The Minute Book
Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Garrisoning Halifax 1905
Topic: Halifax

One Thousand Men Will Go To Halifax

As fast as British leave Canadians Will Take Their Place

The Daily Telegraph; Quebec, Thursday, 30 November, 1905

Ottawa, Nov. 30—By the middle of next week Canada will have over a thousand men in Halifax. This is about two thirds of the number of men Canada will have there when the defence is entirely taken over. At the present time Canada has about 450 men at Halifax; 250 infantry, 100 artillery and 100 engineers. Most of the artillery and engineers were enlisted from the British garrison.

On Monday two officers and 62 infantrymen and 8 officers with 213 artillerymen will leave Quebec for Halifax. Tuesday one officer with 41 infantry men will leave London, One officer and 170 artillerymen will leave Toronto and two officers with 62 infantrymen will leave St. John's, Quebec. This makes a total of 583 to be moved on the first of the week and with the 450 at Halifax now will bring the total number of Canadian defenders to 1,033.

As fast as accommodations are made for Canadians by the departure of the British forces men will be sent on to Halifax from the various places where they are being gathered. The eventual strength of the garrison will be 720 infantry, 525 artillery, 100 engineers and 200 made up of details of army service corps, store medical corps and ordnance corps. This will make the strength between 1,550 and 1,600.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 20 October 2014

RCAF Recruiting, 1949
Topic: RCAF

RCAF Recuiting; 1949

A Man to Look Up To

Published in McLean's magazine on 1 September 1949, this Royal Canadian Air Force recruiting advertisement seeks to inspire men to join the RCAF as Flying Officers.

Offering positions as pilots, radio operators and navigators, successful applicants will receive a monthly pay of $284 after completion of basic training.

IN the background and in the sky over the head of the pictured flyer is a the DH 100 Vampire. Eighty five Vampires were in Canadian service between 1948 and 1956, including with Canada's first RCAF squadron to be deployed in a NATO air defence role in Europe. In the 1950s, the Vampires were replaced by the F86 Sabre.

RCAF recuiting advertisement; 1949
Click image for larger version.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 1 September 2014 12:01 PM EDT
Sunday, 19 October 2014

Trompette's Defence of Canada's Permanent Force

Trompette's Defence of Canada's Permanent Force

"Trompette" was the nom de plume of the person, likely a well-connected officer of the Militia whose byline accompanied the weekly column Blasts from the Trumpet in The Quebec Daily Telegraph for many years.

Blasts from the Trumpet
The Quebec Daily Telegraph, 10 April 1897

"Economist," in the last issue of the Canadian Military Gazette, says of the Permanent Corps "It has been clearly demonstrated in the very able lecture delivered at the Military Institute by Capt. Cartwright, R.R.C.I., that the permanent schools as instructional bodies are a very expensive luxury and that the public are paying too dearly for this whistle. The Northwest campaign of twelve years ago also fully demonstrated that as a fighting body they were a lementable failure. Again, the Militia Report proves beyond dispute that as military organizations something very radically wrong exists in the management of these bodies, and it is time that the Government took action on the recommendation of Gen. Herbert and appointed a commission to enquire into the militia system as applied to these corps." The italics are mine.

Perhaps the best answer to this would be a few extracts from Militia Reports. First, as to the Permanent Corps, Gen. Herbert in his report for 1891, says:

"I must bear witness to the excellent work it has done, in spite of many disadvantages. It possesses some excellent officers and no-commissioned officers, to whose constant devotion to duty done, is to be ascribed the marked results that are visible, in the superior training of every officer and man of the Active Militia that has passed under their instruction. The faults, that I have noted, are, in the majority of cases, due to primary defects of organization."

"As a rule, there is no lack of desire on their part to improve themselves, but they require the means and encouragement to do so."

In his report of 1892, he says:

"Both the Cavalry and the Infantry of the Permanent Force are far below the standard of efficiency which has been attained by the Artillery."

After explaining the reasons for this he adds:—

"They deserve, however, none the less credit for the measure of success which has attended their efforts, and for their endeavours to make good their deficiency of early training."

Speaking of officers and N.C.O. attached to Imperial units for instruction, he says:

"The visible result has amply justified the expenditure."

In his report for 1894:

"Three officers this year have been sent to England. It is pleasing further to record, in this connection, that all, who have thus been associated with the Imperial Forces in England have earned themselves an excellent reputation, from the officers under whom they served."

"Generally speaking, if these regiments have not yet attained the full degree of efficiency, which I should wish to see, they constitute nevertheless a very valuable force, of which Canada may feel justly proud."

In the report for 1895, Col. Powell says:

"The Permanent Corps perform their duties of instruction as satisfactorily as circumstances will allow, and aside from their ordinary duties are carrying on a most useful and necessary work in the aid they give to those branches of the service that need it, &c."

As to their fighting qualities in 1885, I find from official reports that of the 270 officers and men of the permanent Corps that were in the neighbourhood of the fighting, there were 25 casualties, or more than nine and one half per cent. Of the 2,200 of other corps the casualties were 86, or less four per cent, and a considerable proportion of these casualties were in the Mounted Police, which more properly should be considered permanent Corps. With the above opinions and facts on record, the Permanent Corps can afford to smile at the slanderous attacks of "Economist" and others of that ilk.

But let me quote further. Report, 1891, Gen. Herbert, says, of City Militia:—

"As regards military training, city corps are at a great disadvantage. They acquire the forms of drill in the drill shed, but have no means of learning their practical application."

Rural Corps:—

"The rural corps are very deficient in instruction, but their organization is still more defective."


"The existence of an energetic and capable staff is indispensable to secure the efficiency of any military organization whether it consists of regular or militia troops."

Now mark the following in connection with the last paragraph, quoted from "Economist." The General is speaking of the active militia, not of the Permanent Corps:—

"That the militia act has not fulfilled the expectations formed 25 years ago, is sufficiently evident to anyone who carefully examines the present condition of the force, &c."

"The times seems to have arrived when a fresh enquiry should be made into the working of the Militia Act, in order to ascertain how far it has provided an organization capable of adapting itself to ever changing conditions and increased responsibilities."

"It is a common error to confuse drill with organization and to suppose that because a certain number of men, each year, are given twelve days elementary instruction in military exercises, therefore, a military organization exists. There can be no greater or more fatal misapprehension. The men thus drilled are but the elements from which a defensive military force may be created.

