The Minute Book
Friday, 14 March 2014

The Qualities Of A Good Officer
Topic: Officers

The Qualities Of A Good Officer

Field Marshal William Joseph "Bill" Slim,
1st Viscount Slim,
(6 August 1891 – 14 December 1970)

Canadian Army Journal, Vol 5, No 6, September 1951
Speech by Field Marshal Sir William Slim, GCB, GBE, DSO, MC, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, at the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, on 15 December 1949

Officer Cadets of The Royal Military Academy. Many of you become officers today; all of you will become officers in the near future. That means that your Sovereign has selected you to lead your fellow countrymen in battle, and than that there is no greater honour that your King and Country can do you. In return for that honour, when you go from here, you will maintain those standards of conduct which have always been the glory of the officers of the British Army. You will show the qualities of leadership which are particularly required of you at a time like this. Remember, the be-all and end-all of an officer is to be a leader. The qualities that distinguish an officer from other men are courage, initiative, will-power and knowledge. To take these qualities in turn. The kind of courage required is the courage that endures. Anybody can be brave for a little while, but the officer goes on being brave when others falter. He has a moral courage which makes him do his duty - do what is right without any thought of the consequences to himself. Initiative means that you don't sit down and wait for something to happen. If, in war, you wait for something to happen it will happen all right and it will be damned unpleasant when it does. Initiative, for the officer, means that he thinks ahead, that he is always two or three jumps ahead of the men he leads and of the enemy. Keep your brains bright and flexible. Will-power means that you will force through what you consider it to be your duty to do, against not only the opposition of the King's enemies, but against the opposition of well-meaning friends and of all the doubts and difficulties of men and nature which will assail you. Knowledge means that you have no business to be an officer unless you know how to do the job in hand better than those you lead. When you leave here you won't have finished learning. You will never finish learning. The officer is always learning. If you have these qualities of courage, initiative, will-power and knowledge you will be a leader, but you won't necessarily be a good leader, or a leader for good, and you won't have that grip you must have on men when things go wrong. When a man's heart sinks into his empty belly with fear; when ammunition doesn't come through; when there are no rations, and your air force is being shot out of the skies; when the enemy is beating the living daylight out of you - then you will want one other quality, and unless you have got it you will not be a leader. That quality is self-sacrifice, and as far as you are concerned it means simply this, that you will put first the honour and the interest of your King and Country, that next you will put the safety, the well-being and the security of the men under your command; and that last, and last all the time, you will put your own interest, your own safety and your own comfort. Then you will be a good officer. I would like you to carry away from this Parade one thought, and that is this. In the British Army there are no good battalions and no bad battalions, no good regiments and no bad regiments. There are only good and bad officers. See to it that you are good officers. And good luck to you.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 13 March 2014

Sieges and Trenches
Topic: Military Theory

The Siege of Burgos [1812], by François Joseph Heim, 1813

Sieges and Trenches

From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776



From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776


View, of a place to besiege it, it is said to be taken when the General, accompanied by the engineers, reconnoitres it, that it, rides round the place, observing the situation of it, with the nature of the country about it; as hills, valleys, rivers, marshes, woods, hedges, &c. thereby to judge of the most convenientplace for opening the trenches, and carrying on the approaches; to find out proper places for encamping the army, for the lines of circumvallation and couter-vallation, and for the park of artillery.

Approaches, are the trenches, places of arms, lodgements, sap, gallery, and all works, whereby the besiegers advance towards a place besieged.

This is the most difficult part of a siege ; and where most lives are loft. The ground is disputed inch by inch, and neither gained or maintained without the loss of men ; it is of the utmost importance to make your approaches with great caution, and to secure them as much as possible, that you may not throw the lives of your soldiers. The besieged neglect nothing to hinder the approaches; the be- away The fiegers do every thing to carry and on this depends ; them on the taking or defence of the place.

The trenches bing carried to their glacis, you attack and make yourself master of their covered way, make a lodgment on the counterscarp, and a breach by the sap, or by mines with several chambers, which blow up their intrenchments and fougades, or small mines, if they have any.

You cover yourselves with barrels, sacks, fascines, or gabions; and, if these are wanting, you sink a trench.

You open the counterscarp by saps to make yourself master of it; but, before you open it, you must mine the flanks that defend it. The belt attack of the place is the face of the bastion, when by its regularity it permits a regular approach and attacks according to art: if the place be irregular, you must not observe regular approaches, but proceed according to the irregularity of it ; observing to humour the ground, which permits you to attack it in such a manner at one place as would be useless or dangerous in another; so that the engineer who directs the attack ought exactly to know the part he would attack, its proportions, its force, and solidity in the most geometrical manner.

Siege. To besiege a place, is to surround it with an army, and approach it, by passages made in the ground, so as to be covered against the fire of the the place.

When an army can approach an so near the place as the covert-way, without breaking ground, under favour of some hollow roads, rising grounds, or cavities, and there begin their work, it is called accelerating the siege; but when they can approach the town so near as to take it without making any considerable works, the siege is called an attack.

To raise a Siege, to give over the attack of a place, quit the works thrown up against it, and the posts taken about it. If there be no reason to fear a sally from the place, the siege may be raised in the daytime. Artillery and ammunition must have a strong rear-guard and face the besiegers, lest they should attempt to charge the rear; if there be any fear of an enemy in front, this order must be altered discretionally, as safety, and the nature of the country, will allow. To make, or form a siege, there must be an army sufficient to furnish five or six reliefs for the trenches; pioneers, guards, convoys, escorts, &c., an artillery, magazines furnished with a sufficient quantity of warlike stores, of all forts, and an infirmary with physicians, surgeons, &c.

To turn a siege into a blockade, to give over the attack, and endeavour to take it by famine: for which which purpose, all the avenues, gates and streams leading into the place, are so well guarded, that no succour can get to its relief

Trench, or lines of approach and attack, a way hollowed in the earth, in form of a fosse, having a parapet towards the place be- sieged, when the earth can be removed; or else it is an elevation of fascines, gabions, wool-packs and such other things, tor covering the men as cannot fly into pieces or splinters. This is to be done when the ground is rocky; but when the earth is good, the trench is carried on with less trouble, and' the engineers demand only a provision of spades, axes, to shovels, make it and pickaxes, to make it two fathoms wide. The greatest fault a trench can have, is to be enfiladed: to prevent which, they are ordinarily carried on with turnings and elbows. As the trenches are never carried on but in the night-time, therefore the ground should be viewed and observed very nicely in the day. On the angles or sides of the there should be lodgements, or epaulements, in form of traverses the better to hinder the sallies of the garrison, to favour the advancement of the the trenches, and to sustain the workmen. These lodgements are small trenches, fronting the places besieged, and joining the trench at one end.

The platforms for the batteries are made behind the trenches; the first at a good distance, to be used only against sallies of the garrison. As the approaches advance, the batteries are brought nearer, to ruin the defences of the place, and dismount the artillery of the besieged. The batteries for the breaches are made when the trenches are advanced near the covert-way.

If two attacks, there must be lines of communication, or boyaus, between the two, with places of arms, at convenient distances. The trenches should be six or seven feet high, with the parapet, which should be five foot thick, and have banquets for the soldiers to mount upon.

Returns of a Trench, are the elbows and turnings, which form the lines of the approach, and made as near as can be parallel to the defence of the place, to prevent their being enfiladed.

To mount the trenches, is to mount guard in the trenches; to relieve the trenches, is to relieve the guards of the trenches, to dismount the trenches, is to come off guard from the trenches; to cleanse or scour the trenches, is to make a vigorous sally is upon the guard of the trenches, force to give way, and quit their ground, drive away the workmen, break down the parapet, fill up the trench, and nail their cannon.

Counter-trenches, are trenches made against the besiegers, which consequently have their parapet: turned against the enemy's approaches, and are enfiladed from several parts of the place, oil purpose to render them useless to the enemy, if they should chance to become masters of them; but they should not to be enfiladed, or commanded by any height in the enemy's possession.

