The Minute Book
Sunday, 24 January 2016

General MacArthur's Principles of Leadership
Topic: Leadership

General MacArthur's Principles of Leadership

Leadership Principles for the new ADP 6-22; A Monograph by Major Gregory W. McLean, US Army, SAMS, AY 2012-001

General Douglas MacArthur's principles of leadership are another example of how a leader can briefly explain what is expected from his subordinates to be successful. General MacArthur's principles were written during peacetime operations, but the Army still has to function while not conducting combat operations and his principles focused on garrison activities are useful as well. His principles are a concise way for leaders to understand what should be expected from them.

  • Do I heckle my subordinates or strengthen and encourage them?
  • Do I use moral courage in getting rid of subordinates who have proven themselves beyond doubt to be unfit?
  • Have I done all in my power by encouragement, incentive, and spur to salvage the weak and erring?
  • Do I know by NAME and CHARACTER a maximum number of subordinates for whom I am responsible? Do I know them intimately?
  • Am I thoroughly familiar with the technique, necessities, objectives, and administration of my job?
  • Do I lose my temper at individuals?
  • Do I act in such a way as to make my subordinates WANT to follow me?
  • Do I delegate tasks that should be mine?
  • Do I arrogate everything to myself and delegate nothing?
  • Do I develop my subordinates by placing on each one as much responsibility as he can stand?
  • Am I interested in the personal welfare of each of my subordinates, as if he were a member of my family?
  • Have I the calmness of voice and manner to inspire confidence, or am I inclined to irascibility and excitability?
  • Am I a constant example to my subordinates in character, dress, deportment, and courtesy?
  • Am I inclined to be nice to my superiors and mean to my subordinates?
  • my door open to my subordinates?
  • I think more of POSITION than JOB?
  • I correct a subordinate in the presence of others?

These questions/principles are uncomplicated – which is what makes them timeless and so much more useful than hundreds of pages of over-explained values. General MacArthur said "in the end, through the long ages of our quest for light, it will be found that truth is still mightier than the sword. For out of the welter of human carnage and human weal the indestructible thing that will always live is a sound idea." General MacArthur also believed, "It is easy, of course, to overemphasize the influence of machinery in war. It is man that makes war, not machines, and the human element must always remain the dominant one. Weapons are nothing but tools and each has its distinctive limitations as well as its particular capabilities. Effective results can be obtained only when an army is skillfully organized and trained so as to supplement inherent weaknesses in one type of weapon by peculiar powers in others." General MacArthur focused his principles on the human dimension, and understanding your subordinates is one of the most important qualities a leader can have. He also understood leaders must be calm during times of duress, a constant example, and encouraging.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 December 2015 6:21 PM EST
Saturday, 23 January 2016

Message of His Majesty the King
Topic: Canadian Militia

General Orders 1939

G.O. 86
Message of His Majesty the King

The following message addressed by His Majesty the King to the Minister of National Defence, is promulgated for the information of all members of the Canadian Militia:—

Halifax, N.S.,
15th June, 1939.

To the Minister of National Defence,

Before we leave you to-day I wish to congratulate you sincerely on the Defence Forces of the Dominion. Time has not permitted me to assist in the training exercises which are the only test of defence that peaceful conditions can provide. Our contact has, of necessity, been one of ceremonial. Even so, it has been easy to detect among all ranks that spirit of discipline and keenness to serve, without which the most thorough training would be useless.

In both Oceans the Canadian Navy has been our escort, and on land as well there has been ample opportunity to see the smart efficiency of all ranks. Not only at Victoria, where I presented colours to the regular force, but repeatedly along our route where we have been greeted by detachments of the Naval Volunteer Reserve, have I been proud to notice that the same high standard has been maintained.

With the Army too, both Permanent and Non-Permanent Militia, I have been deeply impressed. Wherever we have passed, escorts have been provided and streets have been lined by regular troops and by men who are prepared to devote a generous portion of their spare time to the military service of their Country. In every case their bearing has done the greatest credit to the uniform which they wear.

I regret that time has prevented me from seeing more of the Air Force. Faultless escorts I have seen and on more than one occasion Airmen and Air Force bands have contributed, second to none, to the pageantry of the streets. I am confident that the Air Force, though the youngest of the Services, has already established a tradition no less brilliant than that of the senior branches, and that before it, associated with the Air Development of this vast land, lies a great and vital future.

As head of the three Services I send my congratulations and thanks to all. Since the day on which The Queen and I first sailed into Canadian waters they have contributed in no small measure to the success and interest of out progress. I am proud to have made their close acquaintance.

(Sgd.) GEORGE R.I.

H.Q. 293-135

By command:
H.H. Matthews,

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 22 January 2016

More Native Canadians with Second Contingent
Topic: CEF

More Native Canadians with Second Contingent

Percentage Will Be Greater Than Was Alleged in the Case of the First Contingent—Many College Men in Ranks

The Journal of Commerce (Montreal), 24 October 1914

Reports from various parts of the country state that a larger percentage of native born Canadians are enlisting in the second contingent than went out with the first. In the first contingent it is said that only thirty per cent. of those who volunteered were native born Canadians, the remainder being British born, many of whom had some previous military training. Another factor noticeable in connection with the recruits for the second contingent is that they are a better type of men. The first contingent was largely made up of adventurers, while the recruits for the second contingent consist very largely of men holding responsible positions, who are throwing these up and going to the front from a sense of duty. Hundreds of college men will go out with the second contingent, while numbers of college professors from different universities have enlisted and are taking their places in the ranks. Business men from big corporations, banks, farmers' sons and others are vieing with one another in rallying to the call for men.

It has apparently taken some little time for the native born Canadian to realize the dangers confronting the Empire, and his own responsibility in repelling the world's War Lord. Recruiting officers declare that Canada's second contingent will be composed of the very flower of the country's young manhood.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 21 January 2016

Discipline in the Navy
Topic: Discipline

Discipline in the Navy

Nothing is more injurious to discipline than to give way to insubordinate demands or refusals to carry out legitimate orders.

From the Report of Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Jellicoe of Scapa, G.C.B., O.M., G.V.C.O., on Naval Mission to the Dominion of Canada (Nov-Dec 1919)

The most efficient ships, in which a high standard of discipline (associated with kindness, courtesy and sympathy) is maintained, are always the happiest. Men-of-war which are really efficient in gunnery and torpedo work, coaling and steaming, boat-pulling and games (proficiency in each of which can only be obtained after much hard work) are probably correct in all essentials, including the mental and moral well-being of officers and men. Without good discipline the above achievements are not within reach.

elipsis graphic

Very briefly, the following are the essential rules for teaching and maintaining discipline:—

(1)     All officers must be thoroughly disciplined, and must be as efficient as possible so as to win the respect of their men.

(2)     Justice must always be given—infinite pains being taken in hearing defaulters.

(3)     Unkindness (including sarcasm, i.e., unkind words) must never be allowed.

(4)     Courtesy must always be practiced.

(5)     Reproof must always be impersonal, for it is administered because the offender has not acted up to the high standard of the Navy.

(6)     Kindness from a superior must never be mistaken for weakness.

(7)     Discipline must be maintained. Nothing is more injurious to discipline than to give way to insubordinate demands or refusals to carry out legitimate orders.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Syllabus - Canadian Machine Gun Corps
Topic: Drill and Training

General Orders 1920
G.O. 150; King's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Militia, 1917—Amendments

Syllabus – Canadian Machine Gun Corps

For Lieutenant's Certificate

(a)     Machine Gun training; squad, section and company drill.
(b)     The Vickers Machine Gun.
(c)     Stores and Instruments.
(d)     Elementary tactics and field training.
(e)     Rifle and revolver exercises; guards, ceremonial.
(f)     Care of arms and elementary musketry.
(g)     Topography.
(h)     Discipline and military law.
(i)     Organization, duties and interior economy.
(k)     Equitation, animal management and mounted drill. (For Cavalry Branch only.)
(l)     Care of mechanical transport and motorcycles. (For Motor Branch only.)

In addition, lectures are to be given on the following heads, sufficient to ensure a candidate possessing an intelligent knowledge of each subject:—

  • Automatic rifles.
  • Anti-gas measures.
  • Explosives and grenades.
  • Leadership, morale, Esprit-de-Corps.
  • Trench warfare and machine gun emplacements
  • First Aid, hygiene and sanitation.



(a)     Machine Gun Training, 1919, Part I.
(b)     Handbook for then .303" Vickers Machine Gun.
(c)     The Tactical Employment of Machine Guns, S.S. 192, January 1919.

For Captain's Certificate

Officers entering upon this course must have a thorough knowledge of the work comprised in a Lieutenant's Course:—

(a)     Machine gun training.
(b)     Co-operation with, and sound knowledge of the tactics of, other arms.
(c)     Infantry, Cavalry, or M.T. Drill, according to branch of the Machine Gun Service the officer belongs to.
(d)     Musketry and Machine gun fire.
(e)     Use of Signalling apparatus. Telephony and visual signalling.
(f)     Tactics and field training.
(g)     Topography.
(h)     Military law.
(i)     Organization, administration and equipment.
(k)     Physical Training.


(a)     Machine Gun Training, 1919, Part I.
(b)     Handbook for then .303" Vickers Machine Gun.
(c)     Infantry Training, Chapter II, III, IV, Cavalry Training, Chapter I, Chapter II, Sec. 15-28, Sec 40-49; Chapter III, Chapter IV, Sec. 109-136. (According to branch of the Machine Gun Service the officer belongs to.)
(d)     Training and Manoeuvre Regulations; Field Service Regulations, Parts I and II.

For Field Officer's Certificate

Officers entering upon this course must have a thorough knowledge of the work comprised in Lieutenant's and Captain's Courses:—

(a)     The practical handling of a Machine Gun Company and Brigade in drill and in the Field.
(b)     Co-operation with other arms.
(c)     Organization and administration of a Machine Gun Company and Brigade in billets and in the Field.
(d)     Tactics and Field Training, Disposition of Machine Gun Units and fire Oraganization.
(e)     Machine Gun transport.
(f)     Equitation and horsemastership.

Note:—Details regarding each subject and information concerning courses are published in pamphlet form for general information.

For Sergeant's Certificate

The subjects will be laid down as for the Lieutenant's qualifying course on appointment, but the scope adapted to the knowledge essential for the performance of his duties in camp and the tactical instruction and handling of his unit in the field.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 19 January 2016

NWMP Ration Scale (1900)
Topic: Army Rations

NWMP Ration Scale (1900)

From the Orders-in-Council documents archives on line by Library and Archives Canada, we find this memorandum on the ration scale for the North West Mounted Police which was submitted for the approval of the Governor General.

On a memorandum dated 4th August 1900, from the Right Honorable the President of the Privy Council, recommending that the scale of rations for the North West Mounted Police, approved by an Order-in-Council dated 29th Nov 1893, be cancelled and the following substituted therefore, to take effect from the 1st November, 1900:—

  • Beef – 1 lb., 8 oz.
  • or Bacon or Corned Beef – 1 lb.
  • Flour or Biscuit – 1 lb., 4 oz.
  • or Bread – 1 lb., 8 oz.
  • Butter – 2 oz.
  • Apples or other dried fruit – 2 oz.
  • or Jam or Syrup – 2 oz.
  • Potatoes – 1 lb.
  • or Beans – 4 oz.
  • Evaporated vegetables – 2 oz.
  • or Canned vegetables (tomatoes, peas, or corn) – 2 oz.
  • Coffee – ½ oz.
  • Tea – ½ oz.
  • Pepper – 1/36 oz.
  • Salt
  • Rice or Barley – 1 oz.
  • Sugar – 4 oz.
  • Oatmeal – 2 oz.

Lime juice and vinegar to be issued when and in such quantities as may be recommended by the Surgeon.

Small detachments on patrol or outpost duty may, in the discretion of the Commissioner, be allowed an extra issue, not exceeding 25% of the regular ration.

Commissioned Officers, and such married Non-Commissioned Officers as are specially authorized by the Minister, may draw two rations.

The Committee submit the same for your Excellency's approval.

(signed)Wilfred Laurier

The memorandum was counter-signed in approval on 27 August, 1900, by the Deputy Governor General.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 18 January 2016

Canadians Cited for Bravery
Topic: Canadian Army

When we talk about courage and soldiers, all too often our minds and conversations focus on battlefield actions, combat arms soldiers, and significant awards such as the Victoria Cross. Once that habit becomes entrenched, we begin, collectively, to forget about the many other awards of bravery, both on and off the battlefield that have been awarded to soldiers. The article which follows is about three of those brave soldiers who also deserve to be remembered for their actions in time of crisis. - TRR

Canadians Cited for Bravery

Ottawa Citizen, 26 June 1942

London, June 25—(C.P. Cable)—Three Canadian soldiers were cited tonight in Canadian army routine orders for distinguished conduct during a serious fire in the ordnance workshop of a Canadian infantry division.

The soldiers, Privates Thomas Francis Mitchell, of London, Ont., and John Ernest Kilcourse, of Tillsonburg, Ont., and Staff Sgt. John Wallace James of Verdun, Que., saved valuable machinery, including an army lorry valued at $17,000, from destruction by fire. The blaze occurred Feb. 21.

The citation said James entered the burning building and removed valuable equipment until almost overcome by fumes when he had to be lifted through a window. Mitchell and Kilcourse entered the building and drove a truck through a wall after local firemen had abandoned attempts to recover it.

elipsis graphic

The Award Citation

The text of the citation for James, Mitchell, and Kilcourse is shown below:

elipsis graphic

A Subsequent Award

Private Thomas Francis Mitchell was subsequently awarded the British Empire Medal for his actions on the night of 21 February 21942.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 17 January 2016

Ranger Leadership
Topic: Leadership

Ranger Leadership

SH 21-76 United States Army; Ranger Handbook, July 1992

1-1.     General.

The most important element of combat power is competent and confident leadership. Leadership provides purpose, direction, and motivation in combat. It is the leader who will determine the degree to which maneuver, firepower, and protection are maximized; who will ensure these elements are effectively balanced; and who will decide how to bring them to bear against the enemy.


  • Mission
  • Enemy
  • Terrain (OCOKA)
  • Troops
  • Time


  • Observation and Fields of Fire
  • Cover and Concealment
  • Obstacles (man made and natural)
  • Key or Decisive Terrain
  • Avenues of Approach

While leadership requirements differ with unit size and type, all combat leaders must be men of character who must know and understand soldiers and the tools of war. They must act with courage and conviction during the uncertainty and confusion of battle. The primary function of tactical leaders is to inspire soldiers to do difficult things in dangerous, stressful circumstances.

A good leader will:

  • Take charge of his unit by issuing appropriate orders, establishing priority of tasks, and establishing / maintaining security.
  • Motivate his men by setting the example and always maintaining a positive can-do attitude.
  • Demonstrate initiative by taking positive actions in the absence of orders and by making sound and timely decisions based on METT-T.
  • Effectively communicate by giving specific instructions to accomplish the mission, keeping the unit informed, and by involving key leaders in the decision-making process.
  • Supervise by inspecting to insure tasks are accomplished to standard, making appropriate corrections, and holding immediate subordinates responsible for assigned tasks.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 16 January 2016

Rum in the Trenches
Topic: CEF

Rum in the Trenches

Excerpted from "Canadian Medical Services Under Fire in the Commons," Ottawa Citizen, 7 February 1917

Gen. Alderson's Wet Canteen

Sir Sam Hughes stated that, profiting by experience at Valcartier, where one contractor had been found to have made $33,000 profit in three weeks, he had instituted the regimental dry canteen system in Canada and desired to follow suit in England. But in 1914 when he had gone to the Old Country he had been told that this matter was in General Alderson's hands alone. General Alderson had told the Canadian soldiers he was going to make free men of them with the wet canteen.

Hon. Charles Marell interjected to inquire on the issuing of rum to the troops in the trenches as a daily ration. Many people in Montreal were objecting to their sons running such risks.

Sir Robert Borden said he had never heard that rum was given to the men before going into action. It was merely a medicine.

Rum as a Stimulant

Sir Sam Hughes confirmed this with the statement that rum was allowed in the front line trenches as a stimulant for troops who often had to stand waist deep in cold water. Sir Sam said he took second rank to no man as a temperance advocate but did not want to hear any nonsense talked against this practice.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 15 January 2016

Year's Work of Canada's Militia
Topic: Canadian Militia

Year's Work of Canada's Militia

Annual Report of Militia Council is Presented by Col. Sam Hughes
No Important Changes
Permanent Force Now Comprises 3,118 Men, Including Officers—Increased Expenditure was $791, 947

The Montreal Gazette, 15 January, 1913

General Otter goes on to say that not enough serious thought is given to neglect of preparation for defence.

Ottawa, January 14.—The year's work in the Canadian Militia is reviewed in the annual report of the Militia Council presented by Colonel the Hon. Sam Hughes. The one object sought, says the report in part, was preparedness for war, the power to mobilize at short notice a force of adequate strength, well-trained and fully equipped. In the scheme of defence a few readjustments have been made, but no important changes introduced.

Respecting mobilization, the general scheme is assuming definite shape. It depends for its success on decentralization. Division commanders will be given as free a hand as possible and not required to adopt a uniform system. The peace strength of the militia compared to war establishment is relatively low.

An inter-departmental committee, composed of the director of naval service, chief of the general staff, and general staff officer for mobilization has been formed. Seventeen officers took instructional courses in England during the year. The report deals at length with the instructional schools of the militia in Canada, which in the last fiscal year granted certificates to 1,724 officers. In the year forty officers were appointed to the permanent staff.

The permanent force now comprises 3,118 men, of which 202 are officers. The lagest number, 1,201, are at Halifax. Quebec coming second with 404, Toronto with 345, and Kingston with 344. the year's expenditure under votes was $7,558,284, and by statute, $21600. This was an increase of 791, 947. A total of 38,994 men received efficiency pay aggregating $174, 053.

The Inspector-General reports fifteen city corps as good, twenty-one as fair, three indifferent, and two disorganized. In regard to rural corps, eight are classed as good, 29 as fair, 18 indifferent, and three disorganized. The establishment is 1,409 officers and 16,825 non-coms. and men, while the number trained was 1,019 officers and 11,558 men.

"The main obstacles to our efficiency," remarks General Otter, "present themselves in two forms—lack of money on the one hand and the profusion of it in the form of successful enterprises on the other. The former, militating against the provision of armories and equipment, rifle ranges and training grounds, and so placing obstacles in the prosecution of effective training in its full significance; the latter prevents individuals from sparing the time necessary to fit themselves for the military duties they have assumed."

General Otter goes on to say that not enough serious thought is given to neglect of preparation for defence. Is it not imperative, he asks, that we possess a military force adequate to bear the first brunt of conflict or in any event cause the intruder to stop and think on the threshold. He expresses the belief that the plaudits for church or ceremonial parades may have lulled us into the belief that we are fit and capable for any invasion and that we are encouraging a rude awakening and irreparable loss some day.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 14 January 2016

US Army Emergency Ration (1906)
Topic: Army Rations

The US Army Emergency Ration (1906)

Test of the Ration of the Army

Emergency Food for This Summer's Marches
One Day's Supply Weighs a Pound and a Quarter

Nashua Telegraph, Nashua, New Hampshire, 28 July 1906

With a view to having the officers and men of the army know exactly what they are eating and why, 86 officers from Fort Leavenworth and from Fort Riley went to Kansas City, where in one of the big packing houses they saw the manufacture of the army emergency rations from beginning to end.

The emergency ration, used only in cases of extremity and dire need, is one of the most important things with which the commissary department of the army has to deal. The present ration is one of the best in the world, and its existing form is the result of many years of investigation, experimentation and observation in war times by American officers with the armies of other countries. The result is satisfactory and the little life saving cans of food, weighing only a pound and a quarter, have enough nourishment in them to keep a man in his normal physical condition for a day.

The idea of the ration is not merely to ward off starvation until relief can be procured, but to provide food to be used only in case of necessity without impairment to vigor and health. Under existing army regulations there is a three days' supply at every post, and three days out of the year, usually when soldiers are on practice marches, they subsist on this emergency ration.

During the practice marches which will take place this summer the emergency ration will have a further test says the New York Sun. Practically all of the soldiers of the country will take part in these marches, traveling to and from the practice camps on foot or horseback, a distance of 400 or 500 miles.

It is the aim of those now in charge of the commissary department of the army to have the emergency rations cared for with as much regard to avoiding waste as is the ammunition given out to the men. The ration is intended to be a life saving device, not in the sense that it will prevent starvation, but with the idea that having it on hand in time of battle will give strength and power to the soldiers, in the event that the food supply has run short, and make movement possible which would be out of the question without more food.

For this reason the soldier to whom the ration is given is cautioned, both through orders and by directions printed on the ration can, to take care of it and not to open the can unless he has orders to do so, or in an extremity. If a soldier loses a rations its money value is taken from his pay. This tends to impress on the enlisted men the necessity of keeping the little tin can until it is absolutely essential that he dispose of its contents.

The emergency ration now used by the army, adopted after many months of research in 1901, and altered only slightly since, is packed in a hermetically sealed lacquered can, 6 ¾ inches long, with an oval base about 1 ¾ x 2 7/8 inches.

In the bottom of this can, which weighs 20 ½ ounces, there is a cake of chocolate. Next comes a cake of bread and meat, then another cake of chocolate, another or bread and meat, one more of chocolate, and bread and meat again, with salt and pepper on top.

Each cake is wrapped in foil or paper. A tape is wrapped around the contents, so that they may be withdrawn easily.

On the outside of the box are the instructions to use only by order of an officer or in extremity and directions for preparing the food. The emergency rations go into the field in boxes of 50.

The bread component of the bread and meat cake is prepared by taking cooked wheat, kiln dried, with outer hull of bran removed, parching it and grinding it into a coarse powder. The wheat is then cooked in steam until it can be crushed in the hand and then goes into the kiln to be dried again.

It is parched once more, this time to a palatable state, without grit. After being parched there is not more than 5 percent moisture.

The meat component is of fresh, lean beef, free from visible fat and sinew, which is ground in a meat grinder. It is then freed of its moisture be evaporation until it is dry, care being taken that the heat never becomes great enough to cook the meat to the slightest degree.

While in this state the meat is practically dry, it has less than 5 percent of its moisture in it. The product thus produced is reduced to a powder and carefully sifted.

To produce the bread and meat cake which forms the most important portion of the ration, 16 parts by weight of the meat flour, 32 parts of the bread component and one part of common salt are thoroughly mixed together in such a manner and in sufficiently small quantities as to insure a perfectly homogeneous product.

This is then compressed into the cakes weighing four ounces each, not more than one and three-fourths inches thick and conforming to the shape of the ration can. Each cake is wrapped in paper.

The cakes of chocolate in the ration, weighing one and one-third ounces and consisting of equal parts pure chocolate and pure sugar, are regarded as highly important. They were introduced by Major-General John F. Weston, former commissary general of the army. General Weston found that the chocolate was a great stimulant and of much value for the purpose of the emergency ration. Accordingly it was incorporated in the contents of the can.

The final portion of the ration is the seasoning, which is in a pasteboard box or small envelope in the top of the can. There is three-fourths of an ounce of salt and a gram of black pepper.

The directions printed on the outside of the can explain many things which can be done with the contents:

Bread and meat component may be eaten dry, or stirred into cold water, or one cake may be boiled five minutes or longer in three pints of water and resulting soup, seasoned to taste, or one cake may be boiled in one pint of water, making thick porridge, to be eaten hot or cold; when cold may be sliced and fried is bacon or other fat is available.

It took years for the army to reach the conclusions which resulted in the adoption of the present form of emergency ration, and it is now believed that every end desired has been reached. The experiments have been very extensive.

In 1901 there was a board appointed to investigate the subject, and the existing emergency ration is the result of the report of that board. The board made practical tests on the enlisted men of the army.

Fifty-six men were selected for the duty, and for five days they lived on nothing but the emergency ration. They were examined physically and weighed before the five days began and at the end of the period of experimentation.

There was only slight change in weights and none of the men suffered. A few gained in weight, and all declared that they had not felt pangs of hunger at any time. Before the next experiment the men were told that if at any time they felt that they were suffering ill effects from the use of the ration they would get the regular fare. None asked for it.

Before adopting the ration the army had reports from every country maintaining a large army. During the recent war in Manchuria the Russian had no such things as an emergency ration. The Japanese emergency ration was composed of either 14 ounces of dried rice, or one pound and 14 ounces of hard bread, five ounces of canned meat and a little salt. Upon this ration the Japanese have no trouble keeping their strength and vigor.

The English emergency ration is composed of four ounces of concentrated beef and five ounces of cocoa paste. The German iron ration, so-called because of the can in which it is packed, consists of nine ounces of biscuit, seven ounces of preserved meat or bacon, seven-eighths of an ounce of coffee and an equal amount of salt. The total weight of the ration is one pound and ten ounces.

The French emergency ration is comparatively vary heavy, weighing nearly three pounds. It has 33 ounces of bread, about nine ounces of preserved meat and five and a half ounces of groceries including rice, legumes, salt, sugar and coffee.

The iron ration of Switzerland, which is carried in active service, consists of 500 grams of biscuit, or 550 grams of flour, or 750 grams of dessicated bread; 250 grams of smoked, canned or dried meat; 15 grams of salt and 20 grams of sugar. Fresh or canned vegetables may be substituted in this ration for the meat component.

In the Austrian army, in all cases of emergency the following portion of the reserve portion of the regular ration is used: 400 grams of bread, 200 grams of Fleischgemuse (meat vegetables), 25 grams of green coffee and an equal amount of sugar. Coffee tablets are sometimes substituted for the coffee and sugar.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Of Military Discipline (Saxe)
Topic: Discipline

Of Military Discipline

Reveries, or Memoirs, Concerning the Art of War, by Maurice Count de Saxe, Marshal-General of the Armies of France (Translated from the French, MDCCLIX)

Next to the forming of troops, military discipline is the first object that presents itself to our notice. It is the soul of all armies; and unless it be established amongst them with great prudence, and supported with unshaken resolution, they are no better than so many contemptible heaps of rabble, which are more dangerous to the very state that maintains them, than even its declared enemies.

It is a false notion, that subordination, and a passive obedience to superiors, is any debasement of a man's courage; so far from it, that it is a general remark, that those armies which have been subject to the several: discipline, have always performed the greatest things.

Many general officers imagine, that in giving out orders they do ail that is expected from them; and therefore, as they are sure to find great abuses, enlarge their instructions accordingly; in which they proceed upon a very erroneous principle, and take such measures as can never be effectual in restoring discipline in an army wherein it has been lost or neglected.

Few orders are best; but they are to be executed with attention, and offences to be punished without respect of either rank or extraction. All partiality and distinction must be utterly abolished, otherwise you expose yourself to hate and resentment. By enforcing your authority with judgment, and setting a proper example, you may render yourself at once both beloved and seared. Severity must be accompanied with great tenderness and moderation; so displayed upon every occasion as to appear void of all manner of design, and totally the effect of a natural disposition.

Great punishments are only to be inflicted for great crimes: but the more moderate they are in general, the more easy it will be to reform abuses, because all the world, concurring in the necessity of them, will cheerfully promote their effect.

We have, for example, one very pernicious custom; which is, that of punishing marauders with certain death, so that a man is frequently hanged for a single offence; in consequence of which they are rarely discovered; because every one is unwilling to occasion the death of a poor wretch, for only having been seeking perhaps to gratify his hunger.

If, instead of this method, we did but send them to the provosts, there to be chained like galley-slaves; and condemned to subsist upon bread and water for one, two, or three months; or to be employed upon some of those works which are always carrying on in an army; and not to be restored to their regiments, till the night before an engagement, or till the commander in chief shall think proper: then all the world would join their endeavours to bring such delinquents to punishment: the officers upon grand guards and out-posts would not suffer one to escape; by whose vigilance and activity the mischief would thus be soon put an entire stop to. Such as fall at present into the hands justice, are very unfortunate indeed; for the provost and his party, when they discover any marauders, immediately turn their eyes another way, in order to give them an opportunity to escape: but as the commander in chief is perpetually complaining of the outrages which are committed, they are obliged to apprehend one now and then, who falls a sacrifice for the rest. Thus the examples that are made have no tendency towards removing the evil, or restoring discipline; and hardly answer any other purpose, than to justify the common saying amongst the soldiers, "That none but the unfortunate are hanged." Perhaps it may be observed, that the officers likewise suffer marauders to pass by their posts unnoticed. But that is an abuse which may be easily remedied, by discovering from the prisoners what particular posts they passed by, and imprisoning the officers who commanded them, during the remainder of the campaign. This will render them vigilant, careful, and severe: nevertheless, when a man is to be punished with certain death for the offence, there are but few of them who would not risk two or three months imprisonment, rather than be instrumental to it.

All other military punishments, when carried to extremes of severity, will be attended with the same consequences. It is also very necessary to prevent those from being branded with the name of infamy, which should be regarded in a milder light; as the gantlope [sic, i.e., the gauntlet], for instance, which in France is reputed ignominious; but which, in the case of the soldier, deserves a different imputation, because it is a punishment which he receives from the hands of his comrades. The reason of its being thus extravagantly vilified, proceeds from the custom of inflicting it in common upon whores, rogues, and such offenders as fall within the province of the hangman ; the consequence of which is, that one is obliged to pass the colours over a soldier's head, aster he has received this punishment, in order, by such an act of ceremony, to take off that idea of ignominy which is attached to it: A remedy worse than the evil, and which is also productive of a much greater: for after a man has run the gantlope, his captain immediately strips him, for fear he should desert, and then turns him out of the service; by which means this punishment, how much soever necessary, is never inflicted but for capital crimes ; for when a soldier is confined for the commission of any trivial offence, the commanding officer always releases him, upon the application of his captain, because, forsooth, the loss of the man would be some deduction from his perquisites.

There are some things of great importance towards the promotion of discipline, that are, notwithstanding, altogether unattended to ; which, as well as the persons who practise them, are frequently laughed at and despised. The French, for example, ridicule that law amongst the Germans, of not touching a dead horse: which is, nevertheless, a very sensible and good institution, is not carried too far. Pestilential diseases are, in a great measure, prevented by it; for the soldiers frequently plunder dead carcases for their skins, and thereby expose themselves to infection. It does not prevent the killing and eating of horses during sieges, a scarcity of provisions, or other exigencies. Let us from hence, therefore, judge, whether it is not rather useful than otherwise.

The French also reproach the Germans for the bastinade, which is a military punishment established amongst them. If a German officer strikes, or otherwise abuses a private soldier, he is cashiered, upon complaint made by the party injured; and is also compelled, on pain of forfeiting his honour, to give him satisfaction, if he demands it, when he is no longer under his command. This obligation prevails alike through all ranks; and there are frequently instances of general officers giving satisfaction, at the point of the sword, to subalterns who have quitted the service ; for there is no refusing to accept their challenge, without incurring ignominy.

The French do not at all scruple to strike a soldier with their hands; but they are hardly ever tempted to apply the stick, because that is a kind of chastisement which has been exploded, as inconsistent with that notion of liberty which prevails amongst them. Nevertheless prompt punishments are certainly necessary, provided they be such as are not accounted dishonourable.

Let us compare these different customs of the two nations together, and judge which contributes most to the good of the service, and the proper support of the point of honour. The punishments for their officers are likewise of distinct kinds. The French upbraid the Germans with their provosts and their chains; the latter retort the reproach, by exclaiming against the prisons and ropes of the French; for the German officers are never confined in the public prisons. They have a provost to every regiment; which post is always given to an old serjeant, in recompense for his service; but I have never heard of their officers being put in irons, unless for great crimes, and after they had been first degraded.

These observations which I have been making, serve to demonstrate the absurdity of condemning particular customs or prejudices, before one has examined their original causes. After having thus explained my ideas concerning the forming of troops, the manner in which they ought to engage, and lastly, concerning discipline, which, is I may use the expression, is the basis and foundation of the art of war.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 12 January 2016

On the Psychology of Military Incompetence
Topic: Leadership

A Review
'On the Psychology of Military Incompetence'

A Sandhurst Guide, Pilot version, Easter 2012

Norman Dixon's book looks at incompetence in military leaders throughout history and considers whether, rather than being random occurrences, they are, in fact, a result of the military system. In particular he considers whether people with certain psychological characteristics are drawn to a military career, and whether the military insulates and exacerbates these characteristics in them.

Some might feel that Dixon's study has little relevance to the British military of today, with much of his evidence drawn from the characters and experience of the late-Victorian and Edwardian army. He bases many of his hypotheses on the mostly public school background of military offi cers, theories that perhaps require revision in an age when the demographic of offi cer candidates is considerably broader. Modern military readers might also struggle to relate to Dixon's fascination with the issue of toilet-training and its infl uence on character, as well as his perception of military men inevitably being the progeny of distant, disciplinarian parents and affection-starved childhoods.

If one persists, there is much in Dixon's book that remains applicable to the British military today. Most military readers are likely to fi nd something of themselves in his examples. His assertion that the institutional culture of the military breeds an intellectual conservatism, resulting in dangerous 'group-think', should serve as a warning to all military leaders. He also cautions against military leaders becoming so invested in their own plan that their mind fi lters information, accepting that which reinforces their perception of a situation, but discarding that which doesn't. Dixon draws attention to the military need for order and discipline, suggesting that this conditions military minds to comfortable certainties, despite disorder and uncertainty being the prevailing characteristics of the battlefi eld. He also argues that most military failures result not from being too bold, but from not being bold enough, and that the higher a military leader rises in rank the more they are motivated by fear of failure, rather than hope of success, resulting in a reduced willingness to take risks.

Dixon's book is also very useful in helping to understand how the culture, values, and ethos of British military leadership have emerged from a largely amateur tradition. He divides leaders into two broad types, task-specialists, concerned principally with output, and social specialists concerned principally with the maintenance of harmony and cohesion in a group. Dixon considers the phenomenon of how some of Britain's most incompetent military leaders were still loved by their men, despite leading them to slaughter. He concludes that, although poor task specialists, they were excellent social specialists, with reputations, often made as junior leaders, for being brave and caring. Principally, their incompetence resulted from being promoted beyond their capability.

Obviously, the ideal military leader is both a task and social specialist, and reading Dixon's book, the reader will no doubt see how much more output-related modern military leadership has become. Never-the-less the book challenges the reader to look at some of the cultural attitudes that do persist in our military today and ask if they are still relevant. Is it still important that our leaders are gentlemen, or have a 'sense of otherness'? Given the much improved educational standard of our soldiers, can we still assume that the leader is more knowledgeable than those he leads, and if not should this result in a less autocratic, and more cooperative style of leadership?

This is a challenging and informative book that should be read with an open mind. It highlights some uncomfortable truths about the military psychology and the dangers inherent in the military culture for decision-making and leadership, and provides useful warnings to be heeded from its negative historical examples.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 11 January 2016

Tommy's Rum
Topic: CEF

Tommy's Rum

The Journal of Commerce (Montreal), 24 October 1914

Whatever may be said of the "dry canteen" in the military camps of Canada—a country in which "dry" regulations, of not actually "dry" conditions, prevail—one need not be surprised to learn that the British military authorities have set aside the prohibition as applied for a few days in the camps of the Canadian forces now on Salisbury Plain. While in Canada and on the voyage across the Atlantic the troops were under the control of the Canadian Militia Department. When they were settled on their training grounds on Salisbury Plain, they ceased to be technically a Canadian force; they became part of the Imperial army organization, and subject in all things to the British Army regulations. Tommy Atkins, as the British soldier is commonly called, possesses certain rights and privileges, including the privilege of obtaining beer and spirits in moderate quantities, if he desires them. The wisdom of allowing these privileges to the soldiers has sometimes been called into question, but the result of every discussion has been that the army authorities have decided against prohibition. The British officials permit the use of spirits and beer, but they endeavor to prevent the abuse of them, and they take much pains to see that the articles supplied for the troops are pure and unadulterated. A recent issue of an English paper gives an account if the War Office arrangements for the supply of rum for the soldiers, which is of particular interest at this moment:

"Now that the nights are beginning to be cold, Tommy Atkins in the trenches in France is beginning to feel the need of "something to keep out the cold." With timely forethought for the welfare of the British soldier during a prospective winter campaign, the War Office is sending to the front a consignment of 150,000 gallons of rum. The bottling of this quantity which in normal circumstances would probably represent an excise duty of something like £60,000, is being undertaken by the Port of London Authority, and the Rum Quay at the West India Docks offers a scene of exceptional activity even for a department which is accustomed to dealing with thousands of puncheons in the course of a year. The huge vats at the West India Docks, which have an aggregate capacity of 58,500 gallons, are of course available for the blending of of this Army rum. All of it is genuine sugar cane product, requiring no addition of spirit, since it is already much over proof. Some of it was imported in 1911, and some in succeeding years, but the age is not necessarily indicated by the date of importations. Emerging from the vats 4.5 per cent. (sic), under proof, the rum is measured by the gallon and passed through funnels into stoneware jars of the customary type, and each of one gallon capacity. The jars are then corked and sealed with the seal of the Port Authority. The next stage is the packing of the rum. For convenient handling it is placed in wooden cases, which accommodate a couple of jars. The case us kept to a size which can easily be lifted by one man, so as to give as little trouble as possible in distributing the rum among widely scattered troops. Each case bears an intimation that it forms part of army supplies. About 3,000 jars of the rum are sent away each day. The destination is Newhaven via Willow Walk Railway Station. From the Sussex port the consignments go to the most convenient Continental port, thereafter to be forwarded to the base of operations. Large supplies of jars, of which a total of 150,000 will of course be required, arrive daily at the West India Docks. With the active co=operation of the Customs, the work of bottling proceeds until 6 p.m., instead of 4 p.m., as is usual in the case of bonded warehouses. In this way, and with the employment of a large staff of men, this big War Office order is in process of careful execution."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 10 January 2016

Hard-Hitting Army Now Nations' Need
Topic: Canadian Army

Hard-Hitting Army Now Nations' Need

Major-General A.G.L. McNaughton Traces Evolution of Weapons of War
Speed, Range Factors
Old Linear Battle is Thing of Past, Chief of General Staff Declares

The Montreal Gazette, 1 February 1934

Modern weapons of war, as applicable in particular to the protection and support of infantry on the offensive, were discussed last night by Major-General A.G.L. McNaughton, C.M.G., D.S.O., Chief of the General Staff, before a large and distinguished group of officers in the Mess of the Canadian Grenadier Guards. His address, which was profusely illustrated, traced the development and evolution of bellicose equipment from the crude club and wooden shield, through the phase of Assyrian, Egyptian and other Asiatic chariots, spears and javelins of the pre-Christian era, to the bow and arrow, crossbow, catapult, mangon, Saracenic trebuchets, the beffrot and the battering ram in use before the advent of cannon in the middle of the fourteenth century.

Continuing, General McNaughton showed a picture of "Mons Meg," a cannon now at Edinburgh Castle that was constructed about the middle of the 15th century, with a bore of 20 inches and capable of projecting a stone of 350 pounds. In 1453, at the siege of Constantinople, Mahomet II is reported to have had weapons with a bore of 48 inches and capable of throwing projectiles of some 2,200 pounds.

For six hundred years preceding the Great War, the history of combative machines is that of guns and hand firearms, the Chief of Staff explained. Since the close of hostilities, he revealed that the range has been increased at least two fold in all natures; new propellants have been introduced that are more uniform and simpler to manufacture; shell design has been improved to increase the ballistic coefficient and to decrease the effect of wind and weather conditions on accuracy; the weight of explosive in shells and its available energy per pound on detonation have been improved substantially; while highly perfected gas and smoke shells have been made available. Furthermore, the effect of very high velocity light bullets on armour fives some suggestion that a special cartridge for the modern rifle might be developed for use against tank armour at short ranges.

Harder Hitting Armies

"I am more convinced than ever that we must move forward in our war organization to smaller, faster, harder-hitting armies of great range or action and long endurance, commanded and staffed by officers who can think in terms of combination of units and concentration of forces in areas measured in hundreds of square miles. The new mobility has certainly established the fact that the old linear battle is a thing of the past," General McNaughton continued, "Today a marching column is just as likely to be struck in rear or on its inner flank as it is to be attacked in front."

"With the intense development in weapons and warlike stores, proceeding with unrestricted attention in all the principal countries of the world, we must seriously consider the question as to whether we can properly rest our national security on the type of organization suitable to conditions of twenty years ago. That question cannot be answered until a definite and general trend of opinion finds expression. Our militia has not only the duty of bearing arms in defence of Canada, but as a citizen force it largely rests with its members to form opinion in these matters," the Chief of the General Staff declared.

Of special interest to the infantry, General McNaughton mentioned the new rifle, which has better shooting qualities, a more efficient "spike" bayonet, which will penetrate winter clothing and web equipment, a simple and sure method of of attaching the bayonet and grenade discharger, and general simplification of manufacture. Attention was also directed to the latest anti-aircraft funs, which can project 15-pound shells to an altitude of 30,300 feet, and with the aid of a predictor have a high degree of accuracy. Reference was made to the "Paris Guns," eight of which were built. Only 367 rounds were actually fired into the French capital. Pictures of the latest 18-pounder field guns, tanks, tractors, armored cars and Carden Loyd carriers were also shown.

"On history, we are not long concerned with nations unable or unwilling to keep pace with armament development," General McNaughton concluded. "However notable their civilization, however brave their warriors, and however adept their statesmen in the art of treaty-drafting, they soon pass from the stage before the onward march of those well able to forge and wield the newer weapons."

Lieut.-Col. F.R. Phalen, D.S.O., M.C., V.D., commanding the Canadian Grenadier Guards, introduced the Chief of the General Staff and expressed appreciation of all present for the honour conferred upon them by General McNaughton in consenting to deliver the address. Others present included: Brigadier W.W.P. Gibsone, district officer commanding at Montreal; Brigadier F.S. Meighen, honorary colonel of the "Guards"; Col. W.L. Gear, Col. W.S.M. MacTier, Col. J.D. Macperson, Col. R.P. Wright, and Lieut.-Colonels E.L. Caldwell, B.W. Browne, R.M. Gorssline, G.S. Stairs, A. Fleming, A.T. Howard, G.V. Whitehead, H.L. Trotter, S.A. Rolland, A.H. Cowie, F.J.B. Stephenson, A. Hay, K.M. Perry, H. Wyatt Johnston and P. Abbey.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 9 January 2016

Played in His Uniform
Topic: Canadian Militia

Played in His Uniform

An Interesting Conflict Between Militia Act and Trade Unionism

The Montreal Gazette, 19 December 1900

Toronto, December 18.—A case in which the Militia Act comes into conflict with trade unionism and the military is triumphant over the civil association is that of Parker against the Toronto Musical Protective Association, in which judgment was rendered today by Mr. Justice MacMahon. The plaintiff is a musician residing in Toronto, and an active militiaman, duly enrolled as a member of the 48th Highlanders, and also a member of defendant association, which is a body incorporated under the friendly societies' and insurance corporations acts. The plaintiff played in uniform with this regimental band by permission of the officers of the regiment at a concert given at Massey Hall, Toronto. He was charged with playing contrary to the by-laws of the association, with musicians who were not members, and was fined $2, and then dismissed from it for non-payment of the fine. The judge held that the amendment to the by-laws of the association, under which the plaintiff was fined, was invalid, because reasonable and in restrain of trade; that the amending by-law is also contrary to the Queen's regulations, to the Militia Act, and to the Canadian militia regulations and orders. The plaintiff, being a bandsman, is obliged to play at a duly sanctioned engagement will his band, no matter how many of the other bandsmen are not members of the association. Judgment for plaintiff with damages assessed at $20 for alleging that he was a deserter, $20 damages for wrongful dismissal and the costs of the action and also declaring that article (1), amending the by-law, and under which attempted dismissal rook place, is void; that the plaintiff's expulsion was illegal and granting injunction restraining defendants from interfering with plaintiff's privileges as a member. The judgment in effect means that the Militia Act overrides trade union obligations when they come into conflict.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 8 January 2016

A Taste of Old Times
Topic: CEF

A Taste of Old Times

Buried on a World War I battlefield, Tiny's crock is full of liquid history.

By Stephen Franklin, Weekend Staff Writer
Weened Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 45, 1960
Ottawa Citizen, 5 November 1960

For a fortunate bunch of Old Sweats in Vancouver, the night of Saturday, Nov. 12, 1960, will be one to remember. On that night they will be swigging liquid history—the contents of a gallon crock that is, in a manner of speaking, a gift from King George V brought to them through the courtesy and artfulness of an under-age infantryman, 429278 Pte. Dudley Seymour. Yessir!

The occasion is the annual reunion of the survivors of the 7th Battalion, B.C. Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force, and the very special tot they will be drinking is army-issue rum buried beneath a Flanders hedgerow at 7:30 A.M. June 3, 1916, and unearthed on a summer evening last year, if anyone can lay his hands on the nose of a German shell, he will drink the rum from it in true trench style. The toast will be a war that none can ever forget, to absent friends and, no doubt, to the man who hid the rum, dug it up and is pouring it, Tiny Seymour.

Today Tiny is a ham-fisted giant of a Vancouver Island logger, a yarn-spinning whisky-loving, plain-spoken man who lives on the shores of Georgia Strait in the village of Royston with his wife, his old war wounds and a case of diabetes. His life as a rum-runner, a timber cruiser and a successful small logging operator has given him the flavor and something of the appearance of a cross between Wallace Beery and W.C. Fields.

Oddly enough, it was an officer nicknamed Charlie Chaplin who set the whole chain of events in motion. Tiny was in No. 3 Company. "We were dug in behind the front line at Sanctuary Wood a mile down the Menin road from Ypres," (Seymour recalls), "and we were going up at 8 o'clock that morning (it was June 3) to try to hold where the Germans had broken through the Third Division.

"I was 17 then but I liked my rum and I fell in three different times that morning for my issue. Then Capt. Fielding called me over )I can't remember his first name, but we called him Charlie Chaplin. He was from down east and the son of a Chief Justice or something, I think, and he had a brother killed over there.)

'Anyway, Capt. Fielding said, "Private Seymour, take these two jugs of rum over to Major Ford.' 'But sir …' 'No buts, Seymour. We're in a hurry. On the double.' "

Tiny shrugged and did as he was told. Capt. Fielding apparently did not know what he did—that Maj. Ford ("He died in Montreal about four years ago.") was already a casualty, wounded by a german shell.

"I took the two crock of rum and headed down the communications trench to my own funk hole behind this hedge, dug quickly into the dirt, buried the crocks and hurried on back. I thought we could use it later that day."

At 8 A.M. 500 of them went in. Tiny came back with only 28 other men and three officers, but not to the same place. They re-grouped the remnants elsewhere, clear of the German bombardment.

Before long Tiny, who had enlisted when he was only 15 ½ and been shipped overseas as a replacement in 1915, moved on to the Somme and a third wound. Then, with his guardian angel working overtime, he was attached to the Royal Engineers engaged in countermining the Vimy tunnel. The Boches blew it up and of 49 men he was the only survivor, escaping with a stomach wound which sent him to hospital and home for good.

After his discharge in 1919 came roisterous years in the woods of Vancouver Island and aboard boats running rum down the Pacific coast to the U.S. in prohibition days. Gradually the two buried crocks of rum became more than the subject of just another yarn for the boys. They became an obsession. By last year Tiny could well afford a long trip to Europe. He and his wife took ship for Europe, hired an old poilu, René Coudray, and his seven-passenger Cadillac to drive them from Paris to the old battlefields and the unforgotten rum.

Tiny knew that Sanctuary Wood had been preserved as a memorial, helmets, rifles, unopened cans of bully beef strewn still where they lay, trenches, wire and no-man's land starkly reminiscent of the past. The Belgian caretaker told him he must have permission from the Canadian government to dig for his rum. "But," he shrugged, "I go off duty at 7 this evening."

That night 4 ½ feet down, Tiny's shovel scraped something solid. Up came the two crocks, strung together with the wooden tag on them marked "No. 3 Coy, 7th Battn."

Tiny and eight old comrades polished off the first gallon of rum at a truly memorable party in the Piccadilly Hotel in London a few weeks later. The rum was tangy but still good an potent.

Getting the other gallon crock into Canada was the hardest part of the entire 44-year saga. It took months of finagling, the assistance of a lawyer from his old regiment, an importer's license, $11.10 federal duty, $11.75 B.C. Liquor Board fees and $1.14 provincial sales tax. There was also the strong suspicion that somewhere along the line some so-and-sos had been checking the contents with their gullets instead of their noses, before Tiny finally took possession. He took a test swig there and then, under the disapproving eye of officialdom, pronounced the contents smoother than the first crock and stashed the rum determinedly away for Nov. 12, and the reunion.

Usually about 100 officers and men turn up at the Hotel Georgia for the affair. "I guarantee there'll be a lot more who'll turn up this year," grunts Tiny Seymour, "and every one of them ready to swear blind they were at Sanctuary Wood when I buried the rum."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 7 January 2016

"Esprit de Corps"
Topic: The RCR

"Esprit de Corps"

From the Orders-in-Council documents archived on line by Library and Archives Canada, we find this memorandum on the change of title of the Permanent Corps units of infantry and cavalry addressed to the Minister of Militia and Defence:

Headquarters, Ottawa, 27th April, 1892


In view of measures which I propose to take for increasing the efficiency of the Permanent Corps of Active Militia, as indicated in my report for the year 1891-92 I have the honor to bring to your notice the desirability of conferring, on the corps now known as the "Cavalry School Corps" and "Infantry School Corps", titles more in accordance with their actual organization, and more calculated to maintain the feeling of "Esprit de corps" so necessary for the maintenance of efficiency.

The title I propose to substitute for the above designations are "Canadian Dragoons" and "Canadian Regiment of Infantry."

I have the honour to request that you will authorize the preparation of a recommendation to Council to the above effect.

I have &c. (sd) Ivor Herbert, M/Genl. Comdg. Canadian Militia

elipsis graphic

The Minister's memorandum, dates 12 May 1892, was submitted for approval as requested by Major-General Herbert, and it was subsequently submitted for the approval of the Governor General.

On 14 May 1892, approval was granted by the Governor General, Lord Stanley.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Soldiers' Load - US Army - 1916
Topic: Soldiers' Load

Soldiers' Load – US Army – 1916

Regulars and the Militia Uniformed, Equipped Alike

Toledo Blade, 6 July 1916

The United States soldier, regular or militiaman, on dress parade looks natty. In actual service much of this jauntiness vanishes and you think of a pack mule when you see him on the march. He carries his bed and dining room outfit with him, and his entire wardrobe as well. The soldier on the march is a concrete example of preparedness.

What Each Soldier Carries

All enlisted men of companies or battalions, except first sergeants and musicians, and all dismounted men of mounted orderly sections of headquarters companies, dismounted men of supply companies except drivers, and every member of the militia will be fitted out with a full complement of these articles as they are accepted for federal service and each individual will be held responsible for them:

  • 1 United States rifle, calibre .30
  • 1 front sight cover
  • 1 brush and thong
  • 1 oiler and thong case
  • 1 gun sling
  • 1 bayonet
  • 1 bayonet scabbard
  • 1 cartridge belt, calibre .30, infantry
  • 1 pair cartridge belt suspenders
  • 1 first aid package
  • 90 ball cartridges, calibre .30
  • 1 canteen, infantry
  • 1 haversack
  • 1 meat can
  • 1 cup
  • 1 knife
  • 1 fork
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 shelter tent, half
  • 5 shelter tent pins
  • 1 poncho
  • 1 blanket
  • 1 cake of soap (furnished by man)
  • 1 toothbrush (furnished by man)
  • 1 pair of socks (furnished by man)
  • 1 comb (furnished by man)
  • 1 towel (furnished by man)
  • 1 whistle (for quartermaster-sergeants and sergeants only)
  • 1 identification tag with tape

Pack Weighs Twenty Pounds

Officers and non-commissioned officers, in addition, carry pistols, sabres and other implements, the average weight of a full infantry equipment being about 20 pounds.

The horse equipment for each enlisted man consists of one feed and grain bag, one halter headstall, one halter strap, one horse brush, one lariat, one lariat strap, one link, one picket pin, one cavalry saddle, one pair saddlebags, one saddle blanket, one surcingle, two horseshoes—one fore and one hind, twelve horseshoe nails.

The field uniform of an enlisted man consists of the following articles:

  • 1 waist belt
  • 1 pair of woolen breeches and 1 pair of khaki breeches
  • 1 woolen and 1 khaki service coat
  • 1 hat cord
  • 1 tying cord for service hat
  • 1 service hat
  • 1 pair of leather riding gloves (for mounted men only)
  • 1 pair of canvas leggings
  • 2 flannel shirts
  • 1 pair of marching shoes

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 5 January 2016

More and Better Food for Army Overseas
Topic: Army Rations

Private Maurice Richard (right), Canadian Provost Corps, talking with students of the Khaki University of Canada, who ride in a jeep driven by Lance-Bombardier R.S. Hughes, Leavesden, England, 15 April 1946. Photographer: Sgt. Karen M. Hermiston. Location: Leavesden, England. Date: April 15, 1946. MIKAN Number: 3518851. (Faces of the Second World War, Library and Archives Canada)

More and Better Food for Army Overseas

Ottawa Citizen, 24 November 1946

After six long years of unimaginative army rations, Canadian troops overseas are going to get more and better food.

Major-General Hugh Young, quartermaster-general of the Canadian Army, said today that shipments of special food have already been arranged and very soon troops in Europe will have added to their menus food which they have long dreamed about and longed for.

Fruit Juices

Included in the new rations will be fruit juices, orange, tomato, and apple. There will be a completely new assortment of vegetables, never present in wartime messes, including tinned corn, corn on the cob, peas, beans, and also tinned fruit, peaches, pears, and apples.

General Young said that all through the active fighting the Canadian Army followed along on the British ration system, but now for reasons of morale it was deemed essential that Canadian troops get food with more of a Canadian character to it.

With all the new trimmings that will make meal time overseas more Canadian than it ever has been during the war, the army will still get its never-ending supply of bully beef, however. Only change so far made in the meat supply for the Canadian troops is that a large shipment of first class Canadian tinned salmon has been obtained. Canadian and British troops alike do receive a fresh meat ration overseas.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

The Regimental Rogue.

Follow The Regimental Rogue on facebook.

« January 2016 »
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
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

You are not logged in. Log in
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile