The Minute Book
Friday, 3 March 2017

The Basis of Good Discipline
Topic: Discipline

The Basis of Good Discipline

Combat Lessons, Number 2, September 1946

One of our problems has been to get junior officers and young NCOs sufficiently hard-boiled to exact from their subordinates a meticulous obedience to every order. We must ingrain in all ranks the realization that orders are not to be treated as suggestions but as concrete facts calling for the utmost effort until they have been carried out. So many people seem to feel that orders which are inconvenient or unpopular are to be disregarded. This state of mind is a disease and must be eliminated. On the other hand such an elimination presupposes that all COs and Staffs take care that the orders they issue are consistent, correct, and capable of being carried out.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Militia Camp; 17 Sept 1885
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Militia Camp; 17 Sept 1885

Settling Down to Steady Drill
The Strength of the Brigade Over 2,100

At former camps a visitor would meet with one soldier with a tunic of red flannel and no trimming, another with a red tunic and white trimmings; and others with red shoulder straps and collars, and other again with blue collars and shoulder straps. An issue of new clothing has been made and has done away with this state of things.

The London Advertiser, London, Ont., 17 September 1885

The first night in camp [on Carling's farm, present location of Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario] was not one of unalloyed comfort. The weather was rather cold, with several showers, and many of the men had but very slim shake-downs. However, to-day everything was in good shape and everybody made comfortable. The night was uneventful, with the exception of a row in which a member of the 30th Battalion quarreled with two civilians and was knocked down and kicked in the face, and both eyes blackened. This morning marching drill in companies was commenced, and although in some of the battalions the majority of the men are new recruits and undisciplined, they are rapidly picking up their drill. Sergt.-Major Byrne, of the 7th [Fusiliers], who is brigade sergeant-major, is the right man to bring them up to the work. Although a Canadian, and still in the prime of life, he has served 21 years in the British army and is a thorough soldier. A better selection could not have been made to fill one of the most important posts connected with the camp. No one visiting the camp can fail to notice the bright, smart-looking appearance of the volunteers. At former camps a visitor would meet with one soldier with a tunic of red flannel and no trimming, another with a red tunic and white trimmings; and others with red shoulder straps and collars, and other again with blue collars and shoulder straps. An issue of new clothing has been made and has done away with this state of things. Some years here the absurd way in which some of the battalions were dressed was enough to make them the laughing stock of all old military men. Now they have a smart, soldierly appearance. If the Minister of Militia would make another move and issue a regulation cap for all infantry corps it would further add to the appearance of the men. Here you'll meet two men, one with a round cap on his head and the other with a Scotch cap, neither of which afford the least protection from the sum. Here and there a private may be met with an officers' cap on, while some of them haven't caps at all, but appear in their "stiff felts."

The Strength of the Brigade

The strength of the brigade as shown by the number of rations drawn yesterday, was 2,060 and the staff.

The force is divided up as follows:

  • Cavalry, 126 men and 11 officers;
  • Artillery, 182 men and 8 officers;
  • 21st Battalion, 210 men and 19 officers;
  • 22nd Battalion, 340 men and 27 officers;
  • 24th Battalion, 230 men and 15 officers;
  • 25th Battalion, 200 men and 20 officers;
  • 28th Battalion, 230 men and 27 officers;
  • 30th Battalion, 380 men and 32 officers;

The total number, however, will exceed this when all are settled down.

Brigade Orders; Brigade camp, London, Sept. 16

Detail for to-morrow—Field officer of the day, Lt.-Col. McNight, 28th Battalion, next for duty, Lt.-Col. Munroe, 22nd Battalion; surgeon of the day, Surgeon King, First Regiment of Cavalry; next for duty, Surgeon Smith, 28th Battalion; the 24th Battalion will furnish brigade duties, viz., guard, picket, band, etc.; next for duty, 25th Battalion.

No. 1—Officers commanding corps of infantry are particularly requested to see that non-commissioned officers and men under their command are instructed in the use of the rifle and its sights, how to align the latter, and that in aiming the men place themselves in a proper position. Target practice will be carried out during camp, Major Bigger, brigade musketry instructor, will supervise all instructions.

No. 2—There being but one medicine chest for the whole brigade, it will be kept in charge of tent opposite and south of the brigade orderly tent, in order that surgeons may be supplied with the medicines they may require for the use of the members of their respective corps.

No. 3—All mail matter will be delivered to the Brigade orderly tent until further orders.

M. Aylmer, Lieut.-Col.

The Pipes Are There

The 22nd Oxford Rifles have with them two Highland pipers, Mr. George Gordon Fraser, of Woodstock, and Mr. Wm. Gunn, of Embro. They have their bagpipes with the, and for a certain time each day enliven the camp with their characteristic strains. Mr. Fraser in an old soldier, who served in a Highland regiment through the Chinese war. Mr. Gunn is a Highlander by birth.

Notes

No word of General Middleton's proposed visit has been received by the brigade officers here. However, as he is at present at the Niagara camp, it is probably he will also visit London.

The London Field Battery under Captain Williams went into camp yesterday, 40 strong.

The London troop of cavalry makes a fine turnout under Major Peters, 39 strong. They have some excellent horseflesh under them, and are a credit to the city. Mr. Owens is sergeant-major and Mr. John Siggins quartermaster-sergeant.

The various battalions will be put through a course of musketry instruction and rifle practice during the camp. This is a new feature of the camp, but a practical one for all that. The fact that efficiency with the rifle is more necessary to a corps in active service than being able to march past a saluting point in good line seems gradually beginning to be recognized. The rifle practice will be done at the Cove range.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Beef 18 Times in March
Topic: Army Rations

Master Menu Calls For

Beef 18 Times in March—If You're In the Army

St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Florida, 12 March 1944
By Jane Eads

Washington.—(AP)—The boys in the Army are going to get steak for chow on Match 14 …

Steak with brown gravy, mashed potatoes and fried onions.

On Sunday March 12, they'll have a chicken dinner with all the trimmings, including ice cream for dessert.

And on St. Patrick's day:

Breakfast—fresh apples, dry cereal, fresh milk, scrambled eggs, bran muffins, toast, butter, coffee.

Dinner—lamb curry, steamed rice, leafy greens, carrot-raisin salad with sour cream dressing, bread, butter, devil's food cake, coffee.

Supper—roast pork with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, cabbage, relish dish, bread, butter, fruit gelatin, coffee.

That's what the Army's master menu for March, prepared in the officer of the quartermaster general, prescribes for soldiers in this country at least.

Additional master menus are prepared for the use of overseas troops, but naturally are subject to change.

Okaying the menus is Miss I. Barber, food consultant to the secretary of war.

During the three years she has been with the subsistence branch of the quartermaster corps, on leave as home economics director of the Kellogg's company, she says she has noted a minimum of complaints from the boys.

"It's true that our Army marches on the best-fed stomach in the world," she says, adding that whether it's fried chicken in Maryland, a "D" ration chocolate bar in New Britain, or a stick of gum and candy on a liferaft in the Pacific, American chow is considered best under any circumstances.

Before any menus are planned, an estimate is made of what meats, fruits, vegetables and canned goods will be available at the time suggested for use.

The quartermaster corps now figures for instance, that there will be enough beef available in march to feed it to the boys in this country in some form 16 times during that month.

They'll get steak but once, but roast beef will be served four times and they'll have hamburger, Swiss steak, pot pie, meat loaf and beef hearts.

The Army recommends that the master menus be used as a standard, with such substitutions as may be necessary due to a shortage or surplus of certain products in the local market areas.

The overseas menus, available fresh foods may be used instead of non-perishable, expeditionary rations. This is left to the quartermaster on the spot.

In England, North Africa, New Zealand and Australia, Miss Barber says, the Army has found this comparatively easy.

In England, for example, there are always Brussels sprouts, potatoes and cabbage, with other fresh vegetables in season.

