The Minute Book
Monday, 12 September 2016

First Canadian Rifle Brigade (1946)
Topic: British Army

First Canadian Rifle Brigade Began and Ended in Aurich


Historical Section, Canadian Military Headquarters

Report No. 174,

The Canadian Army Occupation Force in Germany, May 1945 to June 1946 (PDF)

The Maple Leaf, 11 April 1946

Aurich, Germany—(Special)—This town was the formation of the first rifle brigade in Canadian army history, and with the recent departure of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Aurich was also the scene of its breakup.

A rifle brigade in the Canadian army had long been the hope of many military men in the various rifle regiments, but efforts to form one in England during pre-invasion days were unsuccessful.

Brig. T.G. Gibson, peacetime commander of the Queen's Own Rifles, who led the Winnipegs during battle and who commanded them and the Royal Regina Rifles at the start of the occupation of Germany, pushed the formation of a rifle brigade.

He succeeded in having the QOR transferred to 2/7 Brigade to replace the Canadian Scottish, thus completing the first rifle brigade in the Canadian army.

All rifle regiments originated in Canada, their lightness, speed and mobility fitting them admirably to Canadian conditions. Present-day rifle regiments carry on the tradition, with their fast pace of 140 comparing with 110 for Scottish and 120 for infantry in the line. They also fall in at the double.

As the RWRs prepared to leave for Canada, the last brigade parade was held at Aurich, each unit with its newly-formed bugle and drum band.

The three bands, on their first appearance together on a parade square countermarched as a massed band in front of the brigade. Lt.-Col. J.N. Medhurst, of Toronto, brigade commander, took the salute.

Following the parade, the QOR, RRR and Brigade HQ moved off first and lined the roads to say goodbye to the RWR, whose departure signified the end, overseas, of Canada's first rifle brigade.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 11 September 2016

Troops Engaged in Mimic Battle (1929)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Troops Engaged in Mimic Battle (1929)

12th Canadian Infantry Brigade Held Exercises on Mountain Slope

For the purpose of the attack the brigade was formed into a composite battalion, each regular battalion representing a company in the composite unit, in order that there might be sufficient men in this composite battalion to represent a unit of full war strength.

The Montreal Gazette, 15 October 1929

A determined attempt to capture the high ground in the vicinity of the Park Slide clubhouse on Mount Royal, held by a well-informed garrison of 150 men and machine-guns, was made last night by a strong attacking force of local infantry, 600 strong. The slopes of the mountain were quickly transformed into the scene of a brisk encounter, with the cracking of rifles and the whiz of flares echoing out far into the night.

Tactical manoeuvres in the form of a sham battle engaged in by the 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade, composed of the Victoria Rifles of Canada, the 13th Battalion, Royal Highlanders of Canada, the 42nd Battalion, Royal Highlanders of Canada, and the Royal Montreal Regiment, were the occasion for this unusual spectacle, which assumed all the seriousness of a grim field skirmish.

For the purpose of the attack the brigade was formed into a composite battalion, each regular battalion representing a company in the composite unit, in order that there might be sufficient men in this composite battalion to represent a unit of full war strength. The defence force comprised the surplus officers of each battalion forms into platoons, as well as a machine gun battalion.

Let by Lt.-Col. J.D. MacPherson, M.C., of the Royal Highlanders of Canada, the composite battalion which formed the attacking force proceeded in formation from Cote de Neiges up Shakespeare Road. On reaching a point close to the riding ring in front of the Park Slide, the force halted and split up into small units, extending out along the riding ring. From here the battalion advanced carefully toward the guarded position near the clubhouse. The attack was greeted with a counter attack and some active skirmishing took place in the vicinity of the slide.

Lieut.-Col. MacPherson has as his second-in-command, Major Stuart Rolland, of the Victoria Rifles of Canada, and as adjutant, Capt. H.W. Woods, of the Royal Montreal Regiment. The Victoria Rifles company was commanded by Major L. Banmore, M.C., the 13th Battalion company by Major A.T. Howell, the 42nd Battalion company by Major J.M. Morris, M.C., and the Royal Montreal Regiment company by Major V. Whitehead, M.C.

The defence force was under the command of Lt.-Col. C.B. Price, D.S.O., of the Royal Montreal Regiment, with Lieut.-Col. Brooks, M.C., in charge of the machine gun battalion.

The Brigade Staff consisted of Col. D.R. McCuaig, D.S.O., commanding, Major H.W. Morgan, M.C., brigade major, and Capt John Heaton, staff captain.

Twenty rounds of blank ammunition were served out to each man taking part in the manoeuvres.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 10 September 2016

Medals to 1,000,000 Veterans
Topic: Medals

Will Soon Issue Medals to 1,000,000 Veterans

Ottawa Citizen, 10 September 1949
By the Canadian Press

At long last the stars and medals for service in the Second World War are ready for distribution.

The Veterans Affairs Department announced yesterday that it will begin Oct. 1 mailing the campaign medals and stars to more than 1,000,000 men and women who served in the Canadian armed forces and merchant navy.

Distribition will involve a total of 3,100,000 stars and medals with an additional 524,000 clasps signifying at least 60 days service outside of Canada.

In most cases the veterans will have to write into the department for their medals.

"The reason for this is we do not have up-to-date addresses for thousands of veterans," Veterans Affairs Minister [Milton Fowler] Gregg said.

"There are many thousands who have gone quietly back into civilian life and have not been in contact with the department since their discharge. As a result we must have these applications to have accurate addresses."

Easy to Apply

To make it easy for application, special postage-free cards will be placed in all Canadian post offices. These cards will also be available in all branches of the Canadian Legion.

Merchant seamen and former members of the merchant navy are advised to apply to the Department of Transport at Ottawa, submitting with their application their certificate of discharge. From this, the department will decide what awards they are entitled to, and forward the medals they have earned.

As for members of the permanent force, they'll receive their decorations through the Department of National Defence. Application will not be necessary in their case. Nor will it be necessary for certain reserve units, for which arrangements have already been made.

To Next-Of-Kin

Mr. Gregg said the next-of-kin of deceased veterans will be eligible to receive the stars and medals which would have been awarded to the veteran.

"There will be no necessity for applications from the next-of-kin of veterans who died on active service or as a result of a service connected disability," he said.

"The department has accurate addresses for these people. However, the official next-of-kin of those who have died since discharge of a non-service disability should make application in the same way as the veteran."

All told the department will distribute 11 different stars and medals.

The largest number will be of the War Medal 1939-45 which goes to all members of the forces with 28 days service. A total of 1,060,000 of these have been ordered.

Next is the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, of which 900,000 will be distributed. These go to all who volunteered for active service. To 524,000 of the recipients will go clasps signifying at least 60 days service outside Canada.

Following are other medals and stars to be distributed:

  • Defence Medal, 460,000;
  • 1939-45 Star, 288,000;
  • France and Germany Star, 250,000;
  • Italy Star, 102,000;
  • Atlantic Star, 40,000;
  • Africa Star, 12,000;
  • Pacific Star, 10,825; and
  • Burma Star, 5,200.

