The Minute Book
Friday, 5 July 2013

Topic: Leadership

Extract from Canadian Army Training Memorandum, No. 30, September 1943

Major General Worthington—4 Cdn Div once said "What I want is some good FOLLOW-ship, not so much LEADER-ship."

Here is the same idea, given by the 2 Bn Lincoln and Wellands:

What a Follower Seeks in a Leader

1.     He wants to follow a leader who is not afraid … not afraid of his position, not afraid of his own boss, not afraid of a tough job, not afraid of the people who work for him, not afraid of honest mistakes—either theirs of his.

2.     He wants a leader who believes his work is important, and all those who are in it with him.

3.     He wants a leader who gets a kick out of his work and helps his followers to get a kick out of theirs.

4.     He wants a leader who gets a kick out of seeing a man do what that man thought he would never be able to do.

5.     He wants a leader who will fight for him until hell freezes over, if the leader believes him to be in the right.

6.     He wants a leader who will tell him what's what when he knows darn well it's coming to him, and a leader who will do it without losing his temper.

7.     He wants a leader who who recognizes him as a person, regardless of his experience, school or training, and regardless of his religion, race, station in life or the lodge he belongs to.

8.     He wants a leader who most of the answers but who will admit it if he doesn't know, and go get the answer.

9.     He wants a leader who is predictable—that is, one he can depend upon to be the same all the time.

10.     He wants a leader he can't pull anything over on but who is human enough to look the other way when he occasionally makes an ass of himself.

11.     He wants a leader who he knows understands him, to whom he is not afraid to go when he has been a fool, when he's ashamed, when he's about washed up, or when he's proud and happy.

12.     He wants a leader who he can get to when he really needs him and can get away from when he's through with him.

13.     He wants a leader who can show him how to do a job without showing off or showing him up.

14.     He wants a leader who will give him a chance to try something hard he has never done.

15.     He wants a leader who he believes sincerely wants him to succeed and who will be proud of him when he does.

16.     He wants a leader who respects his pride and never corrects him in the presence of others or gossips about him.

17.     He wants a leader with the authority to promote, demote or let him go, as he knows he deserves.

The Senior Subaltern

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

Trench Warfare - Trench Foot
Topic: CEF

Excerpted from "Trench Warfare; A Manual for Officers and Men," by J.S. Smith, Second Lieutenant with the British Expeditionary Force, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1917.

Prevention of Frost Bite and Trench Feet

The Communication Trench; Problem---Whether to walk along the top and risk it, or do another mile of this. A cartoon by Capt Bruce Bairnsfather, from More Fragments From France, published by The Bystander.

The Communication Trench; Problem—Whether to walk along the top and risk it, or do another mile of this. A cartoon by Capt Bruce Bairnsfather, from More Fragments From France, published by The Bystander.

These conditions are generally caused by long standing in cold water and mud, or the continuous wearing of wet socks, boots and puttees, and the conditions are accelerated when the blood circulation in the feet and legs is interfered with by the use of tight puttees, or anything calculated to cause constriction of the lower limbs. They can be prevented or diminished by constant improvement of trenches.

They can be prevented or diminished by constant improvement of trenches and reducing the time spent in the trenches as far as the general situation will permit by battalion arrangements; by insuring that men entering the trenches are warmly clad in dry boots, socks, trousers and puttees, and that before entering, the men's legs and feet are thoroughly rubbed with whale oil. Provisions ar e made for the men on coming out of the trenches to get warm shelters, hot foods and facilities for washing the feet and drying wet clothes, and all along the line just behind the trenches soup kitchens are kept where the men may stop on the way to billet and get hot soup, etc.

The arrangements made when a battalion is going into the trenches are roughly as follows:

The men's feet and legs are washed and dried and then thoroughly rubbed with whale oil and dry socks put on. A second pair of dry socks is carried by each man, and when it is possible, battalion arrangements are made for wet socks to be brought down from the trenches one night and dry ones exchanged, this taking place every night. This is generally managed by the men changing in the early morning, the relief party for that night taking down the wet socks and bringing in the dry for the next morning.

Hot water must never be used, nor the feet held near a fire. Where necessary, and circumstances permit, long gum boots are put on on entering the trench, while the men's feet are still dry, and taken off as soon as they prepare to leave and handed over as trench stores.

In some parts of the line, where conditions are very favorable, battalion rest posts are formed as close to the firing line as permissible, and men showing signs of suffering from exposure are frequently attended to.

Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Geeat War, 191419

The Medical Servces

By: Sir Andrew Mcphail (Pub by F.A. Acland, 1925)

TRENCH FOOT (pp. 269-270)

The condition known as "trench foot" caused great distress to the soldiers, and embarrassment to the medical service on account of its novelty and resistance to treatment. In the winter of 1914-15 the disease was common; in the following winter, the first spent by the Canadians in the line, it was of only occasional occurrence. What was once a disease had now become a "crime"; but it was the unit as a whole that was penalized by stoppage of leave, and not the man. Measures had been discovered for preventing the conditions, and they were rigidly enforced.

By the English "frost bite" was applied as the cause; but it was hard for Canadians to understand how feet could be frost-bitten in a temperature that showed only a few degrees of frost. Continued cold wetness was the principal element in the case, with added secondary infection from the soil. The appearance of the foot was startling. A mild case showed a brawny swelling; but as the condition advanced the foot became dusky; the toes dropped off by a process of gangrene, and even the whole foot might be destroyed in a very few days.

Trench foot was proved by Lorrain Smith and his colleagues, working experimentally upon the rabbit, to be a condition due to cold which stopped short of death of the tissues, differing from frost-bite only in degree, although it also may end in gangrene. The primary lesion is vascular, followed by a secondary reaction when the element of cold is removed.

Cure was difficult, but prevention sure. Boots must be well oiled and large, the puttees loose. Feet and legs were rubbed with whale oil or other animal fat, and dry socks put on. The period for a battalion in the trenches was reduced to 48 hours, and wet trenches were lightly held by about 48 men of the company, the remainder being dry in close reserve. After 12 hours in the outposts the men were relieved and marched back to a warm rest station, where they were stripped, rubbed down, and wrapped each in three blankets. They were given a hot meal and allowed to sleep or rest for 24 hours, when they rejoined their unit. If feet or hands did become "chilled," the circulation was to be restored by rubbing with oil, never by fire or hot water. This elaborate procedure was not necessary when the trenches could be kept reasonably dry, and was only employed in situations where the very nature of the soil prevented rapid movement or surprise by the enemy. This condition accounted for 246 casualties amongst officers, 4,741 in other ranks, with only two deaths.

Joseph Shuter Smith

Joseph Shuter Smith was an American author born in Philadelphia in 1893. He spent his childhood in Alaska during the Gold Rush and spent his years before the Great War as a lumberjack, miner, surveyor and cowboy. In 1914, continuing his adventurous streak, he went to Canada and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, declaring his birthplace to be Port Hope, Ontario (with next of kin in Oakland, California). Smith enlisted with the 29th Canadian Infantry Battalion at Vancouver. He served in France and Belgium as a soldier in the CEF and, after being commissioned in August, 1916, as an officer of the British Army with The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment). He resigned his Imperial commission after a year to return to the US and enlist in the American Army. Joseph Smith also wrote the memoir: Over There and Back in Three Uniforms; Being the Experiences of an American Boy in the Canadian, British and American Armies at the Front and through No Man's Land.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 June 2013 3:09 PM EDT
Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The LAC Research Guides for the CEF
Topic: LAC

With increasing interest in reasearch of the Canadian Expeditionary Force of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada has taken the step to share a set of research guides compiled by one of its own researchers. For research beyond the service records of individual soldier, these thematic guides provide a comprehensive instricution to the holding in the LAC for CEF units.

Guide to Sources Relating to Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force

Library and Archives Canada holds multiple records and files for the First World War (1914–1918), mostly for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). It is necessary to consider all of these records together in order to fully understand the Canadian contribution to this war. The Guide to Sources Relating to Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force is a unique finding aid that brings together references to records and files scattered throughout several fonds, which relate to almost every unit in the CEF.

