the regimental journal, The Connecting File, described the state of training for the Permanent Force units of the Canadian Army as it was reestablishing itself its role in Canada.

Connecting File, January, 1946


By: Capt A.F. White

During the past few months, training has been very limited due to several reasons:

(i)     Great numbers of men required to maintain the camp.

(ii)     Unit has been far below strength.

(iii)     Very limited numbers of qualified officers and N.C.O's.

(iv)     No weapons.

(v)     Personnel being discharged.

(vi)     Officers being posted to C.A.O.F.

It has been the endeavour of this unit to send candidates on courses to S-17 and C.A.S.I. who have some of the qualifications necessary. As far as possible Interim Army Personnel were selected but very few had ever had experience in instructional work. Very few N.C.O's. could be spared for those courses.

Early in January one 3" Mortar (incomplete) and one 6 Pdr A/T Gun (incomplete) were received and short courses and training in these weapons is now underway.

Later in January practically all rifle company weapons were received and training in these weapons is now under way.

A recent influx of some 300 O.R's (low pointers) has made it possible to outline a training program and commence in earnest to produce fully trained soldiers.

A supply of special equipment and clothing for winter warfare is expected daily and it is proposed to send a company at a time into "the wilderness" to carry on with training under winter conditions.

A syllabus is being drawn up for a 6 weeks regimental N.C.O's. course. candidates will be selected, Interim Army privates, and it is hoped many of the candidates will prove to be N.C.O. material.

Ceremonial drill has had its day during the past few months. The Regiment produced a Guard of Honour at the local cenotaph on Remembrance Day, an armed escort of 300 at the funeral of the late Lt. Gen. Stewart, and on 9 Jan 46 a 100-man guard of honour for General Eisenhower at Ottawa.

Badges of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 14 April 2013

Instant Expertise in Staff Duties (1970)
Topic: Staff Duties

The Owl (Vol XXVI, 1970)

Course journal; publication of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India

Instant Expertise in Staff Duties

by Lt Cdr B.B. Satpathy

Some of us in the 26th Course may have been fortunate, or unfortunate enough, to be posted to Service headquarters. There at some time of the other we shall have to prepare a 'statement of case' which can be quite a frustrating task in these days of 'economy drives' and 'run down' establishments, unless of course you know 'how'? Well, here is a recipe to help you in your confrontations with the Ministry. Use it carefully, and success is almost guaranteed. (DS Minor SDs of all the three Wings may consider incorporating this in the 27th Staff Course Syllabus.)

Now please familiarize yourself with the words in the Columns A, B and C below before we proceed further:—

Column AColumn BColumn C
4.Functional4.Digital4.Time Phase
7.Synchronised7.Third Generation7.Concept

The recipe is simple. You want to use a forceful phrase to put your project through. Think of any three digit number at random. Select the corresponding word under each column. Put them together and you have a magic phrase and what is more, you sound knowledgeable.

Example. 423 – 'Functional monitored programming'. You do not know what it means. So what? neither do THEY!

The possibilities of this formula for use by higher Defence Staff are immense. With nine words in each column, you can have almost nine hundred knowledgeable phrases at your finger tips.

(Perhaps the NDC will also be interested, in which case maybe I should patent this recipe.)

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 13 April 2013

SS11B Anti-Tank Guided Missile System
Topic: Cold War

"The SS-11B anti-tank guided missile is a self-propelled, command-guided missile designed on a two-stage solid propellant propulsion unit. It is fired from a launcher and is guided by signals transmitted by two wires which unwind from a air of spools housed in the missile. The 66-pound missile has a range of from 500 to 3,000 metres with a flight time of 24 seconds at maximum range."

The photo and text above are taken from a Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting handout card. A series of these cards were produced showing the variety of weapon systems and vehicles used by the Canadian Army in the 1960s.

The "B" model of the French SS11 anti-tank missile entered production in 1962 and fielded by Canada in 1965. Mounted in a triple launcher on the robust 3/4-tonne truck, the launcher was rotated to fire off the side of the stationary vehicle by a controller positioned to the side of the launch site with a wired control unit. The SS11B was deployed in Germany with 3 R22eR (roled as an anti-tank battalion) in combination with 106 mm recoilless rifles and ENTAC anti-tank guided missiles.

The 6.8 Kg shaped charge warhead of the SS11B was capable of penetrating 600 mm of steel plate angled at 30 degrees. At that level of capability it was already limited in the angles of attack it could effectively use to destroy the newest Soviet Main Mattle Tank, the T-64, which was protected by 20-450 mm (0.79-18 in) of glass-reinforced plastic sandwiched between layers of steel.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 March 2013 3:09 PM EDT
Friday, 12 April 2013

MIlitaria: Canadian Army Headdress
Topic: Militaria

Canadian Army Routine Orders

Headquarters, Ottawa
18th July, 1946

Branch of the Master–General of the Ordnance

General Order 6679—Headdress—Wearing of by Other Ranks

1.     It has come to notice, that personnel are wearing headdresses of a pattern not authorized for their Unit or Corps.

