The Minute Book
Friday, 3 January 2014

Ghost Officer of the RCD
Topic: Tradition

Ghost Officer Tradition of Canadian Dragoons

The Evening Citizen (Ottawa); 10 February 1951
Tri-Service news, by V.A. Bonner

This is the story of the ghost officer of the Royal Canadian Dragoons. His silver tankard sits on the shelf behind the bar with those of the other officers. His place is set at the table. And his name is well known in the mess and the regiment.

Everyone knows Lt. J.G. Smithers. But where is he? And where has he been?

Asked Colonel

These were the questions I asked Lt.-Col. George Wattsford, officer commanding the Royal Canadian Dragoons after he presented me the tankard for my use while at Petawawa and one of his officers suggested I ask about the officer whose name was inscribed on the silver mug beneath the regimental crest, a leaping Springbok.

"He's not here. And he never was. And never will be." replied the Colonel.

"Then where is he?" I asked.

"He isn't" replied the colonel.

By this time I was wondering who was crazy.

"He isn't. He never has been. And he never will be." I queried again.

"Right," said the genial colonel.

And right then I surrendered.

"All right. Give me the story. I've bitten."

Most Remarkable Story

So I heard the most remarkable story I have ever encountered. Actually there is no Lt. J.G. Smithers. There never was. And there never will be barring the longest and most remarkable of coincidences. For Lt. J.G. Smithers is a mistake. And a mistake which the boys of the regiment tie on the colonel and the colonel hands on to a silver engraver of a well known national firm.

It seems when the idea first came into being that each officer who served with the RCD should have a silver mug engraved with his name and leave it as a memorial to its stay, the colonel was asked to submit a proper design.

He gave the matter grave thought and came up with a design for a glass bottomed silver tankard engraved as described above. Just to make sure the design was done right he drew a diagram and instead of lettering "Lt. John Doe" he lettered in "Lt. J.G. Smithers." The design went off to other authority and in due time came to the firm for the preparation of the mugs according to the list attached.

One for Smithers

Back came the mugs. And lo and behold there was one suitably engraves for " Lt. J.G. Smithers." The joke was on someone. But it was too good to let it pass. And so the mug of Lt. Smithers remains behind the bar with the rest. And each visitor gets to have drink from this tankard first of all whether it is milk or something a little more appealing. He hears the story of how the officers presented the mugs and a little about each officer. Sooner or later he is bound to ask about the officer whose tankard he has borrowed. And it is then that he hears the story of Lt. J.G. Smithers, the ghost officer of the Royal Canadian Dragoons who never served, who never will be, and who really doesn't exist, yet is a tradition in the regiment.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 26 December 2013 3:55 PM EST
Thursday, 2 January 2014

Badges of Rank-Officers (1948)
Topic: Militaria

Badges of Rank-Officers (1948)

3.     Metal Badges of Rank—Officers

(a)     Metal badges of rank worn by officers will be in gilt metal except that in the cases of unite of The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps and The Royal Canadian Infantry Corps where previous authority has been granted by Army Headquarters to wear chrome or silver, such rank badges may continue to be worn: for Rifle Regiments and The Royal Canadian Army Chaplain Corps the metal badges of rank will be in black metal.

(b)     Stars

(i)     Stars are patterned after the Star of the Order of the Bath with the motto on the stars in a red enamel circle surrounded by a green laurel wreath; they are 1 inch from point topoint diagonally, except for brigadiers stars which are 1 inch from point to point diagonally.

(ii)     Stars for the Governor General's Foot Guards and Canadian Grenadier Guards are patterned after the Star of the Ordcr of the Garter. They are 1 3/4 inches high by 1 inch wide.

(c)     Crowns

(i)     Crowns are patterned after the Imperial Crown. They are 1 inch wide and 1 inch high with a crimson velvet backing.

(ii)     In Rifle Regiments and The Royal Canadian Army Chaplain Corps the backing of the crowns is in black velvet.

(iii)     In Rifle Regiments authorized to wear the uniform of the King's Royal Rifle Corps the backing of the crowns is red velvet.

(d)     Cross Sword and baton—The point of the sword to the front and the edge of the blade outwards or towards the arm. The sword is 2 inches long and the baton 1 7/8 inches long.

Embroidered Badges of Rank-Officers

4.     (a)     Embroidered badges of rank worn by officers will be in khaki worsted, of the size as for metal badges with a coloured backing extending 1/4 inch beyond the edge of the badge as follows:

By Whom WornColour of Backing
Field Marshals, General Officers, Brigadiers, Colonels
– Red
General Officers, Brigadiers, Colonels of:—
The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps – Dull cherry
The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps – Yellow
The Royal Canadian Dental Corps – Royal blue
The Royal Canadian Army Chaplain Corps – Purple
Officers of all other corps will wear the appropriate colour as follows:
The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps – Yellow
The Royal Canadian Artillery – Red
The Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers – Blue
The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals – Blue
The Royal Canadian Infantry Corps: 
Rifle Regiments unaffiliated – Rifle green
Rifle Regiments affiliatedRegt'l custom
Other Infantry Regiments – Scarlet
The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps – Yellow
The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps – Dull cherry
The Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps – Red
The Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers – Dark blue
The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps – Yellow
The Royal Canadian Dental Corps – Royal blue
The Royal Canadian Army Chaplain Corps – Purple
The Canadian Postal Corps – Blue
The Canadian Fbrestry Corps – Green
The Canadian Intelligence Corps – Green
The Canadian Provost Corps – Red
The General List – Scarlet
The Canadian Officers' Training Contingents – Scarlet

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Faith isn't the problem
Topic: Commentary

Faith isn't the problem

Sometimes, it's how you represent that undermines your intent.

I recently attended a funeral, and the Minister who conducted the service said something that resonated: "Faith isn't the problem, the problem is religion."

"That's interesting," I thought, "it's not what you believe, it's how you practice it that can be the problem." The reason I found it interesting is that I saw an immediate parallel in the way some soldiers, serving or retired, apply similar methods to their declarations of regimental loyalty.

For many, belonging to a regiment is an entry into a brotherhood (apply variable gender as needed) that extends both laterally through one's own generation as well as forward and backward in time to all preceding and succeeding generations of regimental soldiers. Accepting this. they devote themselves to earning a rightful place among peers in regimental service (spanning generations and divested of rank stratification). That common attribute of belonging is taken as a starting point, and everything that follows is an opportunity to prove that they too deserve to belong, in thought, word and deed. They strive to strengthen the regimental family by being a strong component of its structure. They consciously work, in all that they do, to represent the regiment's "brand."