The guide was originally developed over many years by Barbara Wilson, an archivist with the former National Archives of Canada, now Library and Archives Canada. The guide has subsequently been updated with more recent acquisitions from official records, private papers and diaries, and by many other contributors from Library and Archives Canada. The guide was reviewed and updated with references to the Ministry of Militia and Defence records and daily orders, which are described by Library and Archives Canada as Record Group 9 or RG9.

The guide is an indispensable starting point for researching the records that document Canada's participation in the First World War. Researchers can begin their search with the military personnel service files, but this is just the beginning. The guide can point to many other primary sources such as the daily orders, private papers and diaries.

For researchers interested in a specific unit, the guide is particularly helpful since it brings together information about the unit as well as access to the most relevant files that have been identified and listed. Please note that more information on particular units may be also found in records of higher formations (e.g. corps, divisions, or brigades) and general subject files, for example, HQ 683 – 1 – 12 in Record Group 24. Another source to consider is the publication The Canadian Military Experience 1867–1967: A Bibliography by O.A. Cooke (Ottawa, 1979, second edition, 1984).

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Cavalry Training - Use of the Lance (1907)
Topic: Drill and Training

Cavalry Training (1907)

S. 203. — Practical Instruction in the use of the Lance (Mounted).

1.     To use the lance to the best advantage against an opponent in the charge, the mêlée, or in the pursuit, demands horsemanship, complete control of the weapon, skill and determination. The pace of the horse is also an important factor.

The Lancer should avoid engaging an adversary at a slow pace, which invariably results in both opponents circling round each other. The moral effect of the lance will thus be lost, and the greater reach of the lance over the sword will be of less advantage.

The aim of the Lancer should be to strike his opponent with the point and at speed. Against a horseman armed with a sword he will have the advantage of reach; against a dismounted man the advantage of both momentum and reach; and against a mounted Lancer he will not be at a disadvantage.

If he fails to get his point home when moving at speed, the pace will carry him for the moment out of reach of a counter attack. He can then either select another opponent or renew the attack on the original one. Apart from horsemanship, determination and skill in handling his weapon, his success must therefore be looked for in the suddenness of attack and pace, and in not permitting an adversary to force ehim into single combat.

For instructional purposes, fighting lance versus lance, or lance versus sword should, therefore, but rarely be ordered, and then only for giving the Lancer the necessary degree of practice in fighting at close quarters in situations into which he may unavoidably fall.

For the latter purpose, the "thrust" may be practiced to the left and right fronts as follows:—

"Right front thrust"

Raise the hand above the head and circle the point round by the left to the rear, arm extended to the rear; then deliver the thrust to the full extent of the arm and withdraw to the Engage.

"Left front thrust"

Circle the point round by the rear, bringing the butt direct to the left breast; then deliver the thrust to the full extent of the arm and withdraw to the Engage.

2.     The aim of this practical instruction must be to teach the man:—

(a)     To drive the point of the lance home with determination through an object which will offer sufficient resistance to resemble the human body.

(b)     To retain a firm grip of his lance.

(c)     To withdraw the lance with ease from the object into which it has been driven.

(d)      To return the lance rapidly to a position of readiness so as to be prepared to deliver a fresh attack on either side.

(e)     To ward off an attack with a parry or wave.

(f)     To rapidly change his direction so as to deliver a fresh attack to either flank or to the rear.

3.     Instruction on the following general lines will be found useful:—

Dummies representing men, both mounted and dismounted, should be set up in the open. These should not be arranged in any set sequence, but should be frequently moved, so as to ensure as much variety as possible from day to day.

In the early exercises, one dummy for each run will suffice; at subsequent lessons two should be used, which should be in the same line, and on the same hand.

After which dummies may be set up on the same line of advance, but one on either hand. They should then be set up in conjuncture with jumps, which may be placed either before or behind them.

As individual skill develops, the dummies should be closer together, and in positions demanding rapid change of direction, but, they should never be so close as to render it impossible for the man to deliver his attack with effect before having to turn his attention to another one.

Men should be taught to deliver their points at the centre of the dummy which should therefore be marked for that purpose.

Practical instruction in pointing cannot be given unless the lances are sharp, and special care will be given to this.

The dummies should be arranged at heights to correspond to those of men both mounted and on foot.

Men should be taught to use the wave with effect by assigning one or more of the dummies or posts to be knocked over by this form of attack. Its use it to disconcert an opponent either by striking his horse over the head or by using it against him when unavoidably brought to close quarters and at slow pace will be explained, as also its usefulness in parrying a point and of sweeping the lance from an opponent's hand.

The best form of dummies for teaching the point are those made of wet clay, but when this form cannot be provided sacks filled with chopped hay or straw make fairly good substitutes. They should vary in size from that of a man's body to a head only.

Any suitable contrivance which will give a sufficient degree of resistance will suffice for practicing the wave and the parry.

Tent pegging should also form part of the instruction, but in this, as in the other practical instruction, a large number of runs must not be demanded from any horse in one day; three will usually suffice.

A sufficiency of instruction must therefore be obtained by practice during the intervals when other individual instruction is being given.

In order to prevent horses becoming excited and out of hand, they will all be walked quietly down the track at the end of the practice. If a horse shows any sign of becoming unsteady, he must only be walked down the runs for a few days.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 1 July 2013

The Queen's Colour
Topic: Militaria

The Queen's Colour of the 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.

The Queen's Colour

The Colours of an infantry regiment consist of Stands (pairs) of Colours with each stand having a Queen's Colour and a Regimental Colour. Traditionally, the Regimental Colour of a unit is the colour of the unit's historic full dress (e.g., scarlet dress) tunic facings (i.e., the lapels). The Queen's Colour, before 1965, was based on the Union Jack and since then has been based on the national flag of Canada.

The Canadian Armed Forces reference A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the Canadian Forces, provides the following details regarding the design of Colours, referenced figures may be seen in the linked pdf copy of the publication:

Royal Military College and Infantry/Airborne Queen's and Regimental Colours

17.     The Queen's and regimental Colours of the Royal Military College of Canada and infantry/airborne units are of silk, with cords and tassels of mixed gold and crimson silk. On the Queen's Colour, the fringe is of gold and crimson silk, and on the regimental Colour, the fringe is of silk in gold and the facing colour of the regiment.

18.     The dimensions of Colours are 114 cm flying and 91 cm deep on the pike, exclusive of the fringe which is about 5 cm in length.

19.     The Queen's Colour for regiments of foot guards is crimson. This Colour bears the badges and distinctions, including battle honours, conferred on the respective regiments. The badge is borne on the centre of the Queen's Colour, ensigned by the Crown (see Figure 5A-8). In multi-battalion regiments of foot guards, the Colour of the additional units will be differentiated as described in paragraphs 27 to 29.

20.     The Queen's Colour for other infantry/airborne units and the Royal Military College of Canada is based on the National Flag. This Colour bears in the centre the authorized designation on a red circle, with the battalion numeral within, if required, the whole is ensigned by the Crown (see Figure 5A-8).

21.     The regimental Colour for regiments of foot guards is the National Flag. This Colour bears the approved badges and distinctions including battle honours. In those regiments where badges have been conferred on each of the companies comprising the respective battalions, the company badges are borne in the centre of the regimental Colours in rotation as the Colours are renewed. In each case, the company number is displayed on a scroll below the badge. In multi-battalion foot guard regiments, the battalion numeral is borne in the dexter canton of each regimental Colour, next to the pike (see Figure 5A-9).

22.     The regimental Colour of a line infantry unit is the colour of the authorized facings. Although when the facings are scarlet, white or black, the regimental Colour is the Red Cross of St. George. This is charged on a white ground if the facings are scarlet or white, or on a black ground if the facings are black.