2.     Headdresses will be worn as follows:

(a)     Berets Air Borne:— Airborne Personnel

(b)     Bonnets Tam O'Shanter:— Highland and Scottish Regiment

(c)     Bonnets Irish:— Irish Regiment of Canada

(d)     Caps Tank Battalion (Black Beret):— Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

(e)     Caps Field Service:— Personnel of units other than in (a) (b) (c) and (d) who have not been accepted for Interim of Post–War Armies. Not worn by personnel of the Reserve Army.

(f)     Berets Khaki:— Personnel of units other than as shown above. Personnel of the Active Army who have been accepted for the Interim or Post–War Armies.

3.     Officers Commanding Units will take the necessary steps to regularize the wearing of headdresses by personnel under their command.

(HQ 9801–17–9 FD 1)

"Fuss & Fashion – 200 Years of Canadian Military Headdress"

For those interested in Canadian miliary dress, and headdress, over the ages, a new book on Canadian military headdresss is available that would be a welcome addition to the reference shelf of any collector, curator, or historian. “Fuss & Fashion” by Clive Law is available from Service Publications.

"Fuss & Fashion – 200 Years of Canadian Military Headdress" Clive M. Law. Approx 600 photos of Helmets, Busbies, Caps, Bearskins, Feather Bonnets, Tan O'shanters, Glengarries, Field Service Caps, and much more. 140 pages of full–colour images. 213 pages, 8 1/2 x 11, hard cover.

(Top banner images cropped from photos found on the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) photo database Faces of War.)

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 12 April 2013 5:24 PM EDT
Thursday, 11 April 2013

Library and Archives Canada: Commonwealth War Graves Registers
Topic: LAC

Among the digital collections accessible on line at Library and Archives Canada are the Commonwealth War Graves Registers for First World War burials. These cards provide the compiled notes on battle field burials, recovery and move of remains to established Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries, and any contact with families that occurred.


Click images to see the full size Grave Register (front and back) for 477783 Private William Henry Roberts,
The Royal Canadian Regiment.

Organized in 106 sets of image files with, in many cases over 1000 images per set, these cards can provide valuable information when researching a Canadian soldier of the First World War who died overseas. The cards are, however a challenge to search, requiring the researcher to identify the set with the desired surname, then to patiently move back and forth through the image stack until narrowing down to the desired record. See Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War: Part 5: casualties, for a table giving the first surname in each image set. Keep in mind that the alphabetization is not perfect in the image series, so some experimentation once you are in the right area may be required.

One of the challenges that cards present is that they provide location information based upon the military maps of the day, with a grid system that is no longer in use. It is possible, however, to decipher these grid reference, match them to available online battlefield maps, and then to match the terrain to Google maps for a modern perspective on the locations in question.

See Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War: Part 7, Deciphering Battlefield Location Information for a guide to translating the wartime grid references, finding the locations on battlefield maps from the war, and then Part 9: Matching Battlefield Locations to the Modern Map to match the details to Google maps.

When the Grave Registration card provides detailed information on burials, especially when they tell a tale of an immediate battlefield burial and later transfer to a cemetery, the information can help fill in gaps in a soldier’s story, matching his unit’s history and War Diary to better understand his last days or hours. Poignantly, it is those cards which relate a battlefield burial by comrades, but which end with the remains never being found on a shattered battlefield that leave that research trail tantalizingly without closure. In such cases, a name engraved on the Vimy Memorial or the Menin Gate become the last vestige of that soldier’s service and death.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario - 1922
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

Thanks to the University of Western Ontario, we can explore the development of London through their online publication of local aerial photos. Among their resources can be found a series of images taken of London's urban area in 1922, including the neighbourhoods covering and surrounding Wolseley Barracks.

These 1922 aerial photos show London a few years after the end of the First World War and the composite shown above displays the area occupied by Canadian Forces Base London, long known as Wolseley Barracks. In the photo above we can still see the well-worn paths made by thousands of soldiers as they marched between barracks and training locations. The Quartermasters' stores building on the lower left (still standing behind McMahen Park) has a compound still full of military stores, above it is a long gone building, probably a headquarters or officers quarters from the round driveway in front of it. The white square in the centre of the image, on close inspection, appears to be a baseball diamond, proof that leisure activities were never completely neglected in training. Except for Wolseley Hall itself in the upper left and the QM Stores building, all the buildings shown are gone, the base having been reconstructed during the Second World War and again in the 1950s with some newer buildings after that period. Since then, the base was reduced in size in the 1990s and the lower third of the image now contains a housing development while the upper right quadrant is occupied by a major grocery store.

Wolseley Barracks, created in 1886 on property formerly owned by the Carling family, saw the construction of Wolseley Hall between 1886 and 1888 and the occupation of the barracks by "D" Company of the Canadian Infantry School Corps in 1888. The Infantry School Corps has become The Royal Canadian Regiment, which had had a continuous presence in London since the 1880s and still recognizes Wolseley Barracks as its Home Station today. Today the 4th Battalion of the Regiment and The RCR Museum remain quartered in Wolseley Hall.

