The Minute Book
Thursday, 26 December 2013

The Royal Canadian Navy (May 1939)
Topic: RCN

HMCS Skeena, image from Wikipedia

The Royal Canadian Navy (May 1939)

Ottawa Citizen, 12 May 1939

Western Division, Esquimalt


Built in 1930. Displacement 1375 tons. Turbines S.H.P. 36,000. Speed 35.5 knots. Fout 4.7-inch guns, one 3-inch, seven smaller guns, eight torpedo tubes, mine dropping equipment.



  • Comox, built at Burrard Drydock, 1938.
  • Nootka, built at Yarrows, 1938.

Length, 160 feet, one 4-inch gun.

Eastern Division, Halifax


Built 1929. Displacement 1337 tons. Turbines S.H.P. 32,000. Speed 35 knots. Fout 4.7-inch guns, seven smaller guns, eight torpedo tubes.


  • Gaspe, built at Quebec, 1938.
  • Fundy, built at Collingwood, 1938.

Length, 160 feet, one 4-inch gun.

To arrive one flotilla tender purchased from the Royal Navy, 1939.
To be built in Canada, motor torpedo boats and a training schooner.


R.C.N. Officers 137. men, 1582.
R.C.N.V.R. Officers 123. men, 1344.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Guardians of Peace
Topic: Mortars

Guardians of Peace

Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Advertisement, circa 1952.

The Infantry Mortar Crew …

In attack and defence, the Mortar Crew adds to the effectiveness of Infantry. Accurate, concentrated firepower is vital to successful operation in the field. It calls for cool, highly trained men to operate the many complex weapons of the Infantry.

Canada’s tough, independent Infantrymen are the finest fighting soldiers in the world. At home and overseas, these young men stand in the front lines of Canada's freedom.

There are outstanding career opportunities for young men in the Canadian Army Active Force. There are career opportunities with challenges of adventure, the excitement of travel in the most important job in Canada today — defence.

You are eligible for service in the Canadian Army Active Force if you are 17 to 40 years of age, tradesmen to 45, physically fit and ready to serve anywhere.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Billies
Topic: Humour

Christmas Billies

The Roses of No Man's Land, Lyn MacDonald, 1980

Christmas 1917 fell like a faint beam of light across the shadowed days of the fourth winter of the war. There were hardly enough boats to carry the huge quantities of cards, letters and parcels for the troops on active service, and the comforts that everyone wanted to send to the sick and wounded in the hospitals. Although people had been adjured to 'Post Early', there was a ho!d up at Southampton in early December and it took fully three weeks of gargantuan effort on all sides to ship everything across to France in the week before Christmas.

It was fortunate that the Red Cross had made sure that all their own supplies of Christmas cheer were in France by the beginning of December. In addition to the supplies sent to Italy, Salonika and the Middle East, the Red Cross warehouses in Boulogne were stacked high with 40,000 tins of sweets, four tons of Brazil nuts, four tons of filberts, ten tons of almonds, four tons of walnuts, four tons of chestnuts, twelve tons of dried fruit, 40,000 boxes of Christmas crackers, 80,000 Christmas cards and innumerable cases of coloured paper garlands to decorate hospital uards and Mess huts for the festive season. Just before Christmas, boatloads of chickens and turkeys arrived in France, plus a mammoth consignment of 25,000 Christmas puddings, which had been lovingly prepared by hundreds of voluntary groups throughout the country who had willingly sacrificed their ration of sugar and a quantity of precious dried fruit to ensure that the boys had a proper Christmas dinner. Most of the puddings were stuffed as full of lucky sixpences as they were with hoarded raisins, and were rnixed with libations of stout or brandy.

It took all the considerable organizational powers of the Red Cross and a large slice of the resources of the Army Transport Corps to distribute, across the length and breadth of the Western Front, the largesse that came from every quarter of the globe. From America there was a shipment of beef; from South Africa, a boatload of grapes, peaches and nectarines; from Canada, 10,000 cases of red apples; and from Australia, a towering mountain of 'billy-cans' packed with comforts and goodies for the Aussies.

By 1917 the 'Christmas billies' had become a tradition. Back home in Australia, volunteers started packing them in August. Each community undertook to supply a certain number, filling each one with oddments of their own choice, and sent them in good time to a central depot from which they were shipped on to Australian soldiers overseas. It was a charming as well as a practical idea. The billy-cans themselves, as Australian as the strains of 'Waltzing Matilda', spoke of Home to the soldiers far away; when empty they were useful items to have on active service, and they were sturdy enough to be shipped without any further wrapping. They also held a surprising amount- chocolate, tobacco, cigarettes, sweets, a pipe, razor blades, soap, concentrated beef cubes notebooks, writing pads, candles, toffee, sardines, potted meat, socks and mittens (or at least a fair selection of these items) could all be stuffed in. All of them contained a different assortment, but the universal verdict was that they were 'Bonzo'.

The exception was the unfortunate Aussie who was particularly pleased to find in his billy-can a pair of socks knitted in the finest wool, and donned them for a long march. Within half an hour he was limping badly, and at the first rest stop removed his boots to look for the trouble. There were no protruding nails, nothing to be seen. The march continued, and by the time it ended the man was practically crippled by a mammoth blister on his foot. He found some water in which to bathe it, and when he pulled off the sock to immerse his foot in the soothing bath, to the ribald amusement of his comrades a small scrap of paper fell to the floor. On it was written in a shaky hand, 'God bless you, My Dear Boy.' It was fortunate that the kindly donor was unable to hear her Dear Boy's reaction.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 23 December 2013

Lord Ashcroft's VCs
Topic: Medals

Lord Ashcroft's VCs

The Victoria Cross (VC) collection assembled by Lord Ashcroft went live on line on 11 Nov 2013.

Situated at the Imperial War Museum London, the Extraordinary Heroes exhibition containing Lord Ashcroft's unrivalled collection of Victoria Crosses is the largest in the world.

Among the Ashcroft collection reside four Canadian Victoria Crosses:

For further information on the Extraordinary Heroes exhibition at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery visit:

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 14 December 2013 5:24 PM EST
Sunday, 22 December 2013

Martini Henry Prize Rifles (1872)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Martini Henry Prize Rifles (1872)

Militia General Orders

Head Quarters,
Ottawa, 23rd July, 1872.

General Order (21).

His Excellency The Governor General has much pleasure in directing the publication in General Orders of the receipt of Twenty "Martini Henry" Rifles with 10,000 rounds of Ammunition, valued at £200 Sterling, being the result of a collection made under the auspices of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge and the Right Honorable the Lord Mayor of London, England, and a Committee of distinguished Noblemen and Gentlemen during the Mayoralty of Alderman Besley, as a testimonial "to mark the feeling entertained towards the Canadian Active Militia for the loyalty and valour displayed by them in repelling Fenian attacks on the Dominion."

