Topic: The RCR
Canadian Regiment for Halifax Garrison
Details of Formation of Canadian Regiment
To Replace Regulars
Four Companies to Concentrate here—Lt.-Col. Vidal in Command
The Citizen, Ottawa, Ont., 6 March 1900
A militia order has just been approved by the department providing for the formation of a battalion to take the place of the regular [British] garrison at Halifax. The order is as follows:
"The formation of a provisional battalion of infantry from the active militia (the permanent corps, cavalry and afield artillery, and the active militia of the city of Halifax, which is already allotted to the defence of Halifax in the Imperial defence scheme excepted), is authorized to replace, temporarily, the First Battalion, Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), at Halifax, N.S.
"The establishment of this battalion is as follows: One lieutenant-colonel, two majors, one adjutant, eight captains, eight lieutenants, eight second lieutenants, one quartermaster, total officers, 29; one regimental sergeant-major, one regimental quartermaster-sergeant, five staff sergeants, eight color sergeants, thirty-two sergeants, total sergeants of the regimental staff and sergeants, 47; 49 corporals, 16 drummers and buglers, 872 privates, total rank and file, 928, or a total of 1,004 of all ranks.
"The qualifications for enrolment are:
"Age, between 18 and 45 years, chest measurement, minimum of 34 inches, height, minimum 5 feet 5 inches, to be unmarried.
"To pass the medical examination required for enrolment in the permanent corps of Canada.
"To be enrolled in a corps of the active militia, within the limits laid down in paragraph 1 of this order, and to have performed at least one annual training.
"Men not enrolled in the active militia but who have previously belonged to it and have performed annual training are eligible, provided they first enrol in a corps of the active militia within the limits above laid down and are carried on the strength of such corps.
"Officers, non-commissioned officers and men while serving in this battalion will be considered and returned as "on command" of the respective corps.
"Officers, non-commissioned officers and men serving in this corps will be paid the rates of pay and allowances provided for the active militia, which they will draw, in the case of officers, from the date on which they report for duty, and in the case of non-commissioned officers and men, from the date of enlistment.
Where They Will Be Raised
"Companies will be formed as follows:
"A—Right half from military district No. 11 at Victoria. Left half from military district No. 10 at Winnipeg.
"B—Military district No. 1, at London.
"C—Military district No. 2, at Toronto.
"D—Right half from military districts Nos. 3 and 4, at Kingston. Left half from the Ottawa brigade.
"E—Military district No. 5, at Montreal.
"F—Right half from military district No. 6 at St. John's, Que. Left half from military district No. 7 at Quebec.
"G—Three sections from military district No. 8 at St. John N.B. One section from military district No. 12, at Charlottetown, P.E.I.
"H—Military district No. 9, at Halifax.
"Companies will be formed of four sections of thirty men each.
District officers commanding will apportion the number to be enrolled from their district among the corps entitled to furnish men according to the strength of such corps. In the event of any of the number apportioned to their corps failing to contribute its quota the deficiency will be made up from corps having men to excess.
Three Years' Enlistment
"The men are to be enlisted in the corps to which they belong (militia form C. 1) for a period of three years, and enrolled in the provisional battalion by officer commanding districts for general service for a period not exceeding one year.
"The medical inspection will be at points of concentration of companies, and performed by the medical officers attached to permanent units, or where there are no such officers, by a medical officer belonging to the active militia, selected by the district officer commanding (militia form B. 4, embodies medical certificate). In the latter case, upon the completion of the enrolling, a statement of the number of men examined will be forwarded to chief staff officer, headquarters, Ottawa, certified to by the district officer commanding, for payment of remuneration.
"Distruict officers commanding will provide the recommendation required for the medical examination, and for the necessary clerical work, in his office, the drill hall, or elsewhere. He will also provide the necessary stationery, and if necessary, procure additional clerical assistance.
"All men will be enrolled as privates. Officers commanding companies may make temporary appointments of non-commissioned officers pending approval of the commanding officer.
"The administration of companies during formation will be as follows:
(a) "The companies during formation will be under command of the district officer commanding, but the officers commanding may correspond direct with the officer commanding the regiment respecting all regimental matters.
(b) "At stations where units of the permanent force are quartered, the companies will be attached to such units for discipline, rations and accommodation. Blankets may be drawn from store, also barrack furniture.
"At other stations district officers commanding will act on their judgment. The men will either be accommodated in drill halls or other buildings, and a contract entered into for their rations at a rate not exceeding 20 cents per meal.
"Men enrolled will be kept at the enrolling centers until the company is complete, unless otherwise ordered. District officers commanding will immediately report to chief staff officer, headquarters, Ottawa, when the companies are complete, if it becomes apparent to them that the quota from their district will not be enrolled in time to proceed to place of concentration by the date hereinafter stated.
"An imprest of $200 is forwarded to district officers commanding, out of which they will pay all expenses incurred by these instructions, furnishing afterwards receipts in duplicate. They may request a further advance when needed, and will be held responsible that due economy is exercised, but they will carry out the enrolment, accommodation and rationing without incurring delay by asking for approval of their arrangements.
"Companies B, C and D will be concentrated at Ottawa not later than Thursday the 15th instant, and A company by Thursday the 22nd instant. E and F companies will be concentrated at Quebec City not later than Friday the 16th instant and G and H at Halifax by Saturday the 17th instant.
"District officers commanding will warn the officer commanding the regiment at Ottawa, and district officers commanding concerned, in order that the necessary preparations may be made before the arrival of the troops.
"The troops will be clothed and equipped at points of concentration.
"Companies B to F will be concentrated by orders from headquarters at Halifax by Thursday the 22nd instant.
"The regimental staff will be formed at Ottawa by Lieut.-Colonel B.H. Vidal, who will temporarily assume command of the battalion.
"Company officers will see that men to act as their servants are included among those enrolled in their company."