The Minute Book
Sunday, 1 January 2017

Battalion Duties--General Remarks--Officers (1917)
Topic: Officers

Battalion Duties—General Remarks—Officers

Officers should be courteous at all times to all ranks, and must return salutes in a soldierly manner.

Notes for Commanding Officers, Issued to Students at the Senior Officers' School, Aldershot, 1917 (5th Course)

1.     Every officer must learn the history of his Regiment and endeavour to make history for it. He must inspire his men with the desire to emulate the deeds of their predecessors.

2.     Officers must be careful as to the smartness and correctness of their dress. Spurs are only worn dismounted by Field Officers and Adjutants.

3.     Gambling is prohibited.

4.     Standing drinks in the mess is not allowed.

5.     Practical joking leads to trouble, and is therefore forbidden.

6.     Officers unable to perform their duties through sickness must report at once to their Officer Commanding Company, and the Adjutant must be informed.

7.     Officers must be present when the Commanding Officer or Second-in-Command inspects a unit under their command.

8.     An officer may not change duty with another without permission of the Adjutant.

9.     Officers much consider duty first, amusement after; they must obtain a thorough knowledge of all their duties if they with to command the respect and confidence of their men.

10.     An Officer, by putting his signature to a paper, renders himself responsible for the correctness of facts or figures in that paper.

The Senior Subaltern

11.     Only the Officer ordering a parade can give leave from it.

12.     Officers must be acquainted with all orders; absence on leave or sickness is no excuse for ignorance of orders.

13.     All Officers joining or returning from leave of absence, or from command, must report personally to the Commanding Officer.

14.     Officers must invariably check or take notice of any slackness or improper behaviour on the part of officers or of soldiers, either of their own or other Regiments, whenever met with.

15.     Officers may not leave the battalion area without leave.

16.     All Officers must pull together and support their Commanding Officer at all times and in all places.

17.     An Officer who misses a duty by inadvertence should at once report the fact personally to his superior or the Adjutant, if it is a Battalion duty.

18.     An Officer, except the Second-in-Command, who wishes to speak to the Commanding Officer, should first ask the Adjutant and explain to him the circumstances.

19.     Officers should be courteous at all times to all ranks, and must return salutes in a soldierly manner.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 19 November 2016 2:27 PM EST
Saturday, 31 December 2016

Future Battles Will Be Fought By Rival "Tanks"
Topic: Militaria

Future Battles Will Be Fought By Rival "Tanks"

Great Land Cruisers Being Built By Germans to Match Those of British

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 21 September 1917

Herculean battles between droves of allied and Teuton "tanks" will be "as common as air fighting" on the western front soon, Colonel E.D. Swinton, commander of the first British "tank" squadron in France, predicts, according to the Washington correspondent of the Chicago Tribune.

Colonel Swinton, who is in the United States with Lord Reading's commission, originated the now famous British fighting monsters, he said in Washington. He believes the Germans are also building land cruisers and the day is not far distant, he thinks, when it will be a question of the survival of the fittest between "Fritz" and "Teddy" tanks.

Have Two Kinds

"There will be both male and female tanks—so called," he said. "We will have 'Mary' and 'Molly' tanks along with their lords and masters, the big 'Teddy' tanks. The males will lumber into battle surrounded by their harems.

"With the destruction of machine guns as his chief objective, the male tank starts across No Man's land. Shell craters, embankments, barbed wire entanglements, trenches, and even small forests are no barriers. With two six-pounders he blasts his way forward. Being bullet-proof, it is seldom that he is checked until he has accomplished his mission—destroying machine gun emplacements.

"However, he is more or less useless and close fighting and often gets into a place where he cannot extricate himself. It is here that his 'better halves' get into the game.

"The female tanks—dubbed thus because of their man-killing propensities—tag along behind, in advance and on all sides, fighting like mad. They beat off the enemy trying to storm the big 'Teddy.'"

Only Deadlock Breakers

Thus far 'tanks' are the only means that have been devised in breaking the deadlock along strongly entranched infantry fronts, Colonel Swinton stated. Great improvements are being made in their construction and defects remedied. The tank of the future will be a "perfect" fighting machine, capable of feats more startling than heretofore dreamed of, he said.

Of the development of the crawling fortresses, which have changed modern warfare, Colonel Swinton said:

"During that awful first year every soldier realized that something had to be devised to stop the carnage. The futility of a 'naked man' attempting to cross No Man's land was apparent to allies and Germans alike. It was an impossibility to sweep that pock-marked patch of hell with men alone.

How Idea Was Developed

"I has seen one of your Yankee inventions—Holt's tractor. I remembered its feats of navigating rough country and simply applied the idea. At about the same time someone else got a similar idea and wrote Winston Churchill, first lord of the admiralty.

