The Minute Book
Monday, 14 July 2014

The Royal Canadian Regiment at Halifax (1900)
Topic: The RCR

Blasts from the Trumpet!

The Royal Canadian Regiment at Halifax

The Daily Telegraph, 14 July 1900

General Order 28
Provisional Battalion to Garrison Halifax, N.S.

One piece gilt officer's badge.
One piece brass soldier's badge.

It is believed that these one-piece versions of the 1894 pattern cap badge of The Royal Canadian Regiment were worn by the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion.

From all accounts Lieut.-Col. Geo. Robt White, who is in command of the Third Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, at Halifax, is working hard to make it a success in every sense and his efforts are meeting with a reward, evidently, if one may judge from the part the corps took in the mobilization manoeuvres on July 2, which lasted all day, the bulk of the work falling to the Canadians, and they did very well indeed. They marched out of the barracks 727 strong and all ranks looked well, in fact could compare favorably with any regular regiment, which is due in a large measure to the hard work of Lieut.-Col. White, but to Capt. Betty, R.C.R.I. adjutant, and especially to Sergeant-Major Butelier, formerly attached to the R.C.R.I. at this depot, who is not only a good soldiers, bout one of the best drilled men in the military force of the Dominion.

The attack for the Dominion Day manoeuvres was well planned and was under the supervision of the D.O.C., Lieut.-Col. Irving, who had the Halifax militia, infantry and artillery with him, while the defence was composed of the R.C.R., a company of engineers and a few Royal Artillerymen. As already stated, the bulk of the work fell on the provisional regiment and they did so well as to merit the compliments of the highest in authority.

The movements of both forces were closely watched by Colonel Biscoe, Lieut.-Col. Farmer, Lieut.-Col. White, Major Semini, Major Roberts and Capt. Ward, whose duty it was to criticize the tactics of the forces.

The operations covered a very wide area and the troops had their work cut out for them. Capt. O'Farrell was in command of "E" Company. Lieut.-Col. Taschereau in command of "F" Company, and Capt. Sharples "G" Company.

The regiment has not yet been supplied with helmets, which is a drawback, but these have been ordered from England for some time, their early arrival is expected, and will add considerably in the appearance of the force. Now that the regiment is so well organized and is a credit to the Government and country, it would be a great pity to see it disbanded, and especially since the outbreak of the trouble in China. It is well known that an effort is being made in that direction, but it is expected the Minister of Militia will see the folly of such a move and that the Third (Special Service) Battalion, R.C.R., will be allowed to live for several years at least. It is serving the purpose of educating out young men in the military art which will stand them in good stead in the future, besides guarding the garrison city of Halifax while the Imperial troops are fighting in South Africa, and at the close of the campaign there it is likely their services will be required elsewhere.

The following facts regarding the regiment will, no doubt, be read with interest:—

The corps is comprised of eight companies of 121 men each. Seven companies are in Halifax and one in Esquimault. The sum of $2,100 is paid out every month to the men of each company, in three payments. The rate of pay is as follows:—

  • Commanding Officer; $4.86 per day.
  • Majors; $3.90 per day.
  • Adjutant; $2.50 per day.
  • Lieutenants; $2.30 per day.
  • Sergeant-Major; $1.25 per day.
  • Staff Sergeants; $0.80 per day.
  • Color-Sergeants; $0.90 per day.
  • Sergeants; $0.75 per day.
  • Corporals; $0.60 per day.
  • Privates; $0.50 per day.

From the regimental pay the sum of 15¢ is deducted from each man's pay every month for washing; 10¢ for library and recreation, and 4¢ for hair cutting.

In addition to the deduction of the above amounts every month, 5¢ is charged per day for each man for messing, that is, extra rations, and 14¢ per day while he is in hospital to cover medial attendance, dainties, etc.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 13 July 2014

Chatham Armoury
Topic: Armouries

Chatham Armoury

Chatham, Kent County, Ontario

The data tabled below comes from forms maintained by the District Engineers of Military District No. 1 (which covered southwestern Ontario) on the Armouries and facilities in their district. The data on the transcribed forms was recorded in the 1940s and reflects the state and use of the buildings in that era. Some of the Armouries in use at that time continue to be the homes of local Reserve Firce units, some have been repurposed, and others are long gone, the sites now home to other buildings. The area controlled by Militay District No. 1 in the 1940s is now in the area of responsibility of 31 Canadian Brigade Group.


A contemporary postcard of the Chatham Armoury.


The Armoury today (June 2o14).


Chatham Armoury - Basement.


Chatham Armoury - First Floor.


Chatham Armoury - Ground Floor.


Map showing location of Armoury and Tecumseh Park.


The interior of the Armoury today (June 2014).


Thecurrent occupants of the Chatham Armoury, RBC Dominion Securities and Four Diamond Catering (June 2014).

NameChatham Armoury
Military DistrictM.D. No. 1
Electoral DistrictKent
H.Q. FileL. 13-4-22
Date31 March 1944
1.Building Ownership.Department of National Defence
2.If purchased, date, conditions, cost, etc., and value. 
3.If constructed, date and cost and what Department and value.(Class "B") Built in 1905 by Department of Public Works. Cost - $65,957.00. Present value - $80,000.
(a)Drainage, sewer and water connection. To be shown on site plan. 
(b)Foundation.Stone and Brick, Cement floors throughout basement.
(c)Walls.Red brick and sandstone trim.
(d)Roof framing.8 steel roof trusses, 2 x 10 purlins 2' on centre, with 1 1/4 matched roofing. Flat portion, 2 x 10 joists. (Hopper roof construction.)
(e)Roof covering (Type and date).Main hall roof covered in #26 guage galvanized iron on wood, roll rib joints, The flat roof is tar and gravel.
(f)Floor, main hall.Red birch, dub floor is dressed lumber layed on 2" x 4" timber bedded in concrete.
(g)Other floors.Maple, layed on 2 x 12 joists with deafening between all floors.
(h)Partitions.Basement partitions brick. Main hall brick, all other partitions are tile and plaster.
(i)Balconies.Balcony runs entire length of main hall, is 8' wide.
5.Miniature rifle range—Description.In basement, 23 yds by 4 ys.
6.Bowling alleys, badminton courts, indoor baseball or other facilities for games. 
7.Heating system— 
(a)General Description. 
(b)Make and size heating apprs.Hot water boilers of about 4500 ft. of direct radiation, plus 4 stoves to heat Drill Hall. One Gurney Oxford #6 1/2 B boiler, 1 Royal Imperial #25 Boiler, 4 McClary #230 stoves.
(c)Fuel per annum.80 tons coal.
(d)Engineer and fireman specially employed.No.
8.Lighting system—General description.Modern electric lighting system throughout building.
9.Fire protection. Show position of standpipes in building, on site or on street plan.One stand pipe centre West Wall Drill Hall.
(a)Military or Civilian.One military plus on civilian.
(b)Quartered in Armoury.Yes (Military)
(c)Does he tend heating apprs.Yes.
11.Units in occupation.2nd Kent Regiment (M.G.)
12.General condition (Adequate space or not).Adequate.
Clothing, Equipment, fixtures (adequate or not). 
13.Any special remarks not included above. 
(a)Ownership.Department of National Defence
(b)How acquired, date, cost and present value.Taken over from Imperial authorities in 1854. Present value $22,000.
(c)Who holds deed.District Enginering Officer, M.D. No. 1, London, Ontario
(d)Size and area.11.5 acres.
(e)Name of street and number of lot.Stanley, William and Colbourne Streets.
(f)Fences, walks, and roadways on site.No public roadways, 2 gravel foor paths. No fences.
(g)Surface—whether grass and whether kept in condition, and by whom.Grass. Looked after by City of Chatham.
(h)Is any part of site used for other than military purpose. Give details.Used by the City of Chatham for Playgrounds and park (term of 99 years).
(i)Are there any other structures on site. If so give details.Boy Scout hut; comfort station (built by Chatham); Bowling green and roller shed.
(j)State nature of surface of roads, also sidewalks on adjoining street.Paved and gravel.
(k)Any remarks on site not included above. 

