The Minute Book
Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Command and Rank of Officers (1859)
Topic: Officers

Command and Rank of Officers (1859)

The Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, Horse-Guards, 1st December, 1859

1.     All commands belong to the senior officers, whether of cavalry, artillery, engineers, infantry, or marines. In case two commissions of the same date interfere, a retrospect is to be had to former commissions.

2.     When regiments or detachments are united, whether in camp, garrison, or quarters, the senior officer, either by brevet or otherwise, is to command the whole.

3.     Officers serving on the staff in the capacity of Brigadier-Generals are to take rank and precedence from their commissions as Colonels in the army, not from the dates of their appointments as Brigadiers.

4.     Officers who obtained the rank of Colonel prior to the 20th June 1854, are not to be included in the roster of field officers,—a distinct duty will generally be assigned to them as Colonels; but Colonels promoted on, and subsequent to that day, will continue to do duty as field officers until after five years from the dates of their commissions as Colonels.

5.     Captains having the brevet rank of field officers are to do duty as field officers in camp and garrison but they are to perform all regimental duties according to their regimental rank. Officers employed as Brigade Majors, if of the rank of Captain, are to take rank and precedence next after regimental field officers in the brigade or garrison in which they are serving.

6.     Officers employed as Town or Fort Majors, if under the rank of Captains, are to take rank and precedence as the junior Captains in the garrison in which they are serving.

7.     Second Lieutenants take rank of Cornets and Ensigns.

8.     Officers relinquishing their regimental commissions are not to be considered as retaining any rank in the service either from them or from any brevet commission they may have held, except in cases which may be exempted from this regulation by the Sovereign's especial authority.

9.     Field officers who have retired from the service by the sale of their commissions, and are desirous of having their names restored to, and retained in the Army List in italics, are, in their applications to the Military Secretary for this privilege, to state the date of their retirement, and that of their last commission, brevet as well as regimental.

10.     Officers of Her Majesty's Indian Forces, whose commissions are signed by authorities duly deputed to do so by Her Majesty, have rank and precedence with officers of the regular army, according to the dates of their commissions, in all parts of Her Majesty's dominions and elsewhere.

11.     When officers, having permanent rank, serve with those who have only temporary rank, and their commissions are of the same date, the officers having permanent rank take precedence of those having temporary rank.

12.     The following are the rules by which the relative rank of the officers of the regular forces, marines, militia, yeomanry cavalry, and volunteer corps, is to be determined:

1.     Officers of the regular and marine forces command the officers of equal degree belonging to other branches of the military service.

2.     Officers of fencible and militia regiments rank together according to the dates of their respective commissions.

3.     Officers of militia, having also rank in the regular service, are not permitted, whilst serving in the militia, to avail themselves of any other rank than that which they hold by virtue of their militia commissions.

4.     Field officers of the regular, marine, fencible, and militia forces, take rank above all officers of yeomanry and volunteer corps; captains, subalterns, and staff officers of yeomanry and volunteers corps, rank as juniors of their respective ranks, with officers of the regular, fencible, and militia forces.

13.     Corporals of the regiments of Life-Guards, and of the Royal regiment of Horse-Guards, rank with Serjeants of cavalry and infantry.

14.     Bombardiers of the Royal regiment of artillery, and 2nd corporals of the Royal engineers, rank as corporals of cavalry and infantry; corporals of the Royal artillery and Royal engineers take precedence with corporals of cavalry and infantry according to the date of their appointment as bombardiers, or 2nd corporals.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Unionizing of Military Bands (1909)
Topic: Martial Music

Unionizing of Military Bands (1909)

Following are a newspaper article on the effects of militia bands following union rules to refuse to play alongside other military bands and the resulting General Order.

elipsis graphic

Against Unionizing the Military Bands

Minister of Militia Does Not See Why the Military Bands Should Obey the Dictates of an American Union

Dawson Daily News, Dawson, Yukon Territory, 10 June 1909

Toronto, May 28.—A drastic order regarding union musicians in military bands will, it is understood, be issued shortly by the minister of militia and will affect both the G.G.F.G. and the 43rd D.C.O.R. bands. It will provide that military bands are not to be unionized; if they are, that they must not accept outside engagements.

For many moons there has been discord in Ottawa musical circles over the American Federation of Musicians. At first neither of the two military bands were unionized, but after a long agitation both joined the union. Since then there has been more or less friction and on several occasions trouble has resulted in getting music for the exhibition and other functions owing to the union rules. The matter has again come to a climax through a state of affairs in Toronto in connection with the music for the Toronto exhibition.

The adjutant general, in an interview with the Evening Citizen, said that it had come to his ears, unofficially, that the Toronto exhibition people had engaged the band of the Royal Canadian Regiment at Halifax to play at the exhibition. Thereupon all the regimental bands of the Toronto militia refuse to play because the band of the permanent force did not belong to the American Federation of musicians. The affair, he said, would certainly be taken up by the minister of militia when it had been reported on officially, as it would be. The idea that one band of his majesty's army refuses to play with another band of the same army because an American union orders it, was certainly something which should be looked into and action taken regarding it.

It is understood that as a result the music supplied at the Toronto exhibition will be from the permanent forces at Halifax, Quebec and Kingston.

elipsis graphic

General Orders, 1910

Headquarters, Ottawa, 1st April, 1910

G.O. 31—Instructions; Discipline, Member of Military Bands

The attention of the Department of Militia and Defence has been called to the fact that in certain instances, military bandsmen have refused to take part in engagements with members of other military bands solely for the reason that they are not members of a recognized union of musicians. While the department does not intend to interfere in any way with the right of militiamen to join Unions, yet as such bandsmen are provided with uniforms, quarters, light and heat, and, in addition, grants of money from public funds are made to military bands, it is not considered in the interests of the discipline of the force that military bandsmen, while in uniform, should be permitted to act in an unmilitary and improper manner.

No exception is to be taken on the score of membership or non-membership of military bandsmen in any union or society, and no discrimination shall be made in consequence of such membership or non-membership, provided that such membership or non-membership is not allowed to interfere with the performance of military duties; or to prevent bandsmen, when in the uniform of their corps, taking part in public or private engagements with other members of the militia in uniform, whether they are or are not members of any like union or society.

A man who disobeys this regulation is not to be permitted to serve as a bandsman, but must perform his military service in the ranks of his corps.

The allowance mentioned in Article 301, Pay and Allowance Regulations, shall not be paid to, or on account of, any band the members of which raise any objection to playing, when in uniform, with non-union members of the corps.

Commanding officers will be held responsible that this regulation is read to members of their units before they are detailed as bandsmen.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 13 March 2017

Duties of Officers (1897)
Topic: Officers

Militia General Orders

Ottawa, 1st July, 1897


Duties of Officers

It has come to the notice of the General Officer Commanding that in some Corps of Active Militia Officers generally have not always accorded their Commanding Officers that support and assistance to which they are entitled both by Regulation and well established customs of the service, and the General Officer Commanding wishes it to be understood that should he observe a continuance of such a state of affairs in any corps it would be his unpleasant duty to take such steps as will ensure the support of regimental officers being loyally accorded to the fullest extent on all occasions to regimental Commanding Officers.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 12 March 2017

Trafficking by NCOs of the Permanent Force
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia General Orders

Ottawa, 18th March, 1894

General Order No. 16

Trafficking by NCOs of the Permanent Force Forbidden

1.     The Major General has observed that the practice has grown up at several permanent stations of allowing N.C. Officers to act as purveyors of various articles for the use of soldiers, and that stoppages are made from the soldiers' pay in respect of arcticles furnished by them or through such N.C. Officers.

2.     This practice tends towards very serious abuses and irregularities. All trafficking by N.C. Officers is therefore strictly forbidden.