To open trenches, is the first breaking of ground by the besiegers, to carry on their approaches towards a place. The difference between opening and carrying on the trenches is, that the first is only the beginning of the trench; which is always turned towards the besiegers. It is begun by a small fosse, which the pioneers make in the night on their knees, generally a musquet-shot from the place, or half a cannon-shot, and sometimes without the reach of cannon-ball, especially if there be no hollow or rising grounds to favour them, or if the garrison be strong, and their artillery well served. This small fosse is afterwards enlarged by the next pioneers which come behind them, who dig it deeper by degrees, till it be about four yards broad, and four or five feet deep, especially if they be near the place; to the end, the earth is taken out of it, may be thrown before them, to form a parapet, and cover them from the fire of the besieged. The place where the trenches are opened, is called the end of the trench.

Returns of a Trench, the turnings and windings which form the lines of the trench, and are as near as they can be made parallel to the place attacked, to shun being enfiladed. These returns, when followed, make a long way from the end of the, trench to the head, which going the straight way is very short, but then the men are exposed; yet, upon a sally, the courageous never consider the danger; but getting over the trench with such as will follow them, take the shortest way to repulse the enemy, and cut off their retreat, if possible.

Sap, a trench, or an approach made under cover, of ten or twelve feet broad, when the besiegers come near the place, and their fire grows so dangerous, as not to be approached uncovered.

Works, generally denote the fortifications about the body of a place; as by out-works are meant those without the the first inclosure. This word is used to signify the approaches of the besiegers, and the several lines, trenches, &c. made round a place, an army, &c for its security.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Canadian Forces Austerity Measures
Topic: Cold War

Canadian Army Journal, Vol. XIV, No. 4, Fall 1960

All Canadian Forces To Feel Some Effect of Austerity Program

The Montreal Gazette, 21 August 1962

Ottawa—(CP)—The Canadian defence buildup announced 11 months ago as part of NATO's response to the Berlin crisis will be only partially implemented because of the government's austerity program, officials said yesterday.

The planned manpower increase in the Army to 59,000 from 48,000 will be halted at the current level of about 52,000 men.

Other belt-tightening measures in the defence department:

1. Disbandment of the four CF-100 jet night fighter squadrons in Europe beginning early next year.

2. Disbandment of the Navy's Banshee jet fighter squadron next month. This squadron, when not at seas aboard the carrier Bonaventure, formed art of the North American Air Defence Command, the planes were armed with Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.

3. Disbandment of the radar unit which controlled operations of the planes of the RCAF Air Division in Europe. This job will be taken over by other NATO radars.

4. Disbandment of the North Star transport squadron at St. Hubert, Que.

5. Cancellation or deferment of construction of some gap-filler radars in Canada. Role of these radars is detection of low-flying planes.

6. Reduction of postings and travel in the three services.

7. At least temporary deferment of purchase of three submarines from Britain because Britain so far has not agreed to place and order for equipment in Canada. Canada tries hard to sell the Bobcat armoured personnel carrier to the British Army but the British government announced last week it will go ahead with production of its own carrier, the Trojan.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Duke and His Soldiers
Topic: British Army

The Duke and His Soldiers

The Duke, by Philip Guedalla, 1931 (Wordsworth Military Library Edition 1997)

Portrait of Duke of Wellington, by George Dawe

Few themes, indeed, moved [Wellington] to eloquence except the imperfections of his human instruments. But there his language often verged on the sublime. Unwearying himself, he was unmerciful in his comments upon lack of energy in others; and exasperation frequently betrayed him into unpardonable generalisations. A fixed belief that insufficient inducements were offered to recruits had led him to the conclusion that " none but the worst description of men enter the regular service"; and from this premise he proceeded to the gravest disparagements of the men under his command. "The scum of the earth," he termed them, "the mere scum of the earth… The English soldiers are fellows who have all enlisted for drink — that is the plain fact—they have all enlisted for drink." This tone became habitual with him in later years, as a congenial antidote to the prevailing cant. For Wellington could not bear his hearers to be romantic about soldiers—" people talk of their enlisting from their fine military feeling—all stuff—no such thing. Some of our men enlist from having got bastard children—some for minor offences—many more for drink; but you can hardly conceive such a set brought together, and it really is wonderful that we should have made them the fine fellows they are." They were fine fellows, then. He was prepared to admit as much; and for seven years in the Peninsula he toiled to make them so. Seven volumes of General Orders, drafted in his own handwriting and traced endlessly across the paper with " the short glazed pens " from Tabart's in New Bond Street, testify to his parental care. Crime is duly present; the crackle of illicit pig-shooting is heard; bee-hives are purloined; and the misdeeds peculiar to military operations in wine-producing countries stalk through his pages. But camp-kettles, shirts, and brushes haunted him; his dreams were full of army biscuit; and his housekeeping anxieties arc in strange contrast with the grave ablatives absolute of Ceasar or Napoleon's baroque eloquence. Supply was still the burden of his severely humdrum song. He still insisted that "it is very necessary to attend to all this detail, and to trace a biscuit from Lisbon into the man's mouth on the frontier, and to provide for its removal from place to place, by land or by water, or no military operations can be carried on, and the troops must starve." Even his strategy was dominated by the practical consideration that "a soldier with a musket could not fight without ammunition, and that in two hours he can expend all he can carry."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 10 March 2014

Expanding Wolseley Barracks (1940)
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

This aerial photo, dates 1942, shows the new "H-hutments." Source: Western University online aerial photo archive: Western Libraries Map and Data CentreCity of London Aerial Photographs – 1942.

5 Hutments in Program

Building Expansion is Announced by No. 1 Military District

The Windsor Daily Star; 6 December 1940

London, Ont., Sept. 6.—A building program to take care of the expansion of No. 1 District Depot was announced Thursday (i.e., 5 Dec 1940) at district military headquarters. Five large frame hutments to house about 500 troops will be erected in carling heights as soon as materials arrive.

Use of Buildings

Three of the H-shaped buildings will be used as dormitories, another will provide mess hall facilities and the fifth will be used by officers and to house quartermasters’ stores.

At present the district depot personnel is spread from Wolseley Barracks to the Royal School Building and with an overflow under canvas.

Erection of these buildings will release the Royal School building for instructional purposes, for which it was originally built. The gymnasium, which has served as a storeroom for clothing since the start of the war will also be returned to its original use.

Adequate Facilities

With the new set-up the district depot will have adequate facilities for receiving reinforcements, outfitting them and giving them their first training. Proper room for lectures and instruction and recreational facilities will also be available.

Construction of the buildings is under the direction of Lieut.-Col. W.M. Veitch district engineer officer, of the Royal Canadian Engineers.

All work will be done on the day labor basis, with laborers being hired through the local employment office. All materials are purchased through the minister of munitions and supply.

The hutments are to be of the standard northern construction, according to specifications prepared at Ottawa.

Colonel Veitch also states that work on the buildings at militia trainee centres at Kitchener, Woodstock and Chatham is well advanced and up to schedule.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 9 March 2014

Cruelty is Alleged
Topic: Discipline

Cruelty is Alleged

In Punishment of a Canadian Soldier at the Front

Spokane Daily News; 3 May 1900

New York, May 3:—A Special to the World from Ottawa says:

Colonel McLellan has presented in the Canadian House of Commons a petition from his constituency asking the government to inquire into the report that a soldier of the First Canadian Contingent had been punished for looting.

It appears that after a long, arduous march, and having fought in the battle of Paardeberg, the Canadians were exhausted and half starving, having subsisted on quarter rations for three weeks.

The Canadian in question, a private, driven frantic by hunger, "commandeered" a Boer farmer's chicken, which he shared with his tent companions. He was subsequently court martialed for looting, and a war correspondent reports that the British officers sentenced him to 56 days in confinement as punishment.

Bound to a Wheel

This was carried out by a species of crucifixion, the victim being bound with outstretched arms and legs on the wheel of a field gun carriage in the face of the blazing sun for two hours each day. The agony is said to be intense.

The minister of militia could not confirm or deny the correspondent’s dispatch.

It was shown that such a barbarous form of punishment is not provided for in the army laws of England, and the government was asked to give the house of commons the information upon the subject. The report of Colonel Otter received here does not state the kind of punishment meted out to the trooper, but adds:

"No doubt the provocation is great, considering the lack of food for the previous three weeks, yet the offence, from a military point of view, could not be palliated."