In addition, 25,870 clasps to stars will be awarded.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 10 September 2016 12:36 AM EDT
Friday, 9 September 2016

Starving the Militia
Topic: Canadian Militia

It is idle to suppose that we can do without a militia. No country, unfortunately, is independent of armed defenders. We do not require a large and menacing force, but a moderate and well-drilled force.

Starving the Militia

The Toronto Daily Mail, 19 March 1892

The colonel in command of the Guards at Ottawa has resigned because, it is understood, the Government declines to pay certain sums of money due to his regiment. This is not the first time the Guards have been left without a commander; nor is the resignation of the colonel on account of the indisposition of the Administration to do what is right financially at all a novelty. One of the peculiarities of the Militia Department is its failure to recognize at their true value the requirements and the merits of the force under its management. During the past decade the energies of the Bureau, through the influence of Sir Adolphe Caron, have been directed rather to the establishment of the permanent corps than to the encouragement of the volunteer soldiers. As a result there have been large expenditures upon the growing fixed establishment, and relatively small ones upon the outside regiments. The accounts for last year tell, in part, the story of monetary discrimination. No less a sum than $1,279,000 was spent under the head of militia. Of this amount a proportion was devoted to the payment of the staff, and the providing of clothing and equipment. The balance was divided between the permanent corps and the militia regiments. The former, including the Military College, received in all $527,902; whereas the latter was awarded $272,098 for the annual drill and $35,996 for drill instruction, or $308,094 in all. There is reason to believe that the Major-General, after making a thorough inspection of the organization, has reached the conclusion that too much money is spent in frills and not enough upon the main body of the militia. His first deliverance with regard to the force was not at all enthusiastic. On Thursday he took another slap at the system by observing that the artillery at least had not degenerated into a mere body for the purposes of parading or marching past; although it had suffered from faulty administration which had sent it into camp without proper equipment. What report the General will make in the forthcoming blue book on the state of the militia it is not difficult to foretell. He will no doubt complain of the general control, and of the equipment, and will demand an annual drill. Many of the commanders have long been in favour of the resort every year to camps of instruction. Nor is this in the slightest degree remarkable. The force necessarily changes. Men enter for three years and disappear at the end of the term. Should they enlist during the year in which there is no drill they will pass out of the militia with only one experience, and that very brief, of active military life. In some quarters the ordinary instruction is not prosecuted, and the consequence is that the militiaman has no more intimate knowledge of his arms or his duties than is gleaned during the period of encampment. For the militiamen it can be said that no more devoted soldiers can be found anywhere. All they require is encouragement in the performance of their duties; and it is certain that if they receive this they will render to the country an abundant return for the interest lavished upon them. It is idle to suppose that we can do without a militia. No country, unfortunately, is independent of armed defenders. We do not require a large and menacing force, but a moderate and well-drilled force. Let the Government provide this, and be reasonably liberal to the men who devote themselves to the service of their country, and militia duty will become a pleasure and the militia itself a source of pride—even to the General.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 5 August 2016 3:12 PM EDT
Thursday, 8 September 2016

Military Weddings
Topic: Tradition

Military Weddings

Military Weddings Follow Traditions Which Provide Very Picturesque Settings

The bridegroom usually takes the responsibility of seeing that the groomsmen are equipped with proper trappings and borrows swords or sabers for those who do not have their own.

Ottawa Citizen, 29 May 1942

If the bridegroom is an army, a navy or an air force man, the bride-to-be should plan her wedding along military lines.

The chief difference between the military or naval wedding and and the ordinary civilian wedding is that the bridegroom is in uniform, and his ushers, chosen from among his military friends, are likewise in uniform. And another exciting difference is the formation of an arch of sabers or swords at the conclusion of the ceremony and again as the newlyweds leave the church.

The best man may or may not be a civilian, as it is considered only fitting that this member of the wedding party be the bridegroom's closest friend. All military personnel in the wedding party wear sidearms, and carry their caps. No boutonnieres are ever worn with the uniform.

The bridegroom leaves hi cap in the vestry. He enters from the front, the same as in any wedding, and the formation at the altar is usually similar to a civilian wedding.

After the ceremony has been performed and the couple start to leave, the ushers draw their sabers—or swords for navy—at the command "Draw Sabers" (from one of the ushers) at the foot of the chancel steps and the bride and bridegroom pass beneath the arch. After they have passed through the ushers each take a bridesmaid down the aisle and out of the church. In marching out of the church, the bridegroom, best man and ushers offer their right arms to the bride, maid-of-honor and bridesmaids, thus avoiding entanglement of sabres or swords and dresses, and leaving the left hand free to carry the cap.

At the chapel steps the ushers reform the arch of swords for the bridal party to again pass under.

There is generally a toast to the bride at the reception, welcoming her into the army or navy, after which the best man and the ushers draw their sabers or swords together at the commands "Draw" and "Sabre" and cross them, forming an arch above the bride's head. The glasses are held high in the left hand and the toast is generally concluded with "How!"

Saber to Cut Cake

The bride cuts the cake with her husband's saber or sword. The husband may help her do this. She makes only the initial cut and should make a wish while doing so.

The bridal party enters the church as follows: Ushers, two by two; bridemaids, matron-of-honor, bride and father. There is no difference be tween a civilian and a military ceremony here, except that the ushers always walk together.

The bridegroom enters the church with the best man at the at the side entrance, or from the rector's study, taking an oblique position in front of the lectern. The bridal party marches down the aisle, and divides at the chancel steps, the ushers taking oblique positions half facing the congregation and the bridesmaids facing the same way only in front of and between each usher. The matron-of-honor takes her position opposite the best man. The bride and her father come down the aisle together and stand in the center facing the minister.

The bridegroom usually takes the responsibility of seeing that the groomsmen are equipped with proper trappings and borrows swords or sabers for those who do not have their own.

Air corps weddings follow the same pattern as laid-down for other military type weddings.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Canadian Infantry Organization (1916)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Canadian Infantry Organization (1916)

The infantry is the main arm of every Army.

The Organization, Administration and Equipment of His Majesty's Land Forces in Peace and War, First Edition, by Lieut.-Colonel William R. Lang, m.s.c, 1916

Infantry Units in Canada

The infantry is the main arm of every Army. The following are the Infantry units in Canada:—

Permanent Force:—

The Royal Canadian Regiment. The R.C.R. dates its organization as a Regiment from Dec. 21st, 1883, and has its Regimental Headquarters at Halifax, Nova Scotia. It maintains detachments or companies at various stations, namely at London, Toronto, Fredericton, N,B., Halifax, N.S., Quebec, P.Q., Esquimalt, B.C., where in peace time Schools of Instruction are held for Officers and N.C.O.'s of the non-permanent Militia. The establishment of the R.C.R. in officers and men is given in Appendix 1.


  • 11 Contingents Canadian Officers' Training Corps. (footnoted: "Form part of the Infantry of the non-permanent Militia with precedence immediately before the G.G.F.G.")
  • Governor-General's Foot Guards
  • 2 Regiments of 2 battalions.
  • 106 Regiments of 1 battalion.
  • 2 Independent Companies.