3.     Commanding Officers are required to exercise a constant supervision over the charges made against soldiers' pay in the Monthly Pay Sheet, and to limit such charges strictly to those permitted by Regulation, or by special authority of the Major General Commanding.

4.     A return will be sent to the Assistant Adjutant General at Headquarters, on the last day of each month, showing the average decustion made from the pay of each rank in respect of:—

(a.)     Regimental charges.

(b.)     Stoppages credited to the public.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 11 March 2017

Medals; QRO 1859
Topic: Medals

Medals; QRO 1859

The Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, Horse-Guards, 1st December, 1859

Medal with Annuity.

1.     A silver medal and an annuity are granted, as a reward for "distinguished or meritorious service," to Serjeants, either while serving, or after discharge, (such discharge not being anterior to the 19th December 1845,) with or without pension, and which may be held during service, and together with pension; the annuity is not liable to forfeiture except by sentence of court-martial, or by conviction of felony by a court of Civil Judicature. The name of the Serjeant, the number of his regiment, and the date of grant, are to be engraved on the side of the medal, which also bears the words "For meritorious Service."

2.     Commanding officers of regiments are to address their recommendations for this honorable distinction to the Military Secretary, transmitting at the same time descriptive returns and records of services of the Serjeants they select.

Medal with Gratuity.

3.     A silver medal and a gratuity are granted, under the provisions of the Royal Warrants, to non-commissioned officers and soldiers for "Long service and good conduct;" the rank and name, and the date of grant, will be engraved on the medal at the public expense. A medal and gratuity were also, during the Crimean War, granted for Distinguished Conduct in the Field.

4.     On all occasions in which commanding officers of regiments recommend soldiers for the Medal and Gratuity for Good Conduct,—which should be done as soon as practicable after the completion of the required term of service, viz., in the artillery, engineers, and infantry, eighteen years, and in the cavalry twenty-one years,—they are to transmit to the Adjutant-General a return of each individual so recommended, according to the form prescribed in page 195; care being taken to state accurately in this return where the soldier recommended is serving; and should he have been tried in the early part of his career, although not within the last eighteen years in the infantry, and twenty-one in the cavalry, a copy of the charge, finding, and sentence is to accompany the return. When the regiment is abroad, in order that the gratuity may be invested as the circumstances require, it must be stated whether the recipient will be sent to England as an invalid or otherwise, within such a period as to preclude the possibility of his wearing the decoration with the service companies. Under special circumstances, pensioners may be recommended by their former commanding officers for this distinction, but they are eligible only for the year in which they were discharged, and the application must be made within three years from the date of their quitting the service.

5.     In cases where the recommendation is made by the officer commanding the depot of a regiment, he is to state in his letter, inclosing the return, that he has communicated with, and obtained the concurrence of, the officer commanding the regiment.

6.     The grant of this distinction is to be announced in regimental orders, to the end that every man who obtains it may be held up as an object of respect and emulation to the non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the regiment in which he has served, and the Medal is to be delivered by the commanding officer of the regiment to the soldier on parade, and is to be worn by him as an honorable testimonial of his Sovereign's approbation of his conduct.

7.     A Serjeant on becoming an Annuitant will in all cases be required to relinquish the Gratuity of which he may be in possession, making a declaration in writing that he does so voluntarily. The Medal inscribed for "Meritorious Service" cannot be held together with that for "Good Conduct and Long Service but the latter must be surrendered on receipt of the former. Neither can two Medals for "Distinguished Conduct'' be held by the same individual, but a Serjeant on becoming an Annuitant must relinquish one of them. An Annuitant may, however, hold the "Meritorious Service " Medal, or that for “Good Conduct and Long Service," together with the Medal for "Distinguished Conduct in the Field."

8.     Commanding Officers are at liberty to recommend the re-appropriation of a relinquished Gratuity to any other deserving Soldier or Soldiers, provided they shall have been serving in the year for which the Gratuity was originally awarded, and shall have fulfilled the required conditions as to service and character in that year.

Forfeited Medals

9.     Medals granted for service in the Field, as well as Medals and Gratuities, and Medals and Annuities, for Good Conduct, are forfeited by soldiers on conviction of desertion or felony,—on being sentenced to penal servitude,—or on discharge with ignominy. They are also liable to forfeiture by sentence of court-martial, on conviction of disgraceful conduct, or, in case of Serjeants, on reduction to the ranks. Medals thus forfeited are to be transmitted to the Adjutant-General, for the purpose of being returned to the Mint.

Medals designedly made away with.

10.     Medals are to be shown at the weekly inspection of necessaries, when officers commanding companies are to ascertain that they are the property of the men showing them:—when a man is unable to produce his medal, a Board, consisting of one captain and two subalterns, is to inquire into and record the cause of the loss. If the Board be of opinion that the man has designedly made away with or pawned his medal, he is to be tried by court-martial and, if convicted, put under stoppages, and the amount is to be credited to the public. After five years' absence from the regimental defaulters' book the offender may be recommended to the Commander-in-Chief for a new medal, on again paying the value thereof.

Replacement of lost Medals.

11.     If the loss be proved to have occurred from carelessness or neglect, the loser may be recommended to the Commander-in-Chief for a new medal, at his own expense, after two years' absence from the regimental defaulters' book.

12.     If the loss be accidental the loser may be recommended at once for a new medal, either at his own expense or that of the public, according to the circumstances of the case; it being understood that, in order to justify the replacement of a medal at the public expense, the loss must be proved to have occurred on duty, by some accident entirely beyond the control of the loser; in all other cases, such as the loss of a medal cut from a tunic or stolen from a soldier's person, the loser must pay for it himself

13.     The Board is invariably to call for evidence as to the character of soldiers who lose their medals, and when no testimony regarding the loss is produced beyond the beyond the loser's own assertion, the Board, except under very special circumstances, which it will record in its finding, is to deal with the case as if it were proved that the loss occurred from neglect.

14.     When the Board recommends a medal to be replaced at once, the proceedings in original, prepared on a separate sheet in each case (unless the circumstances attending the loss be actually the same in each), are to be transmitted in a letter, with the prescribed Form of Return giving a description of the medal, and its various clasps, if any.

15.     When the Board does not recommend a medal to be replaced at once, the proceedings are not to be forwarded to head-quarters until the prescribed time has elapsed, according to the regulations above given for making the application.

16.     In cases in which the clasps are not lost they are to be transmitted to the Adjutant-General, to be attached to the new medal.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 10 March 2017

A Soldier's Trial and Execution, 1833
Topic: Discipline

A Soldier's Trial and Execution, 1833

Lancaster Assizes, August 16.

Glasgow Herald, 26 August 1833

John Roach, aged 34, was indicted for the wilful murder of Daniel Maggs, in the Regent Barracks, Salford.

Mr. Armstrong stated the case to the jury.

The first witness called was Hugh Brown, a private in the 85th Regiment, to which the deceased (Corporal Maggs) and the prisoner belonged. He stated that on the morning of the 24th of April Roach entered the barrack room in Salford, with his musket in his hand, and said "Corporal Maggs, I thank you for what you have done to me." Maggs replied, "John, it is your own fault." Roach then leveled his musket, and discharged its contents into the body of Maggs, who staggered a few yards and fell down into the passage. The prisoner had been on the escort the preceding night, accompanied by the corporal, and had been placed for his misconduct in the guard-room. He raised the firelock in great haste just after the words had occurred between them.

Thoman Lyons, another private in the same Regiment, deposed that Roach had been confined in the guard-house on the night before the murder; that he heard the report of the musket, and went into the room where it had been fired; that he met the prisoner coming out quite dejected; that he soon afterwards met Maggs, whose hand was placed on his side, and who, after saying "My God!" fell down on the floor, and in a few minutes afterwards died at the hospital.

William Hargreaves, another private, stated that he was one of the escort with Corporal Maggs, on the 20th of April. They reached Warrington on Saturday, and on the following morning they left Warrington, and breakfasted at a public house on the road. Witness stood as sentinel in the passage leading to the front door, and Roach and Maggs were with the deserter in the house, with many of the prisoner's friends. Roach requested the corporal to take off the handcuffs for the deserter, and said it was "damned cowardly treatment to keep on the handcuffs while the deserter took his breakfast." Maggs refused to do so, and said if he did not hold his tongue he would report him to the commanding officer. A further altercation occurred between them. The escort arrived at Liverpool the same day; the deserter was lodged in gaol; and the soldiers drew the charges from their muskets. On the 23rd of April they returned to Manchester, and on their arrival at the barracks Roach was placed by Maggs in the guard-room.

John Brown, a private in the regiment, deposed that on the morning of the murder he found a bullet, which after passing through the body of the corporal penetrated a lath and plaster wall, and then dropped to the floor.

Mr. John Boutflower, surgeon, stated that he examined the body of the deceased on the evening of the 24th of April; that a little below the right breast he observed a wound sufficiently large to admit three fingers; two or three of the ribs were fractured; and a smaller wound was found in the back, a little below the shoulder blade. He afterwards opened the chest, and found a wound, such as a gun-shot wound; the right lung was nearly torn up, and the effusion of blood on the chest was the cause of the corporal's death.

The prisoner having been called upon for his defence, said. "I was carried away in a moment of passion, but I had no intention, when I discharged the piece, of destroying the man. I am sorry for what I have done, and the action has cost me many a tear of repentance. I hope that Almighty God will look upon me as a penitent, and pardon me for what I have done."

The prisoner called Captain William Hunter, the commander of the company in which he had served, who characterized the prisoner as a humane and steady man.

The Jury, after a few minutes consultation, pronounced a verdict of guilty.

The Judge then, in a solemn and impressive manner, passed the awful sentence of law upon the prisoner, directing him to be executed on Monday next.

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John Roach, the soldier, who was tried on Friday last for the wilful murder of Corporal Maggs, in the barracks at Manchester, under the circumstances detailed in the report of the trial, was executed on Monday morning, pursuant to his sentence, on a gallows erected behind the Castle. In the interval between the sentence and its execution, the unfortunate man, who is a native of Ireland, and a member of the Roman Catholic religion, was attended by the Rev. Mr. Brown, the resident priest at Lancaster, and we understand exhibited every mark of deep contrition and repentance for his crime, and of resignation to his untimely fate, the justice of which he fully acknowledged. The same propriety of behaviour which marked his conduct during the progress of the trial and afterwards, has, we believe, been manifested by him ever since his committal to gaol, being deeply sensible throughout of the enormity of his offence, and conscious that his own life must make atonement for it. It was generally expected that he would plead guilty; he was however induced to stand trial, though it was manifest during the whole course of it that he entertained little or no hope of escape.

At eight o'clock on Monday morning the prisoner was brought out for execution. He walked out with a quick and firm step, hardly glancing at the assembled crowd, and placed himself under the drop, with his back to the people. The executioner having put his cap upon his head, and adjusted the fatal rope, the burial service of the Catholic Church was read by the Rev. Mr. Brown, who kneeled down at the verge of the gallows. During this awful interval the prisoner stood firmly, though, as upon the trial, a convulsive twitching of the head and arms manifested the struggle that was going on within. The service being concluded, the bolt was drawn and the prisoner was launched into eternity. He did not appear to struggle much. After hanging the usual time the body was taken down and placed in a shell, to be interred within the limits of the gaol, pursuant to his sentence. There were about 2000 persons present, of whom a great portion were boys and girls belonging to the factories, who had been liberated a quarter of an hour sooner than usual in order to allow them an opportunity of witnessing the execution.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 10 March 2017 12:03 AM EST
Thursday, 9 March 2017

Military Notes: CASC Officers (1906)
Topic: Officers

Military Notes: CASC Officers (1906)

The Quebec Saturday Budget, 6 January 1906

A departmental regulation says that the Canadian Army Service Corps (permanent unit) being a combatant corps, its officers will hold the usual ranks and titles of combatant officers, but their command and authority will not extend outside the Canadian Army Service Corps until such time as they have qualified as follows: To be entitled to exercise as the senior officer present, the command of troops of other corps in the field, an officer must hold the same qualifications in the Canadian Army Service Corps (permanent unit) as are required for officers of corresponding ranks in the then combatant branches as laid down in King's regulations for the Army, 1904.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2017 11:35 AM EST
Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Colours of Regiments of Infantry (1859)
Topic: Militaria

Colours of Regiments of Infantry

The Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, Horse-Guards, 1st December, 1859

1.     The Royal, or first, colour of every regiment is to be the Great Union throughout,—being the Imperial Colour of the United Kingdom of of Great Britain and Ireland, in which the Cross of St. George is conjoined with the Crosses of St. Andrew and St. Patrick, on a blue field,—and is to bear in the centre the Imperial Crown, and the number of the regiment underneath in gold Roman characters.

2.     The regimental, or second, colour is to be of the colour of the facing of the regiment, with the Union in the upper canton, except those regiments which are faced with red, white, or black; in those regiments which are faced with red, or white, the second colour is to be the Red Cross of St. George in a White Field, and the Union in the upper canton. In those regiments which are faced with black, the second colour is to be St. George's Cross the Union in the upper canton; the three other cantons black. The number of the regiment is to be embroidered in gold Roman characters in the centre.

3.     Those regiments which bear a royal, county, or other title are to have such designation on a red ground round a circle within the Union-wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks. The number of the regiment in gold Roman characters in the centre.

4.     In those regiments which bear any ancient badge, the badge is to be on a red ground in the centre, and the number of the regiment in gold Roman characters underneath. The Royal, or other title, to be inscribed on a circle within the Union-wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks.

5.     The regimental, or second, colour is also to bear the devices, distinctions, and mottos, which have been conferred by Royal authority; the whole to be ensigned with the Imperial Crown. Second battalions carry the same colours as first battalions, with the addition of "II BATT." on a scroll below the Union-wreath.

6.     The colours are to be of silk; the dimensions to be four feet flying, and three feet six inches deep on the pike, exclusive of the fringe:—the length of the pike (spear and ferrel included) to be nine feet ten inches: the cords and tassels of the whole to be crimson and gold mixed.

7.     No addition or alteration is to be made in the colours of any regiment of infantry without Her Majesty's special permission and authority, signified through the Commander-in-Chief of the army.

8.     The camp-colours to be eighteen inches square, and of the colour of the facing of the regiment, with the number of the regiment upon them. The poles to be seven feet six inches long.

9.     The following table shows the required proportion of camp-colours and pace- sticks for a regiment of infantry, as also the manner in which they are to be provided:—

Articles Price. Length of Time to last. No. of Articles required. Out of What Fund to be paid. Remarks.
s.   d.Years
Pace Stick7   6101712 by Captains of Companies.

5 out of Postage and Stationery Allowance.
1 for each Company.

4 for Drill Sergeant and his Aids.
1 for the Sergeant-Major.
A Camp-Colour5   058Postage and Stationery Allowance.The Bunting to be renewed when required.
A Saluting-Colour5   051Ditto
Adjutant's Aid2   054Ditto
Time Preceptor and PendulumConsidered unnecessary, and cannot, therefore, be admitted as a charge against the Fund mentioned,— a Plummet and String being deemed sufficient. 

10.     The saluting-colour to be an ordinary camp-colour, to be distinguished only from the other camp-colours by a transverse red cross; when the facings are red, by a transverse blue cross. The flags of battalion aids are to be 33 inches in the pole, including the bunting, which is to be of the same size as that of the camp-colour. The flags are to be carried in the hand, and, when elevated, placed on the muzzle of the fire lock.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Getting Ahead in the Army (1917)
Topic: Drill and Training

Getting Ahead in the Army

Home Lessons for New Army Men (Lesson No. 20, of 30)

The first rank above private is corporal. The corporal should be a real leader.

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 20 September 1917

Since regimental and company officers have full responsibility for the efficiency of their teams they are given corresponding authority in promoting men from the ranks to positions as noncommissioned officers. For all practical purposes their judgment as to the men under them is regarded as final.

One point as to which you may feel assured is the earnest desire of every officer to give promotion to the men who are best qualified—in other words, to select the men who have cultivated the soldierly qualities and in addition show capacity for further development and leadership. For the officers' own burdens are lightened and their success increased almost in direct proportion to their ability to promote the right men.

Chances for Promotion Good

The first rank above private is corporal. The corporal should be a real leader. He is expected to be more familiar with the various manuals amd regulations and with the duties of the men in the squad than are the men themselves. He is expected also to use his influence strongly toward building up soldierly qualities among these men.

Among the qualifications which all noncommissioned officers should possess the following have been selected by one military writer as being of first importance:

1.     Proficiency as guides in close order drills, and particularly as column leaders in route marching.

2.     Aggressive leadership, especially in drilling, marching and fighting.

3.     Ability to act as instructors.

4.     Thorough knowledge of the elements of field service.

5.     Thorough knowledge of interior guard duty.

6.     Skill in range finding and in estimating distances, so as to assist men in firing accurately.

7.     Proficiency in leading patrols.

8.     Ability to prepare written messages that are clear, complete and concise.

9.     Ability to sketch and read maps.

This list will suggest some of the lines along which you should work, whenever you have the chance. Many of the noncommissioned officers in the national army will be chosen, not only because of the knowledge or skill they already possess, but also because they show capacity for further development and for leadership.

The national army must fit itself for effective service at the front in the shortest possible time. To accomplish this result it must produce out of its own ranks men who are fitted for promotion first to places of noncommissioned officers, either in the first contingent or more probably in later contingents.

This need is your opportunity. It is an opportunity not merely for personal advancement—which in time of war is a small thing to work for—but more than that, an opportunity to render to your country the most effective service of which you are capable.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 18 December 2016 4:20 PM EST
Monday, 6 March 2017

Canadian Regiment for Halifax Garrison (1900)
Topic: The RCR

Canadian Regiment for Halifax Garrison

Details of Formation of Canadian Regiment
To Replace Regulars
Four Companies to Concentrate here—Lt.-Col. Vidal in Command

The Citizen, Ottawa, Ont., 6 March 1900

A militia order has just been approved by the department providing for the formation of a battalion to take the place of the regular [British] garrison at Halifax. The order is as follows:

"The formation of a provisional battalion of infantry from the active militia (the permanent corps, cavalry and afield artillery, and the active militia of the city of Halifax, which is already allotted to the defence of Halifax in the Imperial defence scheme excepted), is authorized to replace, temporarily, the First Battalion, Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), at Halifax, N.S.

"The establishment of this battalion is as follows: One lieutenant-colonel, two majors, one adjutant, eight captains, eight lieutenants, eight second lieutenants, one quartermaster, total officers, 29; one regimental sergeant-major, one regimental quartermaster-sergeant, five staff sergeants, eight color sergeants, thirty-two sergeants, total sergeants of the regimental staff and sergeants, 47; 49 corporals, 16 drummers and buglers, 872 privates, total rank and file, 928, or a total of 1,004 of all ranks.

The Qualifications

"The qualifications for enrolment are:

"Age, between 18 and 45 years, chest measurement, minimum of 34 inches, height, minimum 5 feet 5 inches, to be unmarried.

"To pass the medical examination required for enrolment in the permanent corps of Canada.

"To be enrolled in a corps of the active militia, within the limits laid down in paragraph 1 of this order, and to have performed at least one annual training.

"Men not enrolled in the active militia but who have previously belonged to it and have performed annual training are eligible, provided they first enrol in a corps of the active militia within the limits above laid down and are carried on the strength of such corps.

"Officers, non-commissioned officers and men while serving in this battalion will be considered and returned as "on command" of the respective corps.

"Officers, non-commissioned officers and men serving in this corps will be paid the rates of pay and allowances provided for the active militia, which they will draw, in the case of officers, from the date on which they report for duty, and in the case of non-commissioned officers and men, from the date of enlistment.

Where They Will Be Raised

"Companies will be formed as follows:

"A—Right half from military district No. 11 at Victoria. Left half from military district No. 10 at Winnipeg.

"B—Military district No. 1, at London.

"C—Military district No. 2, at Toronto.

"D—Right half from military districts Nos. 3 and 4, at Kingston. Left half from the Ottawa brigade.

"E—Military district No. 5, at Montreal.

"F—Right half from military district No. 6 at St. John's, Que. Left half from military district No. 7 at Quebec.

"G—Three sections from military district No. 8 at St. John N.B. One section from military district No. 12, at Charlottetown, P.E.I.

"H—Military district No. 9, at Halifax.

"Companies will be formed of four sections of thirty men each.

District officers commanding will apportion the number to be enrolled from their district among the corps entitled to furnish men according to the strength of such corps. In the event of any of the number apportioned to their corps failing to contribute its quota the deficiency will be made up from corps having men to excess.

Three Years' Enlistment

"The men are to be enlisted in the corps to which they belong (militia form C. 1) for a period of three years, and enrolled in the provisional battalion by officer commanding districts for general service for a period not exceeding one year.

"The medical inspection will be at points of concentration of companies, and performed by the medical officers attached to permanent units, or where there are no such officers, by a medical officer belonging to the active militia, selected by the district officer commanding (militia form B. 4, embodies medical certificate). In the latter case, upon the completion of the enrolling, a statement of the number of men examined will be forwarded to chief staff officer, headquarters, Ottawa, certified to by the district officer commanding, for payment of remuneration.

"Distruict officers commanding will provide the recommendation required for the medical examination, and for the necessary clerical work, in his office, the drill hall, or elsewhere. He will also provide the necessary stationery, and if necessary, procure additional clerical assistance.

"All men will be enrolled as privates. Officers commanding companies may make temporary appointments of non-commissioned officers pending approval of the commanding officer.

During Formation

"The administration of companies during formation will be as follows:

(a)     "The companies during formation will be under command of the district officer commanding, but the officers commanding may correspond direct with the officer commanding the regiment respecting all regimental matters.

(b)     "At stations where units of the permanent force are quartered, the companies will be attached to such units for discipline, rations and accommodation. Blankets may be drawn from store, also barrack furniture.

"At other stations district officers commanding will act on their judgment. The men will either be accommodated in drill halls or other buildings, and a contract entered into for their rations at a rate not exceeding 20 cents per meal.

"Men enrolled will be kept at the enrolling centers until the company is complete, unless otherwise ordered. District officers commanding will immediately report to chief staff officer, headquarters, Ottawa, when the companies are complete, if it becomes apparent to them that the quota from their district will not be enrolled in time to proceed to place of concentration by the date hereinafter stated.

"An imprest of $200 is forwarded to district officers commanding, out of which they will pay all expenses incurred by these instructions, furnishing afterwards receipts in duplicate. They may request a further advance when needed, and will be held responsible that due economy is exercised, but they will carry out the enrolment, accommodation and rationing without incurring delay by asking for approval of their arrangements.


"Companies B, C and D will be concentrated at Ottawa not later than Thursday the 15th instant, and A company by Thursday the 22nd instant. E and F companies will be concentrated at Quebec City not later than Friday the 16th instant and G and H at Halifax by Saturday the 17th instant.

"District officers commanding will warn the officer commanding the regiment at Ottawa, and district officers commanding concerned, in order that the necessary preparations may be made before the arrival of the troops.

"The troops will be clothed and equipped at points of concentration.

"Companies B to F will be concentrated by orders from headquarters at Halifax by Thursday the 22nd instant.

"The regimental staff will be formed at Ottawa by Lieut.-Colonel B.H. Vidal, who will temporarily assume command of the battalion.

"Company officers will see that men to act as their servants are included among those enrolled in their company."

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 5 March 2017

His Food and Drink (India, 1859)
Topic: Army Rations

His Food and Drink (India, 1859)

The British Soldier in India, Fred. J. Mouat, M.D., F.R.C.S., Surgeon, H.M.'s Bengal Army, 1859

Fighting needs a full stomach, and the training in peace should always be subservient to the purposes of war, as mentioned above.

Most Europeans in the tropics, in easy circumstances, consume more animal food and stimulant beverages than is good for them. The soldier in particular, except in the field, eats too much meat, drinks more of strong liquors than his system can dispose of with impunity, and takes too little exercise to ward off the effects of his stimulant dietary. The result is that he attains the condition of a Strasburg goose, of which disease and death are the penalty.

Mr. Macnamara in India, and Mr. Gant in England, have shown that the results of the over-feeding of men and cattle are nearly identical. The excess of carbon is not consumed, and being deposited in the form of fat in the liver, kidneys, heart, and muscular tissue, proves rapidly destructive.

In 1853 the rations of the European soldiery in India were fixed at:—

  • Bread, 1 pound
  • Meat, 1 pound
  • Vegetables, 1 pound
  • Rice, 4 ounces
  • Sugar, 2 1/2 ounces
  • Coffee, 1 3/7 ounces
  • Or Tea, 0 5/7 ounces
  • Salt, 1 ounce
  • Firewood, 3 pounds.

The meat is usually beef. Mutton is given twice a week when procurable, and to it the soldier himself adds bazaar pork.

The daily allowance of food thus consumed is more than double the amount issued in the Royal Navy, where the greater part of the life of the individual is spent in the open air, and where he is constantly compelled to undergo an amount of physical exertion unknown to the soldier, except in war.

It would prove much more injurious than it does at present, if the quality were equal to the quantity.

The following, according to Mr. Macnamara, was the ordinary routine life of a soldier of the 1st Bengal Fusiliers at Dinapore:—

"After sleeping through the night in the very hot close air of the barracks, he rises at gun-fire and goes to parade, after which he employs himself in cleaning his accoutrements till breakfast time—8 o'clock. This meal over, he lies down and sleeps till dinner time, and after dinner he generally retires to his bed again, and sleeps more or less till 5 o'clock, the temperature of the barrack being frequently as high as 104° F. at that period of the day. About 5 o'clock he has to prepare himself for parade ; this over, he saunters about till 9 1/2, and then turns in for the night."

To discuss the nature of the nutritive principles contained in food, the due balance between the carboniferous and nitrogenous elements, or any other of the mysteries of dietetics which science is gradually unfolding, is foreign to my purpose.

Those interested in the matter, in its relations to troops,will find much very valuable information regarding it in the report of Mr. Sidney Herbert's Commission, and in the paper of Dr. Chevers.

It is sufficient for my purpose to state that the quantity of meat in the hot weather and rains should be diminished, and that of vegetables increased. The latter can, at all times and seasons, within the cost of the existing dietary, be accomplished with the aid of the desiccated and compressed vegetables now produced and exported in large quantities. The best and most wholesome of them is the dried potato. In the winter the regimental garden could and should furnish all that is needed.

Pork, unless educated in a regimental farm, or better brought up than in the bazaar, should be absolutely prohibited. Fish, in the vicinity of the large rivers, and on the sea-coast, might occasionally, with benefit, be substituted for meat, especially in the hot season.

But, above all, it should be well and properly cooked by the men themselves. The practicability of military cooking was established by the late Monsieur Soyer, as recorded in his culinary campaign. It was popular among the men in the Crimea, and would become so everywhere, if proper attention were paid to it.

Mr. Gubbins, in his graphic account of the siege of Lucknow, mentions incidentally, that when the cook boys levanted, the men of the 32nd had to cook for themselves. They were awkward at first, but soon acquired the requisite skill, and were well satisfied with their performances.

The idleness of the barrack-room, and the necessity of furnishing more occupation for the soldiers in garrison, are alone sufficient reasons for compelling them to cook for themselves in time of peace.

The necessity in the field is still greater, as cooks and followers of all kinds are multiplied to a most injurious extent in India, and are, besides, liable to make themselves scarce when most wanted.

A beginning in the right direction has been made in the Medical Staff Corps, in which professional cooks are regularly entertained. One or two enlisted in every regiment, would soon leaven the mass.

The baking of the bread, grinding of the wheat, and the whole preparation of the food of the soldier for consumption, should, as far as possible, be performed in the barracks and by the soldiers themselves. The more independent they are made, and the more intimate their acquaintance with supplying their own wants, the better for them in every point of view. There is no real difficulty in the matter, and the present helplessness and idleness of the soldiery cannot cease too soon for their morals and their manners, their health and their happiness.

There is scarcely a corps without butchers, bakers, tailors, blacksmiths, shoemakers, bricklayers, gardeners, and most other varieties of handicraftsmen, whose knowledge might and ought to be turned to good use. For those regiments in which they are not to be found, they should be specially recruited.

The subject of the soldier's dietary is, in truth, one of the most important matters connected with his well-being and efficiency. It should never, in any circumstances, be subject to his own control, or be liable to fluctuation on account of deductions from his pay, or from the dear or cheap state of the market near which he may be quartered.

In fact, as stated in the terse and clear language of Dr. Balfour's report:—

"That course should be habitually adopted in peace, which will best satisfy the requirements of a careful administration of the public finances, and be the most applicable to a state of war whenever war may break out.

"An army is maintained in peace with a view to the contingency of war, and it should be so organised as to be capable of expansion with the least possible change of method and system on the part of those who administer it. The mass of mankind do nothing well which they have not done long; and every change unnecessarily made at the commencement of war, when such disturbing influences are unavoidable, is the addition of unnecessary error and confusion.

"It appears to us, therefore, that all the arguments for a fixed stoppage and full ration in time of war apply also to a time of peace. In both cases it is the duty and interest of the Government to see that the soldier is provided with such a ration as will keep him in health and efficiency."

The Committee accordingly recommended one uniform rate of stoppage at home and abroad for the entire ration, the Government supplying the whole.

Fighting needs a full stomach, and the training in peace should always be subservient to the purposes of war, as mentioned above.

The diet of the tropics will necessarily differ from that of the Antarctic regions; that of the plains from the stations in the hills. The determination of the local difference should be left to the experienced medical officers in each, care being taken in all cases that the highest attainable standard of health and efficiency is maintained.

The question of strong waters is more difficult to determine. In this desirable direction much has been done by the judicious regulation of canteens; by the sale in them of sound, wholesome, malt liquors at reasonable rates; by the increasing taste for tea and coffee; and by the example of the officers, whose own habits have changed with the general change of society in this respect.

Temperance Societies are opposed to military discipline, and are of little efficacy. The real means of weaning the soldier from his present pernicious indulgence in the fatal habit that kills more than the sun, marsh, and sword combined, is to improve his moral and social condition, to hold out greater inducements to good men to enlist, to encourage marriage and the amenities of an honest man's home in the soldier's barrack, to introduce the practice of industrial occupations, and to furnish the means of such amusements as invigorate the frame without inducing ennui. These are bowls, quoits, cricket, rackets, gymnastics, swimming, and such other out-door amusements as healthy men never tire of, and drunken sots seldom indulge in.

That the men themselves readily take to such pastimes, who can doubt who has been acquainted with them in their own homes, before every moral feeling and healthful excitement has been blunted and blighted by the idleness and vice of the barrack-room as it now is? The practice of issuing rations of rum to young recruits should at once cease. Many a fine lad has been ruined by it.

To pursue this topic further is unnecessary. The magnitude and corroding influence of the vice are self-evident. The statistics of army disease record, with unerring accuracy, its general and fatal prevalence. It has literally realized the prophecy of Milton, that

"Intemperance on the earth shall bring Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew Before thee shall appear."

Of the efficacy, in due time, of the remedial measures suggested above, we entertain not the smallest doubt. The good work has, indeed, already begun, but like all other social changes, to be permanent in its results, its growth must be gradual.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 4 March 2017

Efficiency of Enemy Tactics (Korea)
Topic: The Field of Battle

Summary of the Efficiency of Enemy Tactics (Korea)

Enemy Tactics, HQ Eighth US Army Korea (EUSAK), 1951 (Unclassified 1984)

Enemy tactics were sound and well-executed. Contrary to the popular conception of the enemy as "a screaming horde," the [North Korean] and [Chinese Communist] Forces were well-coordinated fighting machines. Enemy attacks showed considerable prior planning and good judgment for the most part.

Reconnaissance of UN positions was thorough and resulted in many penetrations. The extensive use of guerrilla activity, especially during the days of the PUSAN perimeter and the INCHON landing, aided the enemy's fighting machine. Tactics employed were similar to Western tactics; especially the old Patton adage of "holding them by the nose and kicking them in the pants." Envelopments were widely used. It is believed that air superiority, firepower, and mobility of the UN Forces provided the difference between the two forces.

Defensively, the enemy used the same tactics, on the whole, as UN Forces; namely, that of trading terrain in an effort to gain time and inflict maximum losses on the opposition. After May 1951, the enemy the enemy adhered to the principle of the main line of resistance, and proved a stubborn, tenacious foe to dislodge. Massed artillery fire and hand-to-hand assaults were necessary to clear the enemy defensive positions.

Certain definite disadvantages to the enemy were noted in the tactics he employed. Definite offensive indications were conspicuous before every attack. This enabled UN Forces to prepare themselves. Since the enemy attacks followed a definite pattern in all cases, UN Forces were able to take appropriate defensive measures.

Another weakness noted in enemy tactics was his inability to sustain an offensive, especially at lower unit levels. This was caused by the damage inflicted on his supply system by UN air and artillery. Consequently, each enemy soldier carried approximately a week's supply of food. When this was exhausted, the enemy attack lost momentum, and finally stalled. Undoubtedly winter weather hindered the resupply of enemy rear installations. This was due to the scarcity of natural camouflage and to the good flying weather available to UN aircraft.

The advantage of the enemy's superior manpower became a disadvantage in the face of UN fire superiority. Enemy troops became demoralized and confused; units were difficult to control because of inadequate communications; and logistical support was difficult. The capture of many enemy troops suffering wounds indicated that Communist medical support was limited.

All in all, the Communist Force employed in Korea was a capable opponent which employed sound basic principles of war.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 3 March 2017

The Basis of Good Discipline
Topic: Discipline

The Basis of Good Discipline

Combat Lessons, Number 2, September 1946

One of our problems has been to get junior officers and young NCOs sufficiently hard-boiled to exact from their subordinates a meticulous obedience to every order. We must ingrain in all ranks the realization that orders are not to be treated as suggestions but as concrete facts calling for the utmost effort until they have been carried out. So many people seem to feel that orders which are inconvenient or unpopular are to be disregarded. This state of mind is a disease and must be eliminated. On the other hand such an elimination presupposes that all COs and Staffs take care that the orders they issue are consistent, correct, and capable of being carried out.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Militia Camp; 17 Sept 1885
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Militia Camp; 17 Sept 1885

Settling Down to Steady Drill
The Strength of the Brigade Over 2,100

At former camps a visitor would meet with one soldier with a tunic of red flannel and no trimming, another with a red tunic and white trimmings; and others with red shoulder straps and collars, and other again with blue collars and shoulder straps. An issue of new clothing has been made and has done away with this state of things.

The London Advertiser, London, Ont., 17 September 1885

The first night in camp [on Carling's farm, present location of Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario] was not one of unalloyed comfort. The weather was rather cold, with several showers, and many of the men had but very slim shake-downs. However, to-day everything was in good shape and everybody made comfortable. The night was uneventful, with the exception of a row in which a member of the 30th Battalion quarreled with two civilians and was knocked down and kicked in the face, and both eyes blackened. This morning marching drill in companies was commenced, and although in some of the battalions the majority of the men are new recruits and undisciplined, they are rapidly picking up their drill. Sergt.-Major Byrne, of the 7th [Fusiliers], who is brigade sergeant-major, is the right man to bring them up to the work. Although a Canadian, and still in the prime of life, he has served 21 years in the British army and is a thorough soldier. A better selection could not have been made to fill one of the most important posts connected with the camp. No one visiting the camp can fail to notice the bright, smart-looking appearance of the volunteers. At former camps a visitor would meet with one soldier with a tunic of red flannel and no trimming, another with a red tunic and white trimmings; and others with red shoulder straps and collars, and other again with blue collars and shoulder straps. An issue of new clothing has been made and has done away with this state of things. Some years here the absurd way in which some of the battalions were dressed was enough to make them the laughing stock of all old military men. Now they have a smart, soldierly appearance. If the Minister of Militia would make another move and issue a regulation cap for all infantry corps it would further add to the appearance of the men. Here you'll meet two men, one with a round cap on his head and the other with a Scotch cap, neither of which afford the least protection from the sum. Here and there a private may be met with an officers' cap on, while some of them haven't caps at all, but appear in their "stiff felts."

The Strength of the Brigade

The strength of the brigade as shown by the number of rations drawn yesterday, was 2,060 and the staff.

The force is divided up as follows:

  • Cavalry, 126 men and 11 officers;
  • Artillery, 182 men and 8 officers;
  • 21st Battalion, 210 men and 19 officers;
  • 22nd Battalion, 340 men and 27 officers;
  • 24th Battalion, 230 men and 15 officers;
  • 25th Battalion, 200 men and 20 officers;
  • 28th Battalion, 230 men and 27 officers;
  • 30th Battalion, 380 men and 32 officers;

The total number, however, will exceed this when all are settled down.

Brigade Orders; Brigade camp, London, Sept. 16

Detail for to-morrow—Field officer of the day, Lt.-Col. McNight, 28th Battalion, next for duty, Lt.-Col. Munroe, 22nd Battalion; surgeon of the day, Surgeon King, First Regiment of Cavalry; next for duty, Surgeon Smith, 28th Battalion; the 24th Battalion will furnish brigade duties, viz., guard, picket, band, etc.; next for duty, 25th Battalion.

No. 1—Officers commanding corps of infantry are particularly requested to see that non-commissioned officers and men under their command are instructed in the use of the rifle and its sights, how to align the latter, and that in aiming the men place themselves in a proper position. Target practice will be carried out during camp, Major Bigger, brigade musketry instructor, will supervise all instructions.

No. 2—There being but one medicine chest for the whole brigade, it will be kept in charge of tent opposite and south of the brigade orderly tent, in order that surgeons may be supplied with the medicines they may require for the use of the members of their respective corps.

No. 3—All mail matter will be delivered to the Brigade orderly tent until further orders.

M. Aylmer, Lieut.-Col.

The Pipes Are There

The 22nd Oxford Rifles have with them two Highland pipers, Mr. George Gordon Fraser, of Woodstock, and Mr. Wm. Gunn, of Embro. They have their bagpipes with the, and for a certain time each day enliven the camp with their characteristic strains. Mr. Fraser in an old soldier, who served in a Highland regiment through the Chinese war. Mr. Gunn is a Highlander by birth.


No word of General Middleton's proposed visit has been received by the brigade officers here. However, as he is at present at the Niagara camp, it is probably he will also visit London.

The London Field Battery under Captain Williams went into camp yesterday, 40 strong.

The London troop of cavalry makes a fine turnout under Major Peters, 39 strong. They have some excellent horseflesh under them, and are a credit to the city. Mr. Owens is sergeant-major and Mr. John Siggins quartermaster-sergeant.

The various battalions will be put through a course of musketry instruction and rifle practice during the camp. This is a new feature of the camp, but a practical one for all that. The fact that efficiency with the rifle is more necessary to a corps in active service than being able to march past a saluting point in good line seems gradually beginning to be recognized. The rifle practice will be done at the Cove range.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Beef 18 Times in March
Topic: Army Rations

Master Menu Calls For

Beef 18 Times in March—If You're In the Army

St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida, 12 March 1944
By Jane Eads

Washington.—(AP)—The boys in the Army are going to get steak for chow on Match 14 …

Steak with brown gravy, mashed potatoes and fried onions.

On Sunday March 12, they'll have a chicken dinner with all the trimmings, including ice cream for dessert.

And on St. Patrick's day:

Breakfast—fresh apples, dry cereal, fresh milk, scrambled eggs, bran muffins, toast, butter, coffee.

Dinner—lamb curry, steamed rice, leafy greens, carrot-raisin salad with sour cream dressing, bread, butter, devil's food cake, coffee.

Supper—roast pork with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, cabbage, relish dish, bread, butter, fruit gelatin, coffee.

That's what the Army's master menu for March, prepared in the officer of the quartermaster general, prescribes for soldiers in this country at least.

Additional master menus are prepared for the use of overseas troops, but naturally are subject to change.

Okaying the menus is Miss I. Barber, food consultant to the secretary of war.

During the three years she has been with the subsistence branch of the quartermaster corps, on leave as home economics director of the Kellogg's company, she says she has noted a minimum of complaints from the boys.

"It's true that our Army marches on the best-fed stomach in the world," she says, adding that whether it's fried chicken in Maryland, a "D" ration chocolate bar in New Britain, or a stick of gum and candy on a liferaft in the Pacific, American chow is considered best under any circumstances.

Before any menus are planned, an estimate is made of what meats, fruits, vegetables and canned goods will be available at the time suggested for use.

The quartermaster corps now figures for instance, that there will be enough beef available in march to feed it to the boys in this country in some form 16 times during that month.

They'll get steak but once, but roast beef will be served four times and they'll have hamburger, Swiss steak, pot pie, meat loaf and beef hearts.

The Army recommends that the master menus be used as a standard, with such substitutions as may be necessary due to a shortage or surplus of certain products in the local market areas.

The overseas menus, available fresh foods may be used instead of non-perishable, expeditionary rations. This is left to the quartermaster on the spot.

In England, North Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Miss Barber says, the Army has found this comparatively easy.

In England, for example, there are always Brussels sprouts, potatoes and cabbage, with other fresh vegetables in season.

Upon disembarking, overseas troops all get one to three days' "K" rations … the half-pound size packages each with a different "entree" (such as tinned bacon and eggs) and a different powdered liquid (coffee, lemon juice, bouillion). All contain biscuits, sugar, a sweet, cigarets and gum.

Where there are no kitchen facilities, as in combat, our forces exist on either the "K" or the "C" ration, which is a little more complete. The "C" ration consists of six cans of food, three of which contain meat, combined with beans, stew or hash. The other three contain biscuits, soluble coffee, or powdered lemon juice, sugar and candy.

On Attu, soldiers lived for three days on "K" rations until the "C" rations caught up with them. They ate the latter with chocolate bars until they got frozen meats and their field ranges and the danger of fires giving away their position was over.

There's also the "D" ration, a candy bar of chocolate combined with powdered milk, sugar, oat flour (to keep it from melting) and thiamin … a bale-out ration for paratroopers, and the liferaft ration of candy, chewing gum and vitamin pills.

Receipts for preparing dishes in the menus come from the Army cook book or special cooking bulletins prepared in the service commands.

The Army's recipe book, "The Army Cook"—known to all mess officers as TM-10-405—is now in process of revision by Miss Barber. Revision of the recipes is based on Army appetites, although nutriment content is a prime consideration.

Soldiers' favorite foods are beef—any way it's dished up; peas, corn and tomatoes; apple pie and ice cream; sweet breads such as cinnamon rolls and coffee cake; raw apples and oranges.

Milk is the favorite drink of this young man's Army. A soldier gets a half-pint a day, which some mothers complain isn't enough. Miss Barber replies that soldiers are also provided with milk solids and eat an equivalent of what they formerly were accustomed to drinking.

She concludes:

"If every man in the service ate everything set before him, he'd get all the nutrients essential for perfect health.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Marching and Care of Feet
Topic: Marching

Marching and Care of Feet

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 8, of 30)

Another sign of a green soldier is a carelessly adjusted pack or any other equipment not neatly and securely fastened.

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 4 September 1917

The new soldier seldom understand how important it is for him to learn to march and to develop his muscles so that he can easily carry his arms and equipment. "marching constitutes the principal occupation of troops in campaign." (Infantry Drill Regulations, paragraph, 623.)

In order to march for long distances the soldier's feet must be in good condition. Marching shoes should be quite a little larger than shoes for ordinary wear. "Sores and blisters on the feet should be promptly dresses during halts. At the end of the march feet should be bathed and dressed; the socks, and if practicable, the shoes, should be changed. (Infantry Drill Regulations, paragraph, 627.)

Rules for Infantry

You will learn in time the practical rules for taking care of your feet that are followed by experienced soldiers. You will avoid considerable discomfort, however, if you learn some of these rules now and put them into practice from the beginning:

1.     See that your shoes are large enough. They will at first look and feel unnecessarily loose. This is needed because if has been found that feet swell and lengthen on marches, especially when carrying packs. But shoes fitted this way will give you no corns, blisters, or other foot ills.

2.     Take pains to keep your shoes in good condition. It is a good idea to apply a light coat of neat's foot oil, which will both soften the leather and tend to make them waterproof. Don't neglect to smooth out wrinkles in the lining of the shoe. "Break in" new shoes before wearing them on long marches.

3.     Wear light woolen socks, such as will be issued to you. See that you have no holes or wrinkles in them.

4.     Keep your feet, socks, and shoes clean. When on the march try to wash your socks at night and put on a clean pair every morning. Bathe the feet every evening, or at least wipe them off with a wet towel.

5.     Keep your feet scrupulously clean. A foot bath can be taken, when other facilities are not at hand, by scraping a small depression in the ground, trowing a poncho over it and pouring water into this from your canteen. Even a pint of water will do for a foot bath.

6.     Keep your toenails trimmed closely and cut them square across the ends. This will tend to prevent ingrowing nails. By all means avoid the common error of rounding the corners of the nail and cutting it to a point in the centre.

7.     In case a blister is formed while on the march, open the edge of the blister with the point of a knife or a needle that has been heated in a match flame. Then put on an adhesive plaster, covering the skin well beyond the edges of the blister, putting it on as tightly as as possible without wrinkles. In the same way put an adhesive plaster over any red or tender spots.

8.     In case any tendons become inflamed or swollen (usually due to lacing the leggings or show too tightly or to some other unnecessary pressure), soak the foot in cold water, massage the tendon, and protect it as much as possible by strips of adhesive plaster. You should report to a medical officer as your first opportunity, to make sure that the trouble does not grow worse.

Hints on Marching

After you have arrived in camp and have cooled off you can drink slowly as much as you desire. It is, of course, unwise to eat fruits, candy, soft drinks, ice cream and the like while on the march.

Another sign of a green soldier is a carelessly adjusted pack or any other equipment not neatly and securely fastened. Your comfort on the march depends very largely on the care and judgment used in getting ready. You will march most easily if you keep your body erect and do not permit yourself to slouch or sway from side to side.

When the command is given to halt and fall out for a few minutes, loosen your pack and rest back on it in a sitting position. If possible, lie with your feet higher than the head, so as to let blood flow out of your legs into the body and rest your heart.

elipsis graphic

A cheerful attitude is one of the best aids to a soldier on a trying march. Singing and whistling on the march is usually not only allowed, but encouraged. They help wonderfully to make the long road seem shorter.

These are all very simple rules, but none the less important. Keep them in mind. Some men never learn except from their own hard experience, but it is expected of the men in the national army that they will have the good sense to see the value of these suggestions and to apply them from the very beginning.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 5 May 2017 7:19 PM EDT
Monday, 27 February 2017

Soldiers Fare in South Africa
Topic: Army Rations

Soldiers Fare in South Africa

The following short item is as published in the Los Angeles Herald, 13 March 1900

Color Sergeant Thompson of 40 Gwynne Avenue, [Toronto], now with the Second Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, in South Africa, writes home:

"We killed an ostrich the other day and had him for dinner. He went down fine; also a swarm of locusts, of which we eat some. They are all right too. You see, we don't live badly. There is not a tree to be seen—all sand and rocks—any amount of snakes, centipedes, scorpions, lizards and big black ants. These ants get inside the boys' clothes and make themdance and swear. Tomorrow will be Christmas and we are to have a big ostrich roasted for dinner, with lots of goats' milk to drink."

elipsis graphic

Color-Sergeant Charles Henry Thompson

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 26 February 2017

New Brunswick Defenceless (1858)
Topic: Canadian Militia

New Brunswick Defenceless (1858)

The Military Gazette, Quebec, P.Q., 26 June 1858

But what has New Brunswick done in the way of self-defence, or in preparing for war? Nothing! We have no organized militia, no drill, no paid Adjutant or Quartermaster-General; we have lots of fine arms in the armouries, but the saddles and the trappings are rotting, and the rifles, muskets, and swords are rusting, because there is no one employee to take care of them. We rely upon British arms to protect us, instead of contributing, as we ought to do towards the common army of the Empire; and we rely on men-of-war lying in Halifax harbour, to prevent a ship from a hostile country, or even a pirate, sailing, or steaming up the Bay of Fundy and levying a contribution on the city of St. John,—a thing so easily accomplished that we wonder no Russian commander thought of it during the late war. It is true, the defenceless state of St. John has not escaped the eyes of the British authorities, and fortifications are to be erected forthwith on Partridge Island; but no thanks to the Provincial Solons; they fold their arms, and look on with the gravity of Dutchmen. But who could expect anything from the character of the loyal men now in power? Since their late advent to power His Excellency the Lieut. Governor laid before them a Despatch received from the Colonial Secretary, hinting pretty plainly that war may be upon us when we least expect it, and that it is well to be prepared, and requesting that the Militia may be re-organized. Where is the response to this kind, parental advice? There is none. Government merely communicated the fact to the Legislature, and there allowed the matter to drop—they took no steps whatever to carry out the suggestion of the Imperial Government, and we still remain in a perfectly defenceless state.

Here for the present we conclude. Our purpose, when we commenced writing these papers, was to bring before the eyes of the people, in a manner as vivid and concise as possible, the condition of the people of Great Republic, and the probability of wat at not very distant period. If we have succeeded in this, and can arouse the public to a proper sense of danger, (we do not mean a cowardly fear) so that they insist upon the re-organization of the Militia, and giving proper encouragement to volunteer companies we shall have accomplished our object. —(Head Quarters)

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 25 February 2017

Bombing; Fiendish Way of Fighting (1916)
Topic: CEF

Fiendish Way of Fighting

Some of the Terrors and Humors of the Bomb

The Kingsville Reporter, Kingsville, Ontario, 22 June 1916

Although this article isn't specifically about the CEF, it has been tagged as such to keep it with other First World War material.

An Irish officer, writing from the British Front in Flanders about bombs and bomb-throwing contrivances, says:

The more you have to do with the bombs the more afraid of them you become, for you cannot play with explosives all day without going aloft sooner or later. The toll of good men who have been blown to pieces by their own bombs is long and sad.

Bomb-throwing as an art is still in its infancy; it changes almost from day to day. At best, it is a fiendish way of fighting, for it inflicts ghastly injuries.

Yet bombing, like many other aspects of the war, has its humorous side, and I have seen a whole trench helpless with laughter at the sight of two men running opposite ways to avoid a sausage bomb from a German trench mortar. They collided, and sat down facing each other, like vaudeville comedians. The bomb dropped between them, almost touching them both—and then failed to explode.

One morning twenty or more members of the general staff came round to our trench to witness a test of new catapult for throwing bombs to distance of two hundred and fifty yards. With great interest they watches the screwing down of the great arm and the fastening of the bomb in position. Then upward and forward swung the arm; but the missile, not having been properly secured, instead of hurtling in the direction of the enemy, rose gently a few feet into the air, and then turning to descend again into the trench.

Such a rapid and complete disappearance of staff officers had never before been seen. They fled like rabbits, and as they rounded the corner of the trench, the bomb went off a few feet from the ground, completely destroying the catapult.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 24 February 2017

The Seventh's Sergeants (1885)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Seventh's Sergeants

Their First Annual Dinner a Decided Success

The London Advertiser, London, Ont., 15 September 1885

Sergt.-Major Byrne, of the 7th [Fusiliers], ... Although a Canadian, and still in the prime of life, he has served 21 years in the British army and is a thorough soldier. - The London Advertiser, 17 Sept. 1885

The first annual dinner of the sergeants of the Seventh Fusiliers was held last night at London House. Among those present were Sergt.-Major Byrne, Quartermaster-Sergt. Jury, Paymaster-Sergt. Smyth, Sergts. McDonald, Lyon, Summers, Neilson, Anundson, Rowland, Harris, McClintock, Mills, Beecroft, Lynch, Dyson, Corporal Williams, Private Best and others. Sergt.-Major Byrne was voted to the chair, and Staff-Sergt. Jury to the vice-chair. The evening was passed in an exceedingly jolly manner. Incidents which occurred on the Northwest trip were related with vim, and the "boys" told little good-natured jokes of each other which took place during the campaign in a way to cause the greatest amusement. Toasts were proposed and heartily drunk, to the Queen, Sergt.-Major Byrne, Quartermaster-Sergt. Jury, Paymaster-Sergt. Smyth, Adjutant Reid, the Army and Navy, Guests, coupled with the names of Corp. Williams and Pte. Best, the "Press," the "Host and Hostess," etc. To all these interesting and amusing responses were received. The proceedings were enlivened with songs, rendered in excellent voice, from the Sergt.-Major, Staff-Sergt. Jury, Sergt. Beecroft, Sergt Anundson, Pte. Best and others. During the evening the question of establishing a permanent sergeants' mess or club was raised, and all were unanimous in support of the idea. It was pointed out that if a "mess" was established where the sergeants could drop in every evening it would tend greatly to strengthen the battalion. Points for its welfare could be proposed and discussed, and instead of the sergeants of one company not knowing who the sergeants of the next company were, as in former times, they would be able to meet and discuss battalion affairs nightly, as well as pass a pleasant evening among themselves. This idea originated with Sergeant-Major Byrne, and if it can be successfully carried out will only add another obligation to the many which the battalion already owe their energetic sergeant-major. In establishing their club, however, considerable outlay will have to be met—more than the sergeants themselves could possibly bear—and it is their intention to ask the Council for use of the Park for a band concert, which will be given in the course of a few days.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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