23.     A college or regimental Colour usually employs the complete or main device from the college or regimental badge as the central badge. The regimental Colour may also bear approved badges, devices and distinctions, including battle honours and mottoes. The battalion numeral, if required, is placed in the dexter canton, but below any honorary distinction which the unit is entitled to bear in that canton. The title of the regiment is inscribed on a crimson circle placed within a wreath of autumnal tinted maple leaves, with a badge, selected by the regiment and approved by NDHQ/DHH (Inspector of CF Colours and Badges), on a crimson ground in the centre, the whole ensigned with the Crown (see Figure 5A-10). For military college Colours, the wreath is of gold tinted maple leaves. In those units with more than nine battle honours approved to be borne on the regimental Colour, laurel branches encircling the wreath of maple leaves are introduced, and the scrolls bearing the battle honours are placed on the branches (see Figure 5A-11). The motto of the regiment, if one is approved, is inscribed on a scroll placed upon the tie of the wreath of maple leaves.

24.     Regiments with scarlet, white or black facings will carry a regimental Colour of the design in Figure 5A-12.

25.     For highland regiments, the wreath within which the crimson circle is placed will alternate autumnal tinted maple leaves and thistles. See Figure 5A-13.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 1 July 2013 12:03 AM EDT
Sunday, 30 June 2013

Why Soldiers Join The RCR (1958)
Topic: The RCR


Notes from The RCR Depot, which was located at Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario, and responsible for recruit training of the Regiment's soldiers, describe the situation at the Depot in 1958. Part of their report published in the regimental journal of The Royal Canadian Regiment, The Connecting File, Winter 1958-59, was a roundup of the reasons given by recruits for why they decided to join The Royal Canadian Regiment.


The RCR Depot, 1958

So much has happened in the past six months that it would be impossible to attempt to tell all.

Army Headquarters opened the gates for RCR Recruiting and about 500 men from all walks of life came flowing through the gates of Wolseley Barracks.

For some time, the Depot Platoon looked more like a small battalion, with five platoons of 35 men pn parade daily. Sgts carrier and McNulty worked day and night keeping them busy with pre-Depot training, such as the wearing of their clothing, maintaining of their equipment, bed layouts, pressing, shining, etc. We were fortunate at this time to have WO2 Doran attached, to assist us in making these civilians look like soldiers in a period of ten days.

The 250 man Barrack Block was bursting at the seams, and after the lounge was full, we hollered for help. 1st Battalion came to our rescue, and gave us the accommodations and training facilities for four platoons, in Camp Ipperwash.

In order to keep these young minds occupied during the evening, those who were not taking extra instructions, were either taken to the Football Game, thanks to the complimentary tickets given us by the London Lords, or were given the free run of Gloster Hall's swimming pool and gymnasium, which attracted more men than the wet canteen.

Upon arrival, new recruits were kitted, given a military haircut, documented and given the general idea of what was in store for them during their depot training. Upon interviewing each man, they appeared to be in most cases, a better type of recruit, with an average age bracket of from 18 to 20, and a better outlook on life. One question which is asked of each recruit, is the reason behind his joining the Regiment.

Some of the answers received are as follows:

  • Wanted to make the army a career.
  • Security.
  • Friends in the Regiment.
  • Like the Army life.
  • Wanted to become a Parachutist.
  • Travel and adventure.
  • Family connections with the Regiment.
  • The RCR doesn't have to advertise for recruits, so I thought it must be a good Regiment as it seemed to be difficult to get into.
  • Talking to other soldiers at home, they told me that this was a good Regiment.
  • Good Regiment in sports.
  • Different type of training, such as parachuting, arctic, air portability.
  • Militia Training Battalion at the RCR Home Station during the summer.
  • Outdoor life.
  • Better chance of getting overseas as 2 Bn is Canada's United Nations standby battalion.

So, as the year comes to a close, we have one thing to be proud of. Although our wastage was high, the men of the Depot marched out of camp on Christmas leave looking like well disciplined, neatly dressed, and shining soldiers, that any regiment would be proud to claim as their own.

Pro Patria

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 30 June 2013 12:05 AM EDT
Saturday, 29 June 2013

Physical Qualifications and Medical Inspection of CEF Recruits
Topic: CEF

Instructions Governing
Organization and Administration of CEF Units

Appendix III

Instructions Regarding Physical Qualifications and Medical Inspection of Recruits, C.E.F.

1.     The present standard of age, height and chest measurements is as follows:—

  • Age:—18 to 45 years.
  • Height:—Not less than 5 ft. 2 in. for all units except Artillery, and not less than 5 ft. 4 in. for Artillery units.
  • Chest Measurement:—
    • Men between 18 and 30 years, 33 inches as a minimum.
    • Men between 30 and 45 years, 34 inches as a minimum.

2.     The greatest care must be taken in the examination of a recruit. Every man who is presented for examination must be stripped, and the examination conducted in a thorough and systematic manner.

3.     The examining doctor will see that he has free use of his limbs and has no deformities; that his chest is ample; that his hearing, vision and speech are normal; that he has no evidence of cutaneous diseases past of present; that he is not ruptured; that there is no marked variococele or no varicose veins; that he has the appearance of being an intelligent and sober man and likely to make an efficient soldier suitable for a unit of the Expeditionary Force.

4.     Regarding the teeth, it should be noted that the wearing of dentures is permissible, and that unless the condition of the teeth is such as to seriously impair the man's general physical condition, he should not be rejected, as arrangements have been made whereby teeth can be put in order by the Canadian Army Dental Corps, subsequent to enlistment. care should be taken to see that there is no disease of the gums, which might render the man unfit.

5.     In examining a recruit's vision he will be placed with his back to the light, and his visual acuteness will be tested by means of test types placed in ordinary daylight, or its artificial equivalent, at a distance of 6 metres (20 English feet) from the recruit.

Each eye will be tested separately,

The visual acuity of each eye in the case of approved recruits will be entered on the Medical History Sheet.

(a)     Squint, or any morbid condition of the eyes of lids of either eye, liable to the risk of aggravation or recurrence, will cause the rejection of the candidate.

(b)     If a recruit can read D-60 at 20 feet, or better with each eye, without glasses, he will be considered as "Fit."

(c)     If he can read D-20, at 20 feet with the right eye, without glasses, and not less than D-80, at the same distance with the left eye, without glasses, he will be considered "Fit."

(d)     If he can read D-20, at 20 feet with the left eye, without glasses, and not less than D-120 with the right eye, at the same distance, without glasses, he will be considered "Fit," for the Canadian Army Service Corps, Canadian Army Medical Corps, or the Canadian Ordnance Corps, and for Driver of the Canadian Artillery or Canadian Engineers.

6.     Particular care should be taken to see that men with tuberculosis, chronic rheumatism, cardiac disease, renal disease or syphilis, are not accepted as "Fit."

A sufficient enquiry should be made in each case to eliminate these conditions.

7.     Great care should also be exercised in the selection of men who have had fractures of comparatively recent date, and especially where such have been in the neighbourhood of joints.

8.     Men requiring operations to render them physically fit, should not be accepted as "Fit" until sufficient time has elapsed after the operation to permit of their ongoing training without subjecting themselves to the risk of as recurrence of their old condition, or of other serious consequence.

9.     There should be no qualified opinions given. The man must be declared "Fit" or "Unfit" for general service.

10.     Medical Officers are required to exercise the greatest caution in accepting recruits in order to avoid disappointment and loss to individuals, and serious public loss as well. In most cases in which men who should have been rejected, are passed as "Fit," such actions is the result of carelessness and lack of attention to details on the part of the Medical examiner.

11.     Civilian Practitioners may carry out the examination of recruits in places where A.M.C. officers are not available. before employing Civilian Practitioners Officers Commanding should submit their recommendations to the A.D.M.S., 2nd Division.

Epidemic Diseases

1.     Owing to the prevalence of epidemic diseases, the greatest care should be taken to prevent men who are enlisted from exposing themselves to the risk of infection. Medical officers should obtain, as far as possible, a list of all buildings in the area covered by their Unit in which infectious diseases exist, and have such list published in Orders, as places out of bounds during the period of quarantine.

2.     Lists of such places can be obtained from Medical Health Officers, or clerks of municipalities.

Civil Hospital Accounts

1.     In the event of men enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force requiring hospital treatment for some condition arising subsequent to their enlistment, theyr should on the recommendation of the medical officer be sent into a Military Hospital, if one is available, and it not, into a civil hospital.