Infantry in the British Army

In the British service the infantry comprises the Brigade of Guards—Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards, known as Household Troops, their duties in peace being connected with the security of the Sovereign—and the Infantry of the Line. Each Regiment, of Guards and of the Line, is composed of 2 or more battalions. (footnoted: "The battalions of the Guards are as follows:—Grenadiers, 3, with a 4th Reserve Bn.; Coldstream, 3, with a 4th Reserve Bn.; Scots, 2, with a 3rd Reserve Bn.; Irish and Welsh, 1 each with a 2nd Reserve Bn.")

Previous to 1882, few of the latter had more than one battalion, when the system of linking individual line regiments in pairs under a Territorial designation came into effect and the old numbers ceased to be employed officially, the expressions "1st (or 2nd) Battalion the Blank and Dash Regiment" being adopted. The same re-arrangement was made with respect to the old County Militia regiments (footnoted: "The Militia trained for 28 days annually in camp or barracks and drew pay; recruits assembled 2 weeks previously for preliminary training.") which became the 3rd (and 4th) battalion of the regiment whose Depôt was established in the county. Similarly the Volunteers (footnoted: "Volunteer units received no pay, but a capitation grant for each "efficient" with extra grants drawn for each officer who passed certain of the examinations set for officers of the Regular Army.") abandoned their old numbers and became the "1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) Volunteer Battalion, the Blankshire Regiment," and adopted (in many cases) the uniforms of their respective line battalions, with this difference that silver or white lace and cord took the place of the gold or yellow worn by the Regulars. (footnoted: "Militia officers wore gold and the letter M on the shoulder straps below the badges of rank.")

The Territorial and Reserve Forces Act of 1907 changed the foregoing arrangement. A few Militia battalions were disbanded, and the great majority became the 3rd and 4th "Special Reserve" battalions of those regiments possessing 2 line battalions, or the 4th and 5th of those with 4. The Yeomanry (footnoted: "Cavalry corps originally enlisted from amongst the yeoman or farmer class.") and Volunteers became the Territorial Force, and now appear in the Army List as the 5th (6th, etc.)—Battalion of their line regiment. The use of silver in place of gold on scarlet (or blue) uniforms no longer obtains, the letter T on the shoulder indicating that the wearer belongs to the territorial force. In service-dress, the T is worn below the collar badges.

Canadian Regiments of Infantry and Rifles

The Canadian Regiments of Infantry and Rifles as classified as being either City or Rural.

  • City Corps—Corps of the Active Militia (non-permanent) not rural corps. Rural Corps—A Corps of the Active Militia (non-permanent) which performs its annual training in camp.
  • The seniority of units is that shewn in the Militia List and is according to their numerical sequence, though in some cases numbers formerly held by regiments, since disbanded, have been given to newly organized units.

The Rifle Regiments are 25 in number, namely,—2nd, 3rd, 8th, 11th, 20th, 22nd, 30th, 38th, 39th, 41st, 43rd, 49th, 51st, 56th, 58th, 63rd, 68th, 76th, 90th, 97th, 103rd. These are in most cases designated further with some territorial or personal reference, such as "Queen's Own Rifles," "Soo Rifles," "Earl Grey's Own Rifles," etc. Rifle regiments are differentiated from other regiments of foot in that their uniform is dark green and that they march past at the "trail" without fixed bayonets instead of at the "slope."

The remainder are styled variously:—

  • Grenadier Guards (1st);
  • Chasseurs (4th);
  • Highlanders (5th, 48th, 72nd, 78th, 79th, 91st, 94th);
  • Fusiliers (7th, 11th, 21st, 62nd, 66th, 88th, 101st, 104th, 105th);
  • Voltigeurs (9th);
  • Grenadiers (10th,100th);
  • Rangers (12th, 57th, 74th, 99th, 102nd);
  • Light Infantry (15th, 26th, 29th (Highland), 67th, 82nd, 106th);
  • Pioneers (23rd);
  • Borderers (27th);
  • Franc Tireurs (18th);
  • Foresters (35th);
  • Carabiniers (54th, 65th).

Others have a territorial designation in addition to a number, while some use the number only. A few are authorized to be termed "Royal."

The existing establishments of the infantry and rifle regiments are in a condition of change, some having been authorized to organize on the new 4 (double) company system. On the 8 company system, City corps have 47 privates, and Rural corps 30, except the 29th, 45th, 69th, 73rd, 76th, 82nd, 85th, 89th, 94th, 99th and 108th, which have 47. the 10th and 48th Regiments have 88 privates per company. One is on a 6, and a few on a 4 company basis.

The 2nd and 5th Regiments possess 2 battalions and have a special establishment.

elipsis graphic

Establishment of the R.C.R.

  • Officers – 30
  • Other ranks – 296
  • Total effective strength – 326

(Not including supernumeraries such as Instructional cadres, Physical Training Instructors, and others not doing duty with the unit.)

elipsis graphic

Appendix II—Infantry and Rifles

Peace establishments of regiments of the non-permanent Militia on the 8 company basis. Previous to the adoption by certain units of the 4 (double) company system—under authority from M.H.Q.—two establishments obtained, a higher for City Corps, and for the following Rural Corps, 29th, 45th, 69th, 73rd, 76th, 82nd, 85th, 89th, 94th, 99th and 108th and a lower for the remainder of the Rural Corps. Changes are occurring from time to time but what follows indicates the composition of each as taken from Canadian Establishments and amendments to the same, which book must be consulted for exceptions.

HeadquartersHigher Estb.Lower Estb.Remarks
Majors22Only 1 if a 4 C. Regt.
Musketry Instructor11 
Signalling Officer11 
Quarter-Master11Honorary rank.
Paymaster11Only City Corps, and only Rural Corps whose Paymasters were appointed prior to G.O. 172 of 1910. 
Medical Officer11Now being attached from the A.M.C.
Sergeant-Major11May be a Warrant Officer.
Bandmaster or Band Sergeant11May be a Warrant Officer.
Quarter-Master Sergeant11 
Orderly-room Sergeant11 
Pay Sergeant11 
Included in Headquarters11 
Stretcher-bearer Sergeant11 
Privates, stretcher-bearers8  
Sergeant Cook11Not authorized for a regiment of less than 6 companies. 
Sergeant Drummer11 
Signalling Sergeant11 
Signalling Corporal11 
Privates, signallers88 
Pioneer Sergeant11 
Machine gun N.C.O.'s22If corps is in possession of machine guns. 
Privates, M.G. detachment66
Bandsmen2424G.G.F.G. has 32.
Total all ranks included in H.Q.7676 
Company EstablishmentHigher Estb.Lower Estb.Remarks
  • 4 Company Regts, 24th, 68th, 84th, 98th.
  • 6 Company Regt., 99th.
  • 10 Company Regt., 30th.
  • 16 Company Regts., 2nd, 5th.
1 Independent Company of Rifles is localized at Grand Forks, B.C., and 1 of Infantry at Nanaimo, B.C.
Colour Sergeant11

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Essence of Warfare
Topic: Military Theory

The Essence of Warfare

Introduction to the Principles of War, Japanese Ground Defence Force Staff College, 1969 (Translated by Dr. Joseph West, US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth)

What is Warfare?

War is a clash of opposing wills, a struggle between beliefs, and victory goes to the party that crushes the enemy's will and destroys his "beliefs.

In other words, the warfare discussed here is a struggle for victory, using "power" to cause the opponent's will to yield and our will to prevail.

Hence, "the essence of warfare" is "power" and its maximum use. Its objective is to crush the opponent's power of resistance and cause him to submit to our will, and its measures are to use power to destroy the opponent's fighting power (material, spiritual). In other words, it is nothing less than the seizure of victory.

The Essence of Warfare and its Characteristics

The first essential element of warfare is the fact that, "in warfare, there are opponents." Moreover, both parties are characterized by having free will.

The second is that both parties have the will to overthrow the opponent (enemy). War is a struggle between the free wills of both parties, and victory is determined by which one has confidence in it. In other words, it also can be said to be a struggle of faith.

The third is that power is used to cause submission of the opponent's will. The direct instrument for fighting is "power," and when this power is brought to bear against the opponent, it is used for the violent effect of causing submission of the opponent's will.

The fourth is the actual battlefield situation, which is extremely important for our study of tactics and is a basic condition. The actual battlefield situation arises from the above essential elements of warfare and varies according to the time period, the place of combat, and the type and scale of warfare, etc.

The most important of these are that, in warfare, the situation always is uncertain, unstable, and unclear, and the normal state is that there is a succession of inconsistencies and mistakes, danger to life is ever-present, mental and bodily difficulties of fear, exhaustion, etc., are encountered, the situation does not develop as expected, etc.

In the study of the principles of war and in the study of tactics, if thorough consideration is not airways given to the actual battlefield, one will end up in worthless speculation.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 5 September 2016

Stolen Valour: Won Five Medals Now Washes Windows
Topic: Stolen Valour

Won Five Medals Now Washes Windows

The Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, 12 December 1919
(By Associated Press)

New York, Dec. 11.—Awarded five decorations for gallantry as an airman during the war, including the prized Victoria Cross of the British Empire, Frank Percy, 26 years old, has been forced to wash windows for a living. His pay is $75 a month.

"I had to have a job," he said, "so I started on the first one that was offered. It may have been offered as a joke, but it was no joke on me." Percy, as an Acting Major of the Royal Air Force, won the Victoria Cross when he commanded a squadron of six planes which brought down a score of German machines on the western front. He also is entitled to wear the French War Cross, Mons Medal, General Service Medal and Victory Medal.


elipsis graphic


Frank Percy does not appear on the list of Victoria Cross recipients of the Royal Air Force.

The only Victoria Cross recipient named "Percy" was General Lord Henry Hugh Manvers Percy VC, KCB, who received the VC for valour at the Battle of Inkerman on 5 November 1854.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 5 August 2016 9:05 PM EDT
Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Subaltern's Cup
Topic: Tradition

The Subaltern's Cup

The Regimental Handbook of The Duke Of Lancaster's Regiment, Preston, 2007

The Subaltern's Cup. The 1st Battalion possess an old silver chalice, known as the Subaltern's Cup on account of it being entrusted to the care of the senior subaltern for the time being and set before him in the Mess. On the senior subaltern's promotion to Captain it has been the custom for the cup to be handed over to his successor after dinner in the Mess when all the senior officers have left the room. The cup is filled with champagne, which the newly promoted captain has to drain at one draught. His successor, followed by all the subalterns in turn, then do the same at the new captain's expense. Should any officer fail to drain the cup at one draught, he has to stand another round of champagne to all present.

The cup hallmarked London 1769, was presented to the Mess of the 47th by Lieutenant Thomas Faunce on retirement from the Regiment in 1770. On one side is engraved the arms and motto of the Faunce family and the other side has his crest and the initials 'TF'. Thomas Faunce (1737-1807) was commissioned into the 47th in 1758 and fought with them the following year at Quebec, where he was wounded. He later served as Town Major of Quebec 1785-1807. His son Alured Faunce (1775-1850) was commissioned into the King's Own in 1795 and served with great distinction in Spain and America. He fought under Sir John Moore at Corunna and in the battles of the Peninsula campaign. At the battle of Salamanca, 1812, the Light Company 30th Regiment were in a composite Light Battalion under his command when they captured the Eagle of the French 22nd Regiment. Faunce later commanded the King's Own (1822-27) in the West Indies and Portugal, and became a Major-General. This is the oldest piece of silver in continuous use in the Regiment.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 3 September 2016

Gen Gascoigne's Bombshells (Halifax, 1897)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Gen Gascoigne's Bombshells (Halifax, 1897)

Startle Two of the Halifax Battalions

The Sixty-Third Rifles Censured for Slovenly Drill—The Sixty-Sixth Has Too Many Army Reserve Men—Capt. Heckler Ordered to take Off His German Medals—The Officers Determined to Make the General Retract

Daily Mail and Empire, Toronto, 17 November 1897

Halifax, N.S., Nov. 16.—(Special.)—General Gascoigne has been in Halifax for the past week, and has availed himself of the opportunity to inspect the Canadian militia here, and give the force a regular overhauling. He held a levee on Saturday; and one of the officers who called on him was Captain Heckler, of the 63rd Rifles, whose breast was adorned with medals gained in the Franco-Prussian war. General Gascoigne asked him if he had permission to wear them, and, being answered in the negative, the order was, "Take them off till permission is received."

Last night the 63rd Rifles were inspected. The regiment was severely censured for the slipshod way in which the officers gave their orders, and in which the men carried them out.

To-night General Gascoigne inspected the 66th, P.L.F. [Princess Louise Fusiliers], and he caused a new sensation in delivering the following speech:—"I have a great deal of pleasure in meeting you for the first time. But the regiment I came to Halifax to see was a regiment of the Canadian militia. What do I find? I find that one-half or more, probably two-thirds, are [British] army reserve men. This is not what I expected to see. A regiment of Canadian militia is what I anticipated seeing. A man cannot lawfully draw pay from two sources—the pay of the army army reserve and of the Canadian militia. How would the 66th P.L.F. look if all the army reserve men were called back to the colours? I like to see a mixing of the ranks, but it is not the intention that there should be a mixing of the kind that I see before me in the 66th P.L.F. to-night. I regret my introduction to this sort of regiment. Of course, it is smart; how could it be otherwise, when the majority of the men belong to the army reserve? The drill is good, the turnout is clean, the work of the officers is excellent. I would be perfectly satisfied with the battalion if it were composed of the men intended that it should contain—a regiment of Canadian militia. But, under the circumstances, as I find them, I cannot call the inspection satisfactory. It is indeed not satisfactory for this cause. I feel the utmost has been done, the men have drilled well, and turned out clean. I would be only too willing to praise if I could, but this is impossible, for the fact remains that the battalion is not what it pretends to be. This must not occur again. It must cease from to-night."

The 66th officers are confident they will make General Gascoigne retract. They say that they can prove instead of two-thirds of the regiment being army reserve men, the battalion contains, out of an establishment of 600 men, only 32 army reserve men. Three of the companies have none, two of them only two, and the band none. It is openly stated that General Gascoigne has made the mistake of confounding ex-soldiers free of the army in every respect with the army reserve, and the determination is expressed to make him retract.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2016 11:31 PM EDT
Friday, 2 September 2016

Nine Ex-Soldiers Awarded M.S.M. (1931)
Topic: Medals

Nine Ex-Soldiers Awarded M.S.M.