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

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

Army Form W3431 - Message Pad
Topic: Militaria

Army Form W3431 – Message Pad

In order to save time and promote simple clear messaging in action, even by the First World War the use of simple proforma messages were in vogue. This army Message Pad allows a Platoon or Company Commander to despatch, quickly and easily, a situation report on his location, contacts with friendly and enemy forces, actions of the enemy affecting his operations, urgent resupply or reinforcement requirements, and his current strength.

Simplicity in staff work is essential for clear messaging, no spin required.

elipsis graphic

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 11 July 2014

The Roots of Soldiering
Topic: Discipline

The Roots of Soldiering

"Drill and Discipline," by Major-General J.H. Beith, C.B.E., M.C., Journal of the Royal United Services Institution, Vol. LXXXIV, February to November, 1939

Major General John Hay Beith, CBE (17 Apr 1876 – 22 Sep 1952)

Major General John Hay Beith, CBE
(17 Apr 1876 – 22 Sep 1952)

On the outbreak of war in 1914 Beith joined the army as a second lieutenant in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1916 Beith was awarded the Military Cross for his conduct in the Battle of Loos. In 1939, Beith was given the honorary rank of major-general.

…the roots of soldiering, which are these:—

(a)     The soldier's pride in his own personal smartness and efficiency, and in the unit to which he belongs. Many a time in the history of our Army pride of Regiment alone has steadied men in a tight corner.

(b)     Instinctive ability both to obey and to command. The soldier is always doing one or other of these, and intensive drill is the best method of accustoming a commander to impress his will upon those under him, and them to obey instinctively and smartly.

(c)     Adaptability. A soldier must instantly be ready to take orders from his commander of the moment, however frequently the hazards of battle may transfer that command; and be equally ready to take command himself should occasion arise.

(d)     The sense of Order and Discipline. This enables troops to be assembled and manoeuvred rapidly and without confusion at moments of emergency.

(e)     Resiliency, or quick power of recovery, which restores the morale of disorganised troops in the shortest possible time.

(i)     Physical and mental endurance, which enable a soldier, however desperate the situation, or however exhausted he may be, to carryon far beyond the limits of his normal strength and courage.

Such are the qualities of the true soldier; and experience has proved that they are best and most lastingly ingrained by simple routine exercises in the elements of soldiering, continually and patiently repeated. So trained, a soldier will be able, whatever the danger and distractions about him, to concentrate steadily on his duty, whether it is to lead, or follow, or act upon his own initiative. Then it is that he will appreciate the value of his early and, at times, perhaps ruthless training, for it will have made him a keen, flexible and fully tempered instrument.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 10 July 2014

Canadian Air Command 1975
Topic: RCAF

Canadian Air Command 1975

The Defence of Canada, Colonel Norman L. Dodd, The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal, Vol. 108, No. 1, January 1978

The Canadian Air Command was formed in 1975, it is responsible for the provision of operationally-ready regular and reserve air forces to meet Canada's national, continental and international commitments. It has also become the focal point of tradition and personal expertise for the airmen of the Canadian Forces in the same way as sailors and soldiers relate to the Maritime and Mobile Commands. The Air HQ is at Winnipeg and the Commander is also responsible for the Prairie Region. The total strength is about 22,700 regulars, 750 reservists and 8,600 civilians, they are deployed in five Groups. These are the Maritime Air Group, the 10 Tactical Air Group, the Air Transport Group, the Air Defence Group and the Air Reserve Group.

The Maritime Air Group squadrons are under the operational command of the Maritime Commander flying the patrol aircraft and the, Sea King helicopters for the naval forces. The 10 Tactical Group supports Mobile Command and has two fighter squadrons of CF-5 aircraft though some of the 24 aircraft are in care and maintenance, there are also a variety of helicopters in this group. The Air Transport Group operates ATG Boeing 707s and C-130 transport aircraft providing strategic and tactical mobility for Mobile Command and supporting the various UN Peacekeeping Forces. Air Reserve Group comprises four Reserve Wings flying Otters, Dakotas and Twin Otters, some Air Reserve personnel help to man Tracker aircraft of 420. Squadron based at Shearwater.

The Air Defence Group …, is responsible for maintaining the sovereignty of Canada's Air space. … Aircraft include three all-weather fighter squadrons equipped with CF-101 Voodoos, a Voodoo training squadron and an electronic warfare squadron with CF-100 and T-33 aircraft…

After a long delay the Government has at last realized that if the Canadian air forces are to remain in the "first league" some new fighter aircraft must soon be purchased. The Cabinet has therefore authorized the Department of National Defence to obtain from manufacturers proposals for a total of between 130 and 150 new high performance multi-purpose fighters. They are to replace the CF-104s and CF-101 aircraft, the CF-5s would then be converted to advanced trainers for use in the 1980s. The six possible candidates are the Grumman F-14, the McDonnell-Douglas F-15i, the General Dynamics F-16, the McDonnell-Douglas/Northrop F-18, the Panavia Tornado and the Dassault-Breguet F1 E.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Sick Parade
Topic: Humour


Canada in Warpaint, Capt. Ralph W. Bell, 1917

"The Company," read the orderly Sergeant, "will parade at 8.45 A.M., and go for a route march. Dress: Light marching order."

A groan went up from the dark shadows of the dimly-lighted barn, which died down gradually on the order to "cut it out." "Sick parade at 7.30 A.M. at the M.O.'s billet Meninlee-Chotaw," announced the O.S. sombrely. "Any of you men who wanter go sick give in your names to Corporal Jones right now."