Upon disembarking, overseas troops all get one to three days' "K" rations … the half-pound size packages each with a different "entree" (such as tinned bacon and eggs) and a different powdered liquid (coffee, lemon juice, bouillion). All contain biscuits, sugar, a sweet, cigarets and gum.

Where there are no kitchen facilities, as in combat, our forces exist on either the "K" or the "C" ration, which is a little more complete. The "C" ration consists of six cans of food, three of which contain meat, combined with beans, stew or hash. The other three contain biscuits, soluble coffee, or powdered lemon juice, sugar and candy.

On Attu, soldiers lived for three days on "K" rations until the "C" rations caught up with them. They ate the latter with chocolate bars until they got frozen meats and their field ranges and the danger of fires giving away their position was over.

There's also the "D" ration, a candy bar of chocolate combined with powdered milk, sugar, oat flour (to keep it from melting) and thiamin … a bale-out ration for paratroopers, and the liferaft ration of candy, chewing gum and vitamin pills.

Receipts for preparing dishes in the menus come from the Army cook book or special cooking bulletins prepared in the service commands.

The Army's recipe book, "The Army Cook"—known to all mess officers as TM-10-405—is now in process of revision by Miss Barber. Revision of the recipes is based on Army appetites, although nutriment content is a prime consideration.

Soldiers' favorite foods are beef—any way it's dished up; peas, corn and tomatoes; apple pie and ice cream; sweet breads such as cinnamon rolls and coffee cake; raw apples and oranges.

Milk is the favorite drink of this young man's Army. A soldier gets a half-pint a day, which some mothers complain isn't enough. Miss Barber replies that soldiers are also provided with milk solids and eat an equivalent of what they formerly were accustomed to drinking.

She concludes:

"If every man in the service ate everything set before him, he'd get all the nutrients essential for perfect health.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Marching and Care of Feet
Topic: Drill and Training

Marching and Care of Feet

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 8, of 30)

Another sign of a green soldier is a carelessly adjusted pack or any other equipment not neatly and securely fastened.

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 4 September 1917

The new soldier seldom understand how important it is for him to learn to march and to develop his muscles so that he can easily carry his arms and equipment. "marching constitutes the principal occupation of troops in campaign." (Infantry Drill Regulations, paragraph, 623.)

In order to march for long distances the soldier's feet must be in good condition. Marching shoes should be quite a little larger than shoes for ordinary wear. "Sores and blisters on the feet should be promptly dresses during halts. At the end of the march feet should be bathed and dressed; the socks, and if practicable, the shoes, should be changed. (Infantry Drill Regulations, paragraph, 627.)

Rules for Infantry

You will learn in time the practical rules for taking care of your feet that are followed by experienced soldiers. You will avoid considerable discomfort, however, if you learn some of these rules now and put them into practice from the beginning:

1.     See that your shoes are large enough. They will at first look and feel unnecessarily loose. This is needed because if has been found that feet swell and lengthen on marches, especially when carrying packs. But shoes fitted this way will give you no corns, blisters, or other foot ills.

2.     Take pains to keep your shoes in good condition. It is a good idea to apply a light coat of neat's foot oil, which will both soften the leather and tend to make them waterproof. Don't neglect to smooth out wrinkles in the lining of the shoe. "Break in" new shoes before wearing them on long marches.

3.     Wear light woolen socks, such as will be issued to you. See that you have no holes or wrinkles in them.

4.     Keep your feet, socks, and shoes clean. When on the march try to wash your socks at night and put on a clean pair every morning. Bathe the feet every evening, or at least wipe them off with a wet towel.

5.     Keep your feet scrupulously clean. A foot bath can be taken, when other facilities are not at hand, by scraping a small depression in the ground, trowing a poncho over it and pouring water into this from your canteen. Even a pint of water will do for a foot bath.

6.     Keep your toenails trimmed closely and cut them square across the ends. This will tend to prevent ingrowing nails. By all means avoid the common error of rounding the corners of the nail and cutting it to a point in the centre.

