The Minute Book
Sunday, 29 June 2014

Regimental Lucky Pocket Pieces
Topic: Militaria

Regimental Lucky Pocket Pieces

The Cairn-Craft "Coins"

Today we find regimental coins quite common, whether they are issued by units or regimentals to all members to commemorate significant anniversaries, minted for sale to members, or minted in small numbers to be handed out by commanding officers and regimental sergeants-major in recognition of good work. These types of coins have become sufficiently common that collecting them is growing area of interest for some people. But as common as they might be now, regimental coins are a relatively new phenomenon in the Canadian Army, growing in popularity to such a widespread context and usage over the past few decades.

Canadian regimental coins do, however, have one early forerunner from the Second World War. One small company in Toronto, now defunct, minted a series of coins called the Regimental Lucky Piece.

Twenty-five cents got the purchaser, whether a member of the subject unit or a relative or admirer, a 1 ¼-inch (31.5 mm) coin with badge and unit name on one side and generic good luck symbology on the reverse.

Coins can be found for the Royal Canadian Air Force, the 48th Highlanders of Canada, The Toronto Scottish, and the Irish Regiment of Canada. While the coins may be hard to find, it is even more rare to find one still in its original packaging.

The dearth of information on these coins and their manufacturer was detailed in an article in The CN Journal, published by The Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. The June, 2013, article; World War II Canadian "Regimental Lucky Pocket Piece" by Chris Boyer, F.R.C.N.A. concludes with a request for any further information on these coins or their manufacturer.

The reverse of the Regimental Lucky Pocket Pieces

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 28 June 2014

Multiple Sons in Service, 1917
Topic: CEF

The gravestones of the Chenier bothers, killed 9 April, 1917, on Vimy Ridge.

Multiple Sons in Service, 1917

The Canadian Annual Review War Series; 1917, by J. Castell Hopkins, F.S.S., F.R.G.S., published 1918 (pp. 548-549)

Mrs C.S. Wood, Winnipeg

Mrs Charlotte Susan Wood, of Winnipeg, photographed during the 1936 Vimy Pilgrimage for the dedication of the Vimy Memorial. Mrs Wood lost five sons during the Great War and was Canada's first Silver Cross Mother.

See this post on the Great War Forum for an interesting discussion as reasearchers attempt to verify the claims of the service and sacrifice of the Wood boys.

A feature of the military life of Canada in this war was the number of families who contributed all their eligible sons three, four and upwards to the Army, with very often the Father also. Reference has been made in preceding volumes to some of the better-known cases; a few more instances may be given here. The six sons of H.O. Bell-Irving of Vancouver all distinguished themselves in different branches of the Service: Lieut. Henry B. Bell-Irving, D.S.C., Dover Patrol; Major Richard Bell-Irving, R.F.C.; Major Fred. Bell-Irving, M.C., 14th Battalion; Capt. M. Bell-Irving, M.C., D.S.O., Royal Flying Corps; Fl. Comm. Duncan Bell-Irving, M.C., and Bar and Croix de Guerre; Lieut. A. Bell-Irving, R.A. The Lieut.-Governor of Nova Scotia, MacCallum Grant, had 5 sons on active service: Lieut. Eric M. Grant, 13th Batt., Capt. Gerald W. Grant, C.A.M.C., Lieut. J. M. Grant, R.C.N., Lieut. G. Grant, V. Battery, Mid'n H. S. W. Grant, R.C.N. The Stairs family of Halifax grandsons of Hon. W.J. Stair included Gavin and George, who were killed, and Herbert and Denis fighting in Flanders during 1917. Major-Gen. S.C. Mewburn, C.M.G., M.P., Minister of Militia, had a son killed in action, 8 nephews and 14 cousins on active service. The family of the late Thomas Brown, Toronto, had 24 members in the Army, of whom one was the late Lieut. G.A. Ewens and another Major Howard Jeffs. M.C. Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Sullivan of Winnipeg boasted 3 sons and 4 sons-in-law on active service; J. G. Cosgrove of Winnipeg had 3 sons at the Front and with them were 9 cousins all of Manitoba; Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Glenday of Toronto had sons or nephews 12 on service.The following statement compiled from all parts of Canada further illustrates this point:

Parent Residence No. of Sons on Service
Eustace CollinsMontreal8
Thomas O'ShaughnessyMontreal5
Mr. MawhinneyMontreal8
James BarnardMontreal(Father and 3 Sons)
Mrs. M. MorrisonMontreal4
Corp. James MurdockMontreal(Father and 3 Sons)
Charles CushingWestmount5
Donald McDonaldToronto7
J.E. BoswellToronto4
Mrs. Priscilla HayToronto4
Philip W. MooreToronto4
William CooperToronto4
Pte. H. MarshallToronto(Father and 3 Sons)
Pte. John ParmToronto(Father and 3 Sons)
John DalyToronto4
Mrs. David AshdownEast Toronto7
John A. LongOttawa6
Mrs. McCollOttawa4
A. DobbieVictoria4
Sergt. F.J. BarkerVictoria(Father and 3 Sons)
Sergt. J.A. KenningVictoria(Father and 6 Sons)
Mrs. N. PellowVictoria4
S.N. ReidVictoria4
Capt. A.G. SargisonVictoria(Father and 3 Sons)
Mrs. MalcolmVictoria4
J.K. NichollHalifax4
J.W. NicollHalifax4
Mrs. Annie AmbroseHalifax4
John SimpsonWinnipeg5
G.H. HeathWinnipeg5
Arthur J. HebbLunenburg5
Mrs. Letitia MeisterLunenburg5
Mrs. L. Kendall Vancouver4
William Tough Vancouver(Father and 3 Sons)
Thomas Campbell Vancouver5
S.G. Ball Vancouver10
Mr. Watts South Vancouver(Father and 7 Sons)
L.G. DoidgeNorth Vancouver4
Pte. Charles E.G. AdamsKelowna, B.C(Father and 4 Sons)
Pte. M.A. BerardKelowna, B.C(Father and 3 Sons)
Thomas HillColdwater5
John EnnisAyr, Ont4
John McLeanSydney, C.B4
Mrs. Solomon MatthewsSt. John's4
James W. MacintoshNew Glasgow5
Robert MathersClaburn, B.C(Father and 8 Sons)
Miles SimpsonShoal Lake4
Ernest GrattoTruro, N.S6
Hugh RobertsonVerdun, Que5
Lieut. Seymour GreeneDuncan, B.C(Father and 5 Sons)
Mr. SleightTisdale, Sask4
Pte. George P. KennedyPilot Mound(Father and 3 Sons)
J.B. CarruthersKingston4
Mrs. A. ColburneCumberland, N.S6
Thomas BoveyGananoque5
M. ThorsteinsonSturgeon Creek, Man.4
Mrs. J. LeavittVerdun. Que4
Mrs. A.D. TelferEdmonton4
J.W. MacDonaldPortage la Prairie4
Mrs. J.F. RichardsonMaitland, Ont4
H. RathboneGrand Mere, Que5
G.D. CampbellWeymouth, N.S.6

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 28 June 2014 8:31 AM EDT
Friday, 27 June 2014

French Weapon Ordered (1959)
Topic: Cold War

Sgts George Genge, Marc Bouchard and Peter Anderson compare mock-ups of the TOW missile (background) and the SS-11, which TOW replaced. Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.

French Weapon Ordered (1959)

Ottawa Citizen, 16 April, 1959
By the Canadian Press

A fourth type of guided missile—this one a French weapon—has been ordered for Canada's armed forces, it was learned today.

The missile is the SS-10, an army anti-tank weapons said to be capable of knocking out the heaviest known tank.