Yells of "Right here, Corporal," "I can't move a limb, Corporal," and other statements of a like nature, announced the fact that there were quite a number of gentlemen whose pronounced view it was that they could not do an eight-mile route march the next day. Corporal Jones emerged, perspiring, after half an hour's gallant struggle. Being very conscientious he took full particulars, according to Hoyle: name, number, rank, initials, age, religion, and nature of disease. The last he invariably asked for by means of the code phrase, "wossermarrerwiyou?"'

Having refused to admit at least half a dozen well-known scrimshankers to the roll of sick, lame, and lazy, he finished up with Private Goodman, who declared himself suffering from " rheumatics hall over. Me legs is somethin' tur'ble bad."

There were thirteen names on the report.

Meninle-Chateau being a good three kilometres distant, the sick fell in at 6.30 A.M. the next day. The grey dawn was breaking in the East, and a drizzling rain made the village street even more miserable-looking than it was at all times. As OD all sick parades, all the members thereof endeavoured to look their very worst, and succeeded admirably for the most part. They were unshaven, improperly dressed, according to military standards, and they shuffled around like a bunch of old women trying to catch a bus. Corporal Jones was in a very bad temper, and he told them many things, the least of which would have made a civilian's hair turn grey. But, being "sick," the men merely listened to him with a somewhat apathetic interest.

They moved off in file, a sorry-looking bunch of soldiers. Each man chose his own gait, which no injunctions to get in step could affect, and a German under-officer looking them over would have reported to his superiors that the morale of the British troops was hopeless.

At 7.25 A.M. this unseemly procession arrived in Menin-le-Chateau. In the far distance Corporal Jones espied the Regimental Sergeant-Major. The latter was a man whom every private considered an incarnation of the devil! The junior N.C.O.'s feared him, and the Platoon Sergeants had a respect for him founded on bitter experience in the past, when he had found them wanting. In other words he was a cracking good Sergeant-Major of the old-fashioned type. He was privately referred to as Rattle-Snake Pete, a tribute not only to his disciplinary measures, but also to his heavy, fierce black moustachios, and a lean, eagle-like face in which was set a pair of fierce, penetrating black eyes.

"If," said Corporal Jones loudly, "you all wants to be up for Office you'll walk. Otherways you'll march! There's the Sergeant-Major!"

The sick parade pulled itself together with a click. Collars and the odd button were furtively looked over and done up, caps pulled straight, and no sound broke the silence save a smart unison of " left-right-left " along the muddy road. The R.S.M. looked them over with a gleam in his eye as they passed, and glanced at his watch.

"'Alf a minute late, Co'poral Jones," he shouted. "Break into double time. Double … march! "The sick parade trotted away steadily–until they got round a bend in the road. "Sick!!!" murmured the R.S.M.

"My H'EYE!"

A little way further on the parade joined a group composed of the sick of other battalion units, some fifty in all. Corporal Jones handed his sick report to the stretcher-bearer Sergeant, and was told he would have to wait until the last.

In half an hour's time the first name of the men in his party was called–Lance-Corporal MacMannish.

"What's wrong?" asked the doctor briskly.

"'A have got a pain in here, sirr," said MacMannish, "an' it's sair, sorr," pointing to the centre of his upper anatomy.

"Show me your tongue? H'm. Eating too much! Colic. Two number nine's. Light duty."

Lance-Corporal MacMannish about-turned with a smile of ecstatic joy and departed, having duly swallowed the pills.

" What did ye get, Jock?"

"Och! Light duty," said the hero with the air of a wronged man justified," but you'll be no gettin' such a thing, Bowering!"

"And why not?" demanded the latter scowling. However, his name being then called put an end to the discussion.

"I have pains in me head and back, sir," explained Mr. Bowering, "and no sleep for two nights." The doctor looked him over with a critical, expert eye.

"Give him a number nine. Medicine and duty. Don't drink so much, Bowering! That's enough. Clear out!"

"He's no doctor," declared the victim when he reached the street. "Huh! wouldn't trust a cat with 'im!"

The next man got no duty, and this had such an effect on him that he almost forgot he was a sick man, and walloped a pal playfully in the ribs on the doorstep, which nearly led to trouble.

Of the remaining ten, all save one were awarded medicine and duty, but they took so long to tell the story of their symptoms, and managed to develop such good possible cases, that it was 8.45 before the parade fell in again to march back to billets, a fact which they all thoroughly appreciated!

Wonderful the swinging step with which they set forth, Corporal Jones at the head, Lance-Corporal MacMannish, quietly triumphant, bringing up the rear. They passed the Colonel in the village, and he stopped Corporal Jones to inquire what they were.

"Your men are marching very well, Corporal. 'A' Company? Ah, yes. Fatigue party, hey?"

"No-sir, sick-parade-sir!"

"Sick Parade! God bless my soul! Sick! How many men were given medicine and duty?

"Nine, sir."

"Nine, out of thirteen… 'A' Company is on a route march this morning, is it not?"


"My compliments to Major Bland, Corporal, and I would like him to parade these nine men in heavy marching order and send them on a nine-mile route-march, under an officer."

"Very good, sir!"

Next day there were no representatives of "A" Coy. on sick parade!

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Duties of Officers in Action
Topic: Officers

Infantryman, Canadian Volunteer Militia, 1863-1870

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

Source page.

Canadian Military History Gateway

Duties of Officers in Action

Regulations and Orders for the Active Militia, The Schools of Military Instruction, and the Reserve Militia (in the cases therein mentioned) of the Dominion of Canada; 4th March 1870

367.     When in action, almost everything depends on the example shewn to the men by their Officers, the latter should bear this constantly in mind and endeavour to exhibit the greatest cheerfulness, courage and determination, under all circumstances; in battle, neither the hop of reward nor the fear of punishment has so much effect as the power of example; the leader who cries forward may see his men fly disgracefully, but he who, sword in hand, rushes on the enemy will generally be followed.

368.     When a battalion is fighting in line in close order, it is the duty of the Officers and N. C. Officers in the Supernumerary Rank, to prevent any break occurring in the rear rank, and they are not to allow any man to leave the ranks without orders under any pretense whatever.

369.     Officers must aid in controlling and directing the fire of the men, in checking any waste or unnecessary expenditure of ammunition, and in distributing fresh supplies of the same. No one fighting in the ranks should be permitted to fall out to assist the wounded, but men should be specially appointed to this duty. If in a serious engagement this cannot be observed, the wounded must remain where they lie until the conclusion of the action.

370.     When a Battalion is fighting in extended order, the Officers must be on alert to pass the word of command along the line, as the use of the bugles on such occasions is objectionable.

371.     When a Battalion or Corps has become broken or disordered, the consequence either of a successful advance or sudden reverse, it is the duty of Officers to exert themselves to the utmost to rally and reform the men as rapidly as possible, and when directed, to lead them on again to the attack.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 22 June 2014 12:57 PM EDT
Monday, 7 July 2014

Canada's Defence Needs
Topic: Cold War

The Heller Antitank Missile, the AVRO Arrow fighter, The Bra d'Or hydrofoil and the Bobcat armoured personnal carrier: all Canadian miltary programs that were cancelled.

