The Minute Book
Friday, 27 January 2017

The Canadian Militia (1879)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Canadian Militia (1879)

The Montreal Gazette, 4 March 1879

The remarks of Lieutenant-General Sir Selby-Smith, in his annual report, on the necessity of an organized force which could always be depended on in case of such disturbances as those of which the country has recently has experience, are worthy of careful attention. The inconvenience of employing volunteers for the purpose of quelling riots in which their own fellow-citizens are the actors has often been felt; and we have not to go far in either space or time for illustrations of some of the bad results of the system. The formation of a small permanent force such as that which General Smyth suggests would remove that inconvenience and make the repression of disorder practicable without the risk of provoking complications that are the most difficult to deal with. As to the plan on which such a force should be raised, General Smyth has certainly quite sufficient military knowledge and experience, and well as acquaintance with the needs and capabilities of the Dominion, to enable him to frame one in every way suitable. It will have been seen that he proposes that three regiments should be maintained by the Federal Government, composed of two battalions each, to be raised and recruited in Canada, each battalion to serve in the old country and here for alternate terms of three years, thus completing their period of enlistment, which should be fixed at six years. At the close of their six years' service the men composing the battalions should pass into a reserve and receive a grant of land or some other inducement to settle permanently in the country, with a stake in it. By this system of alternation and interchange, complete solidarity would be established between the soldiers of Canada and that of the Empire, and our little Canadian force have full opportunity for thorough training, and be imbued with a British spirit. In case of war the system would be capable of expansion to any limits required. Another scheme proposed was that only three Canadian battalions should be formed, whioch should be interchanged triennially with an equal British force of the line. Hitherto, it appears that nothing has been done towards giving either suggestion a practical form, but it is hoped that the matter will not be lost sight of. Of course, the carrying out of such a plan would not interfere materially with our Canadian militia, as at present organized and composed. It would be from the militia that, in all likelihood, such a force would be, to a great extent, supplied and on it also it would have to mainly depend for the enlargement which extraordinary contingencies might necessitate. The value of such a force may be inferred from what general Selby-Smyth says in another part of his report regarding the probable effect of the muster of volunteers is this city last Queen's Birthday on the Fenian raiders who were at that time rumoured to be about to cross the line into Canada. He thinks, and with good reason, that there were Fenian spies present on that occasion and that the sight of so large a body of well trained and well equipped soldiers, whom they would have to encounter, if they attempted to put their project into execution, had a salutary influence in deterring them from the menaced movement. How much more would such disturbers be cowed into tranquility is a permanent force, always armed and prepared to meet invasion, were maintained in the Dominion! In a short time we should probably be put to no more trouble or expense (and such occasions have cost us our share of both) from such unscrupulous free booters.

The report goes on to make some excellent suggestions as to the proper administration of the militia force. It is to be noted that some of these suggestions merely call for the enforcement of the existing laws on the subject—a telling commentary on the manner in which it has been hitherto neglected. We do not intend just now to take them all into consideration, but we have no dough that they will receive from the proper authorities the attention which is their due. Of […missing line of text…] Corporation of Montreal—that which regards the rebuilding of the drill shed. It is advised that the Government should urge on our Municipal Council the duty of re-construction or, in the case of refusal or neglect, due for the value at stake, $12,000. This is a matter which demands immediate settlement, and it is hoped it will be arrived at with as little delay as possible. Both this and several others of the suggestions to which we direct attention have already been made to no purpose. It is evident from them and from the whole tenor of the report that our militia force has, up to the present, by no means received the attention of which such a force in a country of the extent, population and position of Canada is worthy.

In a paper contributed to the February number of Rose-Belford's Magazine, entitled "A Plea for the Militia," by "Two Militiamen," the whole case is very clearly and patriotically stated. After speaking of our national pride, our great extant and resources, and our growing importance, the writers very opportunely ask how we should maintain our rights, protect our liberties and retain our possessions, if Great Britain's naval and military assistance were withheld or withdrawn. They then very pointedly contrast our position from a military standpoint with some of the smaller European powers, giving a result which is far from flattering to our self-love. The Netherlands, with a population of less than 4,000,000, expend for military purposes £1,541,909, have an army of 61,947 men, a navy of 47 ships, with 705 guns, manned by 9,200 men, and a militia of 100,323 men. Switzerland, with a population of less than 3,000,000, expends £586,237, has an army of 84,369 men, a reserve of 50,069 men, and a militia force of 65,981 men. Sweden, with a population of less than 4,500,000, expends £925,000, has an army of 7,885 men and a reserve force of nearly 140,000 men. Norway, with a population of less than 2,000,000, has an army of 12,750 (peace footing), and of 18,000 (war footing), 20 ships of war, with 156 guns, manned by 2,393 men, and a reserve of 62,000. Denmark, with a population of less than 2,000,000, expends £1,114,000, has an army of 37,000 men, 33 ships, with 291 guns, manned by 1,125 men and a reserve of 32,393. Greece, with a population of less than a million and a half, expends £336,757, has an army of 14,061 men, a navy of 14 ships, manned by 653 men, and a reserve of 24,000. Canada, with nearly 4,000,000 of population, has only a poorly equipped militia force of 43,729, of which she expends only £200,000. These figures speak for themselves, and almost make unnecessary the excellent argument which follows, by which the plea is so well supported. Let any Canadian compare Canada with the Netherlands or with Denmark, and he will appreciate the motive of these two loyal militiamen in presenting their plea. Again, "in Great Britain the people are taxed $6.86 per head per annum; in France $4.50; in Prussia, $2.20; and in the United States (exclusive of the State militia) $1.39 per head, while in Canada we only burden ourselves with 14 cents per head of our population for militia purposes."

Most readers will agree with the writers that no "Canadian would object to that tax being doubled or quadrupled." To the question why a militia should be supported which in peace is not required, and in war would be inadequate as a protection against invasion, "Two militiamen" answer by an appeal to history. They recapitulate the services of the Canadian militia from 1775, when Quebec was held by it against the enemy till the arrival of British reinforcements, until the occurrence of the riots of the last few years. In 1812, 1813, in 1837, in 1862, in 1865, in 1866-70, what would the country have done had there been no militia to repel such attacks? "Two militiamen" then deal with the question as to what principle will render the force most efficient at least cost, and come to the conclusion that the nearest approach to our system, as defined by law, is the Danish system. Having glanced at its working and results and given a brief sketch of the Swiss system, they ask, "What are we to do towards the same end?" To this they reply that "no hurried extension of the present system is necessary or would be prudent." "But," they add, "the framework must be built in time of peace, upon such solid foundation that it will neither shrink nor give war under pressure of war." Sufficient funds must be provided to carry on the work regularly, and the vote should be a standing sum, not subject to legislative caprice. Once the country has decided what it can afford to spend annually, let those persons who are held responsible for the efficiency of the force be held responsible for its proper expenditure. After showing that there is no object for which the people at large are more willing to submit to outlay, and that there is no money so evenly distributed through the country as the money paid to the militia, the article closes with an appeal to the community to conquer the the apathy with which the past struggles for existence of the militia force have been regarded. And this appeal is accompanied by the warning that, if the present force is discouraged to death, the law providing for the establishment of the ballot must be executed and, instead of employees, employers may be pressed into the ranks. All that is asked is that the provisions of the militia law be slightly emended and rigidly enforced, that a little more money be spent in the actual training of the men, and that the Canadian people take a living interest and pride in their citizen soldiery and encourage them by precept and example, stimulating rather than retarding their efforts to fulfill their duty.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 26 January 2017

U.S., Canadian Army Deserters (Rome, 1944)
Topic: Canadian Army

U.S., Canadian Army Deserters held for Gang Robbery in Rome

The Montreal Gazette, 10 November 1944

Rome, November 9.—(AP)—Two gangs, composed in part of deserters from the United States and Canadian armies and the French Foreign Legion, have been rounded up by military police after terrorizing Rome and Naples for several weeks, it was announced today.