With a view of carrying out the wishes of the Committee, as expressed through the Right Honorable the Lord Mayor, these Rifles, with the proportion of Ammunition, will be offered as Prizes to be competed for by the Active Militia in the several Provinces during the Autumnal Meetings of the Provincial Rifle Associations for 1872, except in so far as relates to Manitoba and British Columbia, regarding which further instructions will be given.

The distribution will be made in the following proportions:

Ontario63,000 Rds
Nova Scotia31,500
B. Columbia21,000

Subject to the following conditions:

1st. To be open to competition by Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and men of the Active Militia of the respective Provinces only, who are now bonâ fide members of the Force, and have been so for at least one year immediately previous to the 1st July, 1872, and who can be certified to as having performed the Annual Drill for that year, and who have also passed through the prescribed course of Target Practice. Also to such as were bonâ fide members of the Active Militia for the year 1870, and have since retired therefrom.

2nd. Snider Rifles only to be used in this competition. Ranges to be 200, 500 and 600 yards, 5 shots at each range.

Returns of names of winners with detail scores of each to be sent to the Adjutant General at Head Quarters, at the termination of each competition.

By Command of His Excellency the Governor General.
Deputy Adjutant-General of Militia,

Unfortunately, the Canada Gazette does not reveal who might have wone these prize rifles in each of the Provinces.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Infantry School Corps
Topic: The RCR

The Infantry School Corps

The Canada Gazette, 21st December, 1883

The formation of three Schools of Infantry having been authorized, the requisite number of militiamen will be enrolled, and formed into one corps to be known as the Infantry School Corps.

The following Officers are appointed to the corps:

  • Lieutenant-Colonel George J. Maunsell, from Deputy Adjutant General Military District No 4.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Gustave D'0. D'Orsonnens, from Brigade Major 7th and 8th Brigade Divisions, Que.
  • Lieutenant-Colonel William Dillon Otter, from 2nd Battalion, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.

To be Captains:

  • Major William Dunlop Gordon, from 14th Battalion.
  • Major Beaufort Henry Vidal, from 12th Battalion.
  • Captain and Major Henry Smith, from Adjutant 40th Battalion.

To be Lieutenants:

  • Captain Charles J. Coursol, from 65th Battalion.
  • Lieutenant Henry Cortlandt Freer, (R.M.C.), H.M.'s. South Staffordshire Regiment.
  • Lieutenant James Walker-Sears (R.M.C.), Lieutenant H.M.'s South Staffordshire Regiment.
  • Lieutenant David Douglas Young.
  • Lieutenant Thomas D.R.Hemming.
  • Lieutenant Robinson Lyndhurst Wadmore

Memo.---Lieutenant Henry Cortlandt Freer takes rank in the Militia from 30th June 1880, the date of his graduating R.M.C.

The Infantry Schools will be established as follows until further orders:

  • At Fredericton, N.B., for the Maritime Provinces, under Lieutenant Colonel Maunsell, Commandant.
  • At St. Johns, Que., for the Province of Quebec, under lieutenant Colonel d'Orsonnens, Commandant.
  • At Toronto, Out., for the Province of Ontario, and under Lieutenant Colonel Otter, Commandant.

The Commandants will report direct to Head Quarters.

And, to toast the good health of the Regiment:

The Ortona Toast Recipe

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2017 2:52 PM EST
Friday, 20 December 2013

The Albert Medal
Topic: Medals

The Albert Medal
Awards to Canadians in the Great War

The Albert Medal was authorized by her Majesty Queen Victoria on 12 March, 1866, and published in the London Gazette the following day. Named for the Queen's late husband, the Albert Medal was originally instituted to reward those who:

"…have, in saving, or endeavouring to save, the lives of others from shipwreck or other peril of the sea, endangered their own lives; and that such award shall be made only on a recommendation to Us by the President of the Board of Trade."

Undergoing a series of amenedments, the Albert Medal was later awarded in two classes, and life-saving acts on land became eligible. As a result, two Canadian soldiers serving overseas during the First World War received the ALbert Medal.

Corporal Percy Fairborn Annis

The Edinburgh Gazette, January 8, 1918

Whitehall, January 1, 1918.

The KING has been graciously pleased to award the Decoration of the Albert Medal to the undermentioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of His Majesty's Forces serving in France or elsewhere in recognition of their gallantry in saving life:—

Corporal Percy Fairborn Annis, Canadian Infantry.

On the 23rd December 1915 Annis was instructing a class in the use of the trench catapult, when a lighted bomb fell from the catapult into the trench. Annis at once picked up the bomb and threw it away.

On the 11th February 1916, on a similar occasion, the catapult failed to act properly, with the result that the bomb was thrown only a short distance, and fell close to another party under instruction. Annis at once ran out to pick up the bomb. The bomb exploded just as he reached it and wounded him.

Sergeant Victor Brooks

The Edinburgh Gazette, November 12, 1918.

Whitehall, 6th November 1918.

The KING, has been, pleased to award the Albert Medal to Lieutenant-Colonel (Temporary Brigadier-General) Alfred Burt, D.S.O., and Sergeant Victor Brooks, Canadian Cavalry Field Ambulance; and (posthumous awards), to Private Arthur Johnson and Driver Alfred Horn, late of the Army Service Corps, in recognition of their gallantry in saving or endeavouring to save life in France in June last. The circumstances are as follows:—

On the 30th June 1918 a Corporal of the Royal Air Force, who had been lowered by a rope into a crater caused by a bomb which had been dropped by a hostile aeroplane, was overcome by carbon monoxide gas, which had accumulated in large quantities in the crater. Endeavours were made to haul him out, but his head became caught, and Private Johnson volunteered to descend and re-adjust the rope, which he did successfully, and the Corporal was rescued, but Johnson was him- self overcome. Driver Horn at once put on his respirator and lowered himself to the rescue, but was likewise overcome. Sergeant Brooks then volunteered to attempt to rescue both men, but was also overcome by the gas; fortunately he was hauled out. At this stage, Brigadier General Burt refused to permit anyone else to descend, but did so himself, and succeeded in dragging one of the unconscious men some way towards the rope; he, however, became unconscious and had to be pulled out. There can be no doubt that all knew the risk that they were running, and willingly incurred it in the hope of saving life.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 19 December 2013

Never a word of a lie in it!
Topic: Humour

Never a word of a lie in it!

Sergeant-Major Timothy Gowing, Voice from the Ranks; A Personal Narrative of the Crimean Campaign by a Sergeant of the Royal Fusiliers, edited by Kenneth Fenwick, 1954

A man of my company was continually getting himself into trouble. He had proved himself, from the commencement of the campaign, a valiant soldier. About a month before Sevastopol fell, I gave him some money with which to go and purchase some soap; at the same time Pat asked for the loan of a couple of shillings. He did not turn up any more that day.