7.     In case a blister is formed while on the march, open the edge of the blister with the point of a knife or a needle that has been heated in a match flame. Then put on an adhesive plaster, covering the skin well beyond the edges of the blister, putting it on as tightly as as possible without wrinkles. In the same way put an adhesive plaster over any red or tender spots.

8.     In case any tendons become inflamed or swollen (usually due to lacing the leggings or show too tightly or to some other unnecessary pressure), soak the foot in cold water, massage the tendon, and protect it as much as possible by strips of adhesive plaster. You should report to a medical officer as your first opportunity, to make sure that the trouble does not grow worse.

Hints on Marching

After you have arrived in camp and have cooled off you can drink slowly as much as you desire. It is, of course, unwise to eat fruits, candy, soft drinks, ice cream and the like while on the march.

Another sign of a green soldier is a carelessly adjusted pack or any other equipment not neatly and securely fastened. Your comfort on the march depends very largely on the care and judgment used in getting ready. You will march most easily if you keep your body erect and do not permit yourself to slouch or sway from side to side.

When the command is given to halt and fall out for a few minutes, loosen your pack and rest back on it in a sitting position. If possible, lie with your feet higher than the head, so as to let blood flow out of your legs into the body and rest your heart.

elipsis graphic

A cheerful attitude is one of the best aids to a soldier on a trying march. Singing and whistling on the march is usually not only allowed, but encouraged. They help wonderfully to make the long road seem shorter.

These are all very simple rules, but none the less important. Keep them in mind. Some men never learn except from their own hard experience, but it is expected of the men in the national army that they will have the good sense to see the value of these suggestions and to apply them from the very beginning.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 27 February 2017

Soldiers Fare in South Africa
Topic: Army Rations

Soldiers Fare in South Africa

The following short item is as published in the Los Angeles Herald, 13 March 1900

Color Sergeant Thompson of 40 Gwynne Avenue, [Toronto], now with the Second Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, in South Africa, writes home:

"We killed an ostrich the other day and had him for dinner. He went down fine; also a swarm of locusts, of which we eat some. They are all right too. You see, we don't live badly. There is not a tree to be seen—all sand and rocks—any amount of snakes, centipedes, scorpions, lizards and big black ants. These ants get inside the boys' clothes and make themdance and swear. Tomorrow will be Christmas and we are to have a big ostrich roasted for dinner, with lots of goats' milk to drink."

elipsis graphic

Color-Sergeant Charles Henry Thompson

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 26 February 2017

New Brunswick Defenceless (1858)
Topic: Canadian Militia

New Brunswick Defenceless (1858)

The Military Gazette, Quebec, P.Q., 26 June 1858

But what has New Brunswick done in the way of self-defence, or in preparing for war? Nothing! We have no organized militia, no drill, no paid Adjutant or Quartermaster-General; we have lots of fine arms in the armouries, but the saddles and the trappings are rotting, and the rifles, muskets, and swords are rusting, because there is no one employee to take care of them. We rely upon British arms to protect us, instead of contributing, as we ought to do towards the common army of the Empire; and we rely on men-of-war lying in Halifax harbour, to prevent a ship from a hostile country, or even a pirate, sailing, or steaming up the Bay of Fundy and levying a contribution on the city of St. John,—a thing so easily accomplished that we wonder no Russian commander thought of it during the late war. It is true, the defenceless state of St. John has not escaped the eyes of the British authorities, and fortifications are to be erected forthwith on Partridge Island; but no thanks to the Provincial Solons; they fold their arms, and look on with the gravity of Dutchmen. But who could expect anything from the character of the loyal men now in power? Since their late advent to power His Excellency the Lieut. Governor laid before them a Despatch received from the Colonial Secretary, hinting pretty plainly that war may be upon us when we least expect it, and that it is well to be prepared, and requesting that the Militia may be re-organized. Where is the response to this kind, parental advice? There is none. Government merely communicated the fact to the Legislature, and there allowed the matter to drop—they took no steps whatever to carry out the suggestion of the Imperial Government, and we still remain in a perfectly defenceless state.