"Independently of each other the war and navy branches began perfecting the same idea. Navy officials, unknown to me, worked on a 'land cruiser,' while we struggled with the 'tank.' Then we got together, with the result you have read about.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 30 December 2016

The Approved Ration (1907)
Topic: Army Rations

The Approved Ration (1907)

Instructions to Cooks, Published by Authority, Government Printing Bureau, Ottawa, 1907

The following ration having been approved will be supplied to the troops:

  • 1 lb. Bread or 1 lb. Biscuit (for camps, 1 ¼ lb. Bread).
  • 1 lb. Meat.
  • 1 lb. Potatoes.
  • 3 oz. Bacon.
  • 2 oz. Flour or 2 oz. Beans.
  • 3 oz. Jam or 3 oz. Dried apples.
  • 2 oz. Butter or cheese for permanent corps.
  • 1 oz. Split peas.
  • 2 oz. White sugar.
  • ½ oz. Salt.
  • 1/3 oz. Coffee.
  • ¼ oz. Tea.
  • 1/36 oz. Pepper.
  • ½ oz. Vegetables, evaporated, 1/2 oz. Onions; or 2 oz. Cheese for camps.
  • For permanent corps 4 oz. fresh vegetables in place of evaporated

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 29 December 2016

Nine Soldierly Qualities
Topic: Drill and Training

Nine Soldierly Qualities

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 3, of 30)

Spirit carries a body of soldiers forward. Tenacity is the quality that makes them "stick."

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 29 August 1917

The three basic qualities, loyalty, obedience and physical fitness, were treated in the preceding lesson. There is another group of three soldierly qualities that are especially needed during the periods of training, marching and waiting between combats. These are:

  • Intelligence,
  • Cleanliness,
  • Cheerfulness.

Although these qualities are associated chiefly with camp life, they are, of course, scarcely less helpful in all other phases of military service.


Intelligence does not necessarily mean education, but rather quick observation and willing ness to learn. There is plenty of need for intelligence in modern warfare. The national army will be forced to absorb within a few months a training which would ordinarily extend over a period of two or three years. Those who intend to fit themselves for promotion should study thoroughly the manuals and the drill regulations which affect their duties. In time they should learn something about ma-making and map-reading, the construction of field entrenchments, training and care of horses, signalling, the handling of complex pieces of machinery, and many other subjects.

Captain Ian Hay beith of the English army, points out that in the first British forces of the present war the previous trade or training of every soldier was sooner or later utilized.


Cleanliness is important everywhere, but most of all in the army where large bodies of men are brought together. In its true sense, it includes not only keeping your body clean, but also your mind and your actions. Fortunately, it is a virtue in which Americans generally rank high. There should be little difficulty in setting a satisfactory standard in the new army.


Cheerfulness is always a prominent trait of good soldiers. Here again Americans may be counted upon to make a splendid showing, even in the face of any unexpected hardships or difficulties that may be ahead of us. There are numerous episodes in American military history to justify this confidence.

Finally there are the three battle qualities of the good soldiers:

  • Spirit,
  • Tenacity,
  • Self-reliance.

Unless a man has these three qualities—even though he possesses all the other six in good measure—he is after all only a campfire soldier.


Spirit—fighting spirit—is far from being mere hatred of the enemy of blind fury, on the one hand; nor is it mere passive obedience to orders, on the other. It means cool, self-controlled courage—the kind of courage which enables a man to shoot as straight on the battlefield as he does in target practice. However, it even goes a step beyond that point. Decisive victories can not be won by merely repulsing the enemy. "Only the offensive wins." (Infantry Drill regulations, paragraph 511.)


Spirit carries a body of soldiers forward. Tenacity is the quality that makes them "stick." The thorough soldier is never ready to stop fighting until his part of the battle is won. Tenacity was never better expressed than in the words of John Paul Jones. Standing among his dead and wounded on the sinking ship which was "leaking like a basket," he replied to his adversary's invitation to surrender, "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight." Two hours later the battle came to a sudden end when the colors of the enemy's vessel were hauled down.


Self-reliance is characteristic of the American, whether he is serving as a soldier or in some civil occupation. It is a quality needed more than ever before in present-day warfare. Major General Leonard Wood, in his introduction to the Field Service Regulations of the United States Army, says:

"Officers and men of all ranks and grades are given a certain independence in the execution of the tasks to which they are assigned and are expected to show initiative in meeting the different situations as they arrive. Every individual, from the highest commander to the lowest private, must always remember that inaction and neglect of opportunities will warrant more severe censure than an error in the choice of the means."

the nine qualities which have just been reviewed are those which every one of us would like to have for himself. They are the essentials of virile and successful manhood, whether in the army or out of it.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Making Good as a Soldier
Topic: Drill and Training

Making Good as a Soldier

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 2, of 30)

Discipline is not only essential in developing the army, but also in developing your own character as a soldier. "The soldier who is by nature brave, will by discipline become braver."

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 28 August 1917

The national army, in which you are to take your place, truly expresses the American character and ideals. It is a great democratic army. It includes men of all degrees of wealth and education, chosen through fair and open selection by lot. All are brought together on terms of equality. There has been and there will be in this great national army no favoritism and no "pull." The poor man will drill side by side with the man who has been raised in luxury. Each will learn from the other. The place each man makes for himself will be determined by his own work and ability.

The question as to whether it is better to join the colors now or with a later contingent is not worth arguing, since the decision has been made for each man by lot. An ambitious man, however, will be glad to join now. It gives him a better chance for promotion. The commissioned officers of the first contingent are picked men who have voluntarily gone through the hardest king of training.

In order to make good in the national army you must, first of all, fit yourself to carry with credit the simple title of "American Citizen-Soldier"—one of the proudest titles in the world. This means that you must develop in yourself the qualities of the soldier. The more quickly and thoroughly you cultivate them, the greater will be your satisfaction and success.