Number Not Known

The purchase contract between the Defence Production Department and Nord Aviation of Paris, is classified so that the number of missiles on order is not known.

However, it is understood that the initial order is of limited quantity because the Canadian army first wants to evaluate the missile before ordering enough to equip all four brigade groups.

The United States Army also has the SS-10 on order from Nord Aviation.

The other three guided missiles on order for the Canadian armed forces are the antiaircraft Bomarc, scheduled to be installed in Canada in late 1961; the surface-to-surface Lacrosse, some of which will be obtained by the army this year, and the air-to-air Sidewinder, now in use with carrier-borne navy fighter aircraft squadrons. All three are American weapons.

The SS-10 is guided by infantrymen or tank men by remote control through wires which unreel as the missile heads for its target.

The missile can be launched from the ground, a ground vehicle, a helicopter or a plane. It can be carried and operated by a single soldier. Its range and speed are secret.

Acquisition of the SS-10 will overcome one of the Canadian army's biggest handicap; its inability to pierce the nine-inch armor plate of Russian tanks, except at extremely short range.

Other missiles wanted by the armed forces include a ground to air anti-aircraft weapon for the army, such as the American Hawk, and a surface to underwater weapon for the navy.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 26 June 2014

Rumours of Wolseley Barracks Closing
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

Militia Minister Planning to Close Wolseley Barracks (1908)

All Permanent Forces in Ontario To Be Concentrated at Long Branch, Is Scheme
Means Transfer of Toronto, Kingston Men
Commons Will Be Asked To Approve This Plan At Next Session

The Hon. Sir Frederick W. Borden, KCMG, PC, MD
Minister of Militia and Defence (13 Jul 1896 – 6 Oct 1911)

The London Evening Free Press, 24 January 1908
Special to London Free Press

Toronto, Jan. 24.—It is stated in usually well-informed circles that at the forthcoming session of Parliament the minister of militia will ask for an appropriation to cover the cost of erecting permanent barracks at Long Branch to accommodate all the permanent forces in Ontario.

This will mean that Camp Borden will be abandoned and the air force moved to the Lake Shore site. Wolseley Barracks, London will be closed and the artillery moved from Kingston. The plans also provide for the moving of Stanley Barracks permanent force and Ordnance Corps at the Toronto armouries.

It is learned that a large quantity of special air fighting equipment now lies at Montreal, billed through for Long Branch when the Commons has approved of the minister's plans.

Pin-back button distributed as part of the campaign to prevent the movement of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment from Wolseley Barracks in 1992. The campaign was unsuccessful and the Battalion was relocated to CFB Petawawa where it remains.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Canadian Troops for the Yukon
Topic: Canadian Army

An array of Yukon Field Force images as displayed by Google image search.

Canadian Troops for the Yukon

In May, 1898, part of [The Royal Canadian] Regiment joined a mixed force, under the command of Major Thomas D.B. Evans, Royal Canadian Dragoons, which was sent as the Yukon field force, to police the new gold fields. Embarking at Vancouver they sailed for Glenora. From there they marched four hundred and thirty miles to Selkirk over mountainous and comparatively unknown country. Much difficulty and hardship was encountered, crossing swamps, lakes, and swift dangerous rivers. The column had to construct boats and scows to cross the latter. This journey from Glenora to Selkirk took about four months in all to complete.

In October, part of this force was sent to Dawson City, to assist the Royal North-West Mounted Police, to supply gold train and other guards. In 1899, Lieutenant-Colonel Hemming, of the Regiment, assumed command of the Yukon field force. Half of this force was withdrawn from the Yukon in 1899, the remainder in 1900. Although this force did not participate in any fighting, yet the police duties in such a district were most arduous, and the climatic and other conditions were quite as severe and as trying as any active campaign. This force was thanked by the Government for its good and arduous services.

Regimental History Pamphlet dated 1917, by "H.T.C."

Dr. Borden Makes a Statement in the House
The Force Will Number 200
The Expeditions Will Cost $300,000 for the First Year—The Route and Equipment.

Special to the Mail and Empire, 5 May 1898

Ottawa, May 4.—Dr. Borden, Minister of Militia; informed the House this afternoon that the detachment of the permanent force of Canada, numbering 200, which was being sent to the Yukon district, were being sent there to support and maintain the civil power. The Government, he said, had decided that the presence of this force was necessary owing to the extent of the territory, and the rich gold discoveries. There were 190 members of the North-West Mounted Police in the Yukon now, and it was at first intended to send more of this force into the country, but finally it was decided to augment it by a detachment of the permanent force. The total number, 200, included officers and non-commissioned officers. They would be accompanied by a few artificers and boatmen, to assist in carrying the expedition through. Dr. Borden said that the United States had four companies, comprising about 300 men, in Alaska at present. Two of these companies were at Skaguay, but he was not aware of the distribution of the other companies.

Cost of the Expedition

As far as he could ascertain, the expedition would cost $200,000 for the first year, in addition to the cost if the men were left at home, which would be $100,000. The cost in succeeding years would be materially less. The pay of the North-West Mounted Police had been doubled while they were in the Yukon country, and the Government proposed to treat the permanent force in the same manner. The force would go to Vancouver, via the C.P.R., thence to the mouth of the Stickeen by the C.P.R. Navigation Company, up the Stickeen to Glenora, thence to Lake Teslin, and on to Fort Selkirk, where it was proposed to construct necessary works and establish a barracks. They would be assisted in the navigation of the Stickeen by the Hudson Bay Co. The force would be under the control of the administrators of the territory. Part of the force would be left at Lake Teslin for a time. The men would be armed with Lee-Enfield rifles, 300 rounds per man. Two maxim guns, and two seven-pound field guns would also be taken.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Anti-Tank Grenade, No. 94 (ENERGA)
Topic: Militaria

Infantry Training Volume 1 – Infantry Platoon Weapons
Pamphlet No. 9, Part 1


elipsis graphic

"It is safe to fire ball ammunition through the projector when the grenade is removed. Stress that the firer will be killed should he be foolish enough to fire ball when the grenade in on the projector."


The Anti-Tank Grenade, No. 94 (ENERGA)

1.     This grenade has been introduced to provide the infantry section with a powerful and effective anti-tank weapon. It is discharged from a projector attached to the No. 4 rifle, and fired by means of a special grenade cartridge.

General Characteristics

2.     The weapon's chief characteristics are its great power and lightness. It is highly efficient against armour, concrete, etc., and can be used against "thin-skinned" targets.

3.     Performance.—The grenade will penetat the sides and rear of the heaviest known tank. The effect of the explosion is to burn a small hole through the armour. Through this hole a high velocity jet of burning gases and molten metal from the grenade is projected into the tank. This, besides causing casualties to the drew, may set fire to the fuel and ammunition.

4.     Accuracy.—The grenade is a first-class and efficient weapon. For an unrotated projectile its accuracy is of a high standard. A trained soldier should, after very little practice, group to approximately 30 inches at 75 yards. The shock of discharge on firing is, not unduly great and the firer, or any observer, can easily follow the flight of the grenade to the target.

5.     Effective range.—Ideal ranges are from 25 to 50 yards. Moving targets can be engaged with reasonable accuracy at any range up to 75 yards.

6.     Carriage.—The projector, when not on the rifle, is carried in a care which is attached to the waist belt. Grenades are carried in containers holding two grenades each.

Tactical Handling

1.     The primary role of the section anti-tank weapon is the destruction of tanks. In its secondary role, it can be used against thin-skinned vehicles and other targets, such as personnel, houses and concrete emplacements.