For others, "regiment" is an identity they take unto themselves. They use it to declare their affiliation, and assume rights of respect, honour and reward because of that affiliation. To them, belonging to a regiment justifies their actions, and behaviors molded in one era might be repeated (despite degraded social acceptability) because that's what they did "back in the day."

Those in the first group, I want to believe they are the majority, are content to be the quiet professionals. They adopt a minimum of overt regimental branding, and often then only in careful context. They maintain regimental standards of proficiency, professionalism and honour, often leaving their regimental identity to be discovered afterwards by an outside observer, or given only on direct inquiry. They walk a path of regimental pride with a personal attitude of peace and calm, they know that brotherhood stands behind them, and they offer support more often than they seek it.

The second group lead with that regimental identity. They are the ones festooned with regimental colour and accoutrements, even in the most sedate environment. Where many might wear one or two lapel pins, they will wear a flurry of them, representing every group they belong to, often in multiples, and for each event they have attended that issued a representative pin. This over the top approach may play well among their like-minded fellows, but it also undermines the intent. The tacit intent to attract new members into that long-standing group of regimental supporters.

At any regimental event, that noisome group of regimental supporters is readily noticed, and most certainly noticed by young soldiers on parade. In those young minds, that recognizable group, which by habit clusters into a tight and loud subset of onlookers, becomes the imprinted image of what appears to be expected of them on retirement. (The larger group of quieter ex-regimental soldiers is often overlooked, they remain dispersed and more subdued, by personal and collective habit.) In many young soldiers' minds, they resolve not to become one of "those guys." Unfortunately, the extrapolation of that thought is not to avoid becoming a member of the louder group, but instead to not become a member of the regimental association at all.

We need to work on managing the perceptions of the younger generations, ensuring they understand that they can choose what role they take in representing their regiment and, for that matter, that different roles and relationships exist. More importantly, we must consciously work to avoid undermining their sense of what regimental participation in future means, because they are, and will always be, the future of the regiment from where we stand today.

So, how are you expressing your ongoing loyalty to regiment? Is it setting an example that your own young self would have readily followed? Will others follow you? Leadership responsibilities don't end when we take off the uniform.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 1 January 2014 12:23 AM EST
Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New British Target for Rifle Range Training
Topic: Drill and Training
A Solano Target

A example of the Solano Target
(Click for larger image).

New British Target

The Montreal Gazette, 17 February, 1909
(London Leader)

The fact that new targets are to be used which will abolish the necessity of firing at concentric rings at known distances may be of interest to that class of young men which dodges the territorials because rifle-range shooting is poor sport.

The old bulls-eye target is obsolete, having been formally condemned by the Army Council in their order of October, 1907.

Mr. Solana, the inventor of the new targets, condemns the old bull-eye in a sentence : "Not only are men encourage to fire at objects over distances at which objects in war are invisible," he says "but they are taught to fire with a nice accuracy utterly impossible in war through the rapid pulse and strong pulse induced by excitement and exertions."

The soldier today does not stand up in a line of his fellows and fire point-blank at short range at an opposite line of the enemy. The modern rifle gets more and more like a rapid lead pump; the enemy is nearly always invisible, except for the shortest possible periods, and battles range over vast areas.

Until Mr. Solano invented his wonderful apparatus, therefore, the modern soldier could get no training whatever in the work of learning how to kill his enemy under the conditions he would find on the battlefield. He has had field work, of course, but there has been no means of telling whether the shooting was effective.

The Solano targets have received the hearty approval of the Duke of Connaught and Earl Roberts, and have won for their inventor the warm thanks of the Army Council.

They may be described as a rifle-man's education in eye-training, distance judging, and rapid fire.

They are inexpensive, and by their means field firing practices may be carried on within the radius of a room or a barrack yard. The Solana triangle and linear targets, for individual and collective firing, will in time replace the old pattern marks at the ranges.

A triangle has been chosen instead of the circle, as being in direct relation to the human figure; and others of these targets represent infantry, cavalry, and guns, etc., at varying distances and in natural tints.

The most interesting part of the new invention, however, is undoubtedly the Battle Practice Target.

It is, with its many accessories, no less than a miniature field of battle. The size of all the objects on it—men, rocks, clouds, lights, trees, etc.—bear a mathematical relation to the distance at which they are shown. The marks—that is, the model troops—are tinted with atmospheric effects from life studies; a portion of the work for which a lady artist, Miss Coral Lubbick, is responsible.

The target is capable of the effects of dawn, of day, and of night. It can be made to represent summer, winter, and autumn, and mountain and desert scenes, and it can show various skies.

It trains men to fir at men, reduced to what they would show us, by day, in the field, with all the mutations of changing positions, distances, etc.

It can be a night scene, with varying gun flashes and sounds, to train men to judge the posirion and distance of the enemy under such circumstances.

It can be used as a training, in a small space, for signalling work, helio and flag, under conditions which men would have to deal with in the field.

The target can be provided with ordinates and wind velocity scales, and scoring sheets are provided to show the progress of individual marksmen and squads.

Indeed any body of men, who proved at all successful in scoring on this strange target, would prove very ugly customers in the real place.

In addition, the men will go through physical exercises prior to target practice, which will give them the high pulse and heavy breathing necessary for realistic inaccuracy.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 30 December 2013

Rene Jalbert, Cross of Valour
Topic: Medals

René Jalbert, Sergeant-at-Arms at the Quebec National Assembly

The Canada Gazette, No. 29, Vol. 118
Part I

Ottawa, Saturday, July 21, 1984

Government House

Canadian Bravery Decorations

The Governor General, the Right Honourable JEANNE SAUVÉ, on the recommendation of the Canadian Decorations Advisory Committee, has awarded bravery decorations as follows:

Cross of Valour


In a rare display of coolheadedness and courage, René Jalbert, Sergeant-at-Arms at the Quebec National Assembly, subdued a man who had killed three people and wounded thirteen more on the morning of 8 May 1984.

The man had entered a side door of the National Assembly building and immediately opened fire with a submachine-gun; moments later, be climbed the main staircase toward the assembly chamber, known as the Blue Room, shooting repeatedly, and then burst into the chamber. As bullets peppered the wall, Mr . Jalbert entered the Blue Room and with icy calm convinced the man to allow several employees to leave the premises. Then be invited the heavily armed man into his downstairs office, in effect setting himself up as hostage while removing the man from the scene. At extreme personal risk, but with unflinching authority, Mr. Jalbert spent four hours persuading the man to surrender to police. The audacity of this retired Major of The Royal 22nd Regiment, a Second World War and Korean War veteran, almost certainly prevented a higher death toll.

