Topic: The RCR
Regimental Idea Still In Doubt
Further Officers of Contingent Named
Methods of Enrolment
Orders for Permanent Corps Wishing to Volunteer—Must Be Transferred From Headquarters
The Daily Mail and Empire; Toronto, 19 October 1899
Special to The Mail and Empire
Ottawa, Ont., Oct. 18.—Dr. Borden returned from Toronto this morning. He informed your correspondent that the department will continue to organize the South African contingent on the basis of eight company units. The Minster would not say whether there was any possibility of changing to the regimental idea, but said the whole question would be left to the War Office. Military men here take this to mean that the Canadian companies will therefore be attached to different British battalions.
Methods of Enrolment
Militiamen volunteering for South Africa will join in their uniform, which they will demand from captain of their company, giving a receipt for same.
Non-commissioned officers and men serving in the R.C.R.I. and R.C.A. (garrison division) who wish to volunteer for special services in South Africa will send their names to the officer commanding their company, who will have them medically inspected. The names of men passed as fit will be at once communicated by the officers commanding companies to Lieut.-Col. Otter, Toronto, who will allot them to the companies of the special service force according to his judgment.
The foregoing will not apply to No. 1 company, as the officer commanding No. 8 Military District has been ordered to allot volunteers to the Nova Scotia and New Brunswick companies of the special service force.
Volunteers from the permanent force will not be attested nor permitted to join the companies wo which they are allotted until their transfer has been ordered from headquarters.
A militia order issued this morning gives the schedule of officers' field kit, as authorized in the British service. The approximate weight of articles worn or carried on the person of mounted officers is 27 ¾ pounds, and of articles carried on the horse 71 ½ pounds. The approximate weight of articles worn, or carried on the person of dismounted officers is 34 ½ pounds.
Another order issued to-night states that a grant of $125 will be given to officers of the force towards defraying expenses of outfit. An advance of pay to the amount of $60 will also be allowed. Cheques for these amounts will be forwarded.
To ensure the proper fitting of clothing, headgear, and boots, officers commanding the companies will send in at once to the chief staff officer size rolls for the volunteers already enrolled and will send in size rolls daily for those further enrolled. These size rolls will give height of men, the measurement of breast and waist, and circumference of head and size of boots, according to the following instructions:—
1. The height is to be in stocking feet.
2. The breast measurement is to be taken by a measuring tape, over the undershirt and shirt only, and close to the arms. The waist measurement is to be taken over the trousers and down fairly tight.
3. The height, breast and waist measurements are to be carefully made, so as to be as accurate as possible, as the garments will be made considerably looser than the measurement.
4. For taking the head measurement for a helmet, a hat which fits the man should be measured, and not the man's head. Field service caps will be issued in sizes half an inch larger than helmets.
5. The size of the boots generally worn is to be given. Demands will be met from a supply that will be in store at Quebec. Should it be found necessary in some cases to provide insoles, one pair will be issued with the boots.
The complete list of officers for the contingent will not be ready until tomorrow. There has been a good deal of telegraphing to-day, and as the desire is to grant the commissions fairly the Minister hesitates before giving to the public what may be only a tentative list. As foreshadowed last night, however, certain arrangements were made to-day, which are well received in this city. Thus, Major Rogers, of the 43rd Battalion, to-day received his appointment as captain of the Eastern Ontario company. His subalterns will be Capt. W.T. Lawless, of the G.G.F.G., and two other officers, from the western part of the district.
British Columbia is just as enthusiastic as Ontario over the expedition. The representatives of the Pacific province will leave Vancouver on the 24th and reach Quebec on the 29th or 30th. Two officers from British Columbia have been given commissions. They are Capt Blanchard, of the 5th Artillery, Victoria, and Capt. A.E. Hodgins, of the Nelson Rifles Company, an 1882 graduate of the Royal Military College.
The enrolment of volunteers in Ottawa commenced to-day, within a few hours after Major Rogers had received his appointment. Col. Cotton, commanding the Ottawa brigade, put in an appearance at the Drill-hall early in the afternoon, and was astonished at the number of men seeking enrolment. It is certain that Ottawa could supply half the contingent, and if the enthusiasm shown here is a criterion of the public feeling in Canada 20,000 men could be sent to South Africa as readily as 1,000. To-night the drill-hall was again a scene of great activity, scores waiting to interview the captain of the company.
The medical staff of the Canadian Regiment will consist of Surgeon-Major Wilson, of the 3rd Montreal Field Battery; Surgeon-Major Osborne, of the 4th Hamilton Field Battery; Surgeon-Lieut. E. Fiset, of the 89th Temiscouata and Rimouski Battalion.
It is understood that four officers will be appointed to the staff of the Canadian contingent. It is settled that Col. Sam Hughes, M.P., will either be offered one of these positions or else a captaincy.