2.     Accounts from civil hospitals to the extent of $1.00 per day, covering maintenance and treatment, will be paid by the Militia Department. Such accounts should be rendered in triplicate to the Commanding officer in each individual case, and should show the rank, name and battalion of the man, the date of admission and discharge, the condition for which he was treated in hospital and on whose authority he was sent there.

3.     All such accounts must be approved by the Commanding Officer, and should be forwarded at once to A.D.M.S. at Divisional Headquarters.

4.     Men treated in hospital at the expense of the Department are not entitled to subsistence allowance while in hospital.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 28 June 2013

M109 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer
Topic: Cold War

This 1960s Recruiting information card produced by the Canadian Armed Forces shows an early Canadian variant of the M109 self propelled howitzer. The back of the card reads as follows:—

"The M109 self-propelled 155-mm howitzer increases the firepower and mechanization of the artillery. The 25-ton, tracked, amphibious gun with aluminum armour, carries a crew of six, has a range of 11 miles and can travel at 20 mph across rough terrain and for a stream at foutr mph."

For more information on the M109:

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 27 June 2013

Medal Rescuers; Beware the Method
Topic: Medals

On a popular medal collecting forum, there are occasional discussions about "medal rescuers," those who identify medals available on the market and take steps to see them returned to what they believe are fitting recipients, ideally family or, if no family can be found, an appropriate museum or special interest group. The underlying context, of course, is that medals are being "rescued" from those " scum-of-the-earth" collectors and dealers. In the discussions found on line, two types of medal rescuers are referred to, usually with a specific individual in mind for each type as they appear in the news. Both types of medal rescuers rely on media (newspapers, television news, etc.) to help them seek the eventual receivers, but it is also here that they diverge completely in style and results.

One type of medal rescuer acquires medals with their own funds, seeking to do so at fair market value, or even below that with the agreement of the seller that finding the family, if anyone remains, is their intent. Only after acquiring the medal is the search for family publicized. In this way the medals can be transferred to the family at that same cost, or as a gracious donation to an appropriate museum or charitable cultural organization. These rescuers risk their own funds and, when a search is unsuccessful, accept that they are the newest custodian of that soldier's medals and memory. These rescuers buy medals and, only after acquiring them, do they seek a family or appropriate resting place for them. They choose the pace and direction of the search, and the final destination is under their control. Kevin McCormick, the Honourary Lieutenant Colonel of the Irish Regiment of Canada, does this.

The second type of rescuer uses a very different tactic. They identify the medals being sold, establish a connection to a locality for a targeted media campaign, and then, with the help of cooperative reporters, push the story to the public. These stories always include the need for haste, in order to close an auction that may be running for only seven days. These restrictive timelines place pressure on families, if found, or museums or special interest groups to react quickly, often compounded by added public pressure that something be done. Without time to research either the recipient or the market value of the offered medals to determine if money will be responsibly spent, families of groups may be pushed into making poor decisions and bidding wars. But none of that matters to the medal rescuer, each deal closed on behalf of a family or group that has promised to pay, no matter what the final bid might be, is a victory, no matter how Pyrrhic in hindsight. After all, the rescuer is bidding to win, but not with his own money. Dave Thomson does this.

In one very notable case, a single medal to a Canadian soldier was purchased by a charitable organization through a medal rescuer for a grossly inflated price. That medal had a market value of $100 to $200, the lower price point already recognizing the collectability of the soldier's unit, the second assuming two or more collectors were vying for it. As a result of media attention, the direct or indirect alerting of competing cultural institution or individuals all seeking to "save" the medal from collectors, the final sale price was over $7400 dollars.

So who takes the blame. In the minds of those who felt that this was truly a "rescue," it is the seller that must be evil for making such profit. But the seller only listed the medal, with an appropriate low starting bid. After that, he did nothing but watch the climbing bids in an open market on-line auction. The seller did not contact the media. The seller did not contact special interest groups or charitable causes. The seller did not create an air of urgency that obliterated common sense and pause for research. Once attention was focused and bidding reached outrageous proportions, the seller could do nothing, even stopping the auction would have resulting in criticism, perhaps implying that he had sold the medal off-line to a private bidder, thus hazarding his reputation as a seller in that on-line marketplace. The seller's hands were tied by the process that overtook his sale.

So, who ran that process? The medal rescuer initiated it. The media fostered it as a cause, one with an urgent need to be met by well-meaning citizens. And the citizens, either individually or through charitable organizations, responded. Well-meaning perhaps, but surely as thoroughly misled by that pace and process.

There were hundreds of medals to Canadians on ebay that month. Why that particular medal. The soldier's unit is one that evokes sentimental feelings, a book has been written about them, and doing good for a worthy cause never falls short of gaining support. The rescuer and the media milked that angle for all it was worth and let momentum take its course. As soon as the media spotlight turns on a particular auction, there's no guessing where it will go. Other medals to soldiers of that unit have sold since at market values without the media attention. Perhaps it was a well-intentioned plan, but the way it was executed in the public eye, with emotional media support derailed any good intentions in the result. Yet somehow we always seem to see the "rescuer" lauded, even when a charitable organization has to raise $7400 for a $200 medal.

The following, quoted on the British Medal Forum, was part of the Wikipedia article on No. 2 Construction Battalion, it has since been edited to a much less detailed sentence.

"In February 2007, the First World War Victory Medal to 931309 Sapper PR. P.F. of the 2nd Construction Battalion was put up for auction on eBay. This auction caught the attention offenton self-proclaimed medal "rescuer" Dave Thompson of St. George, Ontario. Having brought the attention of the media and special interest groups upon this auction, the medal, which should realistically have sold in the $100-200 (Cdn) range, ended up closing at a price of over $7,400 (Cdn).

"This price was not, however, paid by Mr. Thompson (sic) who placed the winning bid, but was left to the Black Cultural Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to raise donations in order to cover this extremely high medal price. Without the attention his effort brought to this auction, the Black Cultural Centre should have been able to purchase the medal for a small fraction of the cost he made them responsible to raise."

There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to see medals returning to families who have gained a renewed understanding of their importance, or to appropriate museums and cultural organizations. As they say say, the devil is in the details, and here it is in the technique. Not everyone agrees with the medal rescuer's method described above.

What are the alternatives?, you may ask.

One possibility is to take a more altruistic approach, as shown above.

Another alternative for the medal rescuer who doesn't wish to spend their own money is keeping a low profile. Discover a medal (that part is as easy as searching ebay for Canadian medal). Identify a likely recipient community, museum, cultural organization of family. Choose a limited number of contacts, so as to not initiate a bidding war between them, and with complete openness including letting them know who else you are speaking to, inform them of the opportunity. Then let them decide their next action, and let them bid if they want to, up to the limit they feel they can responsibly afford.

This approach avoids bidding wars fomented by media attention. It also means those responsible for the money are doing their own bidding, instead of making promises to pay whatever it takes to win, with a "rescuer" bidding solely to have the top bid. But, perhaps the downside for the "medal rescuer" is that they don't get interviewed for the paper. They don't get lauded as a "rescuer" as the hand an overpriced medal to the proud recipient that must now pay for it. In particular, when that recipient is a charitable organization that has been pressured into the transaction by media attention and public cries for action, how else might they have spent that money in accordance with the priories they had already set. What deeper costs might have been paid to sustain the medal rescuer's ego?

If you want to join a "medal rescue" event, please do so with open eyes and an awareness of how it's being conducted. The actual outcomes may not be as praiseworthy as the media campaign might imply.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2018 6:16 PM EDT
Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Mayflower Company; 63rd Halifax Rifles

Extracts from the Constitution and By-Laws of the Mayflower Company, Co. B, 63rd Halifax Rifles

Constitution and By-Laws of the Mayflower Company
Co. B, 63rd Halifax Rifles

H. Hechler, Captain
Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1894


Article 1

The Company shall be known by the names of the "Mayflower Company, Co. B, 63rd Halifax Rifles."

Article II

The Company shall be commanded by such officers as the Dominion regulations allow.

