The Minute Book
Sunday, 8 December 2013

My dug-out was on fire
Topic: Humour

A Bruce Bairnsfather cartoon.

"My dug-out was on fire…"

From: Captain Norman C.S. Down, 14th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, quoted in Jon E. Lewis, The Mammoth Book of War Diaries and Letters; Life on the battlefield in the words of the ordinary soldier, 1775-1991, 1998

SAME PLACE, June 12th 1915

Cherie (French),

Still here, and no word of being relieved. That's only nineteen days that we've been in the front line without a relief, and we haven't lost more than two hundred men during the time, so we aren't doing so badly.

All the same, life's hardly worth living. From dewy dawn till the stars begin to peep the Hun shells us, shell after shell the whole day long, and we just have to sit and look pleasant. Our own artillery do their best, but all they can do is to polish their guns and think how nice it would be to have something to fire out of them. If only we could have the man here who said that there was no shortage of shells.

I'm not being very cheerful, am I, but at present I'm suffering rather badly from lack of sleep. This morning after "stand to" I told my servant to make me a cup of cocoa. Before it was ready I had fallen asleep and he had to wake me. I took the cocoa from him and tried to drink it, but it was too hot, and so I sat down and waited for it to cool. I must have fallen off again directly, as I woke up with a start to find scalding liquid tickling down my kilt and on to my bare knees. I didn't want to let my man see what a fool I had made of myself, so I raked up an old Tommy's Cooker and put a dixie of water on it. My dug-out was on fire when I woke up again, and I had to use all my remaining water to put it out. After this I gave up all idea of a hot drink and went to sleep on the sopping floor of the dug-out. Five or six hours later a small earthquake roused me to the fact that all around me was dark. This was astonishing for midday in June. A shell had closed up the dug-out door, an ungentlemanly thing to do, but better perhaps than coming in through the door. When my men dug me out they told me that this sort of thing had been going on for over an hour, and that they had retired to the far end of the trench, and had wondered why I didn't do likewise…

Later.–I've been hit, Phyllis, and am feeling a regular wounded 'ero. I was walking along the trench when there was a bang, and I was thrown forward on to my face. "You're hit, sir, hit in the back," said one of my men, and with a breathless haste my tunic and shirt was tom off, to disclose a shrapnel ball clinging lovingly to my spine in the midst of a huge bruise. The skin had just been scratched. Oh, I was sick, I had fully expected a nice cushy one, and a month down the line, with perhaps a fortnight's sick leave in England to top up with, and then to find it was the merest scratch. Oh, it was cruel. However, the news got round, and I had a message from battalion H.Q. asking whether they should send along a stretcher! And when I went down to the dressing station to get some iodine put on the wound the M.O. turned round to the orderly and said, "Just put some iodine on this officer's wound, will you. You'll find it if you look long enough". That put the lid on it. No more wounds for me. Till next time. Your wounded hero.


The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 7 December 2013

HMCS Kootenay
Topic: RCN

HMCS Kootenay (DDE 258) at Pearl Harbor 1986 (Image from Wikipedia).

HMCS Kootenay

Canadian Bravery Decorations

Government House Ottawa
The Canada Gazette; 29 July 1972

The Governor General, the Right Honourable Roland Michener. on the recommendation of the Canadian Decorations Advisory Committee, and with the approval of Her Majesty the Queen of Canada, is pleased hereby to award bravery decorations as follows:

Bravery decorations for certain personnel of HMCS Kootenay

HMCS Kootenay, one of seven "Restigouche"-class destroyer-escorts in the Canadian Armed Forces, was conducting full-power trials on October 23, 1969, in the western approaches to the English Channel with eight other Canadian ships, at 08.21 there was an explosion in the engine room. Intense heat, flame and smoke engulfed the engine room almost immediately and spread to adjacent passageways and to the boiler room.

Awards are made in recognition of outstanding acts of bravery performed on that occasion to the following members of the ship's company.

Cross of Valour

To Receive the Cross of Valour (posthumous)

Chief Warrant Officer Vaino Olavi Partanen
Canadian Armed Forces

CWO Vaino Olavi Partanen of Dartmouth, N.S., and Verdun, Quebec, was chief engine room artificer aboard HMCS Kootenay. When the explosion and fire devastated the engine room immediate orders were given to evacuate, but Chief Warrant Officer Partanen, in full knowledge that he was in mortal danger, remained behind in order to report the situation by telephone to the officer of the watch on the bridge. He died moments after attempting to make a report on the situation.

To Receive the Cross of Valour (posthumous)

Lewis John Stringer
Canadian Armed Forces

Sgt Lewis John Stringer, of Hamilton, Ontario and Dartmouth, N.S., a supply technician, was off-duty in the cafeteria when the explosion occurred. He understood the danger immediately, stepped into the exit and used his body to block the way to the smoke-filled passageway. He instructed others in the cafeteria to get down on the deck, breathe through their sleeves and crawl out by way of the galley. Sgt. Stringer waited until the last man had made good his escape before attempting to leave himself. He collapsed in the galley and although rescued, he succumbed later.

Star of Courage

To Receive the Star of Courage

Officer Cadet Clément Léo Bussière
Canadian Armed Forces

Clément Léo Bussière, of St. Paul, Alberta, was Petty Officer in charge of the boiler room, during the explosion and fire on HMCS Kootenay. As the boiler room filled with smoke, Bussière ordered his men to lie flat on the deck plates and breathe through damp clothing or rags. He saw to it that there was steam pressure for firefighting, and when this requirement was met, put on diver's breathing equipment in order to stay at his post long enough to shut down the boilers properly. Then he joined the damage-control team which was trying to cope with the situation in the engine room.

To Receive the Star of Courage

Clark E. Reiffenstein
Canadian Armed Forces

The late Sub-Lieutenant Clark E. Reiffenstein, of Montreal. was a navigation officer on HMCS Kootenay when the explosion and fire occurred. He put on "aqua-lung" equipment, underwater gear not designed for use in fire-fighting, to enable him to breathe and function in the smoke-filled deck immediately above the engine room. He saw that those in the area of the ship's cafeteria got clear to safer parts of the ship, dragging one man to safety who had been overcome by smoke. Then Sub-Lieutenant Reiffenstein made his way into the boiler room to see that it was cleared and eventually turned the breathing apparatus over to the Petty Officer in charge in the boiler room.

Medal of Bravery

To Receive the Medal of Bravery

Master Warrant Officer Robert Gary George
Canadian Armed Forces

MWO Robert G. George, of Tupperville, Ontario the senior hull technician aboard HMCS Kootenay organized damage control parties, sprayed one of the ammunition magazine areas and then flooded it to prevent a possible explosion. He led the attempt to fight the fire in the engine room through the forward hatch, at one point getting as far as the foot of the ladder into the engine room before being forced back. He remained in an area of the ship which could have received further damage in order to direct firefighting activities.

To Receive the Medal of Bravery

Warrant Officer Gerald John Gillingham
Canadian Armed Forces

WO Gerald John Gillingham was off-duty at the time of the explosion but rushed from his mess to the mortar well where a party was being organized for rescue and firefighting. He put on a breathing apparatus and made his way into a devastated area immediately above the engine room to shut off the "main stops" at the emergency position. Later, he displayed leadership and daring in exposing himself to heat and flame to operate one of the fire hoses near the engine room.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 6 December 2013

A Royal Canadian and the Halifax Explosion
Topic: Halifax

A Royal Canadian and the Halifax Explosion

Barely two weeks after the Canadian assault on Vimy Ridge, a Russian born miner from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia enlisted in The Royal Canadian Regiment. It was on 23 April, 1917, that Frederick Felepchuk enlisted in Halifax, signing his attestation papers for service overseas. This was on the day after his 23rd birthday, and no-one would have predicted that he would be a casualty of the war without ever leaving the port city.

Felepchuk's attestation paper Felepchuk's attestation paper

479037 Private Frederick Felepchuk's attestation paper. The attestation papers of Canadian soldiers of the First World War can be found on line at the Library and Archives Canada website.

In December of 1917, Felepchuk was still in Halifax, serving in the garrison with The Royal Canadian Regiment. On the 6th of December, he was posted as a duty sentry on a harbourside pier. Tragically, this gave him a front row seat for the largest man-made explosion to that fatal date — the Halifax Explosion.

From the dedicated website, comes the following summary of the devastation of that morning:

"The Halifax Explosion was a disaster that occurred in a thriving city at a time of war. The Explosion was the result of a collision between two ships in the Halifax Harbour. At 9:04:35 on the morning of December 6, 1917, a munitions ship, the Mont-Blanc exploded, immediately killing more than 1600 men, women, and children. More than 9000 others were wounded, 12,000 buildings were damaged, either laid flat or made uninhabitable, barely a single pane of glass was left to keep out the weather. The destruction covered 325 acres of Halifax, and Dartmouth across the harbour."