Canadian Bravery Decorations
Regulation, 1996

Cross of Valour

(1)     The Cross of Valour shall be awarded for acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril.

(2)     The Cross of Valour shall consist of a gold cross of four equal limbs, as follows:

(a)     the obverse shall be enamelled red and edged in gold with, superimposed in the centre, a gold maple leaf surrounded by a gold wreath of laurel; and

(b)     on the reverse, the Royal Cipher and Crown and the words VALOUR - VAILLANCE shall appear.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 14 December 2013 5:28 PM EST
Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sam Hughes and the Permanent Force (Part 3)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Colonel Sam Hughes and the Permanent Force
(Part 3)

And then, going over to the attack …

Reinforcing his own alternative explanation for the reaction to his remarks in Halifax, Hughes turns to the attack. He removes one officer and the question of rumours of mass resignations has to be addressed.

Col. Hughes Takes Summary Action

Medical Officer of Halifax Garrison Removed from Militia List
Custom of British Navy
Searching Enquiry to be Instituted by Minister of Militia Into habits of the Officers

The Montreal Gazette, 21 July, 1913

(Special to the Gazette.)

Ottawa, July 20.—The name of Lieut.-Col. Curry, medical officer of the Halifax Garrison, has been removed from the militia list as a result of the unpleasant incident at the military dinner in that town. This action was taken immediately after the return of the Minister of Militia from Halifax.

There has been some disposition to question the minister's power to take summary action of this nature. The minister bases his action upon paragraph 235 of the King's Regulations and Orders, Canada. This paragraph is: "An officer may at any time be removed by order of the Minister of Militia for misconduct."

It develops that the inquiry which Col. Hughes ordered into the conditions of the Halifax Garrison will have a very wide scope. It will have reference to the habits of officers in the matter of indulgence in liquor, and if mess bills show that the amount of strong drink consumed is such to interfere with an officer's capacity for work and leadership he may expect to hear from his superiors on the subject.

It is believed that the minister is somewhat influenced by the precedent afforded by the custom followed in the British Navy, whereby officers on board ship are required to observe the utmost care, excess consumption of stimulants in itself being regarded as dangerous to the service and therefore an offence.

It is well known to Canadian officers who have seen service of late with Imperial troops that there is little drinking in the messes of efficient regiments. This is an oversight of officers' personal habits which is not attempted in any civil employment but it is pointed out that an officer must in peace keep himself in a condition of bodily fitness which will enable him to bear the fatigues and exertions required on active service and that consequently a standard of abstemiousness may be required of him, which is not exacted of others.

Officers Not to Quit the Service

Official Denial is Given Rumor of Contemplated Resignations in Toronto

The Toronto World, 28 July 1913

The World has received the following letter from Lt.-Col. H.M. Elliot:

Editor World: With reference to the statement contained in The Toronto World, dated July 16, 1913, as follows:

"Toronto's thin red line, represented by the Royal Canadian Dragoons and Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry at Stanley Barracks, may be still further attenuated as a result of the sweeping indictment of a certain class of permanent officers, made by Col. Sam Hughes at the Halifax banquet.

"It was stated last night that many of the regular officers contemplated resigning their commissions as a protest against the remarks of the minister of militia, and that their example would be followed all over the country."

Gen. Lessard has made full enquiries amongst the officers of the Royal Canadian Dragoons and No. 2 Infantry Station, R.C.R., and desires me to say that your statement is entirely incorrect and without foundation. Be good enough, therefore, to have the statement corrected in the next issue of your paper and to oblige.

H.M. Eliot, Lt.-Col.,
A.A.G., 2nd Division.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 27 December 2013 12:53 PM EST
Saturday, 28 December 2013

Sam Hughes and the Permanent Force (Part 2)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Colonel Sam Hughes and the Permanent Force
(Part 2)

The politicking begins, with deflection …

With officers taking offence at his remarks at the dinner in Halifax, Hughes deflects the cause of their dissatisfaction. Instead of reinforcing his opinions of the permanent force officers, he deflects the issue and claims that any complaints are obviously due to the drunkenness off those present.

Officers Can Quit Retort of Hughes

Halifa3x Banquet, Where Wine Flowed Rather Freely, has Unpleasant Sequel

The Toronto World, 16 July 1913

Ottawa, July 15.—(Can. Press.)—Col. The Hon. Sam Hughes stated very emphatically today in reference to stories that certain officers at Halifax will resign as a result of his remarks at the military banquet there, that anyone who did not like what he said was free to get out as soon as he pleased.

"I have said nothing to offend any man that behaved himself at the dinner," stated the minister of militia, "and I have no apology to offer."

It is understood here that what the minister thought to be a dry banquet was turned into a wet one by the officers having whiskey and wine brought in without the minister's knowledge and that conditions became so bad that Sir Ian Hamilton was annoyed during his speech and Dr. A.H. MacKay, superintendent of education for Nova Scotia, could not be heard at all.

Need Not Resign Officers' Reply

Hon. Sam Hughes Unable to Force them to Do So.

The Toronto World, 17 July 1913

Halifax, N.S., July 16.—(Can. Press.)—That Col. Hughes, minister of militia, is not going to let the behaviour of certain officers at a banquet he gave to Sir Ian Hamilton here last Friday night, go with a simple warning to the military to avoid "idleness, profligacy and social activity," is indicated by the following announcement, contained in this morning's Herald:

"Col. Rutherford, the officer commanding the sixth division at Halifax, has been called upon for an explanation of the tendency of some of the officers of the division, both of the permanent force and the active militia, to indulge too freely in the use of liquor."

Much amusement has been caused among military men here by Colonel Hughes' declaration that he proposes to dismiss a number of officers for getting intoxicated at his dinner on Friday night, for it is contended by officers that the minister of militia does not possess the power to arbitrarily remove an officer. All commissions, they point out, issue from the King, and the utmost that the minister can do is to request an officer's resignation. If the officer declines to resign, he must be court martialed before anything can be done to his commission, and he can only be dismissed if a court martial finds he has committed an offence of sufficient magnitude to warrant this step. It is not thought here that drinking wine at a dinner would be considered sufficient excuse to cashier a man.