Article III

The Captain shall have the entire Military control of the Company, and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees. he shall conduct all communications with Head Quarters; but nothing shall be done by him which may in any way affect the interests of the Company, except with the approval of the other officers.

Article IV

The management of the financial and non-military affairs of the Company shall be vested in a committee of six, to be elected from the active members of the Company as hereinafter provided. There shall also be a Treasurer (an officer or non-commissioned officer) and Secretary and an Auditing Committee of Two.


Section I

At the meetings of the Company the Captain shall preside, and in his absence the next senior officer. 12 members shall form a quorum.

Section IV

The junior commissioned officer shall be elected by ballot and shall have a majority of the votes of the Company. Should no candidate receive the necessary majority of votes at the first ballot, and there should be more than two candidates, the chairman shall throw out the name of the one having the least number of voted and proceed to take a fresh ballot.

Section V

The Lance Corporals shall be elected singly by ballot, as follows: The Captain shall nominate three candidates, and the one receiving the most votes shall be recommended by the Captain for promotion.

Section VI

No person shall be admitted into this Company unless proposed by a member to the Committee of Management, and said committee shall have the power to elect (subject to the approval of the Captain), and any two of the committee voting against a candidate he shall be rejected.

Section XIII

Members who fail to attend half the number of drills up to the date of the annual Company firing; will not be permitted to participate in the prize list.

Section XIV

Any member absenting himself from drill for two months continuously, without leave of absence, shall be specially notified by the Secretary, and if he fails to give a satisfactory explanation within a month he shall be dealt with according to regulations.

Section XVIII

No person shall be eligible for admission as a member of the Company who is less than five feet six inches in height in his stockings.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 June 2013 1:06 AM EDT
Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Canada Day - Harris Park, London, Ontario
Join the London Celebrates Canada festivities in Harris Park, London, Ontario, on Canada Day, 1 July 2013.

Canada Day - Harris Park

Free admission, family friendly, celebration of this great nation and its people.

Festivities include First Nations Gathering, Canada's Birthday Cake, Exhibits honouring Canada's Heroes, Vendors and Community Exhibits, Great Entertainment and Spectacular Fireworks!

Bring a lawn chair!<

Schedule of Events

compass_arrow.jpg Directions to Harris Park

Parking iconDowntown London Parking



Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 20 June 2013 10:47 PM EDT
Monday, 24 June 2013

Wolseley Barracks (1958)
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

With the rebuilding of Wolseley Barracks in London, Ontario, through the 1950s, the base became ready to house a Regular Force battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment in its new infrastraucture, and would do so until 1992. The image below, from the regimental journal of The Royal Canadian Regiment, The Connecting File, Winter 1958-59, shows the base as it was by 1958/59. (Click on the image for a larger version). Following are an explanation of the names of some of the buildings, this has been transcribed as printed and some fact-checking on details of regimental history are recommended before using them verbatim.


Wolseley Barracks; 1958

Names of Buildings Wolseley Barracks

Listed hereunder are the approved names of the buildings in Wolseley Barracks, these names now being in use, also, the explanation of their origin.

McKenzie Block (No. 1 Barrack Block)

Named after Thomas McKenzie, who was the first recruit in the Infantry School Corps in Jan 7, 1884. He served for 12 years as CSM of "A" Coy with the Corps.

Wellington Block (No. 2 Barrack Block)

Named after Wellington Barracks in Halifax, which was occupied by members of the Regiment from 1900 to 1940.

Stanley Block (No. 3 Barrack Block)

Named after Stanley Barracks in Toronto, which was occupied by members of The Regiment from 1899 to 1950, and was the former location of "B" Coy RCR.

Tecumseh Block (No. 4 Barrack Block)

Named after Tecumseh Barracks, London, Ont., they were the former World War 1 Barracks in London and location of HQ & "C" Coy of the Regiment from after World War 1 until The Regiment moved back into Wolseley Barracks Apr 1923.

St. Jean Block (No. 5 Barrack Block)

Named after Fort St Jean, Quebec, which was the original location of "B" Coy Infantry School Corps, 1884. "D" Coy of The Regiment also moved into the barracks from Montreal in Oct 1925, and remained there until Dec. 1939.

Glacis Building (Lecture & Training Building)

Named after Glacis Barracks, Halifax, NS. These barracks were occupied by members of 3 (Special Service) Bn RCR from 1900 to 1904, and were torn down in 1946.

Gloucestershire Hall (PT & Rec Building)

This gymnasium was thusly named to commemorate our affiliation with The Gloucestershire Regiment.

Victoria Building ( Administrative Building)

Named after Victoria Barracks in Camp Petawawa, Ont., which was occupied by 1 & 2 Bns RCR before their move back to London.

Beaver Hall (Drill Hall)

Since the Beaver is part of our collar badge, and denotes "Work" we feel is is most appropriate for the Drill Hall, in which most of our training is conducted.

New Fort Hall (No. 1 Mess Hall)

Named after New Fort Barracks, which was first occupied by "C" Coy, Toronto, Infantry School Corps, 1 Apr 1884.

Prince of Wales Hall (No. 2 Mess Hall)

Named after Prince of Wales Barracks in Montreal, which was occupied by "D" Coy RCR after World War 1, until their move to St Jean, Que., in 1924. This barracks has since been torn down.

Wolseley Block ("A" Block)

This name was taken from the inscription on the corner stone.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 23 June 2013

The British Grenadiers
Topic: Martial Music


The British Grenadiers

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules,
Of Conon and Lysander, and some of Meltaidies.
But of all the world's brave heroes, there's none that can compare.

With a tow, row, row, row, row, row,
To the British Grenadiers.

None of those ancient heroes e'er saw a cannon ball,
Or knew the force of powder to slay their foes withal.
But our brave boys do know it, and banish all their fears,

With a tow, row, row, row, row, row,
To the British Grenadiers.

Whene'er we are commanded to storm the palisades,
Our leaders march with fusees, and we with hand grenades.
We throw them from the glacis, about the enemies' ears.

With a tow, row, row, row, row, row,
To the British Grenadiers.

The god of war was pleased and great Bellona smiles,
To see these noble heroes of our British Isles,
And all the gods celestial descending from their spheres Beheld with adoration the British Grenadier.

Then let us crown a bumper, and drink a health to those
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the loupèd clothes.
May they and their commanders live happy all their years.

With a tow, row, row, row, row, row,
To the British Grenadiers.

These lyrics are the Royal Military School of Music approved version as provided in "History of the marches in Canada" by Jack Kopstein and Ian Pearson, Highnell printing, 1994.

Canadian regiments and corps whose marches include The British Grenadiers:

  • The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
  • The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
  • The Canadian Grenadier Guards
  • The Royal Regiment of Canada (followed by "Here's to the Maiden")
  • The Princess Louise Fusiliers
The following units of the Canadian Militia and the CEF which are identified in "The Heritage of Canadian Military Music," by Jack Kopstein and Ian Pearson, Vanwell Publishing, 2002, as having the march "British Grenadiers." The list of names, undoubtedly as found by the authors in different sources, include examples of multiple names for single units throughout their history. (These lists may not be complete.)

Units of the Canadian Militia:

  • 7th Regiment, Fusiliers
  • Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
  • 88th Regiment, Victoria Fusiliers
  • Essex Fusiliers
  • Royal Regiment of Toronto Grenadiers
  • Saint John Fusiliers (M.G.)
  • Scottish Fusiliers of Canada
  • Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment (CASF)
  • Toronto Regiment
  • West Toronto Regiment
  • Western Ontario Regiment
  • The Winnipeg Grenadiers

Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force:

  • 3rd Canadian Infantry Battalion, CEF

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 22 June 2013

Cavalry - Training Men, Recruits, and Recruit Officers (1907)
Topic: Drill and Training

Cavalry Training; 1907

S.7. – Training of the Men

To get the greatest value out of your instruction given to the men, the instructor must endeavour both to interest and encourage them.

In the following instructions much has purposely been left to commanders in devising methods. A cut-and-dried system tends to curb initiative on the part of keen officers, whilst with less capable officers it removes all necessity for thinking for themselves.