The base property at Wolseley Barracks had one of its busiest periods during the First World War when it was used as a training camp for many units that were formed in south-western Ontario. Panoramic photos of infantry battalions ready to leave Canada for England can be found with Wolseley Hall in the background as they formed up for the photo on the open training ground south east of that very recognizable building.

The 1922 aerial photos at Western Libraries Map and Data Centre are provided with the following source data:

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 19 November 2016 9:45 AM EST
Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Vimy Pilgrimage – Souvenir Envelope and Insert
Topic: Vimy Pilgrimage

Canadian Pilgrimage
to the Unveiling of Canada's Memorial
Vimy Ridge
and to the Battlefields
of France and Belgium
July – 1936

The above image shows a souvenir envelope made available to Canadians on the Vimy Pilgrimage in July, 1936, a trans-Atlantic trip undertaken by 6000 Canadian for the unveiling of the Vimy Memorial. This was example mailed from the S.S. Montrose, one of five liners carrying the Pilgrims to Europe, at Quebec on the day of her sailing (16 Jul 1936). The envelope contained an insert card, the text of which follows:


Canada's National War Memorial

Canada's National War Memorial measures 200 feet square and is 125 feet in height. It occupies the central position on Vimy Ridge in France.

This magnificent structure was designed by Mr Walter S. Allward, Canadian Architect and Sculptor, in 1921, under whose supervision the erection has been completed.

His Majesty King Edward VIII will unveil the Memorial at the ceremony, which will take place on July 26th, 1936, in the presence of 6.000 Canadians who will participate in a solemn pilgrimage to Europe to pay homage to those who made the supreme sacrifice.

Symbolism of Vimy Memorial

At the base of the strong, impregnable walls of defence are the Defenders, one group showing the breaking of the Sword, the other the Sympathy of the Canadians for the Helpless. Above these are the mouths of the guns covered with olive and laurels. On the wall stands an heroic figure of Canada brooding over the graves of her valiant dead. Below is suggested a grave with a helmet, laurels, etc. Behind her stand pylons symbolizing the two forces Canadian and French, while between at the base of these is the Spirit of Sacrifice who, giving all, throws the torch to his Comrade. Looking up they see the figures of Peace, Justice, Truth and Knowledge, etc., for which they fought, chanting the hymn of Peace Around the figures are the shields of Britain, Canada and France. On the outside of the pylons is the Cross.

On the walls are inscribed the names of 11,285 missing Canadians. That is, those known to be dead but having no known graves.


Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 10 April 2013 9:56 AM EDT
Monday, 8 April 2013

Great War Auction, Forum & Militaria Show - 12-13 April 2013
Topic: Events


Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 8 April 2013 12:12 AM EDT
Sunday, 7 April 2013

Forfeiture of Medals
Topic: Medals

Once a soldier has earned an honour or award, whether that be a decoration for valour or a service medal for service abroad of long service, it is perceived that there will always be an attendant respect for his accomplishments. But the challenge of what to do with a soldier whose later actions undermine that desired perception of respect and honour has long confronted authorities. In recent years in Canada, the medals awarded to Col Russell Williams were taken back by the Canadian military after his conviction for murder. This is not a new practice, the following extract from General Orders shows that it is a long established practice in the British Empire and was formally recognized by Canada well over a century ago.

Militia General Orders

Ottawa, 15th June, 1888

General Order, No. 3
Forfeiture and Restoration of Medals

The following Imperial Regulations apply in all cases where medals have been granted to miltiamen in Canada:—

Paragraphs 982, 983 and 984, Royal Warrant, 1887, Part 1, section 6, Rewards, etc.:

982.    Every soldier who is found guilty by a Court Martial of the following offences: desertion, fraudulent enlistment, any offence under section 17 or 18 Army Act, 1881, and every soldier who is sentenced by a Court Martial to penal servitude, or to be discharged with ignominy; shall forfeit all Medals and Decorations (other than the Victoria Cross, which is dealt with under special regulations) of which he may be in possession, or to which he may have been entitled, together with any annuity or Gratuity thereto appertaining.

983.     Every soldier show:—

(a)    is liable on confession of desertion or fraudulent enlistment, but whose trial has been dispensed with;

(b)    is discharged in consequence of incorrigible and worthless character; or expressly on account of misconduct; or on conviction by the Civil Power; or on being sentenced to penal servitude, or for giving a false answer on attestation;

(c)    is found guilty by a Civil Court of an offence which, if tried by Court Martial, would be cognizable under section 17 or section 18, Army Act; or is sentenced by a Civil Court to a punishment exceeding six months imprisonment;

Shall forfeit all Medals (other than the Victoria Cross, which is dealt with under special regulations) granted to him subsequently to the date of Our Warrant of 25th June, 1881, together with the annuity or gratuity, if any, thereto appertaining.