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Three Basic Qualities

There are three basic qualities, without which no man can be a real soldier even though he may temporarily wear a uniform. They are:

  • Loyalty,
  • Obedience,
  • Physical Fitness.

A man without these qualities is in the way and is a source of weakness to an army, both in the camp and on the field of battle.

The articles of war of the United States set forth the military crimes which are punishable by heavy penalties. Among these crimes are desertion, cowardice, insubordination, drunkenness while on duty, sleeping while on duty as a sentinel, disclosing the watchword, and giving aid or comfort to the enemy. Run over this list and you will see that every one of these military crimes can result only from the absence of one or more of the three basic qualities of a soldier.


A soldier's loyalty governs, first of all, his feelings and actions toward his country. There can be no such thing as half-way loyalty. The slightest compromise opens the door to treason.

But a soldier's loyalty does not stop here. It governs also his feelings and actions towards the army and towards all the officers under whom he serves, it absolutely forbids disobedience among both officers and enlisted men, or disrespect towards those in authority.


The second of the soldier's basic qualities is obedience, based on discipline. Without obedience and discipline an army cannot long continue to exist; it will quickly degenerate into an armed mob. As the infantry drill regulations put it, discipline is "the distinguishing mark of trained troops."

Military discipline is always impersonal. Obedience is required not merely of you, but of every man in the army. It is required of officers by their superiors with fully as much strictness as it is required of you. It will become your duty, whenever you are given authority over other men, to demand from them the same full measure of obedience that other will require of you.

Discipline is not only essential in developing the army, but also in developing your own character as a soldier. "The soldier who is by nature brave, will by discipline become braver."

The third basic quality, physical fitness, is so essential that a large part of the time devoted to your training will be spent in building it up. Physical fitness includes not only muscular development, but good health and endurance as well. It is a quality which every man who passes the physical examinations can develop in himself by reasonable care and by obedience to instructions.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Expedient Medications (1855)
Topic: Military Medical

Expedient Medications (1855)

From: Field Service; The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 11 May 1855
(From the Household Words)

No soldier should be without useful hints in the case of wounded or sick men, when the doctor is not at hand. Fever, ague, and dysentery, are the diseases soldiers are most liable to. For ague there are several common vegetable substitutes, in the absence of quinine, the king of all: such as willow bark, or orange leaf water, the root of the sweet scented flag, oak bark, gentian,—to which add catechu and bitters in general for dysentery or diarrhoea, and holly bark for ague. The last remedy on the list is a truly military one—namely, a charge of powder swallowed in water is a prompt and safe emetic.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 26 December 2016

Going For a V.C.
Topic: Medals

Going For a V.C.

"Military News," The Montreal Gazette, 4 December 1897 (Army and Navy Gazette)

It has recently been suggested that it is the practice nowadays for the British officers on active service to "go for" the Victoria Cross whenever the remotest chance of obtaining it presents itself. Be that as it may the present operations on the northwest frontier of India have already produced quite a respectable little crop of crosses, no less than four officers having already earned the reward, although unfortunately one of them was so severely wounded in the performance of his act that he did not live to actually receive the coveted decoration. The other three were gazetted last week, and we understand that before long some more recipients of the cross will be gazetted.

One medical officer at least has earned the cross by an act of noble gallantry. Of the three officers already decorated, viz., Lieut.-Col. R.B. Adams, Lieut. Viscount Fincastle, and Lieut. E.W. Costello—Lord Fincastle is particularly fortunate in that he was not ordered to the front as a combatant officer, but was permitted to proceed with Sir Bindon Blood's column as war correspondent, and it was even considered doubtful whether, as he was present only in that capacity of a civilian, he would be considered eligible for the V.C., which had alreadt\y ben refused to an ordinary war correspondent.

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The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 25 December 2016

His Majesty's Message; 25 Dec 1916
Topic: CEF

His Majesty's Message; 25 Dec 1916

Montreal Daily Mail, 25 Dec 1916

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Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 24 December 2016

Trench Raiding
Topic: CEF

Trench Raiding

Canadians From Alberta and Plains prove Adepts in New Methods of Trench Warfare

The Deseret News, 25 December 1916
(From a Staff Correspondent of the Associated Press.)

With the British armies in France, Dec. 24, via London, Dec. 25.—North of Arras certain Canadian troops have just accomplished what the British officers declare marks a new phase in modern trench warfare. In a raid, which however, was much more than a raid, they succeeded in putting out of action, temporarily at least, an entire battalion of German infantry. They took 59 prisoners, including one commissioned officer and estimated that they killed 150 Germans in dugouts which were blown to atoms after their occupants refused to surrender. The Canadian losses were extremely light. The "raid" took place at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on a front of 100 yards. The German prisoners admit that they were taken completely by surprise. The officer captured said he was convinced that something was about to happen but believed that the attack was coming on Christmas eve. He reported to the higher command but received no support.

The Canadians, mostly stalwart men from the plains of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, had skilfully established themselves well forward so that when the artillery had ceased the preparatory fire they were in the German front line trenches in less than two minutes. The officer in command, who was reporting the raid to Brigade headquarters by telephone, said that he had hardly uttered the words, "they're off" before he had to say "they're in." Consternation reigned among the Germans who scrambled for the saps and dugouts leading to rear trenches while the Canadians pelted them with hand grenades.