Allied Headquarters said in an official announcement that the gans were charged with kidnapping military policemen, stealing their motorcycles and committing :many other hold-ups and robberies."

One of the gangs, led by a 23-year-old American soldier from Pennsylvania, was made up entirely of soldiers—six Americans and two Canadians—all absent without leave.

The second, led by a Yugoslav and a Corsican, both deserters from the French Foreign Legion, included five other deserters from the Legion, one American deserter and five Italian and Spanish civilians.

The American and Canadian soldiers face court-martial.

The all-soldier gang is accused of a number of hold-ups and other acts of violence, including the theft of the automobile of Lt.-Gen. Wladyslaw Anders, commander of the Polish Army Corps, and the kidnapping of several military policemen between Rome and Naples.

The break-up of this gang came after a jeep was wrecked in Rome and one of the Canadian members was injured. Military police charged that he carried a revolver taken from an American M.P. on the Rome-Naples road.

A guard was placed on the jeep and that night another Canadian, dressed as a United States officer, and an American dressed as a staff sergeant came to get it. Arrested, they tried to shoot their way out, but were overpowered. The prisoners were found to be ill and they were confined in a Rome hospital.

Then fellow gangsters appeared at the hospital attired as military policemen in an effort to "spring" the prisoners, but police scared them off.

From the three men in custody the police learned about the haunts of the gang and captured four more of the deserters at a Rome cafe.

The larger gang which used U.S. Army weapons as part of its equipment was taken into custody on information from a Spanish civilian.

Lt.-Col. Geoffrey White, deputy provost marshal in Rome, said the fact that many men A.W.L. were stranded in Rome without funds was responsible for the crimes. He said that even though these two gangs were broken up, it was probable that similar gangs in Rome and other cities remained.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Rations for a Big Army (1900)
Topic: Army Rations

Rations for a Big Army (1900)

Few Realize the Great Work Required to Get Supplies
Need Enormous Quantities
Collecting Them Involves a Vast Amount of Labor
Fighting Men Have Plenty

It is very probable that 90 people out of every 100 think of an army as a great aggregation of fighting men, armed to the teeth with rifles, swords and what not, while they never once give a thought to the "men in the rear."

The Pittsburg Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 18 April 1900 (From the Detroit Free Press)

It is very probable that 90 people out of every 100 think of an army as a great aggregation of fighting men, armed to the teeth with rifles, swords and what not, while they never once give a thought to the "men in the rear." Yet these men in the rear are an important part of the fighting machinery.

When an army is encamped in a friendly country there is not so great a difficulty in feeding it as when it is penetrating hostile territory and has separated from its own country. And yet in either case it is no light task to furnish and distribute the food that is to keep, say, 30,000 stomachs satisfied and 30,000 hearts in the right place. This is the work of the commissary department.

When an army division or an army corps is encamped at home the problem of getting supplies is comparatively simple. Sometimes they are furnished on contract, sometimes bought in large quantities a week or more in advance of the time at which they will be needed. The commissary general is responsible for the procuring of these supplies and having them deposited at a depot within easy reach of the troops.

Each company of a regiment has its cooks, each regiment has its commissary depot, where supplies are kept sufficient, say, for a week or ten days for all the men. Men are detailed from each company to assist in the work of getting the supplies from the regimental depot to the company kitchens every day. Others are detailed to help transport the supplies to regimental depots from the general headquarters whenever the stores in the former are getting low.

As all supplies are issued from headquarters only on orders and receipts are given for everything secured, it can be seen that there is an immense amount of clerical work necessary to the smooth and uninterrupted work of the department.

When the troops are in barracks the work of the kitchen can be better attended to than in the field. Ranges and all necessary utensils are on hand and hot meals are served to the different mess tables with regularity. When in the field, either field stoves are used for cooking or partially covered trenches are constructed with an opening for the huge coffee kettle and an oven for the baking of bread.

Suppose an army to have landed on a foreign coast. The first move after the landing of the men and arms is to secure a convenient spot for a depot of supplies. These are landed and piled high on the shore until there seems to be a mountain of boxes inextricably mingled in the general mass. Gradually these are separated into different piles and order begins to make its appearance out of chaos, until all the supplies are properly housed.

For an army of 30,000 men and 10,000 horses for three months it is estimated that there are necessary 11,000 tons of food and forage. This must be made up of palatable and strength-giving supplies, with a proper proportion of meat. Vegetables, coffee and flour for bread or biscuits. The meat is generally canned, although sides of bacon are abundant, and even herds of cattle are taken along for fresh meat.

Whenever any important move is to be made by the army each soldier is usually supplied with rations for a day, which he carries in his haversack. These he is not to use unless ordered to do so. There are, besides, two days' rations carried in transport for each fraction of a command to tide the troops over the march. In the English army there are even wagon arrangements for cooking meals on the march, great quantities of soup being heated and meat and potatoes being prepared while on the march. But when the army moves away from its base of supplies then it is that the feeding problem becomes more complicated.

There are always a number of men detailed from each regiment to assist in the work of bringing up supplies. The keeping open of a line of communication with the base of supplies is the first thing that a commander must see to, for it means the safety of his army. If this line of communication is but a day's march, the work is simple, and it does not take many men detailed to wagon driving to replenish the impoverished stock of the regimental or division larder. But when the distance is increased to sixty or one hundred miles the trick is one of great difficulty.

There are along this line of communication two lines of transport wagons constantly on the move and in opposite directions. The one line is for wagons filled with stores and supplies for the army. The other is made up of empty wagons going back to base for other loads. Easy stages are made of the journey.

For instance, one set of loaded wagons will start from the base and go an easy distance, when another lot of empty ones will be coming in the opposite direction. The drivers and horses will be exchanged, those on the loaded wagons returning with the empty ones to the base of supply and those on the empty wagons taking the loaded supplies one stage nearer the army, at the end of which the same thing is repeated which the transportation of supplies and ammunition, too, is being carried on.

Within easy reach of the army is established a second base of supplies where a great amount of stores is accumulated in order to enable the army to extend its operations further from its principal base. Of course, a railroad makes the thing doubly sure and quick. But there is usually a good deal of wagon hauling to be done even with the railroads, because it is not often possible for an army to confine its operations to the line of rail communication. In any case, from the nearest base supplies are brought to the division or regimental wagons, which are filled on requisition and receipts are given for the supplies received.