Next morning he was a prisoner in the guard tent. We all knew that he was on his last legs, but, as he was a general favourite with the company, the men pitied him. Some were of opinion that his wit would not forsake him when brought - before the commanding officer, and he told the man who brought his breakfast to him that morning that he would get over it with flying colours.

In due course, he was brought before the tribunal and the charge read out: 'Absent from camp from 10 a.m. on the 15th August until 5 a.m. 16th August'.

'Well, Welsh, you have heard the charge. What have you got to say for yourself?'

The old rogue pulled a long face, and then commenced:

'Shure, yer honour, the whole regiment, you know, was very fond of our poor old Colonel Yea, that was kilt on the 18th of June. And, shure, yer honour—I wouldn't tell ye a word of a lie. I wint and sat on the poor old jintleman's grave, and sobbed and sobbed till I thought my heart would break; for, sur, he was a sodjur, every inch of him! And shure I fell asleep and slept till morning, and then got up and walked to the guard tent.'

'Now, Welsh, are you telling the truth? You know I promised you a court martial if ever you came before me again for absence.'

With both hands uplifted he exclaimed, 'Och, shure, yer honour, never a word of a lie in it!'

Some of the young officers came to the rescue and stated that they had frequently seen men standing and sitting round the Colonel's grave; and thus he got over it without punishment.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Officer Badges of Rank (1903)
Topic: Militaria

Officer Badges of Rank

Canada Gazette; 9 May 1903

General Order 49
Dress Regulations

The following changes in Dress Regulations are authorized:—

Introduction of a Service Uniform and
consequent changes in Officers' Dress

Badges of rank.

All branches of the service except highland kilted regiments.

Sleeves with round cuffs and 3-pointed flap, the flap edged with 1/2 inch chevron lace. Badges of rank, similar to those worn on the shoulder straps, but in worsted embroidery, will be worn on the flaps.

Rings of chevron lace and tracing braid will be worn round the cuff according to rank.

  • Second lieutenant and lieutenant; One row of chevron lace.
  • Captain-Two rows of chevron lace.
  • Major-Three rows of chevron lace and two rows of tracing braid between them.
  • Lieutenant Colonel-Three rows of chevron lace and four rows of tracing braid.
  • Colonel four rows of chevron lace and five rows of tracing braid.

Highland kilted regiments.

Service jacket.—The jacket will he cut away in front to clear the top of the sporran. The sleeves will be gauntlet shape laced as described above the lace beginning at the top of the cuff. One bar of lace down the back seam. No flap. Embroidered badges of rank below the laces. The braid is to be worsted and not silk.

Rank badges of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Source: Their Glory Cannot Fade, a souvenir pamphlet
published by the Canadian Pacific Railway, Christmas, 1918.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Rates of Pay, The Canadian Militia, 1867
Topic: Canadian Militia

Rates of Pay, The Canadian Militia, 1867


Infantryman, Canadian Volunteer Militia, 1863-1870

This volunteer wears the full dress uniform authorized for the Canadian Volunteer Militia in 1863. Few units would have worn the shako shown in this image, substituting the inexpensive (and far more comfortable) forage cap. The style is generally similar to that worn by British regular infantry, with the white-metal buttons and badges commonly used by militia units within the British empire. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Source page.

Canadian Military History Gateway

General Order No. 2 - June 1, 1866


Fixes the rate of pay and allowances for the Force called out on Service as follows, viz:—

Ranks.Rate of pay per day.Daily rate of allowance in lieu of Barracks, rations, and all other allowances.
Lieut. Colonel$4.87$1.00
Adjutant with rank of Lieutenant2.44$0.90
Adjutant with rank of  
Assist. Surgeon2.43$0.72
Quarter Master1.94$0.76
Ensign or Cornet1.28$0.69

And the rates of pay for each non-commissioned ofllcer and man shall be as follows, for their prospective grades:

Rank.Rate of pay per day. (cts)
Quarter-Master Serjeant45
Paymaster's Clerk45
Orderly Room Clerk45
Hospital Serjeant45
Pay Serjeants40

And the non-commissioned officers and privates shall receive either free lodgings, and rations; or an allowance in lieu thereof, as may in different cases be deemed most advisable; and in cases where an allowance is granted the rate for such allowance will be for Volunteers who have not been moved fom their Company or Battallion Head Quarters forty cents per man per day, and fifty cents per man per day for all Volunteers who have been moved from their homes.

Purchasing Power

The Bank of Canada online book "A History of the Canadian Dollar," by James Powell, details in Appendix A (page 88) the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar. The specific example is given to estimate that $1.00 in 1870 is equivalent to approximately $26.70 in today's money.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 10 December 2013 9:57 PM EST
Monday, 16 December 2013

Murder at Wolseley Barracks (1908)
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

Murder at Wolseley Barracks

Shot his Sergeant
A Drunken Soldier's Crime at Wolseley Barracks, London
Moir Not Yet Captured

Windsor; The Evening Record, 20 Apr 1908

Victim had remonstrated with him for being intoxicated and untidy — Uses rifle and escapes —
Murderer has Revolvers and ammunition with him — Seen near St. Mary's yesterday

London, April 20.— Private Moir, orderly at Wolseley Barracks, who at midnight Friday short and fatally wounded Col.-Sergt. Henry Lloyd of Stratford, has not yet been captured, although he was heard of in the vicinity of Grove Post, and later onn he asked a man for food, but didn't get it. He stayed over night and was seen yesterday on the G.T.R. track near St. Mary's. Detectives set out after him on a hand-car.

He has abandoned his rifle, but has two heavy revolvers. he took a child's peak cap in place of his own military one.

Moir is said to have an ugly disposition. he had been drinking during Good Friday and on returning Lloyd, who was in command of the guard, reprimanded Moir on his condition, and declared that he would be reported to the commanding officer in the morning for being improperly dressed. Moir becamce very argumentative, and somewhat abusive, and Lloyd allowed him to go to his quarters without further protest.

Shortly afterwards a noise like like that of a rifle shot was heard, and Orderly Officer Lieut. Morris came to Sergt Lloyd and asked him who was the last man in. As the shot appeared to come from the hospital section, Lieut Morris asked Lloyd to investigate. He and Morris then went down into the sleeping quarters of the orderlies.

The room was quite dark, but Moir was seen in the corner with a rifle in his hand. Lloyd asked him to lay down the rifle, and he went over towards Moir. the latter raised the rifle. Lloyd saw the movement and jumped towards Moir. There was a report, and Lloyd sank to the floor with a groan.

Morris hurried away to call the guard and Moir escaped.

Moir is an old soldier, so it is said, and was a private in the old Gordon Highlanders. He fought with the regiment through the Boer war. He has also seen service on the frontier.

He always carried firearms and, it is said, would shoot on provocation.

