The Minute Book
Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Basic Training Syllabus; 1942
Topic: Drill and Training

Basic Training Syllabus; 1942

The Standard Syllabus for Basic Training, 1942

Basic Training Centre

The Object of Basic Training

1.     To give a thorough grounding and practice in subjects which are required basically, of soldiers in each branch of the Canadian Army.

2.     To have each man reach such a standard that his time in a Special to Arms Training (SAT) centre may be devoted entirely to:

(a)     Exercise, rather than instruction, in elementary subjects already taught;

(b)     Building upon this base the knowledge particular to the branch of the Service to which the man belongs.

3.     To establish a sound mental and physical base upon which to build a fighting soldier.

elipsis graphic

The syllabus is based on a 45-minute period, a 9-period or 6 ½-hour training day and a 5 ½-day week.

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Training must develop in all ranks the confidence that they cam "hand it out" harder and "take it" better than the enemy. To this end all training must be designed to develop a high fighting morale, in other words "fighting fit" and "fit to fight." No outdoor exercises will be cancelled on account of bad conditions, mud, etc. An essential part of training is to learn how to overcome the elements, as well as the enemy.

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Block Standard Syllabus

CodeSubjectTtl PdsStandard Typical Platoon Weekly DistributionTotal
 Training Periods
DDrill, Foot, Arms, Saluting48121253333748
FTPhysical Training and Obstacle Course506666667750
FAFirst Aid1055      10
MMarching23 226445 23
RSAT Rifle27 875322 27
RRSAT Rifle Range Course18   4446 18
R&LASAT AA (Rifle and LMG)10    532 10
BSAT Bayonet10    333110
LSAT Light Machine Gun29  710435 29
GGas Training12 25122  12
FCFieldcraft20    245920
MRMap Reading22  53242622
FTFundamental Training19952111  19
OSOrganized Sports162222222216
SSpare Periods303344443530
 Administrative Periods
RTReception and Transfer189      918
MedMedical (includes dental and inoculations)333454545333
MT"M" tests11       1
PPay4 1 1 1 14
 Hours:— 37 hours and 30 minutes per week.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 18 August 2014

Characteristics Required in a Staff Officer
Topic: Officers

Ford Manor - a.k.a. Greathed Manor

Characteristics Required in a Staff Officer:

The following extract is from speaking notes of Brigadier C.R. Turner for a speech to the staff and candidates of the Canadian Junior War Staff Course, Ford Manor, 12 April 1941. Appended to the CMHQ report on the Closing Exercises, Canadian Junior War Staff Course. Published under the Canadian Military Headquarters (CMHQ) Reports 1940-1948.

Co-operation with other branches of the staff. All branches are important so don't think you are a notch above your opposite number just because he is in another branch.

Characteristics Required in a Staff Officer:

  • General Military Knowledge
  • Personal characteristics such as:
    • ability,
    • reliability,
    • initiative,
    • energy,
    • capacity for work,
    • loyalty,
    • personality,
    • physical fitness,
    • etc.

Also General Odlum's remarks that all officers must have character, intelligence and spirit.

Must always be ready to advise your Commander or Senior Staff Officer but once decision is given, even if you disagree, carry it our loyally. LOYALTY most important virtue, loyalty to your Commander, your senior staff officer and your fellow staff officers. Don't try to advance yourself by running down the other fellow.

Co-operation with other branches of the staff. All branches are important so don't think you are a notch above your opposite number just because he is in another branch.

Co-operation with the troops. Staff is there to serve them within the limits of prescribed policy. Get out with them, find out what they want, and let them see that you take an interest in them. Be human.

Orders. When preparing them put yourself in the position of the recipient, and ask yourself if essentials are included and non-essentials eliminated.

Keep fit. Only by doing so can you maintain the alert mind so necessary in a staff officer. Take your leave when your turn comes if operational circumstances permit and don't get stale.

Whether you go to a staff appointment immediately or subsequently after a period of regimental employments remember that if you are determined to profit from your period at Ford manor you are certain to make a worthy contribution to the great cause in which we are all engaged, particularly as one of the things you have been taught is that a staff officer must keep up-to-date in military thought and practice if he is to be efficient. A staff appointment demands hard work, initiative and ready acceptance of responsibility; these, however, are features which make any job worthwhile.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 17 August 2014

NCO Leadership in the Army
Topic: Leadership

NCO Leadership in the Army

The Leader; A Guide to Being a Successful Non-Commissioned Officer in the Army; Land Force Central Area (Second Edition, circa 2000)

"The kind of leaders we need today are more like great jazz musicians, thoroughly schooled in the fundamentals and absolutely technically competent but able to improvise on a theme." – General Gordon Sullivan

1.     The Canadian military, through two World Wars, Korea and the Gulf War, plus numerous domestic and international operations, has and continues to be held in high regard around the world. Revered as shock troops by the German Army in the First World War, Canadian soldiers proved themselves a formidable foe. Seasoned in battle during campaigns in Italy and Northwest Europe, Canadian's demonstrated yet again the fighting spirit of their forefathers and achieved remarkable success. Today, at home and abroad our troops are called upon collectively to assist our allies in preserving peace from Bosnia to Bangui in the Central African Republic.

2.     Collectively and individually, our soldiers are amongst the best in the world. Two recent examples immediately come to mind. First Sergeant Boudreau's section won the gold medal at the 1997 Cambrian patrol competition in Wales and Master Corporal Calis received the 'William O'Darby' award for outstanding performance on the Ranger course.

3.     Collectively and individually however, success is not always easy to achieve. It takes work, determination to be the best and a strong NCO core. With a doubt a dedicated and professional NCO has always been an integral, necessary and permanent part of any good army. The past has clearly shown, and it is true today, that only a special group of soldiers are selected to be NCOs. This special status carries the weight of additional duties, responsibilities and authority.

4.     Today, NCOs are also expected to preserve traditions and develop esprit de corps in an environment of rapid social and technological change, pressure to reduce expenditures and a high operational tempo. This must be done in a world where regional conflicts require professional troops like ours to carry out a wide variety of missions. Sometimes, it often seems that change is the only certainty. In this environment, it is a challenge to retain and exercise authority especially when the public, the media and our own members scrutinize decisions.

5.     There are, as you may expect, no simple answers or insightful phrases that can remedy the present state of affairs we all live in. During these turbulent times all leaders have to learn to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity while trying very hard to impart a clear sense of mission and purpose to our soldiers. We as a group and individuals are not immune to the changes occurring all around us; we must adapt like every Canadian. Times have changed: both leaders and soldiers are well educated and come from an evolving social environment; the classical autocrat is "out"—the listening leader is "in".

6.     As a leader, you have a tough, demanding, but very rewarding job and the soldiers you lead are the heart of the army, both regular and reserve. Your work is challenging because you direct soldiers at the action level where the important, day to day, fundamental work of the army is performed. You are the key to making your soldiers more capable by sharing what you know and encouraging them to use their initiative. 7.     Because you work very closely with your soldiers, you have the best opportunity to know them as they really are. You should be the first to identify and teach them how to best use their strengths, the first to detect and train them to overcome their shortcomings. Leading by example, you are in the best position to secure their trust and confidence. You have the advantage of a deeper understanding of your soldiers' behaviour because you were promoted directly from the ranks that you now lead.

Honour, Integrity and Dignity

8.     Good leaders conduct themselves with honour and integrity and treat their superiors, peers and subordinates with respect and dignity. This leads to willing and cohesive teams. Everyone knows their job, is proud of it and proud of their place on the team. The team breaks down completely when there is a lack of understanding, incompetence and/or abuse. You have a principle obligation to be technically competent for your rank and position. You have a legal and moral obligation to ensure that your troops perform their duties to the required standard. None of this is attainable when soldiers mistrust each other or their commanders.

9.     It is imperative that your actions in relation to your troops are not inherently offensive, demeaning, belittling or humiliating to them. This is considered harassment. It is illegal, unprofessional and forbidden. You have a positive obligation to ensure that no other military person treats anyone else in such a manner. It must be reported immediately.

10.     There are two important concepts that must be understood – Ethics and Morale. They are more complex than you might think and there are no hard and fast rules that govern these concepts. Nevertheless they are integral to everything you do both on and off the job.

a.     Ethics. Essentially, if you follow the guidance in this handbook it is fair to say that you will be acting in an ethical manner. In many ways, ethics are just good common sense—simply doing the right thing with the people you deal with every day. Ethics are based on the respect for the dignity of all persons. We will not injure, bully, deceive, manipulate, discriminate against, harass, sexually harass, or unjustly treat any person. Ethics embodies qualities such as honesty, accountability, competence, diligence, courage, loyalty, obedience, fairness, discretion and most importantly, care of subordinates.

b.     Morale. Morale is the term used to describe the complex relationship between people and the environment in which they live and work. It could be described in terms of the attitudes or feelings possessed by an individual as he or she relates to the group. For the group, it is the commitment to pull together towards goals the members accept. High morale energizes and motivates troops to perform their tasks with greater effort and eagerness. To achieve high morale, leaders must be competent, goals must be clear, cohesiveness must be evident and there must be open communications up and down the chain of command.