2.     When the weapon is sited for use in its primary role, the following points must be considered:—

(a)     It needs a field of fire of only just over 100 yards.
(b)     Surprise and concealment are most important.
(c)     Any obstruction in its path is likely to detonate the grenade before it reaches its target.
(d)     It must cover likely tank approaches, such as gaps in minefields.
(e)     It is best to engage the side or rear of a tank.
(f)     It is normal to fire it from a fire trench.
(g)     Few grenades are carried, and fire must be held till a kill is certain with each grenade.
(h)     Some defilade from the front is desirable.

3.     The uses of the weapon in its secondary role are manifold. Some suggestions are:—

(a)     House clearing and street fighting.
(b)     Ambushes.
(c)     Concrete emplacements and fortified houses.
(d)     Assault boats crossing rovers, and beach landings.
(e)     Enemy concealed in trees, hedges, etc.
(f)     Soft-skinned vehicles.

4.     When it is decided to use the weapon in is secondary role it must never be forgotten that the weapon is primarily anti-tank and that sufficient grenades must be kept for this purpose.

5.     In addition to his anti-tank duties, the Energa rifleman is a member of the rifle section; if the tank threat is remote, his section commander will site him as a rifleman rather than as a tank killer.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 23 June 2014

The Mainguy Report - Outstanding Points
Topic: RCN

HMCS Magnificent, c. 1950

The Mainguy Report (1949)

Historic Report

Ottawa Citizen; 2 Nov 1949
By the Canadian Press

The naval report, tabled in the Commons by Defence Minister Claxton, found "evidence of general inexperience of many officers, chiefs and petty officers" aboard the warships involved and criticized the failure to punish the offenders.

The report by Rear Admiral E.R. Mainguy, chief naval officer on the Atlantic Coast, Leonard W. Brockington, Ottawa lawyer, and L.C. Audette, wartime naval officer and a member of the Canadian Maritime Commission, constitutes a landmark in Canada's naval story. It has already gone out to all ships and 5,000 additional copies are being printed for the men.

It bared a broad demand within the ranks for "canadianization" of the force and underlines unfavorable results that sometimes arise when Canadian officers, given British naval training at a formative stage, come to handle the Canadian sailor who "is not the same kind of man" as the British Tar.

The report said of the incidents themselves that there was no justification for them as "mutinous incidents" but "there was justification for some of the complaints on which the dissatisfaction was founded."

It said they "came to a head because of the gradual and continuous murmurs of discontent against a series of small annoyances and a few basic injustices … there were many conditions which contributed or which could and should be mitigated, modified or eliminated (but) there was no cause sufficiently strong to justify in any degree the insubordination which took place."

The ones under investigation occurred earlier this year aboard the aircraft carrier Magnificent and the destroyers Athabaska and Crescent and consisted largely of brief sit-down strikes by 200-odd men all told. No punishments were handed out and the men returned to work after seeing the captain or a senior officer.

Outstanding Points in Report

Ottawa Citizen; 2 November 1949
By the Canadian Press

Highlights of the 27,000-word report of the commission investigating the Royal Canadian Navy tabled yesterday in the House of Commons:

Incidents aboard the Crescent, Magnificent and Athabaskan were technically "mutinies."

elipsis graphic

However, apart from the barring of mess doors, no force was used and there was no defience of a higher officer's orders.

elipsis graphic

No evidence of subversive Communist activity was indicated.

elipsis graphic

Commission found "a notable lack of human understanding between officers and men."

elipsis graphic

The report recommended more officer training in essentials of leadership.

elipsis graphic

Steps to "Canadianize" the navy were urged.

elipsis graphic

Lack of recreational facilities at two coastal bases—Cornwallis and Esquimalt—were deplored.

elipsis graphic

The commission made no recommendations regarding serving of liquor on ships but asked naval authorities to study the question and report to the minister.

elipsis graphic

The report found that "generally speaking" the young Canadian naval officer is not as well educated as his British or American contemporary.

elipsis graphic

The commission made a number of recommendations respecting recruiting, training, procedure, living conditions, recreation, ship's routine and other matters.

elipsis graphic

There was a wide opinion that "there is still too great an attempt to make the Canadian navy a pallid imitation and reflection of the British Navy … This is in no sense a criticism of the magnificent Royal Navy

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 22 June 2014

Proposed Reforms Would Be Costly (1913)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Proposed Reforms Would Be Costly (1913)

Sir Samuel Hughes, KCB, PC
(January 8, 1853 – August 23, 1921)

General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton
(16 January 1853 – 12 October 1947)

The Toronto World, 19 August, 1913

But Minister of Militia Agrees With Views Expressed in Gen. Hamilton's Report

Ottawa. Aug. 18.—(Can. Press)—Col. The Hon. Sam Hughes today expressed his accord with the views contained in Sir Ian Hamilton's report of the Canadian Militia. "I took good care that he saw the bad as well as the good in the force," said the Minister.

Carrying out the suggested reforms would require an enormous expenditure, probably more than double the ten millions now spent annually on Canada's militia, so any effect given the recommendations will probably be gradual.

The following are the chief recommendations of General Hamilton to which the minister of militia referred:

  • Increase in the instructional staff of the active militia.
  • Localization of instruction in divisional areas by means of provisional schools.
  • Abolition of central schools for infantry.
  • Increase in the remuneration of officer instructors.
  • Direct engagement from outside sources of some of the sergeant-instructors.
  • Increase in the peace establishment of the active militia.
  • Amalgamation of weak units.
  • Sixteen days' paid training for rural corps as well as city corps.
  • Training for rural corps at other times than during camping period.
  • Consideration of alternate policies affecting the permanent force.
  • Wider dispersion of permanent force units as the active militia increases; or
  • Concentration of permanent force units and their employment as units.
  • Assimilation of permanent force units if concentrated to the regular model.
  • Interchange of permanent force and regular units.
  • Creation of adequate war reserves of arms, ammunition, clothing, equipment and stores.
  • Scientific treatment of horse registration in peace.
  • Institution of a national reserve.
  • Preparation of classified muster rolls of men liable and fit for service.
  • Organization on paper of a reserve militia.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 21 June 2014

Notes on the Fantasian Army, 1964
Topic: Cold War

Notes on the Fantasian Army

These notes, from the 1960s, provided the organization of the Fantasian Army, the enemy force used in Staff Colleges, Army schools, and for training exercises in the UK and Canada during much of the Cold War.

Notes on the Fantasian Army

Notes on the Fantasian Army, 1964


1.     These notes are intended to provide order of battle information on the ground forces of an exercise enemy known as Fantasia.

2.     The Fantasian Army is organised and equipped on the model of the Soviet Army, and is trained by Soviet advisers. The information on the Soviet Army given in "Tactics of the Soviet Army, Notes for Regimental Officers 1964", (WO Code No. 9939) therefore applies to the Fantasian Army.

Background Information on Fantasia

3.     Fantasia is a leading world power with considerable industrial resources. It has developed strategic nuclear missiles in the inter-continental range, and tactical free flight and guided nuclear weapons with ranges up to 300 miles.

4.     The Fantasian Army is a modern and well equipped force with a high preponderance of tanks. Particular emphasis is placed on nuclear and chemical warfare, night operations, and the crossing of water obstacles. Military commanders are well trained in high speed offensive operations and, provided everything goes according to their plans, they can be expected to acquit themselves well. Morale is high and it is unlikely that desertion or surrender on on a large scale would occur unless the Fantasians sustained a series of reverses. The Army is backed by large trained reserves and a disciplined population.

Order of Battle

5.     Order of battle tables for the First Fantasian Front (Army Group) are at annexes A to F.

6.     In the Fantasian Army, the "unit" in motor rifle and tank troops is the regiment. These regiments are given individual numbers. Their sub-units, such as motor rifle battalions, are designated under a system illustrated at Annex G. Individual numbers are also given to certain battalion and company type units of supporting arms and services in division and higher formations, as shown in Annexes A to E.

Annex A - First Fantasian Front

Annex B - First Fantasian Combined Arms Army

Annex C - Second Fantasian Combined Arms Army

Annex D - Third Fantasian Combined Arms Army

Annex E - Fourth Fantasian Combined Arms Army

Annex G - Designation of Sub-Units within Fantasian Regiments


The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 May 2014 8:35 PM EDT
Friday, 20 June 2014

Canadian Military Aviation, 1916
Topic: RCAF

The State of Canadian Military Aviation, 1916

The Canadian Annual Review War Series; 1916, by J. Castell Hopkins, F.S.S., F.R.G.S., published 1918 (pp. 300-302)

H.R.H. the Governor-General … "endorses the War Office letter to the effect that if you train 5 to 10 candidates per month for the Royal Flying Corps, … they will be accepted for enlistment in the Royal Flying Corps…" It was, however, pointed out … that "this has nothing to do with a future Canadian Flying Service, as His Royal Highness understands that the Canadian Government does not contemplate any such department at present."

Aviation called for a select and limited number of men; it required special aptitudes and training. As a military arm in Canada it had during 1915 no strong official support as the Minister of Militia was understood not to care for this branch of the Service in comparison with others. During that year there had been tentative private efforts at organization and training and the raising of the necessary funds; an active class of young men were anxious to take up aviation and a movement along this line was energetically pressed by Col. W. Hamilton Merritt of Toronto. It was understood that the British War Office wanted aviators and individual Canadians who went over from time to time soon found a place in the British service when its requirements were met. Col. Merritt wrote the War Office as to his efforts to organize a Canadian Fund for the purpose of training aviators, which he had started months before, and a reply of Feb. 18, 1916, stated that his scheme should prove of "material assistance" and that "on completion of their training in Canada, these men would be enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps as 2nd-class air mechanics, draw pay as such at the rates provided in the royal warrant for pay, etc., and be granted free passage." Meanwhile Lieut.-Col. C.J. Burke, D.S.O., had been sent to Canada to make extensive first-hand inquiries regarding the possibility of training young Canadians to become military and naval aviators. He had travelled from coast to coast making inspections, and on his return to London early in 1916 was understood to have reported favourably upon the proposals of Col. Merritt and others in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver who had been specially anxious in the matter.

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles James Burke, DSO, (1881 or 82 – 9 April 1917) was an officer in the Royal Irish Regiment and the Royal Flying Corps and a military aviation pioneer.

Revived efforts followed with the appointment of a Committee in Toronto (A.G.C. Dinnick, Chairman) to arrange the establishment of a local Training School; the collection of a Fund in Vancouver to help the B.C. Aviation School in the purchase of 5 aeroplanes then under local construction; a statement dated Mar. 16 from H.R.H. the Governor-General that "he endorses the War Office letter to the effect that if you train 5 to 10 candidates per month for the Royal Flying Corps, who are under 30 years of age, medically qualified, of proved British birth and obtain a flying pilot's certificate, they will be accepted for enlistment in the Royal Flying Corps during the War." It was, however, pointed out by Col. E.A. Stanton in the same letter that "this has nothing to do with a future Canadian Flying Service, as His Royal Highness understands that the Canadian Government does not contemplate any such department at present." On May 12 the Naval Services Department announced from Ottawa that the Admiralty was calling for a limited number of trained aviators from Canada for commissions in the Royal Naval Air Service, and that, with a view to providing training, the Curtis Aviation School would be re-opened in Toronto. Canadian aviators wishing to enter the service were requested to apply to the Department and the age limits of candidates were set at 19 to 25 years. Only well-educated, athletic and thoroughly fit men, with excellent eye-sight, could be accepted. A month later nine casualties were announced amongst the 400 or more Canadian Aviators already in the British service.

Meantime the Curtiss Flying School of Aviation had been underway with 5 men a month in training at a payment of $1,000 each and, on July 13, a Deputation headed by Col. Merritt and Mayor Church asked the Ontario Government to either aid in the establishment of an Inter-Provincial School at Deseronto or join the Dominion Government in granting $100 to each student upon completion of his course; the City Council granted $8.00 a week to each student from Toronto preparing for the Royal Flying Corps; the British Government guaranteed $375 of his expenses to each accepted aviator. During the summer the movement extended and from London came a cable on Aug. 23 to the Montreal Gazette stating that "the establishment of a Canadian Flying Corps is urged not only for military utility but for commercial benefits, as it would mean a new industry for Canada, the proposal being to build the aeroplanes in the Dominion." It was added that 8 Canadian Flying officers were on their way to Canada to act as instructors. The Aviators in training at Long Branch, near Toronto, were inspected by H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught on Sept. 7 and a statement of work done and progress made by the Canadian Aviation Fund was read by Col. Hamilton Merritt who, also, urged the presentation by each Canadian Province of a squadron of 10 Battle-planes to the Royal Flying Corps. At the end of this month Capt. Lord Alastair Innes-Ker, D.S.O., arrived in Canada to recruit for officers and men in the Military branch of the Service and he visited Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria.

Matters moved swiftly after this. Mr. Premier Hearst of Ontario returned from England in October strongly favourable to the establishment of a Canadian Corps and it was announced about the same time that an Aeroplane factory costing $1,000,000 and equipped to turn out 6 machines a month was to be erected in Toronto with advance contracts of purchase from the British Government. The project was to be financed by the Imperial Government, and controlled by a Board of three members one representing the Admiralty, one the War Office, with a business man nominated by the Imperial Munitions Board of Canada. It was understood that this action was taken as the result of a careful inquiry made in which the Board found that very large orders for aeroplanes had been placed in the United States—$12,000,000, for instance, with the Curtiss Company of Buffalo. On Nov. 24 it was stated that Canadian Aeroplanes, Ltd., a creation of the Board, had been organized with a capital stock of $500,000 for the purpose of taking over the Curtiss Aeroplane Co. plant in Toronto. Frank W. Baillie of the Canadian Cartridge Co., Hamilton, who had given to the Government $750,000, representing profits on war orders, was appointed Managing-Director.

J.W. Flavelle, E.R. Wood and Mr. Baillie were the men chiefly associated with the project which would, in time, involve many millions of capital and expenditure. In December the Naval Services Department called for more Canadian aviators for the Royal Naval Air Service and also for Canadian recruits as Naval Signallers and an Aero Club of Canada was formed, in touch with the Royal Flying Corps, with Col. Hamilton Merritt as President, Lieut.-Col. H.C. Cox, Toronto, Vice-President for Ontario; Carl Riordon, Montreal, Vice-President for Quebec; W. R. Allan, Winnipeg, Vice-President for Manitoba. Its objects were as follows: "To encourage various forms of aviation, to develop the science of aeronautics and kindred sciences, to encourage the manufacture of aeronautic devices, to plan conferences, expositions and contests, to issue pilots' licenses to qualified aviators, and to assist those desirous of taking up aviation with a view to serving in the War. The year closed with a complete Squadron of Canadian airmen at Belfort in France and other Canadian aviators in Mesopotamia, on the Somme, at Dunkirk and in East Africa. In Montreal the Canadian Division of the Aerial League of the British Empire continued in 1916 its active work with Sir H.S. Holt as President and G.R. Lighthall Hon.-Secretary.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 19 June 2014

Army Traditions Safe (1951)
Topic: Canadian Army

Army Traditions Safe, Says Ottawa

Change to U.S. Weapons Won't Mean "Americanization" of Service

The Montreal Gazette, 8 May 1951

Lieutenants in the Canadian Army will continue to be known as leftenants.