The revolver he carried was an army revolver. Moir also had another revolver which he borrowed from one of the other soldiers.

Moir evidently determined to commit the deed after the reprimand administered by Sergt Lloyd. he took down the rifle and loaded it, with a steel-capped cartridge. he then buckled on a bandelero belt, filled with cartridges from Pte Brady.

“Moir used to drink some, but was not a heavy drinker,” said one of the privates, who was well acquainted with Moir. “He used to be a cordite-eater. That acts like dope, and it used to make him wild at times He was particularly bad when he was drinking, as he seemed to be worse.”

Cordite eating was somewhat common in South Africa, it is said. The men remove the cartridges and eat the powder. It is a powerful stimulant, and acts much like morphine and other drugs of that sort.

Lloyd was about 25 years of age, fair complexion with a light mustache. His home is in Stratford, and he was attached to the 28th Battalion. For several years past he has been taking courses at the barracks.

Murderer Moir is Taken Near Guelph
Private Who Slew Sergt. Lloyd at Wolseley Barracks was Captured on Farm,
Where He had Been Working, After Hard Battle

The Evening Record, 11 May 1908

London, Ont., May 11.— After fighting like a mad beast for fifteen minutes with two powerful men, private William Alexander Moir, adjudged by a jury to have been the slayer of Color-Sergt. Harry Lloyd at Wolseley barracks on the night of Friday, April 17, was snatched from liberty into the arms of the lawat about 6 o'clock Saturday night on the farm of the Robb family, four miles north of Elora, which is thirteen miles northwest of Guelph. Moir's captors were Chief Constable Farrell and Constable Coughlin, of Arthur, a village ten miles north of the capture.

Moir struggled against these strong men for a quarter of an hour, after they had come close enough to him through a ruse that they were trying to buy horses. They, to use their own words “did not want to hurt him,” and they wore him out. Before they did place the steel wristlets on Moir, they were tumbled over a stable floor, kicked at and struggled with by a man whose fury and hated culminated in a final vicious storm that gave him a superhuman strength, which was its own defeat.

He lips flecked with foam, his eyes standing out like bullets, and his hands gnarled out of shape by his struggle, Moir was a horrible looking object when the officers lifted him into a buggy and carried him from the quiet, seldom-visited farm, where he had worked since the night of April 22 as a farm laborer. This was five days after his crime.

In speaking of the capture of Moir Constable Farrell said: “Moir called loudly all through to David Robb to come and help him, but Rodd evidently knew who he was and refused. Then he cursed and actually foamed at the mouth. he was in the vilest mood I have ever seen a man, and if he had been able to get a revolver he would have made short work of us.

“After the three of us had fought all over the floor of the barn and tumbled into the horses' stalls, we were able to get the handcuffs om the man.”

Moir had been working on the Robb farm for $20 a month.

Will Moir be Given Freedom?
Case of Lloyd's Slayer Is to Come Before Minister of Justice

The Toronto World, 30 July 1913

Private William A. Moir of the Canadian regular forces, who was committed to life imprisonment for the murder of Colour-Sergt Lloyd at Wolseley barracks, London, in 1908, and only escaped the gallows by pleading temporary insanity, is credited with having stated recently that he never had an epileptic fit in his life. He is at present confined in the Central Prison as a criminal lunatic.

At the conclusion of his trial he was placed in the Hamilton Asylum, but escaped from that institution, taking a desperate chance one night when a window was negligently left unbarred. Upon recapture he was transferred to the prison where he has been employed in the machine shop.

Liberty Doubtful

Applications recently made to the minister of justice for his release are based on his declaration of sanity and on his consistent good conduct since his commitment to the Central Prison. In view, however, of the circumstances of his crime, which was perpetrated in cold blood, it is not considered likely that the man, who is either a murderer or a lunatic, will be set at liberty.

Negotiations will be opened with the provincial secretary, as prisoners confined in the Central Prison under the designation of criminal lunatics, are under the jurisdiction of the province.

100 Years Ago: Thursday, May 14, 1908

Orangeville Citizen; 14 May 2008

Private W. Moir, who stands accused on fatally shooting Colour Sergeant Lloyd, of Wolseley Barracks, London, on Good Friday. was captured four miles north of Elora on Saturday while working as a farmhand. The capture was made by constables from Arthur after a ten-minute struggle. Moir was armed with a 32 calibre revolver, loaded in five chambers. He says he must have been drunk when he shot Lloyd, as he did not know that he had killed him until he saw it in a Stratford paper on the Monday after. The news of his whereabouts was brought to Arthur by a man named Draper, a stage driver between Arthur and Fergus, who had seen him while passing the place where he was working.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 15 December 2013

None Stand Alone
Topic: Commentary

The wallet card reminder issued to members of the Canadian Armed Forces on services available to all ill and unjured soldiers.

Click the image or this link to go to The Guide.

Note: the correct URL is:

None Stand Alone

While preparing information cards for medals in my collection, for a new display case layout to show at an upcoming regimental dinner, I pondered the number of men I have been researching who had also served in other regiments than my own. So many had come from, or gone to other units. For some, it was only during wartime that they served, enlisting each time in a local unit. For others, who served in war and peace, they transferred as needed to continue their service. And others still were moved between units as the Army required, or their abilities to serve made necessary.

In each case, receiving units would have gained the benefits of the training, service and experience those soldiers arrived with. Often they become staunch members of their new units, rising in rank, authority, and receiving the rewards of faithful service. This was not unlike the experiences of so many that I have also served with in past decades.

When viewed from this perspective, it quickly becomes clear that no regiment stands alone. None can call themselves "pure" in the context of having allowed in no influences brought from other regiments. And because of this, we all stand closer than our perceptions of regimental pride and uniqueness might lead us to believe.

Consider the way we often present regimental histories. While it is perhaps true that no regiment ever played a supporting role in its own presentation of its history, often this can be taken to the effect that some regiments seem to stand alone on every battlefield as they tell the story. This approach, tending always to speak of our own regiments as singular entities, easily leads new solders to think their own cap badge led every charge, and mopped up every trench. But that denies the deep symbiosis we have at both the organizational level, where every regiment belongs to a Brigade, and at the personal level, with soldiers moving to and from other units. We are all linked by the brotherhood of past friendships and by blood to the soldiers of so many other units, past and present.

Just as no soldier stands alone on the battlefield, supported by his fire team partner, his "battle buddy," so every regiment stands beside brothers and sisters in arms, meeting each challenge with mutual support and interlocking arcs of fire. These bonds of soldiering cross every boundary, and we better understand our own regiment when we learn to see and understand the many threads of personal connection between our own regiment and the many others in this Army.

As you think about your own connections to other regiments, through your own service or that of those your served with, think about reaching out to them to see how they're doing. You may have a fire team partner now who wears the same badge, but every soldier you have served with, or that your own battle buddies have served with, regardless of cap badge then or now, is equally deserving of your continuing mutual support.