Lead by Example

11.     This is the fundamental leadership secret for success. The army requires NCOs who have earned the respect of their superiors by demonstrating the ability to accomplish all assigned tasks. You will also win the respect of your soldiers by considering the effects of your actions on them and by placing their well being above your own. As you spend more time with your subordinates than your officers, your personal example must extend beyond normal duty and into your personal life. If not, can you demand a high standard of performance and behaviour from yGeraldour troops at all times? Therefore, set a good example both on duty and off.

Build Teamwork

12.     A team can be described as a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, shared performance goals, and an organized approach for which they hold themselves accountable. As a NCO your job is to optimize the performance of each member of your group. You must develop team spirit based on the fact that, on your team each person depends on the other, and all depend on well maintained and properly working equipment. Teamwork is learned by training, practice and experience.

Know Your People

13.     We are all volunteers who have offered our service to Canada. We place service before self. Our soldiers possess a spark of patriotism and love for adventure that needs constant attention and development. Operational situations have proven that Canadian soldiers will fight as willingly and as well as anyone on earth, when led with courage and wisdom. They are resourceful and imaginative, and the best results will be obtained by encouraging them to use their initiative. They are more likely to respond to a leader who has the will and intelligence to give a clear, sensible order than to obey one who has little in his or her favour but rank. They will display loyalty and discipline most readily when they are aware you trust them.

14.     Integrity, a sense of humour, pride in the service. Your demonstration of these qualities will impress your soldiers to a far greater extent than mere talk. We all love to complain but you must be able to distinguish between semi-humorous complaining and the sullen undertones of genuine unrest that result from favouritism or injustice.

Know Your Job

15.     To be a good NCO you must know your job—know it exceptionally well. This means being proficient in the employment, care and maintenance of equipment assigned to you. If you are a really good NCO you will at least be as good as, or better at all those things than any of your soldiers. This is the first step in leading by example. You are the coach, the team is the vital component; high performance is the payoff. In addition you need to think ahead to the day when you may have to be replaced. Your soldiers must be able to pick up, carry on, and get the job done in your absence.

Be Honest

16.     "Tell it like it is" - not what you think someone wants to hear. If something goes wrong, be willing to say so; do so in an objective straightforward way; present facts. If you make a mistake, admit it. Never sacrifice integrity. You may be able to fool those you work for; chances are that you will never be able to fool those who work for you—your soldiers. Remember, as a group, Canadian soldiers have an almost unerring ability to ferret out the truth. Any attempt to fool them is a serious gamble that is seldom worth the risks involved. If the team does a good job, share the credit; it is the team effort that was successful with you as the leader.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 16 August 2014

Toasts in the Army
Topic: Tradition

Very different in character … was the unofficial toast of "Bloody War or a Sickly Season," often drunk in India, but only on informal occasions. In the days closely following the Mutiny, when promotion was slow, subalterns were wont to express this sentiment and raise their glasses in the hope that if these evils came they might be the fortunate survivors.

Toasts in the Army

By Lieut.-Colonel C. C. R. Murphy, published in the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, Vol. XCIII, February to November 1948)

A toast may be defined as a pledge in drinking, a way of expressing a wish for the health and happiness of persons or the success and prosperity of things. The custom of drinking them certainly bears the stamp and charm of antiquity. It had its origin in love or war, and so the first person to drink a toast must have been either a lover or a soldier; he was probably both.

Fighting is the oldest craft in the world; but although a standing army is, in these islands, a comparatively modern institution, let us not forget that there has been a British Army ever since the dawn of our history. What customs prevailed amongst our prehistoric soldiers we cannot say; but in the Middle Ages, when our Army was composed of its finest material—namely, the yeomen of England—the practice of drinking toasts was already well established. And it has outlasted the voluntary Army.

No doubt regiments that existed before the days of the standing Army—such as the Earl of Pembroke's Regiment, mentioned by Shakespeare in Richard III—honoured toasts of their own. The custom may have been started by one or more regiments drinking .a certain toast on a certain night of the week. Then, as it gathered popularity, regiments may have agreed amongst themselves to drink the same toast on the same night, until at last the custom became general and a fixed set of toasts was evolved and recognized throughout the Army. For some reason or other, these eventually became known as the Peninsular Toasts. The list is as follows: Monday, "Our Men; "Tuesday, "Our Women"; Wednesday, " Our Noble Selves; "Thursday, "Our Swords;" Friday, "Our Religion;" Saturday, "Sweethearts and Wives;" Sunday, "Absent Friends."

As will be seen, they are brief, simple and inclusive, and of course quite unconnected with politics or sects. No exception could be taken to any of them—not even to that of "Our Swords," which in those days were never drawn without cause and never sheathed without honour. These toasts, some of which may be centuries, older than their collective name implies, were honoured by regiments, irrespective of whether they had served in the Peninsular War or not, which had nothing to do with the case. Perhaps the most popular of them were "Sweethearts and Wives", and "Absent Friends." The first of these was proposed by the junior officer at the table or else was drunk informally; whilst to the second the words "and ships at sea "were sometimes added.

I believe Mr. Winston Churchill has referred to the Peninsular Toasts in his writings, though I cannot remember where. Andre Maurois, in Les Silences du Colonel Bramble, has given a list of toasts for each night in the week as drunk in the British Army, but it differs slightly from the Peninsular list. (Footnote to original: "Among other informal toasts, that of 'Fox-hunting' was honoured from time to time by enthusiasts of the chase.")

Very different in character from the above was the unofficial toast of "Bloody War or a Sickly Season," often drunk in India, but only on informal occasions. In the days closely following the Mutiny, when promotion was slow, subalterns were wont to express this sentiment and raise their glasses in the hope that if these evils came they might be the fortunate survivors.

The XVIIIth Century found a divided loyalty to England and, after the "Forty-five," certain regiments disaffected towards the Sovereign were ordered to drink his health. To salve their consciences, the Jacobite officers of the day used to stretch their glasses over their finger-bowls and drink to "The King over the water." Ever since those days it has not been the custom to put finger-bowls on the mess table. (Footnoted: Major R.M. Grazebrook, O.B.E., M.C., in the ]ournal of the Society for Army Historical Research.) Some regiments of the old Army, such as the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, the King's Royal Rifles, and many more, priding themselves that their loyalty was never in doubt; did not drink the health of the Sovereign at all. Others, equally trusty, drank it every night.

The actual procedure followed in honouring the loyal toast was marked by some interesting variations in different regiments. For example, the 1st Royal Sussex, the Royal Norfolk, the East Surreys, and the Border Regiment (except on guest nights when the band played) used to remain seated when drinking it. The Black Watch drank to the King and Queen, whilst the old 54th Foot always drank the Sovereign's health in a bumper toast. In the case of the Lancashire regiments, the loyal toast in certain circumstances took the form of "The King, Duke of Lancaster."

Special reference must be made to two toasts connected With the Peninsular War. The first of these was "The Emperor," drunk by the 14th Hussars, the origin of it being as follows, During that campaign the regiment captured part of the baggage train of the Emperor Joseph Napoleon, and amongst other things found therein was a fine silver domestic utensil bearing his coat of arms. From it the health of "The Emperor" was always drunk on guest nights. The other toast is that of "Dyas and the Stormers," drunk by the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. It commemorates the gallantry of Ensign John Dyas, 51st Light Infantry, who at Badajos on three separate occasions led the storming parties in the face of almost certain death, His conduct must have been of an exceptionally high order, because the toast was sometimes drunk in the messes of other regiments—a very unusual circumstance.

Some of the regiments who served in the Peninsula celebrate particular battles of that war either at mess or by setting aside their anniversaries as regimental holidays. For instance, every year on 16th May, the old 57th Foot used to drink "To those who fell at Albuhera," in memory of the 415 " Die-hards " killed in that battle. Similarly, the 50th Foot, on the anniversary of Corunna, used to drink to the "Corunna Majors,!' who led the regiment on that occasion and attracted the favourable notice of Sir John Moore. The two officers concerned were Charles Napier and the Hon. Charles Stanhope, who was killed. Battles of other wars, such as Dettingen and Minden,' were also commemorated; b1it strange to say, glasses were seldom raised to those who fought and fell at Waterloo—the most famous battle in the history of the world.

Most of the Scotch, Irish and Welsh regiments drank to the pious memory of their Patron Saint on the appropriate day, though St. George was not honoured to the same extent by English regiments. On St. David's Day, the ceremony of eating the leek was also observed by the Royal Welch Fusiliers. In the Cameronians, it was not the practice to honour toasts at all. In the case of the 1st Battalion, the origin of this goes back to the early days of the Covenanters when the drinking of healths was contrary to their religious beliefs. The 2nd Battalion, formerly the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry, did not observe the loyal toast either; but according to the wits of the day, this was because they had not been granted the Prince Regent's Allowance!

In passing, a word about this special mess allowance will not be inappropriate. It was instituted by the Prince Regent at the beginning of the Peninsular War, and amounted to £250 a year in the case of a regiment of full establishment. This enabled the officers to obtain, duty free, four pipes of port, and thus put them on a more or less equal footing with the Navy who already enjoyed a drawback of the duty on wines consumed on board ship. In those days and until recent years, no officer in the British Army under the rank of Captain could live without private means. He had to payout of his own pocket for the honour of serving. In the Navy, the position was different; nevertheless, it was felt that there was no justification for the disparity between the two Services in the matter of excise duties. This, of course, had been the reason for its introduction; but after being- in existence for just over a century, it was suddenly abolished during the reign of King George V.