Here for the present we conclude. Our purpose, when we commenced writing these papers, was to bring before the eyes of the people, in a manner as vivid and concise as possible, the condition of the people of Great Republic, and the probability of wat at not very distant period. If we have succeeded in this, and can arouse the public to a proper sense of danger, (we do not mean a cowardly fear) so that they insist upon the re-organization of the Militia, and giving proper encouragement to volunteer companies we shall have accomplished our object. —(Head Quarters)

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 25 February 2017

Bombing; Fiendish Way of Fighting (1916)
Topic: CEF

Fiendish Way of Fighting

Some of the Terrors and Humors of the Bomb

The Kingsville Reporter, Kingsville, Ontario, 22 June 1916

Although this article isn't specifically about the CEF, it has been tagged as such to keep it with other First World War material.

An Irish officer, writing from the British Front in Flanders about bombs and bomb-throwing contrivances, says:

The more you have to do with the bombs the more afraid of them you become, for you cannot play with explosives all day without going aloft sooner or later. The toll of good men who have been blown to pieces by their own bombs is long and sad.

Bomb-throwing as an art is still in its infancy; it changes almost from day to day. At best, it is a fiendish way of fighting, for it inflicts ghastly injuries.

Yet bombing, like many other aspects of the war, has its humorous side, and I have seen a whole trench helpless with laughter at the sight of two men running opposite ways to avoid a sausage bomb from a German trench mortar. They collided, and sat down facing each other, like vaudeville comedians. The bomb dropped between them, almost touching them both—and then failed to explode.

One morning twenty or more members of the general staff came round to our trench to witness a test of new catapult for throwing bombs to distance of two hundred and fifty yards. With great interest they watches the screwing down of the great arm and the fastening of the bomb in position. Then upward and forward swung the arm; but the missile, not having been properly secured, instead of hurtling in the direction of the enemy, rose gently a few feet into the air, and then turning to descend again into the trench.

Such a rapid and complete disappearance of staff officers had never before been seen. They fled like rabbits, and as they rounded the corner of the trench, the bomb went off a few feet from the ground, completely destroying the catapult.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 24 February 2017

The Seventh's Sergeants (1885)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Seventh's Sergeants

Their First Annual Dinner a Decided Success

The London Advertiser, London, Ont., 15 September 1885

Sergt.-Major Byrne, of the 7th [Fusiliers], ... Although a Canadian, and still in the prime of life, he has served 21 years in the British army and is a thorough soldier. - The London Advertiser, 17 Sept. 1885

The first annual dinner of the sergeants of the Seventh Fusiliers was held last night at London House. Among those present were Sergt.-Major Byrne, Quartermaster-Sergt. Jury, Paymaster-Sergt. Smyth, Sergts. McDonald, Lyon, Summers, Neilson, Anundson, Rowland, Harris, McClintock, Mills, Beecroft, Lynch, Dyson, Corporal Williams, Private Best and others. Sergt.-Major Byrne was voted to the chair, and Staff-Sergt. Jury to the vice-chair. The evening was passed in an exceedingly jolly manner. Incidents which occurred on the Northwest trip were related with vim, and the "boys" told little good-natured jokes of each other which took place during the campaign in a way to cause the greatest amusement. Toasts were proposed and heartily drunk, to the Queen, Sergt.-Major Byrne, Quartermaster-Sergt. Jury, Paymaster-Sergt. Smyth, Adjutant Reid, the Army and Navy, Guests, coupled with the names of Corp. Williams and Pte. Best, the "Press," the "Host and Hostess," etc. To all these interesting and amusing responses were received. The proceedings were enlivened with songs, rendered in excellent voice, from the Sergt.-Major, Staff-Sergt. Jury, Sergt. Beecroft, Sergt Anundson, Pte. Best and others. During the evening the question of establishing a permanent sergeants' mess or club was raised, and all were unanimous in support of the idea. It was pointed out that if a "mess" was established where the sergeants could drop in every evening it would tend greatly to strengthen the battalion. Points for its welfare could be proposed and discussed, and instead of the sergeants of one company not knowing who the sergeants of the next company were, as in former times, they would be able to meet and discuss battalion affairs nightly, as well as pass a pleasant evening among themselves. This idea originated with Sergeant-Major Byrne, and if it can be successfully carried out will only add another obligation to the many which the battalion already owe their energetic sergeant-major. In establishing their club, however, considerable outlay will have to be met—more than the sergeants themselves could possibly bear—and it is their intention to ask the Council for use of the Park for a band concert, which will be given in the course of a few days.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 23 February 2017