Further comment appears unnecessary.

elipsis graphic

Blasts from the Trumpet

The Quebec Daily Telegraph, 1 May 1897

A short time ago I compared "Economist's" statements as to the value of the Permanent Militia as instructional bodies with facts drawn from Militia reports, and thereby showed—to put it mildly—how very unreliable he was. My attention has been called to another sentence in his truthful letter which is as follows:— "It is not generally known by the Canadian taxpayer that out of a body of 800 enrolled men, no fewer than one-fourth desert, &c.," and far more ingeniously that ingenuously, he pretends to quote from Militia Report of 1895 in support of his assertion. He says that 22 men deserted, but omits to tell his readers that 38 returned from desertion, leaving the net loss 184, the strength being 904. He also omitted saying that this was by far the largest number of desertions in any one year since the first establishment of the corps. He will also probably forget to tell his readers that the net loss during the year 1896 was 58, or that the average loss during the past six years has been less than one-seventh of the strength. Perhaps he is not aware of the fact that a generous Government permits the corps canteen to bear a large share of the cost of arresting deserters, and that the facilities at every station for getting away are all that a deserter could wish. I fear that even "Economist" has neither sufficient "common sense nor knowledge of human nature" to correctly predict, when a recruit offers for enlistment, whether he will complete his term of service, or desert or become non-effective through disease, death or other cause.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 18 October 2014

Canadian Army Pay (1942)
Topic: Pay; the Queen's shilling

Unidentified Canadian infantrymen negotiating an assault training course, England, August 1942. Photographer: Alexander Mackenzie Stirton. Mikan Number: 3205243. From the Library and Archives Canada virtual exhibition Faces of War.

Canadian Army Pay (1942)

Ottawa Citizen, 14 Feb 1942

In response to a request that a schedule of Canadian army pay and allowances be published in handy form for clipping purposes, we oblige as follows:

The basic pay of the Canadian private soldiers is $1.30 daily. In addition he is housed, clothed and fed of in lieu of this is granted a subsistence allowance of $1 daily (50 cents rations, 50 cents for quarters). His health is cared for constantly by the Royal Canadian Army Medical Cops and the Canadian Dental Corps.

In the case of a married man a dependent's allowance of $35 monthly is paid to his wife on condition that he assigns to her at least 15 day's pay per month. In addition there is paid $12 to his wife each for the first two children, $9 monthly for the third and $8 for the fourth child. The dependent's allowance for the wife of a warrant officer (class 1) is $40 per month and for a lieutenant $45. Under certain conditions dependent's allowance may also be granted to other dependent relatives, such as a widowed mother.

elipsis graphic

Here's how a soldier's pay increases as he makes his way upward through the ranks:

  • trooper, gunner, driver, sapper, private, trumpeter, bugler or drummer - $1.30, if over 18 years of age;
  • lance corporal or lance bombardier - $1.50;
  • corporal or bombardier - $1.70;
  • lance sergeant - $1.90;
  • sergeant - $2.20;
  • staff sergeant - $2.50;
  • squadron, battery or company quartermaster-sergeant - $2.50;
  • warrant officer, class 3 - $2.75;
  • squadron, battery or company sergeant major - $3.00;
  • master gunner class 3, regimental quartermaster-sergeant, staff quartermaster-sergeant and quartermaster-sergeant - $3.10;
  • warrant officers class 1, other than those referred to next - $3.90;
  • warrant officers class 1, holding certain appointments - $4.20;
  • 2nd lieutenant - $.25;
  • lieutenant, $5.

Soldiers classified as tradesmen by virtue of civilian qualifications or graduation from army trade school and who are covering a vacancy on the establishment draw tradesman's pay extra, according to army grades which are as follows: class C, 25 cents; class B, 50 cents; class A, 75 cents.

Provisions have been made to assist the Canadian soldiers to reestablish himself in civilian life at the war's end and on discharge he receives the following clothing allowance: $35, if he has completed six months continuous service. If he has served under this time he will receive $27 or $17 according to whether he is discharged during winter or summer months. In addition to the above if he has completed 183 days service he receives a rehabilitation grant equal to 30 days pay of his rank. His dependent receives one month's dependent's allowance plus the amount of soldier's pay previously allotted to her. This is deducted from the amount otherwise payable on discharge to the soldier himself.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 17 October 2014

Recruits for the Permanent Force (1919)
Topic: Canadian Army

CNE Military Camp, 1915. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 3588

General Recruiting Depot, Toronto

Wanted—Recruits for the Permanent Force


The Toronto World, 12 May 1919

Applicants for Enlistment must be: Bona fide British subjects of good character. Unmarried and without dependents for whom they intend to claim Government Allowance. Between the ages of 18 and 45. In good heath. Not less than 5 ft. 4 in. in height, and 34 inches around the chest.

They will be enlisted for a period of two years, and pass a medical examination before attestation.

Corps.—The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona Horse (Royal Canadians), Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery, Royal Canadian Engineers. Infantry—The Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps, Canadian Permanent Army Medical Corps, Canadian Permanent Army Veterinary Corps, Canadian Permanent Army Pay Corps, Corps of Military Staff Clerks.

Pay.—The pay generally will be the rates of pay of the C.E.F.

Field Allowances.
Total P. Annum
365 days.
Warrant Officer2.00.30.30839.50
Regimental Sergeant Major1.85.202.05748.25
Squadron, Battery or Company Sergt-Major or S|Sergt.
Squadron, Battery or Company Quartermaster Sergeant1.50.201.70620.50
Orderly Room Sergeant1.50.201.70620.50
Lance-Corporals, Bomb. And 2nd Corporals1.05.10 1.15419.75

Free Rations, Barrack Accommodations and medical Attendance or Subsistence at 80c per diem when Ration and Barrack Accommodation not available.

Married Establishment.—When a vacancy exists in the married establishment, and this is filled by proper authority, Dependent's Allowance of $30 per month will be paid to the Dependents of those ranks below Warrant Officer, and to the Dependents of Warrant Officers at $35 per month. No married man or single man with Dependents for whom he may claim Government allowance, is to be enlisted without reference to Militia headquarters, and only then when there is a vacancy on the married establishment.

Clothing and Regimental Necessaries.—A complete kit of clothing and necessaries will be issued on joining, and periodical issues thereafter during the period of service.

Actual and necessary cost of transportation to the point of enlistment, not exceeding $10 in any case, will be refunded to the man on enlistment, upon satisfactory proof of such expenditure having been incurred.

The Following Trades will be required.Royal Canadian Engineers: Carpenters, Masons, Electricians, Stationary Engineers, Plumbers, Steam Fitters and helpers, Brick Layers, Telegraphists, Locksmiths, Painters, Paper Hangers, Glaziers, Joiners, Cabinet Makers, Plasterers, Machinists. Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps: Automobile Mechanics, Chauffeurs, Clerks, Bakers, Butchers, Horsemen. Canadian Ordnance Corps: Carpenters, Smiths, Tailors, Tent Mender, Saddler and Harness Maker, Tinsmith, Fitter.

Special Rates of Pay.—Special rates of pay are provided for Surveyors, Draftsmen and various skilled mechanics and tradesmen, and selected clerks filling positions of Subordinate Staffs.

Pensions.—Pensions are paid after twenty years' service upwards, according to rank and length of service. Soldiers who have completed not less than fifteen years' service and are incapacitated through infirmity of mind or body, shall be entitled to retire, and receive a pension for life.