One of the most inspiring regimental toasts was that of the Seaforth Highlanders, given in Gaelic by the Pipe-Major on guest nights. It ran as follows:—

"The land of hills, glens, and heroes; where the ptarmigan thrives and where the red deer finds shelter; as long as mist hangs o'er the mountains and water runs in the glens, may the deeds of its brave be remembered, and health and victory be with the lads of the Cabar Feidh."

In 1940, a regulation was issued permitting officers to drink the King's health in water or other non-alcoholic beverages—a portent of the watery grave to which the old Army with all its traditions was about to be committed.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 15 August 2014

Canadian Military Values
Topic: Discipline

Canadian Military Values

Duty With Honour; The profession of Arms in Canada
A-PA-005-000/AP-001, 2003; Published under the auspices of the Chief of Defence Staff by the Canadian Defence Academy – Canadian Forces Leadership Institute

Canadian military values – which are essential for conducting the full range of military operations, up to and including warfighting – come from what history and experience teach about the importance of moral factors in operations, especially the personal qualities that military professionals must possess to prevail. But military values must always be in harmony and never in conflict with Canadian values.

These military values are understood and expressed within the Canadian military ethos as follows.

DutyFirst and foremost, duty entails service to Canada and compliance with the law. It obliges members to adhere to the law of armed conflict while displaying dedication, initiative and discipline in the execution of tasks. Duty further demands that Canadian Forces members accept the principle of the primacy of operations and that military leaders act in accordance with the professional precept of "Mission, own troops, self," as mentioned previously. Performing one's duty embraces the full scope of military professional excellence. It calls for individuals to train hard, pursue professional self-development, and carry out their tasks in a manner that reflects pride in themselves, their unit and their profession. Overall, this concept of duty motivates personnel both individually and collectively to strive for the highest standards of performance while providing them with purpose and direction throughout the course of their service.

Loyalty must be reciprocal and based on mutual trust. To have integrity is to have unconditional and steadfast commitment to a principled approach to meeting your obligations while being responsible and accountable for your actions. Courage requires constant nurturing and is not suddenly developed during operations.

LoyaltyLoyalty is closely related to duty and entails personal allegiance to Canada and faithfulness to comrades across the chain of command. For loyalty to endure, it must be reciprocal and based on mutual trust. It requires that all Canadian Forces members support the intentions of superiors and readily obey lawful orders and directions. However, it also imposes special obligations on all leaders and commanders.

Leaders must ensure their subordinates are treated fairly, and prepare and train them spiritually, mentally and physically for whatever tasks they're assigned. Subordinates must be given opportunities for professional development and career advancement. Downward loyalty further demands that Canadian Forces members be properly cared for, that their desires and concerns be heard and that their personal needs be tended to, both during the time of their service and after it. This is especially so if they have been wounded or injured in the course of their duties. And this concept of loyalty extends to the immediate families of Canadian Forces members, who are entitled to official recognition and consideration for the important contribution they make to the morale and dedication of loved ones in uniform.

IntegrityTo have integrity is to have unconditional and steadfast commitment to a principled approach to meeting your obligations while being responsible and accountable for your actions. Accordingly, being a person of integrity calls for honesty, the avoidance of deception and adherence to high ethical standards. Integrity insists that your actions be consistent with established codes of conduct and institutional values. It specifically requires transparency in actions, speaking and acting with honesty and candour, the pursuit of truth regardless of personal consequences, and a dedication to fairness and justice. Integrity must especially be manifested in leaders and commanders because of the powerful effect of their personal example on peers and subordinates.

CourageCourage is a distinctly personal quality that allows a person to disregard the cost of an action in terms of physical difficulty, risk, advancement or popularity. Courage entails willpower and the resolve not to quit. It enables making the right choice among difficult alternatives. Frequently, it is a renunciation of fear that must be made not once but many times. Hence, courage is both physical and moral. Both types of courage are required because of their essential complementarity and to meet the serious demands the profession of arms makes on individuals. Courage requires constant nurturing and is not suddenly developed during operations. Ultimately, "Courageous actions are dictated by conscience, of which war is the final test".

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 14 August 2014

Kincardine Armoury
Topic: Armouries

Kincardine Armoury

Kincardine, Bruce 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 Force units, some have been repurposed, and others are long gone, the sites now home to other buildings. The area controlled by Military District No. 1 in the 1940s is now in the area of responsibility of 31 Canadian Brigade Group.


The Kinkardine Armoury Building (2014)


District Engineer's Plan Label.


Site Plan.




Ground Floor


First Floor.

NameKincardine Armoury
Military DistrictM.D. No. 1
Electoral DistrictBruce
H.Q. FileL. 13-13-7
Date31 March 1944
1.Building Ownership.Department of National Defence
2.If purchased, date, conditions, cost, etc., and value.No.
3.If constructed, date and cost and what Department and value.Built in 1913 by the Department of Public Works at a cost of approximately $8,750. Present value $10,000.
(a)Drainage, sewer and water connection. To be shown on site plan.Cesspool in rear of building. Water connection to street.
(d)Roof framing.Framed Timber.
(e)Roof covering (Type and date).Ashphalt shingles 1942.
(f)Floor, main hall.Maple on dressed pine on 2" x 10" joists at 2' centres.
(g)Other floors.Maple on 2" x 10" joists.
(h)Partitions.V matched lumber two sides, on 2" x 4" studding.
(i)Balconies.Balcony 4' wide across building at north end.
5.Miniature rifle range—Description.Nil.
6.Bowling alleys, badminton courts, indoor baseball or other facilities for games.None.
7.Heating system— 
(a)General Description.Hot Air Furnace and Stoves.
(b)Make and size heating apprs.McClarys Sunshine Hot Air Furnace #30. Two Happy Thought Radiant Standard #20 A. Stoves in Drill Hall.
(c)Fuel per annum.18 tons.
(d)Engineer and fireman specially employed.None.
8.Lighting system—General description.Electric. Drop lights throughout building.
9.Fire protection. Show position of standpipes in building, on site or on street plan.No stand pipes. Hydrants on street.
(a)Military or Civilian.Civilian (part time only).
(b)Quartered in Armoury.No.
(c)Does he tend heating apprs.Yes.
11.Units in occupation.2/98th (Res) Field Battery, R.C.A.
12.General condition (Adequate space or not).Not.
Clothing, Equipment, fixtures (adequate or not). 
13.Any special remarks not included above.Not.
(a)Ownership.Department of National Defence
(b)How acquired, date, cost and present value.Purchased in 1885 for $400. Present value $1,000.
(c)Who holds deed.District Enginering Officer, M.D. No. 1, London, Ontario
(d)Size and area.52' x 218'; contains 0.26 acres.
(e)Name of street and number of lot.Part of lot #8 Lambton St. North.
(f)Fences, walks, and roadways on site.Walk, concrete to Front Entrance.
(g)Surface—whether grass and whether kept in condition, and by whom.Grass, cared for by the paart time caretaker.
(h)Is any part of site used for other than military purpose. Give details.None.
(i)Are there any other structures on site. If so give details.None.
(j)State nature of surface of roads, also sidewalks on adjoining street.Paved road and concrete walks.
(k)Any remarks on site not included above. 
15.Remarks.Brick Curling Rink situated on the west side of Quen Street, north of Dundas St. And shown on attached site plan, is used for 8 months of the year for drilling. Rent, $15,00 per month.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:13 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:14 AM EDT
Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Canadian Army Rates of Pay; 1942
Topic: Pay; the Queen's shilling

Unidentified Canadian infantrymen negotiating an assault training course, England, August 1942. Photographer: Alexander Mackenzie Stirton. Mikan Number: 3205243. From the Library and Archives Canada virtual exhibition Faces of War.

Canadian Army Rates of Pay; 1942

Canadian Army, Training Pamphlet No. 1
A General Instructional Background for the Young Soldier; 1942

Pay of the Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men of the Canadian Army (Active)

Financial Regulations and Instructions
Regimental Rates of Pay

The following daily rates of pay are authorized for warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men.

Warrant Officers, Class I

Master Gunner, 1st Class
Staff-Sergeant-Major, 1st Class
Regimental Sergeant-Major
Garrison or Camp Sergeant-Major
Foreman of WorksSergeant-Major
Foreman of Signals
Clerk Signals
Draughtsman, Signals
Accountant, Signals
Engineer, Accountant
Topographical Surveyor
Engineer Draughtsman
All other Warrant Offiers, Class I$3.90

Warrant Officers, Class II, N.C.Os. And Men

Master Gunner, 3rd Class$3.10
Regimental quartermaster-sergeant
Staff quartermaster-sergeant
Squadron, battery or company sergeant-major$3.00
Warrant Officer, Class III$2.75
Squadron, battery or company quartermaster-sergeant$2.50
Staff sergeant
Lance sergeant$1.90
Corporal or bombadier$1.70
Lance-corporal or lance-bombadier$1.50
Private (over 18 years of age)$1.30

A warrant officers, non-commissioned officer or man performing the duties of a higher rank or appointment may be granted the acting rank and the rate of pay and allowances for such rank or appointment in the following circumstances only:

(a)     Providing he is covering off a vacancy in an authorized establishment;

(b)     Where there is adequate reason for filling the vacancy; and

(c)     When the candidate is qualified for the rank in question.

