The Minute Book
Thursday, 9 April 2015

Regular Force Messes Re-Open Sundays (1949)
Topic: Canadian Army

Permanent Force Messes Permitted to Open on Sundays

Toronto Authorities Grant Army Request

Ottawa Citizen, 7 June 1949

Permanent force messes in Ottawa and elsewhere in Ontario have again been authorized to sell liquor on Sunday and at any time during the day or night, The Citizen learned yesterday.

Navy, army and air force messes had ceased to sell beer and liquor on Sunday since early March when Defence Minister Claxton ruled that "all service messes will obey the laws of the province." His action was brought about as a result of news stories stating that Ottawa police and liquor authorities were going to "crack down" on local reserve messes which were open on Sunday because some of them had allegedly been selling liquor to minors.

Deputy Minister Sauve had earlier blamed misbehavior of juveniles on liquor which had been served to them in reserve force messes.

Official sanction for active force messes to reopen was given by LCBO authorities in Toronto after representations had been made to them by Defence headquarters officials.

Legal authorities at Defence headquarters drew attention of the Ontario government to the fact that permanent force personnel are not allowed to drink liquor in their rooms and that their barracks constitute their homes. Civilians, they said were permitted to drink in their own homes any day of the week and any hour of the day or night. A soldier, sailor or airman, they argued, should be entitled to the same privileges with due regard to barrack regulations.

The Ontario government apparently saw the light and amended its liquor regulations to permit active force messes to make beer and liquor available to service personnel seven days a week, day or night, without regard to the provisions of cocktail lounge license conditions.

Relaxation of the regulations applies only to the permanent force messes, a defence headquarters spokesman told The Citizen and only because the mess constitutes a serviceman's home. Reserve force personnel living at home do not come under the amended regulations because they have the privilege of drinking in their own homes.

Reserve navy, army and air force messes will, therefore, remain closed on Sunday, it was stated.

Three Affected Here

Three service meses in Ottawa and district which have been authorized to re-open were serving liquor last Sunday. These were Rockcliffe airport, Beaver barracks, on Metcalfe street, and Gloucester street mess for officers.

A spokesman for one of the messes told The Citizen: "We are prepared to control sale of liquor and see that no minors are served and that there is absolutely no abuse under privileges granted. If anyone shows the least sign of becoming obnoxious, he will be expelled —but there has never been any signs of this sort of behavior on a Sunday."

Officers commanding reserve force units in Ottawa told The Citizen they had received no word regarding authority to re-open messes on Sunday for the sale of liquor.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Poor Tank Shooting 1985
Topic: Canadian Army

Canadian Gunners Deserve No Tanks for This

Ottawa Citizen, 26 June 1985

London (CP) —Canadian Forces have posted the worst performance of all NATO countries taking part in the gunnery competition for the Canadian Army Trophy in West Germany.

Twenty tank platoons from six NATO countries competed in the tank shoot out held every two years and considered a measure of the ability of tank crews,.

Points were scored for number of hits, speed of engagement and economy of ammunition use, said Jane's Defence Weekly in its issue published Tuesday.

Two Canadian platoons, both from the Royal Canadian Dragoons based at Lahr, West Germany, faced tanks from the U.S., Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium and West Germany. The Canadians came last and 18th out of 20 in the competition, which ended earlier this month in Bergen-Hohne.

The miserable Canadian performance also cost NATO's Central Army Group, to which Canada is assigned, the overall competition with the Northern Army Group.

The Canadians, all professional soldiers, were also bested by tanks crewed by conscripts.

The best overall performance came from a West German platoon using advanced Leopard 2 tanks followed by a Dutch platoon also equipped with Leopard 2s. But the most consistently high scoring came from the new U.S. M1 Abrams tanks.

British tank crews were hampered by the outdated Chieftain tanks but still outshot the Canadians.

Although the Canadian army is equipped with Leopard 1s, which are inferior to both the Leopard 2 and the Abrams, the Royal Canadian Dragoons were also beaten by both Belgian and West German platoons using Leopard 1s.

"Leopard 1 proved to still be a formidable performer in the hands of a skilled crew," said Jane's in its report on the competition.

The magazine called the shoot "a comparative test of NATO' front-line tank platoons." It also quoted Gen. Leopold Chalupa, NATO's commander in chief of allied forces in Central Europe, as saying at the end of the competition: "What we have here is a fair representation of the standards across the board."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 7 March 2015

Canadian Politicians, Opinions of Soldiers, c.1930s
Topic: Canadian Army

Canadian Politicians, Opinions of Soldiers, c.1930s

In Defence of Canada; From the Great War to the Great Depression, James Eayrs, 1964

The Great Depression sharpened the contrast between the situations of the permanent force officer and the unemployed citizen (or the citizen employed in one of the officers' relief camps at the rate of twenty cents a day). The General Staff was variously accused of being over-paid, over-manned, and preoccupied by trivia. "I was almost staggered," J.S. Woodsworth declared in February 1932, "when I compared the salaries received by people in the Department of National Defence … We have no fewer than one hundred and thirty-nine people receiving between $4,000 and $4,900; thirty people receiving between $5,000 and $5,900; fifteen people receiving between $6,000 and $6,900." [Canada, H.C. Debates, 1932, vol. I, p. 575] The salary of the Chief of the General Staff, which was $10,000 per annum, came under fire in the House of Commons on several occasions. It was not just that, in the eyes of the critics, these salaries were high; it was that their recipients did not earn them. "We have here," J. S. Woodsworth remarked, "an army of swivelchair generals." "I cannot think what these generals or colonels or whatever they are can be doing," Agnes Macphail stated a few days later. "It seems to me we have a general staff capable of handling an army of half a million men.'' [Ibid., p. 761] The initial exemption of Service officers from the Bennett Government's across-the-board 10 per cent reduction in the salaries of civil servants did not enhance their public reputation. "If there are people who do not earn their salaries," Martial Rhéaume, the Member for St. John-Iberville, stated in the House of Commons, "they are the army officers … I wonder what is their occupation. I suppose they are busy doing pretty much the same thing as those in my county: a little riding jolt of one or one hour and a half in the morning, and the day's work is over." [Ibid., p. 781] "I think perhaps the greatest close corporations we have in Ottawa," remarked F.G. Sanderson (South Perth), in March 1935, "is the staff down at the Woods Building … I go further. I say that the staff in the Woods Building is overmanned. You cannot get into the place; they are like an army of chocolate soldiers down there." [Ibid., 1935, vol. II, pp. 1546-9]