The soldier must be given a much higher aim than that of merely satisfying the requirements of the drill instructor. He must be encouraged to feel that in perfecting himself as a fighting man he is preparing himself to take part in furthering the aims of his country, and is adding to his chance of gaining personal distinction in the effort. Among soldiers so trained, individuality and self-reliance cam safely be developed without fear of sacrificing discipline. The strongest form of discipline in an army is that which comes from the conception of duty in its noblest form, which is the spirit of loyalty to King and country, self-sacrifice, and implicit obedience to superior leaders.

S.8. – Training of the Recruit

Cavalry recruits are to be exempted from stable and other duties, and will not be allowed to commence riding until they have undergone an uninterrupted course of twelve weeks' physical training. Foot drill and instruction in musketry will also be carried out during this period.

The whole training must be systematic and progressive, and the recruit must receive careful individual instruction in riding, musketry, skill-at-arms, scouting, and drill. In order to develop the intelligence of the recruit, the practical instruction should be varied by frequent lectures on theoretical subjects; during the first three weeks these will be mainly on elementary interior economy, equipment, cleanliness, horse management, discipline and loyalty to both leaders and comrades; subsequently they should be on the work which is being carried out. During this period recruits should be impressed with the fact that their prospects in civil employment after they leave the Army depends on their conduct whilst serving, and that no man can be registered for employment who is not discharged with a good character. The object to be attained by the course of individual instruction is to render the soldier, with his horse, efficient in the ranks, to teach him to use his arms effectively in mounted and dismounted action, and to act independently as a scout, The system of instruction must be governed by the necessity of putting the recruit into the ranks of his troop without undue delay. Young soldiers must, therefore, be associated with their seniors immediately after joining, and begin at once to be trained in their sections in order to obtain the maximum of individual instruction.

The training of the recruit will comprise:—

(a) Physical training.
(b) Foot drill and rifle, sword and lance exercises.
(c) Musketry and skill-at-arms.
(d) Elementary riding instruction and horse management.
(e) Equitation.
(f) Troop drill.

S.9. – The Recruit Officer

Before an officer has been dismissed recruits' drill he will be required to be able to signal by semaphore, ride in the ranks, strip and put together a saddle, correctly saddle, bit, and turn out in marching order a horse, and put together the harness of and to harness a squadron cart. During the first two years of his service an officer will undergo a practical course of instruction in the farrier's shop.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 21 June 2013

Battlefield Cross; Wesley-Knox United Church, London, Ontario
Topic: CEF

In the sanctuary of the Wesley-Knox United Church in London, Ontario, can be seen the battlefield grave maker for 654306 Lance-Corporal Thomas Harold Inman Wilkinson. These wooden markers were placed by grave registration units and later replaced by the stone markers erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Thomas Wilkinson was serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion when he was killed in action on 29 August 1918.

Accompanying the cross is the Memorial Plaque sent to his family after the war. A dedication plate mounted beside the cross and Memorial Plaque reads:

"This Cross if from the Grave of L/Cpl Thomas Harold Inman Wilkinson. Born in 1897. Killed in Action in Battle of Arras, August 27, 1918. Placed in Centennial United Church in 1930 by his Parents Mary and William Wilkinson, Members of the Congregation."

In 2006, Centennial United Church and Wesley-Knox United Church amalgamated, and the Cross was moved to its current home.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

The availability of increasing amounts of information on the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) and its soldiers lets us complete some initial research into Wilkinson's service.

From the Library and Archives Canada database for Soldiers of the First World War – CEF, we can find Wilkinson's entry, which reveals his Attestation Paper, and the file reference for ordering his service record.

  • Regimental number(s): 654306
  • Reference: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 10372 - 29
  • Date of Birth: 15/06/1897
front back

Thomas Wilkinson's Attestation Paper, signed on enlistment for overseas service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
(Cick images for full size.)

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial, operated by Veterans Affairs Canada, also has a page dedicated to Wilkinson. This page also leads to an image of the page of the Books of Remembrance on which his name is inscribed.

We can also find Wilkinson in the collection at Library and Archives Canada known as the Commonwealth War Graves Registers. These are the records of the burials, and reburials as required, of each soldier whose body was recovered and moved to one of the Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries.

front back

Commonwealth War Graves Register for Thomas Wilkinson.
(Cick images for full size.)

In order to dig into the circumstances surrounding a soldier of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada offers the daily record maintained by each unit of the CEF, the War Diaries. discover what the unit was doing at the time. The War Diary of the 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion records the activities of the unit but, as with most unit War Diaries, rarely makes mention of individual soldiers by name.

58th Cdn Inf Bn War Diary 58th Cdn Inf Bn War Diary

Pages from the War Diary of the 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion, covering the dates 27-31 August 1918.
(Cick images for full size.)

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 20 June 2013

Competition for Gzowski Cup (1889)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Field Batteries

Competition for Gzowski Cup (1889)

To be competed for on parade during annual drill by the four sub-divisions of the Battery. the prizes to be awarded to the Batteries performing the conditions in the shoertest average time.


Nine-pounder and limber, four horses. Four detachments each to consist of 1 N.-C. Officer (mounted), 6 Gunners, 2 Drivers. Field day order.

Detachment to be in order of march. No. 1 and Drivers—stand to their horses.

1.Gunners and Drivers prepare to mount. Mount.
2.Forward at a trot. march. Left incline. Left-shoulders. Forward. Left-shoulders. Forward. Left incline. halt.

The run to be taken round two pickets, each 30 yards from the leaders, and 30 yards apart, and back again to original ground.

4.Load with drill cartridge and fire one round with friction tube.
5.Cease firing. Rear limber up.
6.Gunners prepare to mount. Mount.
7.Forward at a trot. March. Gun to be taken straight through two pickets, 3 feet high, 40 yards distant, and 6 feet 8 inches apart—as soon as 15 yards clear then:–
8.Halt. Action rear.
9.Load with a second drill cartridge and fire one round.
10.Front limber up. Form the order of march. Halt.

Cartridges are to be taken separately from the limber box by No. 7.
Ammunition not to be carried.
For striking any of the pickets 5 seconds to be added to the total time.
For any faults of mistakes in drill as judged by Umpire—5 seconds to be added for each.
Umpire's decision to be final. No appeal.


1st. — Gzowski Challenge Cup and $35.
2nd. — $25.
3rd. — $15.

By order,

J.B. Donaldson, Captain,
Secretary Treasurer.

Ottawa, 25th April, 1889.

Montreal Field Battery Inspection

The image above and at the top of the article are reproduced from The Dominion Illustrated published 8 Aug 1881

The Montreal Field Battery, one of the finest in Canada, in camp on St. Helen's Island in the latter part of June, was inspected June 30th by Lieut.-Col. C.E. Montizambert, artillery inspector of the province. The day was hot and rendered active exercise anything but desirable; yet the battery men acquitted themselves in the most satisfactory manner. The men fell in at 10.30 a.m., and marched out upon the parade ground, receiving the inspecting officer with a general salute. the battery was manoeuvred by Major hall, Capt. Hooper, and lieutenants Costigan and Benyon. The march past was excellently done, the sword exercise well executed, and the going into action and retiring by alternate half batteries carried out in a manner that won high praise. After the non com's had been examined by the inspector with most gratifying results, the battery was put through the "Gzowski trial" in subdivisions, the average time being less than 2:46—a credible showing with comparatively untrained horses. the time was taken by Col. Houghton, D.A.G., and Col. Stevenson. After dinner the tents, equipage, etc., were inspected, and at the close the inspecting officer expressed himself highly gratified with the drill, discipline and efficiency of the battery. - The Dominion Illustrated; 8 Aug 1881.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Defending Halifax: The Point Pleasant Batteries
Topic: Halifax

Prince of Wales Tower. For a sense of scale, note the starway on the lft side of the tower.


Although Halifax, Nova Scotia, was never attacked or the defences of the Citadel tested, it is the outlying fortifications that both make that prospect even more challenging to prospective attacker and show the most likely approaches that would have been taken. The Citadel is a Vauban style star fort and would have been attacked in a set piece siege to approach and sufficiently destroy its battlements for an assault.