984.    Any General or District Court Martial may, in addition to or withour any other punishment, sentence any offender to forfeit any Medal or Decoration (other than the Victoria Cross, which is dealt with under special regulations), together with the annuity or gratuity, if any, thereto appertaining which may have been granted to him; but no such forfeiture shall be awarded by the Court Martial when the offence is such that the condition does of itself entail a forfeiture under Articles 982 and 983.

Paragraph 12, Section–XX–Medals—The Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, 1885:—

12.    When Medals are forfeited they are to be transmitted to the Adjutant General for disposal. The same course is to be followed in case of Medals, which may have been recovered after a soldier has been convicted of making away with them. Letters containing Medals when forwarded through the post, are to be registered.

Paragraphs 17 and 18 of the Army Act, 1881

The following text of paragraphs 17 and 18 of the Army Act, 1881 are taken from the 1907 edition of the Manual of Military Law.

17.    Every person subject to military law who commits any of the following offences; that is to say,

Being charged with or concerned in the care or distribution of any public or regimental money or goods, steals, fraudulently misapplies, or embezzles the same, or connives at the stealing, fraudulent misapplication, or embezzlement thereof, or wilfully damages any such goods on conviction by court-martial be liable to suffer penal servitude, or such less punishment as is in this Act mentioned.

18.    Every soldier who commits any of the following offences; that is to say.

(1.)     Malingers, or feigns or produces disease or infirmity or

(2.)     Wilfully maims or injures himself or any other soldier, whether at the instance of such other soldier or not, with intent thereby to render himself or such other soldier unfit for service, or causes himself to be maimed or injured by any person, with intent thereby to render himself unfit for service; or

(3.)     Is wilfully guilty of any misconduct, or wilfully disobeys, whether in hospital or otherwise, any orders, by means of which misconduct or disobedience he produces or aggravates disease or infirmity, or delays its cure; or

(4.)     Steals or or embezzles or receives, knowing them to be stolen or embezzled any money or goods the property of a comrade or of an officer, or any money or goods belonging to any regimental mess or band, or to any regimental institution, any public money or goods; or

(5.)     Is guilty of any other offence of a fraudulent nature not before in this Act particularly specified, or of any other disgraceful conduct of a cruel, indecent, or unnatural kind,

shall on conviction by court-martial be liable to suffer imprisonment, or such less punishment as is in this Act mentioned.

Special Provisions for the Victoria Cross

The special provisions for the Victoria Cross were provided in the Fifteenth article of the original Warrant for the award, published in the London Gazette on 5 February 1856:

Fifteenthly. In order to make such additional provision as shall effectually preserve pure this most honourable distinction, it is ordained, that if any person on whom such distinction shall be conferred, be convicted of treason, cowardice, felony, or of any infamous crime, or if he be accused of any such offence and doth not after a reasonable time surrender himself to be tried for the same, his name shall forthwith be erased from the registry of individuals upon whom the said Decoration shall have been conferred by an especial Warrant under Our Royal Sign Manual, and the pension conferred under rule fourteen, shall cease and determine from the date of such Warrant. It is hereby further declared that We, Our Heirs and Successors, shall be the sole judges of the circumstance demanding such expulsion; moreover, We shall at all times have power to restore such persons as may at any time have been expelled, both to the enjoyment of the Decoration and Pension.

Her Majesty Queen Victoria reserved the right to determine if any soldier should be required to forfeit the award for valour fashioned in her name.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 6 April 2013

Food Complaints 1939-43
Topic: Army Rations

Buried deep in the Canadian Forces website are the pages of the Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH). The DHH website includes much information of intrest to the casual military historian or the dedicated researcher when appropriate material is discovered. One of the gems among this collection if DHH's page of "Reports", which cover the period from the 1940s to the 1980s and include papres on a wide variety of topics.

Among the many items are one that invite the curious readr to explore information that may not be published anywhere else. One example is the report titled "Food Complaints and Cook’s Training Canadian Army Overseas, 1939-1945"

From this brief (11 page) report, we find that the importance of rations for soldiers was well recignized:

"The importance that may be attached to a discussion of food complaints lies in the fact that such complaints have a bearing on Morale. Three "M" factors in Morale—"money", "mail" and "meals"—have an immediate and personal effect on the soldier. Since food is a basic necessity, "meals" in sufficient quantity and of adequate quality are of first importance."