W.Os., N.C.Os. and men holding acting rank will revert to their permanent rank on ceasing to perform the duties for which such acting rank was granted. Particulars will be published in Part II Orders of unit concerned.

Tradesmen's Rates of Pay

In addition to regimental races of pay, soldiers who qualify as Army tradesmen and who fulfill the necessary requirements, may become eligible to receive tradesmen's rates of pay in one of three classes. The rates are 75 cents, 50 cents and 25 cents per diem, and are issuable according to the trade and the qualification obtained by the soldier concerned.

To qualify for tradesmen's rates of pay, a soldier must fulfill the following conditions:

(a)     Pass the appropriate Army trade test.

(b)     Be covering off a vacancy in the appropriate rank and trade in the War Establishment of his unit, except when held as an unposted reinforcement within the authorized quota.

(c)     Has completed the basic training for his Arm of the Service.

The Senior Subaltern

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

Seventh Regiment Troops the Colours (1908)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, troops the Regimental and Queen's Colours. The 7th Regiment, Fusiliers,was amalagamated with The Royal Canadian Regiment on the 1950s.

Seventh Regiment Troops the Colours (1908)

Impressive Military Spectacle Witnessed at the Armories Last Night

The Free Press, London, Ont., Tuesday, 12 May 1908

Last night at the armories the Seventh Regiment "trooped the colors" for the first time this season, and in spite of the men being greatly handicapped because of the lack of room in the drill shed they did excellent work, taking into consideration that it was the first practice of the year. This impressive ceremonial drill originated hundreds of years ago in the old country, and is still executed every morning by the Royal Guards at St. James Palace, England.

Last night the colors were borne by Lieut. Howard Ingram, who carried the regimental colors, and Lieut. Mortimore, who carried the King's colors, while Capt Becher commanded the escort.

The brass and bugle bands take an important part in the drill, playing both stirring martial music and also slow marches, which make very man feel the honor due the flag they are sworn to defend.

The swords of the officers and the bayonets of the men glistening in the light, combined with the bright uniforms of the men presented a pleasing spectacle to the civilians in the gallery, who applauded as each military move was completed.

For about two hours the drill was practiced under the adjutant, Capt. McCrimmon, the men improving all the time, until the adjutant was convinced that they would make a good showing at Galt, where the regiment appears on the 25th.

The undivided attention of the audience in the galleries was held from the time the officers advanced toward the saluting base where the drill is completed.

One of the most impressive parts of the drill is when the sergeant-major or the next senior sergeant advances, receives the colors and returns towards the escort, while the lieutenants move out four paces in front of the captain, and after saluting the colors return their swords to the scabbards, receive the colors, place them in their belts and turn about.

The escort is then ordered to "present arms." The sergeant-major salutes, the sentries present arms and the band plays "God Save the King."

The parade last night was one of the largest of the season, over four hundred men being on the floor.

On Monday night the regiment will parade for inspection by General Lake, the inspector-general, and Col. Peters, the district officer commanding.

Drill will be held next Friday night, but it has not been decided whether the colors will be trooped or not.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:04 AM EDT
Monday, 11 August 2014

Bonaventure Commissioning
Topic: RCN

Bonaventure Commissioning

First Canadian-Owned Carrier is Up-To-Date

Ottawa Citizen, 21 January 1957

The commissioning of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Bonaventure at Belfast, Northern Ireland, on January 17 marked an important milestone in the history of the Royal Canadian Navy and, in particular, of Canadian aviation.

The Bonaventure is the first carrier to be Canadian-owned and embodies many features and developments that are uniquely Canadian. Most important is her capacity to handle the more advanced aircraft with which the RCN's operational squadrons are being re-armed. Among her up-to-date facilities are the angled deck, steam catapult and stabilized mirror landing aid.

The Bonaventure, built by Harland and Wolff Ltd., has a riveted steel hull and main bulkheads/ Aluminum was used where practical in the superstructure and the majority of her secondary bulkheads are of marinite panelling.

Twin Shaft

She has twin-shaft steam turbines and displaces approximately 19,000 tons fully loaded. She is 700 feet long, with a beam of 80 feet, excluding the angled deck.

Her gunnery armament include the latest anti-aircraft guns and fire control equipment.

Radar equipment was installed for full coverage of fighting requirements, as well as navigation purposes. A closed television system for inter-ship communication was tested experimentally ion board.

The main electrical power generated in the ship is direct current to a maximum of 3,200 kilowatts, developed by four turbine-driven generators and four diesel-driven generators. There are also about 300 kilowatts of alternating current power, catering mainly to the electronics system.

Internal communications, except for the experimental television, are normal for the class and operational role. Flourescent lighting was used in many places, including pilots' briefing room. Flight deck lighting represents the latest developments for night flying operations.

Canadian standard habitability has been built into the ship, which has a complement of approximately 1,200 officers and men. The crew sleep in bunks and are fed cafeteria-style in separate eating spaces.

Mainly Electrified

Galleys are mainly electrified, with a few steam-operated pressure cookers. Enhancing the domestic are automatic potato-peelers, automatic dishwashing machines and meat tenderizers.

The bakery will be capable of meeting full requirements of the ship's complement, and a canteen has been installed, complete with soda fountain and ice-cream making machinery. Sixteen m.m. sound motion picture projectors were supplied to the ship for movies in the hangar.

A new first in naval engineering has been achieved with the production of aviation fuelling equipment for the Bonaventure which will ensure the only pure, properly constituted aviation fuels can be pumped into the tanks of the carrier's aircraft.

The aircraft, with which the Bonaventure is equipped, are the Canadian-produced CS2F1 anti-submarine aircraft, known as the Tracker, and the radar-equipped all-weather Banshee jet aircraft.

Target figure for the Tracker is 100. The De Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada Ltd. delivered the first of these in the fall of 1956 and production will continue at the rate of approximately two a month until mid-1960.

The Tracker, also an all-weather aircraft is literally packed with electronic devices for navigation and for detection of submarines.

Eight-Hour Endurance

It is powered by two Wright 983C94EI nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engines with propeller reduction drive. Each engine has a take-off rating of 1,525 h.p. The aircraft has an endurance of eight hours. Its maximum speed if over 300 m.p.h.

With an all-up weight of 23,000 pounds, its wing span is 69 feet eight inches and its length is 42 feet.

Detection equipment includes radar, sonobouys, magnetic airborne detector (MAD) and a searchlight. Armament includes homing torpedoes and rockets.

The RCN had 39 Banshee jet fighters on order. One banshee squadron now is in service at HMCS Shearwater, RCN air station at Dartmouth, N.S., while awaiting the commissioning of the carrier, and delivery of the balance of the aircraft is expected to be completed by nmid-1957.

Banshee is powered by two Westinghouse J34-WE-34 turbojet engines rated at 3.250 pounds thrust each, giving that aircraft a speed of approximately 600 miles as hour. It has an initial rate of climb of over 6,200 feet per minute, a service ceiling of 40,000 feet and a maximum range of over 2,000 miles. Its armament consists of four 20-m.m. cannon, and high velocity aircraft rockets or two 1,000-pound bombs.

The number of aircraft operating from the Bonaventure will range between 25 and 30, depending upon her operational or exercise role. The proportion of Trackers to Banshees will vary according to the requirements of these roles.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 6 July 2014 12:37 PM EDT
Sunday, 10 August 2014

London, M.D. No. 1, and the Military School; 1895
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

This image of Wolseley Hall, printed in the programme of the 1895 Military Review, shows the training battery position at the south east corner of the building.

London, Military District No. 1, and The Military School; 1895

From the Programme of the 76th anniversary: Her Majesty's birthday, May 24th, 1895: grand military review at London, Ont. (1895). Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2009 with funding from Ontario Council of University Libraries

ALTTEXTLondon; The Western Military Centre

London's military history dates as far back as 1838, in January of which year the 32nd Regiment arrived here, and the place for the first time became a military post. With more or less regularity, Imperial troops were stationed here till the breaking out of the Crimean war. Then Her Majesty's regular forces were withdrawn from Canada, and it was not until February, 1862, when trouble threatened over the Trent affair, that the London garrison was again filled. From that year until the close of the American Civil War, various corps were stationed here, including the Royal Canadian Rifles, the 60th Rifles, the 53rd and 63rd Regiments, besides Military Train, Sappers and Miners, Batteries of Artillery, &tc. Many members of these secured their discharge while where, and to-day are among London's most respected citizens. As the majority of Londoners will remember, these troops were quartered in the barracks which had been erected on what is now the northern half of Victoria Park, but during the sixties the garrison grew to such dimensions that it was found necessary to use buildings on the old Ordnance Lands, on the east side of Wellington street, north of Dufferin avenue (then Duke street), as well as the old Royal Exchange on Ridout street, near Dundas, and other premises close by.

The presence in the city for years of Imperial troops could not but have its effect on the young men of the day. It inspired them with a martial ardor and enthusiasm that still animates the breasts of those who have not yet gone over to the great beyond, and has been transmitted to their sons—the young men who form the citizen-soldiers of to-day, and it is the development of this spirit that it is desired specially to deal with here.