The likeliness of congestion in the main harbour from burning ships and damaged docksides, the steep approach through the town and being under the guns of the fortress make that approach an undesirable on for an attacker. The alternatives, therefore, would be landing on Point Pleasant, or from within the Northwest Arm, the latter offering a shorter distance to move one's siege artillery. While the guns of the Citadel, as late as the 1860s rearmament, could not directly cover these approaches and landing areas, the strength of the outlying batteries, particularly in Point Pleasant itself still made this course of action a daunting task.

The map at right shows the relative areas of effective coverage of smooth bore cannons in the Citadel and outlying batteries circa 1860s. The approach up the North West Arm to assault to Citadel from landward is an obvious course of action and shows the necessity of defending not only the southern end of the Halifax Peninsula but also blocking entry into the Arm. (this map and ordnance figures below are taken from "Defending Halifax: Ordnance, 1825-1906," Parks Canada #46, History and Archaeology, 1981.

As a result, other than the heaby armament of the Citadel itself, Point Pleasant became the most heavily defended locality in the Fortress system, with the following batteries established:

In 1861, mounted ordnance in the Point Pleasant batteries was as follows:

  • Point Pleasant Battery – 10 x 32-pounder cannon, 1 x 12-pounder
  • North West Arm Battery – 4 x 32-pounder cannon, 3 x 18-pounder
  • Fort Ogilvie – 6 x 32-pounder cannon
  • Prince of Wales Tower – 2 x 24-pounder cannon

Prince of Wales Tower, commonly known as the Martello Tower after its style of construction, was the central battery in Point Pleasant and as the coverage drawing above shows, provided supporting fire to each of the other batteries. This defence in depth ensured that Point Pleasant would be a hard fought set of defences, anchoring the Citadel's outer batteries and making any enemy lodgment on the Peninsula a hard won achievement. In varying states of decay, each of the Point Pleasant battery locations can still be explored by visitors to Point Pleasant Park.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 18 June 2013

ENTAC Anti-Tank Guided Missile
Topic: Cold War

ENTAC Anti-Tank Guided Missile

Recruiters' Info Card

The ENTAC anti-tank guided missile (Engin Téléguidé Antichar) provides reconnaissance units ad infantry with a capacity of destroying enemy armour at ranges up to 2000 metres. It is a self-propelled roll stabilized, wire guided missile with solid propellant propulsion. The 27-pound Missile is guided to its target by a "pilot" using a "joystick."

Canada's early use of anti-tank guided missiles included the French designed and manufactured ENTAC. Developed in the 1950s, Canada placed an order in 1959, with delivery from 1960 to 1963 of approximately 2000 missiles.

The ENTAC missile system was deployed by Canada mounted on the Ferret Scout Car and the M38A1 Canadian Jeep. The ENTAC was deployed in combination with 106 mm recoilless rifles and SS11B anti-tank guided missiles.

  • Cutaway model – Smithsonian; National Air and Space Museum
  • Flight International, Nov 1962, article AntiTank

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 17 June 2013

Militia Act 1855; The Sedentary Militia
Topic: Canadian Militia

An Act to Regulate the Militia of this Province, and to repeal the Acts now in force for that purpose.

The "Militia Act" of 1855; assented to 19th May, 1855.

From the Militia Act of 1855 for the Province of Canada (consisting of the combined provinces of Upper Canada and Lower Canada), comes this description of the Sedentary Militia. As the Act shows, while being mustered for the Sedentary Militia may have been compulsory (para IV), actual service if called up was not necessarily so (para VIII).

Sedentary Militia

IV.The Sedentary Militia shall consist of all the male inhabitants of the Province of the age of eighteen years or upwards and under sixty, not exempted or disqualified by law.
V.The Sedentary Militiamen shall be divided into two classes, to be called respectively Service men and Reserve men; the Service men shall be those of eighteen years of age and upwards, but under forty years, and the Reserve men shall be those of forty years of age and upwards, but under sixty.
VI.In time of peace, no actual service or drill shall be required of the Sedentary Militia, but they shall be carefully enrolled from time to time; and the Service men not exempted from muster, shall also assemble for muster annually, at such place and hour, in such manner and for such purposes, as the Commanding Officer of each battalion shall direct with respect to each Company therein; the muster day being in Lower Canada the twenty-ninth of June, and in Upper Canada the Queen's Birthday, or of that fall on a Sunday, then the day next thereafter.

The following persons only between the ages of eighteen and sixty as aforesaid, shall be exempt from enrolment and from actual service in any case:

  • The Judges of the Superior Courts of Law or Equity in Upper and Lower Canada;
  • The Judge of the Court of Vice-Admiralty;
  • The Judges of the Circuit and County Courts;
  • The Clergy and Ministers of all Religious denominations;
  • The Professors in any College or University, and all teachers in religious orders;
  • The Warden, Keepers and Guards of the Provincial Penitentiary;

And the following, though enrolled, shall be exempt from attending muster and from actual service at any time except in the case of was, invasion or insurrection:

  • The Reserve Men;
  • The Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils;
  • The Members of the Legislative Assembly;
  • The Officers of said Councils and Assembly respectively;
  • The Attorneys and Solicitors General;
  • All Civil Officers who shall have been appointed to any Civil Office in this Province under the Great Seal;
  • All persons lawfully authorized to practice Physic or Surgery;
  • All Advocates, Barristers, Solicitors and Attorneys;
  • Notaries in Lower Canada;
  • Half-Pay and Retired Officers of Her Majesty's Army or Navy;
  • Postmasters and Mail Carriers;
  • Seafaring Men actually employed in their calling;
  • Masters of Public and Common Schools actually engaged in their teaching;
  • Ferrymen;
  • One Miller for each run of stones in every Grist Mill;
  • Keepers of public Toll-Gates;
  • Lock Masters and Labourers employed in attending to Locks and Bridges on Public Canals;
  • The Engine Drivers, Conductors and Switchmen connected with several Railways actually in use in this Province;
  • Members of Fire Companies and of Hook and Ladder Companies;
  • Jailors, Constables and Officers of Courts of Justice, not being such solely by virtue of their being non-commissioned Officers of Militia;
  • Students attending Seminaries, Colleges, Schools and Academies, who have been attending such at least six months previous to the time at which they claim such exemption; All persons disabled by bodily infirmity.

All persons bearing Certificates from the Society of Quakers, Mennonists and Tunkers, or any Inhabitant of this Province, of any Religious denomination, other subject to Military duty in time ofvictoria day peace, but who from the doctrines of his Religion, shall be averse to bearing arms, and shall refuse personal Military Service, shall be exempt therefrom.

But such exemption shall not prevent any person from serving or holding a Commission in the Militia, if he desire it and be not disabled by bodily infirmity. And no such person shall have the benefit of such exemption unless he shall, at least one month before he shall claim such benefit, have filed his claim thereto, with his affidavit before some Magistrate of the facts on which he rests his claim, with the Commanding Officer of the Company within the limits whereof he resides. And whenever exemption is claimed, whether on the ground of age or otherwise, the burden of proof shall always be with the claimant.