An investigation is under way to ascertain the names of the officers who imbibed too freely, and it is expected they will offer an apology to the minister, after which the incident will be dropped. The dinner was held at a public hotel, where it is the usual custom at public dinners to order additional wines, and the officers who did so on Friday night forgot that on this occasion they were not at a public dinner, but were the private guests on the minister.

Approves Col. Hughes

Mayor Bligh of Halifax Supports Temperance Principles

Ottawa Citizen, 17 July 1913

Saskatoon, Sask., July 17.—Mayor Bligh, of Halifax, the newly elected president of the Canadian Municipalities Union, in an interview upheld Colonel Sam Hughes in his scathing denunciation of the bibulous tendencies of some of the officers of the forces of Halifax. Mayor Bligh gave it as his opinion that the people of Halifax would stand pat with the minister's remarks, saying that they did not care a great deal for the officers largely because of their tendencies along those very lines.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 27 December 2013 12:52 PM EST
Friday, 27 December 2013

Sam Hughes and the Permanent Force (Part 1)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Colonel Sam Hughes and the Permanent Force
(Part 1)

It will help to understand that the "Canadian Militia" at the time was an all-encompassing term for all soldiers in Canadian employ. This was divided into the "Permanent Force" (now the Regular Force) and the "Active Militia" (those part-time Militia units that were authorized pay for training), the latter being separate from a previously existing class of units that were authorized to be formed, but no pay was allocated for their annual training.

Over three successive posts, starting today, The Minute Book will examine through the published reports of the time, an incident where Colonel Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia, showed his contempt for the officers of the Permanent Force and to those who might challenge his actions. Those who have studied Sam Hughes will know he considered himself a consummate Militia soldier, with no respect for those who chose soldiering as a profession. His disdain for the Permanent Force would later, in 1914, again become clear when he intended to disperse the soldiers of The Royal Canadian Regiment and disperse the regiment's troops among the new units of the first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

In this first part of three, Hughes criticizes the officers of the Permanent Force in his speech to a dinner held at Halifax on 11 July, 1909.

Col. Sam Lectures Militia Officers

Arraigns Especially Permanent Force for Frittering Time Idly in Society

Must Work With Militia
Officers of Permanent Force Only meant for Military School Masters, Says the Minister.

The Montreal Gazette, 12 July 1913

Halifax, July 11.—Col. The Hon. Sam Hughes gave a dinner at the Halifax Hotel tonight in honor of General Sir Ian Hamilton. The company, which numbered about 100, was almost exclusively made up of officers of the garrison, permanent force, and active militia. At the conclusion of the toast list the minister told the officers of the permanent force what he expected of them and intimated very plainly that they must do their work properly and in the interest of the militia of Canada, or leave the service. There would be no tolerance for incompetence, he said, but on the other hand efficient men who improve themselves and the force will be given a chance to rise.

Col. Hughes said he wanted the officers of the permanent force to remember he was at their back when the did their duty in earnest, and help the militia, but he wanted to say that no man would be allowed to remain in the force who did not sympathize with the militia force and seek its betterment. The permanent force was simply instructional. Its purpose was the improvement of the militia.

There would be no promotion for any officer of the permanent force, he said, who did not show his value by what he did for the militia. At the universities training opportunities were being provided and it was his intention to have drill halls at all the universities in order that men might be trained to take any military position, and he said further that it would be possible for men of ability and diligence to excel in the military profession just as surely as those who adopt medicine and the law may achieve success in those ventures of usefulness.

If the permanent officers were wise they would not devote their time to "society," frittering time idly away, but they would avail themselves of opportunities for improvement in their profession, and help to build up the militia. If they fail in this others who put conscience in their work will get the promotion.

Soldiering was a noble profession, none more freely admitted this than he, but the minister said he wanted once and for all to make clear that there must be no invidious differences between the permanent and the volunteer forces. His aim was to get efficiency and so long as he remained Minister of Militia that alone would be the standard of promotion.

The minister said he spoke thus plainly in Halifax because here the largest permanent force is located. The day when soldiering was looked upon as a mere pastime was gone. It was a serious business and must be made that.

Those in the service who thought otherwise or who acted differently could have no place in the permanent or militia force. There was no room for them. Any officer who asked for promotion must be able to show that there are other reasons for making the request from the mere seniority. Efficiency and usefulness must be shown. It is these alone that will tell. The minister said he trusted that when the university training courses are established the permanent force officers would be found taking full advantage of them and become members of what in effect would be a university for the training of the militia.

Officers Lazy, Hughes Asserts

Would Rid Permanent Force of Men Given to "Idleness, Profligacy and Social Gaiety."

The Toronto World, 12 July 1913

Halifax, July 11.—(Can. Press.)—Col. Sam Hughes, minister of militia, entertained the permanent and active militia of the Halifax garrison at dinner tonight and created somewhat of a sensation by roundly lecturing the regular officers for idling and neglecting their duties. He declared that the permanent forces were no places for men who desired to spend their time in idleness, profligacy and social gaiety and any men who failed to do their work could look for little sympathy. He referred to friction which had existed between the active militia and the permanent forces all over the Dominion and defended his policy of appointing men from the active forces to positions which men of the permanent force were qualified to fill.

Colonel Hughes said this condition had been met all over Canada, but he had refrained from speaking of it until he could do so in Halifax, the largest Canadian garrison. He impressed on the permanent corps officers that their force existed purely for instructional purposes, and that they were nothing more than military schoolmasters.

Sir Ian Hamilton, inspector-general of the overseas forces, paid high compliments to the local militia, declaring that the Halifax regiments were fully up to the standard of the best corps throughout the empire.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 27 December 2013 12:51 PM EST
Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Royal Canadian Navy (May 1939)
Topic: RCN

HMCS Skeena, image from Wikipedia

The Royal Canadian Navy (May 1939)

Ottawa Citizen, 12 May 1939

Western Division, Esquimalt


Built in 1930. Displacement 1375 tons. Turbines S.H.P. 36,000. Speed 35.5 knots. Fout 4.7-inch guns, one 3-inch, seven smaller guns, eight torpedo tubes, mine dropping equipment.



  • Comox, built at Burrard Drydock, 1938.
  • Nootka, built at Yarrows, 1938.

Length, 160 feet, one 4-inch gun.

Eastern Division, Halifax


Built 1929. Displacement 1337 tons. Turbines S.H.P. 32,000. Speed 35 knots. Fout 4.7-inch guns, seven smaller guns, eight torpedo tubes.


  • Gaspe, built at Quebec, 1938.
  • Fundy, built at Collingwood, 1938.

Length, 160 feet, one 4-inch gun.