Despite this, the complaints of Canadian soldiers deployed to Britain early in the Second World War shows that that their experience do not live up to expectations. The censoring of letters by military authorities allowed them to also keep watch for signs of morale issues, such as poor rations:

"Many soldiers failed to appreciate the necessity of rationing and there were repeated requests for food parcels from home. Typical comments were: "the rations we get wouldn't be enough to feed a rat" and "our biggest trouble is we cannot get enough [food]". A soldier from a highland regiment complained that the food was insufficient when returning from exercises. There were complaints. to, of the monotony of the diet, such as, "food … nothing fancy but substantial" and "food all right but very monotonous". Complaints about bad food were manifold but tended to be general rather than specific. "Terrible", "unfit for pigs" and "even the dogs won't eat it", were comments in this class, as were "some men claim that the food they get is making them ill", and it [the food] was good when we first landed but now it is getting worse. Sunday … for breakfast … [we had] fish … so rank we couldn't eat it". Some writers realized that the poor quality of the food which was served to them was often due to poor administration and to poor cooking. One soldier, writing in August 1941, and perhaps a little more discerning than his comrade, observed, "our meals have been poor and insufficient since hitting this country mostly because of mismanagement". The complaints of poor cooking are well illustrated by the following: "The food none too good is disgracefully abused by the cooks … " and "the rations isued are alright but the cooks mess it up so much that it is not fit to eat most of the time". (C.M.H.Q. 4/Censor/4/3, Senior Officer, C.M.H.Q. to H.Q. Cdn Corps 22 Sep 41, and Field Censor (Home) Reports, 15 Sep – 12 Oct 41)"

This report records not only complaints by soldiers about the quality and quantity of food they received, but also illuminates the fact that it was a recognized problem that needed to be solved.

Read the full report (PDF).

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 5 April 2013

Veterans Death Cards (First World War)
Topic: LAC

Above is shown the Veteran's Death Card of Sergeant George Webb. A long service soldier and First World War veteran of The Royal Canadian Regiment, George returned to halifax after the War. He continued serving in the Regiment until 1926, when he retired to pension.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) continues to add digital collections to its on-line resources. With the approached centennial of the First World War, and the likely surge in genealogical interest surrounding soldiers of that conflict, it is good to see the new work being done by LAC to make resources available and accessible. Where requests for file copies can take weeks, or months, to get through their work flow for production of photocopies, any efforts they make to digitize and share new material both reduces their workload for simpler request and increases the immediacy of information available to researchers.

Among the newest resources now available are the "Veterans Death Cards" for First World War Soldiers. While casualties of the War were recorded in detail and the information has been available through the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, it has always been more difficult to determine when, where and how a soldier who survived the war later died. This information an often be a key starting point to work through rebuilding the story of his post war life.

The Veterans Death Cards provide that start point. With varying amounts of information, they can provide the location, date and cause of a veteran's death, offering one more point of contact to available information in the research of individual soldiers.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 4 April 2013

Button Backmarks of The RCR - Guelphic Crown Buttons
Topic: Militaria

Button Backmarks of The RCR

Guelphic Crown Buttons

Charles Pitt & Co.

"31 MADDOX ST., LONDON W" - The Charles Pitt's company operated between 1975 ans 193, when they were bought by JR Gaunt of London (just before Gaunt was itself bought out by the Birmingham Mint). The marking "31 MADDOX ST., LONDON W" places not only the company geographically during the period these buttons were produced, but also in time. This mark was in use from 1895 to 1899, although is use on Livery buttons continued to 1973. This placed the manufacture of these button between 1895, when Pitt started using the mark, until 1926, when the Guelphic crown was replaced on regimental accoutrements.

"PITT & CO LONDON" - The "PITT & CO LONDON" mark is more difficult to place, since the smaller button it is found on may only have resulted in the abbreviated mark due to space constraints.

E Stillwell & Son

E. STILLWELL & SON, LONDON, 25 BARBICAN & LITTLE BRITAIN - Stillwell & Son also known as Edward Stillwell & Son

"Edward Stillwell started business about 1825, and it became Stillwell & Son in about 1852. They ceased trading about 1957. An 1881 directory listed them as: "Edward Stillwell & Son, gold & silver lacemen & embroiderers, army & navy outfitters, cork helmet manufacturers & sword cutlers, Manchester & woollen warehousemen, & every description of Masonic clothing, jewels, furniture & fittings, tinsel, lace & trimmings, prize medal 1862 for good execution,25 & 26 Barbican, London EC; 6 Little Britain, London EC; & 29 Savile Row, Regent Street, London W"

William Scully


"The firm of William Scully Ltd. earned a special place in Canadian military history by becoming the first firm to produce regulation headdress and badges in Canada. American military manufacturers had always met the needs of their armed services through production in the United States, but with the exception of a few small items on trial, all Canadian Militia and Police headgear and badges had been designed and manufactured in England and imported."

"In 1908 the company moved to University Street, Montreal. The factory was the only one of its kind in Canada, and was then in full operation and able to accept a variety of military and civil contracts for caps and helmets, gold and silver embroidered badges, metal badges, uniform buttons, accoutrements and waterproof clothing. Designs were created and dies for badges and buttons were produced by master craftsmen on the site. Other military items such as swords and spurs, which were not manufactured by the company, were stocked or could be ordered, producing a very complete line of goods."

Extract from Canadian Military Gazette of August 11th, 1908.


"The oldest part of our Group, Firmin & Sons was established in 1655 which makes us older than the Bank of England. We have touched history in a way few companies of our type have. Our products were present at the Battles of The Nile, Trafalgar, Waterloo and Gettysburg. Our uniform and insignia products are still used today supplied to service personnel and deployed around the world."