A week's supply or even ten days' food should be at hand with the army. From the regimental depots the company gets its food for each day, and it is transferred to the company kitchen. Here are great kettles of coffee steaming over the fire, with bacon or other meat steaming in the pans. Thus the food which started as the contents of one of the boxes in the mountain on the shore, finally comes to the plate of the soldier to give him strength.

Sometimes a flying column takes no commissary train with it, cuts itself off from its base of supplies and moves swiftly through the country taking a few days' rations. This cannot be done unless the country is thoroughly known and can be depended on for food.

Sir George Head, writing of his experience in charge of the commissary in the peninsular war, says that 3 o'clock ever morning found him in the presence of the commanding general, where he was told of the movements of the army for the day. He would then go to his own quarters, where he found scores of representatives of the different parts of the army waiting for information. Sometimes, he said, he was obliged to ride out in the rain and scour the country for wheat to be made into flour for that night's distribution.

The worry of such a position can scarcely be imagined, for even after a supply of wheat was found, it had to be transported to mill, ground and carried to a convenient place for distribution among the parts of the army, which operations required the services of many men and teams.

There is considerable red tape required to get provisions, no less than seventy-five different kinds of blanks being supplied to use as requisitions.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Your Equipment and Arms
Topic: Drill and Training

Your Equipment and Arms

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 9, of 30)

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 5 September 1917

Each soldier in a modern army carries with him sufficient food, clothing, shelter, fighting arms and ammunition to take care of himself for a short period in case he should be separated from his company. The total weight of his load, in addition to the clothes he wears, is 50 to 70 pounds. The number of articles is surprisingly large. They are so devised, however, that by ingenious methods of packing and adjusting they can all be carried with the least possible effort.

You are personally responsible for all the arms, clothing, and supplies issued to you.

You will receive on enlistment and ample supply of clothing, including not only your uniform, but extra shoes, shorts, underclothes and socks. You may not be able always to keep your clothes spotlessly clean. But when it becomes dirty or spotted, take the first opportunity to clean it thoroughly.

Your shoes must be cleaned and polished frequently. Wet shoes should be carefully dried.

In general, see to it that all your clothing is as neat and clean as possible at all times. Mend rips and sew on buttons without delay. This will add to your comfort as well as appearance.

Wear your hat straight. Don't affect the "smart aleck" style of tilting the hat. Keep all buttons fastened. Have your trousers and leggings properly laced. Keep yourself clean shaved. Carry yourself like a soldier.

A Soldier's Baggage

Besides his extra clothing, a soldier carries a blanket, a rubber poncho, a canteen, fork and spoon, a cup, toilet articles, a first-aid package and some minor belongings.

One of the most useful pieces is one-half of a shelter tent, with rope and pins. The shelter tent is said to be a French invention which was introduced into the American army during the civil war.

Two men can combine their halves and set up a shelter tent in a few minutes. While it cannot be described as roomy, it is just what its name implies, a "shelter" from wind and rain. It is used only in temporary camps.

Your chief fighting tools will be a rifle, a bayonet in a scabbard, a cartridge belt, and an intrenching tool. Other weapons or defences needed in modern trench warfare will be referred to later. Do not under any circumstances lose track of these articles while on field duty. So long as you possess them, you are an armed soldier capable of defending yourself and of performing effective service. Without them you are for all practical purposes helpless.

The rifle is the soldier's closest friend. His first thought should be to guard it and care for it above all his other possessions. He expects it to take care of him in emergencies. In ordinary times he must take care of it.

In caring for a rifle it is especially important to keep the bore clean. In so doing be sure to avoid injuring the delicate rifling which causes the bullet to spin as it is forced out and this increases the accuracy of firing. Never put away a rifle that has been fired or exposed to bad weather without first cleaning it. Never lay a rifle flat on the ground. Rest it securely against something.

elipsis graphic

Anybody in normal physical condition can learn to be a good shot. Two of the most important points to remember are to take a deep breath just before completing your aim so that you may hold your rifle with perfect steadiness, and to squeeze the trigger so that the gun will not be jerked from its aim at the moment of firing.

In modern warfare the intrenching tool is an essential part of your fighting equipment. The eight men in each squad carry these eight tools: four shovels, two pick mattocks, one pole or hand ax, and one wirecutter. In ordinary soil you can quickly throw up a shallow trench which will protect you to a great extent from the enemy's fire. After a trench has once been started, it can be deepened and extended, even in the face of the enemy, without the soldier exposing himself to direct fire.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 23 January 2017

1st Company, 1st Regiment, Disbanded (1865)
Topic: Discipline

1st Company, 1st Regiment, Disbanded (1865)

Headquarters. Quebec, 17th March, 1865.

Volunteer Militia Lower Canada

General Orders, No. 1

His Excellency the Commander in Chief has been pleased to direct that Captain Hanson's Company, No. 1, of the 1st (Prince of Wales Regiment) of Volunteer Rifles, be removed from the list of Volunteer Militia. The officers and men of this Company having been guilty of a gross act of insubordination, in refusing to obey the orders of the Officer Commanding the Regiment, when directed to equalize the Battalion for inspection by the Inspecting Field Officer, on the 13th December last. An act by which that Company, not only compromised the character of the Regiment to which it belonged, but also that of the Force generally.

Obedience to orders, emanating from superior authority, is the first duty of the Volunteer as well as of the Regular soldier, and unless this cardinal principle in military matters is well understood, and fully acted upon, no discipline worthy of the name can ever be maintained. It is to be regretted that with this Company, the warning and admonition, which it received on a previous occasion, for an offense similar in character, should have produced so little effect, as to have rendered it necessary for His Excellency to have to resort to the extreme measure of disbanding the Company, by its repetition in the present instance.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 9:43 PM EST
Permanent Corps; Issue of Clothing, 1892
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia General Orders
Headquarters, Ottawa, 29th April, 1892


No. 1


Issue of Clothing

The following changes in the issue of clothing to Permanent Corps will take effect from the 1st May, 1892 .

1.     Two serge jackets will be issued in the second year of the soldier's service instead of a tunic, and an alternate issue of one tunic and one serge jacket, or two serge jackets will be continued during the remainder of his service.

2.     No special clothing or distinctive marks allowed for privates of the Infantry School employed as bandsmen.

3.     Clothing will be issued on fixed dates twice a year as follows:

(a .)     "Summer issue" to be made on the 1st April and taken into wear on the 1st May, consisting of—

  • 1 serge jacket.
  • 1 tunic or second serge jacket
  • 1 pair summer trousers.
  • 1 pair summer boots.
  • 1 forage cap.

(b.)     "Winter issue" to be made on the 1st September and taken into wear on the 1st October, consisting of—

  • 1 pair cloth trousers.
  • 1 winter cap.
  • 1 pair winter boots.

The interval of one month is allowed to admit of the clothing being fitted, to the satisfaction of the officer commanding the Troop, Battery or Company, before being taken into wear.

4.     Men who become entitled to new clothing in the period between the 1st May and 1st October, will receive the summer issue as soon as possible after the first named date . Those who become entitled to the issue between the 1st October, 1892, and the 1st May, 1893, will receive the winter issue for wear on the first named date, and the summer issue similarly on the latter date.

