The First World War
An RCR Officer's Diary 1914-1918


(First page(s) missing.)

JULY 1914

The same day Germany also invaded France, and next day, August 3rd she invaded Belgium, thus violating its neutrality which had like Luxembourg been guaranteed by the Powers.

The Regiment was still armed with the Ross rifle Mark IIxx with the screw elevating sight, but it had the latest pattern (1913) web equipment.

Great Britain immediately presented an ultimatum to Germany requiring her to withdraw her troops immediately and for a reply to be received by 12 midnight.

On receiving no reply, was was declared on August 4th.

On Thursday July 30th owing to the acute European situation the order for the "precautionary period" of mobilization was received. At noon the Commanding Officer communicated the news to the officers of the Regiment at Halifax.

Immediately steps were taken to draw all equipment, etc., necessary as afar as the stores would allow. The Regiment, however, was not "mobilized" in Canada, many of the articles required not being available in the whole country.

The Regiment was still armed with the Ross rifle Mark IIxx with the screw elevating sight, but it had the latest pattern (1913) web equipment.

A waterproof sheet was issued to every man and adapted as a rain cape (thrown over the shoulders) and carried in the pack ordinarily.

On 31st [July] the Headquarter Companies were despatched to the various defensive points in 6th Divisional Area and Halifax Fortress.

"A" Co.Sandwich Battery (Halifax Harbour)Capt Brett, 7th Gurkha Rifles (attached)
Lt Glasebrook, 66th Regt (attached)
Lt Wood, 66th Regt (attached)
"B" Co.Sydney & N. Sydney Capt C.B. Costin
Lieut Poston
"E" Co.CansoCapt Langford
Lt Grant-Suttie
"F" Co.
M.G. Sect
McNabs & Lawlors Islands (Halifax Harbour) Capt. Du Domaine
Lieut Landon
1/2 "C" Co.Wellington Bks.Capt Hoad (Australian Commonswealth Forces (attached)
Lt. Hodson
1/2 "C" Co.Camperdown Signal Stn. (Halifax) Lt. Trudeau, 85th Regt (attached)

By proclamation all Deserters from the Imperial Army pardoned if declaring themselves on reporting for duty.


On 10th [Aug] Lt Cock proceeded to Long Lake to 66th Regt Detachment as an Instructor for the Western Sub-Division while Capt Hemming who had been on the Instructional cadre took over similar duties with 63rd Regt for the Eastern Sub-Division a few days later.

Lt Holloway having returned from sick leave on 11th resumed his duties as Signalling Officer.

The establishment was raised on Aug 11th from 596 to 922 and recruiting at once began. Another company was authorized to be raised at Work Point Bks., Esquimault, British Columbia, with an establishment of 1 Major, 1 Captain, 2 Subalterns and 96 other ranks. Capt Smith who was on his way to Australia when war was declared assumed Command of this Company.

Lt Brook took over the duties of Recruiting Officer and instructor to 63rd Regt who with 66th Regt were now occupying Wellington Bks. Capt Andrews and Lt Kennedy 63rd Regt reported for duty at York Redoubt.

On 13th [Aug] 66th Regt relieved the detachment under Capt du Domaine at Long Lake and Chain Lake and returned to McNab's Island.

On 14th Lt Glazebrook returned [to] his unit 66th Regt on being appointed Adjutant.

On 20th [Aug] Lt Trudeau relieved Lt Brook (as Recruiting Officer) who prceeded to Valcartier Camp as an Instructor for the First Contingent.

The same day the following telegram was received from Headquarters, Ottawa;

To O.C. R.C.R., Halifax, N.S.

England needs a battalion at Bermuda will Royal Canadian Regiment Volunteer for such service.

J.C. MacDougall, Colonel
for Adjt. Gen.
Absent on Duty.

The following reply was sent;

From Officer Commanding
The Royal Canadian Regiment.,

To The D.A.A. & Q.M.G., Halifax, N.S.


I have much pleasure in stating for the information of the Officer Commanding the Division and of the Militia Council that The Royal Canadian Regiment accepts with pleasure the offer made by Militia Department on 20th inst. to do service in Bermuda and trusts that every effort will be made to send the Regiment in its entirety to further improve its efficiency and usefulness under the circumstances and thus place the Regiment in a position to fulfill its numerous duties with entire satisfaction for the credit of Canada and the Empire.

Hoping that this first move may in the near future lead us to further advancement towards the battlefield which is the desire of all ranks.

I have the honour to be
Your obedient servant
A.O. Fages
Cmdg., The R.C.R.

On 23rd [Aug] Capt C.B. Costin returned from North Sydney and proceeded to Valcartier camp, P.Q.

The following officers of the Regiment proceeded to England with 1st Canadian Contingent Canadian Expeditionary Force:

Col. J.C. MacDougall (late The R.C.R.)Military Secretary, Div. H.Q.
Bvt. Lt. Col. A.H. Macdonell, D.S.O.G.S.O. 2nd Grade, Div. H.Q.
Maj. (Temp. Lt. Col.) Kemmis-BettyBrigade Major 2nd Infy Bde.
Maj F.A. ListerO.C. Div. Sig. Co.
Capt. (Temp. Maj.) J.S. BrownD.A.Q.M.G. 1st Canadian Contingent
Capt. E.W. PopeStaff Capt., 3rd Infy Bde.
Capt. C.B. CostinOrderly Officer, 3rd Infy Bde.
Capt. M. GaronR.C.D.
Lt. (Temp. Capt.) M.K. GreeneOrderly Officer, 2nd Infy Bde.
Lt. (Temp. Capt.) R.J. BrookAdjt. 1st Battn. C.E.F.
Lt. (Temp. Capt.) J.S.M.A.H. Lyne-EvansAdjt. 12th Battn. C.E.F.
Lt. (Temp. Capt.) G.W. CoxAsst. Adjt. 8th Battn. C.E.F.
S.M. (Temp. Lt.) A.A. TurnerAsst. Adjt. 9th Battn. C.E.F.
Q.M.S. (Temp. Lt.) S.T.H. RaddallM.G. Officer 8th Battn. C.E.F.

On Aug 25th Pte Madden "B" Co. died suddenly on detachment at Camperdown, this was the first death in the Regiment since the outbreak of war.

On 29th, headquarters having been relieved by 4 Cos. of 66th Regt. at York Redoubt, returned to Wellington Bks to prepare for departure on foreign service.

The detachment from Sydney returned under Capt Hood where it had been guarding stores and mines in a neighbourhood with a foreign population.

The following day Major Hamilton-Gray with Lt Roscoe and "H" Co arrived from St. John, N.B., where it had moved on the outbreak of war from Fredericton.

On 30th [Aug] H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught inspected the Regiment at Wellington Bks prior to its departure for service abroad. His Royal Highness was "much pleased with the physique and smart and clean turn out of the battalion."