Ottawa, May 7.—CP—The Army's switch to American weapons won't mean any major changes in organization and it won't touch tradition at all, the Defence Department maintained today.

A white paper on defence, tabled in the Commons, gave that reply to charges that the switch is going to mean "Americanization" of the Army.

(The 27th Brigade Group now being mustered for Europe will use U.S. arms and is expected to come under U.S. command in Europe.)

The white paper said:

"The announcement Canada was going to replace U.K.-type equipment by that of U.S. design was received with general approval. Such replacement entails certain minor organizational changes in the Canadian Army.

"There is no intention of making any changes which will affect traditions of units of corps of the Canadian Army, badges or rank, regimental badges, colors, regimental affiliations with regiments of the British Army or other Commonwealth countries, distinctive items of dress such as those of Canadian Scottish and rifle regiments, or the titles of units. Lieutenants in the Canadian Army will continue to be known as leftenants.

"There will be no need to undertake major changes in unit organization and tactical doctrine. Changes necessary as a result of variations in the characteristics of individual types of weapons will be kept to the minimum consistent with the proper use of weapons.

"Insofar as training is concerned, changes will be related to those necessary to learn the mechanism and handling of weapons, a relatively easy matter for trained soldiers, while it will not involve any greater difficulty for soldiers in training to learn with one weapon rather than another. Training methods in general will continue as heretofore in accordance with the well-established principles and experience of the Canadian Army."

elipsis graphic

As it happened, no wholesale switch to U.S. weapons and equipment was actioned in the early 1950s.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 18 June 2014

No. 12 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre
Topic: Militaria

No. 12 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre, Chatham, ON

During the Second World War, Chatham, Ontario, was home to No. 12 Canadian Army (Basic) Training Centre. Opened in October 1940, the training centre occupied an area bounded by Lacroix Street, Willomac Avenue, Queen's Street, and the area of Fergie Jenkins Field and the Memorial Arena.

Initially organized for the Non-Permanent Active Militia (i.e., the Reserves, as known today), the training centre was placed on Actice Service on 15 February 1941 in order to support the training of new recruits for Canada's forces overseas. In November, 1943, the training center was redesignated No. 12 Cdn Infantry (Basic) Training Centre 15 Nov 43.

As with many of the training centre locations across Canada that were built in or near communites to support Canada's war efforts, the last remaining vestiges of the Cahatham site hae been built over and swallowed up by progress and fresh construction. What appears to have been the last remaining building, the original training centre drill hall, which saw new life as the Kinsman Auditorium, was torn down in 2012. It can still be seen on the Google maps air photo (but not the street view), until that gets updated and the training centre fades a little further from public memory.

The following images show the locations of buildings at the training centre (in September 1943) overlaid on the Google air photo of the area, and the scanned site plan. Either of these images can be clicked to access a larger scale version.



The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 18 June 2014 8:52 PM EDT
Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Heroes Among Us; Past and Present
Topic: Commentary

Heroes Among Us; Past and Present

We often see the word "hero" thrown around quite liberally today, applied to everyone from Victoria Cross recipients to anyone who has worn a military or emergency services uniform and then to anyone who has championed any cause. It's to the point where use of the word only regains meaning when context is added, so that the receiver of the message can apply their own filter on how applicable the label is; how well it matches their personal criteria for the description.

Undoubtedly, there are those in uniform who deserve that label in every context of the word. Sadly, the story of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces who commits a crime will have their deeds and military connection well declared in the news. But the stories of those decorated for heroism in battle, in the past or recent years, barely grace the pages or screens of our news systems, if they pass the editors' desks at all.

How many Canadians are aware of the awards received by soldiers that rank just below the Victoria Cross (VC) for heroism in the face of the enemy? Where once soldiers received the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and the Military Medal (MM), and officers might receive the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and the Military Cross (MC), Canadian service members today receive the Star of Military Valour (SMV) and the Medal of Military Valour (MMV).

How few of the stories of the recipients of the SMV and MMV are known to Canadians. How many stories of the recipients of the DSO, MC, DCM and MM are equally unknown, not lost, but mostly forgotten. There was a time when many Canadians would recognize the medals and ribbons of the older awards, how many would recognize the SMV or MMV today?

How many stories of local heroes are already forgotten in your community? When was the last time you walked through the local veterans' plot and actually noted the post-nominal inscriptions? What have you been doing to bring their stories back into notice, and to ensure the stories of our newer heroes are not forgotten?

The gravestone of 438285 Sergeant Peter McVicar, DCM, MM, in the Veteran's Plot at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, London. Ontario.

Citation for the Distinguished Conduct Medal – "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack against enemy "pill-boxes." When acting as a scout in front of his company he came under fire from two enemy snipers, but advanced against them and killed them both. He was one of those who crawled in close to one of the 'pill-boxes" and attracted the enemy's fire, thus permitting an attack upon it in strength" (London Gazette Issue No. 30601, 26 Mar 1918).

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:17 AM EDT
Monday, 16 June 2014

Captain is Cashiered (1933)
Topic: Officers

Captain is Cashiered

Fellow Officer Reprimanded by Court Martial

The Montreal Gazette, 14 February 1933

Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

Regimental Website

Battle Honours


Capt H.R. Rebbitt, M.C., D.C.M.

Citation for the Distinguished Conduct Medal

15295 Sjt. H.R. Rebbitt, Cav."For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During a raid he formed one of the covering party, and in order to avoid giving the alarm whilst our party was approaching the wire he allowed himself to be completely surrounded by an enemy patrol. On the torpedo exploding, he dashed at the enemy, killing some and dispersing the remainder into our barrage. He displayed great courage, judgment and skill."

Rebbitt was appointed Temp. Lieut. on 10 Apr 1918.

Citation for the Military Cross

Lt. Henry Rivers Rebitt, D.C.M., Cav."For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an advance. He led the leading troops of an advance guard squadron through the tanks, and went on and brought back twenty-five prisoners. A few hours later he led his troops on a special reconnaissance, and under very heavy rifle and machine-gun fire entered a village and took twenty-five prisoners, also inflicting great loss on the enemy who tried to surround him . He did fine work."

Winnipeg, Feb. 13—Captain Charles Graham Brown, of Lord Strathcona's Horse, today was dismissed from military service for his "scandalous conduct" in connection with an affair at Fort Osborne barracks last Hallowe'en night.

Captain Henry Rivers Rebbitt, fellow officer who was charged with firing a gun at Brown, after his wife said that Brown had molested her re reprimanded in the findings of a court martial made public today.

Both men faced trial before the military tribunal held in the barracks, where the offences were alleged to have occurred.

Findings of the court sentenced Brown to be cashiered but also expressed a plea for leniency because of his long service and gallant action in the field. It also was recommended that the convicted officer be granted his pension. Both recommendations were concurred in by the Privy Council and the Governor-General.

elipsis graphic

Further details of the case, and a more lenient conclusion for Captain Brown are revealed in a later news article:

The Winnipeg Tribune, 20 March 1933

Capt. Brown gets Medals, Rank and Is Retired From Army on Pension

Action By Ottawa Meets Demand That Case Be Reviewed

Capt. H. R. Rebbitt, One of Chief Witnesses Against Brown at Recent General Court Martial, is Retiring From Service on Pension Departmental Action Will be Officially Gazetted.

It is officially learned today that Capt. Brown has been reinstated in the army and retired on service pension, and that Capt Rebbitt will also retire. They were the principals in the court martial case In the Fort Osborne barracks here in January.