5 .     Recruits joining during the course of a summer period will be given the complete summer issue. Those joining during the winter period w ill be given the summer issue (with the exception of summer trousers) in advance. Tunics will in no case be issued to recruits during the period of probation fixed by paragraph 23, Regulations for Permanent Corps .

6.     Soldiers whose term of service expires within either of the above mentioned periods will not be issued in advance with new clothing in respect of their uncompleted term of service.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 22 January 2017

Tracker is Both Strike and Search Aircraft (1957)
Topic: RCN

Tracker is Both Strike and Search Aircraft (1957)

All-Weather, Twin-Engine To Operate Against Subs

The Ottawa Citizen, 21 January 1957

The Royal Canadian Navy's new anti-submarine aircraft, the Tracker, is an all-weather, twin-engine high-wing monoplane designed specifically for carrier-borne operations against submarines.

Successor to the Grumman Avenger, which has been in service with the RCN since 1950, the new aircraft, designated the CS2F-1, and to be known as the Tracker, is being built in Canada. Prime contractor for the initial order of 100 aircraft is The de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, Toronto, operating under license from the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Beth-Page, N.Y.

First in Canada

These are the first naval aircraft for the RCN to be manufactured in Canada, and the largest ever built by de Havilland of Canada.

The Tracker is both a search and strike aircraft, combining in one machine the full capabilities of hunter and killer. It is designed and equipped to search out, identify, attack and destroy enemy submarines, whether surfaced or submerged. It is highly manoeuverable, has a short take-off run and low landing speed, making it admirably suited for operation from an aircraft carrier. Its versatility permits its use in a number of roles in addition to its primary anti-submarine duties. It may be used for deck-landing training target towing, aircrew training, instrument flying training and carrier-to-shore transport.

Because of the relatively small number of aircraft required, it was considered uneconomical to design and build a Canadian aircraft to meet the RCN's requirements. Of aircraft already in production, the Grumman S2F best met all requirements.

Minor Modifications

The Canadian version has undergone only minor modifications, although Canadian Navy requirements have resulted in installation of some equipment different from that of its United States counterpart.

Some features of the new aircraft follow:

Cockpit—To carry out its hunter-killer function the Tracker has accommodation for a crew of four. The pilot and co-pilot have a wide range of vision. The radio and radar men are seated aft of the cockpit which features a folding control console giving ready accessibility to the seats. Each member of the crew has an escape hatch fitted directly above his seat. A control lock has been provided. When this is in operation the engines cannot be revved up sufficiently to raise the aircraft into the air. Also included is the new hydraulic "Rudder boost," which eliminates strain on the pilot during single engine flying. It is one of the first production aircraft to incorporate this new feature.

Instruments—Included in the standard instrument layout is a "safe speed indicator," the first military installation of the device in Canada. The indicator incorporates a dial which shows the pilot the approximate approach speed of the aircraft on landing, whether it is too fast, too slow or just right. Autopilot is fitted.

Anti-Submarine Equipment and Weapons—The latest equipment for the detection of submarines and the most modern anti-submarine weapons are carried. This has been achieved without any sacrifice of speed or endurance. The aircraft is equipped with sonobuoys housed in a special compartment aft of each engine, rockets, homing type torpedoes released through fast opening and closing bomb bay doors, and a powerful searchlight controlled from the cockpit.

During anti-submarine opertions the spun glass radar dome is telescoped down from the inside automatically. The magnetic airborne detection boom is fitted below the tail. The sonobuoys, listening devices which are dropped into the water in the area of a submarine and by radio transmissions reveal the submarine's position to the aircraft, are released by controls located at the pilot's and co-pilot's seats.

Performance—The aircraft has a range of approximately 1,000 miles and can remain airborne for about eight hours. Its maximum speed is more than 300 miles per hour. Landing speed is 86 miles per hour.

Dimensions—Wing span is 69 feet, eight inches, and length 42 feet. The all-up weight is more than 23,000 pounds.

One of the most interesting features of the Tracker is the method of folding the wings. A cross-fold system is used with one wing folding in front of the other. Purpose of the folding wings is to permit close stowage of the aircraft on the flight deck, in the hangar and on the elevators.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 21 January 2017

Pound of Meat a Day to Each Man at Front
Topic: Army Rations

Pound of Meat a Day to Each Man at Front

British Army, Rules Also Require Like Amount in Each Soldier's Kit

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 23 November 1917

Behind British Lines in France, Nov. 22.—The British army ration scale allows one pound of meat to each man daily to the troops in the trenches, and three-quarters of a pound to those at home. It further requires each soldier at the front to carry a pound of meat in his kit.

The measures by which an army equal to one-fifth of the male population of Great Britain before the war have been supplied with meat on this scale amount to something like a revolution in the technique of army supply.

At the very beginning of the present war it was decided to provide frozen meat for the army and the boards of trade at once entered into negotiations with firms importing meat from the Argentine for a monthly supply of 15,000 tons. Later a "meat committee" was set up, and entrusted with the work of importing meat, not only for the British army, but also for the French and Italian governments, and for the British civil population.

The principal source of supply at present is the Argentine, with assistance from Australia and New Zealand. Both Australia and New Zealand have reserved their entire surplus supply of meat for the use of the imperial government, and over $200,000,000 worth of beef, mutton and lamb has been brought from those countries.

To carry these enormous quantities of meat to the troops the board of trade requisitioned all the shipping engaged in the frozen meat traffic. Some of the meat is taken to England, but the greater part of that required for the armies is landed directly at the base ports, where it is discharged into cold storage warehouses specifically erected for the purpose. In this manner there is delivered monthly 30,000 tons of meat for the British armies and 25,000 tons to the armies of Great Britain's allies.

The cost of this meat up to the beginning of 1916 figured out at an average of about 12 ½ cents a pound, but it has since risen to about 16 ½ cents.

Sixty Per Cent Frozen

Frozen meat at present constitutes 60 per cent of the total meat issued to the British army. The remainder is made up of preserved meat of several varieties. The most familiar form is the well-known "bully beef," which is corned beef packed in small oblong tins, each containing 12 ounces. Some units cook their bully beef, other prefer it just as it comes from the tin. In comprised the principal article of diet for the army at Gallipoli.

Another form of preserved ration is a combination of about nine ounces of meat and a half pound of potatoes and other vegetables. This is served after warming up, either by heating in the tin or by boiling the contents in a camp kettle, which transfers it into a fairly appetizing stew. This combination, which is known in army parlance as "meat and vegetable ration," is manufactured in England by about 30 firms, working under the inspection of the local government board.

Another form of preserved ration, adopted from the American armies, is pork and beans. The first supplies of these were obtained from the Canadian Pacific Railway company and were introduced on an experimental scale in March, 1916.