Send up the Count.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 16 December 2013 8:03 AM EST
Saturday, 14 December 2013

The George Cross to the Canadian Army
Topic: Canadian Army

The George Cross to the Canadian Army in the Second World War

Awards of the George Cross to members of the Canadian Army in the Second World War. Extracts from the Canada Gazette and the London Gazette.

Central Chancery Of The Orders Of Knighthood.
St. James's Palace, S.W.I, 17th December, 1940.

The KING has been graciously, pleased to approve the award of the GEORGE CROSS, for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out very hazardous work, to:

  • Lieutenant John MacMillan Stevenson Patton
    Royal Canadian Engineers.

Central Chancery Of The Orders Of Knighthood.
St. James's Palace, S.W.I, 2nd April, 1943.

The KING has been graciously pleased, on the advice of Canadian Ministers, to approve the posthumous award of the GEORGE CROSS, in recognition of most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to:

  • B.28593 Corporal James Hendry
    The Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers.

Government House, Ottawa
26th May, 1944

The Canadian Army

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award the George Cross to:

  • B.46960 Corporal (Acting Sergeant) John Rennie
    Canadian Infantry Corps

For conspicuous courage in the face of extreme danger.

On the 29th October, 1943, Acting Sergeant Rennie was supervising grenade throwing by a member of hie unit at a Canadian Training Camp in England. One grenade had been successfully thrown but a second grenade failed to clear the protective embankment, and rolled back into the throwing area.

Despite the fact that he had the time and opportunity to escape from danger. Acting Sergeant Rennie without the slightest hesitation, dashed forward, interposing himself between the grenade and his comrades, and attempted to pick op the rolling grenade and throw it clear. Before he could do so, however, the grenade exploded and Acting Sargent Rennie sustained mortal injuries.

By his sacrifice, Acting Sergeant Rennie prevented serious and possibly fatal injuries to three other soldiers who were within five yards of the explosion and his gallant art., carried out in complete disregard of his own safety, showed bravery of a high order that stands out in the annals of the Canadian Army.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 13 December 2013

Signalling (1905)
Topic: Drill and Training

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

General Order 48 of 1905


The following instructions, &c. relative to signalling are authorized:-

Permanent Forces

(1).     Two officers of each squadron, battery and company of the following permanent units will be selected and trained as Signalling Instructors, viz.:-

(2).     Ten per cent of the establishment of non-commissioned officers and men of the above units will be trained as Assistant Instructors. Of the above ten per cent, not more than three shall be non-commissioned officers, of whom only one may be a staff sergeant or sergeant.

(3).     The above details will be available as Instructors and Assistant Instructors for the militia units of their respective arms, and while so employed will receive extra pay according to the class of certificate held by them, viz:—

 Per diem.
OfficersInstructors$1 .00
Grade "B".75
N.C.O. Rank and fileAssistant Instructors.50
Grade "B".40

(4).     Of the staff of Assistant Instruction in each unit the five best of the rank and file may be classified as paid signallers and receive 10 cents a day as such throughout the year. No signaller shall be qualified for this unless he is in possession of an Assistant Instructor's certificate or grade "A" certificate.

(5).     Paid specialists are not to be allowed to draw specialist pay in more than one capacity at one time.

Syllabus of Instruction

(6).     (a)     Learning the alphabet, numerals and special signs.

(b)     Acquiring proficiency in reading from and sending on the various instruments.

(c)     The use, construction and care of the various instruments.

(d)     The detailed duty of station work and the method of dealing with messages.

(e)     Establishment of various kinds of stations in the field.

(7).     The standard of efficiency required to obtain the "Instructor's," "Assistant Instructor's' "A" Grade and "B" Grade certificates will be as follows:—
 Reading and Sending @ words per minutesPercentage of accuracyTheoretical examination percentage of marks.
HeliographSmall FlagLampSounderSemaphore
Officers Instructors8888109566
Grade "B"Trained66689066
N.C.O., rank and file Assistant Instructors8888109566
Grade "B"Trained66689066

(8).     A qualified officer, assisted by the senior, or by a specially qualified, non-commissioned officer of the rank of sergeant, will be detailed by each officer commanding a permanent unit to take charge of the signallers.

(9).     The system laid down in the "Signalling Instructions" is to be adhered to. As the signallers of one corps may, at any time, be called upon to communicate with those of another, identity of system is absolutely necessary.

(10).     In units provided with certified instructors, classes will be formed for regimental Instruction under regimental arrangements .

(11).     Members of a signalling class when under instruction will be relieved from duties which interfere with the course of instruction .

(12).     Commanding officers will he held responsible for their signallers being thoroughly trained in Heliograph, Lamp, Flag and Semaphore and for the number of their signallers being up to the establishment and fit for inspection at any time during the year.

(13).     The regimental signallers in the permanent units will have at least three hours practice weekly throughout the year. Brigade practice will also take place whenever possible, under the supervision of the district signalling officer or a selected instructor.

(14).     The district officer will, from time to time, test the efficiency of the signallers.

(15).     Requisitions for stationery for signalling classes should be included in the annual demand made by commanding officers of the permanent units.

(16) . Two supernumeraries per service squadron or battery and one supernumerary per company should be trained in order to replace men becoming non-effective.

(17).     A report on the efficiency of the units inspected will, after each inspection, be forwarded (on A.F.B. 225) by the Inspector of Signalling to the Militia Council. The signallers of the units which are shown in the annual report of the Inspector of Signalling as having qualified, will be entitled to wear badges and receive the gratuity authorized in paragraph 20. The signallers of any corps who fail to to qualify at the annual inspection will not be permitted to wear badges for the year.

(18) . The Inspector of Signalling may be accompanied, on his annual tour of inspection, by an assistant instructor of the instructional signalling staff.

Signalling Establishments for Active Militia

(19.) The undermentioned numbers of officers, n.c. officers and men of each unit of the several branches of the service, exclusive of the permanent force, are authorized to be trained as signallers, vis:—

  • Cavalry—l officer and 2 n.c.o. or men per squadron.
  • Artillery (Field)—1 officer and 4 n.c.o. or men per battery.
  • Artillery (Garrison)—l officer and 4 n.c.o. or men per company.
  • Engineers—1 officer and 2 n.c.o. or men per company.
  • Infantry—2 officers per battalion and 2 n.c.o. or men per company,
  • Army Service Corps—1 officer and 2 n.c.o. or men per company.
  • Medical Corps—I officer and 2 n.c.o. or men per company.

(The above details are not to be considered as in excess of the authorized establishments.)

They will be examined in signalling at their headquarters or at the annual camps.