Our Little Army in the Field

"There had been an incident on the march that could have had tragic results. Two British officers had seen Private A.W. Belyea of D Company [of the Second (Special Service) Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment] grab a stray chicken that crossed his path. Looting was anathema to the army, and Belyea was court-martialled. To set an example for the troops the brigade was formed up in a hollow square to hear the verdict. For poor Belyea the ordeal was terrifying as he stood alone, head bowed, awaiting the decision of the court. The verdict was hardly in doubt, and the offence could draw the death penalty. The officers who made up the court realized the maximum punishment did not fit the crime. Belyea was confined to barracks for 56 days, a meaningless punishment on the veldt. (From a related footnote - ...Capt S.M. Rogers, who commanded D Company, told his men, "Now listen, boys, it wasn‘t for stealing the chicken that [Belyea] was going to be hung, it was for getting caught at it, so watch yourself.")" - Brian A. Reid, Our Little Army in the Field; The Canadians in South Africa 1899-1902, 1996

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 8 March 2014

Rogers' Rangers at Trois-Rivieres
Topic: The Field of Battle

Tresrevere (sic), i.e., Trois-Rivieres

From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776


From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776

Tresrevere, a fortified town between Montreal and Quebec, stands about 200 miles from Crown Point, on the north side of the river St. Lawrence. Opposite to this place was a village in which 300 armed Indians had taken up their residence; these General Amherst was desirous to cut off, and therefore issued the following order to that famous partisan Major Rogers; who accomplished his purpose by means so very different to common practice, that I cannot avoid paying a compliment to his abilities for carrying on a war against this barbarous people; of which art we were totally ignorant when General Braddock, at the beginning of our late dispute with the French, lead his troops to unthought of destruction.

Order from Sir Jeffrey Amherst to Major Rogers:

"You are this night to set out with the detachment as ordered yesterday (viz. Of two hundred men) and proceed to Missisquery Bay, from whence you will march and attack the enemy's settlements on the south-side of the river St. Lawrence, in such a manner as you shall judge most effectual to disgrace the enemy, and for the success and honour of his Majesty's arms.

"Remember the barbarities that have been committed by the enemy's Indian scoundrels, on every occasion where they had and opportunity of showing their infamous cruelties on the King's subjects; which they have done without mercy; take your revenge; but do not forget that though those villains have dastardly and promiscuously murdered the women and children of all ages , it is my orders that no women of children be killed or hurt.

"When you have executed your intended service, you will return with your detachment to camp, or to join me wherever the army may be.

"Yours, &c.
"Jeff. Amhrest.

"Camp at Crown-Point,
September 13, 1759."

Pursuant to the above orders. The Major set out with 200 men, in battoes, down Lake Champlain. The fifth day after his departure, when encamped on the eastern banks of Lake Champlain, a keg of gunpowder accidentally took fire, which wounded Captain Williams of the Royal Regiment, and several of the men, who were sent back to Crown Point with some men to row them, which reduced the part to 142, Officers included.

The Major proceeded on his journey, and landed on the 10thh at Missisquey Bay. Here he concealed his boats with provisions sufficient to carry him back to Crown Point, and left two trusty rangers to lie concealed near the boat, with orders to stay till the return of his party, unless the enemy should discover the boats; in which case they were to pursue the track of the party with all possible speed, to give the Major the earliest intelligence. The second evening after this, the two rangers overtook the party, and informed the Major that 400 French and Indians had discovered and taken possession of the boats,which they sent away with 50 men; and that the remainder were pursuing on the track of the party; but this intelligence was privately given him, so that none knew of what passed; and he immediately ordered Lieutenant McMullen, with eight men and these two rangers, to proceed to Crown Point, to inform the General of what happened, that he might send provisions to Cohoas, on Connecticut river, by which the Major proposed to return; so that the two rangers had not an opportunity inform the party that they were pursued, it being believed that they were sent not to Crown Point, but to reconnoitre some place for an attack.

The Major resolved to outmarch his pursuers, and cut off the Indian town at St. Francois, before they should overtake him; and accordingly continued his march for several days, till, on the 4th of October, at eight o'clock in the evening, he came within sight of the town, and about two hours after he took two Indians, whom he had with him, who could speak the language of the inhabitants of St. Francois, and also dressed himself in the Indian manner, and went to reconnoitre the town. He found the inhabitants in a high frolick, or dance; and at two o'clock in the morning he returned to his detachment, which he marched in about an hour to the distance only of 500 yards from the town.

About four o'clock the Indians broke up their dance, and retired to rest; but at break of day, when they were asleep, the Major surprized them by a vigorous attack in several parts of the town performed in every part, that the enemy had not time to recover themselves, or make any considerable resistance.

Out of 300 of the enemy, 200 were killed on the spot:, and 20 taken prisoners; the Major also retook five Englishmen who were prisoners in the town; secured what provisions was there, immediately set it on fire and this reduced it to ashes. At seven o'clock in the morning the affair was completely over, when the Major assembling his men, he found that one was killed, and six slightly wounded. After refreshing the party for an hour, the Major began his march homeward, leaving the dead to be buried by his pursuers; but was harassed on his march, and several times attacked in the rear, till, being favoured by the dusk of the evening, he formed an ambuscade upon his own track and attacked the enemy when they least expected it; after this he was suffered to continue his march without further annoyance by the enemy, and arrived safe at No. 4, with the loss of only a few men.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 8 March 2014 10:39 AM EST
Friday, 7 March 2014

Old Tanks for Canada
Topic: Canadian Army

Canada May Get 229 Old Tanks in Deal for Bases

The Day, serving eastern Connecticut; 7 September 1940

Fort George C. Meade, Md. (AP)—Army officers indicated today that 229 rusty but still trustworthy World War tanks here were slated for transfer to Canada for training purposes.

Holding somewhat the same international trade status as did 50 destroyers recently turned over to Britain, the 22 year old obsolete monsters would figure in further United States-Canadian deals for air and naval bases, these sources explained.

Only one of the 229 lined up in an overgrown field—officially listed as a "tank park"—now is in operating condition, justifying its preferred rating by uprooting trees, towing, and clearing land on the post.

Need to Be Put In Shape

But, tank experts contended the others needed little more than new spark plugs, batteries, fuel, and a healthy yank on the cranks.

Despite rusted exteriors of the 79 "heavies" (battleweight, 80,000 pounds) the interior machinery is in good condition immersed in oil and grease. The "heavies" are 34 feet long, have a maximum speed of six miles an hour, and mount five machine guns and two 2.24-inch guns firing six-pound shells.

About 154 lighter tanks of French design known as Renaults are in far worse shape. Many have turret tops off and portholes open to the weather. Their engines can—or could in 1918—turn up eight miles an hour. Armament includes a 37-millimetre or .30-calibre machine gun.

Guns for the ponderous vehicles have long been in storage and the tanks themselves have been out of service for years—since Congress ordered the army to halt expenditures for their maintenance and operation.

elipsis graphic

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 6 March 2014

Training for the Nuclear Battlefield
Topic: Cold War

They enemy they prepared for: The armies of the Warsaw Pact.
In this photo Russian T54-2 tanks advance across open ground. (Source)

Ottawa Citizen; 17 April 1956

Army Games will Stress Atomic War

More than 10,500 troops of the Canadian Army will be exercised under simulated conditions of nuclear warfare from July 26 to August 3 at Camp Gagetown, N,B., Army Headquarters announced today.

Exercise "Morning Star" will culminate a six-week training concentration for troops of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. It will be the second peacetime divisional exercise in the history of the Canadian Army, and the first to emphasize aspects of nuclear battle as they would affect a fighting infantryman.

Director of the exercise will be Maj.-Gen. E.C. Plow, CBE, DSO, CD, General Officer Commanding Eastern Command. Deputy Director will be the General Officer Commanding 1st Canadian Infantry Division, Maj.-Gen. J.M. Rockingham, CB, CBE, DSO, CD.

The Royal Canadian Air Force will provide air support for 1st Division and for "enemy forces."

Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph; 26 July, 1956

Canadian Soldiers in Mythical Combat

Camp Gagetown, N.B. (CP)—Two groups of Canadian soldiers separated by a 10-mile neutral zone while mythical war clouds blackened overhead, declared a simulated atomic war Wednesday night in the rugged hills of this central new Brunswick training camp.