The amount of canned meats supplied to the troops in France is enormous. Three and a half million cans are received weekly at the bases, and since the beginning of the war the army contract department has purchased over 400,000,000 cans of preserved meat. These cans would weigh about 178,500 tons, roughly the equivalent is weight of six superdreadnaughts.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 20 January 2017

Attitudes Towards the Royal Infantry Schools (1897)
Topic: The RCR

Attitudes Towards the Royal Infantry Schools (1897)

The Daily Telegraph, Quebec, P.Q., 14 October 1897

Major-General Gascoigne says some sarcastic things of the way some officers treat the Royal Infantry Schools, in an order promulgated this week. He takes the commanding officers to task in the following language:

"The general officer commanding has observed that the class of non-commissioned officers and men sent for instruction to these schools is not always creditable to the corps to which they belong, and that proper care is not exercised in their selection. He therefore deems it expedient to remind officers commanding units that these schools of instruction are not maintained for the purpose of affording temporary employment to the unemployed, or for the training of recruits. The regulations and orders for the militia are quite explicit in this respect, and the general officer commanding intends that in future the principles therein defined shall be strictly adhered to in order that due value may be received by the public for the expenditure."

Additional restrictions are presented to provide against a continuation of the abuse. Under them men must have seen 12 months' service, must be intelligent, and qualified for the schools.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 19 January 2017

A-Secrecy Gives Canadian Fliers and Sailors Outmoded Weapons
Topic: Canadian Armed Forces

A-Secrecy Gives Canadian Fliers and Sailors Outmoded Weapons for Defending U.S. Cities

Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, 13 July 1958
By Gerard Waring

Ottawa—One of the matters that President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Deifenbaker discussed here this week was the position of Canada in light of the changes in American law which makes American military atomic science available to Great Britain.

The necessary qualification for receiving U.S. atomic aid is the prior development of atomic weapons by the nation which is to receive the aid. Britain is the only western nation that so qualifies.

For several years Canada has had the financial, scientific and fissile materials resources to produce atomic bombs. But the Canadian government has refrained from entering the atomic arms race and instead has concentrated its not inconsiderable atomic research faciloities on the development of peaceful uses of atomic energy.


Canada now needs atomic weapons, in the form of warheads for ground-to-air and air-to-air missiles rather than bombs, to defend Canada and to help defend the United States in case Russia attacks.

elipsis graphic

The entire Canadian air defence potential, excluding only a division of jet interceptors stations in Europe, is in process of being put under the operational control of the North American Air Defence Command at Colorado Springs, along with USAF jets.

The USAF jets are being armed with missiles equipped with atomic warheads. The RCAF's present CF-100 jet interceptors are armed only with rockets and cannon. Plans are to equip Canada's new supersonic jet, the CF-105, with Sparrow missiles developed by the U.S. Navy, but under present circumstances stemming from U.S. law, these missiles will have high explosive, rather than atomic warheads.

The Royal Canadian Navy is faced with a similar handicap. It is an anti-submarine fleet. Its job is to ferret out and sink enemy subs. The evidence is now overwhelming that the best defence against a nuclear sub is another nuclear sub. The Canadian navy is planning to acquire N-subs. But because of the restriction imposed on the U.S. navy by the McMahon Act, the Canadian navy cannot obtain from the U.S. Navy all the information it would like on the design of nuclear submarines. So Canada is working, with British help, on the development of its own atomic subs, needlessly duplicating research the U.S. already has done.

This situation, and the RCAF's lack of atomic warheads, weakens continental defence.

Obviously the new U.S. law was drafted so it would apply to Britain but not to France. For the sake of a roadblock in the way of France becoming the world's fourth atomic power, Canadian fliers may have to defend Chicago and Detroit with outmoded arms, and Canadian sailors to defend Boston and new York with outmoded ships.

The situation becomes more ridiculous in light of two additional facts:

Canada is the chief supplier of fissile materials for the American atomic arms program. Without the production of Canadian mines, the U.S. would be in a much less favorable position in the atoic race with Russia.

There has always been very free exchange of information and personnel between British and Canadian atomic projects, and between British and Canadian armed forces.

elipsis graphic

But the problem before President Eisenhower here this week was, how could he justify a "yes" to prime Minister Deifenbaker, and a "no" to General De Gaulle? How can the U.S. accept in atomic partnership an ally which has made no effort to develop atomic arms, and refuse such partnership to the French ally, which is very eager to produce its own atomic weapons and become the fourth member, with the U.S., Britain and Russia, of the "atomic club"? It is a dilemma that may not be resolved until France fires its own home-made A-bomb.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Battalion Duties--General Remarks--NCOs (1917)
Topic: Discipline

Battalion Duties—General Remarks—NCOs

They must be examples at all times to their men, and endeavour constantly to increase their military knowledge.

Notes for Commanding Officers, Issued to Students at the Senior Officers' School, Aldershot, 1917 (5th Course)

1.     Non-commissioned officers must not walk out with private soldiers, or associate with them in a familiar way. Their friends must be non-commissioned officers.

2.     A non-commissioned officer returning from leave of absence or command should report himself to the Adjutant or the Regimental Quartermaster.

3.     Non-commissioned officers must never lend to or borrow money from private soldiers.

4.     Sergeants must not enter the men's canteen except on duty. (N.B.—If possible, a place should be arranged for non-commissioned officers, and if no canteen is available, an estaminet should be reserved for them.)

5.     Non-commissioned officers must never use harsh or intemperate, and, more particularly, obscene, language to the men.

6.     Non-commissioned officers must back up their officers always, and pull together for the honour of their Regiment.

7.     In walking out, non-commissioned officers must give an example of dress and smartness. Sergeants wear belt and side-arms; other ranks belts only.

8.     They must be examples at all times to their men, and endeavour constantly to increase their military knowledge.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2017 8:43 AM EST
Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Military Horse (1855)
Topic: British Army

The Military Horse (1855)

Troop horses are not altogether teetotallers. They find a wineglass of spirits in half a pint of water a very refreshing cordial. They are very fond of sweets also.

From: Field Service; The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 11 May 1855
(From the Household Words)

When carrying a non-commissioned officer, the weight of the man and his appointments is reckoned at two hundred and forty pounds. This is less than for a heavy dragoon-horse; which, on ordinary occasions, carried two hundred and sixty-three pounds, exclusive of six pounds ration for the man, and twenty pounds ration for the beast. Troop horses are not altogether teetotallers. They find a wineglass of spirits in half a pint of water a very refreshing cordial. They are very fond of sweets also. In the Peninsular war, they throve remarkably well on a daily ration of eight pounds of sugar and seven pounds of hay, with no corn. When their drinking water is hard, a knob of clay mixed with it softens it.

Six horses with a nine-pounder can march four miles in one hour and a half, or sixteen miles in ten hours, allowing for periodical rests. The trot is put at the rate of seven miles, and the gallop at eleven miles an hour.

Captain Lefroy gives, in his hand Book for Field Service, some good rules for choosing a military horse, followed by useful chapters on the diseases to which he is subject, and rules of age. The latter beginning with, "As a horse never dies of old age," sounds like a cruel doom; but it is true that he generally dies by the hand of the executioner, either in the battle-field or in the knacker's yard. The formidable list of equine infirmities will remind the reader of the practical knowledge Shakespeare displays in his description of the steed rode by that mad wag, Petruchio:—"His horse hipped with am old motley saddle, the stirrups of no kindred: besides possessed with the glanders, and like to mose in the clime; troubled with the lampass, infected with the fashions, full of windgalls, sped with spavins, raled with the yellows, past cure of the fives, stark spoiled with the staggers, begnawn with the bots; swayed in the back, and shoulder-shotten."

Inferior horses are useful in the baggage-train; for which mules and oxen are also found useful; the latter, especially, for heavy draught in a rugged country. The ox is welcome for a more substantial reason, as he yields, when the time comes to cut him up, three hundred and seventy-five to five hundred rations of beef of one pound and a quarter to each man; while a sheep furnishes only forty to fifty rations. Although the camel, in a sandy soil, goes only two miles an hour, he will keep it up for twenty hours, and carry six to ten hundred-weight. Camels are important assistants in Indian warfare, and they have been found of great use in the Crimea. Cattle employed for the conveyance of baggage are technically called bat (sounded "baw") animals, just as officers' servants are styled "baw" men.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 16 January 2017

The Stock Pot (Army Cookery, 1907)
Topic: Army Rations

The Stock Pot (Army Cookery, 1907)

Instructions to Cooks, Published by Authority, Government printing Bureau, Ottawa, 1907

A stock-pot will be established to provide good soup and gravies. It consists of a cooking utensil, either a boiler or a large boiling pot, into which should be placed all available bones, &c. , such for example as are collected when the ration meat is cut up, in preparing boned and rolled meat, meat pies, meat puddings, stews and curries. This boiler should be kept gently simmering for 3 or 4 hours daily immediately before its contents are required for use. If the ration meat is properly boned it will provide soup for men of a battalion daily.

In order to ensure a constant change in the stock, and that no bones remain longer than three days in the pot, the following system should be adhered to. The bones extracted from the meat rations on the first day should be placed in a net with a tally attached before being boiled; the bones of the second and third day should be similarly treated; after the third day the bones boiled upon the first day should be removed, and similarly the bones of the subsequent days, the stock being continually replenished from day to day. The bones should always be removed from the stock before the vegetables and other ingredients are added. They should be carefully drained, placed in a dish, and kept in a cool dry place until required the following morning. Every effort should be made to reserve special boiler or boiling pots for making stock, in order that, if possible, the surplus portion of unused stock should be carried on from day to day. This process adds enormously to the strength of the soup made.

The amount of water to be added to the boiler in making stock must depend on the quantity and quality of the bones. It must be understood, that when the stock is not required for soups, gravies, &c., it should be used in preparing dishes such as curries, stews, meat and sea pies, meat puddings, etc.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 16 January 2017 12:06 AM EST
Sunday, 15 January 2017

First Days in Camp (US Army, 1917)
Topic: Drill and Training

First Days in Camp (US Army, 1917)

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 5, of 30)

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 31 August 1917

Your are naturally interested in forming some idea of the camp life of a soldier. The description which follows will help you in forming this idea. However, there will be many changes as you go along in your training.

As the men in the national army must get ready in record-breaking time, their training will be more strenuous than that of soldiers in peace. The soldier arises for the day usually at about 6 o'clock, a little earlier in the summer and a little later in winter. The buglers sound the call known as reveille. The men dress and fall in. Your first experience of military drill probably will consist of "setting-up exercises," which ordinarily occupy the first few minutes of the day. They consist of certain movements of the head, arms, trunk, and legs which are carefully designed not merely to develop your muscles, but also to increase your skill, grace, self-control and self-reliance.


In the mornings, when the bugle rings out to reveille, and you crawl out of your bunk reluctantly, possibly tired and sore from the previous day's work, you will find yourself wonderfully refreshed and cheered up by a few minutes' vigorous setting-up exercises. Watch their effort on yourself and you will see why they are so highly regarded by the most experienced soldiers of the army. It will be only a short time until you lok upon the early morning setting-up drill as one of the pleasantest features of your day. Then comes "washing up" and breakfast. Usually breakfast is followed by a half-hour for cleaning the barracks and bunks and putting clothing and bedding in order. Frequently the company commander will inspect the barracks immediately afterward to make sure that every man has attended to his part of the work. There is then often some time which the trained soldiers uses for attending to his personal needs, tidying up his clothing, and the like.

The remaining two or three hours of the morning are likely to be spent in drill—at the first in "close order" and later in "extended order" also.

During the drill there are numerous short periods of rest.

In most camps guard mounting comes about noon. This consists of relieving the men who have been guarding the camp and turning over this duty to new men. Each soldier mounts guard not oftener than once a week. After guard mounting the men go to dinner which comes at 12 o'clock. At least one hour is always allowed for dinner and rest.

Afternoon program

During the afternoons the work is likely to be varied and to include additional setting-up exercises and other drills, target practice, bayonet exercise, and later, more advanced drilling. About 5 o'clock comes the evening parade and "retreat," when the flag is lowered or furled for the night. The band plays "The Star Spangled Banner," while all officers and soldiers stand at attention. The ceremony is designed to deepen each man's respect and love for the flag which he serves. It is always impressive. After the flag is lowered it is carefully folded and escorted by the guard to headquarters, where it is kept until the next morning, when it is again raised.

Supper comes between 5 and 6 o'clock, and is usually followed by a period of rest. In the training camps there will be many opportunities for a variety of healthful amusements—for sports, music, the theater and so on, as later described. Taps are sounded by 10 o'clock. This is the signal to put out all lights, retire and keep quiet.

This is only a sample of a day in camp. One some days your company will go off on "hikes." After a time, there may be longer marches, when you will carry your shelter tents with you and will make your own camp each evening. These are days that will be especially interesting.

Your officers will ask you to do nothing that they have not many times done themselves. They will ask nothing of you which any normal, healthy man cannot do. After a month or two of this training you will find that you have begun to take on some of the skill and the self-reliance of a real soldier.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 21 December 2016 8:28 PM EST
Saturday, 14 January 2017

Canadian Soldiers Wear Many Coloured Caps (1943)
Topic: Canadian Army

Canadian Soldiers Wear Many Coloured Caps (1943)

The Shawinigan Standard, 11 August 1943

Available from Service Publications:

"The Canadian Field Service Cap", by James J. Boulton and Clive M. Law

The dress cap for the Canadian soldier "walking-out", is a dazzling attractive affair, depending on what branch of the service he is in.

To walk along any of the streets in Canadian towns and cities these days and attempt to determine what units are represented by the many-coloured caps worn by Canadian soldiers, has become a real pastime.

While it would be almost humanly impossible to remember the details of colour combinations of all of Canada's old line regiments, all such hats have a very definite design authorized by the Major-General of the Ordnance, for dress-up occasions.

Furthermore, all such caps representing a specific regiment are worn with the badge of that unit on the left side of the wedge-shaped chapeau, and regulations have it that the lower edge of the cap is to be worn above the right ear.

Much easier to remember and identify are the caps of the various Army Corps, each of whom specialize in some certain activity. The Corps of Military Staff Clerks, for instance, differs from the Canadian Forestry Corps in that the Staff Clerks' cap is all blue, with white piping along the top, front and rear seams, while the Forestry men wear an all green cap with gold piping along the top of the cap flap which encircles the cap.

The Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers have a cap of complete royal blue, with yellow worsted braid along seams of the crown, front and rear.

The Canadian Dental Corps is more complicated in colour combination. The body and crown is of emerald green, while the peak and flap is of blue, with gold braid on seams of crown and flap, and front and back seams.

The Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps is all of a deep blue shade with scarlet piping along edge of crown, and front and back seams. Scarlet worsted braid is along top of flap.

The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps cap is completely of blue with another shade of blue piping along top of the flap.

The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals cap is of midnight blue, with yellow braid on top of cap and on the flap, but not on front or rear seams.

The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps has the body and crown of dull cherry, while the peak and flap are of blue. No piping, at all.

The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps has a blue body with a primrose yellow crown. The peak and encircling flap is of blue. Primrose yellow worsted braid runs along top edge of flap.

The Canadian Provost Corps cap has a red body, crown and peak, with a dark navy blue flap. White worsted trim piping is on crown, flap and peak.

The Royal Canadian Artillery dress cap has body and crown of scarlet with blue flap and peak. Yellow piping on all seams and flap.

The Veterans Guard of Canada cap, composed of the colours of the four divisions who went overseas in the last war, has a red peak, green body, gray crown and dark blue flap.

The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps cap is a plain black beret.

Canadian Parachute "Airborne" troops wear a wine-coloured beret.

One may indeed term these boys: the "flowers of Canada's manhood!"

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 13 January 2017

Services May Get Nuclear Weapons (1961)

Services May Get Nuclear Weapons (1961)

Ottawa Citizen, 12 September 1961
By Greg Connolley, Citizen Staff Writer

Defence Minister Harkness today gave an indication that the Canadian armed forces ultimately will be armed with nuclear weapons.

"No Inferior Arms"

In a major policy address in the Commons, Mr. Harkness said the government took the position that "our forces should not be required to face a potential enemy with inferior weapons."

This required that the Canadian Forces be equipped with "comparable if not better weapons than a potential adversary."

Mr. Harkness then referred to the three weapons systems coming into service with the armed forces as all having a nuclear capability. These were the Honest John rocket launcher for the army, the Bomarc anti-aircraft weapon for the RCAF at home, and the CF-104 jet strike-attack plane for the air force in Europe.

Mr. Harkness stressed that the military role of these weapons was not to be compared with the strategic nuclear weapons maintains by the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union.

Forces Expansion

"In the event that the worst happened, these weapons would be required to provide an effective defence against Soviet aggression."

Mr. Harkness gave further details on the plan to expand the armed forces to meet the critical international situation. The army brigade in Europe will have a very substantial increase in its armored component, he reported.

The brigade would also get an immediate allocation of 1,100 men, of whom 300 would man the Honest John missile battery and operate the reconnaissance helicopters with the army formations.

The strength of the RCAF divisions in Europe was being increased by 250 men to provide an increased ratio of pilots thus expanding the operational readiness of the division.

Man All Ships

The navy would take on an extra 1,750 personnel, so that all operational ships would immediately be manned at full strength.

In the plan of national survival at home, 100,000 men would be enlisted in the reserve for special civil defence training. These men would be paid $108 a month plus subsistence allowance of $65.

Physical requirements would not be too stringent. Each special training course for these recruits would handle 25,000 men and require a training staff of 2,700 officers and NCO's.

Mr. Harkness pointed out that in the Eastern Ontario area this training would not be limited to Ottawa but would also be conducted in Cornwall, Pembroke, Kingston, Peterborough, and other centres where armories exist.

The regular forces, Mr. Harkness pointed out, would be increased under the expansion program by 1,750 personnel for the RCN, some 11,600 for the army, and 1,140 for the RCAF. This would raise the armed forces ceiling from 120,000 to 135,000 and the overall scheme, including the reserve civil defence manpower pool, would cost $35,000,000 this fiscal year.

Earlier in the Commons today Mr. Harkness disclosed that the alternative target area headquarters for Ottawa, in case of nuclear attack, would be based at Almonte. Here provincial and municipal officials would plan rescue and re-entry operations for the Capital.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 30 December 2016 6:48 PM EST
Thursday, 12 January 2017

Total Establishment of the Canadian Forces (1897)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Total Establishment of the Canadian Forces (1897)

The Daily Telegraph, Quebec, P.Q., 14 October 1897

The total establishment of the permanent force and active militia of Canada for 1897-98 is 36,188 of all ranks, and 3,551 horses, made up as follows:—

  • Permanent force,
    • Cavalry, all ranks, 145 men and 101 horses,
    • Artillery, 340 men and 78 horses,
    • Infantry, 317 men and 4 horses;

[This is] an increase over last year of two men and one horse. The cavalry is increased from 132 to 145, and the artillery and infantry reduced from 344 to 340 and 324 to 317 respectively.

  • Active militia,
    • Cavalry, all ranks, 2,383, and increase of 268,
    • horses, 2,181 instead of 1,940;
    • Artillery, 4,052 men and and 835 horses;
    • , 212, and increase of 61;
    • , 28,739 men and 352 horses, a reduction of 223 men and 3 horses.

Of the whole force the increase is 353 men and 679 horses.

The following are the changes in the 7th Military District:—

Total strength of "B" Battery is 43 officers and men, and 23 horses. A veterinary lieutenant has been added to the force, and one gunner reduced. No. 1 and 2 companies of the R.C.A. are reduced by four. While a major, a captain and an orderly room clerk have been added, a lieutenant and six gunners have been reduced, leaving the present total strength 167 officers and men, and seven horses.

The Queen's Own Canadian Hussars, which formerly consisted of two troops, is now a squadron with one major, one captain, two lieutenants, two second lieutenants, surgeon-major, veterinary lieutenant, and paymaster, the ranks of adjutant and quartermaster being absorbed, as well as several of the non-commissioned ranks, which now consists of nine instead of eleven, the reduction being in the regimental sergeant-major and troops sergeant-majors, there being but one of the latter at present.

The First Field Battery is now a six-gun battery, with a total strength of 102 men, of all ranks, instead of 79, and 49 horses instead of 29, necessitating an increase of one officer, two sergeants, two corporals, two bombardiers, two trumpeters, thirteen gunners and two drivers.

The Quebec Garrison Artillery company detached from the Levis companies, 100 strong, as follows: One major, one captain, two lieutenants, one second lieutenant, one company sergeant-major, quartermaster sergeant, four sergeants, four corporals, four bombardiers, one trumpeter, and eighty gunners.

The total rank and file of the Royal Rifles remains the same as last year, 278 men instead of 277 (the addition being a paymaster), made up of twenty-six officers, six staff-sergeants (an addition of six), eighteen corporals, six drummers or buglers, twenty-four bandsmen, and 180 privates. There is a reduction of six privates to make up for the increase of sergeants.

The strength of the Ninth Battalion is 368, same as formerly, the only change being twenty-four instead of eighteen sergeants.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 11 January 2017

System of Examination for Regimental Officers (1855)
Topic: Officers

A System of Examination for Regimental Officers

Hints on Bivouac and Camp Life; For the Guidance of Young Officers in the Halifax Garrison While Under Canvas for the Summer Months at the North West Arm, Point Pleasant, by Captain Wilford Brett, 76th Regiment, 1855

The following queries were in use in the several corps that I have commanded.

Once a month the Captain closely examined his subalterns, and reported thereon to the Major of his Wing. The Major examined the Captains of Companies; and the Adjutant severely examined the Non- Commissioned Officers of the Corps.