Apply to the Officer Commanding Troops, Exhibition Camp, Toronto, for information, or see Recruiting Posters in Post Office at Toronto, Hamilton, Brantford and St. Catharines.

Department of Militia and Defence
Ottawa, April 16, 1919

H.Q. 1-1-29.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 16 October 2014

Soldiers, Sports, and Fisticuffs (1888)
Topic: Discipline

A Row Between Soldiers and Civilians

The Capital, Fredericton, NB, Saturday, 26 May 1888

A lively fight took place of Tuesday evening between soldiers of the Infantry School Corps and members of the Shamrock base ball club, of this city. The Shamrocks, it seems, wanted to begin base ball playing on the grounds adjoining the Post Office. Some soldiers were in possession playing a game of foot ball, and then latter were inclined to prolong their sport with the intention, it is alleged, of preventing the base ballists from playing.

Finally the Shamrocks began playing some distance away. Their ball struck Private Boone, and he and Daniel McDonald, of the Shamrocks, adjourned behind the Post Office to settle the matter by a fistic encounter. Lieut. Ward, (a "long course" officer) put in an appearance and Boone would not fight, saying he could not do so in an officer's presence.

Mess Sergeant Boutillier then appeared and offered to fight the best man in the Shamrock club. John Farrell immediately offered to accommodate him, and quite a "slugging match" took place between them. Michael Ryan and Boone then got fighting, and soon it was man to man between a dozen couples of soldiers and base ballists.

Policemen Phillips and Wright arrived in time to prevent serious difficulty. Sergeant Boutilier undertook to instruct them that they had no business to interfere with him while he was on Dominion Government grounds. The policemen huslted him over the fence and, as he continued his abusive language, they arrested him and took him to the lockup. He was released later in the evening.

The fight is now the talk of the town, and will probably cause bitter feelings for some time to come. The Shamrocks claim that the base ballists were the injured party, and that they got the best of the fight. On the other hand, the friends of the soldiers say the Shamrocks has no business on the grounds.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 15 October 2014 8:06 PM EDT
Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Temperance in the RCA (1898)
Topic: Canadian Militia

R.C.A. Branch of the Army Temperance Association

Blasts from the Trumpet
The Quebec Daily Telegraph, 31 December 1898

The R.C.A. branch of the Army Temperance Association formed recently, which was noted at the time in this column, is now a flourishing organization of fifty-five members, fifty in class "A," composed of total abstainers and five in class "B," partial abstainers.

The R.C.A. branch is the first one instituted in the Dominion, and in fact the colonies, although it is known wherever the Imperial forces are stationed throughout the British Empire. Lieut.-Col. Wilson, commandant of the fortress, is the patron, Lieut.-Col. Farley President, and Sergt. F.R. Englefield Secretary, with an energetic committee looking after the interests of the society.

Rooms have been secured at 290 St. John street, where every convenience for the comfort of the members of the society has been attended to, and the three apartments are comfortably furnished, the larger containing a splendid English billiard table and other arrangements for innocent amusement such as cards, checkers, drafts, etc., etc. the second is set off as the reading room, where the magazines of the day, newspapers and other periodicals may be pursued at peace, while the third is furnished with cooking accessories and members desiring a cup of beef tea of more substantial lunch can be fully satisfied at short notice.

The walls are hung with military pictures and the place altogether is very comfortable and home-like, made so in a large measure by the officers of the R.C.A. and several friends in civilian ranks, who very properly are encouraging the men interesting themselves in the organization, in every possible way, and thus instilling in the minds of young soldiers the principles of temperance and that outside the canteen a pleasant hour can be wiled away. For this reason alone it is hoped that the society will spread, as its usefulness in a garrison town such as this is great and the work it is possible of achieving is known only to the man who mingles with the wearers of the uniform, who should be always ready for duty and the best way to prepare for this is to lead good temperate lives. The rooms are open daily from 4 to 11.30 p.m., and the cost to members is but two cents per week, so that it is within the means of all to join.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:26 AM EDT
Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Snipers of the 8th Cdn Inf Bn
Topic: CEF

"Watch me make a fire-bucket of 'is helmet," (cropped)
by Bruce Bairnsfather, from Fragments from France, (Putnams, 1917).

Snipers of the 8th Canadian Infantry Battalion

Canada in Flanders, by Sir Max Aitken, M. P., 1916

July was a sniper's month. True, every month is a sniper's month; the great game of sniping never wanes, but the inactivity in other methods of fighting left the field entirely free for the sharpshooter in July.

It was during the fighting at Givenchy in June, 1915, that four snipers of the 8th Canadian Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles) agreed to record their professional achievements from that time forward on the wood of their rifles.

Private Ballendine, one of the four, is from Battleford. He is tall and loosely built. In his swarthy cheeks, black eyes, and straight black hair, he shows his right to claim Canadian citizenship, by many generations of black-haired, sniping ancestors. He learned to handle a rifle with some degree of skill at the age of ten years, and he has been shooting ever since. At the present time he carries thirty-six notches on the butt of his rifle. Each notch stands for a dead German—to the best of Ballendine's belief. One notch, cut longer and deeper into the brown wood than the others, means an officer.

To date, Private Smith, of Roblin, Manitoba, has scratched the wood of his rifle only fourteen times but he is a good shot, has faith in his weapon, and looks hopefully to the future.

Private McDonald, of Port Arthur, displays no unseemly elation over his score of twenty-six.

Private Patrick Riel makes a strong appeal to the imagination , though his tally is less than McDonald's by two or three. He is a descendant of the late Louis Riel, and when he enlisted in the 90th Winnipeg Rifles at the outbreak of the war, and was told by one of his officers that his regiment had done battle against his cousin Louis at Fish Creek and Batoche, he showed only a mild interest in this trick of Time. Riel, like McDonald, comes from Port Arthur way. Before the war he earned his daily bacon and tobacco as a foreman of lumber-jacks on the Kaministiquia River.

The weapons used by these four snipers are Ross rifles, remodelled to suit their peculiar and particular needs. Each is mounted with a telescopic sight, and from beneath the barrel of each much of the wood of the casing has been cut away. The men do their work by day, as the telescopic sight is not good for shooting in a poor light. They are excused all fatigues while in the trenches and go about their grim tasks without hint or hindrance from their superiors. They choose their own positions from which to observe the enemy and to fire upon him, sometimes in leafy covers behind our front-line trench, sometimes behind our parapet. Very little of their work is done in the "No Man's Land'' between the hostile lines, for there danger from the enemy is augmented by the chance of a shot from some zealous but mistaken comrade. the mention of "No Man's Land" reminds me that, on the Canadian front, this desolate and perilous strip of land is now called "Canada." The idea is that our patrols have the upper hand here, night and day—that we govern the region, though we have not stationed any Governor ot Resident magistrate there as yet.

elipsis graphic

The Snipers

While working from names only, especially in cases of common surnames like "Smith," it can be a challenge to positively identify soldiers in the Library and Archives Canada database of Soldiers of the First World War. As best as can be determined with the available information, including the battalion's 1915 nominal roll, it is possible that these are the 8th Battalion snipers:

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 October 2014 12:26 AM EDT
Monday, 13 October 2014

Extravagance in Officers Messes (1906)
Topic: Officers

Extravagance in Officers Messes

Blasts from then Trumpet
The Quebec Daily Telegraph, 5 May 1906

The British Army Council have not yet relaxed their efforts to eliminate extravagance in the conduct of officers' messes in the army, and some drastic rules on the subject have just been framed and will shortly be issued.