The declaration of war between more than 10,000 members of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division climaxes weeks of almost-real tension building on both sides of the neutral strip which separates the two hypothetical countries.

Both sides have simulated atomic weapons and, theoretically, if one side stages all-out atomic warfare the first day the battle could end. But this is unlikely. The exercise is not scheduled to end until Aug 2.

Almost Real

As part of the pre-war tension building the army has documented a situation that pits two small countries against each other in a bitter cold war. Apart from the fact that all soldiers belong to the same army and dead ammunition (sic) will be used the situation is remarkably real.

Soldiers and officers have been instructed against discussing manoeuvres in messes. "Spies" from the other side have been apprehended by both groups. All movements are top secret. Positions of men are guarded with amazing seriousness. Both sides are outwardly determined to win. Generally the tenseness has reached its peak.

To give this Exercise Morning Star an apparent purpose the army has given the two involved countries a bit of history—one bad, the other good. "Blueland" is a small friendly country seeking peace. "Fantasia" is run by a "slick crowd" of aggressors.

Cold War Due to Break

In theory the whole structure of New Brunswick has been changed and the Atlantic Ocean now comes to the border of the 427-square mile camp. The cold was is smoldering on the sub-continent of Atlanta, about 1000 miles from Canada where Blueland and other democratic nations are trying to get along with the aggressive Fantasians. In 1952 when Fantasia's aggressive policy reached a peak, 14 free countries, including Canada, formed a pact, the Federation of Free Countries, which means collective defence against an aggressor.

The Fantasians are the aggressor and they will be met today by troops of the FFC. Then for a week they will push and withdraw along a 20-mile front as a group of officers from the Canadian Army Staff College assess casualties and rule on eventual victory.

It's the biggest exercise of its type ever carried out in Canada, and until it ends, all personnel will live under actual wartime conditions. They will sleep near the roar of huge Sherman tanks and the screams of air force and navy jet aircraft. Helmets will be worn continuously and prisoners will be marched back behind friendly lines. "Dead" soldiers will be tagged by umpires and taken out of action.

A-Bombs Too

The exercise is under the direction of Maj.-Gen. E.C. Plow, chief of the army's eastern command. and Maj.-Gen. J.M. Rockingham, commander of the 1st Division will be assistant director. Other positions will be taken by a large group of senior officers.

Before the exercise started tents of intelligence officers hummed with activity in both camp. There were reports of small infiltrations, new positions, camp movements and light manoeuvres. Everything was filed.

When either side sets off an atomic bomb they will use an indicator of smoke and gunpowders. The smoke will mushroom to the sky and umpires will study wind conditions to see how many men die from radiation. The umpiring staff from the army college include a group of exchange officers from such countries as France, Pakistan and the United States.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The King's Message to the Canadians (1915)
Topic: CEF

"Canada's Glorious First Contingent; The Dominion's instant response to the call sent regiment after regiment piling across the seas, establishing a remarkable record of defying the submarines. This picture shows Canadian troops after arrival in England drilling on Salisbury Plain preparatory to a review by King George" - from Canada's Sons and Great Britain in the Great War, by Col. George G. Naismith, 1919

The King's Message to the Canadians

King George V

Canada in Flanders, by Sir Max Aitken, M.P., 1916

To the First Division.

On February 4th, 1915, His Majesty the King inspected the 1st Canadian Division on Salisbury Plain, and afterwards write a message to the troops, which was read to all units on board ship after their embarkation for France. The full text of the message is as follows:—

Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Men:

At the beginning of November I had the pleasure of welcoming to the Mother Country this fine contingent from the Dominion of Canada, and now, after three months' training, I bid you Godspeed on your way to assist my Army in the field.

I am well aware of the discomforts that you have experienced from the inclement weather and abnormal rain, and I admire the cheerful spirit displayed by all ranks in facing and overcoming all difficulties.

From all I have heard, and what I have been able to see at today's inspection and march-past, I am satisfied that you have made good use of your time spent on Salisbury Plain.

By your willing and prompt rally to our common flag you have already earned the gratitude of the Motherland.

By your deeds and achievements on the field of battle I a confident that you will emulate the example of your fellow-countrymen in the South African War, and thus help to secure the triumph of our arms.

I shall follow with pride and interest all your movements. I pray that God may bless you and watch over you.

To the Second Division.

On September 2nd, 1915, the King, accompanied by Lord Kitchener, inspected the 2nd Division in Beachborough Park, Shorncliffe. Before leaving, His Majesty directed General Turner to inform all his Commanding Officers that he considered the Division one of the finest he had inspected since the beginning of the war. Subsequently the following message from the King was published in Orders:—

Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Men of the 2nd Canadian Division—six months ago I inspected the 1st Canadian Division before their departure for the front. The heroism they have since shown upon the field of battle has won for them undying fame. You are now leaving to join them, and I am glad to have an opportunity of seeing you to-day, for it has convinced me that the same spirit that animated them inspires you also. The past weeks at Shornecliffe have been for you a period of severe and rigorous training; and your appearance at this inspection testifies to the thoroughness and devotion to duty with which your work has been performed. You are going to meet hardships and dangers, but the steadiness and discipline which today have marked your bearing on parade to-day will carry you through all difficulties. History will never forget the loyalty and readiness with which you rallied to the aid of your Mother Country in the hour of danger. My thoughts will always be with you. May God Bless you and bring you victory.

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British pathé - George V inspects Canadians

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Canadian Guard; Buckingham Palace
Topic: Canadian Army

Canadian Units to Mount Guard at Buckingham Palace

Ottawa Citizen; 16 April 1953

For the first time in peacetime history Canadian soldiers are to mount a full guard at Buckingham Palace, army headquarters announced yesterday.

A composite detachment from the army's coronation contingent will relieve the household brigade of guard duty at the palace June 5—three days after the coronation.

The troops will be chosen from The Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and the Royal 22nd Regiment.

Personnel of the guard, which will consist of 54 officers and men, will not be selected until the contingent reaches England. A captain, three lieutenants, two warrant officers or senior NCOs, two sergeants, four corporals or lance-corporals and 42 privates will make up the guard.

For 24 hours the Canadian soldiers will guard Queen Elizabeth will all the pomp and tradition associated with the ceremony. The detachment, in addition to its duties at Buckingham Palace, also will provide a guard for Clarence House, residence of the Queen Mother.

Guarded During War

Although Canadian troops mounted guard at the palace for several days during the econd World War and placed sentries at the palace gate during the coronation ceremonies in 1937, this will mark the frst time the Canadian army has been given full guard responsibility in peacetime.

Shortly after the 1st Canadian Division arrived in England two Canadian units provided guards at the palace for a week.

The Royal 22nd Regiment, of which the late King George VI was colonel-in-chief, relieved the Welsh Guards on April 17, 1940, and in turn was relieved by the Toronto Scottish regiment whose colonel-in-chief is the Queen Mother. Eight days later the Toronto regiment handed over to the Coldstream Guards.

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The official website of the British Monarchy — Changing the Guard

"Units from Commonwealth realms occasionally take turn in Guard Mounting. In May 1998, Canadian soldiers from Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry mounted guard at Buckingham Palace for the first time since the Coronation in 1953."

British Pathé — French Canadians As King's Guard 1940

Canadian Mounties guard Buckingham Palace for Diamond Jubilee

"For the first time in history, Canadian Mounties displaced the Queen's personal bodyguard at Buckingham Palace. The May 23, 2012 event was the Queen's way of honoring years of loyal service from the Canadian Mounties during her Diamond Jubilee year. Jubilee events are stepping up with less than two weeks to go before the central Jubilee weekend.

"The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as they are formally known, trained with the Queen's bodyguard ahead of taking on their historic role. Queen Elizabeth is Commandant in Chief of the Canadian Forces and in that capacity invited them to take part in the Changing of the Guard."