Canada's Defence Needs

"All that this Dominion, therefore, needs is the minimum force and equipment required for essential training and for participation in the international police force yet to be organized to sustain world peace. Size, after all, in modern armies is less important than it ever was."

The Evening Citizen (editorial); 1 March 1946

Because Canada's permanent peacetime defence forces are modest in size, the criticism is heard that they are inadequate for a country that aspires to be a leader among the smaller nations. The criticism fails to take into account of the revolution which new weapons invented during the late war has effected in strategy and tactics as well as in industrial potential.

The Canadian army, as has been officially announced, is to consist of 25,000 permanent force and 180,000 reserve—partly trained reinforcements. The navy is to have a permanent force of 10,000 officers and men with 18,000 reserve and sixteen ships, including two light aircraft-carriers. The air force will be composed of approximately 20,500 men, active and auxiliary, with 10,000 reserve.

Admittedly, this is a small force. But the issue is not its size but its adequacy to present defence needs and to Canada's obligations under the United Nations charter.

Despite upheavals and violence in so many regions of the globe today, there is no threat of a major war in either hemisphere. The twin menaces of Germany and Japan have vanished and cannot reappear for another thirty or forty years in any circumstances. Russia, as Stalin has just emphasized, wants a long period of peace.

All that this Dominion, therefore, needs is the minimum force and equipment required for essential training and for participation in the international police force yet to be organized to sustain world peace. Size, after all, in modern armies is less important than it ever was. With only the one hundred thousand men permitted by the Versailles treaty, Hitler and the Nazi war-makers were able to discretely build up the mightiest army in the world. With only a few hundred fighter-pilots, the Royal Air Force was able to win the Battle of Britain against four times its numbers and so change the course of history.

It is not the size but highly developed technical skill and scientifically-designed equipment and armaments that will win future wars if the nations are insane enough to undertake them. In this age of mechanism, victory is likely to rest not with the big battalions but with the most powerful machines and the most deadly arms and those best trained to use them.

Consequently, rather than concentrating on numerically large defence forces, this Dominion ought to concentrate on research into modern weapons, how best to develop them and how best to counter them; on the scientific study of warfare as invention has changed it; and on the production of a small elite force of fighting specialists who keep the closest liaison with all parallel developments in Great Britain and the United States.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 14 June 2014 8:54 PM EDT
Sunday, 6 July 2014

War Inventions, Discoveries, Science
Topic: CEF

War Inventions, Discoveries, Science

The Canadian Annual Review War Series; 1918, by J. Castell Hopkins, F.S.S., F.R.G.S., published 1919 (pp. 71-74)

An important phase of the [First World] War which developed along opposing lines was that of discoveries in science and medicine and surgery, inventions in killing and curing, in transportation and industry. Aviation, from a painful effort by isolated enthusiasts, became one of the wonders of the War and one of its most effective instruments; Submarines from a Jules Verne atmosphere of utter improbability assumed a status which imperilled the commerce, shipping and transportation of the world; motor-cycles, motor-lorries, automobiles, electric trucks, many and varied forms of electric transport assumed a place of fundamental importance in the carriage of millions of men and hundreds of millions of tons of supplies, of artillery, of ammunition, &c. in motor-cycles alone the Germans used about 18,000 at the first Battle of the Marne, the British had 40,000 in the spring of 1915 and the French 11,000 while the total in use by all the belligerants during the War ran up to one million in number. Huge Tanks, super-tanks and little whippets, revolutionized the practices of war over difficult country and largely contributed to solve the trench problem which for two years had held up armies of millions and caused many sanguinary conflicts. To British ingenuity and initiative was due this discovery as were the chief Aeroplane war-improvements of the period. To Italy and the genius of Marconi were due the discovery and, first uses of Wireless Telegraphy; to War requirements were due the tremendous adaptations of this discovery between ships, and under water, in aeroplanes and moving trains, between countries and Continents.

When the War commenced Germany was popularly supposed to lead the world in scientific implements of warfare; as a matter of fact she lead chiefly in preparedness and quantity. As the struggle developed initiative passed to the British Allies whose aeroplanes knocked out the Zeppelins just as the British tank was perfected in face of German ridicule and the Machine gun, originally invented by a Frenchman, was perfected in the British Maxim. The British made the first big bombing war-plane—the Handley Page—and the German Gotha was only an inferior copy; the Stokes trench-mortar revolutionized for British armies the use of this otherwise ancient weapon. Poison gas was one of the German inventions, or adaptations of ancient barbaric warfare, with ; which they hoped to win and perhaps might have done so by its earlier use yet in 1918 they were denouncing the cruelty of Allied application of an improved and more powerful gas and declaring it contrary to Hague declarations! So effective had it become in their enemy's hands that Canadians on the Lens' front in one night alone, and in the greatest of the War's gas effects, projected 80 tons of liquid gas against the German lines. Meantime the horrible "mustard" gas had been invented by the Germans and at the close of the War the Americans had vast quantities of a new gas ready for use.

In Naval types and designs the British were dominant—even the Submarine in its discovery being a mixture of American and British inventiveness. There was the Super-dreadnaught with its biggest of all guns and its vast machinery oil-fired and turbine driven, there were the fastest of light cruisers, the Super-destroyer, the Coastal motor-boat. The invention of the Turbine was claimed by Americans as well as British; the first turbine ship was the Turbinia, a British Naval craft. The torpedo originally was a British invention as was the system of combined gun-fire on a battle-ship; the depth charge or water-bomb which did so much to arrest Submarine supremacy, also, was of British origin. Other inventions, mostly British in invention or application, were the listening or sound device by which Submarines could be heard and exactly located under water at a considerable distance—a sort of water Wireless which, also, promised to be most useful in days of peace and the marine under-water telephone or picking up of the human voice from one Submarine to another. The manufacture or preliminary use of concrete ships became a fact in Canada, and elsewhere, and might in time have proved another fatal obstacle to the submarine. Aero-photography was developed from aeroplanes to a high degree of scientific and war effectiveness. The utilization of rubbish, of war debris, of torn and smashed weapons, shells, fragments of castaway food, or garments, or utensils, was brought to a point of wonderful effectiveness. The dust-tin or garbage-can was mobilized throughout England and France, fertilizers were extracted from refuse, shipping was salvaged to a quite remarkable extent, bones were turned into glue or phosphates, or glycerine. Germany in these latter points had acknowledged eminence; isolation, necessity, scientific precision of knowledge, and application along certain lines, wrought wonders in the form of substitutes.

Surgical and medical developments were one of the miracles of War. That, with the single exception of the Influenza epidemic near its close, 50,000,000 men could grapple over a term of years in deadly conflict, amid the devastation of whole countries and nations, without any general spread of contagious diseases, or epidemics of deadly and world-wide nature, was due to expert sanitation and surgery. There were, of course, local exceptions such as the Typhus which ravaged Serbia early in the War and at times attacked the Austrian and German armies; but, as a whole, these conditions were not of the nature so greatly feared in preceding wars. The use of anti-typhoid and anti-tetanus sera to prevent infection was wide-spread and to these and other advanced application of bacteriology, with hygiene and sanitation, the British and French armies owed their wonderful health. So, with the large proportion of wounded men saved as to their lives, or made efficient again as fighting units or private citizens, the result was due (1) to the masterly control of wound infections and (2) to a surgery such as the world had never before known or believed to be possible. As to the former the Germans claimed that at least 60 per cent. of their wounded returned to the field; it was alleged by Allied medical men that of the wounded who survived 6 hours 90% recovered. Anaesthetics and antiseptics had much to do with this and Dr. Woods Hutchinson in his book, The Doctor in War, declared after a year at the Allied front that chlorin had saved more lives in wounds and in drinking water than it had killed in gas:

The armies in Flanders and Northern France last winter, out in open trenches in some of the vilest and 'sickliest' weather troops ever had to face, had less sickness and fewer deaths from pneumonia and all other diseases than they used to have in barracks in time of peace, and far less than the general civil population at home. Instead of five men dying of disease to every one in battle, in the British army on the Western front, only one life has been lost by disease to every ten in battle. In fact, disease as a factor in the Army death rate has been almost wiped out, completely so in the sense that the amount of sickness in the camp and the deaths from disease at the Front have been barely half what they were in barracks in times of peace.

As to Surgery the most marvellous things were done in saving life to the smashed and broken human frame or in replacing flesh and skin with imitations which seemed to take the place of the original. Let a quotation from Colonel Pierre Duval of the French Reserve Medical Corps, as expressed (Nov. 1, 1918) at Fort Oglethorpe, in the United States, indicate the surgical situation: "I have removed the human lung from the chest cavity with forceps, tied its bleeding blood vessels, cleansed its outer surface and while still holding it in my hands and manipulatingit as you would a handkerchief, I have run thin pieces of gauze up its tracts. Feeling my way carefully along its walls I have removed a bullet or shell fragment. Then, after suturing the aperture, I have placed the respiratory organ back into the cavity of the chest. In two-thirds of the cases upon which I have so operated the patient lived."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 5 July 2014

RCR Returm to Wolseley Barracks
Topic: The RCR

Royal Canadians Returned Today

Recalls Departure of Little Company in August, 1914
Fine Record in War
Reorganized Regiment Is Under Command of Lieut.-Col. Hill

The Free Press, London, Ontario; 7 December 1920

Shortly after 2 o'clock this afternoon the detachment of the Royal Canadian Regiment, which is to constitute the permanent force for Military District No. 1, in this city, was officially welcomed to the city by Mayor E.S. Little.

The R.C.R. left Toronto at 10 o'clock and detrained at the Quebec street station, where they received the official welcome of the city. The detachment numbers about 200 officers and men, and is under the command of Lieut.-Col. Hill.

Six years ago last August, "K" Company, of the Royal Canadian Regiment, then engaged in musketry training at the Cove ranges, entrained here for Halifax on mobilization orders, and the departure of the only permanent force unit in London district brought home to citizens here more vividly the meaning of Great Britain's declaration of war a few hours later. It was the first time Wolseley Barracks had been without an infantry detachment since the opening of the Royal Infantry School on March 31, 1888, with Lieut.-Col. (now Brig.-Gen.) Henry Smith as Commandant. From the outbreak of the war until after its close there were expeditionary force troops here in varying numbers, but the first permanent force unit to be stationed here since was the new P.P.C.L.I., now transferred.

Lt.-Col. C.H. Hill, D.S.O. (1919)

Lt.-Col. C.H. Hill, D.S.O., Commanding Officer (1919)

The return of the Royal Canadians brings headquarters and two double companies, or more than half the personnel of the regiment. The detachment which left London in 1914, under Capt. (now Lieut.-Col. C.H. Hill, was 40 strong. Lieut.-Col. Hill now commands the regiment.

The Royal Canadian Regiment was established on December 21, 1883. Service overseas was under C.E.F. terms of enlistment and the three-year term in the permanent force expired long before the war was over. But a regiment never dies, and there was still a framework with which to carry on when the R.C.R., C.E.F. was disbanded last fall. The Government then inaugurated a two-year term of enlistment and began recruiting for the three permanent infantry regiments, which replace the one existing before the war—the R.C.R.

The R.C.R. took part in the operations of 1885, went to South Africa in 1899, sent a disciplinary force to the Yukon in 1899, and added luster to Canada's fame in South Africa. Their deeds of valour in the late war were many, and their list of battle honours long.

In the Great War

On the outbreak of the European war the regiment was mobilized at Halifax and brought to war strength by a draft of 900 men at Camp Valcartier. The regiment was then, on September 9, sent to Bermuda to relieve the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, remained there until August of the following year, when relieved by the 38th Battalion, C.E.F. It then proceeded to France via England, where it was rearmed and re-equipped.

On November 1, 1915, the R.C.R. landed at Boulogne and moved up to the line, becoming Corps troops under Lieut.-Gen. Sir A.E.H. Alderson, K.C.B. It went into the trenches for the first time at Messines with the 1st Canadian Division.

At the beginning of 1916 it was one of the battalions comprising the 7th C.I.B., under Brig.-Gen. A.C. Macdonell, C.M.G., D.S.O., of the newly formed 3rd Canadian Division, under Major-General Mercer, C.B. The brigade consisted of the Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, 42nd Battalion, Royal Highlanders of Canada, 49th Battalion, Edmonton Regiment.

The regiment's first general action was that of the German attack on June 2 and 5, on Sanctuary Wood and Hooge, in the salient.

Between June and August the regiment carried on trench raids. In September it moved south to the Somme, where they took part on September 15 in attacks on the enemy northeast of Courcelette. Again the following day, the 16th, two companies of the regiment, with the 42nd Battalion, R.H.C., attacked in broad daylight over ground heavily swept by machine gun and rifle fire, being practically wiped out when 500 yards from the enemy trench, where the whole battalion was reduced to less than 100 fighting men.

In November the R.C.R. moved to Neuville St. Vaast near Vimy Ridge, where nothing of much importance took place, as this was a very quiet sector, although some successful raids were carried out. On April 9 the regiment took part in the attack on Vimy Ridge on a three-company frontage with one company in support. This was one of the most perfectly planned and executed attacks, and every man knew what his job was, and for two months they had practiced over taps trenches. Although we suffered very heavy casualties, both in officers and in men, still very heavy casualties were inflicted upon the enemy and many prisoners taken.

Hill 70 and Lens

At the end of April, 1917, the regiment took part in Hill 70, suffering heavy casualties, and later moved south of Lens, opposite Memcourt. At the end of October it moved up north and took part in the attack on Passchendaele and later, on November 14, held the line here for three days until relieved by the Imperials. Christmas day was spent in Gouchey Valley with the Brigade in the line at Lierin, opposite Lens. In February, 1918, it moved to "Le Pendu" Camp, near Mont St. Eloy; moved in line opposite Avion and put in 56 days in the front and support lines. On May 1 they were relieved by Imperials and moved out to Bourecq, between Aire and Lillers. Here the division came under General Foch and was known as general reserve. At the end of June it moved into the line south of Arras, at Neuville Vitasse, and later to Amiens, where on August 8 it took part in the battle of Amiens, connecting up with the French army, who were also in this attack. Later on in August it moved again to Arras and on August 26 attacked Monchey-le-Preux, where they suffered very heavy casualties.

Lieut. Milton Fowler Gregg, V.C., M.C. Lieut. Milton Fowler Gregg, V.C., M.C.

Lieut. Milton Fowler Gregg, V.C., M.C.

Later in September the regiment took part in the battle of Cambrai, where it suffered very heavy casualties, losing 22 officers and very many men. Here the adjutant was killed and the commanding officer wounded. The latter was then Col. C.R.E. Willetts, D.S.O., who now commands the P.P.C.L.I.

At the end of October the R.C.R. took part in the action at Bois de Raimes, north of Valenciennes, and on November 10 followed up the enemy with the 42nd R.H.C. and were the first troops to capture and enter Mons.

Lt.-Col. C.R.E. Willets, D.S.O.

Lt.-Col. C.R.E. Willets, D.S.O. (1918)

The division did not go to Germany, but was kept in the vicinity of Mons and Brussels, where later in January, 1919, started to move back towards the base, then proceeded to Bramshott, England, and arrived home on March 8 in Halifax, where it was disbanded as a C.E.F. unit.

Numerous decorations were won, Lt. Milton Fowler Gregg winning the V.C. at Cambrai.

The regiment was commanded by Lieut.-Col. A.H. Macdonnell, C.M.S., D.S.O., on first going to France, and in April, 1916, Lieut.-Col. C.H. Hill, D.S.O., took over command and held it until June, 1918, when it was commanded by Lieut.-Col. C.R.E. Willetts, D.S.O., who held command until wounded at the battle of Cambrai. The command was then taken over by Lieut.-Col. George MacLeod, D.S.O., formerly 49th Battalion, who held the command until February, 1919, when the command was again taken over by Lieut.-Col. Hill, D.S.O., who brought the regiment back to Canada.

Researching The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 4 July 2014

The Mainguy Report - Recommendations for Improvements
Topic: RCN

HMCS Magnificent

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.

Recommendations for Improvements in Navy

Ottawa Citizen; 2 November 1949
By the Canadian Press

Here, briefly, are the major recommendations of a three-man commission for improvements in Canada's navy.

Defence Minister Claxton said yesterday that of 41 recommendations virtually half have been or are being implemented and others are under study.

These are the recommendations and, in brackets, an explanation of what is being done about them:

1.     The navy should be given a breathing space for essential training and the strengthening of men and ships. (The navy's main functions are absorption of new men and anti-submarine training.)

2.     One or more training ships should be commissioned to extending and intensifying officer training. (The cruiser Ontario has been assigned to full-time training duties.)

3.     The "bed-of-roses" approach to recruiting through professional advertising channels should be eliminated. ("Full cognizance of the recommendation has been taken.")

4.     All recruits should be class as ordinary seaman and not assigned specific roles until towards the end of new-entry training.

Fully Equipped

5.     Recruits should be fully equipped with uniform and kit. (Mr. Claxton said at a press conference that this has been fixed up and only occurred at one period because of the high rate of influx.)

6.     Greater emphasis should be placed in recruit-training on the traditions of naval service, the navy's customs and place. (With the opening of a recruit-training base at Cornwallis, "a far greater emphasis has been placed on inculcation of traditions and customs.")

7.     Recruit training is too short.

8.     Recruits in barracks should have a life that is "a fair approximation" of that at sea. (Such conditions are "actually simulated at Cornwallis.")

Glorious History

9.     There should be a greater appreciation throughout the navy not only of the "short but glorious history" of the Canadian navy but of surviving naval customs. A booklet should be published.

10.     There should be the "greatest care" in the choice of officers to train recruits.

11.     The divisional system—the framework of command—should be more fully explained to new men and they should learn how to air grievances. (The divisional system now "is fully explained" to recruits "and they are taught carefully how to air their grievances and discuss their problems.)

12.     Welfare Committees — for talks between officers and men — should be established at sea an ashore. ("Definite orders" have been given for this.)

13.     After recruit training, the sailor should get two weeks leave. (They now get 30 days before going to sea.)

14.     Officer-cadet training at Royal Roads tri-service college should be lengthened; practical and theoretical work should be more closely integrated; Royal Roads training should be followed by experience on Canadian training ships with consideration for "a partial diversion" to U.S. Ships. )Mr. Claxton said any exchanges with the U./S. would probably be made later in an officer's career.)

15.     Improved and extended divisional training for chiefs and petty officers should be established immediately. (A special course in leadership is now being given them.)

16.     Locker space at bases ashore should be provided for civilian clothes of men at sea.

17.     If the naval benevolent trust fund—for distressed naval veterans and seamen—is not supported voluntarily from canteen funds a fixed percentage of canteen profits should be taken.

Unfavorable Reports

18.     It should be mandatory that officers be acquainted with unfavorable reports on them. (Officers are acquainted with such reports.)

19.     The same provision should be made for the men.

20.     The base at Esquimalt should get laundry facilities like those at Halifax.

21.     All ships should obtain the benefits of practical results from experiments in improving living conditions aboard the destroyer Sioux. (If the new arrangements prove advantageous, progressive reconstruction of all other ships will be considered.)

22.     There should be "the quickest possible advance" in barrack construction for single men and in construction of married quarters. (Construction has started on a new barracks block in Halifax and a similar program has been recommended for Esquimalt. Married quarters are being pressed forward "as rapidly as possible.")

23.     Civil servants of high rank should be used to remove some of "the undue burden of administrative detail" from valuable senior officers.

24.     The navy should get announcements of policy before the public.

25.     Naval authorities should consider the liquor question and report to the minister. (Officers get wardroom bar privileges and the men get a daily issue of rum or cash payment in lieu.)

26.     Navy men get $60 to cover renewals of kit and clothing; soldiers and airmen get them free without any allowance. The practice should be uniform.

27.     One free transportation warrant should be made to the home of officers and men for annual leave. (Mr Claxton said this would have to be considered in the light of all three forces.)

Working Methods

28.     After referring to frequent changes in routine aboard ships, the commission said "experts are inquiring into working methods" and added "if this results in the abolition of unnecessary "flummery," useless parades and pointless mustering and a greater attention to the essential work of a ship a most useful and necessary purpose will be served."

29.     Officers should be trained "far more frequently and intensively" in the qualities of leadership; young officers should get a chance to study "successful" leaders. (Training is being increased both in length and in general subjects, Mr Claxton said.

30.     The officers should get a better grounding in the humanities, embracing literary, artistic and social influences.

31.     Canada shoulder flashes should be issued the men; maple leaves should be placed on warships funnels. (The first is under study, the second is being done.)

32.     There was a broad feeling that the navy should be more Canadian. (Every effort is being made to Canadianize the force and to inform members of its story.)

33.     Recreational facilities should be improved both at sea and ashore.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 3 July 2014

The RCR Depot - Inspections
Topic: Drill and Training

Ortona Platoon graduated at Wolseley Barracks, 11 October, 1968.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Depot
Command Junior NCO Course - 1960s

Instructions to Assist Platoon Commanders and Platoon Sergeants in Carrying Out an Inspection


1.     The following points become second nature with experience and in a good unit, both in being noticed at inspection and in their observance by the men.

Full wear must be extracted from clothing and as long as it is serviceable it must be worn. There is however no reason why part-worn clothing should not be clean, correctly pressed and in good repair.

It is usual to inspect, starting at the right hand man of the front rank, from the heaf downwards, the front of the rank before the back of it, and the men before their arms.

General Impression

2.     Is the soldier clean? Is his uniform clean, well-fitted, pressed and correctly put on? Is he standing at the correct position of attention? Are his weapons clean?

Note: Before starting to inspect see that any incorrect positions are put right. The inspecting officer should be accompanied by the next senior on parade who will note anything he is told.


3.         (a)     Is the cap clean and free from sweat and hair grease?

(b)     Does the cap sit squarely on the man's head?

(c)     Is the badge in the correct position?

(d)     Are the badges and buttons clean and shiny and free from all foreign matter?

(e)     Is the chin strap shining?


4.         (a)     Is the face and neck clean and closely shaven?

(b)     Is the hair short and have the sideburns been removed to a reasonable height?

(c)     Is the hair on the top of the head a reasonable length?

Check at this point to ensure the eyes of the troops are not following the inspecting officer.

Battle Dress Jacket

(a)     From the front:

(i)     Does the jacket fit?

(ii)     Does the fly of the jacket make a straight line through the belt buckle with the fly if the trousers?

(iii)     Are all buttons done up?

(vi)     Is the jacket belt done up and snugly fastened?

(v)     Are the flashes clean and properly sewn on?

(vi)     Have all the loose threads been removed?

(vii)     Are the pockets stuffed with papers, cigarette packages, etc?

(viii)     Is the tie properly positioned and neatly tied?

(ix)     Is the collar of the shirt neat and clean?

(x)     Does the shirt fit properly?

(b)     From the back:

(i)     Is the jacket fastened to the trousers with the buttons provided?

(ii)     Is the jacket properly pressed?

(iii)     Is the shirt collar clean?

Web Belt

(a)     From the front:

(i)     The belt must fit snugly so that during a long parade the weight of the bayonet cannot pull it down to one side.

(ii)     The buckle must be central and in line with the fly of the trousers.

(iii)     Is the brass clean and highly polished?

(vi)     Is the belt clean, not caked with cleanser?

(v)     Are the ends of the belt correctly fastened and squarely under the outer part of the belt?

(b)     From the back:

(i)     Is the bayonet frog on the left hip and not under the arm or in the small of the back?

(ii)     Is the bayonet clean and free from rust?

(iii)     Is the belt properly positioned?


7.         (a)     Are the hands clean and free from stains?

(b)     Are the finger nails clean and trimmed?

Battle Dress Trousers

(a)     From the front:

(i)     Are the trousers ell up on the hips?

(ii)     Are braces being worn?

(iii)     Are the trousers hanging the right distance from the ground?

(vi)     Are they clean and well pressed?

(v)     Are the puttees correctly rolled?

(vi)     Are the puttees around the bottom of the trousers?

(b)     From the back:

(i)     Do the trousers fit well in the rear?

(ii)     Are the jacket and trousers buttoned together?


(a)     From the front:

(i)     Are the boots clean and shined all over?

(ii)     Are the boots laced correctly?

(iii)     Are the ends of the bootlaces concealed?

(vi)     Do the bootlaces lie flat and are not twisted?

(b)     From the back:

(i)     Are the boots in a good state of repair? (Have some men lift one foot at a time.)


10.     It will soon become apparent to all men that they must be well turned out to avoid being checked on inspection.

Take your time initially and you will soon find that you will become very observant and will be able to conduct your inspection thoroughly in a minimum amount of time.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Wolseley Barracks; pre-1992
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

Wolseley Barracks; pre-1992

This undated site plan shows the buildings of Wolseley Barracks, then known officially as Canadian Forces Base London, some time before the move of the First Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, from London to Petawawa in 1992. Some of the buildings have had their titles and uses change over time; any additional information of corrections are welcome. Any assistance in narrowing the date of this site plan, based on the removal dates of any of the minor buildings, would also be welcome.

Compare this site plan to Wolseley Barracks in the 1950s, 1958, and 2012.

Wolseley Barracks; pre-1992

  • "A" Block – Wolseley Hall, the original Infantry School Building and a National Landmark, now the home of the 1st Hussars, the 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment and The RCR Museum.
  • "O" BlockRoyal School Building
  • "P" Block – Garage, more recently Unit Transport for Reserve units.
  • "S" Block
  • "T" Block – Originally an Ordnance Stores building, currently used by the City as office space for supported agencies (Neighbourhood Watch, etc.)
  • "U" Block – Stores
  • "V" Block
  • "W" Block
  • "Z" Block
  • 39 – Base Transport
  • 50 – McKenzie Block, originally a barracks, now the HQ building for 31 Canadian Brigade Group and 31 Service Battalion (among other building occupants)
  • 51 – Base Transport
  • 52 – New Fort Hall; soldiers' mess hall
  • 53 – Officers' Quarters
  • 55 – Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Quarters
  • 56 – The Royal Canadian Regiment Home Station Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess; now the Wolseley Barracks Officers' Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess
  • 57 – Glacis Building; training classroom, later the HQ for the London Service Battalion
  • 58 – Victoria Building; headquarters for CFB London and 1RCR
  • 59 – Guard Room; Regimental MPs and cells
  • 60 – St. Christopher Chapel
  • 61 – St. Mark's Chapel
  • 62 – Wolseley Club (Junior Ranks' Mess)
  • 63 – Beaver Hall
  • 64 – Battalion and Company Quartermaster Stores Building (this building burned in 1992, shortly before 1RCR departed from Wolseley Barracks)
  • 65 – Wellington Block; barracks
  • 66 – Stanley Block; barracks
  • 67 – Tecumseh Black; barracks
  • 68 – Prince of Wales Hall; originally a kitchen, later used by Combat Support Company, 1RCR
  • 69 – Battalion Maintenance Building; where broken vehicles got sent to be resurrected
  • 70 – Central Heating Plant
  • 91 – The Garrison officers' mess; more recently the Junior Ranks' Mess and the home of the London Military Family Resource Centre (the latter now in the McKenzie Block)
  • 92 – The Royal Canadian Regiment Home Station Officers' Mess; now the Wolseley Barracks Officers' Mess
  • 93 – HQ and Services' (i.e., Base) Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess
  • 96 – Base Construction Engineers
  • 97 – St. Jean Block; barracks, and the rifle company offices for 1RCR
  • 98 – Gloucestershire Hall; the Base Gymnasium; now the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre, a municipal facility. 100 – McMahen Street Gatehouse
  • 108/109 – 25-yard ranges

For more on the evolution of Wolseley Barracks, see these posts:

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 14 June 2014 1:55 PM EDT
Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Armed Forces Centennial Programme
Topic: Martial Music

Armed Forces Centennial Programme

The News and Eastern Townships Advocate, 25 May 1967

Musically speaking, armed forces musicians will be working to beat the band during centennial year.

The 790 musicians who make up the 17 navy, army and air force bands have a heavy schedule — already under way — which involves performances from coast to coast in Canada and from Washington, D.C., to Whitehorse, Y.T., in the north. In all they will give more than 750 separate performances during the year.

Apart from the more than 400 musical concerts slated for Canadian and American cities, there 151 separate performances of the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo to be played for in 46 cities and towns across the nation, in which each of the bands will play at least one engagement.

At EXPO 67 the bands will provide musical concerts throughout EXPO's six-month run. The Pan-American Games at Winnipeg will feature the music of the RCAF's Training Command Band Winnipeg, during its two-week engagement in July and August.

Apart from guard mounting duties in Parliament Hill and musical concerts in other cities, the Canadian Guards ceremonial band will play during 100 guards of honor for heads of state and foreign dignitaries visiting Ottawa this summer.

The Tattoo's main musical theme is an original composition by Capt. R.E.J. Milne, director of music for centennial projects, entitled "Marche Vanier." The title was suggested by Mrs. Milne as a tribute to the late Governor General. All royalties from sales of the march music will go from one army to another — the Salvation Army —at Mrs. Vanier's request.

The Tattoo has made two bandsmen 100 centennial dollars richer. Petty Officer Ronald McAnaspie of HMCS Stadacona Band and Pte F.T. Bryant of the 1st Battalion, The Black Watch, (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, each wrote an original march tune. PO McAnaspie's is entitled "A Century of Progress," and Pte Bryant's, written for the pipes and drums, is called "Maid of the Mist."

The entire musical score of the Tattoo, played by a selected group of armed forces musicians from each of the 17 bands, has been recorded through RCA Victor. On the Dominion label, the record will be sold at all Tattoo performances throughout the country as well as in retail record shops.

The Royal Canadian Navy bands participating in centennial ceremonies are The Stadacona Band from CFB Halifax, The Naden Band from CFB Esquimalt, and The Cornwallis Band from CFB Cornwallis, N.S.

Army bands include the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), Royal Canadian Artillery, Royal Canadian Engineers, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, The Canadian Guards, Royal Canadian Regiment, princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, The Royal 22nd Regiment, The Black Watch, (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps.

The Royal Canadian Air Force will be represented by the central Band from CFB Rockcliffe, Ont., and the Training Command Band.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 30 June 2014

Watford Armoury (Drill Hall)
Topic: Armouries

Watford Armoury (Drill Hall)

Village of Watford, Lambton County, Ontario

The data tabled below comes from forms maintained by the District Engineers of Military District No. 1 (which covered southwestern Ontario) on the Armouries and facilities in their district. The data on the transcribed forms was recorded in the 1940s and reflects the state and use of the buildings in that era. Some of the Armouries in use at that time continue to be the homes of local Reserve Firce units, some have been repurposed, and others are long gone, the sites now home to other buildings. The area controlled by Militay District No. 1 in the 1940s is now in the area of responsibility of 31 Canadian Brigade Group.


The Watford Armoury is now occuied by the Watford Fire Department.


Cornerstone laid by Colonel Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence, on 30 July 1913.


This small plaque is inset in the Watford Drill Hall cornerstone.


Watford Drill Hall - The location of the Drill Hall in town.


Watford Drill Hall - Basement.


Watford Drill Hall - Ground Floor.


Watford Drill Hall - First Floor.

NameWatford Armoury
CityVillage of Watford
Military DistrictM.D. No. 1
Electoral DistrictLambton Kent
H.Q. FileL. 13-22-7
Date31 March 1944
1.Building Ownership.Department of National Defence
2.If purchased, date, conditions, cost, etc., and value. 
3.If constructed, date and cost and what Department and value.Built in 1913, at a cost of $13,712. Present value $15,000.
(a)Drainage, sewer and water connection. To be shown on site plan.Sewer and water to street connections.
(c)Walls.White brick.
(d)Roof framing.Wood truss framed.
(e)Roof covering (Type and date).Composition shingles.
(f)Floor, main hall.Maple.
(g)Other floors.Maple.
(h)Partitions.Wood studding, matched lumber and plaster.
(i)Balconies.4' balcony along south end.
5.Miniature rifle range—Description.In basement (two targets) 20 yards.
6.Bowling alleys, badminton courts, indoor baseball or other facilities for games.Nil.
7.Heating system— 
(a)General Description.Hot air furnaces for offices and lecture room. Two stoves in Drill Hall.
(b)Make and size heating apprs.#24 S Good Cheer; 2 x #6 E. Spencer Stoves.
(c)Fuel per annum.16 tons.
(d)Engineer and fireman specially employed.No.
8.Lighting system—General description.Electric open wiring.
9.Fire protection. Show position of standpipes in building, on site or on street plan.No standpipes in building. Hydrant on street.
(a)Military or Civilian.Civilian
(b)Quartered in Armoury.No.
(c)Does he tend heating apprs.Yes.
11.Units in occupation."F" Troop, 26th Light A.A.
12.General condition (Adequate space or not).Adequate
Clothing, Equipment, fixtures (adequate or not).Adequate
13.Any special remarks not included above. 
(a)Ownership.Department of National Defence
(b)How acquired, date, cost and present value.Purchased in 1913 at a cost of $900. Present value $1,000.
(c)Who holds deed.District Enginering Officer, M.D. No. 1, London, Ontario
(d)Size and area.132' x 132'
(e)Name of street and number of lot.Ontario Street lots 88-89.
(f)Fences, walks, and roadways on site.Fence East side and South side. Lane to rear of building, along South side. Walk to main entrance.
(g)Surface—whether grass and whether kept in condition, and by whom.Grass by caretaker.
(h)Is any part of site used for other than military purpose. Give details.No.
(i)Are there any other structures on site. If so give details.No.
(j)State nature of surface of roads, also sidewalks on adjoining street.Paved roads, concrete walks.
(k)Any remarks on site not included above. 

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
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

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