Captain C.G. Brown, Lord Strathcona Horse, recently dismissed from His Majesty's service following a general court martial, has been re-appointed and is now retired with rank, medals and service pension. The departmental action which brought this about is being officially gazetted and the decision of the militia department has been forwarded to Brigadier T. C. Anderson, officer commanding M.D. 10. Captain H.R. Rebbitt also Lord Strathcona Horse, who was one of the principal witnesses against Captain Brown, and whose conduct was also the subject of inquiry before the general court martial, Is retiring on pension. On the charge on which he was found guilty by th military court, he was sentenced to reprimand. Under the finding of the court- martial there was no alternative except dismissing Brown from the service. There was, however, a recommendation for mercy toward the accused, and In making the recommendation the military court pointed out his fine military service. He had passed through all ranks up to regimental sergeant-major of the Lord Strathcona Horse. He had received his commission on the Held, and his previous record had been wholly good. Recommended Mercy Further, In view of the accused's health (Captain Brown suffers from diabetes), and in view of the fact that it had no discretionary powers under the Army Act in passing sentence, the Court Martial "unanimously, and strongly and respectfully urged that mercy be shown." The return of his war and service medals to Captain Brown was a simple yet pleasant event between him and his commanding officer, Major C. W. Devey, which took place about ten days ago and fore shadowed the exercise of depart mental clemency toward the accused. Major Devey arrived at Captain Brown's residence with the medals and returned them. Since the war a new section of the British Army King's Rules and Orders permits the retention of war and service medals, at discretion, to a dismissed officer. The old practice had been to take them away. "I was very delighted to have this task of returning to Captain Brown his medals." declared Major Devey, In commenting on the event to The Tribune today. He explained that he had heard that the medical papers permitting Captain Brown to appear for medical examination for disability pension had come through. This will also give Captain Brown an opportunity for examination to decide whether he is entitled to disability pension also.

Public Indignation

Seldom has there been such a spontaneous outburst of public indignation as occurred In Winnipeg when it was learned that Captain Brown had been found guilty and discharged without pension, or hope of pension, since the recommendation that the pension be granted was rejected by the department. Every veterans' organization in the province passed resolutions praying the government to reconsider the case. Many friends of Capt. Brown came to his assistance, helping him along until his rights to pension for service as well as for disability, were vindicated by the reinstatement and retirement on pension announced today. The verdict of the court martial declared Captain Brown guilty on the first charge against him. It read, "that on Oct. 31. through the use of force he caused the wife of a brother officer, to wit. Captain H. R. Rebbitt, to accompany him to a single officer's room in the mess building, such room not being intended for any purpose connected with the dance, and there and then remained alone for an undetermined period of time during which he attempted to molest her. The second charge against him was that "he had alone with him In a single officer's room a lady, to wit, Mrs. H. R. Rebbitt," was cancelled by the guilty verdict on the first count. Charges Against Rebbitt The charge on which Captain Rebbitt was found guilty was that "to the prejudice of good order and military discipline he entered and quarters occupied by Captain Brown and then and there did display a firearm and make use of menacing language, namely 'stick 'em up; I have you covered' or words to that effect." A more serious charge against Captain Rebbitt, that of "offering violence to Captain Charles George Brown, his superior officer," was thrown out by the court martial.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 14 June 2014 2:02 PM EDT
Sunday, 15 June 2014

Wolseley Barracks, circa 1920s
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

Wolseley Barracks, circa 1920s

Wolseley Barracks has undergone many changes with construction of buildings as needs arose and the removal of buildings as they became unnecessary or obsolete. While mention of specific buildings by name or purpose can be found in old documents, it's not always easy to place those buildings were plans with matching labels are hard to find.

This plan, a copy of which was photographed at The RCR Museum (original held in the Western University Archives), shows the locations of following named buildings, among others that are no longer extant:

  • The Eire Building (Erie Hospital)
  • The Isolation Wards
  • Tecumseh Barracks

Wolseley Barracks, circa 1920s
Click for larger version without the added labels.

Note that the plan is not to scale, in particular the shortening of Wolseley Hall on the east-west axis. The plan was apparently a drawing locating water lines coming to the buildings.

Compare to the 1922 aerial photo.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 14 June 2014

Permanent Force Recruiting (1919)
Topic: Canadian Army

Permanent Force Recruiting (1919)

The Toronto World, 12 May 1919

General Recruiting Depot, Toronto

Wanted—Recruits for the Permanent Force


Applicants for enlistment must be: Bona fide British subjects of good character. Unmarried and without dependents for whom they intend to claim Government Allowance. Between the ages of 18 and 45. In good health. Not less than 5 ft. 4 in. in height, and 34 inches around chest.

They will be enlisted for a period of two years, and pass a medical exam before attestation.

Corps.— The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery, Royal Canadian Engineers. Infantry— Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps, Canadian Permanent Army Medical Corps, Canadian Permanent Army Veterinary Corps, Canadian Permanent Ordnance Corps, Canadian Permanent Army Pay Corps, Corps of Military Staff Clerks.

Pay.—The pay generally will be the rates of pay of the C.E.F.

  Per diem. Total p. annum,
365 days
Field Allowance.
Warrant Officer2.000.302.30839.50
Regimental Sergeant Major1.850.202.05748.25
Squadron Battery or Company Sergeant-Major1.600.201.80657.00
Squadron Battery or Company Quartermaster-Sergeant1.500.201.70620.50
Orderly Room Sergeant1.500.201.70620.50
Lance-Corporals, Bomb. or 2nd Corporals1.050.101.15419.75

Free Rations, Barrack Accommodation and medical Attendance or Subsistence at 80 C per diem when rations and Barrack Accommodations not available.

Married Establishments.— When a vacancy exists in the married establishment, and this a filled by proper authority, Dependent's Allowance of $30 per month will be paid to the Dependents of those ranks below Warrant Officer, and to the Dependents of Warrant officers at $35 per month. No married man or single man with Dependents for whom he may claim Government Allowance, is to be enlisted without reference to Militia headquarters, and only when there is a vacancy on the married establishment.

Clothing and Regimental necessaries.—A complete kit of clothing and necessaries will be issued on joining, and periodical issues thereafter during the period of service.

Actual and necessary cost of transportation to the point of enlistment, not exceeding 410 in any case, will be refunded to the man on enlistment, upon satisfactory proof of such expenditure have been incurred.

The Following Trades will be required.— Royal Canadian Engineers: Carpenters, Masons, Electricians, Stationary Engineers, Plumbers, Steam Fitters and Helpers, Brick Layers, Telegraphists, Locksmiths, Painters, Paper hangers, Glaziers, Joiners, Cabinet Makers, Plasterers, Machinists. Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps: Automobile Mechanics, Chauffeurs, Clerks, Bakers, Butchers, Horsemen. Canadian Ordnance Corps: Carpenters, Smiths, Tailors, Tent Mender, Saddler and Harness maker, Tinsmith, Fitter.

Special Rates of pay.—Special rates of pay are provided for Surveyors, Draftsmen and various skilled mechanics and tradesmen, and selected clerks filling positions on Subordinate Staffs.

Pensions.—Pensions are paid after twenty years' service upwards, according to rank and length of service. Soldiers who have completed not less than fifteen years' service and are incapacitated through infirmity of mind or body, shall be entitled to retire and receive a pension for life.

Apply to the Officer Commanding Troops, Exhibition Camp, Toronto, for information, or see Recruiting Posters in Post Office at Toronto, Hamilton, Brantford and St. Catharines.

Department of Militia and Defence
Ottawa, April 16, 1919

H.Q. 1-1-29

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 13 June 2014

A Home Made Sniper Suit (1940)
Topic: Militaria

Two unidentified snipers, in "ghillie" suits, of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion during an inspection by King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Elizabeth, Salisbury Plain, England, 17 May 1944. Photographer: Elmer R. Bonter. Mikan Number: 3298173.
From the Library and Archives Canada virtual exhibit "Faces of War."