Honor Available to Pensioners of Permanent Force Limited to 75

The Montreal Gazette, 18 June 1931

Ottawa, June 17.—The most coveted award available to pensioners of the permanent force of Canada, the Meritorious Service Medal, has been bestowed upon nine ex-soldiers, who fulfilling all the exacting qualifications required, now join the ranks of the 66 other holders of that decoration in the Dominion. Holders of the M.S.M. constitute a "Legion d'Honneur" limited to 75 persons in this country. All must have served 21 years in the permanent force, must have held the rank of sergeant or higher, be in possession of the medal for long service and good conduct, and have been awarded as exemplary character.

Awards of the M.S.M. are made only to fill up the ranks of this "Legion" when it becomes depleted by death. In the case of one of those to whom the award has just been made—Q.M.S. T.J. Pierson, now living at Westcliffe-on-Sea, England, he has waited 19 years. Mr. Pierson was pensioned from the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps in 1912 after 25 years of service.

The other recipients are:—

  • C.Q.M.S. S.A. McLean, Halifax, a veteran of the South African War;
  • C.Q.M.S. K. White, pensioned in 1919 after 25 years' service in the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery, Halifax;
  • Staff Sergeant H.E. Taylor, pensioned from the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, after 44 years' service in 1928, Dartmouth, N.S.;
  • Sergt. J.E. Gould, Long Creek, N.B., pensioned in 1917 after 25 years' service in the Royal Canadian Regiment;
  • R.Q.M.S. W.J. Connolly, Halifax, discharged after 23 years' service in the R.C.R.;
  • Sergeant-Major B. Coffin, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Kingston, Ont., pensioned after 23 years' service;
  • Sergeant-Major G.A. Jacques, of Victoria, B.C., pensioned in 1930 from the Lord Strathcona's Horse after 25 years' service;
  • Sergeant-Major H.C. Baldwin, pensioned from the Royal Canadian Dragoons after 22 years' service, Birchcliff, Toronto.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 1 September 2016

Presenting Colours to H.M. 81st Regiment (1826)
Topic: Battle Honours

Presenting Colours to H.M. 81st Regiment

Historical Record of the Eighty-first Regiment, or Loyal Lincoln Volunteers; containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1793, and of its Subsequent Services to 1872, by S. Rogers, Gibraltar, 1872

The Eighty-First Regiment or Lincoln Loyal Volunteers, bears on the Regimental Colour:

The word "MAIDA." in commemoration of its distinguished service at the Battale of Maida, in 1806.

The word "CORUNNA," in testimony of its "steady and gallant conduct" at the Battle of Corunna fought in 1809, where the regiment was one among the few on which "the brunt of the action fell."

The word "PENINSULA," in recognition of its intrepid and meritorious services in the Peninsula from 1808 to 1814.

On the fourteenth of June [1826] a new set of colours was presented to the Eighty-first by His Excellency Sir James Kempt, K.C.B., Lieutenant-Governor of Halifax, and Colonel of the regiment; upon which occasion the following ceremony took place:—

About noon the three Regiments (the Eighty-first, Seventy-fourth, and Rifle Brigade), were drawn up in line, and received His Excellency with a 'general salute'; they then formed three sides of a square, the area of which was occupied by His Excellency and Staff, Admiral Lake, &c.—The General's carriage, containing Mrs. Creagh whom he had been requested to present the Colours for him, was then drawn up in front of the Eighty-first; immediately afterwards the ceremony commenced by prayer, and, an appropriate address having being delivered by the Rev. T. Twining, chaplain to the forces, the Banners were placed in the hands of His Excellency, who immediately stepped up to the carriage and presented them to Mrs. Creagh, with the following words:—

"The Colours of the Eighty-first Regiment will come with peculiar propriety and grace from your hands; and I request you will do me the honour of presenting them."

Ensigns De Rottenburg and Creagh then stepped forward, and Mrs. Creagh delivered to them and to the Regiment, the handsome address which is given beneath:

"In having the flattering honour conferred on me of presenting Colours to a Regiment, in which my tenderest affections, and most friendly regards are centred, it is difficult for me to give expression to all the feelings, which a ceremony so imposing and so deeply interesting to my heart excites. I cannot pray for more than that, while serving under these new banners, you may display the same ardour and invincible bravery which so brightly shone forth under your old Colours at Maida, when the Eighty-first was so gloriously led to victory by its distinguished General. May Maida, Corunna, and the other glory commemorating inscriptions on your Colours, be always present to your minds, and, with the blessing of the Almighty, ever lead and preserve you in the path of honour and virtue."

"Into your hands, my young friend, I present your King's Colour; and into your charge, my beloved son, I give the Colour of your regiment" (at this part of the address Ensigns De Rottenburg and Creagh advanced, and each were presented with a banner). When your Country requires your defence, I, even as a Mother, can say they never should be abandoned, but in death. And may you, while fighting under them, and during your whole military lives, endeavour to pursue the splendid career of your illustrious General; and may you, like him, be distinguished with the well-merited rewards of a grateful Country."

The two Ensigns having retired to resume their usual station in front of the regiment, Lieut.-Colonel Creagh spoke in the following manner:—

"Those Colours, which, by the distinguished favour of His Excellency Sir James Kempt, have just been presented to the Eighty-first in a manner so truly gratifying to my feelings, shall, I can promise, never be sullied by the corps I have the honour and happiness to command. And in the day of battle, I trust, they will ever wave triumphantly as did our old colours, when the path of victory was pointed out to the Eighty-first, by the General under whom we now have the good fortune to be placed."

The Colours were then trooped, after which the various regiments marched past, and moved off to their respective barracks.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 31 August 2016

CEF Traffic Men
Topic: CEF

CEF Traffic Men

Story of Death in Village on Western Front

The Pittsburgh Press, 14 April 1918

With the Canadian Army in the Field, April 13.—If you should happen to wander into this village—either on duty or on pleasure—you will notice that many of its houses are roofless, that what were shops are in some instances nothing but demolished wall and broken beams, that numerous cottages are closed, and that many dwellings are marred by broken windows and lesser damage. If you are unlucky you will hear the warning whine of a shell, and you may be deafened by an explosion and smothered in dust while flying debris plays havoc around you. If not, you may meet the cure, and he will tell you the history of the slow demolition of a town which the enemy is slowly reducing to a ruin and a memory. It is a long story, covering a period of nearly two years. It was penetrated by shells and by death, and it is the history of many such a town and many a village throughout the war area in France and Belgium. It was in the middle of May, 1915, that the first four shells fell into the town. Then week by week bombardment followed bombardment, sometimes two and three a day. Some of the townspeople left, but courage runs high in France, and most of them stayed. Their homes were laid waste in a day. As the air war developed other homes were destroyed in the night, the horror of blackness adding to the horror of bombs and shells. Fathers lost daughter—mothers sons—the cure grew old because of broken hearts and the cemetery of the little church and filled before its time. But the day's work went on as it is going on now. And the fields were tilled as they are being tilled today, with the women working while the men fight. Such is the ordeal which is part of the tragedy of France, such is the spirit of her people which is her glory.