To arrive one flotilla tender purchased from the Royal Navy, 1939.
To be built in Canada, motor torpedo boats and a training schooner.


R.C.N. Officers 137. men, 1582.
R.C.N.V.R. Officers 123. men, 1344.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Guardians of Peace
Topic: Mortars

Guardians of Peace

Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Advertisement, circa 1952.

The Infantry Mortar Crew …

In attack and defence, the Mortar Crew adds to the effectiveness of Infantry. Accurate, concentrated firepower is vital to successful operation in the field. It calls for cool, highly trained men to operate the many complex weapons of the Infantry.

Canada’s tough, independent Infantrymen are the finest fighting soldiers in the world. At home and overseas, these young men stand in the front lines of Canada's freedom.

There are outstanding career opportunities for young men in the Canadian Army Active Force. There are career opportunities with challenges of adventure, the excitement of travel in the most important job in Canada today — defence.

You are eligible for service in the Canadian Army Active Force if you are 17 to 40 years of age, tradesmen to 45, physically fit and ready to serve anywhere.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Billies
Topic: Humour

Christmas Billies

The Roses of No Man's Land, Lyn MacDonald, 1980

Christmas 1917 fell like a faint beam of light across the shadowed days of the fourth winter of the war. There were hardly enough boats to carry the huge quantities of cards, letters and parcels for the troops on active service, and the comforts that everyone wanted to send to the sick and wounded in the hospitals. Although people had been adjured to 'Post Early', there was a ho!d up at Southampton in early December and it took fully three weeks of gargantuan effort on all sides to ship everything across to France in the week before Christmas.

It was fortunate that the Red Cross had made sure that all their own supplies of Christmas cheer were in France by the beginning of December. In addition to the supplies sent to Italy, Salonika and the Middle East, the Red Cross warehouses in Boulogne were stacked high with 40,000 tins of sweets, four tons of Brazil nuts, four tons of filberts, ten tons of almonds, four tons of walnuts, four tons of chestnuts, twelve tons of dried fruit, 40,000 boxes of Christmas crackers, 80,000 Christmas cards and innumerable cases of coloured paper garlands to decorate hospital uards and Mess huts for the festive season. Just before Christmas, boatloads of chickens and turkeys arrived in France, plus a mammoth consignment of 25,000 Christmas puddings, which had been lovingly prepared by hundreds of voluntary groups throughout the country who had willingly sacrificed their ration of sugar and a quantity of precious dried fruit to ensure that the boys had a proper Christmas dinner. Most of the puddings were stuffed as full of lucky sixpences as they were with hoarded raisins, and were rnixed with libations of stout or brandy.

It took all the considerable organizational powers of the Red Cross and a large slice of the resources of the Army Transport Corps to distribute, across the length and breadth of the Western Front, the largesse that came from every quarter of the globe. From America there was a shipment of beef; from South Africa, a boatload of grapes, peaches and nectarines; from Canada, 10,000 cases of red apples; and from Australia, a towering mountain of 'billy-cans' packed with comforts and goodies for the Aussies.

By 1917 the 'Christmas billies' had become a tradition. Back home in Australia, volunteers started packing them in August. Each community undertook to supply a certain number, filling each one with oddments of their own choice, and sent them in good time to a central depot from which they were shipped on to Australian soldiers overseas. It was a charming as well as a practical idea. The billy-cans themselves, as Australian as the strains of 'Waltzing Matilda', spoke of Home to the soldiers far away; when empty they were useful items to have on active service, and they were sturdy enough to be shipped without any further wrapping. They also held a surprising amount- chocolate, tobacco, cigarettes, sweets, a pipe, razor blades, soap, concentrated beef cubes notebooks, writing pads, candles, toffee, sardines, potted meat, socks and mittens (or at least a fair selection of these items) could all be stuffed in. All of them contained a different assortment, but the universal verdict was that they were 'Bonzo'.

The exception was the unfortunate Aussie who was particularly pleased to find in his billy-can a pair of socks knitted in the finest wool, and donned them for a long march. Within half an hour he was limping badly, and at the first rest stop removed his boots to look for the trouble. There were no protruding nails, nothing to be seen. The march continued, and by the time it ended the man was practically crippled by a mammoth blister on his foot. He found some water in which to bathe it, and when he pulled off the sock to immerse his foot in the soothing bath, to the ribald amusement of his comrades a small scrap of paper fell to the floor. On it was written in a shaky hand, 'God bless you, My Dear Boy.' It was fortunate that the kindly donor was unable to hear her Dear Boy's reaction.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 23 December 2013

Lord Ashcroft's VCs
Topic: Medals

Lord Ashcroft's VCs

The Victoria Cross (VC) collection assembled by Lord Ashcroft went live on line on 11 Nov 2013.

Situated at the Imperial War Museum London, the Extraordinary Heroes exhibition containing Lord Ashcroft's unrivalled collection of Victoria Crosses is the largest in the world.

Among the Ashcroft collection reside four Canadian Victoria Crosses:

For further information on the Extraordinary Heroes exhibition at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery visit:

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 14 December 2013 5:24 PM EST
Sunday, 22 December 2013

Martini Henry Prize Rifles (1872)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Martini Henry Prize Rifles (1872)

Militia General Orders

Head Quarters,
Ottawa, 23rd July, 1872.

General Order (21).

His Excellency The Governor General has much pleasure in directing the publication in General Orders of the receipt of Twenty "Martini Henry" Rifles with 10,000 rounds of Ammunition, valued at £200 Sterling, being the result of a collection made under the auspices of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge and the Right Honorable the Lord Mayor of London, England, and a Committee of distinguished Noblemen and Gentlemen during the Mayoralty of Alderman Besley, as a testimonial "to mark the feeling entertained towards the Canadian Active Militia for the loyalty and valour displayed by them in repelling Fenian attacks on the Dominion."

With a view of carrying out the wishes of the Committee, as expressed through the Right Honorable the Lord Mayor, these Rifles, with the proportion of Ammunition, will be offered as Prizes to be competed for by the Active Militia in the several Provinces during the Autumnal Meetings of the Provincial Rifle Associations for 1872, except in so far as relates to Manitoba and British Columbia, regarding which further instructions will be given.

The distribution will be made in the following proportions:

Ontario63,000 Rds
Nova Scotia31,500
B. Columbia21,000

Subject to the following conditions:

1st. To be open to competition by Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and men of the Active Militia of the respective Provinces only, who are now bonâ fide members of the Force, and have been so for at least one year immediately previous to the 1st July, 1872, and who can be certified to as having performed the Annual Drill for that year, and who have also passed through the prescribed course of Target Practice. Also to such as were bonâ fide members of the Active Militia for the year 1870, and have since retired therefrom.