Caught unprepared, many Germans in the front line offered no resistance but threw up their hands with cried of "Kamerad!" Others were taken as they fled for the second and third lines for the Canadians pushed on quickly to the second trenches.

About 20 dugouts were destroyed by Canadians, several with bombs captured from the Germans. One of the officers engaged said:

"As we entered the trenches many Germans broke for the dugouts. All who did were subsequently well cared for. Each of our men was given definite instructions for his precise task and a map of the enemy's trenches which proved correct. Each man knew every detail of the proposed operation. They were delighted at this and entered the fight with great cheers. When they came out two hours later they were singing and as happy as school boys on a holiday. The neatness despatch with which the raid was carried out were unique. The artillery co-operation of the British guns was perfection. Beautifully placed curtains of fire prepared our advance and, crossing forward, protected us as they proceeded to absolutely demolish the enemy trenches and dugouts. The program had given the men an hour and a half for their work but the cleanup was accomplished in an hour and ten minutes and the raiders signalled they were ready to return to their own trenches."

No attempt was made at a counter attack until the following night, when the Germans bombarded and raided their own front line, or what was left of it, thinking that the raiders were still there. As a matter of fact the Canadians who carried out the operations were miles away. They were not part of the fighting line but on rest, and had gone forward for this particular piece of work, which was planned weeks ago.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 23 December 2016

Xmas Invasion of Britain
Topic: CEF

Xmas Invasion of Britain by Soldiers' Wives

Missanabie Took Hundreds of Canadian Women To See Their Husbands

Montreal Daily Mail, 25 Dec 1916
(Canadian Associated Press)

London, Dec. 23.—Animated scenes were witnessed at Liverpool when the Canadian pacific steamer Missanabie arrived. She is the Canadian Christmas boat and brought over hundreds of women and children desirous of spending Xmas with their husbands and brothers in training in Britain or on leave from the front.

Of 340 cabin passengers, only forty-three were men, with practically an all Canadian list, the majority having come from all parts of the Dominion, women from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie Provinces, British Columbia, Yukon. The majority had never seen England before. From Liverpool the train carried them to London and the various Canadian camps and hospitals scattered throughout Britain.

This unique invasion steamer also brought a big mail and a huge consignment of Xmas parcels for boys in training in Britain and at the front. An official stated that the Canadian mail and parcels received this year were of record proportions. In one week the mail despatched from Montreal included over 800,000 parcels. Two Canadian Pacific steamers recently brought between them 20,000 bags of mail and parcels.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 22 December 2016

Reveille to Lights Out (part 4 of 5)
Topic: Drill and Training

Reveille to Lights Out (part 4 of 5)

The Montreal Gazette, 1 July 1942
By Machine-Gunner

(This is the fourth in a series of five articles describing the Canadians' transition from civilian to military life. Written by a soldier who has learned "the hard way," they give an illuminating insight into Army Life.)

The phrase from the Mikado. "Let the punishment fit the crime," might just as well have been taken from the Manual of Military Law as far as the Canadian soldier is concerned.

His interests are protected from the day of his enlistment until he is discharged from the army. Pages have been written in the official documents, and the greatest of pains have been taken to see that his rights are at all times respected.

"To be paraded" is a phrase that means more to the recruit than the civilian ever imagines, and it doesn't mean his being involved in a procession around town. When a soldier is paraded he is taken, in the proper manner, to his immediate senior officer for one of two reasons.

To begin with, he may feel that he has been wronged by a companion, an N.C.O. or an officer. It is his right to be paraded, first to his platoon commander, usually a lieutenant, and if he is not satisfied, from there to his company commander, a captain or major, and still further to the unit commander, a lieut-colonel as a rule.

He is given a chance to tell his side of a story which concerns him, and his right to be paraded guarantees his getting what soldiers have always called a "square deal."

On the other side, there is the case of a soldier who is paraded because he has been guilty of an offence against the Army Act. In this case he is paraded to the company commander by the company sergeant major, and is brought in between two of comrades who are termed "escorts." the accused is marched in with his escorts, to a position in front of the company commander's desk with his head bare.

The name of the accused is read out and he then steps forward one pace. The "crime" is read out, and the witnesses called to testify, and after all the evidence has been presented the accused soldier is asked what he has to say for himself.

If the sentence to be passed involves a forfeiture of pay on the part of the soldier, he is asked, before th punishment is announced "Are you willing to accept my punishment?" by the company commander; if the soldier agrees he is sentenced to the forfeiture of as many days' pay (and the powers of the company commander are limited, in this respect, to three day's pay) and in addition to a number of day (up to seven) C.B., or confinement to barracks. While a soldier is C.B. he may not leave the barracks, and must work after hours of parade on odd jobs around the camp, cutting grass, or washing dishes have taken the place of the old potato peeling punishment of 1914-18 by virtue of the automatic potato peelers in use at present.

The case of a soldier who refuses to accept punishment of the company commander is similar to one whose offence is one for which the punishment is beyond the powers of that officer. The soldier is paraded to the officer commanding (the unit). The procedure is quite the same as before, but the o.c. may award up to 14 days C.B., and 28 days detention.

A soldier in detention is locked up in the camp "jail." called Detention Barracks. While he is so confined he may not smoke, receives no pay and in addition, performs many of the more unpleasant duties around camp. He is made to parade also, but his health and moral welfare are superintended by the medical officer and padre respectively, on their regular rounds of inspection. If the punishment is believed by the officer commanding to be above even his powers he may remand the accused for a district court martial, and the procedure is similar if the soldier refuses to accept the punishment to be awarded by the O.C., but again, the accused must declare his willingness to accept the punishment before it is announced.

The only time there is an automatic forfeiture of pay is when a soldier is absent without official leave. When he has not attended parades, he is not, naturally, paid.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 16 December 2016 11:20 PM EST
Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The Camel Corps
Topic: Drill and Training

The Camel Corps

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia, 8 November 1916

Men who have been selected for service with the camel corps are trained in Menangle Camp under Colonel Lenehan. The camels used were brought down from up-country under special drivers, who have been accustomed to them and understand their ways. The men are given instructions in riding, loading, and looking after the animals.

Most of the work consists in teaching the men to learn "camel talk," for the camel has to be addressed in a manner he understands, or else he declines to budge, being one of the most obstinate of animals. The men have to be taught how to persuade a camel to lie down or rise up, as the case may be, and also are instructed in the saddling of these "ships of the desert." When it comes to mounting the camel with full kit there are many amusing incidents, for if the animal rises quickly before the recruit is firm in the saddle, the recruit more often than not takes an impromptu toboggan slide down its back and lands on the ground spread-eagled, with his helmet and rifle on either side of him. Australians who are good horsemen, however, quickly learn the "tricks of the trade," many, in fact, having had more or less to do with camels in the pre-war days, with the result that the men forming the Australian Camel Corps know their job from A to Z before they leave for the front.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Modern Guns for Nova Scotia (1900)
Topic: Halifax

Modern Guns for Nova Scotia

The Lewiston Daily Sun, Lewiston, Maine, 20 December 1900

Halifax, N.S., Dec. 19.—Several modern long range guns are now on the way here from England and are to replace less modern armament in some of the forts about the harbor. A few of these forts have at present modern guns but the guns to be mounted now will carry eight miles and make the fortress impregnable. Guns will be mounted on two hills in the neighborhood of York Redoubt fort, one of which is known among the soldiers as "Spion Kop" so closely does it resemble the peak of that name made memorable in the Boer war.

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Guns at Halifax; 1905

Defending Halifax: Ordnance, 1825-1906; A.J.B. Johnson, No. 46 History and Archaeology, Parks Canada, 1981

By 1905, the defences of Halifax would have the following guns mounted:

Fort McNab12   3
Sandwich Battery22   4
Below York Redoubt    22
Hugonin Battery   4 4
Ives Point Battery 2 226
Point Pleasant Battery   2 2
Cambridge Battery 2   2
Fort Ogilvie 2   2
Fort Charlotte  3  3
Fort Clarence  2  2

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 23 September 2016 12:54 PM EDT
Monday, 19 December 2016

Reveille to Lights Out (part 3 of 5)
Topic: Drill and Training

Reveille to Lights Out (part 3 of 5)

The Montreal Gazette, 29 June 1942
By Machine-Gunner

(This is the third in a series of five articles describing the Canadians' transition from civilian to military life. Written by a soldier who has learned "the hard way," they give an illuminating insight into Army Life.)

A chain is as strong as its weakest link; so goes the proverb, and Canada's army has forged a mighty chain of command, the links of which are orders.

The recruit is at first confused by, and then readily appreciative of the fact that orders are not always verbal; his behaviour must conform with, and is often changed by orders which he never hears, but reads. As an example, a soldier entering camp for training is immediately acquainted with camp Standing Orders. These orders tell him many things peculiar to the camp in which he is to live. The camp bounds, the procedure in case of fire, the respective times of reveille and lights out, meal parades and defaulters' parade; in short, anything in which the routine in his camp may vary from that of other similar camps. Some changes in camp standing orders are dictated by notations which appear, from time to time, in District Orders.

Canada has been divided into 11 military districts; each district has, quite naturally, a centre which is district headquarters, and from district headquarters proceed district orders, signed by the D.O.C., or District Officer Commanding. District orders carry new regulations and changes of previous ones which concern the individual district; promotions of officers within the district appear in these orders, punishments by courts martial, changes in dress regulation or any bits of arbitration which may affect the soldier serving in the district.

Routine Orders

Changes in procedure and new regulations in the Canadian Army are distributed from their source, National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

The orders with which a recruit comes in contact are Daily Orders, Part I and Part II. Part I orders (known as "part one"), affect a soldier's drill, duty and discipline. Extra parades, if there are any, appear in Part I orders. The orderly officer and orderly sergeant of the camp are notified for duty in the camp by warnings given in these orders. Writings in the direction of discipline for personnel within the camp appear there; as an example, some place may be put "out of bounds" to members of the armed forces for any one of many reasons, and if this occurs, notification of the fact is given in Part I Orders.

Part II Orders affect a soldier's pay, allowance and documents. Before a soldier may draw pay from a unit he must be taken on strength of the unit, and to be taken on strength his name must appear in Part II Orders. Likewise, if a soldier is to forfeit pay because of some wrong doing his name must appear in Part II Orders before the pay may be deducted. These orders constitute authority for the unit paymaster to act.

If a recruit is married, the permission for him to marry is given by his officer commanding, it appears in orders, and, when the marriage has taken place, the soldier's new dependent is authorized to receive a monthly cheque from N.D.H.Q. by virtue of the fact that notice of the marriage appears in orders. No notation of change may be made in a soldier's documents until the notation or change appears in Part II orders.

It is the duty of each soldier to read daily orders, and if he in guilty of a breach of a new order, that fact that he pleads ignorance is not regarded as an excuse. With the advance of education in the Canadian Army, the troops are more than ever anxious to "do the right thing," and the man is indeed the exception who does not try to keep up with the orders; in most units it is a boast of the men that they are never caught off guard.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 18 December 2016

Worthington Favors United Army (1942)
Topic: Canadian Army

Worthington Favors United Army, Abolishment of Corps, Regiments

The Montreal Gazette, 8 July 1942

An Eastern Canada Army Camp. July 7.—(CP)—Maj.-Gen. F.F. Worthington, commander of the 4th Armored Division, expresses the opinion that the Canadian Army should be one and indivisible.

A crusader for divisional esprit de corps among the troops under his command, this pioneer Canadian expert in tank warfare would like to see the present system of dividing the army organization up into corps and regiments abolished.

In an exclusive interview with The Canadian Press at his eastern Canada training camp Gen. Worthington said when a man enlists he should join the Royal Canadian Army, just as when an airman enlists he joins the Royal Canadian Air Force and a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy.

"If you do that you will wipe out a mass of administration," he said. "I would like to see this army brought up to date."

In the 4th Division now practically all officers and men wear the black beret and badges of the armored corps. Regimental caps and badges are passing out of fashion although the general has not yet insisted on complete uniformity. That is the way he wants it. He wants his men to feel they are a member of the division and not of the Mudshire Fusiliers.

"Unit esprit de corps is all very well," said Gen. Worthington, "but it must go higher. We don't want petty jealousies between units. We don't want one unit taking pride in doing better than another. We want each unit to be ready to help the other if necessary."

He went on to say that he would carry the idea even higher than the division, to the army as a whole.

"I think we should scrap the whole army system as we have it both in Britain and Canada and have a Royal Army and a Royal Canadian Army."

When a man joined the air force he was proud to belong to the air force and didn't care what squadron he served with or what capacity. A sailor was proud of the navy but didn't worry what ship he served on. The same could be made true of the army. All a man wanted to know was that the organization he joined was doing a job and that he would be given the work for which he was best fitted.

The general has ways of overcoming men's preferences for certain units when they come to his division. If a man wants to serve in the Mudshire Fusiliers, his choice of a name for sample regiment and with no ther he is not scolded but given a sight-seeing tour.

"Men are simple to handle if you've got the patience," he added with a twinkle in his eye as he proceeded to outline the course given such recruits.

The Mudshire Fusiliers or Northing man is given a guide who takes him all around the division, lets him look inside tanks, handle the guns, send messages to his friends over the signaling apparatus. Soon the fellow sees some job he would like to do. He gets a chance to try out for the job, he likes it and he forgets about the Mudshire Fusiliers.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 18 December 2016 12:04 AM EST
Saturday, 17 December 2016

Soldiering in Annam (1883)
Topic: Discipline

Soldiering in Annam (1883)

Composition of the Annamite Army and its Discipline

Montreal Daily Witness, 6 September 1883

The St. James Gazette gives an interesting description of the army at the disposal of the King of Annam. It is reckoned officially at 200,000 men. Of these 40,000 garrison the capital, and half that number is assigned to Hanoi and the surrounding fortresses Nam Dinh, Nihn Bihn, Bach Nihn, and other places in Tonquin. The rest are ordinarily disguised in civilian attire, and are not to be distinguished from harmless agriculturists. When a man is dressed in the customary vestments of a Madras coast coolie—a handkerchief and a bit of string—it is difficult at the first blush to determine his profession. In Annam, however, the matter is rendered comparatively simple. The law is, from every three men one recruit. Except, however, in cases of extraordinary public necessity this rule is not acted up to; one man from every seven or eight is much nearer the average. The selection of the recruits is left entirely to the local authorities, and the village mandarins make a good thing out of the annual levies.

The Drill

In default of squad drill the Annamese recruits are put through a variety of unpleasant experiences designed to test their courage. Physical courage and endurance are supposed to be the primary requisites of a soldier, and, after that, the knowledge of how to load and let off a gun. It is pleasantly assumed by the military officers that the men chosen for the army are the worst of the population. The madarins are supposed to keep their districts quiet by drafting all their mauvais sujets into the annual levy. There is, accordingly, the less compunction in putting them through the prescribed tests. The first of these is to assault the raw recruit violently with a sabre. The sabre is a wooden one, certainly; but the drill sergeant hits hard, and knows from personal experience where it hurts most. Operations commence on the back and end with blows on the head. The recruit who stands battering about the head for a matter of five minutes without uttering a groan or flinching, even involuntarily, is hailed as a finished soldier and excused further "drill." To shrink, or even to moan, when beaten on the head with the wooden sabre is considered pardonable, and the victim is noted down as an "ordinary" soldier, instead of an "able bodied" one.