A Home Made Sniper Suit (images)

Sketches A to E

A Home Made Sniper Suit (images)

Sketches F and G

A Home Made Sniper Suit (images)

Sketches H and I

Military Training Pamphlet No. 44
Notes on the Training of Snipers

Amendments (No. 1)
Appendix 9

A Home Made Sniper Suit

This sniper's suit is made in two pieces, a loose smock with flaps which break the sniper's form in any position, and a hood with flaps which breaks the outline of the head and shoulders. This hood can be worn independently.

To make the smock—Material: Rough hessian canvas (8-10 ozs.) or latrine canvas, sackings or sandbags sewn together. Fold a 6 ft. by 10 ft. piece as Sketch A and chalk out design as on Sketch B, making sure that folds are on the correct sides. Cut away the shaded area and lay the piece out as Sketch C. Stitch front and back together along the dotted lines with stout thread.

The dimensions shown in the chart are for a large man.

Neck—Turn over a 1-inch hem round the neck and stitch down after inserting cord as in Sketch E.

Flap—Run a line of stitching round slit to prevent fraying. Stitch flap to hang over a bit as in Sketch D.

To make the hood—Fold a piece of hessian 3 ft. by 5 ft. as for the smock, and chalk out design as in Sketch F. Cut away the shaded area and lay the piece out as in Sketch G. Stitch the back and front together with strong thread.

Eye apeture—Place hood over head and chalk an oblong, approx. 6 in. by 1 1//2 in., in front of the eyes—Sketch G. Cut all cross threads and sides and alternate threads along top and bottom of the oblong—and pull cross threads out.

Painting—Use any matte paint. When applying paint leave rough edges; coloured areas need not meet exactly as a gap between colours increases disruptive effect. Areas of natural hessian can be left unpainted. Suitable colours for painting—standard camouflage colours: Dark Colours—1a, very dark brown; 6a, dark green. Mid-tones— 9 or 7, mid-green; 2 to 5, warm grey or light earth. Design I is suited to hedge, field and parkland. Design II to rocks, earth or sandbags.

These disruptive patterns are only intended to be used as guides. Pattern and colour must fit the local background.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

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

Terms of Enlistment, 1905
Topic: Canadian Army

Permanent Force
Terms of Enlistment, 1905

Boston Evening Transcript; 8 May 1905

Extracted from: Garrisoning Halifax
By: E.W. Thomson
(Special Correspondence of the Transcript)

Recruits for the "Forces" may choose between cavalry, mounted rifles, field and garrison artillery, engineers, infantry, army service corps and army medical corps. Fancy a couple thousand men being enough to "go round" all these branches! The pay is 50 cents per day for privates and gunners for the first three years, or one term of enlistment, 60 cents for the next three years, and 75 cents thereafter. A master gunner at headquarters is to get $1 for his first three years in rank, $.25 the next three years, and $2.50 subsequently. Between his pay and that of the privates are a large variety of rates, according to rank and service and corps.

The terms of enlistment are about as good as those offered to United States regulars. Of course they include free rations, free quarters, and free medical attendance. In the Canadian soldiering trade an economical, sober man will be able to save ten or twelve dollars a month. Few young laborers, or even mechanics, can count on saving more. The life offers a sort of career, not unattractive even in a pecuniary sense, the chances of promotion being considered, with the certainty of a substantial pension for long service. By a wise provision, the good conduct pay is deferred, and lumped to the man on discharge, that he may have something to start his civilian career with. Lest too many American college graduates should flock over here to enlist, it may be observed that none but bona fide British subjects are admitted to the privilege.

It is not so attractive to able-bodied common schooled young Canadians as the West seems, but some of them, who do not feel keen for the competitive life, have joined. Probably the forces of Canada will become, as the Northwest Mounted Police tends to be, recruited largely from young old country immigrants. The Briton inclined to life as a Tommy, can get in the Canadian service more than twice as much as John Bull will give him for joining the thin red line of 'eroes. He can come out to enlist in Canada for practically nothing, since an allowance of $10 for travelling expenses is made, and steerage passage could be had for that, or less, last year.

An impression that the Ottawa Government ought to give better pay prevails among those who wish that the tiny Canadian regular "nucleus" should be national in the Canadian sense, and as the Mounted Police has been, as good as, if not better than, anything of its kind in the world. The brisk, hard, dour, efficient young Canadian, something of a presician, orderly, almost diabolically bent on suppressing the "bad man," is a type that reminds one of the young puritan trooper whom Kingsley sketched in one short passage of immortal prose. That young Canadian will be deterred from enlistment, not altogether by the poor pay, but by the sort of company that the poor pay will enlist. Widening the field of choice, so that the "good character" proviso might be most rigidly insisted on, would add one-half to, or double the pay. Then the men accepted might be highly intelligent, moral, and as efficient as twice their number of wastrels.

If there is anything more clear than another about the composition of modern armies it is that the human material ought to be of the best kind procurable for such service. Not only in the field, but in times of peace, one regiment of the first class is an example and inspiration to all who see its work, its life. Such a regiment may elevate the national conception of the regular, profoundly affect for good the morale of the volunteer, hugely influence to enlistment and to heroism the classes that now rather shun soldiering as a ruffianly trade. It seems a mistake for Canada not to cut wholly loose from the Old Country ideal of the regular, as a poor devil, kept on beggarly pay, and not fit to be allowed into respectable company. The ideal on which Cromwell raised the new model would pay better all round.

The reputation of the Dominion, to enhance which great sums are spent in advertising, would be advanced throughout the world if military men could truly say "Canada does this thing extremely well." This country needs nothing so much as the kind of pride which would thus be considerably fostered. Even as a matter of dollars and cents it would pay to make the "nucleus" exceedingly good, for its spirit, its economies, its efficiency, its perfect appearance, collectively and individually, the high character of its men and officers, would react on the entire volunteer force, and on the general population, too. It is a great thing to make a people proud of doing a difficult thing admirably. If the Government would appeal to this spirit, which was one of the best elements that contributed to the general regret for Lord Dundonald's departure, the people would respond heartily. Of course it would be necessary that the administration of the imagined, ideal little force should be high-minded and altogether devoted. That sort of administration cannot be got for a force conceived on a makeshift ideal. Sir Frederick Borden, the minister of militia, seems a big enough man to rise to the height of the argument, and Sir Wilfred Laurier is just the one to see the scheme put through in right shape, if once it fires his fine imagination.

There would be little use setting out on such a scheme, unless the remodelling of the uniform and equipment of the Canadian new model were patterned without the usual limitation of the British forces. In color, cut, texture, ease, the British soldier's garb is all wrong, and often idiotically so. His tight tunic, his comically useless forage cap, his clumsy boots, his belts, and buttons, and tightenings—they embarrass poor Tommy—they show that they were devised by a lot of military grannies who thought mainly of parade appearance and economy. The campaigning uniform of the American soldier is the real thing in comfort, and also in appearance, at least to those who think that nothing looks so well as what conforms to an ideal of efficiency. If the Canadian soldier were put into the hodden gray of his country, loosely made, and delivered from every vestige of the old "Fuss and feathers and button" aspect, he would present the appearance suitable to his work. Of course it scarcely matters a rap what garb you put on the sort of men who are apt to enlist in a low-paid, imitation-English force.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 11 June 2014

In Defence of "Spit and Polish"
Topic: Discipline

In Defence of "Spit and Polish"

Canadian Army Training Memorandum, No 62, May 1946

Canada is now engaged in the vital task of building a vigorous, streamlined army. One of the best methods of encouraging the right type of recruit is to impress upon him the smartness of the King's uniform and that means that every person now in uniform must be the acme of smartness in dress and bearing. Every officer should know his dress regulations and be able to instruct his men in them.