2nd. Snider Rifles only to be used in this competition. Ranges to be 200, 500 and 600 yards, 5 shots at each range.

Returns of names of winners with detail scores of each to be sent to the Adjutant General at Head Quarters, at the termination of each competition.

By Command of His Excellency the Governor General.
Deputy Adjutant-General of Militia,

Unfortunately, the Canada Gazette does not reveal who might have wone these prize rifles in each of the Provinces.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Infantry School Corps
Topic: The RCR

The Infantry School Corps

The Canada Gazette, 21st December, 1883

The formation of three Schools of Infantry having been authorized, the requisite number of militiamen will be enrolled, and formed into one corps to be known as the Infantry School Corps.

The following Officers are appointed to the corps:

  • Lieutenant-Colonel George J. Maunsell, from Deputy Adjutant General Military District No 4.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Gustave D'0. D'Orsonnens, from Brigade Major 7th and 8th Brigade Divisions, Que.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel William Dillon Otter, from 2nd Battalion, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.

To be Captains:

  • Major William Dunlop Gordon, from 14th Battalion.
  • Major Beaufort Henry Vidal, from 12th Battalion.
  • Captain and Major Henry Smith, from Adjutant 40th Battalion.

To be Lieutenants:

  • Captain Charles J. Coursol, from 65th Battalion.
  • Lieutenant Henry Cortlandt Freer, (R.M.C.), H.M.'s. South Staffordshire Regiment.
  • Lieutenant James Walker-Sears (R.M.C.), Lieutenant H.M.'s South Staffordshire Regiment.
  • Lieutenant David Douglas Young.
  • Lieutenant Thomas D.R.Hemming.
  • Lieutenant Robinson Lyndhurst Wadmore

Memo.---Lieutenant Henry Cortlandt Freer takes rank in the Militia from 30th June 1880, the date of his graduating R.M.C.

The Infantry Schools will be established as follows until further orders:

  • At Fredericton, N.B., for the Maritime Provinces, under Lieutenant Colonel Maunsell, Commandant.
  • At St. Johns, Que., for the Province of Quebec, under lieutenant Colonel d'Orsonnens, Commandant.
  • At Toronto, Out., for the Province of Ontario, and under Lieutenant Colonel Otter, Commandant.

The Commandants will report direct to Head Quarters.

And, to toast the good health of the Regiment:

The Ortona Toast Recipe

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2017 2:52 PM EST
Friday, 20 December 2013

The Albert Medal
Topic: Medals

The Albert Medal
Awards to Canadians in the Great War

The Albert Medal was authorized by her Majesty Queen Victoria on 12 March, 1866, and published in the London Gazette the following day. Named for the Queen's late husband, the Albert Medal was originally instituted to reward those who:

"…have, in saving, or endeavouring to save, the lives of others from shipwreck or other peril of the sea, endangered their own lives; and that such award shall be made only on a recommendation to Us by the President of the Board of Trade."

Undergoing a series of amenedments, the Albert Medal was later awarded in two classes, and life-saving acts on land became eligible. As a result, two Canadian soldiers serving overseas during the First World War received the ALbert Medal.

Corporal Percy Fairborn Annis

The Edinburgh Gazette, January 8, 1918

Whitehall, January 1, 1918.

The KING has been graciously pleased to award the Decoration of the Albert Medal to the undermentioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of His Majesty's Forces serving in France or elsewhere in recognition of their gallantry in saving life:—

Corporal Percy Fairborn Annis, Canadian Infantry.

On the 23rd December 1915 Annis was instructing a class in the use of the trench catapult, when a lighted bomb fell from the catapult into the trench. Annis at once picked up the bomb and threw it away.

On the 11th February 1916, on a similar occasion, the catapult failed to act properly, with the result that the bomb was thrown only a short distance, and fell close to another party under instruction. Annis at once ran out to pick up the bomb. The bomb exploded just as he reached it and wounded him.

Sergeant Victor Brooks

The Edinburgh Gazette, November 12, 1918.

Whitehall, 6th November 1918.

The KING, has been, pleased to award the Albert Medal to Lieutenant-Colonel (Temporary Brigadier-General) Alfred Burt, D.S.O., and Sergeant Victor Brooks, Canadian Cavalry Field Ambulance; and (posthumous awards), to Private Arthur Johnson and Driver Alfred Horn, late of the Army Service Corps, in recognition of their gallantry in saving or endeavouring to save life in France in June last. The circumstances are as follows:—

On the 30th June 1918 a Corporal of the Royal Air Force, who had been lowered by a rope into a crater caused by a bomb which had been dropped by a hostile aeroplane, was overcome by carbon monoxide gas, which had accumulated in large quantities in the crater. Endeavours were made to haul him out, but his head became caught, and Private Johnson volunteered to descend and re-adjust the rope, which he did successfully, and the Corporal was rescued, but Johnson was him- self overcome. Driver Horn at once put on his respirator and lowered himself to the rescue, but was likewise overcome. Sergeant Brooks then volunteered to attempt to rescue both men, but was also overcome by the gas; fortunately he was hauled out. At this stage, Brigadier General Burt refused to permit anyone else to descend, but did so himself, and succeeded in dragging one of the unconscious men some way towards the rope; he, however, became unconscious and had to be pulled out. There can be no doubt that all knew the risk that they were running, and willingly incurred it in the hope of saving life.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 19 December 2013

Never a word of a lie in it!
Topic: Humour

Never a word of a lie in it!

Sergeant-Major Timothy Gowing, Voice from the Ranks; A Personal Narrative of the Crimean Campaign by a Sergeant of the Royal Fusiliers, edited by Kenneth Fenwick, 1954

A man of my company was continually getting himself into trouble. He had proved himself, from the commencement of the campaign, a valiant soldier. About a month before Sevastopol fell, I gave him some money with which to go and purchase some soap; at the same time Pat asked for the loan of a couple of shillings. He did not turn up any more that day.

Next morning he was a prisoner in the guard tent. We all knew that he was on his last legs, but, as he was a general favourite with the company, the men pitied him. Some were of opinion that his wit would not forsake him when brought - before the commanding officer, and he told the man who brought his breakfast to him that morning that he would get over it with flying colours.

In due course, he was brought before the tribunal and the charge read out: 'Absent from camp from 10 a.m. on the 15th August until 5 a.m. 16th August'.

'Well, Welsh, you have heard the charge. What have you got to say for yourself?'

The old rogue pulled a long face, and then commenced:

'Shure, yer honour, the whole regiment, you know, was very fond of our poor old Colonel Yea, that was kilt on the 18th of June. And, shure, yer honour—I wouldn't tell ye a word of a lie. I wint and sat on the poor old jintleman's grave, and sobbed and sobbed till I thought my heart would break; for, sur, he was a sodjur, every inch of him! And shure I fell asleep and slept till morning, and then got up and walked to the guard tent.'

'Now, Welsh, are you telling the truth? You know I promised you a court martial if ever you came before me again for absence.'

With both hands uplifted he exclaimed, 'Och, shure, yer honour, never a word of a lie in it!'

Some of the young officers came to the rescue and stated that they had frequently seen men standing and sitting round the Colonel's grave; and thus he got over it without punishment.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Officer Badges of Rank (1903)
Topic: Militaria

Officer Badges of Rank

Canada Gazette; 9 May 1903

General Order 49
Dress Regulations

The following changes in Dress Regulations are authorized:—

Introduction of a Service Uniform and
consequent changes in Officers' Dress

Badges of rank.

All branches of the service except highland kilted regiments.

Sleeves with round cuffs and 3-pointed flap, the flap edged with 1/2 inch chevron lace. Badges of rank, similar to those worn on the shoulder straps, but in worsted embroidery, will be worn on the flaps.

Rings of chevron lace and tracing braid will be worn round the cuff according to rank.

  • Second lieutenant and lieutenant; One row of chevron lace.
  • Captain-Two rows of chevron lace.
  • Major-Three rows of chevron lace and two rows of tracing braid between them.
  • Lieutenant Colonel-Three rows of chevron lace and four rows of tracing braid.
  • Colonel four rows of chevron lace and five rows of tracing braid.

Highland kilted regiments.

Service jacket.—The jacket will he cut away in front to clear the top of the sporran. The sleeves will be gauntlet shape laced as described above the lace beginning at the top of the cuff. One bar of lace down the back seam. No flap. Embroidered badges of rank below the laces. The braid is to be worsted and not silk.

Rank badges of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Source: Their Glory Cannot Fade, a souvenir pamphlet
published by the Canadian Pacific Railway, Christmas, 1918.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Rates of Pay, The Canadian Militia, 1867
Topic: Canadian Militia

Rates of Pay, The Canadian Militia, 1867


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

General Order No. 2 - June 1, 1866


Fixes the rate of pay and allowances for the Force called out on Service as follows, viz:—

Ranks.Rate of pay per day.Daily rate of allowance in lieu of Barracks, rations, and all other allowances.
Lieut. Colonel$4.87$1.00
Adjutant with rank of Lieutenant2.44$0.90
Adjutant with rank of  
Assist. Surgeon2.43$0.72
Quarter Master1.94$0.76
Ensign or Cornet1.28$0.69

And the rates of pay for each non-commissioned ofllcer and man shall be as follows, for their prospective grades:

Rank.Rate of pay per day. (cts)
Quarter-Master Serjeant45
Paymaster's Clerk45
Orderly Room Clerk45
Hospital Serjeant45
Pay Serjeants40

And the non-commissioned officers and privates shall receive either free lodgings, and rations; or an allowance in lieu thereof, as may in different cases be deemed most advisable; and in cases where an allowance is granted the rate for such allowance will be for Volunteers who have not been moved fom their Company or Battallion Head Quarters forty cents per man per day, and fifty cents per man per day for all Volunteers who have been moved from their homes.

Purchasing Power

The Bank of Canada online book "A History of the Canadian Dollar," by James Powell, details in Appendix A (page 88) the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar. The specific example is given to estimate that $1.00 in 1870 is equivalent to approximately $26.70 in today's money.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 10 December 2013 9:57 PM EST
Monday, 16 December 2013

Murder at Wolseley Barracks (1908)
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

Murder at Wolseley Barracks

Shot his Sergeant
A Drunken Soldier's Crime at Wolseley Barracks, London
Moir Not Yet Captured

Windsor; The Evening Record, 20 Apr 1908

Victim had remonstrated with him for being intoxicated and untidy — Uses rifle and escapes —
Murderer has Revolvers and ammunition with him — Seen near St. Mary's yesterday

London, April 20.— Private Moir, orderly at Wolseley Barracks, who at midnight Friday short and fatally wounded Col.-Sergt. Henry Lloyd of Stratford, has not yet been captured, although he was heard of in the vicinity of Grove Post, and later onn he asked a man for food, but didn't get it. He stayed over night and was seen yesterday on the G.T.R. track near St. Mary's. Detectives set out after him on a hand-car.

He has abandoned his rifle, but has two heavy revolvers. he took a child's peak cap in place of his own military one.

Moir is said to have an ugly disposition. he had been drinking during Good Friday and on returning Lloyd, who was in command of the guard, reprimanded Moir on his condition, and declared that he would be reported to the commanding officer in the morning for being improperly dressed. Moir becamce very argumentative, and somewhat abusive, and Lloyd allowed him to go to his quarters without further protest.

Shortly afterwards a noise like like that of a rifle shot was heard, and Orderly Officer Lieut. Morris came to Sergt Lloyd and asked him who was the last man in. As the shot appeared to come from the hospital section, Lieut Morris asked Lloyd to investigate. He and Morris then went down into the sleeping quarters of the orderlies.

The room was quite dark, but Moir was seen in the corner with a rifle in his hand. Lloyd asked him to lay down the rifle, and he went over towards Moir. the latter raised the rifle. Lloyd saw the movement and jumped towards Moir. There was a report, and Lloyd sank to the floor with a groan.

Morris hurried away to call the guard and Moir escaped.

Moir is an old soldier, so it is said, and was a private in the old Gordon Highlanders. He fought with the regiment through the Boer war. He has also seen service on the frontier.

He always carried firearms and, it is said, would shoot on provocation.

The revolver he carried was an army revolver. Moir also had another revolver which he borrowed from one of the other soldiers.

Moir evidently determined to commit the deed after the reprimand administered by Sergt Lloyd. he took down the rifle and loaded it, with a steel-capped cartridge. he then buckled on a bandelero belt, filled with cartridges from Pte Brady.

“Moir used to drink some, but was not a heavy drinker,” said one of the privates, who was well acquainted with Moir. “He used to be a cordite-eater. That acts like dope, and it used to make him wild at times He was particularly bad when he was drinking, as he seemed to be worse.”