Standards and Guidons (1859)
Topic: Militaria

Standards and Guidons of Regiments of Dragoon-Guards and Dragoons

The Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, Horse-Guards, 1st December, 1859

1.     The standards of the regiments of cavalry to be of silk damask embroidered and fringed with gold.

2.     The guidons of regiments of dragoons to be of silk.

3.     The tassels and cords of the whole to be of crimson silk and gold mixed.

4.     The lance of the standard or guidon to be nine long (spear and ferrel included).

5.     The flag of the standard to be two feet five inches wide, without the fringe, and two feet three inches on the lance: the corners to be square.

6.     The flag of the guidon of dragoons to be three feet five inches to the end of the slit of the swallow-tail, and two feet three inches on the lance. The upper and lower corners to be rounded off at twelve inches' distance from the end of the flag.

7.     The standard or guidon of each regiment is to be crimson, with (except otherwise authorized) the Royal or other title of the regiment, on a red ground round a circle, in letters of gold, the rank of the regiment in gold Roman characters on a crimson ground, in the centre, the whole within a wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks on the same stalk, ensigned with the Imperial Crown:—the white horse, on a green mount on a crimson ground, to be in the first and fourth compartments, within a scroll: and the rose, thistle, and shamrock conjoined, on a ground of the colour of the facings of the regiment, within a scroll, in the second and third corners.

8.     Those regiments which have any particular badge are to carry it in the centre of their standard or guidon, with (except otherwise authorized) the Royal or other title of the regiment, on a red ground round a circle, in letters of gold, the whole within a wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks on the same stalk; ensigned with the Imperial Crown—the white horse, on a green mount on a crimson ground, within a scroll, in the first and fourth corners and the rank of the regiment, on a ground of the same colour as the facings of the regiment, within a wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks, in the second and third corners.

9.     The standard or guidon is also to bear the devices, distinctions, and mottos which have been conferred by Royal Authority; the motto is to be under the wreath in the centre.

10.     No addition or alteration is to be made in the standard or guidon of any regiment of cavalry, without the Sovereign's special permission and authority.

11.     The standards and guidons of cavalry are to be carried by Troop Serjeant-Majors.

12.     Previously to sending to the War Office requisitions for new standards or colours, application is to be made, through the Adjutant-General, to the Inspector of Regimental Colours, for a drawing of the pattern as approved by Royal Authority.

Regiments of Cavalry, Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, 1859 Regiments of Cavalry (con't), Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, 1859

Regiments of Cavalry

With the colours of their uniforms and facinbgs;—their regimental badges; mottois; and the devices of distinctions authorized to be borne on their standards and guidons.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Prison Life in Germany (1917)
Topic: The RCR

Wounded L.A. Boy Writes Mother of Prison Life in Germany (1917)

Struck Down by Shrapnel While Leading Charge in 'No Man's Land'
Serving With Canadians
Acting a Sergeant Major When Taken Prisoner in Battle

Los Angeles Herald, Number 96, 21 February 1917

Young Preston gave his address as No. 477741, Sergeant Preston, Royal Canadian Regiment, British prisoner of war, Wahn Rhld, Germany.

A Los Angeles mother today read of how her son was wounded in a charge over "no man’s land in France and captured by the Germans.

The news was contained in a letter writen by the boy in a German prison camp.