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Defence of Canada 1935
Topic: Canadian Army

The Defence of Canada 1935

In Defence of Canada; From the Great War to the Great Depression, James Eayrs, 1964

McNaughton's paper was entitled "The Defence of Canada." In it he reviewed the changing background of Canadian defence policy since the Great War, and furnished illustrations of existing deficiencies in equipment and ammunition:

"As regards reserves of equipment and ammunition, the matter is shortly disposed of. Except as regards rifles and rifle ammunition, partial stocks of which were inherited from the Great War…there are none.

As regards equipment, the situation is almost equally serious, and to exemplify it I select a few items from the long lists of deficiencies on file at NDHQ:

(i)     There is not a single modern anti-aircraft gun of any sort in Canada.

(ii)     The stocks of field gun ammunition on hand represent 90 minutes' fire at normal rates for the field guns inherited from the Great War and which are now obsolescent.

(iii)     The coast defence armament is obsolete and, in some cases, defective in that a number of the major guns are not expected to be able to fire more than a dozen rounds. To keep some defence value in these guns, which are situated on the Pacific Coast, we have not dared for some years to indulge in any practice firing.

(iv) vAbout the only article of which stocks are is practically useless….

(v)     There are only 25 aircraft of service type in Canada, all of which are obsolescent for training purposes….

(vi)     Not one service air bomb is held in Canada.

The situation as generally outlined above with respect to equipment and ammunition is one that can be viewed only with the gravest concern. And with the rapidly deteriorating international situation the position is becoming more and more disquieting …" ["The Defence of Canada," Memorandum by MacNaughton, 5 April 1935 (revised 28 May 1935) Army Records (112.3M2009.D7).]

McNaughton's memorandum was circulated among members of the Cabinet on 28 May. On the following day he appeared before the Cabinet. It was his last act as Chief of the General Staff.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 9 January 2015

Army Restructure (1968)
Topic: Canadian Army

Restructure of Army Combat Groups Means More French Canadian Units

The Montreal Gazette; 20 August 1968
By Larry McInnis (Staff Writer, The Gazette)

Formation of four combat units in Canada meant little more than a redesignation of Infantry brigade groups in Calgary, Petawawa and Gagetown, but Valcartier, the 5th Combat Group of French-speaking units will mean a substantial "shot in the arm" to the Quebec City economy.

Each of the combat groups will be composed of two infantry battalions, an armored regiment, an artillery regiment, and supporting units.

The 3rd Combat Group at Gagetown, for example, was formerly the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade Group, and was made up of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Royal Highland Regiment (Black Watch) of Canada (infantry), the Royal Canadian Dragoons (armored), and one of the four regiments of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery — plus the usual support elements.

The new new designation does not change this structure, except that each of the infantry battalions will now have three rifle companies instead of four, and the armored and artillery regiments will have two instead of three squadrons of batteries.

In Valcartier, though, the situation is quite different. In the past, it has been the home of three battalions of the Royal 22nd Regiment. And one of these has always been on duty overseas, in Germany or Cyprus.

At a press conference last Friday Brigadier-General Roland Reid, who will command the new combat group, confirmed that the existing strength of personnel in field units at Valcartier will increase from approximately 2,500 to 3,500 with formation of the new armored and artillery regiments.

At a rough guess, this increase will mean an additional $6,000,000 annually pumped into the Quebec City area economy as the result of wages alone.

Brig-Gen. Reid also confirmed that there would be a need for expanded permanent accommodation to correspond with the increase in troops strength.

Asked to put an estimate on the value of new construction, Brig-Gen. Reid said that although planning was underway, it was not far enough advanced to make a monetary estimate at this time.

The fact that an armored regiment is part of the new combat group will mean additional expenditures in preparation of adequate tank-range facilities. This is the first time that an armored regiment will be based at Valcartier.

Perhaps it was with a tank range (and artillery firing range) in mind that the Department of National Defence expropriated enough land just a couple of years ago to triple the size of the Valcartier training area. Although the residents of Shannon protested at the time, the expropriations stood, and while those expropriated didn't suffer financially, contractors are bound to benefit greatly over the next few years.

Equally important as construction in the fact that he formation of new units in Quebec marks the first time that there have been any real changes in the military structure in the province for a good many years, other than the usual change of names and roles of various units.

The new armored regiment — 12e Régiment blindé du Canada — will be equipped with the new Lynx reconnaissance vehicles that are currently being brought into service to replace the antique Ferret scout cars.

The Lynx is a first cousin of the M-113-A1 armored personnel carrier used by the infantry, so the maintenance problems should be simplified.

The establishment calls for a regimental headquarters squadron, three reconnaissance squadrons and a helicopter squadron. Due to the economic situation and peacetime restrictions, one reconnaissance squadron and the helicopter squadron will not be activated.

Choice of the name of the armored regiment is also interesting. During the Second World War, the Three Rivers Regiment (now called the Régiment de Trois Rivières) was designated the 12th Armored Regiment, and it is the Three Rivers Regiment that is being perpetuated.

Régiment de Trois Rivières is a Militia unit (armored) based at, naturally enough, Three Rivers. Brig-Gen. Reid surprised everyone, including many senior officers, at his press conference Friday when he said that the reserve unit has been called the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (Militia) since may. All the glory of the reserve unit, including its battle honors and flags, will become property of the Regular element of the unit.

Officers at the conference only smiled when it was suggested that the name choice came because General Jean-Victor Allard, Chief of the Defence Staff, is from Three Rivers and in the fall of 1966 he was honored by the city with a presentation of historical documents of the area, and honored again in a long ceremony staged by the Régiment de Trois Rivières.

Gen. Allard, the first French-Canadian to command not only the land forces of Canada but all the forces, started his military career in Three Rivers.

The new units is described as a light armored regiment, with its primary role as reconnaissance. Realistically, however, it will be equipped not with any new, light tanks, but with the aging Centurion.

The artillery regiment will fare a little better. It will be equipped with the L-5, Italian designed 105 mm, howitzer. The new weapon is air portable, and so fits in well with the overall mobility plans of Mobile Command, which controls all the new combat groups. The Lynx, also, is easily adapted to air transportation.

But the Centurion …

The infantry battalions will suffer somewhat also. They are being trimmed from four to three rifle companies, primarily because it is expected that quite a few personnel now serving in the infantry units will transfer to the new armored and artillery units.

Besides that, though, only one of the three companies in each battalion will be equipped with the M-113-A1 armored personnel carriers. The other two will be motorized rather than mechanized, and will travel in trucks.

As one battalion commander pointed out, this does not mean that one company will be designated custodians of the carriers. All troops will be trained and practiced on them. And as far as training is concerned, he said, the new system will mean that personnel can be rotated on a man-for-man basis with personnel serving with the 4th Canadian mechanized Brigade Group in Germany, whereas in the past it required entire units for rotation.

Across Canada, the whole concept means a trimming down of establishment to fit the personnel available.

In Quebec, the approach is equally practical, but perhaps in a different direction.

Of all the young men joining the Canadian Armed Forces, 27 per cent come from French-language homes. However, the retention rate is so poor that of all those serving at present, only 15 per cent have French as their primary language.

The new combat group of French-language units, it is hoped, will reverse this trend and entice not only more French-Canadians to join the service, but will entice them to stay in. Another factor, of course, is that the working language will be French for the greater part of most careers, and families can attend French-language schools in Quebec.

In May, 1968, when the news that the French-language units would be formed (The Gazette, May 8, 1968), there was a lot of hard feelings in other parts of Canada, and particularly in the Maritimes. The issue was bitterly fought out in Cabinet before the 25 June election, and apparently those who favored the new system, such as Defence Minister Léo Cadieux, won out. There has been little comment or criticism since.

As yet it is hard to put a complete price ag on the benefits which will accrue to the Province of Quebec, but considering accommodation (military and private), development, construction projects, supplies, and that many, many other services required by the military from civilian sources, the cash amount pumped into the province should be substantial indeed, perhaps as high as $15,000,000.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 28 December 2014

New Role For The Militia (1959)
Topic: Canadian Army

New Role For The Militia

The Montreal Gazette; 25 March 1959

The development of long-range missiles is forcing a drastic reorganization of the world's military forces.

The long-range missile means that in all-out was No-Man's-Land would be 5,000 miles deep and the front line on each side would be at home, the industrial centres which would be an enemy's prime targets.

In recognition of this fact the Canadian Militia, like the British home forces, has been given an increasingly larger responsibility in the preparation and organization of Civil Defence. For several reasons, the term Civil Defence, particularly in reference to the Army's role, is incorrect.

"I think it is unfortunate that the term civil defence should have been chosen to define this part of what is essentially passive military training …," said Lieutenant-Colonel Julian Benbow, commander of the Royal Canadian Hussars, in 1957, when the change in training had been introduced. Colonel Benbow explained that half the militia training was on the military role in civil defence, half on normal military functions.

"This new training that we have been called upon to undertake can be interesting," said Lieutenant-Colonel Benbow, "and should not have any adverse effect on the keenness of all members of the unit."

The militia's new role, as outlined by Prime Minister Diefenbaker this week, would include warning of attack, location and monitoring of explosions and fallout, assessment of damage, decontamination, clearing of affected areas and rescue of injured in such areas. Special equipment is being supplied militia units for such work.

This is similar to the reorganization of the reserve air force, which is being re-equipped to act as an emergency transport service. Both the militia and the air force reserve will be available for civil emergencies, as well as military.

Since the Second World War, the militia has been trained with Second World War weapons; now it is being given a job as modern as a ballistic missile. That job, as the Prime Minister outlined it, is a part of Civil Defence that might well be called Nuclear Survival.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 22 December 2014

Canadian Army, Christmas 1940
Topic: Canadian Army

Canadian soldiers enjoying a few drinks on Christmas Day at the front, Ortona, Italy, 25 December 1943. Photographer: Frederick G. Whitcombe. MIKAN Number: 3227877. From the Library and Archives Canada Faces of War collection.

Canadian Army to Continue Watch During Special Christmas Dinner (1940)

The Montreal Gazette; 23 December 1940

Somewhere in England. December 22.—(C.P. Cable)—Canada's fighting men in Britain will spend Christmas in military fashion in their camps where readiness for instant action is imperative even during such a festive season.

Every mess in the extensive system of Canadian camps will have a special Christmas dinner. Some turkeys and other fowl have been obtained and puddings, cakes and candy have been included in preparations for a bang-up feed.

Lt.-Gen. A.G.L. McNaughton, who will likely spend the day in his corps area, has issued instructions that no special food favours are to be available to the troops other than those enjoyed by civilians.

The Canadian Red Cross has made arrangements to supply turkeys to many of the units which could not raise them independently. Menus will also include soup, pork, mince pie and plum puddings.

Many lucky soldiers whose regular leave happens to fall on Christmas week are going far afield, some to Northern Ireland and others to remote parts of England, Scotland and Wales.

Various service clubs are arranging special dinners and entertainments for Canadians while large numbers will spend at least part of the day in private homes.

Some regiments sent our their own Christmas cards, printed with regimental crests and distinctive greetings.

Among the best of these was that of Quebec's Royal 22nd which carries a photograph of the regiment mounting guard at Buckingham Palace last April and a greeting in French.

A round of Christmas entertainment for the overseas forces started Saturday with a party and dance given by the women's war committee of the Royal Empire Society. A number of Canadian soldiers and airmen were among the 300 members of the forces present.

The Royal 22nd Regiment, the Van Doos, parades at Buckingham Palace, 1940.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014 5:15 PM EST
Monday, 15 December 2014

Canadian Soldiers; Courage at Sea
Topic: Canadian Army

Canadian soldiers aboard a troopship arriving at Greenock, Scotland, 31 August 1942. Photographer: Laurie A. Audrain MIKAN Number: 3203270

Canadian Soldiers Receive Mention for Sea Conduct

Ottawa Citizen; 18 November 1942

London, Nov. 18—(C.P. Cable)—Eighteen Canadian soldiers have been commended in Canadian army routine orders for distinguished conduct when the ship in which they were crossing the Atlantic was damaged in a collision.

The stem of the troopship was damaged above and below the waterline by a collision with another vessel in a convoy bound for England.

The troopship was forced to leave the convoy because the captain fears the forward bulkheads of the chain lockers might give way. When volunteers were called for to help brace up the bulkheads, the 18 Canadian responded.

They are:

  • L.-Cpl. E.P. Hogan, Nelcon, B.C.,
  • L.-Cpl. W. Lehmann, Maillairdville, B.C.,
  • Tpr. J.M. Ewung, Medicine Hat, Alta.,
  • Tpr. E.J. Godin, London, Ont.,
  • Tpr. W.C. Guthrie, Tiverton, Ont.,
  • Tpr. O. Lawrence, Vancouver, B.C.,
  • Tpr. N. Swift, Vernon, B.C.,

all of the headquarters squadron of the 3rd Canadian Armoured Brigade;


  • L.-Cpl. W.E. Smith, Woodstock, Ont.,
  • Tpr. H.E. Jamieson, Port Stanley, Ont.,
  • Tpr. J. Dowell, St. Thomas, Ont.,
  • Tpr. W.E. Murray, London, Ont.,
  • Tpr. F.W. Cole, Talbotville, Ont.,

all of the Elgin Regiment;

  • Cpl. J.P. Greenought, Halifax, N.S.,
  • Pte. J.B. Sanford, Truro, N.S.
  • Pte. J.P. Phiney, Lower Five Islands, N.S.,
  • Pte. E.S. Davis, Lower Five Islands, N.S.,
  • Pte. P. McKenna, Charlottetown, P.E.I.,
  • Pte. H.L. Parks, Four Falls, N.B.,

all of the Canadian Forestry Corps.

Orders said the men gained access to the chain lockers through a manhole in the forecastle and for more than seven hours they worked in small groups in an ill-ventilated, restricted space, knowing there was little chance of escape if the bulkheads yielded of if the ship were attacked by the enemy.

"The commander-in-chief of the 1st Canadian Army has directed that these acts of distinguished conduct be recognized by the promulgation of this order and recorded on these soldiers' conduct sheets," the order concluded.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 15 December 2014 12:08 AM EST
Friday, 5 December 2014

Canadian Women’s Army Corps
Topic: Canadian Army

Personnel of the Canadian Women's Army Corps at No. 3 CWAC (Basic) Training Centre. Kitchener, Ontario. April 6, 1944.

Here's How Jenny Gets Her Gun

Wide World Feature

Lewiston Evening Journal; Lewiston, Maine, 17 July 1942

Wondering what America's new women's army will be like?

You can learn a thing or two from Major Joan Kennedy, head of Canada's Women's army corps.

Major Kennedy made a recent visit to New York. When she and her staff assistant, Captain Phyllis Lee-Wright, passed through Grand Central Station they caused more craning of necks than a visiting movie queen. Every passing eye took in their natty, brass-buttoned khaki hued uniforms.

Major Joan Kennedy

What Major Kennedy said was of great interest too—especially to women who may soon be in army uniform themselves.

Good Soldiers

"Women have adapted themselves splendidly to military procedure and army life," she told me. "They get on well with the men. And the men have welcomed them, for they are glad to be freed of such jobs as cooking and clerking and get out on active service."

Then she gave a graphic picture of Canadian women's army life as her corps of 2,800 knows it. The one-time stenographers, waitresses, lawyers, and dieticians begin their recruit service with a 30-day training in squad drill, map reading, first aid, protection against gas, physical training, military procedure, and army discipline and law. That finished, they are given any special training required for their jobs and then stationed at any one of 200 army posts or training centers. They do stenographic work, cook in commissaries, wait table in mess hall, care for stores of uniforms and ammunition, drive staff cars and light trucks. They draw two-thirds of a soldier's pay and most of them live in army barracks. They are up at 6:15 reveille.

Officers may doff uniforms and don frills for an evening engagement, if they wish. But not the rank and file. When they have a date with the boyfriend, they go in uniform. Officers can wear silk stockings too, but the rank and file get there in lisle.

Drivers of No.3 Section, Motor Ambulance Convoy, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (R.C.A.S.C.), await the departure of a convoy, Farnborough, England. (L-R): Privates Mina Bray, Elda Austin, Olive Baguley, Mary McLennan, Elfreda Duggan, Roonie Sigurdson and Gladys Deneau. 12 January 1945. Photographer: Karen M. Hermiston.

Cap Angles

For a time Women's Army Corps caps were a matter of some concern. Some of the women wore them tilted at too exaggerated an angle. But now the caps are regulated to a tilt of 15 degrees to the right. The women are allowed a light makeup and may dress their hair as they please, provided the coiffure is neat and clears the collar. But colored nail polish and jewelry—except a watch and wedding ring—are taboo.

Major Kennedy, 38, blue-eyed and English-born, came to Canada with her family in 1911. They returned to England during the last war and then came back to Victoria, British Columbia. The girl who was to head Canada's first women's army took a business course, held a secretarial job for several years and in 1929 married Norman R. Kennedy, a Victoria engineer.

Major Kennedy says a lot of the members of her corps are married too. One of their husbands, who cannot join the army because he is needed in civil service, may have voiced the thought of more than one when he said: "It's a heck of a note when a man's best girl goes off to war and he has to stay behind and tend home fires."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 29 November 2014

Canadian Infantry in Sicily
Topic: Canadian Army

Private D.B. MacDonald of The Royal Canadian Regiment, who carries a Bren light machine gun, near Campobasso, Italy, October 1943. Photographer: Jack H. Smith. FRom the Faces of War collection at Library and Archives Canada.

Canadian Infantry in Sicily Produced Goods

Ottawa Citizen, 1 September 1943
By Ross Munro

With the Canadians in Sicily, Aug. 31,—(CP)—Canada's P.B.I. (poor bloody infantry) came through with the goods in the Sicilian victory.

The nine infantry battalions in the 1st Canadian Division lived up to everything that was expected of them and more. In face of German machine guns, under mortar and artillery fire they were as brave as men could be.

They endured the blazing heat of the Mediterranean, the smothering dust of the roads and fields, days and nights of forced marches and fighting and they battled and beat some of the finest troops in the German army.

To Canada's gallant infantry in Sicily goes the lion's share of praise for the brilliant success of the Canadian advance from Pachino to the western slopes of Mount Etna.

Infantrymen themselves will say, however, that they could not have done it without the support of the Royal Canadian Artillery, Canadian tank units, mortar crews, machine gunners and reconnaissance troops which always backed them up.

Spectacular Exploit

The most spectacular infantry exploit was probably the storming of the Assoro cliffs by the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment. This surprise attack was like a repeat of Wolfe at Quebec.

Ranking with it was the work of the Edmonton Regiment in the mountains northwest of Aderno. The Edmontons' assault on Hill 736 and on Mount Revisotto, while only carried out by comparatively small forces, was classed among the big successes.

To the Seaforth Highlanders goes great credit for fighting before Agira and the attack to the Simeto river valley in front of Aderno when the Highlanders teamed up with tanks and a reconnaissance squadron. The Seaforths also shared in the heavy fighting at Leonforte with the Edmontons and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Actions the Patricias will always recall are the final attack on Leonforte which led to the capture of the town and the successful breakthrough at Nissoria behind the heaviest artillery concentration in the Canadian campaign.

The Royal Canadian Regiment was engaged over a longer period than any unit, going into action shortly after landing, in skirmishes it captured the Pachino airdrome and cleaned out a strong Italian coast artillery position on a wooded hill northwest of Pachino. Its fiercest fight was at Nissoria on the bloody slopes east of the town.

The 48th Highlanders also rate Nissoria as its roughest battle but will remember Valguarnera and the Leonforte-Assoro ridge when they recall this campaign in their mess years from now.

While not in action as much as other infantry battalions the West Nova Scotias, the Royal 22nd and the Carleton and York fought skilfully in the battle before Enna and at Catenanuova when the bridgehead over the Dittaino river was gained. The daring night crossing by the Royal 22nd over the Simeto river in the final phase of the operation which broke the Etna line will live in that regiment's history.

Add Skirmishes

These are the highlights of the infantry engagements, but to them you add numerous skirmishes fought by platoons and companies which are almost forgotten in the heat of larger battles. There was the landing itself and while it was practically unopposed, it was a nerve-wracking business that tested the spirit of everyone. There were those long marches through hostile country whether the troops never knew when machine guns would open up from the next ridge or turn in the road.

There was the ambush at Grammichele where the Hastings handled themselves so creditably after the Germans had shot up their forward elements. Everywhere the "Red Patch Devils," as the Canucks became known to the enemy, proved themselves terrors in attack. Never during the whole campaign on the Canadian front did the Germans attempt a large scale counter-attack which indicated a hearty respect for their Canadian opponents.

These infantrymen have seen death and tumult of battle but they haven't changed much. Possibly they are a little sterner but they haven't forgotten the humor which helped them so much through four English winters with nothing to spur them on but hope for a campaign like this.

They have learned to soldier like their 8th Army comrades, know angles on bivouacking, on dodging mortar fire and shells, on digging slit trenches and living on all sorts of rations. They have learned to supplement army rations with Sicilian fruit and onions, tomatoes and the harsh "vino" of the country.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 17 November 2014

Montreal Military Tournament; 1928
Topic: Canadian Army

Royal Canadian Dragoons Musical ride at the Canadian National Exhibition ca. 1920 (NLA)

War Panorama in Panoply of Peace

Second Night of Military Tournament Again Enthused Audience With Admiration

The Montreal Gazette, Saturday, 19 May 1928

With the complete panoply of peace, where the spectacular is rendered beautiful yet reminiscent of the still more strenuous days preceding the last decade, Montreal's non-permanent active militia, with permanent force units from Kingston and St Johns, was enabled last night to demonstrate part of the rigorous training necessary to become efficient "Soldiers of the King." No check marred the second day of the Naval and Military Tournament, which was evolved rapidly before the dancing eyes of a packed Forum to end in a glorious crescendo, both of sound and color, banked together at one end of the amphitheatre. Nine hundred men, with massed regimental bands in rear, presented a veritable magician's carpet of color on the drab tan bark.

No dull moment was to be experienced throughout the whole programme, a great tribute to the organization committee, and the enthusiastic spectators showed their approval in no uncertain manner. Precision in the various movements, military or gymnastic, captured the applause of the audience who were ever anxious for more.

It was only natural that there should be outstanding features, but this was through no lack of perfection with which the different items were performed by respective units, but rather the nature of the display. Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College caught the greatest measure of admiration and received an ovation on their every entrance to the arena. Their wok, or play as it appeared, was almost mechanical, except in the individual gymnastic performances, the individual was given more scope to show degrees of merit. No circus troupe could outshine the apparatus work, and the riding display was put on without a dingle fall.

Used alike by raw recruit and proficient senior at the college, the horses did not show that degree of trained intelligence which stamps a Cossack animal, but this did not prevent the performance of spectacular displays. In fact, a little touch of humor was added to the programme when a horse proved refractory.

The arm drill of the Gentlemen cadets, performed with rifles, demonstrated the drill, efficiency and discipline imparted, each exercise bringing a round of applause from the Forum gathering. It seemed almost incredible that any body of men should appear so mechanical, moving as one.

Other units were none the less efficient. The Canadian Grenadier Guards, with fifes and drums, opening the programme with "retreat," an impressive display practised daily by British troops wherever the flag is flown. The R.C.N.V.R. staged an interesting show, bringing two field guns into action. Another attractive exhibition was that of guard mounting, put on by the Royal Montreal Regiment and the Royal Highlanders of Canada.

"A" Squadron, Royal Canadian Dragoons, performed in a musical ride that was a spectacular item on the programme, perfect control of their fine mounts being shown at all times. This culminated in a charge with lowered lance and fluttering pennon. Under the leadership of Lieut. H.G. Jones, R.H. of C., selections were rendered by the massed bands. The musical drive of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Kingston, provided a rare treat, the whole being at the canter in a relatively small area with a four-gun battery. Under these circumstances it was remarkable how taut the traces were kept.

In addition to their arm drill, the R.M.C. cadets figured in three events, each of which was met with acclaim. The trench raid was staged last night by Les Carabiniers Mont-Royal, with the co-operation of detachments from other units.

The R.C.H.A. band played the incidental music throughout, but did not participate with the massed bands on account of the instruments being of different pitch.

Major-General J.H. MacBrien, C.B, C.M.G., D.S.O., late Chief of Staff, took the salute. He was accompanied in his box by Mayor George Hogg, of Westmount, and Mrs. Hogg, Brig.-General W.B.M. King, C.M.G., D.S.O., commanding Military District No. 4, and the Hon. Mrs. Shuttleworth King, Colonel W.H.P. Elkins, D.S.O., Colonel Commandant C.F. Constantine, D.S.O., commandant of the Royal Military College, and Mrs. Constantine, and Miss Currie.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
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
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
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
Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Canadian Army Recuiting; 1949
Topic: Canadian Army

Canadian Army Recuiting; 1949

Not Just a Job

Published in McLean's magazine on 1 October 1949, this Canadian Army recruiting advertisement seeks recruits for the Canadian Army in the Regular or Reserve Force.

RCAF recuiting advertisement; 1949
Click image for larger version.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 28 September 2014

The 1936 Re-organization of the Militia
Topic: Canadian Army

Local Regiments Remaining Intact

Rifles, Black Watch and Guards Are Unaffected by Militia Changes

Others Amalgamated

Royal Montreal and Chateauguay Regiments Established as Machine Gun Battalions

The Montreal Gazette; 17 December 1936

Ottawa, December 16.—(CP)—Examination of the reorganization schedules of the Canadian Non-Permanent Active Militia discloses a drastic whittling in both infantry and cavalry, innumerable conversions of other units from one arm to another, and amalgamations which few regiments have escaped. The cavalry is reduced from 35 regiments to 15 and the infantry from 119 to 69.

The 69 regiments are distributed in 43 infantry rifle battalions and 26 infantry machine gun battalions. Some have disappeared altogether, having been "inactive" and existing only on paper; others will have to re-learn soldiering from a gunner's standpoint, being converted into artillery, Tank and armoured car units swallowed up a few.

As indicated, the mounted arm has been shaved down to 15 regiments, with mounted brigades reduced from nine to four.

Henceforth cavalry brigade headquarters will be located as follows: 1st, Toronto; 2nd, Pincher Creek, Alta.; 3rd, Montreal; and 4th Winnipeg.

The regiments which escape disbandment or conversion, but practically all of them amalgamated with some other unit, follow:

The 1st Hussars, London, Ont,; the Governor General's Horse Guards, Toronto; 2nd 10th Dragoons, Hamilton; 4th princess Louise Dragoon Guards, Ottawa; 17th Hussars, Montreal; 7th 11th Hussars, Bury, Que.; Prince Edward Island Light Horse, Charlottetown; 8th Princess Louise's New Brunswick Hussars, Sussex, N.B.; Fort Garry Horse, Winnipeg; 12th Manitoba Dragoons, Virden; 14th Canadian Light Horse, Climax, Sask.; 16th Saskatchewan Horse, Yorkton; 15th Alberta Light Horse, Calgary; 19th Alberta Dragoons, Edmonton, and the British Columbia Dragoons, Vernon, B.C.

Three cavalry units are mechanized into armored car regiments. These are the 6th Royal Canadian Hussars of Montreal, amalgamated with the 1st Motor Machine Gun Brigade; the King's Canadian Hussars of Kentville, N.S., which takes over "C" Company of the Colchester and Hants Regiment (infantry) and "B" Company of the 6th Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps and the British Columbia Hussars of Vancouver, which absorbs Headquarters and "B" Company of the 11th Battalion, C.M.G.C.

A new unit designated the 2nd Armoured Car Regiment, with headquarters at Winnipeg, is formed out of the 2nd Motor Machine Gun Brigade and the 1st Machine Gun Squadron, C.M.G.C.

With regard to infantry, four inactive regiments have been disbanded. These are the Irish Canadian Rangers, Montreal; Les Chasseurs Canadiens, St. Anne de la Perade; the Manitoba Regiment, Winnipeg and the North Alberta Regiment, Ponoka, Alta.

Two companies of the Frontenac Regiment of Napanee, Ont., have been disbanded.

Infantry brigades which have come under the axe are the 3rd, Windsor, Ont.; the 7th, Belleville; the 21st Saskatoon, and the 29th, Edmonton.