(20) . Those officers, n.c.o. and men who pass the tests for instructor and assistant instructor will be granted a gratuity in the case of:—

  • An officer — $5.00
  • A n.c.o. or man — 3.00

Non-commissioned officers and men who pass the standard of efficiency of a Grade "B" certificate will be allowed to wear badges.

(21).     The "Signalling Instructions" for the British Army will be the test book.

City Corps

(22).     Courses of instruction for city corps will cover, as nearly as possible, the syllabus laid down for the permanent force.

The use of the Heliograph is optional.

Rural Corps

(23).     The course of instruction for rural corps at the annual camps will he limited to sending and reading proficiently messages by semaphore. This will not prevent officers and men from attending full courses of instruction at other times.

Courses of Instruction

(24) . In order that officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the permanent force may thoroughly qualify themselves for the position of instructors and assistant instructors, and also that a uniform system of signalling may prevail throughout the Canadian Militia, courses at Instruction will be conducted under the supervision of the Inspector of Signalling at the several permanent headquarters, as notified from time to time in Militia Orders.

(25), Officers and non-commissioned officers of the Active Militia, including the Signalling Corps, will be allowed to attend classes if vacancies exist. Due notice will be given.

Each class will last from six weeks to two months.

As efficient instructors an trained, opportunity will be taken to establish courses of instruction at the larger centres for the benefit of the Active Militia.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Responsibility of Perpetuation
Topic: Commentary

The Responsibility of Perpetuation

Many units of the Canadian Army perpetuate units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). The CEF was raised by Sir Sam Hughes as Canada's Overseas Forces during the First World War. In order to sidestep the existing political influence of the Active Militia, and being no more a fan of the Permanent Force (which was at token strength), Hughes maintained the greatest level of control by building his own force.

The achievements of the CEF are undeniable. Accomplished through the recruiting of over 600,000 Canadians, the honours won by the CEF were achieved in the main by citizens who became soldiers only in their country's time of need. Those honours are still held by units of the Canadian Army. Some of those units fought as part of the CEF (or BEF) and remain in the Order of Battle today. Many others hold honours because of the rights of perpetuation.

Perpetuation, a uniquely Canadian concept, is described in the Canadian Armed Force publication A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Honours, Flags and Heritage Structure of the Canadian Forces as follows:

15.     Perpetuation is a unique Canadian system developed after the First World War to provide a formal means of preserving military operational honours and heritage for succeeding generations. It is government policy that disbanded units, which have gained an honour and/or distinction in the field, be perpetuated to preserve their memory. Disbanded units which have not gained an honour or distinction in the field shall not be perpetuated. Units perpetuated by disbanded units which are not eligible for perpetuation may, subject to the concurrence of the disbanded units' authorized or officially recognized association(s), be perpetuated by an extant unit.

16.     Perpetuation is a public declaration of a family inheritance from a distinguished Canadian ancestor, and entitles the perpetuating unit to the honours of its predecessor. Thus, although few Canadian regiments were mobilized as such for overseas service in the First World War, most have battle honours earned in the war.

With those honours comes a responsibility. That responsibility is to remember those units, and the soldiers of those units, who won those honours in the trenches of France and Flanders. For any unit perpetuating a fighting battalion of the CEF, or any number of battalions that provided reinforcements, that may mean they represent the contributions of thousands of soldiers.

The pervasive oral narrative, which is the local understanding of regimental history in many cases, often blurs the perpetuation distinction. The use by CEF units of adopted badge designs, unit titles and support from local units in their recruiting have all leant themselves to many losing the detailed understanding that the battlefield units of the First World War were not battalions of their regiment at the time. The official connections were developed post-war, a point that has seldom survived in the later oral narrative. Even more insidiously, when the field unit of the CEF is the one with overlapping trappings, other perpetuated units, especially those absorbed into the reinforcement stream, may be forgotten completely except by those who study the regiment's history in detail.

As we come upon the Centennial of the Great War, it is time to account for all of those units. Our regimental connections to those who won battle honours we count as our own today (through perpetuation and amalgamations), and those units which were raised in our own communities that may have sent soldiers to fight in many other battalions. They, too, deserve to be remembered.

But it's not just the units that need to be remembered and commemorated. It is the soldiers we owe a debt of honour, service and sacrifice. Each man recruited into, or taken on the strength of, a perpetuated battalion is one of our regimental soldiers. Their stories, even for those who passed on to fight under a different badge, is also one of our stories. A man can belong to more than one regiment, and more than one regiment can take pride in the service and story of any one soldier. No soldier's service is lessened by the accumulated claims of each regiment he served with. Between us, we can, and should, remember them all. And we can do those soldiers no greater honour than remembering them correctly within the context of each of the units they served in, and not burying their memory within a blurred understanding of regimental histories.

Their stories are also the stories of our regiments.

The following shows the amalgamated and perpetuated units of The Royal Canadian Regiment.

The Royal Canadian Regiment
(Amalgamations and Perpetuations)

The Royal Canadian Regiment was amalgamated in 1954 with:

  • The Oxford Rifles
    • Which perpetuated:
      • 71st Canadian Infantry Battalion (CEF)
      • 168th Canadian Infantry Battalion (CEF)
  • The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
    • Which perpetuated:
      • 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion (CEF)
      • 33rd Canadian Infantry Battalion (CEF)
      • 142nd Canadian Infantry Battalion (CEF)
    • And was itself amalgamated in 1936 with:
      • 2nd Bn, The Canadian Machine Gun Corps (Militia)
        • Which perpetuated:
          • 2nd Bn, The Canadian Machine Gun Corps (CEF)
  • How readily can you draft a similar list for your regiment?

    Canadian Army Battle Honours

    Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Canadians Rank High
Topic: Humour

Corporal T.C. Mackenzie [Loyal Edmonton Regiment], Sergeant R.W. Williams [Calgary Highlanders], Private N.E. Smith [North Nova Scotia Highlanders] and Gunner H.D. Gingell [13 Canadian Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery], who all received Military Medals, at Buckingham Palace, London, England, 27 June 1945. Photographer: Harold D. Robinson. Mikan Number: 3205673. From the Library and Archives Canada virtual exhibit "Faces of War."

Canadians Rank High

The Windsor Star, 6 Sep 1940

London, Eng., Sept. 6 – Canadian soldiers rank high in popularity with girls who go dancing in the Covent Garden district. A survey showed this order of favour:

1.     British sailors.

2.     Canadians.

3.     Royal Air Force.

4.     Foot Guards.

5.     New Zealanders.

6.     French sailors (who used to be at the top of the list before France capitualted).

7.     All other troops in khaki.

8.     Civilians.

Australians were not included, it was explained, because they don't seem to find time for dancing.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Rorke's Drift Victoria Cross Citations
Topic: Medals

Rorke's Drift Victoria Cross Citations

For their gallant conduct at the defence of Rorke's Drift, …

Anyone who has watched the movie Zulu knows the story of the battle at Rorke's Drift. On 22-23 January, 1879, a small force of about 150 British soldiers, most of them of the 2nd Battalion, 24th (2nd Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot, held off a force of over 4000 Zulu warriors.

Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded for actions at Rorke's Drift. Of these, seven went to soldiers of the 24th Regiment, one to the Royal Engineers, one to the Army Medical Department, one to the Commissariat and Transport Department and one to the Natal Native Contingent.

The text below, from the London Gazette of 2 May 1879, provides an early published description of these actions for the infantry and engineer recommendations.

Supplement to the London Gazette

War Office, May 2, 1879.

The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Soldiers of Her Majesty's Army, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty's approval, for their gallant conduct in the defence of Rorke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus, as recorded against their names, viz.:—

RegimentNamesActs of Courage for which recommended
Royal EngineersLieutenant (now Captain and Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard

For their gallant conduct at the defence of Rorke's Drift, on the occasion of the attack by the Zulus on the 22nd and 23rd January, 1879.

The Lieutenant-General commanding the troops reports that, had it not been for the fine example and excellent behaviour of these two Officers under the most trying circumstances, the defence of Rorke's Drift post would not have been conducted with that intelligence and tenacity which so essentially characterised it.

The Lieutenant-General adds, that its success must, in a great degree, be attributable to the two young Officers who exercised the Chief Command on the occasion in question.

2nd Battalion 24th RegimentLieutenant (now Captain and Brevet Major) G. Bromhead
2nd Battalion 24th RegimentPrivate John WilliamsPrivate John Williams was posted with Private Joseph Williams, and Private William Horrigan, 1st Battalion 24th Regiment, in a distant room of the hospital, which they held for more than an hour, so long as they had a round of ammunition left: as communication was for the time cut off, the Zulus were enabled to advance and burst open the door ; they dragged out Private Joseph Williams and two of the patients, and assagaied them. Whilst the Zulus were occupied with the slaughter of these men a lull took place, during which Private John Williams, who, with two patients, were the only men now left alive in this ward, succeeded in knocking a hole in the partition, and in taking the two patients into the next ward, where he found Private Hook.
2nd Battalion 24th RegimentPrivate Henry HookThese two men together, one -man working whilst the other fought and held the enemy at bay with his bayonet, broke through three more partitions, and were thus enabled to bring eight patients through a small window into the inner line of defence.
2nd Battalion 24th RegimentPrivate William Jones and Private Robert JonesIn another ward, facing the hill, Private William Jones and Private Robert Jones defended the post to the last, until six out of the seven patients it contained had been removed. The seventh, Sergeant Maxfield, 2nd Battalion 24th Regiment, was delirious from fever. Although they had previously dressed him, they were unable to induce him to move. When Private Robert Jones returned to endeavour to carry him away, he found him being stabbed by the Zulus as he lay on his bed.
2nd Battalion 24th RegimentCorporal William Allen and Private Frederick HitchIt was chiefly due to the courageous conduct of these men that communication with the hospital was kept up at all. Holding together at all costs a most dangerous post, raked in reverse by the enemy's fire from the hill, they were both severely wounded, but their determined conduct enabled the patients to be withdrawn from the hospital, and when incapacitated by their wounds from fighting, they continued, as soon as their wounds had been dressed, to serve out ammunition to their comrades during the night.


Lieutenants Melville and Chard would receive thei Victoria Crosses in 1907, after the rule restricting posthunmous awards was revoked.

Lieutenant Melville, of the 1st Battalion 24th Foot, on account of the gallant efforts made by him to save the Queen's Colour of his Regiment after the disaster at Isandlwanha, and also Lieutenant Coghill, 1st Battalion 24th Foot, on account of his heroic conduct in endeavouring to save his brother officer's life, would have been recommended to Her Majesty for the Victoria Cross had they survived.

For further information:

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 9 December 2013

The Regiment Should...
Topic: Commentary

The Regiment Should …

As someone with an interest in regimental history, I often find myself talking to members of the Regiment, both serving and retired, on a variety of regimental topics. Quite often our starting point is some mention of the Regiment's past. Sometimes the conversation leads to confirmation or debunking of a long held belief about the Regiment, theirs, or mine. Or it may be an exploration of some aspect of regimental life or history that they experienced first hand which was new to me.

Another direction that seems to crop up all too often is when someone launches into their pet diatribe, usually starting with that ominous phrase: "The Regiment should …"

The contentious point may be a subject of regimental history that the speaker feels has not been adequately recorded, or the establishment of a memorial or marker or symbol commemorating some chosen moment in regimental history, or perhaps simply the issuing of some item (gratis, of course) to every member of the Regiment. Unfortunately, the opinion that the Regiment should do something, and what they would like to see done, is never backed up by a solid analysis of costs, requirements, or effort. In particular, the speaker never defines who they are talking about when they say that "the Regiment" should do something. My counter, when not completely stunned by the impracticality of the idea, is to challenge them on this point.

"Who, exactly, do you think should do that?"

It's a question that never immediately gets a clear answer. I then describe how few people actually work in what we call our Regimental headquarters, and how all the other people they remember holding regimental appointments were doing them voluntarily, on top of the full time responsibilities the Army gave them. In comparison, in many regiments there are no dedicated regimental appointments and all regimental business (i.e., those functions outside of Canadian Armed Forces requirements and responsibilities) is done by voluntary contributions of time and energy.

For many, it is an awakening to realize how the Regiment covers off so many essential functions. And how that leaves little capability among the assigned staff for many other desires, such as the project which was declared by them to be something that the Regiment "should do."

The last part of this conversation almost always takes the same form.

Yes, I might agree, the Regiment should do something. And I point out that the part of the Regiment which should take charge and assume responsibility for this project is the speaker himself. He, too, is part of the Regiment, and if his desired project is that important to him, then he should be the one carrying a complete plan (including realistic suggestions on how it should be funded without assuming available Regimental funds), or, depending on its nature, the completed project, to the Regiment.

I wish I could say that the proposer of such a project more often than not walks away with an intent to follow through, but that wasn't the answer they were looking for. All too often, when someone starts a suggestion with "The Regiment should …", what they really mean is "Someone else should …"

It's easy to be part of a Regiment when you expect others to do the work you suggest should be done.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 2 December 2013 8:11 AM EST
Sunday, 8 December 2013

My dug-out was on fire
Topic: Humour

A Bruce Bairnsfather cartoon.

"My dug-out was on fire…"

From: Captain Norman C.S. Down, 14th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, quoted in Jon E. Lewis, The Mammoth Book of War Diaries and Letters; Life on the battlefield in the words of the ordinary soldier, 1775-1991, 1998

SAME PLACE, June 12th 1915

Cherie (French),

Still here, and no word of being relieved. That's only nineteen days that we've been in the front line without a relief, and we haven't lost more than two hundred men during the time, so we aren't doing so badly.

