The O'Leary Collection—Medals of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Colonel George Allison Dodge, V.D.

68th "King's County" Battalion of Infantry
3rd (Special Service) Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps
The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

By: Capt (ret'd) Michael M. O'Leary, CD, The RCR

George Allison Dodge was born at Kentville, Nova Scotia, on 3 Nov 1864. His parents were the Hon. Thomas Lewis Dodge, LM.L.C., and Harriet Amy Hamilton Dodge. Thomas Dodge, a Nova Scotia merchant and political figure, represented King's County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1882 to 1886 as a Liberal member and would be named to the province's Legislative Council in 1887. George grew up with eight siblings, two of whom were children of his father's first marriage.

By the age of 17, George was already serving as a Private in No. 3 Company of the 68th "King's County" Battalion of Infantry at Kentville, Nova Scotia. In December 1881 his appointment as a Provisional 2nd Lieutenant in the unit was published in the Canada Gazette, making this the official announcement of his long career as an officer of the Canadian military.

The 68th "King's County" Battalion was authorized by General Order No. 1, dated 17 Dec 1869. This order stated that the unit would be formed as follows: "68th The "Kings County" Battalion of Infantry, at Kentville; Nos. 1 and 3 Companies, at Kentville; No. 2 Company, at Canard; Nos. 4 and 5 Companies, at Billtown; No. 6 Company, at Canning; Nos. 7 and 8 Companies, at Aylesford." The regiment would undergo some organizational changes and changes to the towns its companies were in over the next few decades. In 1908 it would expand to include Queens County, but this would be short-lived. The unit was disbanded in 1912.

The December, 1881, edition of the quarterly Militia List shows Dodge serving with No. 3 Company at Kentville, N.S. George Dodge's rank of 2nd Lieutenant effective 16 Dec 1881 would be confirmed in Militia Orders published in the Canada Gazette on 18 Mar 1882. The same issue of the Gazette would also identify that he had completed a qualifying Certificate at the School of Military Instruction. On 15 Aug 1884, Dodge would be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. This advancement in rank was made possible by the departure from the regiment and its geographical boundaries by his predecessor, William Roy.

The slow succession based on officers leaving the regiment would continue to control the pace of Dodge's career. In 1889 he would change companies, moving from No. 3 Company to No. 1, also in Kentville, a move which enabled his promotion to Captain on 30 Aug 1889. This move was predicated by the retirement of George's older brother, Brenton Halliburton Dodge, who had held the rank of Brevet Major in No. 1 Company. A merchant who was moving into political circles like their father, Brenton Dodge would later represent King's County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1894 to 1910 as a Liberal member.

By the October, 1898, Militia List, Dodge is being shown as the senior Captain in the regiment. On 21 Sep 1899, he demonstrated his proficiency in equitation before a Board of Officers, a necessary skill for a field officer in the infantry. Dodge achieved an overall average of 74.29% in tests on four subjects: Equitation, Sword Exercises, Stable Duties, and Fitting Saddlery.

Dodge remained with the 68th Battalion until 1900 until, in April of that year, the Gazette announced the officers selected for the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry. He would, however, continue to be shown on the list of regimental officers while employed with The RCR. Formed to garrison Halifax and replace the 1st Battalion Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) for service in South Africa, the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion would spend two years on the ramparts of Citadel Hill and other sentry points in the Nova Scotia capital. Housed principally at Wellington Barracks, they would become an integral part of the military presence in that garrison city. During the unit's brief existence the regimental title would change on 1 Nov 1901 from "Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry" to "The Royal Canadian Regiment."

The officers list for the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion was of particular interest to Captain George Dodge, who was selected to be the unit's Quartermaster. It was not unusual at this time for an officer trained for service in his parent Corps to be employed as a Quartermaster. It was not until 1901 that the Canada Gazette announced the formation of the first units of the Canadian Army Service Corps heralding the beginning of a professional corps of military logisticians in the Canadian Militia. General Order 141, in a Gazette edition dated 23 Nov 1901, identified the formation and location of four companies of Army Service Corps headquartered at London, Toronto, and Kingston Toronto, Ont., and Montreal, Que. In the 1901 Canadian census, Dodge is shown among the list of officers with the "Canadian Regiment" in barracks at Halifax.

In October 1902, the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion, The RCR, was disbanded and officers returned to their parent regiment. George Dodge would not remain long with the regiment, on 1 Dec 1903 he was transferred to the Unattached List. His transfer to the Unattached List may have been based on plans that were to become evident early in 1904. General Order 193, dated 23 Jan 1904, announced the creation of a element of the Canadian Militia's Permanent Force. A permanent company of the Army Service Corps was authorized to be formed at Kingston. The company would initially consist of one Captain and Adjutant, one Sergeant Major, one Corporal and three Private. Incidentally, the same Gazette also announced the expansion of the Active Militia by four new Service Corp companies to be located at Ottawa, Ont., Sherbrooke, Que., St John, N.B., and Kentville, N.S.

Dodge attended the Army Service Corps School of Instruction from 1 Jan to 22 Apr 1904. He was awarded a "Distinguished" grade in "Army Service Corps Supply and Transport Duties." Now trained as an army logistics officer, Dodge is shown in the Militia Lists as belonging to the Canadian Army Service Corps (Permanent Unit) effective from 1 Dec 1903.

In General Orders dated 1 Feb 1904, George Dodge was awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers Decoration. This decoration, the only medal Dodge received in his career, was awarded to commissioned officers of the Non-Permanent Active Militia after 20 years of commendable service. It was awarded to eligible recipients between 4 Feb 1901 and 31 Dec 1931, when it was discontinued and replaced by the Canadian Efficiency Decoration.

A brief item in the Canadian Army Journal of March 1961 names Dodge the first Captain and Adjutant, and thereby the first officer of a Permanent Force unit of the Canadian Army Service Corps. An extract from the Journal item reads: "Late in 1903 an Army Service Corps unit for the Permanent Active Militia was authorized. The following year this unit was formed at Kingston, Ont., by Captain G.A. Dodge, consisting of one Captain and Adjutant, one Sergeant Major, one Corporal and three Privates. Other units and detachments were authorized from time to time. In 1906, to distinguish the units formed for service with the Permanent Active Militia from those formed in the NPAM, the name Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps was adopted."

Although he was already identified as such in the Militia Lists, it was not until the Canada Gazette of 14 Jan 1905 that Dodge's appointment and transfer from the Unattached List would be formally published.

Canadian Army Service Corps
Permanent Unit

To be Captain and Adjutant: George A. Dodge, Esquire, lately a captain on the Unattached List. 1 December, 1903.

The edition published a week later confirm that Dodge was "Retired from the Militia and [had] accepted employment with the Permanent Force, 30 Nov 1903." Two years after his appointment to the Permanent Force, George Dodge was promoted Major in the C.P.A.S.C., effective 18 Jul 1905.

In 1908, units of the Active Militia and the Permanent Force would gather at Quebec for the Tercentenary celebration. Commanded by General William Otter, the military headquarters assembled at the Quebec court house for the event included three Army Service Corps officers:

Dodge would be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel effective 18 Aug 1908. On 1 May 1911, he would be appointed to the position of Assistant Director of Supplies and Transport in the 6th Divisional Area from senior Army Service Corps Office, Maritime Provinces Command. Dodge, now married to Mabel Elston Boak and with five-year-old son Andrew appear in the 1911 Canadian Census. Living at 37 Victoria Road in the south end of Halifax, the family includes one domestic servant in the census.

While George was employed as a senior staff officer, the Canadian Army Service Corps continued to grow and expand its role in training personnel for its companies. The Canada Gazette issued 30 Jan 1911 detailed the formation of a new training establishment:

General Order No. 59 (2)
Army Service Corps School of Instruction

The establishment of as permanent A.S.C. School of Instruction is authorised.

The headquarters of the School will be at Halifax, N.S., with branch schools at Quebec, Kingston and Toronto.

The School will be administered by an officer of the C.P.A.S.C., who will be appointed Commandant.

An Instructional Staff is authorised, the personnel of which will be detailed as required.

Commandant's Duties

The Commandant will:—

(a)     Arrange for all courses of instruction in connection with the C.P.A.S.C. and C.A.S.C.
(b)     Administer the School of Cookery.
(c)     Set and examine papers at the conclusion of all courses.
(d)     Issue the necessary certificates for those successful at examinations and forward them to Headquarters for registration.
(e)     Detail the personnel of the Instructional Staff in a manner to ensure the best results.
(f)     Forward a summary of the results of examinations to the Officer Administering C.P.A.S.C.
(g)     Correspond with the Officer Administering C.P.A.S.C.

(The G.O. also details the establishment of the School of Cookery.)

Dodge moved and his appointment changed to Assistant Director of Supplies and Transport in the 5th Divisional Area on 1 Oct 1912. The creation of the C.A.S.C. school would directly affect the path of George Dodge's career in January, 1915, when he was appointed Commandant.

"G.O. 203

"Army Service Corps School of Instruction:— With reference to General Order No. 59 (2), 1911, the headquarters of the Army Service Corps School of Instruction is temporarily transferred from Halifax, N.S., to Quebec, P.Q.

"Lieutenant-Colonel G.A. Dodge, A.D.S. & T., 5th Division, to be Commandant.

"The establishment of a branch school at Halifax, N.S., is authorized."

The Auditor General Report for 1915-16 lists Dodge under Pay of Permanent Force within Quebec. His pay as a Lt.-Col. is defined as "366 d[ays] to Mar. 31, 1916, at $5, corps pay, 366 d. at $1.25; instructor, 487 d. from Dec. 1914, at $1, rations, $91.50; less stoppages $3" for a total in that budget year of $2863.00. (That total would be approximately $58,200 in 2018 dollars. Dodge's base rate of pay of $5 plus $1.25 corps pay would equal about $127 in 2018 dollars.)

In April, 1917, at the temporary rank of Colonel, Dodge would become the Assistant Director of Supplies and Transport at Military District No. 2 (Toronto). It was not until March of 1918 that Dodge was confirmed in the rank of Colonel within the Canadian Militia (C.M.), the promotion being effectively back-dated to 21 Mar 1917. On 1 Apr 1920, Dodge's rank in the Permanent Force was also raised to Colonel.

The administrative precursor to George Dodge's retirement was published in March 1923 with the Gazetted item reading: "The undermentioned officer will continue to draw the same rates of pay and allowances during their respective periods of leave granted them pending retirement as they were in receipt of prior to such leave." Dodge's final appearance in the Canada Gazette came in the edition published 15 Sep 1923: "The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps:— Colonel G.A. Dodge is retired to pension and is placed on the Reserve of Officers. 30 Jun 1923."

George Allison Dodge died on 6 April 1954 at Toronto. He is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario (section 52, lot 1214). George Dodge is also commemorated on a family gravestone in Oak Grove Cemetery, Kentville, Nova Scotia.

Pro Patria

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