2 RCR Takes Over Palace Guards

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 3 March 2014

Gun: parts of the cannon
Topic: Militaria


From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776


From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776

Gun. The length is distinguished by three parts; the first reinforce, the second reinforce, and the chace; the first reinforce is two sevenths, and the second one-seventh and half a diameter of the first. The inside hollow, wherein the powder

and shot are lodged, the bore, and the diameter of the bore, is called the diameter of the caliber: the part between the hind end and the bore, the breech; and the fore part of the bore, the mouth. The cascable is the part terminated by the hind part of the breech, and the extremity of the button. The trunnions are the cylindric parts of metal which project on both sides of the gun, and rest in the grooves, made in the side-pieces of a carriage. The mouldings are those behind the breech, and reckoned to belong to the cascable, the first and second reinforce ogees, astragals, rings, and fillets. Those of the first reinforce are a ring ogee joining to it, and an astragal with fillets; the part of the gun between the ogee and astragal is called the vent field; because the vent is placed there; the ogee of the second, a ring and ogee; and those of the chace, a ring ogee; the astragal with fillets, the muzzle astragal; the swelling of the muzzle, an ogee or cimaise and two fillets: the part between the ogee and chace astragal, the chace girdle; and the part from the muzzle, astragal and the mouth, the muzzle. Formerly guns were distinguished by the names of sakers, culverins, cannon, demi-cannon, &c. at present their names are taken from the weight of their shot, as, for example, a twelve or twenty-four pounder carries a ball of twelve or twenty-four pounds weight.

Guns are made of brass or cast iron; the brass is a mixture of copper and tin; sometimes yellow brass is added, but it is reckoned to make the metal brittle. The most common proportion is, to an hundred pounds of copper, twelve pounds of tin; copper requires a red heat to melt, and tin melts in a common fire; when a gun is much heated by firing, the tin melts or softens so much that the copper alone supports the force of explosion, whereby they generally bend at the muzzle, and the vent widens so much as to render the gun useless. If such a composition could be found that required an equal degree of heat to melt, it would answer the intent; but as no such thing has been hitherto discovered, I look upon good iron to make better and more durable guns than any other composition whatever, as experiments and practice have shewn. All our brass battering guns made use of this last war, were too soon rendered unserviceable.

The necessary tools for loading and firing guns, are rammers, sponges, ladles, worms, hand- spikes, wedges, or screws. The rammer is a cylinder of wood, whose diameter and axis is equal to that of the shot, and serves to ram home the wads out upon powder and shot; the sponge is the same, only covered with lamb-skin, and serves to clean the gun when fired; the rammer and sponge are fixed to the same handle. The ladle serves to load the gun with loose powder; the worm to draw our the wads when a gun is to be unloaded; the hand=spikes, to move and lay the guns; and the coins, or wedges, to lay under the breech of the gun, to raise or depress it.

In field-pieces, a screw is used instead of coins, by which the gun is kept to the same elevation. The tools necessary to prove guns, besides those mentioned for loading, are, a priming-iron, a searcher with a reliever, and a searcher with one point. The first searcher is an iron, hollow at one end to receive a wooden handle; having on the other, from four to eight flat springs of about six inches long, pointed and turned outwards at the ends. The reliever is an iron flat ring, with a wooden handle at right angles to it. When a gun is to searched after it has been fired, this searcher is introduced, and turned every way from one end to the other; and if there is any hole, the point of one or the other spring gets into it, and remains till the reliever, passing round the handle of the searcher, presses the springs together and relieves it; if any of the points catch in the vent, the priming-iron is introduced to relieve it. When there is any hole or roughness in the gun, the distance from the mouth on the outside is marked with chalk. The other searcher

has also a wooden handle and a point at the fore end of about an inch long; at right angles to the length about this point is some wax mixed with tallow, and when introduced into the hole or cavity is pressed in, and drawn forwards and backwards; then the impression upon the wax gives the depth, and the length is known by the motion of the searcher if the hole is a quarter of an inch deep and downwards, the gun is rejected.

A gun when pointed to hit the mark, will carry the ball about seven hundred yards, the culverin about the same distance, but the bastard less. The ordinary force of a gun, fired at two hundred yards from the mark, drives the ball into the solid earth about ten or twelve feet; and into sand, or loose earth, from twenty two to twenty-four feet.


Parts of a Cast iron or Bronze Gun

Diagram from "An Introduction to British Artillery in North America," by S. James Gooding, Museum Restoration Service, Ottawa, Ontario, 1965.
(Click to see full-size image.)

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 2 March 2014

New Army Carrier (1958)
Topic: Militaria

New Army Carrier

The News and Eastern Townships Advocate; 18 September 1958

Ottawa, Aug.—The development of an armoured personnel carrier for the Canadian Army was announced here today by army headquarters.

The new tracked vehicle is essentially a troop carrier although it has been designed with a chassis capable of being converted to several other roles, one of them being self-propelled artillery.

The first of three prototypes being built for the Army by Canadian Car in Montreal were delivered this month, and are now undergoing engineering trials at the Army's proving grounds near Ottawa. If the prototypes prove successful, pilot vehicles will be ordered and subjected to user trials by Army units at training centres across the country. This is the usual procedure of assessing new types of equipment.

Speed and mobility are tow essential factors which will enable the modern soldier to exist on the atomic battlefield of any future war. The new vehicle is the outcome of considerable thought given to the development of a vehicle which would meet these requirements. The sides of the armoured personnel carrier, which are constructed on armour plate, will provide protection against the usual battlefield hazards of small arms fire and shell fragments. The armour will also afford complete protection from the thermal effects of atomic explosions and, in a lesser degree, against the blast and radiation effects.

Being amphibious the vehicle can rapidly transport its load of fighting men across all types of terrain and deposit them at their objective fresh and ready for battle. Eleven fully loaded soldiers can load onto the carrier in 10 seconds and on arrival at their new location can disembark in 8 seconds.

The unique track design of this Canadian developed vehicle in the result of many years experience with tracked vehicles by the Army in the Canadian North. For simplicity in construction many commercial parts have been used. The vehicle is powered with a modified commercial truck engine.

The chassis, being capable of conversion to various roles, will make the problem of supply much simpler by greatly reducing the variety of reserve stocks of vehicles and spare parts. It will also mean a saving in transport, maintenance and in the training of service personnel.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 23 February 2014 6:51 PM EST
Saturday, 1 March 2014

48th Highlanders Bayonet Fighting Champion
Topic: Canadian Militia

This photo, which shows the bayonet fighting team of The Royal Canadian Regiment in Bermuda (1915) illustates the seriousness with which this was taken as a military sport. Note the padded suits and protective helmets, and the training rifles with blunt tipped "bayonet" extensions.

48th Highlanders Bayonet Fighting Champion

Daily Mail and Empire; 19 June 1897

Newspapers all over the Dominion have been referring to the great success of the 48th Highlanders at the Royal Military tournament in London, as the following from the Montreal Witness shows:—

Private George Stewart; Winner of the Individual Bayonet Championship of the British Empire, 1897. (Source)

Canada has certainly to thank Toronto and the officers of the 48th Highlanders for the honour she has won by the skill of the team sent by them to compete in the Royal Military tournament, where British regulars, irregulars, and volunteers, white and coloured, from all over the Empire meet in friendly combat. Toronto's Highlanders bayonet team easily defeated all colonial teams in the bayonet trials, and four Canadians were left to compete for the for the colonial prize. Then they defeated the British regulars apparently only with less ease, and then overcame the team of picked men from the Household troops, drawn from the Life Guards, the Grenadier Guards, and Scots Guards. Finally, the most skillful of the Canadian team, Private Stewart, won the Empire prize against all victors in previous contests, and is therefore the British Empire champion. Toronto intends to give Private Stewart a public welcome when he returns; if he lands from his steamer in Montreal our volunteers should see to it that he and the rest of the team do not step on shore without three hearty cheers in their honour.

It is about time the matter was taken up by the city, and preparations begun for a right royal reception. Hayhurst, after he won the Queen's prize, was given a reception in Toronto, while in Hamilton he owned the town for the time being. Shall we be behind Hamilton in doing honour to Stewart and the rest of the team? Hayhurst was given a Government position, and the present Government should do as much for Stewart, who needs it perhaps worst that Hayhurst did, and who had brought as much glory to Canada as the Queen's prize-man did. All the 48th team learned their bayonet fighting right in Toronto, the results being due to Canadian training, not Scotch. The greatest credit is due Sergt. Williams, the instructor, and if there is to be any substantial recognition of their services by the citizens Sergt. Williams and Pte. Stewart should be bracketed together.