Monthly reports were forwarded to the Lieut. Colonel of the Regiment by the Majors of Wings, on the general efficiency of the Officers on the above information.

[His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, at his half-yearly inspections in Dublin, put somewhat similar queries to the Officers.]

Queries of Inspection Required From All Company Officers

1.     Captains.— The conditions of Enlisting money for Recruits, and apportionments thereof?

2.     State the daily Pay of all Ranks?

3.     The Annual and Biennial Clothing Return, with sums allowed for Clothing of each rank, and compensation for broken periods?

4.     The several Acts of Enlistment of the Soldier?

5.     The conditions of the Good Conduct Warrant?

6.     Name and service of the oldest and youngest Soldier in the Company?

7.     The number of Recruits joined since last Inspection?

8.     The numbers in each Company, with the ability to account for every man by name on the strength of it?

9.     The number of married men, and children?

10.     The Religion, Country, and average height of the men?

11.     The number of men drawing extra pay, with the different grades?

12.     The number of forfeitures, and for what periods

13.     Number restored since last Inspection?

14.     Define the powers of Regimental, Garrison, and General Courts Martial?

15.     Number of Courts Martial since last inspection — with the names of men in confinement, their crimes, and periods of punishment, and the date of their release?

16.     Number of desertions, and number of deserters recovered since last Inspection; with nature of punishment?

17.     Names of men in hospital, with date of Admission, and rate of Hospital Stoppages'?

18.     Weight carried in light and heavy marching order and when in the field, and weight in detail of each article?

19.     Price of rations, ditto of messing and washing. The heaviest debtor, and greatest credit the amount in Savings Bank, and the greatest creditor?

20.      What is the state of your Company's abstract with the Pay- Master?

21.     The time necessary for pitching and striking the Tents of a Company, with the number of men for each Tent?

22.     Price of necessaries in detail?

23.     The number of men for every 100 tons of Transport, with the warrant for Officers Messing?

24.     The provisions of the Treasury Warrant, regulating the daily rations and messing for Soldiers on board ship?

25.     Explain to your Company pitching and striking Tents in detail?

26.     Explain, tell off, and fight an "Advance" and "Rear Guard" on meeting an enemy?

27.     Define the powers of punishment of a Commanding Officer irrespective of Courts Martial.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Soldiers Test New Combat Rations
Topic: Army Rations

Soldiers Test New Combat Rations

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 17 June 1960

Canberra, Thursday.—Eighty Australian soldiers are testing new lightweight combat rations to replace the old wartime rations of bully beef and biscuits.

The 10-day trial is taking place under battle conditions at Holdsworthy, N.S.W., and is the first since a 10-man food pack was tested in Malaya three years ago.

The experimental ration pack consists of partly-cooked foods in plastic bags. Each pack weighs 2 lb. and is shaped to fit easily into a pocket.

The men have been split up into two platoons of 40 each. One platoon will eat normal field rations and the other will live entirely on the new lightweight pack.

The aim of the tests is to discover whether the new food pack I nutritious, appetising and serviceable.

Here is a typical day's diet for the troops testing the new ration pack, which has been made possible by new food processing developments:—

Breakfast: Biscuits and jam, a cereal and instant spaghetti and tomatoes.

Lunch: Biscuits, jam and tea.

Evening Meal: meat, potatoes, cabbage or carrots, and instant pudding of chocolate and nuts, tea, biscuits and jam.

During the patrol, the troops will eat chocolate and sweets between meals.

The contents of the packs have been partly cooked and compressed and require only the addition of boiling water to prepare a meal.

The soldiers taking part in the tests were medically examined and weighed before the trial began and will be checked again when it ends of June 24.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 9 January 2017

Getting Ready for Camp (US Army, 1917)
Topic: Drill and Training

Getting Ready for Camp (US Army, 1917)

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 4, of 30)

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 30 August 1917

Your real training for duties as a soldier will begin after you and your comrades are assembled at the training camps. However, there are a few simple things you can do during the next few weeks which will be of decided value in getting you started along the right lines.

The simplest thing, and perhaps the most useful of all, is to begin at once to practice correct habits of standing and walking. For a soldier must always be strongly marked by his snap, his precision, and his vigor. He can not have these unless he carries himself like a soldier.

The Bearing of a Soldier

Few people without military training have a correct idea of what is meant by the position and the bearing of a soldier. They are apt to imagine that it means a strut or an extremely strained attitude. Or, more frequently, they think that the term can properly be applied to any erect position.

It will be well for you to memorize paragraph 51 of the infantry drill regulations, which gives the complete and accurate description of the position of the soldier. This paragraph is slightly paraphrased and simplified in the description following: Keep in mind that there are ten elements which must be properly adjusted to each other, and check yourself up to see that each one of them is properly placed.

1.     Heels—on the same line, and as near each other as possible; most men should be able to stand with heels touching each other.

2.     Feet—turned out equally and forming an angle of about 45 degrees.

3.     Knees—straight without stiffness.

4.     Hips—level and drawn back slightly; body erect and resting equally on hips.

5.     Chest—lifted and arched.

6.     Shoulders—square and falling equally.

7.     Arms—hanging naturally.

8.     Hands—hanging naturally, thumb along the seam of the trousers.

9.     Head—erect and squarely to the front; chin drawn in so that axis of head and neck is vertical (that means a straight line drawn through the centre of head and neck should be vertical), eyes straight to the front.

10.     Entire body—weight of body resting equally upon the heels and balls of the feet.

Note especially that you are not required to stand in a strained attitude. You are to be alert but not tense.

One of the best things you can do today is to spend 15 minutes practicing this position, getting it right. Keep this up every day until you report at camp.

Making Yourself "Fit"

If you can devote part of your time between now and the opening of camp to physical exercise you are fortunate and should by all means take advantage of every opportunity. Climbing, jumping, gymnastic exercises, all kinds of competitive games, swimming, rowing, boxing, wrestling and running are all recommended as excellent methods of developing the skill, strength, endurance, grace, courage and self-reliance that every soldier needs.

There are some simple rules of eating and living which all of us should follow regularly. They will be especially helpful to you if you put them into practice in preparing for camp life.

Perhaps the most important of these rules is to use no alcohol of any kind.

If you have been in the habit of smoking immoderately, cut down; get your wind, your nerves and your digestion into the best possible condition.

Eat and drink moderately. Chew your food well. It is advisable, however, to drink a great deal of cool (not cold) water between meals. Don't eat between meals.

Keep away from soda fountains and soft drink stands. Learn to enjoy simple, nourishing food.

Accustom yourself to regular hours for sleeping eating and the morning functions.

elipsis graphic

You will find nothing required of you in the army that is beyond the powers of the every-day American. You will see clearly ahead of you, after you have read this course, the path which you are to follow. Look forward with confidence. Enter the service with firm determination of doing your best at all times, of playing square with your superiors, your associates, and yourself, and of taking care always of your assigned duties whatever may happen.

You will find that everyone else will treat you with courtesy and fairness—for that is the inflexible rule of the army. Out of that rule grows the comradeship and the attractiveness, even in the face of all dangers and hardships, that are characteristic of American army life.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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