The Traffic Man

The cure will finish his story. You will leave on your way to the front or back to the base and, as you go, you will ask for directions at the first cross roads. You will be sent five miles out of your way and be bogged in a hopeless road, but you will swear respectively, for he who directed you wore the red arm band of the traffic control. His kind were at Vimy and on the Somme, at Ypres and Passchendaele. "Her Majesty's Jollies," you will remember, "stood still to the Birkenhead drill—a damn tough bullet to chew." From the middle of October to the middle of November when the Canadian corps was fighting the battle of Bellevue Farm, the Passchendaele spur, the Village and the Ridge—the traffic men stood at corners of roads that led in and out of Ypres. They stood there—that was their business. By day, enemy airmen bombed those roads, sometimes coming over in squadrons of 10, 15 and 20 machines. "Parti Tout Suite" was the popular pastime under such conditions and muddy, shell-torn fields were green and pleasant. The traffic men stood to their posts. Some of them died. You could count the shells—one by one they would creep up a road. The traffic men counted them and counting, stayed where they were, Horses were killed. Lorries were blown into bits of torn machinery and kindling wood. All who could made for less public places. The traffic men could not. At night the enemy bombed and shelled. Men hastened up the roads, hurriedly fixing their gas masks. It was black and dreary and desperately lonely on the highways. The traffic men stood on their corners. Many were wounded. Others died. At times when they are heavily shelling the village you just left you will find the extra traffic patrols on duty. They will tell you where not to go. They know where the worst shelling is. They can count the shells and see the damage. They cannot leave their posts. Some of them are wounded. Some of them died. Their work is called "bomb proof" save when there is hell around. Then their drill is not less than the Birkenhead drill.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Lesson For Our Army (1906)
Topic: Cold Steel

Lesson For Our Army (1906)

Russian Army's Notes Officially Distributed
Fire of Modern Infantry Wasteful of Ammunition
Practice in Estimating Distance Needed
Captain Soloviev's Views Regarded of Great Value

Boston Evening Transcript, 14 November 1906

Washington, Nov. 14—From the foreign officers who were attached to the opposing armies as observers in the Russo-Japanese War the world has received many valuable reports concerning the operations in Manchuria, the condition and conduct of the troops engaged and other subjects of general military interest. Several officers of the contending armies have also contributed to this fund of information, and one of these, Captain L.Z. Soloviev, of the Thirty-fourth East Siberian Rifle Regiment, has prepared a paper entitled "Actual Experiences in the War—Battle Action of the Infantry—Impressions of a Company Commander," which is of such importance that it has been translated into English by order of the general staff for distribution among the officers of the United States Army. "This officer," says the general staff, in an official memorandum, "has shown such a keen and appreciative observation in his description of great battles as seen from a company commander's point of view, and his remarks cover so many moot questions in regard to the battle tactics of today, that the little work has been deemed worthy of publication in English for distribution to the army."

What particularly impressed Captain Soloviev was the fact that many of the things he had to do in battle were not what he had been taught, and that much he had been taught was not applicable to combat, which may or may not be a blow to "military education" derived from the books. According to the regulations, the observer says, "effective rifle fire began at a range of from 1000 to 1400 paces," whereas rifle fire was found to be effective at a range of 2333 yards. Attention is called to the difficulty of keeping fire discipline well in hand during a battle, and of maintaining a reasonable and well sustained fire—difficulties which are increased during the fight. He says: "Sometimes a man will fire in his sleep and hundreds of shots follow, thus bringing about a useless loss of cartridges, a sleepless night, fatigue, nervous tension, wounded and killed by stray bullets, and there is before the men the prospect of days in battle."

Another thing that struck this observer was the extreme wastefulness of rapid fire. He states that one infantry regiment at Liao-Yang fired 1,200,000 cartridges, a vast expenditure that charred the stocks of the rifles and distorted the ends of the bayonets from the heat. Captain Soloviev asks if it would not be better to fire more slowly, with greater accuracy and better aim. The mass of fire takes place of accuracy while the short term of service tells upon the trueness of aim. It is difficult, too, to determine the distance of the objective, there remains as a principal means the eyesight, a mode of range finding that was used most frequently and by which the firing had to be guided. "This is why," adds the writer, "we deem it most important that during peace time frequent exercises should stake place in estimating distances by the eye, taking advantage of each favorable occasion, and not treating it as a tedious formality." One serious result observed during the campaign was the frequent deterioration of rifles caused by such intense fire, and it is observed there is only one means of replacing the disabled rifle in battle—the utilization of the pieces belonging to the killed and wounded. The local conditions of dust, rains and changes in temperature contribute top this disastrous end.

Captain Soloviev places a high estimate on the value of the bayonet as an infantry weapon, declaring that the late war "demonstrated most vividly all its power and moral importance, which, it is probable, it will maintain unaltered as long as there are wars." More than once there were fierce hand-to-hand fights, when the Russian depended upon their bayonets and used them with success, although there are no statistics to show the vital effect of such raids. There were instances where lines of intrenchments were taken with the bayonet as at Tumilin Pass. At another time "a bayonet fight was raging along the entire front of our enemy," when an entire corps fought with the bayonet. Captain Soloviev says the data on losses caused by the bayonet are very convincing, and that the losses "are almost as large as those caused by artillery fire, in spite of the enormous development of the latter."

Of the general characteristics of modern infantry combat, Captain Soloviev says: "Speaking of the characteristics of modern infantry combat, we note the following general traits:—

  • the deployment of large units as a skirmish line;
  • the absence of small partial reserves; the desire to develop at once the greatest intensity of fire;
  • the advance of skirmishers at a run, bent double, and sometimes creeping;
  • the advance under effective fire, one by one; the movement in the zone of fire in chain formation;
  • the difficulty of controlling fire discipline and the necessity of developing fire discipline in time of peace;
  • the unparalleled development of ammunition;
  • the necessity for an uninterrupted supply of cartridges to the fighting line, and a close touch of regiments to the artillery parks;
  • the deterioration of rifles and the necessity of replacing them frequently, as a rule;
  • enormous losses in infantry combat, and the tenacity and duration of infantry combats without decisive results."

Captain Soloviev speaks in praise of the Japanese infantry and artillery. Emphasis is laid on the fact that a new factor in artillery combat was the firing against invisible targets, for in battles the battery does not see its opponent. The Japanese had apparently adopted the rule of ceasing fire under well-aimed fire of the enemy. If the Russian battery found the range of the Japanese battery and aimed well the Japanese immediately sought to change its position unawares. Captain Soloviev pronounces the Japanese infantry as far behind the Japanese artillery in accuracy of aim. The Japanese rifleman is described as a veritable machine-gun, on account of the rapidity with which he loads and fires his rifle, but most of the shots go high, and there was dexterity without aim too often. The Russian rifle appears to have been a satisfactory weapon, but the revolver was useless beyond seven paces, while the infantry sword is of little value. The supply of food was sufficient, and much praise was bestowed upon the system of the wheeled field kitchen, a provision for furnishing hot food to the soldier wherever he may be and for which method the commissary general of our own army has been striving indefatigably. It is remarked that more than one of these kitchens bore the marks of bullets.