"I have heard it said that battles are not won on the parade ground. This is most untrue. `Spit and polish' is both a means and an end. It is the means of acquiring true discipline, morale and esprit de corps and it is the outward manifestation by which their presence is readily recognized and felt. It is not `eye wash', no mere frivolity, for it lives with the soldier in bivouac, marches with him in the field and bolsters his determination on the day of battle."

This statement was made by a U.S. Infantry officer in an article appealing for adequate recognition for the Infantry Corps. And it is timely. A Canadian officer has only to look about him to notice an ever-increasing untidiness in army dress. It can be explained, of course, by the fact that men in uniform now feel that because the battle is over, there is no longer any need to be quite so smart in their appearance, that they can relax. It can be explained — but it cannot be excused!

Those interested in the term "spit and polish" will find that it originated with the British soldier's traditional use of a little bit of "spit" and a lot of "polish" to bring boots and buttons to brilliance. Don't run away with the idea that this was primarily parade ground technique. "Spit and polish" also went with the British soldier into battle. The great captains of history realized that cleanliness, neatness and smartness went hand in hand with discipline in the making of a good soldier.

There has been considerable criticism by the public of the appearance of servicemen, particularly on the streets. This criticism dates from the end of the war. It was not vocal for a few months, citizens, in the main, taking the view that members of the Armed Forces deserved a hard-won opportunity to relax. Then things got worse. Many men began to look very untidy indeed! One of the most noticeable breaches of dress regulations was the appearance of men strolling along without head-dress; others included tunic collars open and no ties; pocket flaps open and pens and pencils showing; tunics and blouses unbuttoned an the way to the bottom; gaily-coloured socks worm with battle-dress; dirty brass and webb — the list is almost endless and covers dress from beret to boots.

It's an unpleasant picture — and a picture for which officers are in large part responsible. How many times have YOU walked along the street, noticed flagrant breaches of dress regulations and yet done nothing about it? You can't defend yourself by arguing that it's a job for the M.P.'s; it's primarily your responsibility — a responsibility you accepted when you received your commission.

Our army is only as good as its men. Trite but true. We can hardly say that the man is only as good as his dress, but we can say that a man is only as good as his discipline. Discipline is bound up with dress; discipline is a combination of alertness, cleanliness and a smart uniform.

The "show window" of the Canadian army is its dress. And it's the "show window" that the public sees. To them a slovenly soldier means a slovenly army.

To illustrate further: On VJ Day, CATM went about designing a cover for its next issue. It was to be dedicated to the private soldier who had played such a large part in winning the war. The artist sketched a soldier flushed with victory — and a two-day growth of beard. The editor submitted the sketch, for approval, to an officer who had commanded troops in battle.

"Fine", said the officer. "But why the beard?"

"Well, we thought … he's just come out of battle, sir."

"Battle, nothing! Whenever humanly possible, I saw to it that my men shaved — every morning — battle or no battle. That was in Italy, and I discovered that they felt better for it. A clean soldier makes a better fighter. You never saw a Canadian soldier with a stubble like that, even in action, if he had a commander worth his salt. Take his beard off!"

All ranks should be consciously proud of the King's uniform. It is the outward sign that they belong to the best and bravest profession. Fighting garb is a part of esprit de corps.

Canada is now engaged in the vital task of building a vigorous, streamlined army. One of the best methods of encouraging the right type of recruit is to impress upon him the smartness of the King's uniform and that means that every person now in uniform must be the acme of smartness in dress and bearing. Every officer should know his dress regulations and be able to instruct his men in them.

Remember: "Spit and polish" still plays its part in discipline and esprit de corps. "Spit and polish" by itself never won a war, but it is one of the biggest single factors in making soldiers who will.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Civil Defence Order 1959
Topic: Cold War

Civil Defence Order 1959

Extracted ftom the Canadian Army Manual of Training; Survival Operations (1961), (Revised May 1962); CAMT 2-91

1.     This Order may be cited as the Civil Defence Order, 1959.

2.     In this Order, the expression "civil defence powers, duties and functions includes powers, duties and functions relating to the matter of "preparation for civil defence against enemy action" mentioned in section 4 of the National Defence Act.

3.     The Minister of National Defence shall have and exercise the following civil defence powers, duties and functions:

a.     provision of technical facilities and operation of a system to give warning to the public of the likelihood and imminence of an attack;

b.     determining the location of a nuclear explosion and the pattern of fallout, and giving the necessary warning of fallout to the public;

c.     assessment of damage and casualties from attack and fallout;

d.     controlling, directing and carrying out re-entry into areas damaged by a nuclear explosion or contaminated by serious radioactive fallout, decontamination work in those areas, and the rescue and provision of first aid to those trapped or injured;

e.     direction of police and fire services in seriously damaged or contaminated areas which are the object of re-entry operations, including the control of traffic and movement of people in those areas;

f.     direction of municipal and other services for the maintenance and repair of water and sewer systems in seriously damaged or contaminated areas;

g.     provision of emergency support to provincial and municipal authorities in the maintenance of law and order and in dealing with panic or the breakdown of civilian authority; and

h.     maintenance and operation of emergency communication facilities.

4.     The Minister of National Health and Welfare shall have and exercise the following civil defence powers, duties and functions:

a.      assistance to provincial and municipal governments and to others in connection with the organization, preparation and operation of:

(1)     medical, nursing, hospital and public health services, and

(2)     services to provide emergency accommodation, emergency feeding, emergency supplies, guidance and welfare assistance for persons who have lost or left their homes because of acts of war or apprehended acts of war; and

b.     maintenance and operation of the Civil Defence School at Arnprior, Ontario.

5.     The Minister of Justice shall have, and through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, shall exercise the civil defence power, duty and function to assist provincial governments and municipalities and their police forces, except as provided in section 3 above, in

a.     maintaining law and order; and

b.     controlling and directing traffic in connection with civil defence exercises and operations.

6.     The Prime Minister shall have, and through the Emergency Measures Organization, shall exercise the following civil defence powers, duties and functions:

a.     the ca-ordination of civil defence planning by departments and agencies of the Government of Canada;

b.     the preparation of civil defence plans in relation to matters that are not the responsibility of any other department or agency of the Government of Canada;

c.     assistance to provincial governments and municipalities in respect of preparation for civil defence where assistance is not the responsibility of any other department or agency of the Government of Canada; and

d.     general liaison with other countries, with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and with provincial governments on matters relating to civil defence.

7.     Where any matters in sections 3, 4, 5 or 6 would, but for this Order, be a power, duty or Function of a Minister other than the one referred to therein, that power, duty or function is hereby transferred to the Minister referred to in the section in which that matter is mentioned.

8.      This Order does not have the effect of transferring the control or supervision of any members of the public service from one Minister of the Crown to any other Minister of the Crown, or from one department or portion of the public service to any other department or portion of the public service."

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

The Regimental Rogue.

Follow The Regimental Rogue on facebook.

« June 2014 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Army Rations
Battle Honours
British Army
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Army
Canadian Militia
Cold Steel
Cold War
Drill and Training
European Armies
Forays in Fiction
Martial Music
Military Medical
Military Theory
Pay; the Queen's shilling
Sam Hughes
Soldier Slang
Soldiers' Load
Staff Duties
Stolen Valour
Taking Advantage
The Field of Battle
The RCR Museum
US Armed Forces
Vimy Pilgrimage
Wolseley Barracks

You are not logged in. Log in
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile