Topic: Canadian Militia
The Militia Camp; 18 Sep 1885
General Middleton to be Here on Tuesday
The Review Fixed for Wednesday the 22nd
The easiest solution of the difficulty would be to abolish the salute altogether. It takes a long time to learn, and when a man does know it he can't shoot at an enemy with any greater degree of precision.
The London Advertiser, London, Ont., 18 September 1885
Wednesday night proved particularly cold on Carling's farm [present location of Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario], and many of the volunteers found it impossible to obtain much sleep. Two blankets is far too little at this season of the year, and if a man puts one under him the other amounts to very little when thrown over him. However, a brisk 6 o'clock parade in the morning set all this right, and gave the men a good appetite for breakfast. Fortunately they fare better in the matter of food than clothing, the eatables furnished by the contractors being of first-class quality.
Immediately after breakfast yesterday morning, four companies of the 21st battalion marched to the Cove range and spent the day in rifle practice under the supervision of Major Bigger, musketry instructor. Some very fair scores were made, but the majority of the men show want of practice. The other battalions were put through their marching drill, and they already begin to show rapid improvement. Corps which only go into camp every second year can hardly be expected to turn out a large number of efficient soldiers Still, through the strenuous efforts of energetic officers, the majority of the battalions in the district have been brought to camp in a tolerably fair condition, and some of them far better than could be expected. What some recruits find it hardest to get through their heads, however, is the salute.
There are so many different ways, under different circumstances, that this is not to be wondered at. It is easy enough for a volunteer to understand that when passing an officer it is proper to salute with the hand furthest away. He can remember that all right. But when his is required to remember, also, that in case the officer passes him as he stands he has simply to stand at attention; again, if his hands are full, he has only to look toward the officer, or, if he be on a sentry beat, to shoulder arms, and turn to his front for a company officer and present arms for a commanding officer; or if he is mounted, simply to turn his eyes towards the officer; or if he is carrying a rifle, in passing and officer to bring the rifle to the shoulder and pass the left hand across the body and touch the sling. No volunteer with ten days' drill could ever be expected to get all these different modes of salutation down to perfection, and consequently amusing mistakes sometimes occur. For instance, the other day an officer stepped up to a sentry, and said: "Here comes the main guard; see that you present arms properly." The officer was surprised a moment later to see the sentry bring his rifle to the shoulder, cock the hammer, and draw a bead on the leading rank. Another sentry was observed walking up and down his beat with his rifle at the "present," when a staff sergeant was passing. The easiest solution of the difficulty would be to abolish the salute altogether. It takes a long time to learn, and when a man does know it he can't shoot at an enemy with any greater degree of precision.
General Middleton has intimated that he will probably be hereabout the 22nd inst., and the review has therefore been fixed for the succeeding day. It will commence between 10 and 11 o'clock in the morning and last until about 3. Owing to the presence of three batteries of artillery and four troops of cavalry, together with a larger number of infantry than usual, nearly 1,800 altogether, it is expected it will be much better and more interesting than former ones.
Brigade Orders; Camp, London, Sept. 17
Detail for to-morrow—Field officer of the day, Lt.-Col. Munroe, 22nd Battalion, next for duty, Lt.-Col. Wilkinson, 21st Battalion; surgeon of the day, Surgeon Smith, 28th Battalion; next for duty, Surgeon Holmes, 24th Battalion.
No. 1—All mail matter will be delivered at the provost tent, as per paragraph No. 11, brigade orders, 5th September, inst.
No. 2—No officers' servants or orderlies will be permitted to leave the camp unless properly dressed.
No. 3—The battalion furnishing the duties for the day will detail two non-commissioned officers for gate duty, the one to relieve the other at the main entrance to the camp, and they will be held responsible that all men leaving the camp by the main entrance have passes and are properly dressed. These non-commissioned officers will parade with the main guard, with waist belts and side arms only; any assistance required by these non-commissioned officers will be furnished by the main guard.
No. 4—Two waiting men, properly accoutred, will accompany the several guards at guard-mounting daily.
No. 5—The whole of the brigade will parade tomorrow, in drill order, at 2:45 p.m., rear of the provost tents facing south, the battalion markers to be on the ground five minutes before the hour named to take up the position for their respective corps.
Diarrhoea is rather bad among the men, and a large number are on the sick list from this complaint.
Large numbers of visitors watch the volunteers drilling every afternoon.
To-day the whole brigade will be inspected by Lieut.-Col. Clarke and will march past in double quick time, in open and close column, etc. These movements will be worth witnessing.
The Y.M.C.A. have, as usual, opened a tent upon the ground, where the volunteers are furnushed with accommodations for writing, reading the daily papers, etc., gratis.
Major Martin, on our report the other day, was credited with coming from Tilsonburg. It should have been Tilbury East.
Lieut. Fairbanks, of the London Field Battery, arrived and took up his quarters in the camp to-day. He was warmly welcomed by the "boys."
The drill instructor of the 22nd Battalions is Sergt. Wilson, of the Kentish (England) Regulars. He is an excellent instructor, and has one of the best-drilled, neatest battalions in the camp.
Rev. Mr. Ball, chaplain of the 7th Fusiliers in the Northwest, is again out at camp, and will officiate at the service to the volunteers there on Sunday morning.
A number of volunteers came down to Barnum's circus the other night, and afterwards got drunk. While noisily going along the street a policeman told a sergeant if he wasn't quieter he would arrest him. The sergeant drew his sword-bayonet and dared the policeman to do it, and the policeman accepted the challenge, collared him, and made him put up the sword, and took him to the Police Station. At the request of his captain the magistrate let him off lightly next morning.