But the recruit who cries out when he is hit on the body or confesses by a wiggle that the exercise is painful is reported for punishment and then put through a new course of instruction. The punishment usually consists in a certain number of blows from a bamboo on the upper part of the thighs, so that, except for the dignity of the thing, there is a close resemblance between punishment and military discipline. The military mandarins defend the system on the ground that it is very ancient, and that it is unique in the military exercises of the world—the latter assertion being incontrovertible. Energetic officers of the army frequently invent fantastic tests of a similar character in addition to the regulation exercises. A story at Hue is related of a beau sabreur of the Tay-son rebellion who had a ditch dug and filled the bottom with swords and pikes stuck into the ground point upward. He then called upon his men to engage in drill. They were to fling themselves into the ditch. The most stoical of the "able bodied" shrunk from this novel addition to the manual of exercises. Only one man was found to do it. He went in with a rush, and the swords and pikes collapsed before him. They had been kept in position by the most slender of threads.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 17 December 2016 12:13 AM EST
Friday, 16 December 2016

Reveille to Lights Out (part 1 of 5)
Topic: Drill and Training

Reveille to Lights Out (part 1 of 5)

The Montreal Gazette, 27 June 1942
By Machine-Gunner

(This is the first in a series of five articles describing the Canadians' transition from civilian to military life. Written by a soldier who has learned "the hard way," they give an illuminating insight into Army Life.)

A bugle is blown, a flag unfurled, and a new day has begun for the soldier in Canada's army. Routine is to be expected, but it may vary in camps, usually at the discretion of the officer commanding, a typical day begins at 6.30 a.m., or, in military terminology, 0630 hours.

Life, for the recruit, is ever-changing, and although Reveille is the name given to the hour of arising, it means more than "just getting up," First, of course, comes a shave, in one of the comfortable washrooms, and then a general clean-up of of the soldier's person and quarters. He soon learns how to fold his blankets in accordance with camp standing orders, how to arrange his kit, and in a matter of days after his initiation into the ranks he has learned to have pride in the appearance of his hut.

Breakfast, at 7 a.m., convinces the soldier that he is really being considered, because beside his plate he now finds fresh fruit. The first parade, physical training, is not until 8 o'clock, so, for a while at least, leisure is the rule; last night is discussed from many interesting angles and then back to work. Men are usually grouped in quarters as platoons, two platoons share a hut, and the huts are arranged to have companies centralized. The soldier's primary training is termed "basic" and in centres giving this training the number of men in a platoon varies, usually from 40 to 50.

The P.I. parade begins, and the wheels of defence have begun to hum in harmony with the calling of the step or time for exercises by platoon N.C.O.s. Days are divided into periods, in most camps a period means 45 minutes, and happily periods are separated by "breaks" of five minutes for relaxation. Before lunch time, the soldier has completed four periods, and has learned something new perhaps about the Bren Gun, map reading, and possible defence against gas. From 11.30 a.m. to noon he is free to do what he will, and then, with the other members of his platoon, he parades to lunch.

The afternoon consists of another group of four periods for the man in the army, beginning at 1.30 p.m., and ending at 4.30. Reasonably often his afternoon duties give him a chance to see the country beyond the limits of his own camp, because several periods are devoted to map treks and the study of field-craft. Both subjects consist of the practical application of knowledge gained in the classroom.

Except for occasional days, when for one reason or another, the entire establishment of a camp is confined to barracks, a soldier may leave his camp at 4.30 p.m. and his time is his own until 10.00. Although dinner is served at five o'clock he need not eat in camp and is free to keep such engagements as he may have made. Usually two nights a week are set aside as "late leave nights," and then he need not be back until 11.30 or midnight, depending upon the time stated in orders.

Entertainment is provided for troops in barracks by the Auxiliary War Services, and usually there are movies two nights a week and means of relaxation provided for the others. All troops may attend the shows with the exception of those undergoing punishment for some minor misdeed; these are given periods of C.B. (confined to barracks) by their company commanders, and while under sentence they are not allowed to enter the canteen in which the shows usually take place. In addition to this restriction, the offender has extra duties to perform after his day on the parade ground is finished. Grass has to be cut, dishes washed, and other odd jobs done; the C.B. man is usually the one called upon.

Off duty leave, that period between the completion of parades and the time the soldier must be back in barracks, ends in most camps at 10 o'clock. Roll call is taken by the N.C.O. in the hut, and any man marked A.W.O.L. on what is called a tattoo report. These reports are made out nightly, and a copy handed to the military police at the camp gate. A record is thus kept, and though a man may enter the barracks by some means other than the gate he is counted absent because his name appears on the list. This is considered proof that he wasn't in his hut at roll call, and tell his company commander that he came "over the fence."

Authorities agree, that the average soldier is a reasonable person, and the converse is true. If a soldier has sufficient reason, in the mind of his company commander, he may be granted a reveille pass which will allow him to remain out of barracks until reveille on the day after the pass was issued, and even without this pass exceptions are occasionally made when soldiers have been kept late by circumstances beyond their control.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 15 December 2016

Battalion Duties--General Remarks--Private Soldiers (1917)
Topic: Discipline

Battalion Duties—General Remarks—Private Soldiers

Soldiers on guard must remember that it is often from them only that a Regiment may be judged.

Notes for Commanding Officers, Issued to Students at the Senior Officers' School, Aldershot, 1917 (5th Course)

1.     Every soldier must remember that he may by his individual bearing and actions either enhance or injure the reputation of his Regiment.

2.     By good behaviour and civility to strangers, cleanliness and smartness in dress and turn-out and drill, gallantry and devotion in the field, he increases the reputation of his Regiment, he increases the respect for the Army, and creates self-respect in himself.

3.     Instant obedience is the root of discipline. A command must as cheerfully and quickly be obeyed. Whether given by a Colonel or a lance-corporal.

4.     Any soldier wishing to speak to an Officer must be accompanied by a non-commissioned officer. If the soldier then wishes to speak to the Officer on a private matter, the non-commissioned officer can, for the time, fall out.

5.     Employed men must show by their smartness that they are worthy of their employment.

6.     Dress in walking out must be carefully studied, and belts must always be worn.

7.     Soldiers on guard must remember that it is often from them only that a Regiment may be judged.

8.     Every soldier must think he belongs to the best section in the best Platoon, Company, battalion and Regiment in the Army.

9.     Every soldier will address a warrant officer (including Classes I and II) in the same manner as when addressing a Commissioned Officer, but they will not salute.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Most Efficient Cavalry Corps (1897)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Most Efficient Cavalry Corps (1897)

"Military News," The Montreal Gazette, 4 December 1897

The Montreal Hussars are to be heartily congratulated upon being the most efficient cavalry corps, as proved by the recent comparative efficiency returns. The results, in order of merit, are as follows:—

The marks were distributed as follows:—

  • Clothing and accoutrements, arms and saddlery, armories, sword exercise, interior economy and books and records – 10 points each.
  • Horses, squadron drill mounted – 20 points each.
  • Answers to questions by officers – 12 points.
  • Regimental drill by the commanding officer – 30 points.

To this is added the value of individual target practice and from it deducted the points for absentees from troops inspection and target practice. This gives the regimental figure of merit as shown above.

The full and detailed figures are given in the present issue of the Military Gazette. It is noticeable that in the returns of the Montreal Hussars that the total possible points were gained for armories, interior economy and books and records, and answers to questions by officers. For target practice a fair amount of marks were gained and for regimental drill by the C.O. 25 out of a possible 30 points. Lieut.-Col. Markham's corps is evidently the one with crack shots, for their target practice is away ahead of the others.

Major Whitley and the officers and men of the Montreal Hussars cannot be too highly complimented on this very successful result, the result of their first annual inspection as a separate organization. It will be remembered that last summer at the inspection Major Lessard, inspector of cavalry, gave the very highest credit and encouragement to Major Whitley and his men.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Rules to be Observed; Parcels to POWs
Topic: CEF

Rules to be Observed in Remitting parcels, &c., to Prisoners of War

Local Postmaster Tells How To Go About the Task

… must not be included in any parcel … tennis balls, footballs, golf balls, spirits or solidified spirits for cooking stoves, matches or other inflammable material, photographic apparatus, field glasses, sextants and other instruments of use for military or naval purposes.

The South Shore News, St. Lambert, Quebec, 8 November 1917

As there appears to be some confusion in the minds of many relatives and friends of German prisoners of war in Germany as to the sending of parcels to such prisoners, The South Shore |news has obtained from Mr. John H. Horsfall (postmaster) the following information:—

Parcels may be sent direct to officers who are interned in Germany, but in the case of privates they must be sent through the Canadian Red Cross. Parcels addressed to privates or to non-commissioned officers in care of the Canadian Red Cross must not contain foodstuffs of any kind, clothing or printed matter. There is, in fact, very little except tobacco that can be sent direct to privates who are prisoners. In the case of tobacco, too, it is well to remember that the regulations forbid "tins which cannot be conveniently opened for inspection." Clothing and food may be sent direct to officers, but the following articles must not be included in any parcel sent to any prisoner interned in a belligerent country; written communications (letters must be sent separately by letter post), printed matter, money, stationery, stamps, playing cards, textiles, including wool, cotton, leather, rubber (except clothing in the case of officers), tennis balls, footballs, golf balls, spirits or solidified spirits for cooking stoves, matches or other inflammable material, photographic apparatus, field glasses, sextants and other instruments of use for military or naval purposes.

Parcels for privates (which parcels must not contain foodstuffs, clothing or other articles in the above list) must be sent through the Canadian Red Cross. The address should be in the following form:

No. 12345

Pte A.G. Robinson
48th Highlanders, Canadian Contingent, B.E.F.
Canadian Prisoner of War
Gottingen, Germany

c/o Prisoners of War Department
Canadian Red Cross Society
London, England.

Persons desiring to have food or articles of clothing sent to a Canadian prisoner of war belonging to the Canadian contingent, should send money for the purpose to the Prisoners of War Department, Canadian Red Cross Society, London, England. The remittance should be in the form of a post office money order drawn in favor of the Prisoners of War Department, Canadian Red Cross Society, London, England, for the prisoner of war in question. The letter containing such a remittance should be addressed to the prisoner of war, care of the Prisoners of War Department, Canadian Red Cross, London, and if so addressed may be sent free of charge.

Letters, postcards, parcels and money orders addressed to prisoners of war (including British civilians interned in enemy countries) may be sent free of all postal charges.

Remittance of money may be sent direct to prisoners of war, and should be made by means of post office money orders, which are issued free of commission. The transmission of coin, either in letters or parcels, is prohibited. Information and advice with regard to British (including Canadian) prisoners of war may be obtained from the Central Prisoners of war Committee, 4 Thurloe Place, London, S.W. England, or from any post office.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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