First Military District

The military sentiment and organization in London had, in 1866, grown to such proportions that when the organization of districts was derided on, the Government had no hesitation in selecting London as the headquarters of Military District No. 1. Lieut.-Col. J.B. Taylor was gazetted Deputy Adjutant-General, and Lieut.-Col. James Moffat, Brigade Major. Both these gentlemen (since deceased) had taken active part in the formation of local companies, and their appointment was received with general favor by officers and men throughout the district. In 1882, Cols. Taylor and Moffat were succeeded respectively by Cols. Jackson and Aylmer, two thorough soldiers.

The Military School

In 1886 the Government realized the necessity for a Military School in the west, and London, being the headquarters of the district, was, of course, chosen as the location of the new institution of military education. The site selected is the most suitable it is possible to procure. Indeed, so satisfied was the department of this, that some years ago Carling's Heights, as the grounds surrounding Wolseley Barracks are called, was chosen as a permanent site for the holding of annual brigade camps.

The work of erection began on May 5th, 1886, and on March 31st, 1888, the school was opened. Col. Henry Smith was commissioned Commandant and Deputy Adjutant-General as well—positions which he continues to fill. The other members of the staff are—Major and Lieut.-Col. Vidal, commanding No. 1 Company, Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry; Lieut, and Capt. Hemming; Lieut. and Capt. Dennison; Lieut. Carpenter and Surgeon-Major Hanovan. No. 1 Company, R.R.C.I., consists of a permanent force of about one hundred men. The staff is a most efficient one, the Commandant being one of the most thorough officers in the service in Canada—a fact ample proof of which is found in the splendid condition of No. 1 Company, and the thoroughness of the system of training employed in the school.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 9 August 2014

Bayonets in Basra
Topic: The Field of Battle

Bayonets in Basra - A Case Study on the Effects of Irregular Warfare

Prepared by the Urban Warfare Analysis Center, by Edwin Halpain and Justin Walker, 27 Jan 2009


See the orginal report.

About the Urban Warfare Analysis Center

The Urban Warfare Analysis Center produces innovative research and analysis of irregular warfare conducted in urban environments. We bring together personnel from diverse analytical disciplines – including science and technology, social sciences, linguistics, and military studies – to create unique insights across the full range of military operations. The UWAC serves clients in the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and broader national security arena. For additional information, please see the UWAC website at

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are an infantry regiment of the British Army with a rich history. It is one of Scotland's oldest fighting forces. It is best known for forming the legendry "thin red line" at the Battle of Balaklava in the Crimean War against Russia in 1854. It later fought with distinction in World War I and World War II, including intense jungle warfare in Malaya. After Iraq, it served in Afghanistan before returning home in 2008.

Motto Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
No One Assails Me With Impunity

Executive Summary

In May 2004, approximately 20 British troops in Basra were ambushed and forced out of their vehicles by about 100 Shiite militia fighters. When ammunition ran low, the British troops fixed bayonets and charged the enemy. About 20 militiamen were killed in the assault without any British deaths. The bayonet charge appeared to succeed for three main reasons. First, the attack was the first of its kind in that region and captured the element of surprise. Second, enemy fighters probably believed jihadist propaganda stating that coalition troops were cowards unwilling to fight in close combat, further enhancing the element of surprise. Third, the strict discipline of the British troops overwhelmed the ability of the militia fighters to organize a cohesive counteraction. The effects of this tactical action in Basra are not immediately applicable elsewhere, but an important dominant theme emerges regarding the need to avoid predictable patterns of behavior within restrictive rules of engagement. Commanders should keep adversaries off balance with creative feints and occasional shows of force lest they surrender the initiative to the enemy.

I. Overview of Bayonet Charge

On 21 May 2004, Mahdi militiamen engaged a convoy consisting of approximately 20 British troops from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 55 miles north of Basra. A squad from the Princess of Wales regiment came to their assistance. What started as an attack on a passing convoy ended with at least 35 militiamen dead and just three British troops wounded. The militiamen engaged a force that had restrictive rules of engagement prior to the incident that prevented them from returning fire. What ensued was an example of irregular warfare by coalition troops that achieved a tactical victory over a numerically superior foe with considerable firepower.

Atmosphere Preceding the Attack

After a period of relative calm, attacks escalated after coalition forces attempted to arrest Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. British soldiers in southern Iraq said they were "stunned" by the level of violence near Basra. In particular, Mahdi militiamen conducted regular ambushes on British convoys on the roads between Basra and Baghdad. Frequent, uncoordinated attacks inflicted little damage, although precise data is unavailable in open sources. Since the Scottish and Welsh troops arrived in Basra, Shiite militias averaged about five attacks per day in Basra.

The Bayonet Charge

The battle began when over 100 Mahdi army fighters ambushed two unarmored vehicles transporting around 20 Argylls on the isolated Route Six highway near the southern city of Amarah. Ensconced in trenches along the road, the militiamen fired mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and machine gun rounds. The vehicles stopped and British troops returned fire. The Mahdi barrage caused enough damage to force the troops to exit the vehicles. The soldiers quickly established a defensive perimeter and radioed for reinforcements from the main British base at Amarah – Camp Abu Naji. Reinforcements from the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment assisted the Argyles in an offensive operation against the Mahdi militiamen. When ammunition ran low among the British troops, the decision was made to fix bayonets for a direct assault.

The British soldiers charged across 600 feet of open ground toward enemy trenches.6 They engaged in intense hand-to-hand fighting with the militiamen. Despite being outnumbered and lacking ammunition, the Argylls and Princess of Wales troops routed the enemy. The British troops killed about 20 militiamen in the bayonet charge and between 28 and 35 overall. Only three British soldiers were injured.8 This incident marked the first time in 22 years that the British Army used bayonets in action. The previous incident occurred during the Falklands War in 1982.

II. Why the Bayonet Charge Was a Tactical Success

The bayonet charge by British troops in Basra achieved tactical success primarily because of psychological and cultural factors. It also shows that superior firepower does not guarantee success by either side. In this case, the value of surprise, countering enemy expectations, and strict troop discipline were three deciding characteristics of the bayonet charge.

Surprise as a Weapon

The Mahdi fighters likely expected the British convoy to continue past the attack. Previous convoys of British vehicles had driven through ambush fire.10 British military sources believe the militiamen miscalculated the response of the convoy and expected the Scots to flee.

lthough the raid is a well-honed tactic practiced by jihadist and Arab irregulars, the A surprise raid has been an effective tool against Arab armies, both regular and irregular. Irregular fighters usually are not trained in the rigid discipline that professional counterparts possess, and the surprise attack exploits this weakness.

I wanted to put the fear of God into the enemy. I could see some dead bodies and eight blokes, some scrambling for their weapons. I've never seen such a look of fear in anyone's eyes before. I'm over six feet; I was covered in sweat, angry, red in the face, charging in with a bayonet and screaming my head off. You would be scared, too.

Corporal Brian Wood
Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

Enemy Expectation that Coalition Troops Would Avoid Combat

Propaganda by Sunni and Shiite jihadists regularly advertised the perception that American and British soldiers were cowards. Similar rhetoric increased after the battles of Fallujah in April 2004, perhaps to steady the resolve of militia fighters in the face of aggressive coalition attacks.13 In addition, British convoys did not engage significantly during previous ambushes, which probably validated the narrative for many Mahdi militiamen. Because many of the Mahdi fighters were teenagers, it is also likely that the Mahdi army used these ambushes for training and recruiting. The attacks were an opportunity for young fighters to use weapons in combat with little risk of serious reprisal.

In short, the bayonet charge not only surprised the Mahdi militiamen, it also debunked the perception that coalition troops were reluctant fighters seeking to avoid conflict.

There was a lot of aggression and a lot of hand-to-hand fighting. It wasn't a pleasant scene. Some did get cut with the blades of the bayonet as we tumbled around, but in the end, they surrendered and were controlled. I do wonder how they regard life so cheaply. Some of these Iraqis in those trenches were 15 years old – against trained soldiers.

Colonel Mark Byers
Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

Strict Discipline

A crucial distinction during the bayonet charge was the professional discipline of the British troops in contrast to the disunity and confusion of the militia fighters. Irregular militia often fight with passion and benefit from knowledge of the local terrain. Professional soldiers, however, formally trained in tactics and squad unity can often overcome these and other obstacles. During the bayonet charge, the soldiers rarely lost their nerve and not a single soldier lost his life. Many of the militiamen fled.

Discipline is a tool that can be leveraged in irregular warfare against troops that lack professional training. The individual commander needs to recognize which tactics capitalize on troop discipline and then exploit the enemy's weakness in this area.

III. Conclusion

In irregular warfare, Western military forces have options beyond just superior firepower. The bayonet charge in Basra by British troops showed the value of spontaneous surprise attacks under the right conditions. The attack also refuted the jihadist narrative in the area depicting coalition troops as cowards afraid of tough combat, probably swinging the psychological advantage back to coalition troops.

Other nonconventional means of fighting could achieve similar results as the bayonet charge. Drawing from "lessons learned" across areas of operation and from historical case studies could produce multiple options for small unit tactics with minimal changes to operational structure. All irregular warfare methods, however, must be carefully studied for possible second-order consequences.

For example, the use of attack dogs by coalition troops could provoke fear among some militia fighters, but also infuriate local public opinion by giving the impression that U.S. soldiers care more about their dogs than other human beings.

At the least, this case study suggests the importance of changing tactics and procedures to keep enemy fighters off balance. Even within restrictive rules of engagement, commanders should seek periodic "spike" actions that prevent coalition procedures from becoming routine and easily predictive.