In view of the modern effort at invisibility in military dress and equipment, it is interesting to know that Captain Soloviev found that quality to be the principal characteristic of the field. His first experience in battle produced a sense of insecurity and irresolution. He heard the bullets, but he saw no trenches or fortifications or enemy. He found the soldier in battle of "astounding simple and everyday demeanor, with betrayal of nervousness only in his rapid firing," in which condition the officer in command comes to his great task of controlling the men. The tension is terrible with the protracted battles of the day, and the demand upon the mental and physical powers is unrelaxing.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 29 August 2016

Discipline and Mobility
Topic: Discipline

Discipline and Mobility

Lectures on Land Warfare, A Tactical Manual for the Use of Infantry Officers, Pub. William Clowes & Sons, Ltd., 1922

"…it is better to lose one man in marching than five in fighting."

The discipline, courage, and endurance of the troops, as well as the cause for which they are fighting, are at least of equal importance to their armament and numbers. "If their discipline and leading be defective, Providence seldom sides with the big battalions ... and troops that cannot march are untrustworthy auxiliaries ("The Science of War"). "An army which cannot march well is almost certain to be outmanoeuvred. A general whose strategy is based upon time calculations that are rendered inaccurate by the breakdown of the marching power of his troops runs grave risk of disaster. It is therefore necessary that the question of marching should be studied, not only by generals and staff officers, but by regimental officers and men. It is on the latter that the hardships and exertions fall, and their cheerful endurance can best be ensured by teaching them the great results attainable by an army which can move faster and further than its adversary, as well as the dangers incurred by an army which allows itself to be out-marched. Superior mobility alone enabled Frederick the Great to move 'like a panther round an ox' so as to place his army across the enemy's flank. The discipline of his troops enabled him to apply the "principles of combination" (General Sir E. B. Hamley). "Nothing compensates for absence of discipline; and the constant watchfulness that is necessary in war, even when danger seems remote, can only be secured by discipline, which makes of duty a habit." (General R. Taylor, C.S. Army). At the Battle of Hastings (Oct. 14, 1066) lack of discipline and disobedience of orders changed the fate of the English nation and brought about the Norman Conquest. Harold, the English king, had defeated the forces of Harold Hadraade, King of Norway, at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire (Sept. 25, 1066). Four days later, Duke William of Normandy landed in Pevensey Bay, with 60,000 horse and foot. Harold hastened south to meet him with troops exhausted by battle and marching. After King of Norway, halting six days in London to collect reinforcements, the English force entrenched itself on the hill of Sautlache and awaited attack. The Normans were unable to penetrate the abattis, but they gained the victory which changed the whole history of the English race by the stratagem of a feigned retreat. Harold's undisciplined auxiliaries, contrary to direct orders (which were obeyed by the regular troops in the centre), swarmed out of the palisades in pursuit of the fleeing Normans, who suddenly turned about and penetrated the English lines mingled with the discomfited auxiliaries. Had the "irregulars" shown the same sense of discipline as the regulars there had been no Norman Conquest.

With regard to marching, General T.J. Jackson once observed, in reply to an allusion to his severe marching, that "it is better to lose one man in marching than five in fighting."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 28 August 2016

Duties of Officers
Topic: Officers

Duties of Officers
(Section 1. General)

The Canadian Guards, Regimental Standing Orders, 1966

5.01     It is not possible to lay down rules for an officer's conduct in every suituation, but he should always bear in mind the three following principles:

a.     he is never relieved of responsibilities, whether on or off duty;

b.     he must always set the best possible example to his juniors; and

c.     he must never do anything which might bring the Regiment into disrepute, either with the general public or with other components of the Canadian Forces.

5.02     A officer should have a thorough knowledge of history, traditions and customs of the Regiment, and should take a continual interest in all matters affecting the Regiment and the unit in which he is serving.

5.03     He must take the greatest care to make the men he commands have confidence in him and must always be ready to assist them with their own personal problems, even if this may at times interfere with his own activities. He must take a keen interest in his men's sports and participate in as many as possible.

5.04     He must always set a high standard in his personal turnout, whether in uniform or plain clothes. In plain clothes, he is expected to dress in accordance with current practice in the Regiment. He is not to smoke in the streets or around barracks when dressed in uniform.

5.05     He must take great care to acknowledge salutes, whether he is in uniform or in plain clothes.

5.06     An officer is responsible to his immediate superior for the performance of his duties and for the efficiency and well being of the sub-unit he commands.

5.07     An officer will never overlook any irregularity or slackness on the part of a guard or sentry, nor will he fail to notice and correct any slovenly appearance, saluting, or unsoldierly conduct on the part of other ranks.

5.08     When an officer is taken ill and prevented from performing a duty, he will immediately report the fact to the Adjutant and make arrangements to see the Medical Officer. Company officers will also report their illness to their Company Commander.

5.09     Officers joining the unit or returning to the unit from detached duty, leave, etc., will report in person to the Adjutant. At the same time, they will acquaint themselves with all orders and instructions issued during their absence.

5.091     Officers ordered to proceed on duty outside the unit will be given the necessary instructions by the Adjutant.

5.10     Officers on special duties, e.g., institutes, and requiring reliefs while proceeding on course, etc., will make application to the Adjutant at least a week before their departure for an officer to relieve them.

5.11     Whenever an officer hands over an appointment to another officer, either temporarily or permanently, he and his successor will sign the prescribed certificates ... and submit them to the Commanding Officer.

5.12     An officer signing any certificate, correspondence, return, etc., will be responsible for the correctness of the document he has signed, irrespective of the fact that it may have been compiled and made out for signature by some other person.

5.13     An officer will notify the Orderly Room in writing of all personal casualties to be published in Unit Orders part 2.

5.14     It will be normal for all officers to make all requests to the Commanding Officer through the Adjutant.

5.15     Officers extra-regimentally employed will communicate directly with the Regimental Adjutant.

5.16     An officer leaving the unit area during duty hours, for a reason other than training, will notify the Adjutant.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 27 August 2016

Royal Canadians to be Disbanded (Halifax, 1902)
Topic: The RCR

Royal Canadians to be Disbanded

Will Be Replaced at Halifax by 5th Regiment Royal Garrison Artillery
The Official Notice Sent
On Service for Over Two years—Cost to Canada of Maintaining Garrison at Halifax

The Montreal Gazette, 27 August 1902

Ottawa, August 26.—(Special)—Official corroboration has been received of the report that the Canadian Regiment at Halifax is to be relieved from duty by a regiment of the Imperial army. The conformation has come in the form of a cablegram from the quartermaster-general in England to General Parsons, officer commanding the Imperial troops at Halifax, stating that the Fifth Regiment, Royal Garrison Artillery, has been ordered to embark for Halifax about the middle of next month, to replace the Third (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. A copy of the cablegram was sent on to Lord Aylmer, the adjutant-general.

To Be Disbanded

The Militia Department will probably have the regiment disbanded at once. The officers and men were originally enrolled for one year. At the termination of that period the regiment was re-enlisted for a year, with a provision that in case its services were not requested for the full twelve months the regiment might be disbanded at any time by allowing the officers and men a month's pay. The probability is that this will be done, but that most of the men will go into the permanent corps, the several schools of instruction being at present away below strength.

The regiment has been on service for about two and a half years, having been organized in March, 1900, to relieve the imperial garrison at Halifax, for duty in South Africa. The cost to Canada of maintaining the garrison at Halifax has been about $364,000 a year, so that Canada's contribution in this way to the expense of the South African campaign will be nearly a million dollars.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 26 August 2016

Buys Hero Medals to Win Girl; In Jail Now
Topic: Stolen Valour

Buys Hero Medals to Win Girl; In Jail Now

Reading Eagle, Reading, Pennsylvania 13 August 1930

Detroit, Aug. 13 (AP).—Benjamin Lee couldn't win his girl's love with his resplendent theatre usher's uniform, so he bought some medals, won the girl, and today he is in jail as a bogus hero.

Dined and honored by Detroit veterans' organizations as one of Michigan's war heroes, Benjamin, a theatre usher, appeared wearing the Croix de Guerre, the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Congressional Medal of Honor. He told lurid stories of his part in the war.

Some of the veterans became suspicious. They figured out that Benjamin would have been about 12 years old when the war started.

Department of Justice agents questioned Benjamin and he confessed that his tales of heroism were designed to win the love of a girl who is now his wife. He said he purchased the medals from veterans who were "short on cash," and that after his marriage his wife carried on the tales of heroism until the affair got out of his control.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 25 August 2016

Allied Forces Compared (China, 1900)
Topic: European Armies

Allied Forces Compared (China, 1900)

Americans and British for Uniform and Equipment, Germans for Drill, and Japanese for Discipline Are the Pick of the Experts, While All Are Good Fighting Men

Boston Evening Transcript, 5 November 1900

Tien-Tsin, Oct. 1.—With troops of eight nations and every branch of service, elbow to elbow, under actual field conditions, both Pekin and Tein-Tsin at present afford a rich field of comparative military observation. Of this the officers of the various forces are taking keen advantage. This is especially noticeable of the Continental forces, whose staffs are everywhere taking notes of equipment and methods.

There are now quartered in this big camp what are said to be representative contingents of every military Power. It is a military congress as complete as if devised only for display, and the contrast between the forces is very marked, in equipment, method and discipline; yet at the same time observing officers find little room for criticism of any particular contingent of the Chinese expeditionary force.

In equipment and uniform there is apparently little question that the American and British troops are superior. The sober business-like khaki is in strong contrast to the showy French and Italian uniforms, while the Germans, otherwise a magnificent and picked body of men, are handicapped in comparison by their ill-fitting clothing. The German uniform is a mustard yellow khaki, apparently of very inferior quality. The blouse is long and loose, without pockets; the trousers loose, and no leggings are worn by the infantry. This is completed with a wide-brimmed straw hat, such as is seen in the Southern part of the United States, turned up at the side and fastened with a corps badge. One almost overlooks the awkwardness of the uniform, however, in the splendid drill and discipline of the kaiser's Chinese army; while its field equipment, though a bit heavy, is well up to date and compares favourably with that of any other force.

By far the most picturesque troops here are the British native regiments from India. At present Great Britain has no white troops here except a part of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, known in England as the "Duke of Connaught's own," and a battalion of Australian Volunteer Naval Reserves. The show of Tien-Tsin is the Sixteenth Bengal Lancers, the "Gentlemen Regiment of India," out on parade. Magnificently mounted on country breds, superb riders, equipment as perfect as care can make it, with lance pennons fluttering, the Sixteenth is a regiment any nation could feel proud of. The Indian Cavalry are probably the heaviest armed mounted troops in the world. Each man carried the long, heavy lance, revolver, carbine, and heavy sabre. The uniform is khaki, the blouse tight at the belt; loose cord trousers, russet-leather leggings and the inevitable turban. The Bombay Lancers are not inferior, and the foot regiments, which include the Rajputs, the Punjabs, and the Belochistans, amke a splendid appearance, the men being tall and slender, and carrying themselves superbly.

The Japanese are, however, probably the most interesting studies for the military men here. One looses sight of the rather slouchy white canvas uniforms and French high-crowned caps in the machine-like drill and discipline of the mikado's men. In discipline they are easily ahead of all the other forces. The Japanese soldier works as none other does. He is always busy; he does not drink, and he is not in evidence on the streets. Detachments of the little white-clad chaps are always on the move. Wherever one goes in the surrounding countryside for many miles out he finds a Japanese outpost; their field topographical parties are always busy, and their commissary and quartermaster’s departments are wonderfully active and complete. Many officers have found much to admire in their transport system. There are no great bales or boxes in the Japanese supplies. Everything is put up in compact matting-bound bundles, none too heavy for one man to handle, and the result is expedition. It is the general opinion of observers that the Japanese soldier is the busiest, the quietest, the best disciplined man in the Chinese armies.

The big German camp, which occupies the grounds and buildings formerly used by the American troops, lying east of the foreign concession, is easily the model of all the camps about Tien-Tsin. It has attracted much attention, and nothing but favourable comment is heard. The Germans have a scheme for use of the shelter tent which is considered to be ideal for warm weather. The pieces of canvas of an entire company are lashed together and erected in the shape of a shed without partitions. It is practically a roof and rear wall, and is usually erected in the shape of two sides of a square, the walls being to the north and west. The German cooking equipment is complete in every detail, and they have a wonderful quantity of wagons and transport. There are new designs in field ambulances, very narrow and springy, wagonettes for general officers, field post wagons, and nearly every sort of vehicle an army can need. In variety and completeness of outfit the German representation is beyond comparison with any force here.

The question of transport is naturally most interesting to military observers and in this connection the British have come in for much praise. As organized, the British forces in China have the most effective field transport for the character of campaigning they are called upon to perform. Each company is complete with its own pack train, from which it is not separated. Stout little Indian mules, hardly larger than donkeys, carry all supplies, and so far the British troops here have not suffered for lack of supplies in any of the marches the allies have made. The same cannot be said of other armies. In common with the Japanese, the British employ large numbers of coolies. In fact, they have the largest non-combatant force here, each regiment having its own coolie gang, who perform all camp labor. This is made necessary, however, by the fact that the Indian regiments are composed of high caste men. The ranks of the cavalry regiments are filled with blood relatives of rajahs and princes, and these men are never called upon for camp labor. They are fighting men essentially, and it is almost safe to say that every enlisted man in the Sixteenth Bengals and the Bombays has his own servant and groom.

In size, rank and file, soldierly appearance and good marching there is nothing heard but praise for the American troops. The camps are well policed, the men well behaved, and ther been an absolute absence of rowdyism.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2016 12:04 AM EDT
Wednesday, 24 August 2016

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Topic: CEF

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Toronto Militia Officer is Rounded-Up

The Montreal Gazette, 4 April 1918

Toronto, April 3.—A Toronto Militia officer was a compulsory addition to the army today, through the agency of the Dominion Police, because he had failed to comply with the regulations of the Military Service Act. The officer had neglected to register and, apparently, thinking he was not liable to be drafted, did not heed the warnings of the Dominion Police. As a result he was taken into custody on Monday and was turned over to the military authorities.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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