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From this online presentation of a 48th Highlanders' history, we find the identities of all the members of the 48th Highlanders' team:

"An event which will go down in the annals of the Forty-Eighth Highlanders is the victory of the regimental team at the Islington Royal Military Tournament. The tournament, which is a military function of the highest importance, took place in June, 1897, and a team from the Forty-Eighth decided to cross the ocean to take part. It was a bold venture, but Sergt. Williams and his men felt confident that they would win honour for the Regiment. Great public interest was aroused by the event. The citizens of Toronto, the City Council, and the Ontario Government subscribed handsomely to the fund required to cover the expenses of the trip. The ten members of the team were: Sergt.-Instructor Williams, "H" Co., in command, Pte. Rankin and Pte. McCheyne, "A" Co., Pte. Campbell and Pte. Rae, "E" Co., Pte. Wallbridge and Pte. DeLisle, "G" Co., Pte. Stewart, Pte. I. McLean and Pte. Wasson, "H" Co. The team was accompanied by Major Wilbur Henderson, "H" Co. The contests were with bayonets, and though the Highlanders were in excellent form, few Canadians expected the victory would have been so complete and glorious. The Highlanders won in three contests."

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 1 March 2014 4:05 PM EST
Friday, 28 February 2014

Why no Normandy Clasp?
Topic: Medals
1939-1945 Star Italy Star France and Germany Star Defence Medal Canadian Volunteer Servce Medal 1939-1945 War Medal
Awarded for six months service on active operations for the Army and Navy and two months for active air-crew service. Awarded for one day operational service in Sicily or Italy between 11 Jun 1943 and 8 May 1945. Awarded for one day or more of service in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany between 6 Jun 1944 (D-Day) and 8 May 1945. Usually awarded to Canadians for six months service in Britain between 3 Sep 1939 and 8 May 1945. Granted to persons of any rank in the Naval, Military or Air Forces of Canada who have voluntarily served on Active Service. Awarded to all full-time personnel of the Armed Forces and Merchant Marines for serving for 28 days between 3 Sep 1939 and 2 Sep 1945.

Why no Normandy Clasp?

There are always those soldiers who want their service to be distinctly recognized, or to ensure they receive as many identifiably separate awards for their service as they see others receiving. The following letter, published in the Second World War Canadian Army newspaper The Maple Leaf in 1945, shows that this is not a new consideration.


The Maple Leaf; 18 July 1945

Editor, The Maple Leaf:

A lot of discussions have been going on here over the awarding of Campaign Stars, and everyone seems agreed on one point. Why is there no recognition of service in the Normandy Campaign? First and Fifth Divisions, quite deservedly, receive the Italy Star for their wonderful work in that country, and they receive the France and Germany Star for their part of the fighting in NW Europe. We all agree that they should receive the France and Germany Star, but we also think that there should be some recognition for the Normandy action which was part of the NW European fighting. Why not a clasp on the campaign ribbon for all those who were in the Normandy beachhead battles. This would put us more on par with the other two Divisions, and would be greatly appreciated by all those who saw action in France.


Sgt T.G. Lynch

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The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Infantry School Corps (1892)
Topic: The RCR

Canadian Militia parading at Stanley Barracks, Toronto (circa 1910).

The Infantry School Corps (1892)

The Active Militia of Canada

The Qu'Appelle Progress; 7 January 1892

Lientenant-Colonel William Dillon Otter

I must give honor to an institution which is doing a good work in raising the militia of Canada to as higher state of efficiency, "C" School of Infantry, established in New Fort Barracks, Toronto, under the command of one of Canada's leading military men, Lieutenant Colonel Otter.

As the law makes it compulsory to hold a certificate from one of the schools before confirming an officer's commission, the immediate and vast benefit to our militia of having three trained officers at the head of each company and a thoroughly qualified staff with each battalion must be apparent.

"C" Royal School of Infantry accommodates from twelve to fifteen officers and men each course of three months; and the officer or man going there for a lark finds out his mistake very quickly. Steady work and close application to the numerous books placed in his hands are necessary to win the requisite marks to entitle him to the coveted papers necessary to hold a position of trust in our militia force. Officers receive pay at the ate of $1 per day and rations, out of which are taken their mess expenses, but the nonuser of tobacco or wine generally has a few dollars coming to him at the end of the month. The men receive 50 cents per day and rations. Each one receives free transportation to the school, but there is no allowance for the trip home unless successful in winning papers, which of course means staying the full time.

Arduous as may be the work in the drill sheds and on the wide expanse of common, few officers who have passed a course but look ahead eagerly for the time when they shall have another three months to devote to military duties.

The "Old Fort" and the "New Fort" are the names which respectively designate the abandoned quarters and the new group of fine stone buildings half a mile farther west on the shore of Toronto Bay. Both the old and the new quarters are close to the shore, which rises at the latter place to a sodded awn, on whch are planted two heavy smooth-bore cannon mounted on ship gun carriages. Through the weedy embrasures of the old earth-work peep the muzzles of a dozen small old smooth-bore ship guns. All these are said to be of the spoils of Sebastopol, and in their day flamed against the stubbornly defended trenches and wooden walls of the British besiegers.

Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario (circa 1907).

In 1885 the Government of Canada became aware of the necessity of an additional school for military instruction in Ontario, and selected London, in the western portion of the province, as a suitable site. The extensive and imposing three-story brink barrack in the form of a huge crescent dominates the crest of a slight eminence, and affords a charming view of the young "Forest City," as London the lesser is called. The force here, as at Toronto, is composed of one company (D) of the permanent infantry of Canada, and with the non-commissioned officers and the school of instruction it makes up a body of about 100 non-commissioned officers and men. Lieutenant Colonel Smith, who wears the medal and clasp of 1885, is in command. His staff is as follows: Surgeon, M.J. Hanavan; captains, D.D. Young, R.L. Wadmore and R. Cartwright. And Lieut S.J.A. Denison. They turn out well-trained officers and men from this institution, which is a proof of capable management. The officers of the Thirty-second and Thirty-third battalions acquire their training at this school.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 26 February 2014

RCA Centennial; Parliament Hill (1955)
Topic: Canadian Army

Royal Canadian Artillery Observes Centennial With Big Show on Hill

Ottawa Citizen; 26 May 1955
By Dave McIntosh, Canadian Press Staff Writer

When his 21st Army Group stood victorious in Germany in 1945, Field Marshal Montgomery sent this message to the artillery:

"I think all the other arms have done very well, too. But the artillery has been terrific …"

Canada's gunners will probably hark back to this message today when the Royal Canadian Artillery celebrates its centennial. It is the oldest military formation in Canada.

The ceremonies began at 12.30 p.m. when Maj.-Gen. H.O.N. Brownfield of Brockville, Ont., Honorary Colonel Commandant of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, inspected a guard of honour drawn up on the lawn in front of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

On display was a collection of artillery weapons ranging from a muzzle-loading, nine-pounder cannon use in the War of 1812-15 to the Nike, the new ground-to-air guided missile.

Special Parties

Canadian gunners everywhere held special parties and parades. There now are 5,000 regular soldiers serving in 12 artillery units. The 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, is part of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade in Germany.

"Artillery Day" actually marks the centennial of five units—the 2nd Field Battery of Ottawa, 7th Field Battery of Montreal, 11th Field Battery of Hamilton, 32nd Field Battery of Brockville and 57th Locating Battery of Quebec City.

Cannon fire echoed across forest clearings in Canada as long ago as 1636 when French settlers in Quebec prepared themselves for defence against the Indians.

A history of the Canadian artillery remarks that "the small cannon, if they did little to reduce the Indian population, at least impressed it."

Militia units manned some 23 guns in the defence of Quebec against Sir William Phips' attack in 1690. Volunteer gunners were in action at Pres de Ville, Que., in the Revolutionary War of 1775-76 and Canadian gunners saw action in the War of 1812-15.

Militia Act

In 1855, the Militia Act was passed by Canada's united Parliament (Quebec and Ontario only). Part of the 5,000-man authorized force included seven batteries of field artillery.