Formed by amalgamations of various sorts, 26 infantry machine gun regiments have been established as follows:

  • Ontario: Canadian Fusiliers, London; the Kent Regiment, Chatham; the Perth Regiment, Stratford; the Queen's York Rangers, the Toronto Scottish and the Irish Regiment of Canada, all of Toronto; the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Hamilton; the Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment, Sault Ste. Marie; the Princess of Wales Own Regiment, Kingston; the Prince of Wales Rangers, Peterborough; and the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa.
  • Quebec: The Royal Montreal Regiment; Le Regiment de Chateauguay, St. Lambert; The Sherbrooke Regiment; Le Regiment de Quebec, and Le Regiment de la Chaudiere, Ste. Claire.
  • Nova Scotia: The North Nova Scotia Highlanders, Amherst, and the princess Louise Fusiliers, Halifax.
  • New Brunswick: The Saint John Fusiliers.
  • Manitoba: The Winnipeg Light Infantry and The Winnipeg Grenadiers.
  • Saskatchewan: The Saskatoon Light Infantry, and the King's Own Rifles of Canada, Moose jaw.
  • Alberta: The Edmonton Fusiliers.
  • British Columbia: The 2nd Battalion Canadian Scottish, Victoria; and The Westminster Regiment, New Westminster.

Infantry regiments converted into artillery are:

  • Ontario: The Wellington Regiment, Guelph; The Bruce Regiment, Walkerton; The Norfolk Regiment, Simcoe; a portion of the Wentworth Regiment, Dundas; The Victoria and Haliburton Regiment, Lindsay; The Grenville Regiment, Kemptville; The Frontenac Regiment, Napanee; and The Kenora Light Infantry, Kenora.
  • Manitoba: The Manitoba Rangers, Brandon.
  • Saskatchewan: The Assiniboine Regiment, Moosomin; and The Yorkton Regiment, Yorkton.
  • British Columbia: The Kootenay Regiment, Cranbrook; and The North British Columbia Regiment, Prince Rupert.

Four infantry tank battalions have been established from the Essex Regiment, Windsor; The Ontario Regiment, Oshawa; The Three Rivers Regiment, and the Calgary Regiment.

43 Regiments Unaffected

Unaffected by the reorganization, and continuing presumably as infantry rifle battalions are 43 regiments:

  • Ontario: The Oxford Rifles, Woodstock; the Highland Light Infantry of Canada, Galt; the Scots Fusiliers of Canada, Kitchener; the Essex Scottish Highlanders, Windsor; the Elgin Regiment, St. Thomas; the 48th Highlanders, Toronto; the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish, Perth; the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders, Cornwall; the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, Trenton; the Governor General's Foot Guards, Ottawa; the Brockville Rifles.
  • Quebec: Le Regiment de Hull; the Victoria Rifles of Canada, Montreal; the Black Watch, Montreal; the Canadian Grenadier Guards, Montreal; le Regiment de St. Hyacinth; les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke; les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, Montreal; le Regiment de Joliette; le Regiment de Mainssoneuve; le Regiment de Montmagny; les Fusiliers de St. Laurent, Rimouski; the Royal Rifles of Canada, Quebec; les Voltiguers de Quebec; les Frace Tireurs du Saguenay, Chicoutimi, and les Regiment de Levis.
  • Nova Scotia: The Halifax Rifles, the Pictou Highlanders; and the Cape Breton Highlanders, Sydney, N.S.
  • Prince Edward Island: The P.E.I. Highlanders, Charlottetown.
  • New Brunswick: The North Shore (N.B.) Regiment, Chatham, and the New Brunswick Rangers, Sussex.
  • Manitoba: The Winnipeg Rifles, and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, Winnipeg.
  • Saskatchewan: All Saskatchewan infantry units are amalgamated or converted. Three are rifle regiments—the Prince Albert and Battleford Volunteers, the South Saskatchewan Regiment, and the Regina Rifle Regiment.
  • Alberta: The Calgary Highlanders and the Edmonton Regiment.
  • British Columbia: The British Columbia Regiment, Vancouver; the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, Vancouver; and the Rocky Mountain Rangers, of Kamloops. The Irish Fusiliers of Canada are merged with the Vancouver Regiment, into an infantry rifle battalion.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 19 September 2014

Weird Camp Assembly Line
Topic: Canadian Army

Personnel of the Canadian Army Show loading equipment into a truck, Guildford, England, 21 June 1945. (L-R): Captain Maurice Burke of The British Columbia Dragoons, the Show's liaison officer; Private Daphne Marshall; driver Luther Daniels. Photographer: Harold D. Robinson, Location: Guildford, England. Date: June 21, 1945. MIKAN Number: 3596554

Weird Camp Assembly Line

(Special to the Maple Leaf)

The Maple Leaf, 30 June 1945

Ever been to an army camp where, if you didn't step lively, you're liable to be trampled underfoot by hurrying, burly sergeants-major complete with lipstick and rouge? Or maybe your idea of a properly conducted military establishment doesn't include having OR's out in an open field tooting away on saxophones and clarinets.

Just outside Guildford is one of the strangest army camps. It is operated by Canadian Auxiliary Services Entertainment Unit (Army Shows) and is the spot where the troops shows are put together, hammered into smooth shape and put on the road.

At the moment, the organization has eight entertainment units in the field, five small groups touring hospitals, another five shows in rehearsal and talent for three more on the way over from Canada. A brand new show every week is being turned out by this show factory. That sort of activity needs plenty of talent and the army shows right now could use at least another 135 service performers. It's a mighty swell chance for anyone in khaki and with a bent for any department of the show business to acquire some valuable experience.

Greater Need

All the hectic activity on the entertainment front reflects recognition of the fact that, with active operations over, there is a greater need for good entertainment to take up the serviceman's time. The Army Shows these days are particularly pointing their talents toward entertaining the occupational forces and the lads who are getting ready to go home.

Canadian service personnel, of course, have been providing entertainment for their fellows ever since the early days of the war, principally through such groups as the Tin Hats, Forage Caps and Bandoliers—some of whose personnel are still in khaki shows. However, the present set-up did not really get going until around Christmas, 1943, when the big Army Show in Canada was broken up into five separate units and came overseas.

The whole organization at the time amounted to 135 people; total strength now is 864. Always the trend has been toward bigger and more elaborate shows. The early units went out with a piano, accordion and drums; now each once had at least a nine-piece band while three units boast a 16-piece orchestra. Biggest and best production to date has been "Apres le Guerre," which has 45 in it. This show was prepared strictly from scratch, made ready for the road in only three weeks and hjas just started on a Continental jaunt. All the army shows are being shot over to the continent as soon as they are ready, the boys there getting top priority in this high-grade Canadian brand of entertainment.

Each unit is completely self-contained, does its own cooking, hauling and fatigues and after the show is over all performers pitch in to move the scenery. All the necessary equipment is taken along with the show, including the power supply—each unit being equipped with a portable Diesel generator which is capable of supplying enough power to light up at least two miles of city street.

Quick, easy movement is a prime necessity for these units because during their three-month Continental sojourns they play up to 150 shows. When the war was on they very often moved up the line with fighting troops and played 500 yards from the enemy. A month after D-Day a unit under CSM Jimmy Shields and CSM Jimmy Hosack, both of Toronto, went to France and played from Arromanches right up to near Nijmegen. In eight days these entertainers put on 22 shows for the 3rd Div. with their theatre being a cleared out cave at Fontaine-Henri.

Getting these swiftly-paced shows together is a highly detailed job and their excellence is a tribute to the talent and technical efficiency of the whole Army Show organization. Biggest share of credit belongs to Major Rai Purdy, CO of the outfit, who used to run his own radio production set-up in Toronto.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Permanent Force Reductions, 1914
Topic: Canadian Army

As the following news article shows, only weeks before the outbreak of the First World War, Col Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia, was set to reduce the strength of Canada's Permanent Force (the Regular Force). Never a supporter of the Permanent Force, this is just one more example of Hughes' attitudes towards the regulars.

Reduce Strength Canadian Militia

Colonel Sam Hughes<br />Minister of Militia

Colonel Sam Hughes
Minister of Militia

Engineers and Army Service Corps to be Cut Down

The Daily Telegraph; 15 July, 1914

Ottawa, July 17.—The permanent strength of two units of the permanent force, the engineer corps and the army service corps is to be reduced by the Minister of Militia.

The numbers of both units as at present constituted are considered too great, and Col. Sam Hughes intends to reduce both of them to a workable size. The Canadian army service corps is now one-third as great numerically as that for the whole British army, in spite of the great disparity in the size of the Canadian and British force. These units were constituted in their present strength ten years ago.

The present strength of the army service corps is about 450 and of the engineering corps about 300.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2014 12:09 AM EDT
Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Canadian Army; 1942
Topic: Canadian Army

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: 3205640. From the Library and Archives Canada virtual exhibit "Faces of War."

The Canadian Army; 1942

Canadian Army, Training Pamphlet No. 1
A General Instructional Background for the Young Soldier; 1942

Outward bearing is the first index of discipline and esprit de corps. All men must realize they carry the badge of their regiment, and that those who see them look on them not as individuals but as representatives of the regiment whose mark they bear.

Canada is in the process of building up an army which will be called upon to register the manhood of our country in the eyes of the world. It is therefore, imperative that every man should not merely be conscious of the powerful contribution to victory to be made by our army, but offer evidence of a sense of it in his personal bearing. He should remember, both on and off parade, that he is wearing The King's uniform and that his personal bearing will exercise a dominating influence with the general public.

In public, therefore, as on parade, he must conduct himself in such a fashion that the uniform he wears is regarded by the general public less as a uniform than as the hallmark of that great profession of arms to which he belongs and to which is vitally bound up his nation's identity.

Outward bearing is the first index of discipline and esprit de corps. All men must realize they carry the badge of their regiment, and that those who see them look on them not as individuals but as representatives of the regiment whose mark they bear. If they appear smart, alert, and efficient, The comment will be not so much, "That man looks a good soldier" as "That looks a good regiment."

Every man must therefore carry himself erect, and see that his uniform is clean and in good condition, and that it is worn correctly. Until he is satisfied that his own turn out is correct he cannot expect a high standard from those under his command.

Men can look smart in battle dress if it is worn correctly and the necessary trouble is taken; alternatively, a slovenly man can carry it in such fashion that he looks little better than a tramp. This again is the responsibility of the officer and the N.C.O. If they themselves are smartly turned out, the more enterprising men will take their cue from them and the rest will need little encouragement to follow their example.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 31 August 2014 9:48 AM EDT
Saturday, 19 July 2014

Post-War Permanent Force Set-Up
Topic: Canadian Army

Post-War Permanent Force Set-Up

The Maple Leaf, 6 November 1945

Ottawa—(CP)—Indications that formations in Canada's peacetime permanent army will not differ except in size from those of prewar years were given in the Commons by Defence Minister Abbott during a study of army estimates.

He said the postwar force of between 20,000 and 24,000—prewar strength was only 5,000—would consist of a brigade group augmented by two armored regiments and one medium artillery battery. In addition there would be the usual administration and training elements including a coastal battery on each coast and composite anti-aircraft battery.

"The main element of that proposed brigade groups would consist of headquarters, three infantry battalions, field artillery regiment of three batteries and an anti-tank battery and field company of engineers together with signals, medical and staff units, maintenance workshops and other essential elements,' said Mr. Abbott.

In reply to questions Mr. Abbott said Canada hopes to obtain a ship specially equipped to bring wives and children of service men from the United Kingdom. He also stated veterans' guard companies will continue to be used as long as useful employment can be found for them.

"CAAF" and "CARP" are alphabetic designations that may become familiar when organization of Canada's post-war military set-up is finally complete. Defence Minister Abbott suggested that the regular army be called Canadian Army Active Force, and the Reserve be called Canadian Army Reserve Force. Prewar army was known as the Permanent Force while reserve bore the title of Non-Permanent Active Militia.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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Entries by Topic
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Army Rations
Battle Honours
British Army
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Army  «
Canadian Militia
Cold Steel
Cold War
Drill and Training
European Armies
Forays in Fiction
Martial Music
Military Medical
Military Theory
Pay; the Queen's shilling
Sam Hughes
Soldier Slang
Soldiers' Load
Staff Duties
Stolen Valour
Taking Advantage
The Field of Battle
The RCR Museum
US Armed Forces
Vimy Pilgrimage
Wolseley Barracks

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