Commanding officers are to be held responsible that the mess is conducted without undue expense. No semi-private account books, in which extra charges and unauthorized subscriptions are shown are to be kept, and the commanding officer will be held strictly responsible that every charge made against an officer is shown in the official mess account which are produced for the inspection of the general commanding.

Presents of plate from officers on first appointment, on promotion, or on other occasions are absolutely prohibited.

Expensive entertainments are only to be given with the sanction of the general commanding, and no officer who has not signified his consent in writing is to be called upon to pay any part of the expense so incurred. Commanding officers are to give their special countenance and protection to any officers who decline to share in the proposed expense.

No general subscription, whether voluntary of otherwise, for entertainments, including general charges for lunches at race meetings, polo, and cricket matches, is to be made without the general's consent.

The keeping of a regimental coach is forbidden.

Officers of cavalry and infantry of the line are no longer to pay contributions to the band fund while the unit to which he belongs is serving at home or in the colonies.

This order will remove a very heavy burden. In India, officers will continue to pay certain contributions to the band fund.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 12 October 2014

A Canadian Militia Training Camp (1874)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Sergeants of the 7th Fusiliers in 1895.

Kensington Camp (1874)

Strength of Battalions—The Daily Routine—Target Practice

The Daily Advertiser, London, Ont.; 8 September 1874

Last evening the camp was completed by the arrival of the 22nd Oxford Rifles, and to-day the whole plain is dotted with snow white tents to the number of three or four hundred. Even at this early day the camp looks well, the many bright colored flags marking the various headquarters and other prominent points, increasing the attractive appearance of the encampment. Visitors, of whom there were a good many, find much to enjoy and interest them in a trip through the lines.

The Strength

The strength of the several corps on the ground is as follows:

  • 7th Battalion; 8 companies, 25 officers, 280 rank and file, and 26 band.
  • 24th Battalion; including two independent corps, 8 companies, 300 of all ranks.
  • 26th Battalion; 7 companies, 21 officers, 270 rank and file, 21 band.
  • 22nd Battalion; 24 officers, 324 rank and file, including band.
  • The London Field Battery; 4 officers, 86 non-commissioned officers and men.
  • The Cavalry; 4 troops, 12 officers, 141 rank and file.

Making a total of about 1,500 men all ranks.

The Daily Routine

The daily routine, as at present fixed by Brigade orders, is:

  • reveille at 6 a.m., at which hour a gun will be fired by the artillery;
  • breakfast at 8 a.m.;
  • squad and company drill at 7 a.m.;
  • commanding officer's parade at 10:30 a.m.
  • dinner at 1 p.m.;
  • guard mounting at 2 p.m.;
  • afternoon drill at 3 p.m.;
  • tea at 5 p.m.;
  • tattoo at 9 p.m.;
  • lights out at 10 p.m.;
  • retreat at 6 p.m., at which hour a gun will be fired by the artillery.

The Rifle Ranges

The rifle ranges at the coves were occupied to-day by five companies of the 7th Battalion. The shooting as a whole was poor, far below the average, though some excellent individual scores were made.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 11 October 2014

An Air Militia, 5000 Strong (1920)
Topic: RCAF

G-CYEI started life in the Canadian Air Force as an Avro 504K on 27 October, 1921 when its certificate of registration was issued, after having been gifted to Canada in 1919 along with 113 other assorted Aircraft by Great Britain. (Source)

Canada to Have Volunteer Air Militia 5,000 Strong

New Canadian Air Force, To Be Recruited at Once,
is Announced by Ottawa

Preliminary Strength About 5,000 of All Ranks —
Organization Will Be Along Lines of Militia, Not Permanent Units —
Almost Whole Personnel Non-Professional

The Toronto World, 5 April 1920

A Short-Lived Plan

This plan to develop a Canadian air militia began in July 1920 and ended in March 1922 when the air militia was dissolved.

Ottawa, April 4.—(By Canadian Press)—A Canadian air force is to be formed immediately, and the personnel will be drawn from volunteers from the ranks of ex-officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force, resident in Canada. These will train at centres, which will be in operation all the year round and officers and airmen enlisted in the new force will spend at least one month out of every 24 in active training, receiving pay and traveling expenses during their active period.

The force probably will be limited in the beginning to about five thousand, inclusive of all ranks, and the training centres will not number more than one or two to begin with for the whole Dominion. It is understood that the Government wishes to avoid an expensive permanent organization. The organization of the force will be placed in the hands of Canadians who have had experience at home and on the war fronts in flying, and who are interested in building up a Canadian air militia which can readily be extended and mobilized in an emergency. Age limit is set at about 30 for junior officers, and 33 for senior officers.

Applicants for Enrolment

Applicants for enrolment in the new air force, giving all particulars of previous service may be sent at once to the secretary of the air board at Ottawa.

Volunteer provincial executive committees of seven, acting without remuneration, will administer the force by provinces. Four members of each committee will be nominated by the officers of the ative list in each province and three members will be nominated by the respective lieutenant governors. A grant will be made from headquarters to cover the expenses of an office and secretary.

Official Announcement

The announcement of the air board in the connection follows:

"The government has been very carefully considering the question of the formation of a Canadian air force and has decided upon the immediate formation of such a force from among the ex-officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force resident in Canada. Provision will later be made for the recruitment of all ranks of the force so constituted, but the numbers of ex-officers and airmen in Canada is at present such that it is not necessary to make provision for such recruitment.

"The force will be a militia, not a permanent force. Almost the whole personnel will be non-professional, and the professional personnel will be negligible in number.

Officers Will Be Commissioned

"The Total Authorized Strength will probably be in the neighbourhood of 5000. Commissions will be given to officers and airmen will be enlisted in the usual way. It is proposed that training should be carried on at training centres, which the personnel will attend, not by units, but as individuals attending as may be arranged or directed during one month in every twenty-four being on leave without pay at all other times. They will receive pay while on duty and their traveling expenses to and from the training centres will be paid.

"It is considered important that the training not only provide efficient junior officers and airmen, but that it should be such as to furnish a supply of senior officers qualified to take command of larger formations in emergencies and an opportunity will consequently be afforded to senior officers to take command of training centres for periods longer than one month, but probably not in any case exceeding six months. The undertaking of duty for such extended periods will not be compulsory, but officers who volunteer for extended periods of duty will, of course, be entitled to preference in the consideration of appointments and promotions.

Administration of Force

"It is hoped that the same plan may be applied to the duties to be performed at Canadian air force headquarters and that a succession of officers will be found from time to time able to assume duties at Ottawa in connection with the administration of the force as a whole. In this way a large number of officers and particularly the senior officers will be afforded an opportunity in normal times to obtain as great a familiarity as possible with the duties which they would be called upon to perform in an emergency and the force will become more readily capable of expansion in circumstances required it.

"The training stations will be few in number. At first it may not be possible to establish more than one, but at least a second doubtless will have to be added shortly and plans for this purpose are under consideration.

System of Committees

"The local administration of the force will be carried on by provincial executives' committees acting without remuneration, but receiving a grant towards the expenses of maintaining an office and the payment of a secretary. It is proposed that these committees shall consist of seven members, of whom four shall, after the first year, be elected by officers on the active list of the force in the province, the remaining three being nominated by the lieutenant governor of the province, each lieutenant governor having been invited to act as honorary president of the branch of the Canadian Air Force Association in his province and to select all the members of the first executive committee and the three appointed members of subsequent committees. It is intended that the executive committee should keep the provincial rosters, arrange for the attendance of the provincial personnel for training and perform other necessary administrative duties, exercising a general supervision over the interests of the force within their respective provinces.

Retirement of Officers

"It is proposed that the active list should include only officers of such an age that they can be expected to render useful air service in war and retirement from the active list will be compulsory for junior officers at or about the age of 30 and for the most senior officers at or about the age of 38.

"Negotiations are on foot with the British Air Ministry, looking to an arrangement whereby any duties that may be assumed by officers on the reserve of the Royal Air Force will not be inconsistent with the duties they assume as officers of the Canadian Air Force. Officers on the reserve of the Royal Air Force may, therefore, volunteer to serve with the Canadian Air force and such use of their services in the latter force will be made as the arrangement with the air ministry renders possible.

Officers and Airmen Eligible

"All officers and airmen who have served with the Royal Air Force in any branch or department and are willing to undertake service with the Canadian Air Force on the lines of the proposition above indicated and in the ranks which they held on demobilization are invited to send notice to the secretary of the air board, Ottawa, with particulars in each case showing the full name of the applicant in block capitals, his permanent address, his age and his rank on discharge from the Royal Air Force or of his transfer to or discharge from the reserve of such force. The application should be accompanied by a copy of the applicants discharge certificate or of the advice that he has been transferred to the Royal Air Force reserve."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 11 October 2014 12:48 AM EDT
Friday, 10 October 2014

New British Army Honours in 1882
Topic: Battle Honours

Awarded in 1882, these awards for Quebec and Louisburg were granted 123 and 124 years after the battles. Those for Marlborough's victories were awarded 173 to 178 years afterward.

Regimental Honours

"Louisburg" and "Quebec" Added to the Colours of various Regiments

The Quebec Daily Telegraph; 25 July 1882

In consequence of the report of a committee appointed last year [1881] to consider the claims of certain regiments to honorary distinctions arising out of the participation in some of the victories of the last century, a considerable number of these corps has been authorized to bear in their respective colours and appointments the names of Marlborough's battles.

The Battle of Louisburg, and Wolfe's Victory at Quebec

The Battle of Louisburg, and Wolfe's Victory at Quebec in 1759, the names of "Blenheim," "Ramillies," "Oudenarde," and "Malplaquet" will accordingly be done on the colors and appointments of the following regiments:—

  • Kings Dragoon Guards
  • 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Dragoon Guards
  • The Scots Greys
  • The Fifth Lancers
  • The Grenadier Guards
  • The Royal Scots
  • The Buffs
  • Liverpool (8th) Regiment
  • Lincolnshire (10th) Regiment
  • East Yorkshire (15th) Regiment
  • Bedfordshire (16th) Regiment
  • Royal Irish (18th) Regiment
  • Royal Scots Fusiliers (21st)
  • Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd)
  • Second Warwickshire Regiment (24th)
  • Scotch Rifles (26th)
  • The Hampshire (37th) Regiment

The Coldstream Guards are to bear the names of "Oudenarde" and "Malplaquet" and the Gloucester (28th) Regiment, and the Worcestershire (29th) Regiment, are to bear that of "Ramillies" respectively.

"Louisburg" and "Quebec, 1759"

The following regiments are authorized to inscribe "Louisburg" and "Quebec, 1759" upon their colours:—

  • The East Yorkshire (15th)
  • The Gloucester (28th)
  • The Royal Sussex (35th)
  • The North Lancashire (47th)
  • The Northamptonshire (58th)
  • The King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th)

The King's Royal Scots, Lienstershire (17th), Cheshire (22nd), South Lancashire (40th), Sherwood Foresters (45th), Northamptonshire (48th) and Wiltshire (62nd) are to bear the name of "Louisburg." The Monmouthshite Light Infantry (43rd), bear the name of "Quebec, 1759."

Of the above regiments the 7th Dragoon Guards, 5th Lancers, and Bedfordshire had hitherto been without and decoration commemorative of active service, and the 21st Hussars will now be the only regiment without such distinction. Of the cavalry regiments, the 16th Lancers have the largest number of battles (thirteen) on their standards. Of the infantry regiments, the King's Rifles (60th) head the list with twenty-nine achievements, and the Rifle Brigade follow next with twenty-six. The Royal Scots, the Gloucester, and the Dublin Fusiliers have twenty five each; the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, South Staffordshire, South Lancashire, and Highland Light Infantry have twenty-three each; the Sherwood Foresters twenty-one, and the Gordon Highlanders twenty.

Note: This article required a few corrections based on what appeared to be typesetting errors on the Telegraph version. The reference Battle Honours of the British and Commonwealth Armies, by Anthony Baker (Ian Allen Ltd, 1986), was used as a reference.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Garrison Church Parade, Halifax, 1901
Topic: Halifax

The Garrison Church Parade

(From an American visitor's description of his visit to Halifax.)

Boston Evening Transcript; Wednesday, 14 August, 1901
(Mark Sullivan — Special Correspondent of the Transcript.)

Halifax, N.S., Aug 12.

The forty-five thousand people of Halifax have the creditable record of supporting forty-five churches—forty-four and the Christian Scientist, to be exact. But the Garrison church, just under Citadel Hill, is the Sunday morning Mecca of the tourists who spend the Sabbath in Halifax. About half-past ten one begins to hear the distant bugle calls at the widely separated barracks occupied by the engineers, the infantry and the artillery. A little later there is the music of fife and drum in one direction and of a brass band in another, and the next sound is the heavy tramp of marching feet as the soldiers file up to the church door.