Frederick Felepshuk's death was one tragedy among thousands who suffered death or maiming, tragedy compounded for the many survivors by the loss of loved ones, of homes and the descent of winter conditions on a shattered city. His body recovered and identified, Felepshuk was buried in the Fort Massey Cemetery in downtown Halifax.

The Government of Nova Scotia maintains a digital edition of the Halifax Explosion Remembrance Book among its collection of on line resources related to the Explosion.

Private Felepchuk's record in this on line memorial provides the following details:

  • Age – 23
  • Address – Glace Bay, NS
  • Occupation – The Royal Canadian Regiment
  • Buried – Fort Massey Cemetery, Halifax, NS
  • Family – Wife Ellen, 4 child, father Steve Felepchuk, Podolsk, Russia
  • Court of Inquiry stated Felepchuk killed by Explosion duty pier. Snow's Funeral Home 479037

Felepchuk can also be found in the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, confirming him as an official casualty of the First World War. His name is inscribed on Page 236 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

A search of the Canadian Virtual War Memorial for deaths on 6 Dec 1917 returns 54 names of Canadian sailors and soldiers. A review of individual pages shows that quite a few of them appear to have died at Halifax on that date.

Researching The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 5 December 2013

A Few Hints to New Officers
Topic: Officers

A Few Hints to New Officers

Canadian Army Training Memorandum, No 24, March 1943

1.     Know how to wear your uniform and see that you do so at all times.

2.     Don't buy cheap uniforms, especially boots; this would be a great mistake.

3.     Learn this and never forget it:—the first duty of a soldier is to obey orders. In the absence of orders or instructions, do what you think your commanding officer would do if he were present.

4.     Pick out some officer to imitate, but be sure he is a good soldier.

5.     Don't be afraid to express your opinion to your commanding officer, but use good judgment in doing so. Any good commanding officer will respect your opinion and listen to you within reason. BUT-When he gives you his final decision, be sure, you carry it out, regardless of your personal opinion.

6.     From time to time an "Officer's Confidential Report" will be made out on you by your immediate commanding officer. You are not entitled to see it; however if he makes an unfavourable report on you he is required to let you know about it in writing. Here are some of the things on which you are rated:-

  • Initiative
  • Energy and Persistence
  • Reliability
  • Appearance
  • Leadership
  • Speech
  • Sense of Responsibility
  • Writing Facility
  • Stability
  • Knowledge of Arms and Equipment
  • Alertness
  • Tactical Aptitude
  • Organizing Ability
  • Ability as an Instructor

7.     Don't talk too much. Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut!

8.     Don't give excuses. Get the job done if you have to stay up all night.

9.     Take care of your men, fight for them; look to their comfort; demand their respect; be fair and still strict. Don't try to be popular. If you do your job, the popularity will take care of itself.

10.     Be loyal to your superiors. This is most important.

11.     Remember that before you are competent to give orders, you must be able to take them.

12.     A man who honestly tries to do his best seldom makes a very serious mistake.

13.     Study regulations and order. Know more than your men, then teach it to them.

14.     A final word:-Don't talk too much! If you open your mouth too much you will probably put your foot in it!

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Over the Top!
Topic: CEF

Over the Top!

From the website of the Canadian War Museum comes a new interactive site to help Canadians learn about the experiences of the soldiers in the First World War. With a glossary to introduce the language of the era, sections for teachers and reference lists, the site provides an easy introduction to the War from the comfort of your home.

As introduced by the Museum website:

Over the Top - An Interactive Adventure

Over the Top is an interactive adventure game that allows you to experience life in the trenches during the First World War. As a young Canadian soldier stationed somewhere along the Western Front in the late Fall of 1916, you will live through some of the excitement, despair, brutality and sheer horror of trench warfare.

Over the Top is based on the real-life experiences of Canadians who lived and died in the trenches during the First World War. Part history and part adventure story, Over the Top is divided into sections. At the end of each section, you have to make a decision. You then click on your choice and read the outcome of your decision. A good decision will allow you to continue your adventure. A poor decision might mean trouble or, worse yet, disaster. But don't worry, you can always start over and try a new adventure. You should also keep in mind that not all decisions are life and death situations.

Throughout the story, you will come across many words and expressions that were quite common at the time. To help you understand what these words mean, a dictionary has been included for all words typed in bold underline. Just click on the word to get a definition.

Your goal in Over the Top is the same as that of thousands of Canadians who served in the trenches during the First World War: merely to survive. This will often depend on cunning, attention to detail and just plain common sense on your part. A fair amount of good luck doesn't hurt either.

So pick up your rifle, put on your helmet and get ready for a truly unique experience!

Fall In!

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Medals for Valour; unfulfilled recommendations
Topic: The RCR

Medals for Valour; unfulfilled recommendations


For every man who gets a medal, there are probably five or six who also deserve one but never get written up. - S. Pratt, quoted in Joanna Bourke, An Intimate History of Killing, 1999

The current list of recipients of the Military Medal of The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War includes 136 names. While the basis of this list are the names compiled in the 1936 regimental history (Fetherstonhaugh, 1936), it is known that this may not be completely accurate. In 2005, the name of Corporal Arthur Rix, MM, was added after Corporal Rix's medal group was acquired by a regimental collector and afterwards confirmed in the London Gazette.

The possibility exists that new names may be added to this list (or many similar lists as units of the Great War come under renewed interest for study with the coming Centennial years). Beyond those missing names of men who were awarded the Military Medal, another group can be identified when rare documents have survived, and they are men who were recommended for the Medal but did not, for whatever bureaucratic reason, receive it.

These men are equally entitled to have their valour recognized by their regiments when they can be identified. In many such cases, it was likely the only cause of their not receiving the medal was the numbers of available awards versus the sheer number of men identified as deserving of the award.

In the regimental files of The Royal Canadian Regiment, there is a thin file of documents that have survived from 1918. These are a group of award recommendation sheets, for the Military Medal and other awards. Some of the recommendations resulted in the award of the medal, others did not. Within that small file of surviving documents, the names of those Royal Canadians who were recommended for the Military Medal, but were not awarded it are:

817567Private (A/L/Cpl)Ronald CraigANDERSON
477037CorporalRobert ArnottBARKER
477094SergeantAustin JosephBOWYER
288415Lance CorporalFrankBURKE
818074PrivateLewis DanielDEWLEY
455146SergeantWilliam GeorgeHAYES
734220PrivateCharles ErnestHIGBY
817677SergeantGarfield RobertMcCUTCHEON
817803PrivateCharles GuyNICHOL
455927Lance CorporalRoy DayrellPARKINSON
208325SergeantChester LeoPOLLOCK
477079Lance CorporalMeds HenriksenPOULLSEN
477763PrivateJames WilliamREAY
444888SergeantThomas FrancisRYAN
477813CorporalCharles EdwardSAUVE
818212SergeantJoseph EdwardVANDINE
878044PrivateCarl RichmondWOLFE

Examples of the citations supporting these recommended awards follow:

Private Thomas DARLING

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations near MONS on Nov 10th 1918. This man was in charge of a Lewis Gun section; when the company was held up he immediately led his section forward under heavy Trench Mortar fire to a house where ho got good observation from an upstairs window and put his gun in action causing many casualties to the enemy, thus holding down their fire and enabling his company to gain points of advantage. The enemy and initiative shown by this man in all operations has been a splindid example to all ranks.

Sergeant William George HAYES

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as a platoon commander during the operations before AMIENS on 8th August 1918. When the French were held up by machine guns in WOOD our right flank was exposed and the company's advance checked by enfilade machine gun fire. Sgt HAYES skilfully deploying his platoon advanced by sectional rushes and cleared the position capturing 10 prisoners, killing 5 and capturing a machine gun without a casualty to his platoon. Again at FRESNOY on October 26th, 1918, he gave valuable assistance in locating positions for posts. His reconnaissance incurred great danger to to himself from enemy sniping. His patrol on the the following night was very thorough and reliable and of great value to a subsequent advance. Sergeant HAYES' reliability and excellent work through a period of two and a half years continuous service are highly commendable.

Private Harold THOMAS

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as a stretcher bearer during the operations at CAMBRAI Sept 28th to Oct 1st, 1918. Utterly regardless of his own personal safety Pte THOMAS accepted the greatest risks in dressing wounded men under the most intense artillery and M.G. fire. He particularly excelled in carrying the wounded to places of safety. On one occasion he advanced into No Man's Land altho in plain view of the enemy and dressed the wounds of a N.C.O. when darkness came on Pte THOMAS carried the N.C.O. to safety. His work greatly alleviated the suffering of the wounded men and his timely assistance saved the loves of many men.

Sergeant Joseph Edward VANDINE

For conspicuous good work and devotion to duty during 21 months service with his battalion in France. In his first action he went in as No. 6 on a Lewis Gun crew and came out as No. 1 since then by his courage, coolness under fire and skill in handling his gun he has been constantly promoted to his present position in charge of company guns. In the several actions he was in he showed a fine disregard of danger and a marked ability as a fine leader.