VIII.With a view to actual service in case of war, invasion or insurrection, the Service men shall be divided into two classes, to be called respectively, first class Service men, and second class Service men; the first class to consist of unmarried men and widowers without children, and the second class to consist of married men and widowers with children.
IX.When the Sedentary Militia are called out in case of war, invasion or insurrection, those first taken for actual service, shall be volunteers from the Service men, then the first class Service men, then the second class Service men, and lastly the Reserve men.
X.The Commander in Chief shall have power from time to time, by any Militia General Order, to divide the Province into eighteen Military Districts, to be designated as he shall see fit, nine to be in Upper Canada and nine in Lower Canada.
XI.The Commander in Chief shall have power from time to time, by any Militia General Order, to divide the Military Districts respectively into Regimental divisions, and the Regimental divisions into Battalion divisions, and to designate such divisions by such names or numbers as he shall see fit.
XII.The Militiamen resident within each Battalion division shall form a Battalion of the Regiment of the Regimental division in which it lies, and all Battalions in any Regimental division shall form the Regiment thereof.
XIII.To each Military District a Colonel shall be appointed who shall command the Militia in such District, and to each Battalion and Lieutenant Colonel, and such number of Majors and Regimental Staff Officers as may be deemed necessary.
XIV.Each Lieutenant Colonel shall have power, by any order made with the approval of the Colonel of the Military District, from time to time to divide his Battalion division into Company divisions, each containing, as nearly as may be conveniently practicable, not less than fifty nor more than seventy-five resident Service men; and the Militiamen resident within each Company division shall form a Company of the Battalion.
XV.All now existing Militia divisions shall remain in force until altered as aforesaid, and such of them as shall be allowed to remain unaltered shall be held to have been made by the proper authority under this Act, and for the purposes thereof.
XVI.To each Company of Militia there shall be appointed of Commissioned Officers, a Captain, a Lieutenant, and an Ensign; and of non-commissioned Officers, three Sergeants and three Corporals.
XVII.The enrolment of the Sedentary Militia shall be made in each Company division by the Captain thereof, with the assistance of the Officers and non-commissioned Officers of the Company; and it shall be the duty of the Captain, and, under his orders, of the other Officers and non-commissioned Officers of the Company, by actual enquiry at each house in the Company division, and by every other means in their power, to make and keep at all times a correct Roll of the Company in such form as shall be directed by the Adjutant General.
XVIII.It shall be the duty of each man liable under this act to be enrolled in any Company, and not so enrolled, to give in his name, age and place of residence, in writing, to the Captain or Officer commanding such Company, within twenty days after he shall become so liable, whether by passing of this Act, the alteration of any Militia division, change of residence, or otherwise howsoever.
XIX.The Officer commanding a Sedentary Company of the Militia shall, with twenty days after the annual muster day for such Company, make out a corrected roll thereof, and transmit a certified copy thereof to the Officer commanding the Battalion, who, within forty days after such muster, shall forward a correct Return of the Battalion under his command to the Assistant Adjutant General of Military District, to be laid before the Colonel commanding the same; and the said Return shall then be transmitted by the Assistant Adjutant General, under the orders of said Colonel, to the Adjutant General at Head Quarters.
XX.Each Company Roll shall be corrected from time to time as changes occur which affect it; and every householder and resident in the Company division, and every Assessor, Town Clerk, or other Municipal Officer, shall be at all times bound to give to the Commanding Officer or any officer of non-commissioned Officer of the Company, such information as may be required to make such corrections, and to answer all such questions as any of them may pertinently put to him for the purpose of obtaining such information; and every Militiaman shall be bound to inform the Officer commanding the Company, in writing, of any change of residence or other circumstances affecting such Militiaman, by which Roll of any Company shall be affected, whether such Militiaman shall come into or leave the Company division for which the Roll is made.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 16 June 2013

Military Moustaches Revisited
Topic: Tradition

When I published an earlier blog post on Military Moustaches, one friend commented that it seemed incomplete. Perhaps Major Edwards felt the same way, for he revisited the topic in his 1954 volume "Military Customs" and expanded on it.

Military Customs

By Major T.J. Edward, M.B.E., F.R.Hist.S.
Fourth Edition, 1954, Gale & Polden, Ltd., Aldershot


On the catalogue of facial ornaments the "military moustache" has a definite place. Unlike the "Charlie Chaplin," however, it did not suddenly spring into existence, but has come down to us through a hundred and fifty years of change. The original purpose of the moustache was to give the warrior a ferocious appearance and with this intention they were first worn by Hungarian Hussars of the eighteenth century. These moustaches appear to have been of the ragged, bristling, "walrus" type, and in their native, unkempt state needed little encouragement to add an element of frightfulness to an already fierce expression. So effective were these moustaches in daunting the foe that when hussars were introduced into the French Army, every hussar had to cultivate one. If an unfortunate hussar could not raise any hair at all, or could only manage something below the recognized "offensive" standard, he had to paint one on his face, usually with blacking. Apropos this, Baron de Marbot, the well-known French military writer of the last century, tells us in his memoirs that this practice proved very unpleasant in hot weather, because the sun would dry up the moisture in the blacking and this drew up the skin in a painful manner. Marbot also records that the French General Macard used to say, "Look here!, I'm going to dress like a beast," and forthwith stripped off as much clothing as possible and went into battle showing a shaggy head, face and body.

This facial ornament has a real significance in the French Army; in fact the nickname for a French soldier is "Poilu," which means a so1dier who has let his beard, and presumably his moustache, grow. As French soldiers did not shave on campaigns, a "beaver" plus "walrus" was an obvious indication that the wearer had just "returned from the wars." The British soldier of Peninsular and Waterloo days scraped his upper lip, but immediately after that campaign, moustaches began to appear in the British ranks, no doubt due to contact with continental troops in Paris during the occupation. In the early part of the last century there seems to have been some uncertainty about the orders governing the wearing of moustaches, as shown by the following Memorandum of 11th February, 1828, from the Adjutant-General (Sir Henry Torrens), reproduced in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Vol. XXII, p. 305:–

"The practice of wearing moustachios is now growing into very genera1 extent throughout the Service. There never was any precise Order or Regulation under which this habit was permitted, even in the Hussars. But a kind of understanding has existed, that it was tolerated by the permission of authority, in that description of Force. Mustachios have been adopted in the Lancer Corps and gradually throughout all the Regiments of Dragoons. I do not believe that any Regiment of Cavalry is now without them. This practice is extending to the Infantry. When I was in Dublin four years ago, it was attempted by the 23rd Fusiliers, and by my interference was put down. But that corps shortly afterwards embarked for Gibraltar, and it immediately adopted mustachios, from having found some Corps in that Garrison wearing it. Since then I have understood that the practice is general in that Garrison. The 7th Fusiliers wear the mustachios. It was adopted in the Rifle Brigade, and I believe in a great many other Corps in the Mediterranean without orders or authority. It is un-English and a hindrance to recruiting."

In 1830, however, an order was issued forbidding the growing of moustachios except by Household Cavalry and Hussars. This order was published on 2nd August, 1830, and on the 29th of the same month the Officer commanding the 2nd or Royal North British Dragoons (now The Royal Scots Greys) submitted a request to Lord Hill, the Commander-in-Chief, for permission for his regiment to continue the wearing of moustaches. There is quiet humour in the Adjutant-General's reply, dated Horse Guards, 27th August, 1830, for one paragraph reads:–

"Lord Hill is persuaded that the distinguished character of the Royal North British Dragoons can derive no additional weight from the wearing of moustachios."

From a postscript to the letter of the Adjutant-General it Iooks as though Lord Hill had been turning the matter over in his mind, for we find:–

"P.S.-Could the moustachio have been considered in any way a National Distinction, Lord Hill might have been induced to recommend the continuance of it by the Royal North British Dragoons, hut as the case is quite the contrary, his Lordship sees no ground on which he could approach His Majesty on the subject."

After that The Greys had to scrape their upper lips. In 1839, however, they renewed their request, but Lord Hill was still Commander-in-Chief and John MacDonald was still Adjutant-General, and the answer was the same as nine years previously.

With the coming of the Crimean War in 1854, the wearing of moustaches became optional. The Horse Guards Circular Memorandum dated 21st July, 1854, on this point reads:–

"A large part of the Army being employed in Turkey, where it has been found beneficial to keep the upper lip unshaven and allow the moustache to grow, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief is pleased to authorize the practice in the army generally The wearing of the moustache is to be optional with all ranks."

During the Great War of 1914-1918 the wearing of the moustache was also made optional, as it is at present [1954]

King's Regulations and Orders for the Army; 1908

1695.     The forage cap will not be worn with service dress, unless specifically ordered as a distinguishing mark between opposing forces. Forage and service dress caps will be placed evenly on the head. The hair of the head will be kept short. The chin and under-lip will be shaved, but not the upper lip. Whiskers, if worn, will be of moderate length.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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