Badges of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 18 March 2013 4:45 PM EDT
Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Battle Honours: two Battle Honours, same dates, 650 miles apart
Topic: Battle Honours

How one Canadian Army regiment celebrates two battle honours that happened on the same dates 650 miles apart.

A regiment's list of battle honours is often colloquially described as "the major battles our regiment fought in." Often the speaker hasn't examine the list closely, other than as a simple list of place names and so they pass on what they have heard without deepening their understanding through personal study. With the evolution of Canadian Army regiments over past decades, it is possible for a regiment's list of honours to present apparent conflicts when two honours overlap in time, but were widely separated geographically. A careful study of a regiment's past, especially of the diverse regimental origins that lad to subsequent amalgamations to form the modern regiment is needed to unravel the conflict. In such cases, the battle honours were won by two separate regiments which, later joined to form the current regiment with its combined list of battle honours. One such example is found with the Royal New Brunswick Regiment.

The Carleton and York Regiment

Themselves a result of the 1937 amalgamation of the York Regiment and the Carleton Light Infantry, The Carleton and York Regiment was mobilized for the Second World War in 1939. After landing at Pachino, Sicily, on 10 July 1943, as a battalion of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade (1st Canadian Infantry Division), the regiment fought throughout the Sicily and Italy campaigns.

Among the Battle Honours awarded to the Carleton and York Regiment for actions in Italy was the honour "GOTHIC LINE." The defining dates for eligibility for this battle honour are 25 August to 22 September 1944.

The North Shore Regiment

In 1922, the Northumberland (New Brunswick) Regiment was redesignated as the North Shore (N.B.) Regiment. The regiment was mobilized in 1940 and, after training in England, landed at Normandy on 6 June, 1944, as a battalion of the 8th Infantry Brigade (3rd Canadian Infantry Division).

Among the Battle Honours awarded to the North Shore (N.B.) Regiment for actions in Northwest Europe was the honour "THE SEINE, 1944." The defining dates for eligibility for this battle honour are 25 to 28 Aug 44.

The Royal New Brunswick Regiment

In 1954, these two proud Canadian regiments were amalgamated again, with one another and also with the New Brunswick Scottish and the 28th Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery. This resulted in the two battalions of The New Brunswick Regiment being formed; the 1st Battalion, NBR (Carleton and York) with HQ at Saint John, and the 2nd Battalion, NBR (North Shore) with HQ at Newcastle (later Bathurst), NB. In 1956, the regiment would be granted the Royal honorific, becoming The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (RNBR).

With the pace of administration of Battle Honours lagging behind the speed of reorganization of the Militia, the RNBR would be granted the following Battle Honours in 1957, combining those earned by both the Carleton and York Regiment and the North Shore (N.B.) Regiment:

1st Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Carleton and York) and 2nd Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (North Shore) - "LANDING IN SICILY, Valguarnera, SICILY 1943, Landing at Reggio, Gambatesa, The Sangro, The Gully, Point 59, CASSINO II, Gustav Line, LIRI VALLEY, Hitler Line, Melfa Crossing, GOTHIC LINE, LAMONE CROSSING, RIMINI LINE, San Fortunato, Naviglio Canal, ITALY 1943-45, NORMANDY LANDING, CAEN, Carpiquet, BOURGUEBUS RIDGE, Faubourg de Vaucelles, FALAISE, Falaise Road, Quesnay Wood, The Laison, Chambois, The Seine, 1944, Moerkerke, THE SCHELDT, Breskens Pocket, The Lower Maas, Kapelsche Veer, THE RHINELAND, Waal Flats, The Hochwald, THE RHINE, Emmerich - Hoch Elten, Zutphen, Apeldoorn, Kusten Canal, Bad Zwischenahn, NORTH-WEST EUROPE 1944-45" (Cdn Army Orders, Issue No. 573, 9 December 1957)

It is through this series of amalgamations and changes of name that one regiment can today celebrate two battlefield actions which took place on the same day, though over 600 miles apart.

Renaming the 2nd Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (North Shore)

In 2011, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced that the name of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (North Shore) will be changed back to the North Shore Regiment. It is yet to be confirmed if this constitutes a reversal of the 1956 amalgamation of regiments that formed the two battalions of The Royal New Brunswick Regiment, which the renaming would appear to indicate. If this reversal is confirmed then the two remaining units, "The Royal New Brunswick Regiment" and the "North Shore Regiment," should revert back to their pre-amalgamation lists of battle honours.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 17 March 2013 4:11 PM EDT
Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The Canadian Militia - Military District No. 1; 1879
Topic: Canadian Militia

The state of Canadian Militia units in Military District No.1 (headquartered at London, Ontario) was reported to the Adjutant-General of Militia by Lieutenant Colonel John B. Taylor, Deputy Adjutant General of the District and published in the annual Report on the State of the Militia of the Dominion of Canada for the Year 1879. The Establishment of Military District No. 1 was described as follows:–


The total strength of the active militia force in this district, according to the full establishment, is the same as last year, viz.:– 365 officers and 5010 non-commissioned officers and men, and which is comprised in the following corps, viz.:–


  • 1st Regiment, four Troops


  • "London" Field Battery
  • "Wellington" Field Battery
  • "Ontario" Field Battery
  • "Goderich" Garrison Battery
  • "Sarnia" Garrison Battery


  • 7th Battalion, "London" Light Infantry
  • 22nd Battalion, "Oxford" Rifles
  • 24th Battalion, "Kent" Infantry
  • 25th Battalion, "Elgin" Infantry
  • 26th Battalion, "Middlesex" Infantry
  • 27th Battalion, "Lambton" Infantry
  • 28th Battalion, "Perth" Infantry
  • 29th Battalion, "Waterloo" Infantry
  • 30th Battalion, "Wellington" Infantry
  • 32nd Battalion, "Bruce" Infantry
  • 33rd Battalion, "Huron" Infantry
  • Independent companies of "Windsor" and "Leamington"

Annual Drill

By General Orders of 29th May, 1879, the maximum strength of the force in this district that was authorized to perform annual drill for 1879-1880, was 2350 of all ranks; and the following corps selected in accordance with with the above orders, performed their 12 days' annual drill of a total strength of 2341, the detail of which are given in the tabular inspection report.

The Cavalry, three batteries of field artillery, and eight battalions and one independent Company of infantry are identified as having participated in the annual drill requirements. Select reports follow.

7th Battalion, "London Light Infantry"

This fine corps performed its annual drill in the evenings, and all ranks paid so much attention amd made so great improvement that I arranged for their attendance at the review in Toronto on the 9th September, in honour of their Excellencies the Governor-General and Princess Louise, with confidence that they would maintain the credit of this military district, and I am proud to say that, though only lately re-organized and a young corps in material, their steadiness under arms, and when marching past at the review, were remarkable, and the quiet and soldierlike manner in which they behaved during the journey to Toronto and back (which is a sure test of the discipline and character of a corps) was highly creditable to both officers and men. The city of London can justly feel proud of its battalion, for altogether I believe it would be difficult to find a smarter and finer battalion of young men than the "London Light Infantry."

The battalion turned out in full strength as a guard of honour at the visit of their Excellencies the Governor-General and Princess Louise, and Captain Talbot MacBeth's company, which is very well drilled, and looked remarkably well, mounted guard during the stay of their Excellencies in London.

The 7th Battalion attended 12 days of Annual Drill conducted on summer evenings to meet the training requirement. At the unit's annual inspection, 14 officers and 294 NCOs and men were present out of an establishment of 29 officers and 385 NCOs and men. The unit was described as "Clean and efficient" with "very steady Battalion drill." It was also noted that the unit had a "very good band." The 7th Battalion was issued 5880 ball and 5880 blank rounds for training during this year.

22nd Battalion, "Oxford Rifles"

This battalion performed their annual drill at the local company headquarters, and with one exception I found the companies on my inspection to be well drilled and efficient, with uniform in good order and arms and accoutrements clean. I especially noticed the "Ingersoll" company which, under the energetic care of its Commanding Officer, Brevet-Major Ellis, turned out in a very soldierlike manner, and concluded a long drill in extended order with manual and bayonet exercises, gone through with so much steadiness that it was evident every man in the company had made the most use of his time in camp.

I should mention that much of the steadiness on these companies in drill is due to the teaching of Drill Instructor J. Chinner.

The 22nd Battalion attended 12 days of Annual Drill conducted at local headquarters to meet the training requirement. At the unit's annual inspection, 15 officers and 330 NCOs and men in eight companies were present out of an establishment of 32 officers and 440 NCOs and men. The unit was described as "Clean and efficient" with "Company drill, extended order, manual and firing exercise and bayonet drill; very satisfactory." It was also noted that the unit had a "good band." Each of the eight companies of the 22nd Battalion were issued 840 ball and 840 blank rounds for training during this year.

In 1954, the 7th Battalion, "London Light Infantry" (then known as the Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)) and the 22nd Battalion, "Oxford Rifles" (The Oxford Rifles) would be amalgamated with The Royal Canadian Regiment, forming the Regiment's Reserve battalion.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 April 2013 12:03 AM EDT
Monday, 1 April 2013

Army Rations: Chez Ranger
Topic: Army Rations
This email text has been floating around the Internet for a few years. It offers an excellent, though possibly apocryphal, description of what can happen when an unprepared and unacclimatized digestive system meets army field rations. Thanks to Ranger Rodgers, wherever he may be.

Subject: Fw: Rations and MREs

Chez Ranger by Frank Rodgers

I had a date the other night at my place. On the phone the day before, the girl asked me to "Cook her something she's never had before" for dinner. After many minutes of scratching my head over what to make, I finally settled on something she has DEFINITELY never eaten. I got out my trusty case of MRE's. Meal, Ready-to-Eat. Field rations that when eaten in their entirety contain 3000+ calories. Here's what I made:

I took three of the Ham Slices out of their plastic packets, took out three of the Pork Chops, three packets of Chicken-a -la-King, and eight packets of dehydrated butter noodles and some dehydrated/dehydrated rice. I cooked the Ham Slices and Pork Chops in one pan, sautéed in shaved garlic and olive oil. In another pot, I blended the Chicken a-la-king, noodles, and rice together to make a sort of mush that looked suspiciously like succotash. I added some spices, and blended everything together in a glass pan that I then cooked in the oven for about 35 minutes at 450 degrees. When I took it out, it looked like, well, ham slices, pork chops, and a bed of yellow poop. I covered the tops of the meat in the MRE cheese (kinda like Velveeta) and added some green sprinkly thingies from one of my spice cans (hey, if it's got green sprinkly thingies on it, it looks fancy right?) For dessert, I took four MRE Pound Cakes, mashed 'em up, added five packets of cocoa powder, powdered coffee cream, and some water. I heated it up and stirred it until it looked like a sort of chunky gelatinous organism, and I sprinkled powdered sugar on top of it. Voila--Ranger Pudding. For alcoholic drinks, I took the rest of my bottle of Military Special Vodka(yes, they DO make a type of liquor named "Military Special"--it sells for $4.35 per fifth) and mixed in four packets of "Electrolytes - 1 each - Cherry flavored" (I swear, the packet says that). It looked like an eerie kool-aid with sparkles in it (that was the electrolytes I guess... could've been leftover sand from Egypt). I lit two candles, put a vase of wildflowers in the middle, and set the table with my best set of Ralph Lauren Academy-series China (that shit is EXPENSIVE... my set of 8 place settings cost me over $600), and put the alcoholic drink in a crystal wine decanter.

She came over, and I had some appetizers already made, of MRE spaghetti-with-meatballs, set in small cups. She saw the dinner, saw the food, and said "This looks INCREDIBLE!!!"

We dug in, and she was loving the food. Throughout the meal, she kept asking me how long it took me to make it, and kept remarking that I obviously knew a thing or two about cooking fine meals. She kind of balked at the makeshift "wine" I had set out, but after she tried it I guess she liked it because she drank four glasses during dinner.

At the end of the main course, when I served the dessert, she squealed with delight at the "Chocolate mousse" I had made. Huh? Chocolate what? Okay... yeah... it's Chocolate Moose. Took me HOURS to make... yup.

Later on, as we were watching a movie, she excused herself to use my restroom. While she was in there, I heard her say softly to herself "uh oh" and a resounding but petite fart punctuated her utterance of dismay.

Let the games begin.

She sprayed about half a can of air freshener (Air Freshener, 1 each, Orange scent. Yup. The Army even makes smell good) and returned to the couch, this time with an obvious pained look.

After 10 more minutes she excused herself again, and retreated to the bathroom for the second time. I could hear her say "What the hell is WRONG with me???," as she again send flatulent shockwaves into the porcelain bowl. This time, they sounded kinda wet, and I heard the toilet paper roll being employed, and again, LOTS more air freshener.

Back to the couch. She smiles meekly as she decides to sit on the chair instead of next to me. She sits on my chair, knees pulled up to her chest, kind of rocking back and forth slightly. Suddenly, without a word, she ROCKETED up and FLEW to the bathroom, slammed the door, and didn't come out for 30 minutes.

I turned the movie up because I didn't want her to hear me laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my cheeks.

She came out with a slightly gray pallor to her face, and said "I am SOOOOOO sorry. I have NO idea what is wrong with me. I am so embarrassed, I can't believe I keep running to your bathroom!!" I gave her an Imodium AD, and she finally settled down and relaxed.

Later on, she asked me again what I had made for dinner, because she had enjoyed it so much. I calmly took her into the kitchen and showed her all the used MRE bags and packets in the trash can.

After explaining to her that she had eaten roughly 9,000 calories of "Army food" she turned stark white, looked at me incredulously, and said "I ate 9,000 calories of dehydrated food that was made 3 years ago?" After I concurred, she grabbed her coat and keys, and took off without a word.

She called me yesterday. Seems she couldn't shit for 3 days, and when she finally did, the smell was so bad, her roommate could smell it from down the hall. She also told me she had been working out nonstop to combat the high caloric intake, and that she never wanted me to cook dinner for her again, unless she was PERSONALLY there to inspect the food beforehand.

It was a fun date. She laughed about it eventually, and said that that was the first time she'd ever crapped in a guy's house on a date. She'd been so upset by it she was in tears in the bathroom while I had been in tears on the couch.

I know, I'm an asshole, but it was still a funny night. I almost wet myself laughing.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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Pay; the Queen's shilling
Sam Hughes
Soldier Slang
Soldiers' Load
Staff Duties
Stolen Valour
Taking Advantage
The Field of Battle
The RCR Museum
US Armed Forces
Vimy Pilgrimage
Wolseley Barracks

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