For my own part I rather regret I did not follow my companion's urging to be content with the event when we had watched the soldiers file up the church steps, and come away to attend service in another church. One may be but an indifferent churchgoer himself and yet resent seeing a church service reduced so completely and utterly to a mere matter of form. Tommy Atkins goes to church because General Orders No. 505 says he must. He marches up the church steps in fours, he bends his knee in fours, he files into pews in fours, he sits down in fours—in short, the whole thing is done in fours, per military regulations. The individual soldier's manner is grave and respectful. You can detect in no face any expression that jars with reverence. There is no whispering, everything is done with punctilious correctness and formality. And yet the stranger, accustomed to churches where people attend for other reasons than General Order 505, and where there are women in the congregation, is quick to miss some intangible thing whose lack makes him vaguely uncomfortable; and is apt to realize with perfect vividness for the first time in his life perhaps the exact meaning of that not always subtle something, the spirit as distinguished from the act. His next emotion is apt to be a silent tribute to the wisdom of that college president who a generation in advance of his time abolished compulsory chapel.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014 2:25 PM EDT
Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Battle of Kiska
Topic: Canadian Army

The Battle of Kiska

In an Aleutians Islands operation in 1943, U.S. and Canadian troops found themselves pitted against three Japanese dogs.

Kiska Capture Puts Allies On Road To Tokyo

The Ottawa Citizen; 23 August, 1943 — (excerpted)

Canadians Involved

The Canadian Fusiliers of London, Ont., under Lt.-Col. Russell H. Beattie, M.C., 48, London, Ont.

The Winnipeg Grenadiers under Lt.-Col. J.A. Wilson, Winnipeg, who returned from overseas to take over this reconstitution of the original battalion which served at Hong Kong.

The Rocky Mountain Rangers, an interior British Columbia unit under Lt.-Col. D.B. Holman, M.C., 48, Salmon Arm, B.C.

Le Regiment de Hull (Que,.) under Lt.-Col. Dollard Menard, D.S.O., 30, Quebec, one of the heroes of last summer's Dieppe battle.

A company of the St. John (N.B.) Fusiliers under Maj. G.P. Murphy, 27, Saint John.

The 24th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, under Lt.-Col. R.P. Drummond, 50, Spencerville, Ont., and Montreal.

The 46th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery under Maj. J.A. MacDonald, 51, Burlington, Ont.

The 24th Field Company of the Royal Canadian Engineers under Maj. D.H. Rochester, 27, Toronto.

The 25th Field Ambulance of the Royal Canadian Medical Corps under Lt.-Col. T.M. Brown, 40, Calgary and Ottawa.

In addition there were detachments from Ordnance, Army Service, Provost, Pay and Postal Corps.

The Kiska operation was the first in the Aleutians in which Canadian soldiers have taken part but Canadioan naval and air personnel have served there previously.

Many of the Canadian personnel were men were men called up for compulsory military service inder the national Resources Mobilization Act.

The Ottawa Citizen; 3 January 1956
By Warren Baldwin, Southam News Services

On August 15, 1943, an assault force of 29,000 Americans and 5,300 Canadians was dispatched to attack a Japanese force of three dogs.

The story of the occupation of the Aleutian Island of Kiska, gleaned for the first time from both Japanese and Canadian military records, in included in the first volume of the official history of the Canadian army in the Second World War. The author, C.P. Stacey, Director of the Historical Section, General Staff, labels it "Fiasco at Kiska."

The story confirms finally the fact that the Japanese had been evacuated from Kiska under cover of fog 18 days before the Canadian-American operation was scheduled to start. The decision to evacuate was not taken because of any knowledge of the assault but because the Japanese believed the forces occupying the island could be employed more usefully in the Kuriles, nearer home. It also strengthens Colonel Stacey's conclusion that at no time during the war did the Japanese have any plans for a full scale attack on Canada's west coast.

Political Motive

The Aleutian campaign to get the Japanese off Attu and Kiska, Colonel Stacey says, was more political than military. On the map, he points out, the Aleutians seem to form a natural bridge from Asia to North America, but appearances are deceptive. From the most westerly island, Attu, to Dutch Harbour is 800 miles and from Dutch Harbour to Vancouver, 1,650 miles. It might have been better, he suggests, to "leave the japs to freeze in their own juice on Kiska and Attu, where they were at most a nuisance to American operations in the Pacific."

But the people of Alaska and British Columbia were alarms and critical and both Ottawa and Washington were concerned. Stacey reports elsewhere that by February, 1942, "public opinion on Canada's Pacific Coast was in a state approaching panic." The Vancouver Sun was prosecuted under Defence of Canada Regulations in March for suggesting that Ottawa was treating British Columbia as expendable.

Attu was occupied in May, 1943, by the American 7th Division after "a nasty little campaign in which the Japanese fought to be killed and the Americans obliged them"

Canadian participation in the Kiska campaign of one brigade group was requested formally in a letter from Secretary of War Stimson to Defence Minister Ralston on May 31, 1953. The 13th infantry brigade formed for the purpose under the command of Brigadier H.W. Foster consisted of the Canadian Fusiliers, the Winnipeg Grenadiers (reformed after Hong Kong), the Rocky Mountain Rangers and Le Regiment de Hull. In addition, the first battalion of the U.S.-Canadian Special Service Force was brought up from a United States training base to join the operation.

There was plenty of evidence, Colonel Stacey points out, to indicate that the Japanese had evacuated previously. RCAF planes on August 11 reported no sign of life. But trickery was suspected. Major-General G.R. Pearkes, the Commander-in-Chief of Pacific Command, whoi had set up advanced headquarters at Adak, wrote afterwards that it was thought the enemy had evacuated main camps and moved to battle positions on the beaches and hills.

Island Empty

It took four days for the troops to realize that they had landed on an empty island. Japanese records state that nothing had been left on the island but three dogs.

One reason behind Ottawa's decision to participate was the opportunity to use draftees under the National Resources Mobilization Act on active service in order to break down the hostile attitude of the public toward "zombies". The Kiska affair, Stacey comments, had no such result, which was "particularly regrettable as the NMRA men behaved admirably."

There had been some suggestion of a reconnaissance of the island by boat to check on air force reports, but this was not done.

"In the light of hindsight," he says, "this decision seems unfortunate. It was a pity to give the enemy the satisfaction of laughing at us."

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 16 August 2020 5:46 PM EDT
Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Dealing with Casualties in Action
Topic: CEF

General System of Dealing with Casualties in Action

Field Service Regulation, Part II
Organization and Administration, 1909
(Amendments to October 1914)

Chapter XI—The Medical Services
Article 90

1.     Every officer and man will carry on a string round his neck an identity disc showing his name, number if any, unit and religion. He will also carry a first field dressing in the right hand skirt pocket of his coat. Both disc and dressing should be frequently inspected.

2.     In action against a civilized enemy, no one other than a stretcher bearer is to carry a wounded man to the rear, unless ordered to do so.

3.     Ammunition will, when practicable, be taken from wounded men before they are sent to the rear, and will be disposed on under the order of the divisional commander. Otherwise arms, ammunition, accoutrements, and personal kit of sick and wounded men will be taken to hospital along with the men. Arms, &c., not required for patients, will be periodically handed over by hospitals to ordnance depots.

4.     Wounded men will be attended to in the first instance by the medical establishment of the unit, and will afterwards be removed by the field ambulance.

5.     The first field dressing applies as a protection against dirt and to stop hemorrhage, with the addition of some support to a broken limb, before removal of the patient, is all that is needed on the field itself. After this first aid a wounded man should be left where he lies, under as good cover as possible, unless the nature of the ground, a pause in the fighting, or the approach of darkness allows systematic collection and removal.

6.     The field ambulance of a division will operate over the areas allotted to them according to the arrangements made by the assistant director of medical services of the division. Their first duty is to establish touch by means of their bearer divisions with the regimental medical service of the units in the area assigned to them, to observe the position of casualties, and to obtain information regarding the places where wounded have been left under cover. The ambulance wagons are then brought as far forward as possible, and the stretcher squads carry the wounded to them.

7.     Cases able to walk will be directed to the divisional collecting station, which is a well-defined spot previously selected for the purpose and notified to the medical personnel concerned by the assistant director of medical services of the division.

8.     A tent sub-division may be sent forward with sufficient equipment to form an advanced dressing station, where th more seriously wounded are brought to the ambulance wagons by the stretcher squads. The rest of the tent divisions will remain in rear, and open there as a link between the advanced dressing station and the clearing hospital; or they may be sent forward to expend the advanced dressing station, according to circumstance.

9.     In order that as many sections as possible may be in hand to meet developments, the principle should be observed of not opening more sections of ambulances than are absolutely necessary until the locality is known where the number of casualties is greatest. One section at least should be held in reserve to the last to provide for a counter-attack.

10.     The work of removing wounded during actual fighting must be left to the initiative of commander of the field ambulances, and to the medical service with regimental units. The assistant director of medical services is mainly concerned in issuing orders relative to the opening or closing of the ambulances and in maintaining connection between them and the clearing hospitals; for this purpose he will indicate to all concerned the place to which the dressing stations of the tent divisions should send back the wounded. If a detachment from a clearing hospital is not available one or more tent divisions of a field ambulance should be detailed to this spot. From the ambulances all except very slight cases, for discharge to duty within two days, will be sent to clearing hospitals as soon as possible.

11.     It is of great importance that information regarding the situation, as affecting the number of the casualties and the area where they are occurring, should constantly be transmitted between brigade and divisional headquarters in order to enable the assistant directors of medical services with divisions to regulate the movements of the field ambulances.

12.     The main work of clearing the area of operations of the wounded takes place after a battle. Under the orders of the commander, arrangements are made by the A.G's branch of the staff, after consultation with that of the Q.M.G. and with the General Staff, for the collection of the wounded whom the regimental medical service and bearer divisions of the ambulances were unable to bring in during the progress of the battle. It may be found necessary to detail special detachments of fighting troops to aid in this work, while, whenever it is possible without interfering with military operations, all units in the vicinity of a battlefield should, after an action, search the ground in their neighbourhood for wounded, and render such assistance as may be in their power. One or more control points, usually where dressing stations have been placed, should be selected for collection of wounded, and systematic search made of the whole area, a portion being alotted to each search paty, which should be accompanied by a medical officer, a proportion of stretcher squads and one or more ambulance wagons.

13.     Arrangements for evacuation of the wounded to the L. of C. are the duty of the Q.M.G's branch of the staff, the A.G's branch being informed of the dispositions made for this purpose.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 6 October 2014

The Indispensable Infantry
Topic: Military Theory

The Indispensable Infantry

The Indispensable Infantry, Lecture to 2nd Division Officers' Class, 1932, Field-Marshal Earl Wavell, reprinted in The Good Soldier, 1948

Before dealing with the attempts to modernise our infantry … it seems important to decide what the true role of the infantry is. Here are some that have been suggested in various quarters:—

  • To act merely as scavengers to the artillery, and as jackals to the tanks, to do the work of moppers-up and hangers-on.
  • To hold bases or "pivots" for armoured forces.
  • To act as armed policemen to keep the peace within the Empire.
  • To act as light infantry in rough and enclosed country, in mountains and forests.

The first is the solution that the French seem to have adopted, with their short-service army and limited problem; and it is presumably the solution of those who believe that the machine-gun has completely paralysed movement on the battle-field.

The second is the solution of the mechanical warfare enthusiasts.

The third has always been, in practice, one of the principal roles of the British infantry; and demands incidentally a higher standard of training, common sense, and discipline than probably any other role.

The fourth role is a kind of compromise which would divide theatres of war into "tank" country and "infantry" country, tank enthusiasts having somewhat grudgingly recognised that the Almighty in his inscrutable wisdom has created some country unsuitable for Armoured Fighting Vehicles.

My own view is that infantry properly trained, and there is no excuse for our long-service infantry not being properly trained, can carry out any of the above roles, as occasion demands.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pioneers (1914)
Topic: Canadian Army

Pioneers (1914)

The Guide: A manual for the Canadian Militia (Infantry), Ninth Edition -- Revised 1914; Major-General Sir William D. Otter, K.C.B., C.V.O.

The pioneers are a small section of regimental artificers, competent to repair barracks, furniture, utensils, etc., or do minor mechanical work in barracks or camp, and if need be, instruct others in the same. They should be selected mainly on account of proficiency in their trades, and good character; they may also be employed in the Quarter-Master's store or other duty pertaining to that department.

Each company should have one pioneer, and the distribution of trades in a Battalion of eight companies be as follows: two carpenters; two Bricklayers (one able to plaster, the other to slate); one Smith (able to shoe horses); one Stonemason; one painter and Glazier; one Plumber and Gas Fitter.

A proper outfit of tools, such as picks, spades, shovels, axes, augers, a saw, chisel, crowbar, etc., should be in their possession.

A Sergeant (a carpenter if possible) should have immediate charge, the whole section being under the direction of the Quarter-Master.

elipsis graphic

In 2002, the Canadian Army removed the Pioneer and Mortar Platoons from the organization of the infantry battalion. The underlying cause of this decision was a need to reduce the manpower allocation to the infantry, as the alloted number of positions (which were not tied to rank and trade in reallocation) were needed for higher priority tasks within the Canadian Armed Forces. In balance, it was declared that the Engineers would assume the tasks previously undertaken by the Infantry Pioneers, a weak argument since there are never enough engineers for identified tasks in the first place. Similarly, the Artillery would take over the firing tasks of the infantry Mortar Platoons; the weapons, without addidtional crew position, were transfered to the Royal Canadian Artillery.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 5 October 2014 12:24 AM EDT
Saturday, 4 October 2014

Canadian Army Cooking (1956)
Topic: Army Rations

Canadian Armed Forces recruiting banner image for the Cook trade.

No More Ulcers?

Time was when cooks were recruited from the army's odds and sods. If you were a manic-depressive, looked like a camel on the parade square, and otherwise showed no visible talent for the military life they made you a cook.