Sometimes actions as simple as unexpected changes in appearance or shows of force can regain the initiative. At the same time, commanders must weigh all operational actions in the larger context of persuading the local civilian population to support the consistent, constructive, and stabilizing actions of the coalition as a whole.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 8 August 2014

The War of Life
Topic: CEF

The War of Life

Letter from the Rev. Albert Woods to his wife in Winnipeg (undated); republished in "My Grandfather's War; Canadians Remember the First World War, 1914-1918," William D. Mathieson, 1981

Now let us suppose a man is wounded in the front trench. He is at once picked up by the stretcher bearers, given first aid, placed on a stretcher and brought to the R.A.P., where he is examined, iodine put on his wound and redressed. If the patient is suffering and if the wound permits, a small dose of morphia is given. His Regimental Number, Name and Unit, nature of wound, and Treatment given is indicated on a card and fastened to the patient's tunic.

If the wound is dangerous, or serious, a red card is red, if slight, white, all these particulars are entered in a book kept solely for the purpose by the Battalion M.O. The patient is given a drink of hot coffee and sent on to the Advanced Field Ambulance Dressing Station where he is again examined and sent on to the main Dressing Station by Motor Ambulance, usually about three miles behind the firing line. Here the patient is given a dose of anti-toxin as s preventative of Tetanus. His wounds are redressed, dry socks put on if needed and available. Here he is given plenty of hot food and drink. If he is a serious case he's sent on ac once co the Casualty Clearing Station where necessary operations are performed. Thus I have known patients entered at the C.C.S. only five hours after they were wounded.

The whole system works like an endless chain propelled by an unseen power; there is no confusion under the most severe stress. Every ounce of energy is used to the best advantage, nothing being wasted, the thing moves as in a circle. We do not as a rule credit the Medical men with a keen business ability, but at the front (I know nothing of the conditions as they exist in England) there is no department of this vast and complicated Military Machine that is better organized, more efficiently managed, or has produced better results than the Canadian Army Medical Service. When the Field Ambulances have delivered their patients to the Casualty Clearing Station, their responsibilities cease. The C.C.S.

are aways situated on a railway line and as soon as possible the patients are moved by Ambulance train to one of the Stationary Hospitals and from there to England. At the C.C.S. there is a large staff of nurses, or "angels in white" as we call them, and the patients receive the same attention they would receive in an old established hospital. They are well equipped with the modern appliances, such as X-Ray machines, etc. The best Surgeons procurable are found there. So amongst all the misery of war and within easy distance of its relentless activities are found the more civilized and humane endeavours of humanity; the desire to alleviate suffering. The war of life against death and pain. On the one hand it is science straining every nerve to accomplish man's destruction, on the other hand it is science working overtime to save his his life.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 7 August 2014

New FN Rifle

New FN Rifle being Placed in Hands of Canadian Troops

Ottawa Citizen, 9 May 1957
Dave McIntosh, Canadian Press Staff Writer

In 1957, the 13 infantry battalions in the Regular Force were:

  • The Canadian Guards
    • 1st Battalion
    • 2nd Battalion
  • The Royal Canadian Regiment
    • 1st Battalion
    • 2nd Battalion
  • Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
    • 1st Battalion
    • 2nd Battalion
  • Royal 22e Regiment
    • 1er Bataillon
    • 2e Bataillon
    • 3e Bataillon
  • The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
    • 1st Battalion
    • 2nd Battalion
  • The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada
    • 1st Battalion
    • 2nd Battalion

The new FN (Fabrique Nationale) Belgian rifle now is being placed in the hands of Canadian troops.

It is expected that the 13 infantry battalions in the Canadian Army will be fully equipped with the FN by the end of this year, and that the army as a whole will have completed conversion to the new weapon a year from now.

The Belgian-designed .300-calibre automatic rifle is being manufactured by Canadian Arsenals Ltd., a crown company.

It has many Canadian improvements and is rated a far better weapon than when the defence department bought several hundred from Belgium for trials some three years ago.

U.S. Rejects

Britain has also adopted the FN as the standard infantry weapon for its army but the United States recently rejected the FN and decided on adoption of its own T-44. However, both the FN and T-44 fire the same ammunition, the 7.62 round, better known to Canadians as the .300-calibre.

Officials say the FN is a much better weapon than the Lee-Enfield .303-calibre it is replacing. Its chief advantage is that it is automatic. It can fire 20 rounds with one squeeze of the trigger. The Lee-Enfield has to be cocked for each round.

The FN's cocking handle is on the left and thus a soldier does not have to swing off the target while reloading. The bolt has only to be pulled back and then released. With the Lee-Enfield, the bolt must be pulled back, then shoved forward and down.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 July 2014 6:43 PM EDT
Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Information Security; 1942
Topic: British Army


Canadian Army, Training Pamphlet No. 1
A General Instructional Background for the Young Soldier; 1942

Put in every-day language, Security consciousness is knowing how, what, when, and where to shut up—and what to shut up about. Good Security is acting continuously on this information.

Every soldier in the Canadian Army shares with his comrades a responsibility for Security which is with him at all times.

Without Security the best-planned operations can not be fully successful. Without Security consciousness no soldier is fully, trained. … And Security consciousness is a state of mind whidh you, as a responsible member of the Canadian Army, must yourself develop. Your officers and instructors can tell you why—even how—but developing this Security consciousness, this state of mind, depends upon yourself.

Military Security is merely the defence counter-measures which the Danadian Army employs to safeguard the men of the Army, to safeguard the information which these men necessarily possess and to safeguard the Army's stores, equipment and arms. It is your obligation to co-operate to the fullest in keeping from the enemy the information he wants and must have to wage war successfully against us. He spares neither time nor money to get this information and he works round the clock.

The enemy wants to learn everything he can about us and our plans for conducting the war. He is interested in the tiniest morsel of information he can glean. Even though it is of little importance in itself, it nevertheless represents a piece in the jigsaw puzzle on which he is constantly working. —Don't help him! There are many channels of leakage of these tiny, "harmless" bits of information. From the soldier's point of view, however, the most dangerous are:

1.     Conversations in public places;

2.     Conversations with friends and relatives through which information comes into the possession of those who, with the best will in the world, do not understand the importanceof safeguarding it;

3.     Conversations over the telephone—for the telephone is not secret;

4.     Correspondence home and with friends (see 2 above);

5.     Correspondence with unknown persons—”Penpals,” business forms or advertisers;

6.     Telegrams;

7.     Photographs.

Remember—you help Hitler whenever you mention in letters or talk to civilians about any of the following subjects:

(a)     Strength and Disposition of your own and other units.

(b)     Location or description of defence positions.

(c)     Armament or equipment.

(d)     Rumours or forecasts of Movements.

(e)     All matter relating to ships and ship movements, whether naval or mercantile marine, or to naval defenses such as submarine nets and booms.

Put in every-day language, Security consciousness is knowing how, what, when, and where to shut up—and what to shut up about. Good Security is acting continuously on this information. Breaches of Security are punishable under Military Law.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Feeding the Troops; Rural vs. City Corps
Topic: Army Rations

Military Minutes

Feeding the Troops; Rural vs. City Corps

By: Major R.E.D. Tape
The Free Press, London, Ont., Saturday, September 5, 1908

The 25th Regiment of St. Thomas goes into camp at Ridgetown to-day for three days' experience in camp life, to gain a smattering of the many duties which cannot be acquired in a drill hall. This is an annual event with the 25th Regiment and strange to say, although such is actually required to carry out the course of training laid down in the little red, the whole expense has to be borne by the regiment itself, even to the cost of transporting the tents and blankets required, from London to Ridgetown, and back again, and of the washing of the blankets. Great encouragement to a city regiment to make itself efficient, isn't it?

Every city regiment should go into camp for a few days every year as a part of its annual drill. A great deal of a soldiers' training cannot be acquired otherwise, and the great lack of knowledge of camp duties and work on the part of city corps was well illustrated at the Quebec tercentenary. Few, if any, of these corps knew how to feed themselves. With the Government ration and an allowance of 35¢ to 75¢ per diem for each man paid by the regiments, they were much worse off than the rural regiments, which had nothing but the same camp ration, simply because rural regiment have twelve days experience in messing every year, while city corps have practically none. In many other ways also the city corps were out-classed by their rural comrades.

This brings to mind a question about which we have heard a great deal during the past month. This is the meeting of the 7th Regiment at Quebec. The regiment employed a caterer and cooks for the occasion, gave him the government ration, which is all that a man can eat, and also 35 cents a day for each man for extra rations. Yet in spite of this we have yet to hear of one man who had a square meal during his week in Quebec. An elaborate daily bill of fare was prepared for the occasion, but was never carried out. The cooking was described as the rankest possible. Only a part of the rations was ever seen by the men, and if the caterer furnished 35 cents worth of extras for each man each day he must have bought them at famine prices. Thirty-seven and a half pounds of jam were drawn every day, yet very few got a glimpse of any of it, and when it was served it was simply a thin red line on a piece of bread. A similar quantity of beans was drawn every day for soup, but no one saw any bean soup. Bacon appeared on two or three occasions, when it was drawn for every day and although 300 lbs. of beef was issued every day the men forgot what roast beef looked like. What wasn't burnt up in the incinerator was dished up as stew. The vegetables met the same fate.

The messing arrangements were also of the worst. Instead of cooking for each company being done separately, and orderlies detailed to wait on the tables, the cooking for the whole regiment was done in one place, and each man of the three hundred or more had to parade at the cook house with his bowl and plate for a squirt of something in one and a shot of something on the other. In fact, everything is described as having been most unsatisfactory, and was the cause of no end of grousing.

The reason is quite plain. The caterer wasn't there for his health. He was after all the filthy lucre he could get, and while those who should have looked after the messing were enjoying themselves in the city he was busy increasing his pile of velvet.

We have yet to hear of any rural corps being stung in this manner, and it is up to the city regiments to learn a little about this particular and most important part of its training.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 4 August 2014

Characteristics of a Good Combat Order
Topic: Staff Duties

Characteristics of a Good Combat Order

Duty, Honor, Company; West Point Fundamentals for Business Success, Gil Dorland and John Dorland, 1992

To minimize the potential for confusion or misinterpretation of orders, the military has formulated specific guidelines for their preparation. Regardless of how they are communicated, orders should be presented as clearly as possible so that everyone within the organization, from the highest to the lowest level, will readily understand what is required of them. The [US] Army's Staff Organization and Operations manual articulates many of the characteristics of a good combat order--which are the same characteristics of a sound business directive.

1.     Clarity. The order must be thoroughly understandable.

2.     Completeness. The order contains all the information and instructions necessary to coordinate and execute the operation. It must convey the purpose or intent of the commander so that subordinate commanders will be able to accomplish their mission without further instructions. An order also must include sufficient detail so that all subordinate commanders know what other units are doing.

3.     Brevity. Unnecessary detail is avoided. However, clarity and completeness are not sacrificed in the interest of brevity.

4.     Recognition of subordinate commander's prerogatives. The order should not infringe on the initiative of subordinate commanders by prescribing details of execution. Only under unusual circumstances, such as an operation requiring extremely close cooperation and timing, should a subordinate commander be told precisely how to perform an assigned task.

5.     Use of the affirmative form. In the interest of simplicity and clarity, the affirmative form of expression is used throughout all combat orders. Sentences using the word not should be avoided.

6.     Avoidance of qualified directives. Such expressions as "attack vigorously" weaken the force of subsequent directives in which a qualifying adverb does not appear. Such expressions as "try to hold" and "as far as possible" lessen responsibility.

7.     Authoritative expression. The order reflects the commander's intention and will. Indecisive, vague, and ambiguous language indicates indecision and leads to uncertainty and lack of confidence by subordinates. The commander tells his subordinates in direct and unmistakable terms exactly what he wants to do.

8.     Timeliness. Timely distribution of orders allows subordinate commanders sufficient time for planning and preparation. Concurrent planning saves time.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 July 2014 8:28 PM EDT
Sunday, 3 August 2014

Wingham Armoury

Wingham Armoury

Town of Wingham, Bruce 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 Force units, some have been repurposed, and others are long gone, the sites now home to other buildings. The area controlled by Military District No. 1 in the 1940s is now in the area of responsibility of 31 Canadian Brigade Group.


Welcome to Wingham.


Winham Armoury, now occupied by Wingham Police Service.


First Floor Plan.


Basement Plan.


Armoury Location Map.

NameWingham Armoury
CityTown of Wingham
Military DistrictM.D. No. 1
Electoral DistrictHuron N.R.
H.Q. FileL. 13-46-6
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 the year 1913-14, at a cost of $12,126,25. Gun Shed built in the year 1940-42 at a cost of $536. Present value approximately $15,000.
(a)Drainage, sewer and water connection. To be shown on site plan. 
(d)Roof framing.Wood truss framing 1 1/2", truss steel rods.
(e)Roof covering (Type and date).Cedar shingles 1940.
(f)Floor, main hall.Maple flooring over dressed sub-floor layed on 2 x 4. Sleepers set in concrete.
(g)Other floors.Maple.
(h)Partitions.Dressed lumber on 2 x 4 studs both sides and painted.
(i)Balconies.Four foot passage long East end only.
5.Miniature rifle range—Description.In basement, two targets.
6.Bowling alleys, badminton courts, indoor baseball or other facilities for games.None.
7.Heating system— 
(a)General Description.Heated from Town Hall.
(b)Make and size heating apprs. 
(c)Fuel per annum. 
(d)Engineer and fireman specially employed.No.
8.Lighting system—General description.Hydro Electric used, open wiring, drop lights.
9.Fire protection. Show position of standpipes in building, on site or on street plan.No stand pipes. Fire Hydrants on street.
(a)Military or Civilian.Civilian
(b)Quartered in Armoury.No.
(c)Does he tend heating apprs.No.
11.Units in occupation.21st Field Regiment, H.Q. and 99th Battery.
12.General condition (Adequate space or not).Adequate
Clothing, Equipment, fixtures (adequate or not).Not Adequate
13.Any special remarks not included above. 
(a)Ownership.Department of National Defence
(b)How acquired, date, cost and present value.Donated by the Town of Wingham in August 1913 for the erection of an Armoury which was completed in 1914. Present value $500.
(c)Who holds deed.District Enginering Officer, M.D. No. 1, London, Ontario
(d)Size and area.122' x 132'; 1/4 acres
(e)Name of street and number of lot.Lots #3, 4, 5, excepting the North 20' and the South 20', size of property 92' frontage on Edward Street by 120' deep; 0.254 acres.
(f)Fences, walks, and roadways on site.No.
(g)Surface—whether grass and whether kept in condition, and by whom.Gravel.
(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.Macadam Roadway, Cement 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
Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Military Value of Boxing
Topic: Drill and Training


Basic and Battle Physical Training, Part IX; Boxing and Wrestling, 1945

Chapter 1 — Boxing

Section 1 — Introduction

1.     Instruction in boxing is given to military personnel for two main reasons, first, for its military value and, second, for its recreational value. Boxing also contributes greatly to the development in the soldier of useful physical and moral qualities.

Section 2. — Military Value of Boxing

2.     The value of boxing in relation to training for war depends on the method of instruction, and on the spirit in which the training is carried out. Instruction must be based on sound technique, for boxing is an art—the art of being able to defeat brute force by skill. The training should develop the individual soldier's fighting qualities, and should inspire him with a feeling of confidence in his own skill and ability.

3.     There is a close similarity between the tactics used in boxing and those used in warfare, and this should be emphasized during training. The "on guard" position, like the attitude of the unit in the fighting zone, should be one of watchful readiness, prepared for either immediate attack or defence. Movement or footwork must be purposeful. The utmost use should be made of the terrain (or ring) to tire out the opponent, and to manoeuvre him into a disadvantageous position. The left and right fists are the advanced guard and the main body respectively, and they fulfill similar purposes—the left to break the opponent's defence, to expose weak spots and to pin him down, the right to exploit any advantages and to deliver the knock-out blow. Similarly in the attack, the skilled boxer, like the skilled commander, does not begin the attack by rushing in to land a favourite punch. He first tries to discover his opponent's weak spots and then at the opportune moment, when the target is vulnerable, he launches his attack with determination, skill, and enterprise.

4.     In boxing there are three types of attack. These are:—

(a)     A direct attack, which is made at speed.

(b)     An indirect attack, which is made after inducing the opponent to make a lead or begin an attack. This result can be brought about by showing an opening (i.e., by setting a trap), and then countering as the opponent makes his attack.

(c)     A time attack. This takes place when the opponent's attack can be anticipated and a counter blow "in time" made against it (e.g., a right cross counter on an opponent's weak left lead).

5.     All the above attacks have the initiative and should force the the defender to conform. The boxer who holds the initiative will dominate the fight. The indirect or time attacks are the most deadly, because they surprise the opponent by hitting him just as he is starting his attack, and at a time when his mind is fully concentrated on attacking. The unexpected blow is always the most devastating one, and has the greatest demoralizing effect. It is the prelude to success both in the boxing ring and on the battlefield.

6.     Just as each arm of the service has its special characteristics, each individual boxer has his strong and weak points, which must be developed in such a way that the strong are strengthened and the weak are concealed. A tall man with a long reach should develop his ability as a long range boxer, and should not "mix it” with a short, stocky opponent, or he may be beaten by employing wrong tactics. A purely defensive boxer will rarely win, although defence, scientifically studied and skillfully applied, may enable a boxer to defeat an unskilled opponent who is bigger and stronger than himself. In addition, a sound defence promotes self-confidence and enables a boxer to maintain the initiative even when he is on the defensive. A successful defensive action should always be followed by a counter-attack.

7.     As in training the soldier for war, training for boxing must be a real preparation for the actual fight. It must bring the boxer to an optimum state of fitness so that he has the endurance to last the distance, the will to withstand fatigue and pain, and the spirit, skill and ability to conquer his opponent. If he is allowed to train at times when he should be on duty, or to train only under the best conditions of place and weather, he will fight soft. A man will fight as he trains. If he trains hard, and with determination and imagination, he will fight with these same qualities.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 1 August 2014

The New Military School; London, 1888
Topic: The RCR

The New (1888) Military School at London, Ontario, later formally named Wolseley Barracks (a.k.a. Canadian Forces Base (CFB) London, and Area Support Unit (ASU) London.

The New Military School

An Auspicious Opening Promised To-Day
Notes of a Casual Visit Thereto

The Objects Aimed at by the Government…Appearance of the Apartments…The Term of Enlistment…Provision Made for Carrying on the Work…Biographical Sketch of the Commandant, etc.

The Daily Free Press, London, Ont., Monday, 2 April 1888

On Saturday afternoon a Free press reporter visited the Military School, the headquarters of "D" Company of Royal Infantry (a cut of which accompanies this notice), which was erected last year on Carling's heights and which will t-day be formally opened for regular work. Seven or eight years ago the question of establishing schools for military instruction in infantry manoeuvres was mooted in the Dominion Parliament. The question was favorably discussed at three or four succeeding sessions of the House, but for good and sufficient reasons action on the motion for their establishment was deferred. In the Parliament of 1882-83 the motion to institute a series of schools of this class, as the country might develop a need for them was introduced by Sir Adolphe Caron, the Minister of Militia, and passed the House without dissension. Prior to this the leading officers in the Canadian militia were filled by officers from the British Army, but shortly after the schools went into operation a change took place in this respect. The next year (1883) "A" Company was formed and stationed at Fredericton, New Brunswick. In the fall of the same year another Company was recruited and given headquarters at Quebec. The next summer the first Infantry School in Ontario was established at Toronto and designated "C" School. It soon became apparent to those in authority that the institution names was not at all adequate to the needs of such a large Province, and an Order-in-Council was issued two years ago for an addition company to be stationed in this city, as the military, as well as commercial, centre of the western peninsula. A lengthy description of the School was recently given in these columns. So much by the way of introduction. The reporter, after passing the main guard, was shown to:…

The Commandant's Office

And courteously received by Col. Smith. In traversing the immense institution the Colonel explained the necessity of each department in his thorough-going style. The first apartment visited was the store room, the shelves on either side of the four walls and tables in the centre of which were piled with uniforms, underclothing, boots, helmets and other requisites.

"Of what does an outfit consist?" inquired the reporter.

"When a man enlists he is furnished with a cloth tunic for parade, a tweed tunic for lounging around in, a pair of pants, two flannel shirts, two heavy undershirts, a pair of top boots, a cap and helmet, pair of mitts, a fork, knife, spoon, razor and other small articles."

"How often is the outfit renewed?"

"The original outfit is made to do duty for the three years of enlistment," replied the Colonel.

"You speak of three years' enlistment. Does that mean that the soldiers are given instruction for that period, or are they regular soldiers in the proper sense?"

"They Are Regular Soldiers,"

Was the reply. "I am glad that you put that question, for a misapprehension seems to have gone abroad as to the relation of the regular staff to the School, conveying an idea to the general mind that these men have simply enlisted for that term to satisfy their innate desire to become soldiers. They form the nucleus of a standing Canadian army, and may be called upon to do service in any part of the Dominion at a moment's notice in case of emergency, as was instanced in the Northwest rebellion in 1885, when "C" Company was the first to be placed under orders to proceed to the seat of the disturbance. But the primary and ostensible object of this corps is to afford proper instruction to the officers and men of the active militia of the country who wish to make themselves more proficient in the service."

The next rooms visited were the barracks where men are quartered. In each of these there are fifteen iron bedsteads, which are folded up during the day time. On a shelf, which runs round the room, are stored the clothing and nick-nack of the men. It is the intention shortly to provide boxes in which to store this clothing, which will tend to give the room a more tidy appearance.

On entering the first of the barracks rooms, the Colonel made a close scrutiny of the belts and clothing of the men, which were exhibited on the shelf, and fastened his eye on one which had not been properly pipeclayed.

"Whose is that?" was asked of Sergt.

"Private _____'s, sir. I have instructed him to have them cleaned by t-morrow morning."

"This dilatoriness must be checked at once. Report him, and we will have him put on the gates tonight."

A visit was paid to:…

The Other Barracks Rooms

But in each of these everything was found in good order. A soon as possible the names of the occupants of the beds will be emblazoned over each one, and thus facilitate the work of inspection by the officers.

On entering the kitchen two red-coats were observed cutting some cold meat for hash. Passing through this the dining room of the men was entered.

"Is it customary to allow all the men to mess together in these institutions?" was again queried.

"Well, no. They generally mess in their own rooms, but the architect made provision for such a room here, as we utilize it," the Colonel replied.

"Do you consider this the better method?" was asked again.

"I am hardly competent to express a definite opinion just yet. It has the advantage, however, of enabling the men to keep their rooms cleaner and is also more convenient."

The officers' apartments were next investigated. The anteroom is nicely fitted and carpeted. The mess room is fitted up with an extension table capable of accommodating twenty-four officers. Above this room sleeping apartments have been furnished for fifteen attached officers, each one being given a separate room, and all fitted up with a table, bureau, bed, wardrobe and washstand and other conveniences which make them very comfortable looking. The west wing was next gone through, but only one or two of the rooms there have been furnished.

On entering the museum the party were treated to a couple of airs on the piano by Private George Shields, who is the musical director of the corps' minstrel troupe.

The Strength of the Corps

"How many men have been enlisted up to date, Colonel?"

"Forty-seven, but we have two Sergeants attached. On Monday the attached force will be increased to about thirty-five, six or seven of whom will be officers."

"How long is the term of instruction?"

The Regular Course

Extends over three months, but we also have a special one, which may exceed any period from seven days and the regular one. This latter is for men who have already made themselves proficient in the discipline, but who desire to take advantage of the lectures in order to enable them to pass their examinations.

"You propose to increase your regular force to 100 do you not?"

"Yes, just as soon as possible. I have been particular to receive only men of first-class physique, standing at least five feet eight, and of good chest measurement, for there are not many of us and it is well to present as creditable an appearance as possible on parade."

The reporter was in the act of thanking Col. Smith for his kindness and taking his departure when he was invited to look at the:…

Cells for Refractory Red Coats

"Of course you will hardly ever require these?" was remarked on entering the main door.

"We have one of them in use now," was the reply, … "A couple of months ago a deserter from the North-west Mounted Police gave himself up, and is now confined here awaiting orders from the Department of Militia.

Three of the original cells as shown in the plans for Wolseley Barracks. (The other three cells are in the basement level.) The main floor cells can be seen by visitors to The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum.

A Biographical Sketch

Colonel Smith is an experienced and painstaking officer, who has been connected with the Canadian Militia for the last thirsty years. He commenced his military career as a private in the Cobourg Rifle Company, but was afterwards transferred to the 40th Battalion. When "C" Company was organized he was appointed Captain, which position he held until he was promoted to the school in this city/ By virtue of his position he was then gazette Colonel. He saw service in the North-west Rebellion with "C" Company and was a portion of the time Assistant Adjutant-General to the North-west field force. Col. Smith won laurels for himself while connected with the Toronto School. He is an enthusiastic soldier and spares no pains to impart instruction to those attending the school. While he adheres strictly to discipline, even to the minutest details, he still has a fascinating and kindly disposition which makes him universally popular with all under his command. No doubt the London Military cadets will soon be placed in the first rank of proficiency under his direction, and the militia of the western district are to be congratulated on the wisdom of the government in making this appointment.

A Fine-Looking Body of Men

The non-commissioned officers and men of the permanent force are a splendid-looking lot of young fellows, of fine physique and pleasing countenances. Already a healthy spirit of emulation, as to who should be the best conducted on the streets, as well as in barracks, seems to have possessed them, and they promise to be worthy citizens of London.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 31 July 2014

New Names for Old Letters
Topic: Militaria

New Names for Old Letters

From The Emma Gees by Herbert W. McBride, Captain U.S.A., Late Twenty-First Canadian Battalion, 1918

When reading messages sent by any "visual" method of signalling, such as flags, heliograph or lamp, it is necessary for the receiver to keep his eyes steadily fixed upon the sender, probably using binoculars or telescope, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, for him to write down each letter as it comes, and as this is absolutely required in military work, where nearly everything is in code or cipher, the services of a second man are needed to write down the letters as the first calls them off.

As many of the letters of the alphabet have sounds more or less similar, such as "S" and "F", "M" and "N" and "D" and "T", many mistakes have occurred. Therefore, the ingenuity of the signaller was called upon to invent names for certain of the letters most commonly confused. Below is a list of the ones which are now officially recognized:

  • A pronounced ack
  • B – beer
  • D – don
  • M – emma
  • P – pip
  • S – esses
  • T – tock
  • V – vic
  • Z – zed

The last is, of course, the usual pronunciation of this letter in England and Canada, but, as it may be unfamiliar to some readers, I have included it.

After a short time all soldiers get the habit of using these designations in ordinary conversation. For instance, one will say: "I'm going over to 'esses-pip seven,'" meaning "Supporting Point No. 7" or, in stating the time for any event, "ack-emma" is A.M. and "pip-emma" P.M.

As the first ten letters of the alphabet are also used to represent numerals in certain methods of signalling, some peculiar combinations occur, as, for instance,: "N-ack-beer" meaning trench "N-12," or "O-don" or "O-4."

"Ack-pip-emma" is the Assistant Provost Marshall whom everybody hates, while just "pip-emma" is the Paymaster, who is always welcome.

Thus the Machine Gunner is an "Emma Gee" throughout the army.

Lieutenant Eric Costin operating a wireless telegraph apparatus; 29 August, 1911.
Source: Toronto Public Library Digital Archive.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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