Researching The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 24 November 2013 5:05 PM EST
Monday, 2 December 2013

The George Cross to the RCAF
Topic: RCAF

The George Cross to the RCAF in the Second World War

Awards of the George Cross to members of the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. Extracts from the Canada Gazette and the London Gazette.

Central Chancery Of The Orders Of Knighthood.
St. James's Palace, S.W.I, 11th June, 1942.

The KING has been graciously pleased, on the advice of Canadian Ministers, to approve the posthumous award of the GEORGE CROSS to the undermentioned:

Leading Aircraftman K. M. Gravell (deceased)
Royal Canadian Air Force.

In November, 1941, a training aircraft crashed and immediately burst into flames. Leading Aircraftman Gravell, who was under training as a wireless air gunner, managed to extricate himself from the wreckage and get clear. In spite of the intense shock caused by the loss of one eye and severe burns, suffered at the time of the crash, Leading Aircraftman Gravell's first and only thought was for the welfare of his pilot. The pilot was still in the aircraft and Gravell ignoring his own serious injuries and the fact that his clothes were ablaze attempted to get back to the flaming wreckage to pull him clear. He had barely reached the aircraft when he was dragged away and rolled on the ground to extinguish the flames which had, by this time, completely enveloped his clothing. Leading Aircraftman Gravell subsequently died from his burns. Had he not considered his pilot before his own safety and had he immediately proceeded to extinguish the flames on his own clothing, he would probably not have lost his life.

Government House, Ottawa
28th December, 1943

Royal Canadian Air Force

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the following Award:

George Cross (Posthumous)

R.1793114 Lending Aircraftman Kenneth Gerald Spooner (Deceased)
No. 4 Air Observer School.

This airman, a student Navigator with no pilot training displayed great courage, resolution and unselfishness in the face of harassing circumstances when the pilot of the aircraft fainted at the controls. White other crew members were vainly trying to remove him from his seat he temporarily regained consciousness and froze on the controls causing the aircraft to loose altitude rapidly. Immediately after the pilot became indisposed, L.A.C. Spooner, with extreme coolness and courage assumed charge, ordered the remainder of the crew to bail out while he look over the controls and endeavoured to keep the aircraft at a safe height. Three memben of the crew bailed out as instructed and shortly after the aircraft crashed carrying the unconscious pilot and L.A .C. Spooner to their death. The crash occurred approximately one hour after the pilot had lost control. This airman, with complete disregard for his personal safety and in conformity with the highest tradition of the Service sacrificed his life in order to save the lives of his comrades.

Central Chancery Of The Orders Of Knighthood.
St. James's Palace, S.W.I, 27th October, 1944.

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards of the GEORGE CROSS, the George Medal and the British Empire Medal (Military Division) to the undermentioned: —


  • Air Commodore Arthur Dwight Ross, O.B.E.
    Royal Canadian Air Force.

Awarded the George Medal.

  • Can/R.96959 Flight Sergeant Joseph Rene Marcel St. Germain, Royal Canadian Air Force.
  • Can/R.87217 Corporal Maurice Marquet, Royal Canadian Air Force.

Awarded the British Empire Medal (Military Division).

  • Can /R.273581 Leading Aircraftman Melvin Muir McKenzie, Royal Canadian Air Force.
  • Can/R.i88008 Leading Aircraftman Robert Rubin Wolfe, Royal Canadian Air Force.

One night in June, 1944, an aircraft, while attempting to land, crashed into another which was parked in the dispersal area and fully loaded with bombs. The former aircraft had broken into 3 parts and was burning furiously. Air Commodore Ross was at the airfield to attend the return of aircraft from operations and the interrogation of aircrews. Flight Sergeant St. Germain a bomb aimer, had just returned from an operational sortie and 'Corporal Marquet was in charge of the night ground crew, whilst leading Aircraftmen McKenzie and Wolfe were members of the crew of the crash tender. Air Commodore Ross with the assistance of Corporal Marquet, extricated the pilot who had sustained severe injuries. At that moment ten 500 lb. bombs in the second aircraft, about 8o yards away, exploded, and this officer and airman were hurled to the ground. When the hail of debris had subsided, cries were heard from the rear turret of the crashed aircraft. Despite further explosions from bombs and petrol tanks which might have occurred, Air Commodore Ross and Corporal Marquet returned to the blazing wreckage and endeavoured in vain to swing the turret to release the rear gunner. Although the port tail plane was blazing furiously, Air Commodore Ross hacked at the perspex with an axe and then handed the axe through the turret to the rear gunner who enlarged the aperture. Taking the axe again the air commodore, assisted now by Flight Sergeant St. Germain as well as by Corporal Marquet, finally broke the perspex steel frame supports and extricated the rear gunner. Another 500 Ib. bomb exploded which threw the 3 rescuers to the ground. Flight Sergeant St. Germain quickly rose and threw himself upon a victim in order to shield him from flying debris. Air Commodore Ross's arm was practically severed between' the wrist and elbow by the second explosion. Pie calmly walked to the ambulance and an emergency amputation was performed on arrival at station sick quarters. Meanwhile, Corporal Marquet had inspected the surroundings, and seeing petrol running down towards two nearby aircraft, directed their removal from the vicinity by tractor. Leading Aircraftmen McKenzie and Wolfe rendered valuable assistance in trying to bring the fire under control and they also helped to extricate the trapped reai gunner both being seriously injured by flying debris.

Air Commodore Ross showed fine leadership and great heroism in an action which resulted in the saving of the lives of the pilot and rear gunner. He was ably assisted by Flight Sergeant St. Germain and Corporal Marquet who both displayed courage of a high order. Valuable service was also rendered 'by Leading Aircraftmen McKenzie and Wolfe in circumstances of great danger.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 1 December 2013

Topic: Officers


Canada in Warpaint, 1917

If fate cherishes an especial grievance against you, you will be made an Adjutant.

One of those bright beautiful mornings, when all the world is young and, generally speaking, festive, the sword of Damocles will descend upon you, and you will be called to the Presence, and told you are to be Adjutant. You will, perhaps, be rather inclined to think yourself a deuce of a fellow on that account. You will acquire a pair of spurs, and expect to be treated with respect. You will, in fact, feel that you are a person of some importance, quite the latest model in good little soldiers. You may—and this is the most cruel irony of all—be complimented on your appointment by your brother officers.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, saith the preacher!

As soon as you become the " voice of the C.O.," you lose every friend you ever possessed. You are just about as popular as the proverbial skunk at a garden party. It takes only two days to find this out.

The evening of the second day you decide to have a drink, Orderly Room or no Orderly Room. You make this rash decision, and you tell the Orderly-Room Sergeant—only heaven knows when he sleeps—that you are going out.

"I will be back in half an hour," you say.

Then you go forth to seek for George—George, your pal, your intimate, your bosom friend. You find George in your old Coy. head-quarters, and a pang of self-pity sweeps over you as you cross the threshold and see the other fellows there: George, Henry, John, and the rest.

"Come and have a——" you begin cheerily. Suddenly, in the frosty silence you hear a cool, passionless voice remark,

"Good evening, SIR!"

It is George, the man you loved and trusted, whom you looked on as a friend and brother

"George, come and have a ——" again the words stick in your throat. George answers, in tones from which all amity, peace, and goodwill towards men have vanished:

"Thanks very much, sir" —oh baleful little word— "but I've just started a game of poker."

Dimly light dawns in your reeling brain; you realise the full extent of your disabilities, and you know that all is over. You are the Adjutant--the voice of the C.O. !

Sadly, with the last glimmer of Adjutant pride and pomp cast from out your soul, you return to Orderly Room, drinkless, friendless, and alone.

"The Staff Captain has been ringing you up, sir. He wants to know if the summary of evidence . . ." and so on. In frenzied desperation you seize the telephone. Incidentally you call the Staff Captain away from his dinner. What he says, no self-respecting man—not even an Adjutant—could reveal without laying bare the most lacerated portions of his innermost feelings.

You go to bed, a sadder and a wiser man, wondering if you could go back to the Company, even as the most junior sub., were you to make an impassioned appeal to the C.O.

About 1 A.M. some one comes in and awakens you.

"Message from Brigade, sir."

With an uncontrite heart you read it: "Forward to this office immediately a complete nominal roll of all men of your unit who have served continuously for nine months without leave." That takes two hours, and necessitates the awakening of all unit commanders, as the last Adjutant kept no record. In psychic waves you feel curses raining on you through the stilly night. Having made an application—in writing—to the C.O., to be returned to duty, you go to bed.

At 3.30 A.M. YOU are awakened again. "Movement order from Brigade, sir!"

This time you say nothing. All power of speech is lost. The entire regiment curses you, while by the light of a guttering candle you write a movement order, "operation order number "—what the deuce is the number anyhow. The Colonel is—shall we say— indisposed as to temper, and the companies get half an hour to fall in, ready to march off. One Company loses the way, and does not arrive at the starting-point.

"Did you specify the starting-point quite clearly, Mr. Jones?"

"Yes, sir."

"Where did you say it was?"

"One hundred yards south of the 'N' in CANDIN, sir."