Montreal Gazette, 9 July 1956

(Vancouver province) — Canadian army cooks, fabled in song and story, are nowadays rising to the giddy eminence of career men with finishing courses at the British Army cooking school at Caterham, England.

Time was when cooks were recruited from the army's odds and sods. If you were a manic-depressive, looked like a camel on the parade square, and otherwise showed no visible talent for the military life they made you a cook.

Now you must be able to read, and find your way around in English recipe books, which calls for even more concentration than ordinary military manuals. Not that there is any danger of cooks going intellectual. Any incipient tendencies of that sort would be taken care of at Caterham.

There is to be a certain professional polish in the Canadian army cuisine henceforth, no doubt affording such intriguing items as "Boeuf de Bully aux Brisquet" and "Garlina-Anacauna Spaghetti" and stuff like that.

But will the British army standards really reduce the incidence of peptic ulcers in the Canadian army?

Inj the last war Canadian army cooking and the Canadian ration were dismaying, but British army cooking was enough to shatter one's faith in the Empire.

elipsis graphic

The state of Culinary Arts in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) today:

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 3 October 2014

District Military Stores (1897)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Carling's Brewery, Ann Street, London, Ontario.
Built 1873-75, and rebuilt in 1879 after fire destroyed the building.

District Military Stores (1897)

The Sarnia Observer; 12 Novemnber 1897
From the London Advertiser

There are thousands of useless knapsacks, some of which have never been in service. There is also a large quantity of old smooth-bore, shot and shell, 9, 24 and 32 pounder, which is decidedly out of date.

As a result of the visit to London of Col. MacDonald, director-general of stores for the Dominion of Canada, there will likely be many changes in the stores department in this city in a very short time. Col. MacDonald spent two days here inspecting the stores, kept at the old building formerly used as Carling's brewery. He was not well pleased with the gun sheds, which are leaky and cold. The colonel thoroughly examined all the stores, and will recommend that a great amount of the material be sold or burned. In one shed there is a pile of useless gun carriages and wheels, which have been laying around the country one place or another ever since the Crimean war. Several off the marquee tents used here at camp time will be sold, with 150 of the smaller tents. There are thousands of useless knapsacks, some of which have never been in service. There is also a large quantity of old smooth-bore, shot and shell, 9, 24 and 32 pounder, which is decidedly out of date. This will be returned to Ottawa, and other shot and shell of more modern manufacture will replace it. Of the old blankets only 280 remain to be sold or sent to the Indians. A few weeks ago 600 of these old blankets were shipped to the Windsor, N.S., fire sufferers. Within the last few days nearly 600,000 rounds of steel Lee-Enfield rifle cartridges have been received, together with a large quantity of diaphragm shells of various descriptions. Besides these there are about 38,000 rounds of Martini cartridges, 52,000 Snider rifles cartridges. The Snider rifles, returned by the Seventh Fusiliers, have all been thoroughly cleaned, and as good as new. The long triangular bayonets, which have been superceded by the short sword-bayonet, lie in small piles at convenient places. They are very unlike the old rusty arms returned a few days ago, having all been polished, and they glisten equally as brightly as the new arms. These bayonets and rifles will be boxed up and returned in a few days to the militia department at Ottawa. One hundred and eight Martini-Metford rifles will also go back.

Sergt. Henry Pratt, an old soldier, who entered the service in 1866, and has been for the last 28 years in the stores department, in in charge of the place, and the cleanliness and order seen there reflect great credit upon him.

When the orders are issued for the artillery, they will be very different from those sent out last year. Two weeks ago two nine-pounders field guns were received from Hamilton, thus making the London Field Battery six guns instead of four. This of course will necessitate the enlistment of one-third more men than the battery has heretofore numbered. The guns and accoutrements are in charge of Sergt.-Major Taylor, who keeps everything in a very creditable condition.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 2 October 2014

The RCR Museum (1977)
Topic: The RCR Museum

Invincible Wall Holding Back Museum Work

Ottawa Citizen; 29 June 1977
By Nick Martin, for the Canadian Press

London, Ont.—Five wars have never produced an obstacle that has taken The Royal Canadian Regiment longer to overcome than the washroom wall in its own A-block building.

The invincible wall hides an antiquated washroom that blocks a much-needed expansion of the regimental museum at Wolseley Barracks.

Capt. Ray Britton, museum curator and regimental adjutant, explained that before any structural changes can be made in the museum, the ministry of national defence has to give its approval.

A request to demolish the wall has been meandering through the chain of command for the last year.

The museum has more than enough artifacts for the additional space and enough visitors to justify exhibiting as much material as possible, Britton said.

"By 1983 we hope the museum will encompass a mini-theatre to show historical films and a proper archives," he said, "The museum is becoming more popular, especially to American visitors to the city."

Ironically, more Americans than local residents seem to be aware of the museum's existence, said Cpl. Ed Duffney, one of the forces personnel assigned to the museum. "A lot of people in London don't realize it's here."

Museum Located in Barracks

Located on the second floor of the original barracks building erected in 1886, the museum crams much history into a few square feet.

London children frequently visit it in school or club and scout tours and word is working back to their parents.

Displays of histrical material in area shopping centres, part of a new community program that may be resumed in the fall, should also spread the word about the museum, Britton said.

Since its formation in 1883, The Royal Canadian Regiment, Canada's oldest [regular force infantry regiment], has distinguished itself in the Northwest Rebellion, Boer War, First World War, Second World War, Korean War and in its recent peacekeeping role in Cyprus.

The museum is arranged chronologically, but the proposed expansion would allow it to devote individual rooms to chronological displays of uniforms, weapons, medals and equipment.

"The weapons display is quite an attraction," Master Cpl. Jim Wellhauser said, adding that the Boer War exhibit of old uniforms, equipment and photographs is a close second.

Many Medals Donated to Museum

Medals remain the museum's pride and joy.

"A lot of people donate their medals to the museum," Duffney said, But because medals are so important to those to whom they were aware, those awarded during the Second World War and Korea are generally kept by their owners.

In 1979, Milton Gregg's medals were stolen from The RCR Museum. Their whereabouts remain unknown.

London Free Press, 10 Nov 2012 - Hunt on for storied vet's ripped-off Victoria Cross

London Free Press, 1 Nov 2013 - Milton Gregg’s rare medal was stolen in 1979 from Wolseley Barracks

Britton says he craves a Victoria Cross, but it is a difficult commodity to procure, Former regiment member Brig. Milton Gregg won a Victoria Cross in 1917 at Vimy Ridge Cambrai, but he retains it at his home in Fredericton.

Gregg, a spry 84, visited London recently to take the salute at the regiment's trooping the color ceremony.

Any medal awarded in 1918 or earlier is almost certain to be in the museum's collection. American medals of every nature are also at Wolseley, including the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Not every artifact reflects the spit and polish of the regiment. Many are grim reminders of battles that added names to the roll of honor in the museum's chapel; German shell casings, Nazi flags, Boer bayonets, Russian machine-guns.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014 2:21 PM EDT

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