Maj.-Gen. T.B. Strange who commanded "B" Battery at Quebec City from 1871 to 1887 and later became dominion inspector of artillery, is known as the "father of Canadian artillery."

Gen. Strange used to turn out his gunners for sudden exercises at night, to the wrath of the sleeping citizens of Quebec.

Two regular batteries and many militia artillery units took part in the 1885 northwest campaign.

In 1893, the Canadian artillery received the designation "Royal" from Queen Victoria. Six years layer, three batteries were despatched to South Africa to fight in the Boer War.

Served Overseas

Some 38,000 of the 44,000 gunners who enlisted in the First World War served overseas. A total of 2,031 gunners were killed and another 7,953 wounded. Two batteries served in north Russia and one in Siberia.

The artillery took part in all the big battles in which Canadians were involved—Ypres, the Somme, Passchendaele, Amiens, Arras, Cambrai, Mons and Vimy Ridge.

In 1926, the RCA's motto was adopted officially. It is "Ubique, quo fas et gloria ducunt" ("everywhere, wither right and glory lead").

The sad day arrived in 1929 when the regiment—gunners refer to the RCA simply as "the regiment"—was informed it was to become mechanized but it was not until 1937 that it parted with its last horse, the same year that the first peacetime anti-aircraft batteries were formed.

Casualties High

In the Second World War, the gunners suffered 5,592 casualties, 1,223 of them fatal.

The 1st RCHA was in France for a few days in 1940 and elements of the 2nd divisional artillery landed at Dieppe in 1942. Guns of the 1st Division supported infantry and tanks in Sicily in 1943.

Gunners of the 3rd Division fired their 105-millimeter howitzers from landing craft before they set foot in France June 6, 1944. they were joined later by the 4th Division and 2nd Canadian Corps Artillery.

Canadian gunners have also served in Korea. The 2nd Regiment, RCHA, was the first on the scene, followed by the 1st, 4th, and 3rd Regiments, in that order.

In 1952, King George VI became the first Captain General of the Royal Canadian Artillery, a distinction accorded no other corps in the Canadian Army.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Quebec, 1759; and the events which followed
Topic: The Field of Battle

Quebec, 1759

From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776


From: The Military Guide for Young Officers, by Thomas Simes, Esq., Philadelphia, 1776

Quebec, the capital of Canada, in North America, lies at the confluence of the river St. Lawrence, has a castle on the brow of a hill, about forty fathoms above the town, but irregularly built and fortified, having only two bastions, without a ditch towards the city. It has also another fort on Cape Diamont, a solid rock, 400 fathoms high, with only some few works, and redoubts commanding both it and the town; but the place owes its strength more to mature than art. It lies 300 miles northwest of Boston, in New England. Latitude, 47.35. north; longitude, 74.10. west.

In 1759, the British army and navy came before it, when the Commanders made excellent dispositions for reducing it, but were baffled by the caution of General Montcalm, the strength of the place, and the insurmountable difficulty of the troops landing to attack it; so well was nature assisted by art, that even the undaunted Wolfe despaired of success, and after being checked and repulsed the enemy. However, by a train of stratagems, a landing was at last effected, but under greater disadvantages than any other upon record, by being obliged to drag their artillery up a steep and dangerous ascent; but having, by incessant labour, gained the top of the hill, September 13, immediately formed.

Montcalm was now compelled to risque a battle on the plains of Abraham, in which the English were victorious, but lost their brave Wolfe, who died on the field, and General Monckton was dangerously wounded. The honour of completing the victory fell on Lord Townsend, who drove the enemy from every part, with the loss of only 500 men, though that of the French exceeded 1500. Five days after this, September 18th, the city surrendered to the British troops. Though Wolfe has immortalized his name, whilst the glorious conquest of Canada illustrates English annals, yet all must allow, glorious as this victory was, and important in its consequences, that it was too dearly purchased by his death. Officers may be formed by attention and experience; but the loss of so great a General, Christian, and soldier, is irretrievable. He was an honour to his King, a friend to to his country. and an ornament to society and his profession. Montcalm was killed on the spot, and the next General in command so dangerously wounded, that he died in a few days.

After this victory, General Murray, was appointed Governor of Quebec, and the garrison supplied with such stores and provisions as could be spared out of the fleet; which leaving Quebec, and the enemy knowing no ships of war were left to outfit the garrison in case of danger; and sensible that they were greatly reduced in numbers, by sickness, &c., and the fortifications in a bad state of defence; with this striking appearance of success, Monsieur de Levi was encouraged to attempt its recovery ; and therefore determined upon a regular siege, in the spring of 1760, before the place could receive succour from the English fleet.

Monsieur de Levi, having assembled an army of 13,000, took the field on the 17th of April, being well provided for a siege. He sent his provisions, ammunition, and heavy baggage, down the river St. Lawrence under the protection of six frigates, from twenty-six to forty-four guns, by which he entirely mastered the river; and after ten days march, his army appeared on the heights near Quebec.

General Murray had now only two things to determine on; to stand a siege within the ruined works of Quebec, or to march out and give battle to the enemy; he, therefore, with equal spirit and resolution to a variety of unpleasing circumstances, which surrounded him, chose the latter; and marched out at the head of 3000 brave men, with about twenty field pieces, resolved to attack the enemy, leaving a sufficient number to keep the inhabitants in awe, and the gates open. This daring scheme struck the enemy with surprise; their troops were posted beneath some woody eminences; but before they could be in regular order of battle, their van, which was also posted upon eminences, was so furiously attacked, as to be driven into the utmost disorder, with great loss, upon the main body, which was drawn up in the valley below, formed in columns, and received the troops with so hot a fire, that they were staggered in the pursuit; and nothing but the intrepidity of the General, and that of those under him, could have preserved them and their garrison, the enemy being above four times their number. Further resistance would have been imprudent, as they had lost some hundreds of men, and the French upwards of 2000. General Murray after returning into his garrison, was judged irretrievably undone, no ships being sent to assist him; yet his courage was unshaken; his ardour redoubled by his difficulties, and, by diligence and penetration, compensated for the weakness of his fortifications and troops.

The French opened trenches that same night against the place; but it was the 11th of May before they could bring two batteries to bear; and their fire even then was ill plied; this gave the garrison time to prepare for its defence, and upwards of 100 pieces of cannon were mounted on its ramparts. On the 9th of May, two days before the batteries were opened, a vessel arrived in the basin, with an account that Lord Colville, with a small squadron, had entered the river St. Lawrence, and would sail in a few days to their relief. On the 15th, a ship of the line, and two frigates arrived; which frigates were immediately sent against the French squadron, that lay above the town, and in a very few hours either took or destroyed them; upon which Levi raised the siege with the greatest precipitation, abandoned all their immense stores, their standing camp, baggage, &c. Many prisoners were taken in the pursuit.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 19 February 2014 4:57 PM EST
Monday, 24 February 2014

Cap Badges; Designs for Corps and Units (1948)
Topic: Militaria

Canadian Army Orders (1948)

29th November 1948

84-1 — Dress Regulations for Officers and Other ranks of the Canadian Army (Provisional)

Part I — Section 11 — Badges and Buttons

Cap Badges — Designs for Corps and Units

16.     Cap badges, collar badges and buttons emblematic of each corps (or unit in the case of the RCAC, RCIC and contingent in the case of COTC) will he selected as far as possible by representatives of all such corps and units or contingents.

17.     The cap badges, collar badges and buttons worn by personnel of corps and units will be those as authorized in Canadian Army Orders from time to time. Existing corps and units, for which designs have been authorized will NOT have alterations made in such badges or buttons without approval of Army Headquarters.

18.     (a)     When the formation of a new corps or, in the case of the RCAC and RCIC, a new unit, and the COTC, a new contingent, is being considered, designs or particulars of the badges and button which it wishes to adopt will be submitted to Army Headquarters at the earliest possible date.

(b)     Designs submitted should be an actual sample or a properly drawn up sketch giving the following particulars in each case:

(i)     Nature of the badge—i.e., cap, collar.

(ii)     Dimensions—i.e., extreme height and width.

(iii)     Nature of the metal—i.e., brass, white metal, bronze, etc, stating difference if any in metals to be used for badges for officers and other ranks. With the exception of Rifle Regiments, who may use black metal, all other corps and units should wear brase or white metal badges or a combination of the two metals.

(iv)     Description of the badge giving history and symbolic significance of the component parts.

(c)     For the information and guidance of all concerned and particularly to assist commanding officers in deciding upon the suitability of designs of badges and buttons desired, the following factors, which influence the approval of designs submitted, will be observed :

(i)     Every badge should have one dominant feature; in a cap badge this should be the distinctive device of the corps or unit. The other elements should be as few in number as possible in order to simplify reproduction, to avoid confusion of details and to maintain significance and individuality.

(ii)     An essential part of the cap badge is the name of the unit, usually displayed on a scroll or annulus.

(iii)     The Imperial Crown, if borne on badges, should conform to the authorized design and should NOT be less than 1/4 the total height of the badge. It expresses the sovereignty of His Majesty the King, and is never to be surmounted by any other feature, although it may be placed upon a maple leaf or other emblem. The use of the Imperial Crown requires Royal Assent.

(iv)     Royal Assent is also required before any motto may be used by a corps or unit; when the use of a motto is sought, traditional or other reasons in support of the request must be advanced. The fact that the motto was previously worn by a unit or corps which is perpetuated by the petitioning unit is considered a sufficient reason for submission.

(v)     On the Garter, the use of any motto or title other than the motto "HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE" is incorrect and improper.

(vi)     Maple leaves if used must conform to the standard maple leaf design in accordance with the diagram hereunder:

(Acer Sacoherum )

(vii)     It is incorrect to embody in the design any scroll without a name, motto or other inscription thereon. All inscriptions, on scrolls must read continuously.

(viii)     As corps and regimental badges are common to all units forming part thereof, it will NOT be permissible for a number or numeral to be borne thereon except in the case of a regiment where a number is part of the regimental title as a whole; e.g., 15th Armoured Regiment (6th Hussars).

(ix)     Designs for buttons should be as plain as possible to simplify reproduction.

(x)     If a corps or unit desires to adopt the badges of an allied unit as indicated in Section 1, paras 23, 24, there are certain honorary distinctions and devices which would be inappropriate for a corps or unit of the Canadian Army to adopt, examples of which are as follows:

(a)     Honours awarded to the individual allied regiment for conspicuous service in the field, which include such devices as the Sphinx for service in Egypt, etc.

(b)     Special mottoes awarded to the allied regiment by Royal Assent for conspicuous or special service.

(c)      Devices pertaining to a Royal personage, such as the Prince of Wales' plume, the use of which is restricted to units whose designations embody the title of the Royal personage concerned.

(d)     This applies also to devices such as the Coronet of a Royal personage or Peer who might be an Honorary Colonel of a British regiment but who does not hold such association with the allied Canadian unit.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 23 February 2014

A Militia Field Day and Mock Battle (1880)
Topic: Canadian Militia

This early 1900s postcard shows a military review held on the Plains of Abraham,
possibly the 1908 Tercentennary Review.

Sketch of Field Day in Honor of Her Majesty's Birthday on 24th May at Quebec

The Montreal Gazette; 21 April 1880

It is expected that the following troops will assemble in Quebec to celebrate the Queen's birthday on 24th May next.

Two squadrons of Cavalry, two Field Batteries, (8 guns), five Garrison Batteries, eight Infantry Battalions.

The corps from a distance will arrive on Monday morning, under arrangements made for their transport.

The troops will be drawn up in line upon the Plains of Abraham, at half past eleven o'clock a.m., for which purpose no corps should arrive on the ground later than eleven o'clock.

The line will face the St. Louis road, and be drawn up as far back from it as the ground will permit.

If there is not enough space for the line, the cavalry and artillery on the right will be thrown forward en potence.

His Excellency the Governor-General and Her Royal Highness the Princess Louise will, upon arrival, be received with a royal salute from the line with colors drooped and bands playing the National Anthem. His Excellency and Her Royal Highness will probably then ride down the line and inspect the troops, preceded by the staff in the regulated order of formation. The band of each regiment will strike up as the procession approaches the right flank of the corps. A noon a royal salute and feu de joie will be fired in honour of Her Majesty's birthday. After each 7 guns the Infantry will fire one round of running fire, three times successively. When arms are ordered, the order will be given "Off hats and three cheers for Her Majesty." The troops will then march past in column and quarter column, preparatory to which the Infantry will form quarter column on the right companies of Battalions. The Cavalry and Artillery conforming. Immediately after marching past, the troops will be formed for the following evolutions of a field day. The attacking force will consist of about 900 men and will be formed on the low ground at the extreme edge of the Plains close to the Marchmont fence. It will be composed of the following corps, viz:

Half troop of Cavalry, Quebec Field Battery, "A" and "B" Batteries, (without guns), 9th Battalion Rifles and 62nd battalion.

This force will be commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Strange, R.A. The remainder, with the four guns of "A" and "B" Batteries, will compose the defending force, and will at once proceed to rake position under the walls of the Citadel, either in the ditches or the low ground in front of them. They will throw parties of riflemen into the two Martello Towers, and will leave one corps of riflemen under cover of the broken ground near those towers, and another behind Wolfe's Monument. Lieut.-Colonel Duchesnay will command this force. The western walls of the citadel will be manned by the five garrison batteries of artillery, and the guns on the bastions commanding the approaches from the Plains will have gun detachments told off to each. Should an attack from the river take place, the gins on the King's bastion and eastern face of the Citadel must also be manned. The troops in the Citadel will be under command of Lieut.-Colonel Irwin, R.A. On a signal being give, the attacking force will advance in order of attack across the Plains of Abraham; they will first be assailed by the outpost near Wolfe's Monument; upon which they will open fire and drive them in. The Martello Towers and supporting corps of riflemen will open fire upon the assailants, when within range. The towers will be captured and the troops driven in, retiring in skirmish order upon the main body in the Citadel ditches. The assailants advancing and steadily firing upon the retiring out-posts, will suddenly be arrested by a fire from the Citadel walls, and simultaneously by a sortie of the infantry concealed in the ditches. This main body now re-inforced by the out-posts will advance in order of attack over the Cove Common and rough ground, covered by fire from the fortress. They will recover the Martello Towers and detach a battalion of infantry supported by cavalry to the right, in order to turn the left flank of the retiring force by the St. Louis Road and reach the Plains by the gateway near the toll-bar. The retiring force will dispute the ground at every obstacle, especially where there are enclosures and palings to cover riflemen; but the opposing forces must never approach nearer than 200 yards from each other. When the retreating force again reaches the open Plains of Abrham assailed on the left flank by the turning movement, and in rear by the continually advancing forces before which they are retiring, they will fight a retreating action till they again reach the point of low ground from whence the orginally advanced and where they will be lost to sight. A charge of cavalry might then be made across the Plains in close order, performing the pursuing practice with the supposed object of completely dispersing the enemy. The operation of the troops of all arms, when passing and re-passing through the enclosed ground, between the New Gaol and the Martello Towers, will require the exercise of the most military intelligence and circumspection, on the part of the commanders, and all the regimental officers and men employed. Should a demonstration be made by one or more of Her Majesty's ships from the river, I suggest the ships get under weigh in the morning, and drop down towards the Island of Orleans. On approaching the city of Quebec about one o'clock, when the land attack on the Citadel will be commencing, they might on hearing the firing from the heights, open a broadside fire of half an hour on the works of the Citadel. This would be hotly returned, and at the end of that time they would sheer off with yards canted, supposing the lifts and braces have been shot away, and with boats hanging disordered in the davits. The troops, after the field day, will form a line of quarter-columns, at close interval on the original ground, advance in review-order, give a royal salute, and upon the departure of the Governor-General and Her Royal Highness the Princess, the field artillery will fire a royal salute of 21 guns. The whole force will be under the command of Lieut.-General Sir Edward Selby Smith, K.C.M.G., who will generally direct the evolutions of the troops engaged. The scarlet and rifle brigaes will be commanded by their respective officers. The infantry will be supplied with 30 rounds of blank cartridge per man. The pouches to be carefully examined to ascertain that no ball cartridge remains, previous to the issue of the blanks.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 23 February 2014 1:56 AM EST

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