"There are two 'N's in CANDIN, Mr. Jones; two 'N's'! How can you expect a company commander to know which 'N'? Gross carelessness. Gross carelessness. Go and find the Company, please."


You find the Company only just out of billets, after scouring the miserable country around the wrong 'N' for fifteen minutes, and falling off your horse into one of those infernal ditches.

The battalion moves off half an hour later, and the C.O. has lots to say about it. He also remarks that his late Adjutant was " a good horseman "—a bitter reflection!

There is absolutely no hope for an Adjutant. If he is a good man at the " job " everybody hates him. If he is feeble the C.O. hates him. The Brigade staff hate him on principle. If he kow-tows to them they trample on him with both feet, if he does not they set snares for him, and keep him up all night. He is expected to know everything: K. R. and O. backwards and forwards, divisional drill, and the training of a section. Routine for the cure of housemaid's knee in mules, and the whole compendium of Military Law. He is never off duty, and even his soul is not his own. He is, in fact, The Adjutant. Sometimes people try to be nice to him. They mean well. They will come into the Orderly Room and say: "Oh, Mr. Jones, can you tell me where the 119th Reserve Battery of the 83rd Reserve Stokes Gun Coy. is situated?" Of course, Adjutants know everything.

And when you admit ignorance they look at you with pained surprise, and go to Brigade.

"I asked the Adjutant of the —th Battalion, but he did not seem to know."

Adjutants die young.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 30 November 2013

Orders relating to Duties in Camp 1881
Topic: Canadian Militia

The 13th Battalion, Volunteer Militia Infantry, at the camp, Niagara, in the summer of 1871.
Source: Library and Archives Canada; Online MIKAN no. 3260431.

Ottawa, 6th May, 1881.

General Orders (10).
Annual Drill 1881-82

Orders relating to Duties in Camp.

The Major General Commanding desires the attention of the Staff of Districts and of Officers stationed in camp, this year, to the following points:

(1.)     Discipline—means the cheerful obedience of all ranks, for the benefit of all, to all orders. Orders must be few, and well considered before issued, then it will be seen that they are intended to be obeyed.

(2.)     Before going into camp Captains of Companies should make sure that each man is in good health, has had his hair out, and has provided himself with a change of shirt, socks, a towel, comb, soap, a boot brush, needles and thread, boot laces—and that his boots fit him easily, have broad soles, and low heels,comfort in walking over rough ground to be considered rather than appearance. A pair of light shoes, for change, will be found very useful in camp. White Cap Covers will be permitted, of uniform pattern by Battalions.

(3.)     It is desirable that every Officer should have a small map of the Country within a circle of 10 miles, or more, of the Head Quarters of his Corps.

(4.)     Once each day the men must parade in marching order. Knapsacks on in such Corps as have Knapsacks, in others with Great Coats and Straps on, and with Havresacks and Water bottles, (water in them). Particular attention to be paid that these articles are put on correctly so as to be carried in the easiest method:—men to be practised in taking them off and putting them on quickly and properly,—as to which it will be well to encourage a spirit of rivalry between Companies. After this the Knapsacks or Great Coats may be taken off and drill carried on, in lighter order, at the discretion of the Brigadier .

(5.)     The Major General desires to impress on all ranks that to "march past" is not the main object; that is only a comparatively unimportant part of a soldier's duties. Care is to be taken that in the endeavour to do this well, time is not expended which should be used on more important instruction such as Guard Mounting, duties on guard, the instruction of sentries in their duties and in the knowledge of their orders, and method of challenging Rounds, &c ., &c . In the same way that Squad and Company drill lead up to Battalion drill, so the manual and firing exercises lead up to that which is of more importance, viz: position and aiming drill,which are essential for good shooting and these therefore must be taught with care and practised daily. In those camps where Ranges are available,rifle practice will be carried out strictly according to Regulations, and care is to be taken that until a man knows his correct position and how to aim he is not to be permitted to fire at a Target. To do this would be to confirm him in any errors he may have acquired and prevent his ever becoming a good shot.

(6.)     It is very desirable that no man be employed out of the ranks, (as a Cook, Groom, Servant, &c .,) who has not, during a former year or this year, learned his duties in the ranks. If it should be found unavoidably necessary to so employ untrained men these are, on no account, to be permitted to goto Rifle Practice. It is suggested to officers commanding Battalions and Companies that a permanent Cook per Company not a Militiaman, if procurable, would be very desirable, as insuring good food for the men without taking a man from the ranks. Companies of only Ranks 43 can ill afford to spare a single man away from the Ranks. In the daily Company States every man out of the Ranks must be clearly accounted for. Staff Officers must see to this.

(7.)     Deputy Adjutants General of Districts will make sure that each Battalion has its own "Battalion Call" which is to precede all Calls sounded in camp by that Battalion.

The "Assemble" is never to be used for Battalion purposes—and only by the special order of the Senior officer in camp when he wishes the whole force to turn out. Calls not preceded by a Battalion Call apply to the whole force.

The Battalion Call sounded twice, or oftener, in camp, will mean that that particular Battalion is to fall in by Companies and stand fast for further orders.

When on parade bugle calls are to be sounded ONLY by order of the officer commanding that parade—and if he should cause the "Retire" to be sounded, it must be preceded by the Battalion Call of that Battalion to which it is to apply,—but, as a rule, retirements are only to be made by word being passed to the front Commanding Officer's distinct order.

The "Retire" by itself is never to be sounded.

(8.)     At Inspections great stress will be laid on the cleanliness of Arms, the correct fitting of accoutrements, and the manner in which Guards and Sentries perform their duties, and as regards the knowledge of their Men as well as of their Company Drill, by Company Officers and Non-commissioned Officers Officers must always be ready in whatever order they may be marching to form line to the front,with a view to attack.

(9.)     Cleanliness of all parts of the camp and its neighbourhood must of be all attended to and reported on by Inspecting officers.

The walls of the tents to be rolled up each day, so as to make a free current of air.

(10.)     Personal cleanliness of the men must be seen to—and when practicable bathing parades should be established, under the Company officers . In deep or rapid water good swimmers must be told off to prevent accidents.

(11.)     Officers commanding camps will find it very instructive, where the nature of the neighbourhood permits to march the Force out a short distance from camp, post piquets, dine, rest, drill and return to camp afterwards, on route practising advance and rear guards and other simple and useful manoeuvres. No man to fall out of the ranks without permission from his Captain, and his rifle and Knapsack to be carried by his comrades until he returns. A halt for few minutes every hour.

(12.)     An officer of the Staff will attend every parade which will not be dismissed until he gives the order, verbally or by bugle call. Then, at discretion of Battalion Commanding Of6cers, Captains will march off their Companies to their private parades for dismissal.

(13.)     The Manual Exercise, for the future, will be as laid down for short rifles—except in the case of the Governor General's Foot Guards and such corps as may receive special sanction to drill as with long rifles.

(14.)     Care must be taken that the Camp Guards are placed where they will be most useful, and that sentries when halted, and when turning on the march, turn outwards (that is towards the enemy). Parole and countersign to be used, and care taken in teaching sentries how to challenge, etc ., and after challenging that he must not give the permission to "Pass" until he has had time to satisfy himself that all is correct .

(15.)     The Staff of Encampments should come provided with:—A measuring tape for correctly laying out the camp, a few boards with spike at bottom to show the battalion, company, etc., etc., a sufficiency of order boards for guards and sentries, shovels and picks for digging latrines, etc., axes, etc., and it is good practice to get the men to make (of branches of trees, etc .) sentry boxes for the sentries, and to erect racks for their arms and accoutrements near the tents.

N.B. Camps need not be laid precisely according to diagrams by Regulation but according to varieties of the ground.

By Command,
Walker Powell, Colonel,
Adjutant General of Militia,

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 29 November 2013

Like many Sappers I have met
Topic: Humour

An observation balloon being prepared by the Royal Engineers at the Battle of Magersfontein, with the hills occupied by the Boers in the background. Source: Battle of Magersfontein, at Wikipedia.

Like many Sappers I have met, this man was quite mad.

From: Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, The Last of the Gentlemen"s Wars; A Subaltern"s Journal of the War in South Africa 1899-1902, Mcmxxxvii

A Sapper one day appeared and asked for a fatigue party to dig up a mine he had laid in a neighbouring drift.

"Did you say a mine?" I exclaimed incredulously.

"Yes," he answered, "three or four on each side of the drift."

"Good heavens!" I cried, "when did you lay them? for I and my scouts have used this drift a dozen times!"

"Oh! months ago," he replied, rather annoyed that we had not all been blown up, which seemed to him a reflection on his technical skill.

So off he went with a fatigue party and dug up the mines—several cases of dynamite.

"As I have got to destroy this stuff," he said, "I am going to make another mine and just touch it off"—this apparently was to vindicate his honour.

"Well", I answered, "in that case I will take a snapshot of it," and when the time came I asked where I should stand.

"Oh, just here," he replied.

"But surely that is very close," said I.