All the same, life's hardly worth living. From dewy dawn till the stars begin to peep the Hun shells us, shell after shell the whole day long, and we just have to sit and look pleasant. Our own artillery do their best, but all they can do is to polish their guns and think how nice it would be to have something to fire out of them. If only we could have the man here who said that there was no shortage of shells.

I'm not being very cheerful, am I, but at present I'm suffering rather badly from lack of sleep. This morning after "stand to" I told my servant to make me a cup of cocoa. Before it was ready I had fallen asleep and he had to wake me. I took the cocoa from him and tried to drink it, but it was too hot, and so I sat down and waited for it to cool. I must have fallen off again directly, as I woke up with a start to find scalding liquid tickling down my kilt and on to my bare knees. I didn't want to let my man see what a fool I had made of myself, so I raked up an old Tommy's Cooker and put a dixie of water on it. My dug-out was on fire when I woke up again, and I had to use all my remaining water to put it out. After this I gave up all idea of a hot drink and went to sleep on the sopping floor of the dug-out. Five or six hours later a small earthquake roused me to the fact that all around me was dark. This was astonishing for midday in June. A shell had closed up the dug-out door, an ungentlemanly thing to do, but better perhaps than coming in through the door. When my men dug me out they told me that this sort of thing had been going on for over an hour, and that they had retired to the far end of the trench, and had wondered why I didn't do likewise…

Later.–I've been hit, Phyllis, and am feeling a regular wounded 'ero. I was walking along the trench when there was a bang, and I was thrown forward on to my face. "You're hit, sir, hit in the back," said one of my men, and with a breathless haste my tunic and shirt was tom off, to disclose a shrapnel ball clinging lovingly to my spine in the midst of a huge bruise. The skin had just been scratched. Oh, I was sick, I had fully expected a nice cushy one, and a month down the line, with perhaps a fortnight's sick leave in England to top up with, and then to find it was the merest scratch. Oh, it was cruel. However, the news got round, and I had a message from battalion H.Q. asking whether they should send along a stretcher! And when I went down to the dressing station to get some iodine put on the wound the M.O. turned round to the orderly and said, "Just put some iodine on this officer's wound, will you. You'll find it if you look long enough". That put the lid on it. No more wounds for me. Till next time. Your wounded hero.


The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 7 December 2013

HMCS Kootenay
Topic: RCN

HMCS Kootenay (DDE 258) at Pearl Harbor 1986 (Image from Wikipedia).

HMCS Kootenay

Canadian Bravery Decorations

Government House Ottawa
The Canada Gazette; 29 July 1972

The Governor General, the Right Honourable Roland Michener. on the recommendation of the Canadian Decorations Advisory Committee, and with the approval of Her Majesty the Queen of Canada, is pleased hereby to award bravery decorations as follows:

Bravery decorations for certain personnel of HMCS Kootenay

HMCS Kootenay, one of seven "Restigouche"-class destroyer-escorts in the Canadian Armed Forces, was conducting full-power trials on October 23, 1969, in the western approaches to the English Channel with eight other Canadian ships, at 08.21 there was an explosion in the engine room. Intense heat, flame and smoke engulfed the engine room almost immediately and spread to adjacent passageways and to the boiler room.

Awards are made in recognition of outstanding acts of bravery performed on that occasion to the following members of the ship's company.

Cross of Valour

To Receive the Cross of Valour (posthumous)

Chief Warrant Officer Vaino Olavi Partanen
Canadian Armed Forces

CWO Vaino Olavi Partanen of Dartmouth, N.S., and Verdun, Quebec, was chief engine room artificer aboard HMCS Kootenay. When the explosion and fire devastated the engine room immediate orders were given to evacuate, but Chief Warrant Officer Partanen, in full knowledge that he was in mortal danger, remained behind in order to report the situation by telephone to the officer of the watch on the bridge. He died moments after attempting to make a report on the situation.

To Receive the Cross of Valour (posthumous)

Lewis John Stringer
Canadian Armed Forces

Sgt Lewis John Stringer, of Hamilton, Ontario and Dartmouth, N.S., a supply technician, was off-duty in the cafeteria when the explosion occurred. He understood the danger immediately, stepped into the exit and used his body to block the way to the smoke-filled passageway. He instructed others in the cafeteria to get down on the deck, breathe through their sleeves and crawl out by way of the galley. Sgt. Stringer waited until the last man had made good his escape before attempting to leave himself. He collapsed in the galley and although rescued, he succumbed later.

Star of Courage

To Receive the Star of Courage

Officer Cadet Clément Léo Bussière
Canadian Armed Forces

Clément Léo Bussière, of St. Paul, Alberta, was Petty Officer in charge of the boiler room, during the explosion and fire on HMCS Kootenay. As the boiler room filled with smoke, Bussière ordered his men to lie flat on the deck plates and breathe through damp clothing or rags. He saw to it that there was steam pressure for firefighting, and when this requirement was met, put on diver's breathing equipment in order to stay at his post long enough to shut down the boilers properly. Then he joined the damage-control team which was trying to cope with the situation in the engine room.

To Receive the Star of Courage

Clark E. Reiffenstein
Canadian Armed Forces

The late Sub-Lieutenant Clark E. Reiffenstein, of Montreal. was a navigation officer on HMCS Kootenay when the explosion and fire occurred. He put on "aqua-lung" equipment, underwater gear not designed for use in fire-fighting, to enable him to breathe and function in the smoke-filled deck immediately above the engine room. He saw that those in the area of the ship's cafeteria got clear to safer parts of the ship, dragging one man to safety who had been overcome by smoke. Then Sub-Lieutenant Reiffenstein made his way into the boiler room to see that it was cleared and eventually turned the breathing apparatus over to the Petty Officer in charge in the boiler room.

Medal of Bravery

To Receive the Medal of Bravery

Master Warrant Officer Robert Gary George
Canadian Armed Forces

MWO Robert G. George, of Tupperville, Ontario the senior hull technician aboard HMCS Kootenay organized damage control parties, sprayed one of the ammunition magazine areas and then flooded it to prevent a possible explosion. He led the attempt to fight the fire in the engine room through the forward hatch, at one point getting as far as the foot of the ladder into the engine room before being forced back. He remained in an area of the ship which could have received further damage in order to direct firefighting activities.

To Receive the Medal of Bravery

Warrant Officer Gerald John Gillingham
Canadian Armed Forces

WO Gerald John Gillingham was off-duty at the time of the explosion but rushed from his mess to the mortar well where a party was being organized for rescue and firefighting. He put on a breathing apparatus and made his way into a devastated area immediately above the engine room to shut off the "main stops" at the emergency position. Later, he displayed leadership and daring in exposing himself to heat and flame to operate one of the fire hoses near the engine room.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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