Cordite eating was somewhat common in South Africa, it is said. The men remove the cartridges and eat the powder. It is a powerful stimulant, and acts much like morphine and other drugs of that sort.

Lloyd was about 25 years of age, fair complexion with a light mustache. His home is in Stratford, and he was attached to the 28th Battalion. For several years past he has been taking courses at the barracks.

Murderer Moir is Taken Near Guelph
Private Who Slew Sergt. Lloyd at Wolseley Barracks was Captured on Farm,
Where He had Been Working, After Hard Battle

The Evening Record, 11 May 1908

London, Ont., May 11.— After fighting like a mad beast for fifteen minutes with two powerful men, private William Alexander Moir, adjudged by a jury to have been the slayer of Color-Sergt. Harry Lloyd at Wolseley barracks on the night of Friday, April 17, was snatched from liberty into the arms of the lawat about 6 o'clock Saturday night on the farm of the Robb family, four miles north of Elora, which is thirteen miles northwest of Guelph. Moir's captors were Chief Constable Farrell and Constable Coughlin, of Arthur, a village ten miles north of the capture.

Moir struggled against these strong men for a quarter of an hour, after they had come close enough to him through a ruse that they were trying to buy horses. They, to use their own words “did not want to hurt him,” and they wore him out. Before they did place the steel wristlets on Moir, they were tumbled over a stable floor, kicked at and struggled with by a man whose fury and hated culminated in a final vicious storm that gave him a superhuman strength, which was its own defeat.

He lips flecked with foam, his eyes standing out like bullets, and his hands gnarled out of shape by his struggle, Moir was a horrible looking object when the officers lifted him into a buggy and carried him from the quiet, seldom-visited farm, where he had worked since the night of April 22 as a farm laborer. This was five days after his crime.

In speaking of the capture of Moir Constable Farrell said: “Moir called loudly all through to David Robb to come and help him, but Rodd evidently knew who he was and refused. Then he cursed and actually foamed at the mouth. he was in the vilest mood I have ever seen a man, and if he had been able to get a revolver he would have made short work of us.

“After the three of us had fought all over the floor of the barn and tumbled into the horses' stalls, we were able to get the handcuffs om the man.”

Moir had been working on the Robb farm for $20 a month.

Will Moir be Given Freedom?
Case of Lloyd's Slayer Is to Come Before Minister of Justice

The Toronto World, 30 July 1913

Private William A. Moir of the Canadian regular forces, who was committed to life imprisonment for the murder of Colour-Sergt Lloyd at Wolseley barracks, London, in 1908, and only escaped the gallows by pleading temporary insanity, is credited with having stated recently that he never had an epileptic fit in his life. He is at present confined in the Central Prison as a criminal lunatic.

At the conclusion of his trial he was placed in the Hamilton Asylum, but escaped from that institution, taking a desperate chance one night when a window was negligently left unbarred. Upon recapture he was transferred to the prison where he has been employed in the machine shop.

Liberty Doubtful

Applications recently made to the minister of justice for his release are based on his declaration of sanity and on his consistent good conduct since his commitment to the Central Prison. In view, however, of the circumstances of his crime, which was perpetrated in cold blood, it is not considered likely that the man, who is either a murderer or a lunatic, will be set at liberty.

Negotiations will be opened with the provincial secretary, as prisoners confined in the Central Prison under the designation of criminal lunatics, are under the jurisdiction of the province.

100 Years Ago: Thursday, May 14, 1908

Orangeville Citizen; 14 May 2008

Private W. Moir, who stands accused on fatally shooting Colour Sergeant Lloyd, of Wolseley Barracks, London, on Good Friday. was captured four miles north of Elora on Saturday while working as a farmhand. The capture was made by constables from Arthur after a ten-minute struggle. Moir was armed with a 32 calibre revolver, loaded in five chambers. He says he must have been drunk when he shot Lloyd, as he did not know that he had killed him until he saw it in a Stratford paper on the Monday after. The news of his whereabouts was brought to Arthur by a man named Draper, a stage driver between Arthur and Fergus, who had seen him while passing the place where he was working.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 15 December 2013

None Stand Alone
Topic: Commentary

The wallet card reminder issued to members of the Canadian Armed Forces on services available to all ill and unjured soldiers.

Click the image or this link to go to The Guide.

Note: the correct URL is:

None Stand Alone

While preparing information cards for medals in my collection, for a new display case layout to show at an upcoming regimental dinner, I pondered the number of men I have been researching who had also served in other regiments than my own. So many had come from, or gone to other units. For some, it was only during wartime that they served, enlisting each time in a local unit. For others, who served in war and peace, they transferred as needed to continue their service. And others still were moved between units as the Army required, or their abilities to serve made necessary.

In each case, receiving units would have gained the benefits of the training, service and experience those soldiers arrived with. Often they become staunch members of their new units, rising in rank, authority, and receiving the rewards of faithful service. This was not unlike the experiences of so many that I have also served with in past decades.

When viewed from this perspective, it quickly becomes clear that no regiment stands alone. None can call themselves "pure" in the context of having allowed in no influences brought from other regiments. And because of this, we all stand closer than our perceptions of regimental pride and uniqueness might lead us to believe.

Consider the way we often present regimental histories. While it is perhaps true that no regiment ever played a supporting role in its own presentation of its history, often this can be taken to the effect that some regiments seem to stand alone on every battlefield as they tell the story. This approach, tending always to speak of our own regiments as singular entities, easily leads new solders to think their own cap badge led every charge, and mopped up every trench. But that denies the deep symbiosis we have at both the organizational level, where every regiment belongs to a Brigade, and at the personal level, with soldiers moving to and from other units. We are all linked by the brotherhood of past friendships and by blood to the soldiers of so many other units, past and present.

Just as no soldier stands alone on the battlefield, supported by his fire team partner, his "battle buddy," so every regiment stands beside brothers and sisters in arms, meeting each challenge with mutual support and interlocking arcs of fire. These bonds of soldiering cross every boundary, and we better understand our own regiment when we learn to see and understand the many threads of personal connection between our own regiment and the many others in this Army.

As you think about your own connections to other regiments, through your own service or that of those your served with, think about reaching out to them to see how they're doing. You may have a fire team partner now who wears the same badge, but every soldier you have served with, or that your own battle buddies have served with, regardless of cap badge then or now, is equally deserving of your continuing mutual support.

Send up the Count.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 16 December 2013 8:03 AM EST

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