"Not a bit," he answered, "from here you will get a splendid view of it"—and I did. He pressed the button of his battery and the whole world rose at my feet. I dropped my Kodak and raced back for dear life, great clods of earth and clouds of dust descending from the skies about me.

"What a fool you are!" I exclaimed when I had regained breath.

"Not at all," he answered, "you do not seem to understand that the closer you are to a mine, the safer you are. If you had only stood still all this dirt would have flown over your head."

According to this theory, I suppose, the safest place is to stand on the mine itself, in the closest possible contact with it, and this apparently is what we unknowingly had done with his mines in the drift. Like many Sappers I have met, this man was quite mad.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 28 November 2013

Duties and Privileges; CPOs and POs, 1944
Topic: RCN

Image from the September, 1972, edition of the Canadian Armed Forces Journal Sentinel.

Department of National Defence for Naval Services King's Regulations for the Canadian Navy (K.R.C.N.)

Under and by virtue of the Naval Service Act, 1944, the following King's Regulations for the Government of His Majesty's Canadian Naval Service (1945) have been approved, effective 15th October, 1945, by Order in Council P.C. 1/6145 of the 18th September, 1945, and by Order of the Minister of National Defence for Naval Services.

Chapter 43

Duties and Privileges of Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers

It is the duty of chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers of all branches to preserve order and regularity among the other men wherever they are. This responsibility rests upon them whether they are on duty or not.

43.01 — Duties of Chief Petty Officers And Petty Officers

(1)     Effect on Discipline and Efficiency. The discipline of ships and establishments and the comfort of the men is dependent to. great extent on the manner in which chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers carry out their duties and maintain their position. Owing to the influence that they exercise on the discipline, efficiency, and morale of the Naval Service as. whole, it is essential that the importance of their status be recognized by all officers and men.

(2)     Bearing and Performance of Duties. Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers are not advanced to those ratings solely as a result of seniority or on passing certain examinations. As Captains and Officers look to them for loyal support in maintaining the efficiency and traditions of the Naval Service, and junior men look to them for direction and assistance, they should:

(a)     possess personality and tact;

(b)     be ready to accept the responsibilities of their position;

(c)     work at all times for the well-being and efficiency of the Naval Service as. whole;

(d)     set an example of loyalty and discipline. and

(e)     obey the orders of their superiors with the same cheerfulness and alacrity with which they expect to be obeyed by their juniors.

(3)     Preservation of Good Order and Discipline.

(a)     It is the duty of chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers of all branches to preserve order and regularity among the other men wherever they are. This responsibility rests upon them whether they are on duty or not.

(b)     A copy of (a) of this clause shall be kept permanently posted on the notice board in alFchief Petty Officers' and Petty Officers' messes.

(4)     Artisans and Artificers. Men of the artisan, artificer, and other branches who are granted ratings equivalent to chief Petty Officer or Petty Officer on entry by reason of their trade or technical qualifications shall bear in mind that in addition to their duties as skilled tradesmen it is their duty to:

(a)     discharge properly the disciplinary responsibilities of the ratings they hold;

(b)     set an example to juniors by their good conduct and discipline. and

(c)     guide, and correct the faults of, their juniors.

(5)     Petty Officer of the Day. The duty of the Petty Officer of the Day shall be taken daily in rotation by all available Petty Officers.

(6)     Issue of Spirit and Provisions.

(a)     Petty Officer shall be detailed daily for duty in connection with the issue of spirit and provisions.

(b)     The Petty Officer of the Day shall be present.

(i)     when the spirit issue is being measured and issued to the ship's company, and

(ii)     when provisions are being issued to the ship's company, and he shall represent any complaint regarding the measure, issue, or quality of, spirit, meat, or provisions to the Officer of the Day or Officer of the Watch.

43.01 — Privileges of Chief Petty Officers And Petty Officers

(1)     Treatment. Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers shall be:

(a)     granted every reasonable indulgence;

(b)     made to feel that confidence is reposed in them, and

(c)     treated with the consideration that is due to the positions of trust which they hold.

(2)     Form of Address. The prefix "Chief Petty Officer" or "Petty Officer", or the corresponding prefix in the case of men in branches other than the Seaman branch, shall be used by all officers and men when addressing or speaking of men holding those ratings.

(3)     Falling in and Classes.

(a)     On all occasions when men are falling in, chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers shall do so separately from lower ratings.

(b)     When classes of instruction are formed, chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers shall when practicable be classed up by themselves.

(4)     Mustering and Personal Search.

(a)     Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers shall not be mustered in and out of the ship or fleet Establishment unless there is some special reason for doing so.

(b)     They are exempt from personal search by the regulating staff unless the Captain or the Executive Officer orders otherwise for special reasons.

(5)     Kit Muster. Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers are exempt from kit muster.

(6)     Passing Dockyard and Establishment Gates. Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers dressed in uniform are allowed to pass dockyard and fleet establishment gates and may pass out parties of men.

(7)     Laundry and Hammocks. Chief Petty Officers and potty officers shall be provided with:

(a)     separate lines for hanging clothing and laundry; and

(b)     separate nettings for the stowage of hammocks.

(8)     Messing. Messing arrangements for chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers areprescribed in Chapter 46 (Messing, Cabins, and Canteens) .

(9)     Inspection. The procedure followed by chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers with regard to retention and removal of headgear at inspections and investigations is prescribed in Chapter 18 (Salutes, Military Honours, and Marks of Respect) .

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 28 November 2013 12:06 AM EST
Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Soldiers' Uniform Costs (1866)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Prices of Soldiers' Uniforms for the Canadian Militia, 1866

Infantryman, Canadian Volunteer Militia, 1863-1870

This volunteer wears the full dress uniform authorized for the Canadian Volunteer Militia in 1863. Few units would have worn the shako shown in this image, substituting the inexpensive (and far more comfortable) forage cap. The style is generally similar to that worn by British regular infantry, with the white-metal buttons and badges commonly used by militia units within the British empire. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Source page.

Canadian Military History Gateway

Published in The Annual Volunteer and Militia Service List of Canada, 1st March, 1866

Circular Memo, March 20, 1865, Publishes for the information of Officers Commanding Volunteer Corps and Military Schools, &c., &c., the following list of prices of Government Stores, &c., so that in the case of loss or damage the same may be recovered under the provisions of the following clause of the Militia Act.

"44.     If any person designedly makes away with, sells, pawns, wrongfully destroys, wrongfully damages, or negligently loses, any property or thing issued to him or in his possession as a Volunteer,—or wrongfully refuses or wrongfully neglects to deliver up, on demand, any property or thing issued to him or in his possession as a Volunteer,—the value thereof shall be recoverable from him, with costs, as a penalty under this Act is recoverable; and he shall also for every such offence of designedly making away with, selling, pawning or wrongfully destroying as aforesaid, be liable, on the prosecution of the Commanding Officer of the Corps or Battalion, to a penalty not exceeding twenty dollars, nor less than five dollars with or without imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months."


Short Enfield Rifle complete$21.16
Sword Bayonet for Short Enfield Rifle1.82
Leather Scabbard for Sword Bayonet 0.75
Long Enfield Rifle complete15.20
Bayonet for Long Enfield Rifle1.50
Leather Scabbard for Bayonet for Long Enfield0.32


Pouch Belt, shoulder$0.75
Waist Belt0.50
Frogs for Waist Belt0.25
Cap Pocket0.25
50 round Pouch1.50
20 round Pouch1.00

Small Stores

Knapsack complete$2.50
Bugle and Strings5.00
Nipple wrench with Clamp0.60
Nipple wrench without0.25
Ball Drawer0.03
Brass jag0.03
Space Nipple0.03
Snap Cap and Chain0.03
Muzzle Stopper0.03


Great Coat$4.00
Tunic, Artillery5.50
Tunic, Infantry5.25
Tunic, Rifles5.50
Trowsers, Artillery per pair4.25
Trowsers, Infantry per pair2.00
Busbies for Artillery2.70
Shakos for Infantry and Rifles1.37
Chevrons for Sergeants and Corporals0.12 ½

Military School Clothing

Scarlet Serge Tunic$2.25
Serge Trowsers per pair2.60
Forage Cap0.50
Ornaments for Forage Cap0.12 ½
Fur Cap1.00

All monies recovered under the foregoing Clause of the Volunteer Militia Act will be deposited in the Bank of Montreal, and the deposit receipt therefor sent to this Department.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Training of Officers RCOC
Topic: Officers

Training of Officers
Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps

Canadian Army Training Memorandum, No 16, July 1942

The combatant status of the R.C.O.C. and the experience gained by the Corps in theatres of operation point to the vital necessity of all commanders acquiring self reliance and the ability to act independently. The following are some aspects of training which should be carefully studied so that officers of the Corps will not be found wanting when subjected to the test of actual warfare.

1.     The art of small manoeuvres. Knowing the ground in their vicinity. Whenever they move to a new location under more or less static conditions, they should make every effort to gain for themselves a thorough knowledge of the ground in all directions for a distance of up to 50 miles or more, according to the nature of the country. Pay particular attention to diversions, difficult places, alternative routes, etc.

2.     Steps for local unit defence, A.A. and ground.

3.     Map reading, compass reading.

4.     To move the complete unit by night in any direction by lorry mileage and compass bearing (and not by reliance on sign posts).

5.     A personal knowledge of weapons, Bren, A/T rifle and grenade and their defensive uses.

6.     Be able to act as an Infantry Commander and co-ordinate fire control.

7.     When the situation is tricky and no direct telephone or wireless is available, it is a wise plan to maintain communication by means of D.R. or a truck with the nearest unit on the telephone or wireless, thus enabling the Ordnance unit to be kept aware of pending moves.

8.     Must be able to make a logical and concise appreciation and write logical and concise orders.

9.     Know military and staff terms.

10.     Learn first aid thoroughly, as recovery of vehicles often means recovery of a wounded crew.

11.     Learn vehicle and driving discipline, and when on the move visualize the country both sides of the road so that immediate cover can be taken against aircraft attack. He must also train his men in the art of nipping off the road quickly until this becomes second nature, even in difficult places. On the appearance of enemy aircraft, drivers, unless properly trained, tend to park their vehicles in the road and run for cover with the result that the road becomes blocked by a burning vehicle.

12.     Approximate returns rendered promptly are better than accurate returns rendered after some delay.

13.     Vehicles first, men next, self last.

14.     Interior economy of a unit; as young 0.M.Es. with L.A.Ds. have sometimes to look after their own show and are not "fathered" by the "B" Echelon of the formation.

15.     Act on the maxim "It is better to use initiative and act even if wrong than to do nothing".

16.     Thorough training should be given to commanders of Recovery units in Recovery at Night.

17.     R.C.O.C. officers do not always realize the need for a close liaison between R.S.Ds. and Salvage Organization.

18.     It is desirable that they should make themselves familiar with the Divisional axes, not only with those in use at the moment, but also any alternative axes which may be used in the future. They should be familiar also with the conditions under which switches to the alternative axes would be effected.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 25 November 2013

The Scatcherd Cross
Topic: Militaria

The Scatcherd Cross

High on the wall of St Paul's Cathedral in London, Ontario, you will find a nondescript wooden cross. Mounted too high to read the brass and tin plates on it's weathered face, it takes a knowledgeable member of the cathedral staff or congregation to also indicate that a brass memorial plaque just around the corner actually goes with the cross.


The cross and plaque commemorate the loss of one of a son of the congreagation, Lieutenant John Labatt Scatcherd, M.C., of the Canadian Field Artillery.

Readable with a zoom lens, the brass plate on the cross reads:

In loving memory of
Lieut. John L. Scatcherd, M.C.
11th Battery, C.F.A.
Killed in Action, Sept 4th, 1918.

The tin strips read as follows:

  • G.R.U. (Graves Registration Unit.)
  • 1. C. 44 (The grave reference in Vis-En-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt.)
  • Lt. J.L. Scatcherd, M.C.
  • 11th Btty, C.F.A.

The nearby plaque, tucked behind a speaker, offers a little more information:

In loving memory of
Lieut. John Labat Scatcherd, M.C.
Killed in Action Sept 4th, 1918. This Cross
was erected as Vis en Artois, France, by
the Officers & Men of the 11th Battery, C.F.A.
Sent to Canada in 1925.

Scatcherd attestation paper

Click for full-size image.

John Scatcherd's attestation paper can be found in the Library and Archives Canada database for Soldiers of the First World War.

We can also find Scatcherd's record on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. A visit here will also show uploaded images of Scatcherd's gravestone and newspaper clipping announcing his death. The gravestone also reveals that Scatcherd actually was awarded the Military Cross twice ("M.C. and bar").

Digging a little deeper, we can find the citations for Scatcherd's Military Cross awards in the London Gazette.


Lt. John Labatt Scatcherd, 11th Bty., 3rd Bde., Can. Field Artillery.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He went forward with the advancing infantry in charge of a brigade patrol, keeping in constant touch with the situation, and sending in information which enabled accurate and effective gun-fire to be brought to bear by the batteries. Though constantly under fire, he was always at hand to clear up a doubtful situation.


Lt. John Labatt Scatcherd, M.C., 11th By., 3rd Bde., Can. Fld. Arty.

During the operations on the Arras front, including the capture of the Drocourt-Queant line, he acted as Reconnaissance Officer in close touch with the infantry from 31st September to 4th October, 1918. He established a series of observation posts, and maintained communications with his battery. This work was done in spite of constant enemy machine-gun and shell fire. By his courage and untiring efforts the battery was able to bring effective fire on to many targets. (M.C. gazetted 2nd December, 1918.)

Artifacts like the battlefield cross from John Labatt Scatcherd's grave are a marker in much deeper ways than their original commemorative purpose. They remind us that each soldier comes from a family in a wider community, and even when a military unit moves on, or dissolves in the changing structure of an Army, that family retains its ties to that soldier and the unit he served with on a long ago battlefield. Not every military artifact worthy of recognition lies in a military museum or has been kept by a unit or regiment. Many others, like this cross, can be found in churches and cathedrals across the country and are worth the time to seek out and then to discover the story of the men and women they commemorate.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 24 November 2013 7:30 PM EST
Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Essential Qualities of a Junior Officer
Topic: Officers

Infantrymen of Lieutenant D.S. Barrie's platoon of The Highland Light Infantry of Canada relaxing during a rest period, France, 20 June 1944. Location: France. Date: June 20, 1944. Photographer: Ken Bell. Mikan Number: 3205673. From the Library and Archives Canada virtual exhibit "Faces of War."

The Essential Qualities of a Junior Officer

From ATM 47; reprinted in Canadian Army Training Memorandum, No 37, April 1944

(A senior officer commanding overseas considers the following attributes to be vital in the make-up of a company or platoon commander, if he is to lead his command with success in battle.)

1.     Speedy decision based on careful reconnaissance, and the capacity to take aggressive action without waiting to be told and without wasting time.

2.     A knowledge of manoeuvre; how to put in a quick flanking attack when it is required, and how to avoid throwing troops away by pounding straight ahead against well-organized resistance.

3.     A high standard of map reading, including foreign maps.

4.     An accurate knowledge of the use of the compass and of other aids to the maintenance of direction.

5.     Ability to handle his command at night in the approach march, forming up, night attack, silent approach, and bayonet assault.

6.     Capacity to reorganize on an objective.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 23 November 2013

Discipline Makes the Soldier
Topic: Discipline

Discipline Makes the Soldier

By Field Marshal Lord Birdwood in the United Services Review, London
Canadian Army Training Memorandum, No 32, November 1943

William Riddell Birdwood, Australian War Memorial photo - P03717.009

1.     There is a great deal of misunderstanding on the subject of discipline among the general public, although now that the gallant Soviet army is apparently framing rules and regulations that seem to correspond to our own, we may hear less superficial criticism from the public. Even inside the army itself the purpose of discipline is often misunderstood by a young soldier, and sometimes I think it would be an excellent idea, if the whole purpose were explained to the new recruit the first day he joins the navy, army or air force.

Better Fighters

2.     Young soldiers are apt to think that smartness, whether in dress, appearance, or movement, is merely a fetish on the part of a commander, and I will admit there are times when this may be carried to excess. But from time immemorial in the history of war it has been found that the best disciplined regiments always fight better than the others, endure hardship better, and hold together in the face of incredible difficulties.

3.     When Napoleon made his terrible retreat from Moscow, it was no coincidence that the soldiers who suffered least and who had fewest casualties from the cold were the men of the Guard. They were the elite of the army, accustomed to obey orders without question, and when other badly behaved units were fighting over the meager food supplied, the men of the Guard shared it out equally among the battalions, and every man got his tiny ration. When other units straggled hopelessly over the snow-covered plains and men dropped out unheeded, the Old Guard kept together and encouraged the weaker men to remain in the ranks somehow.

4.     To go back still further. In our civil war in Stuart times, it was Cromwell who realized that the Cavaliers could not be beaten by men of poor spirit and behaviour. He, therefore, fashioned his Ironsides, and they carried all before them.

5.     The whole idea of discipline is to accustom men to obey orders automatically, so that when deafened by the roar of battle, weary, hungry and thirsty, they will still do their duty and carry out orders cheerfully. Mere enthusiasm may survive the rigours of battle and hardships, but discipline and pride in one's corps will more than perform that miracle.

The Importance of Compliments

6.     Take saluting, for example. A man who is slack in noticing an officer, or an officer who is slack in returning a salute, is very likely to be slack in more important things on the battlefield, for he is obviously unobservant. The good soldier is always on the look-out for a senior who is entitled to a salute a nd the senior, however busy his mind may be on other things, must always be watchful that the salute of the humblest soldier is properly acknowledged. That makes for an alert mind.

7.     Commanding officers, whose cars bear the divisional or corps flag, have been known to stop their car and rebuke a soldier failing to notice the little flag which marks the commander's car. That rebuke was not a mere piece of officiousness or snobbishness, as some thoughtless people assume, but because the commander knows that the soldier who does not take the trouble to notice the little flag which distinguishes that car from the others will be equally unobservant on the field of battle. All this makes for mental alertness.

8.     The same thing applies to personal appearance. The slackly dressed soldier is generally slack in other ways - ways that make all the difference between life and death. In the last war many commanders - in fact, most insisted on their men shaving in the trenches every morning. It was sound psychology, because a freshly shaven man feels better than the fellow with the stubble on his chin.

Nothing Irksome in Obedience

9.     You can tell a Guards battalion a mile off, by the way the men march. There is something magical in the name "Guards" and why? Because they are the best disciplined units in an army, and they are the men for the toughest jobs. It may seem hard at first to the young recruit, but if he is made to realize that in the long run good discipline saves lives and wins battles, he will cheerfully play his part, and to the willing soldier there is nothing very irksome in obeying orders swiftly and unhesitatingly.

10.     I notice that in the Soviet armies the Guards divisions, which were abolished at the Revolution, have been formed and these divisions set the standard for the others. Also quite recently, the Soviet High Command issued an order that every man who goes to a theatre or cinema must have his uniform well pressed, his buttons polished, and his hair tidy. Nor must men be seen in the streets carrying heavy, untidy parcels; they must have a neat suitcase. This shows that the Red Army has come to the same conclusions in these matters as the British Army.

11.     It is a common delusion among the public that the Dominion forces will not stand for discipline, saluting, and the rest of it. This is nonsense. The Dominion soldier has exactly the same pride of regiment as the men in the Home Country. In the war I had the honour to command the Australian troops, and I had Lord Haig's own testimony that these brave troops bore themselves in battle and on the parade grounds with the same distinction as the British line battalions. That was naturally one of the reasons why the Germans came to fear them so greatly.

Motive Behind Operations

12.     When people talk about the soldier obeying orders blindly, they imply that it is all wrong. It is impossible for the private soldier to be told the whole motive and aim behind every operation; he can only be told the part he personally is to play, and it is essential that if the operation is to succeed he shall obey without question.

13.     Commanding officers do their utmost today to acquaint them with the task that they have to perform in an action, but the battalion commander himself only knows part of the drama in which he is playing a role. Much has to be hidden from him. Probably in a great battle only a few high officers know the complete plan in all its phases and the rest, down. to the private soldier, must carry out orders to the letter. That is commonsense, and discipline is commonsense.

Drill Has Its Function

14.     I am sure if these things were carefully explained to the newcomer to the services at the very outset, explained with patience and good humour, all misunderstanding would be avoided and cheerful obedience would be easier. Even the drill that seems so dull and meaningless to the recruit has its function.

15.     Let no soldier ever forget that discipline is based on tradition - and it is tradition which always has carried and ever will carry every one of the glorious units of the British Empire through the most dangerous and difficult times to victory.the same pride of regiment as the men in the Home Country. In the war I had the honour to command the Australian troops, and I had Lord Haig's own testimony that these brave troops bore themselves in battle and on the parade grounds with the same distinction as the British line battalions. That was naturally one of the reasons why the Germans came to fear them so greatly.

Motive Behind Operations

12.     When people talk about the soldier obeying orders blindly, they imply that it is all wrong. It is impossible for the private soldier to be told the whole motive and aim behind every operation; he can only be told the part he personally is to play, and it is essential that if the operation is to succeed he shall obey without question.

13.     Commanding officers do their utmost today to acquaint them with the task that they have to perform in an action, but the battalion commander himself only knows part of the drama in which he is playing a role. Much has to be hidden from him. Probably in a great battle only a few high officers know the complete plan in all its phases and the rest, down. to the private soldier, must carry out orders to the letter. That is commonsense, and discipline is commonsense.

Drill Has Its Function

14.     I am sure if these things were carefully explained to the newcomer to the services at the very outset, explained with patience and good humour, all misunderstanding would be avoided and cheerful obedience would be easier. Even the drill that seems so dull and meaningless to the recruit has its function.

15.     Let no soldier ever forget that discipline is based on tradition – and it is tradition which always has carried and ever will carry every one of the glorious units of the British Empire through the most dangerous and difficult times to victory.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 22 November 2013

1897 Diamond Jubilee Contingent
Topic: Canadian Militia

G.O. 59 of 1897

Military Contingent To Represent Canada At Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee

Her Majesty Queen Victoria

A stamp celebating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Obverse of the Jubilee medal 1897.

Reverse of the Jubilee medal 1897.
"In Commemoration of the 60th Year of the Reign of Queen Victoria 20 June 1897"

A Victoriam shoulder strap badge worn by The Royal Regiment Canadian Infantry. now The Royal Canadian Regiment.

Issued as a Special General Order on the 12th May, 1897.

In conformity with the invitation received through His Excellency the Governor General from the Right Honourahle the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the following Military Contingent has been selected to represent Canada in England on the occasion of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.

1.     Command and Staff

  • Officer in Command of Contingent
  • Commanding Cavalry
  • Commanding Artillery
  • Commanding Infantry and Rifles
    • Lieutenant-Colonel Joules Mason, 10th Battalion "Royal Grenadiers"
  • Adjutant
    • Captain J.C. MacDougall, The Royal Regiment Canadian Infantry
  • Paymaster
    • Lieutenant Colonel James Munro, 22nd Battalion "Oxford Rifles"
  • Quarter-Master
    • Captain C.M. Nelles, 38th Battalion "Dufferin Rifles of Canada"
  • Medical Officer
    • Surgeon-Major C. W. Wilson, 3rd Field Battery, C.A.

2.     Officers

(1)     The undermentioned Officers of the Active Militia have been selected for executive duty with the Contingent and will report themselves to the Officer Commanding the same at Quebec on the 26th May, 1897. They will be posted as follows:—

  • Cavalry
    • Captain Frank A. Fleming, The Governor General's Body Guard
    • Captain R. Brown, The Princess Louise Dragoon Guards
  • Artillery
    • Lieut.-Colonel J.A. Longworth, 4th Regiment, C.A.
    • Major F. W. Hibbard, 2nd Regiment, C.A.
  • Infantry and Rifles
    • Major H.A. Pellet, 2nd Battalion
    • Captain J. E. Peltier, 65th Battalion
    • Captain A. T. Thompson, 37th Battalion
    • Lieut. R. M. Courtney, 6th Battalion

(2)     Certain other Officers have also been selected to proceed with the Contingent, but not necessarily for executive duty therewith. Such Officers will not he required to report themselves until the day of sailing, viz.: 5th June.

3.     Non-Commissioned Staff

The appointments to the Non-Commissioned staff will rest with the Officer Commanding the Contingent It will be comprised as follows:—1 Sergeant-Major; Quarter-master Sergeant; 1 Hospital Sergeant; 1 Paymaster's Clerk; and 1 Orderly Room Clerk.

Cavalry (48)

  • Royal Canadian Dragoons – 8.
  • Governor General's Body Guard – 4.
  • 1st Hussars – 4.
  • 3rd Dragoons – 4.
  • 4th Hussars – 4.
  • 6th Hussars – 4.
  • 8th Hussars – 4.
  • Princess Louise's Dragoon Guards – 4.
  • King's Canadian Hussars – 4.
  • Queen's Own Canadian Hussars – 4.
  • Manitoba Dragoons – 4.

Artillery (24)

  • Royal Canadian Artillery – 8.
  • 1st Brigade Field Artillery – 1.
  • 1st Field Battery – 1.
  • 2nd Field Battery – 1.
  • 4th Field Battery – 1.
  • 9th Field Battery – 1.
  • 12th Field Battery – 1.
  • 13th Field Battery – 1.
  • 15th Field Battery – 1.
  • 1st Regiment Garrison Artillery – 2.
  • 3rd Regiment Garrison Artillery – 2.
  • 4th Regiment Garrison Artillery – 2.
  • 5th Regiment Garrison Artillery – 2.

Infantry and Rifles (68)

  • The Royal Regiment Canadian Infantry – 8.
  • The Governor General's Foot Guards – 4.
  • 2nd Battalion "Queen's Own Rifles of Canada – 4.
  • 3rd Battalion "Victoria Rifles of Canada" – 4.
  • 6th Battalion "Royal Scots of Canada" – 4.
  • 9th Battalion Rifles "Voltigeurs de Québec" – 4.
  • 10th Battalion "Royal Grenadiers" – 4.
  • 13th Battalion of Infantry – 4.
  • 14th Battalion The Princess of Wales' Own Rifles – 4.
  • 48th Battalion "Highlanders" – 4.
  • 82nd Battalion "St. John Fusiliers" – 4.
  • 63rd "Halifax" Battalion of Rifles – 4.
  • 65th Battalion "Mount Royal Rifles" – 4.
  • 68th "King's County Battalion of Infantry – 4.
  • 82nd "Queen's County Battalion of Infantry" – 4.
  • 90th "Winnipeg Battalion of Rifles – 4.

(Further paragraphs of the General Order provided the details for Pay, Transport, Allowances, Quarters, Messing, Equipment and Mobilization.)

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 December 2015 3:45 PM EST
Thursday, 21 November 2013

Murphy's Laws of Combat Operations
Topic: Humour

Murphy's Laws of Combat Operations

1.     Friendly fire – isn't.

2.     Recoilless rifles – aren't.

3.     Suppressive fires – won't.

4.     You are not Superman; Marines and fighter pilots take note.

5.     A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.

6.     If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.

7.     Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo and not want to waste a bullet on you.

8.     If at first you don't succeed, call in an airstrike.

9.     If you are forward of your position, your artillery will fall short.

10.     Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.

11.     Never go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself.

12.     Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.

13.     If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush.

14.     The enemy diversion you're ignoring is their main attack.

15.     The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions: — when they're ready.     — when you're not.

16.     No OPLAN ever survives initial contact.

17.     There is no such thing as a perfect plan.

18.     Five second fuzes always burn three seconds.

19.     There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.

20.     A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.

21.     The important things are always simple; the simple are always hard.

22.     The easy way is always mined.

23.     Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.

24.     Don't look conspicuous; it draws fire. For this reason, it is not at all uncommon for aircraft carriers to be known as bomb magnets.

25.     Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you.

26.     If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone.

27.     When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too.

28.     Incoming fire has the right of way.

29.     No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.

30.     No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.

31.     If the enemy is within range, so are you.

32.     The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

33.     Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren't.

34.     Things that must work together, can't be carried to the field that way.

35.     Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support.

36.     Radar tends to fail at night and in bad weather, and especially during both.)

37.     Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.

38.     Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you won't be able to get out.

39.     Tracers work both ways.

40.     If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will get more than your fair share of objectives to take.

41.     When both sides are convinced they're about to lose, they're both right.

42.     Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs.

43.     Military Intelligence is a contradiction.

44.     Fortify your front; you'll get your rear shot up.

45.     Weather ain't neutral.

46.     If you can't remember, the Claymore is pointed towards you.

47.     Air defense motto: shoot 'em down; sort 'em out on the ground.

48.     'Flies high, it dies; low and slow, it'll go.

49.     The Cavalry doesn't always come to the rescue.

50.     Napalm is an area support weapon.

51.     Mines are equal opportunity weapons.

52.     B–52s are the ultimate close support weapon.

53.     Sniper's motto: reach out and touch someone.

54.     Killing for peace is like screwing for virginity.

55.     The one item you need is always in short supply.

56.     Interchangeable parts aren't.

57.     It's not the one with your name on it; it's the one addressed "to whom it may concern" you've got to think about.

58.     When in doubt, empty your magazine.

59.     The side with the simplest uniforms wins.

60.     Combat will occur on the ground between two adjoining maps.

61.     If the Platoon Sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.

62.     Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep.

63.     The most dangerous thing in the world is a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass.

64.     Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan.

65.     Everything always works in your HQ, everything always fails in the Colonel's HQ.

66.     The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.

67.     One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.

68.     A clean (and dry) set of BDU's is a magnet for mud and rain.

69.     The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it.

70.     Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss.     Whenever you are low on ammo, you can't hit the broad side of a barn.

71.     The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.

72.     The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon's operator.

73.     Field experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

74.     No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill.

75.     If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove anything.

76.     For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.     (in boot camp)

77.     Airstrikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.

78.     When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible.

79.     Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA.

80.     The tough part about being an officer is that the troops don't know what they want, but they know for certain what they don't want.

81.     To steal information from a person is called plagiarism.     To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence.

82.     The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the M60.

83.     The perfect officer for the job will transfer in the day after that billet is filled by someone else.

84.     When you have sufficient supplies & ammo, the enemy takes 2 weeks to attack.     When you are low on

supplies & ammo the enemy decides to attack that night.

85.     The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Medal of Honor.

86.     A Purple Heart just proves that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.

87.     Murphy was a grunt.

88.     Beer Math ––> 2 beers times 37 men equals 49 cases.

89.     Body count Math ––> 3 guerrillas plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs equals 37 enemies killed in action.

90.     The bursting radius of a hand grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range.

91.     All–weather close air support doesn't work in bad weather.

92.     The combat worth of a unit is inversely proportional to the smartness of its outfit and appearance.

93.     The crucial round is a dud.

94.     Every command which can be misunderstood, will be.

95.     There is no such place as a convenient foxhole.

96.     Don't ever be the first, don't ever be the last and don't ever volunteer to do anything.

97.     If your positions are firmly set and you are prepared to take the enemy assault on, he will bypass you.

98.     If your ambush is properly set, the enemy won't walk into it.

99.     If your flank march is going well, the enemy expects you to outflank him.

100.     Density of fire increases proportionally to the curiousness of the target.

101.     Odd objects attract fire – never lurk behind one.

102.     The more stupid the leader is, the more important missions he is ordered to carry out.

103.     The self–importance of a superior is inversely proportional to his position in the hierarchy (as is his deviousness and mischievousness).

104.     There is always a way, and it usually doesn't work.

105.     Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the General is watching.

106.     The enemy never monitors your radio frequency until you broadcast on an unsecured channel.

107.     Whenever you drop your equipment in a fire–fight, your ammo and grenades always fall the farthest

away, and your canteen always lands at your feet.

108.     As soon as you are served hot chow in the field, it rains.

109.     Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.

110.     The seriousness of a wound (in a fire–fight) is inversely proportional to the distance to any form of cover.

111.     Walking point = sniper bait.

112.     Your bivouac for the night is the spot where you got tired of marching that day.

113.     If only one solution can be found for a field problem, then it is usually a stupid solution.

114.     If the enemy is in range so are you.

115.     Field experience is something you never get until just after you need it.

116.     All or any of the above combined.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Ten Points of Leadership
Topic: Leadership

Ten Points of Leadership

By Col. J. B. Ladd in The Army Officer—Extracted from U.S. Military Review
Canadian Army Training Memorandum, No 61, April 1946

1.     Be a vigilant leader. Know your men. Use good judgment and common sense.

2.     Be a competent leader. Know your "stuff." Make quick, sound, definite decisions. Use simple plans. Issue clear, complete, and concise orders.

3.     Be an efficient leader. Maintain unity of command, co- operation, and teamwork. Develop mutual trust, confidence, cohesion, and initiative in your unit. Follow up your decisions, plans, and orders with clear-cut, vigorous action.

Keep Faith

4.     Be a loyal leader. Keep the "soldier's faith," in service, fidelity, and duty. Take a vital, sincere interest in the welfare of your men and officers. Build esprit de corps.

5.     Be a trustworthy, dependable leader. Never let your men or officers down. Deserve their trust. Drive hard to accomplish your missions on time.

6.     Be a firm, friendly leader. Cultivate character, respect, courtesy, good will, good manners, tolerance, dignity, and tact. Treat your men as you would wish to be treated.

7.     Be a resolute leader. Set the examples of force, courage, valor, esprit, honor, and high morale of your command.

Disciplined Leader

8.     Be a disciplined leader. Remember, hard work and iron discipline doubles victories and halves losses.

9.     Be an alert leader. Always be on guard. Protect and take care of your men. No man is fit to command who neglects his "all- around securities."

10.     Be an aggressive leader. Pay strict, prompt attention to duty, justice, and responsibility. Practice what you preach. Set the high example in the cardinal virtues of command. At all times, teach your officers and men battlefield leadership.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Recruit Training (1914)
Topic: Drill and Training

Recruit Training (1914)

From: Infantry Training (4 – Company Organization), 1914

Before being dismissed recruit training every regular recruit will be examined by the depot or battalion commander and a medical officer, who will determine whether he has attained the necessary standard of efficiency, and is physically fit for the duties of a trained soldier.

This examination may take place as soon as it is thought that a batch of recruits has attained the required standard, but never later than six months after enlistment, deducting any periods spent in hospital or under detention.

When once a recruit has been passed as above, he must be considered a trained man with the exception of musketry. A recruit must on no account be passed temporarily and the final stages of the syllabus postponed with a view to taking him for other duties in the meanwhile. The entire course of his recruit training must be continuous.

A special report must be made by the depot or battalion commander, to the district or brigade commander as the case may be, about any line recruit who, after six months training, is found too weak or too awkward for the duties of a trained soldier.

The necessary standard of efficiency before a regular recruit is dismissed recruit training is as follows:—

(a)     The recruit must be able to turn out correctly in marching order and fit to take his place in the ranks of his company in close and extended order drill.

(b)     Carry out an ordinary route march in marching order.

(c)     Have completed his recruit gymnastic training.

(d)     Be sufficiently instructed in musketry and visual training to commence a recruit's course of musketry immediately after being dismissed recruit training.

(e)     Be sufficiently trained to take part in night operations.

(f)      Understand the principles of protection and his duties on guard or outpost.

(g)     Be able to use the entrenching implement and entrenching tools and understand the method of carrying tools.

(h)     Be well grounded in bayonet fighting.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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