The mother is Mrs. E. Preston of 201 Lakeshore terrace. The boy is Norman Preston. The letter was dated January 1, 1917 It read:

My Dear Mother: I hope you received my first card so that you will be able to write to me all the sooner.

"We made the charge at 4:50 a. m. on the morning of the 8th and about half an hour later I had about half the calf of my left leg blown off. I don’t know what did it and I wasn’t in much pain.

"It was rather unfortunate that I got it when I did. I was acting sergeant major of my company and it is quite possible I should have been confirmed if I had come out O.K.

"I crawled to a dugout which had fallen into our hands and a German doctor and his orderlies were still working in it attending to the wounded.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Wound Was Dressed

They treated me very well indeed. I stayed in there about two hours, when the Germans came over and recaptured the place and I was taken to another dressing station and so on to a succession of hospitals.

"Fortunately I was out of my head for seven days so I didn’t feel the effect of the operation of taking the shrapnel and bullets out of my leg.

As luck would have it, nothing had touched the bone and I am now well on the road to recovery. I can walk with a very slight limp and I expect if nothing unforeseen occurs to walk as well as ever in another month’s time.

"The leg healed wonderfully well. I think I have been fortunate in coming out of the fray with what I did. I saw some awful sights. Men with limbs blown off, men blinded, men lying in every conceivable position dead and wounded, friend and foe alike.

The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War

Wants a New Pipe

"I am glad to say that my regiment upheld its name as usual. "I lost my pipe in the charge. In fact I lost everything when I was captured. All I had when I got here was a shirt. Of course, I was carried in on a stretcher.

"Now, mother dear, you will have no cause to worry for you know how it all happened and I am whole except for a dent in my leg, which, of course, will be permanent. Otherwise I am O.K. I wish that you or Arthur (his brother) would send me a pipe like the one home for remembrance. If you send one get a straight stem, black mouthpiece. They are the best.

"Well, mother, I am being treated well here, and being a sergeant I don't have to do manual labor when I go into camp.

"NORMAN.

"P. S.—Write as soon as you can and tell Arthur to do the same. Well, mother dear, keep a good heart and write often. I remain your loving son. — Norman.

Young Preston gave his address as No. 477741, Sergeant Preston, Royal Canadian Regiment, British prisoner of war, Wahn Rhld, Germany.

elipsis graphic

Listed in Ted Wigney's Guests of the Kaiser:

Preston, Norman Henry Geo., 477771; Sgt; RCR; POW Oct. 8/16;
Rel. Dec. 18/18; SOS Halifax July 18/19; died Victoria Mar. 5/66

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Military Notes; Service Chevrons (1906)
Topic: Militaria

Military Notes; Service Chevrons (1906)

The Quebec Saturday Budget, 6 January 1906

"In order to provide a means of distinguishing those men under the rank of sergeant, and those who have served continuously in their corps for three years, and had re-enlisted for a second period of similar service, there will be issued to each a service chevron of one bar to be worn when in uniform (on the left arm below the elbow) during the period of his re-enlistment.

"An additional chevron of one bar will be issued, to be worn similarly, to those who re-enlist for further service, after completion of each period of three years."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 20 February 2017

What Soldiers Eat (1916)
Topic: Army Rations

What Soldiers Eat

How the Nations Feed Their Troops in the Field

The Evening Record, Windsor, Ontario, 12 May 1916

The principal meal of the Russian peasant soldier consists of "stchee," a sort of cross between a gruel and a soup, the chief ingredients of which are cabbages, potatoes, oatmeal, and fat meat—preferably pork. These are all boiled together with salt and other seasoning, the resultant mess being a thick, nourishing, and by no means unpalatable dish.

This constitutes his usual midday meal, and it is repeated in the evening for supper. For breakfast he takes, when he can get it, a big bowl of "kasha"—dry buckwheat and cold sour milk.

The staple diet of the "Turcos"—the splendid French-Algerian colored troops who are fighting so magnificently in Alsace—is "cous-cous," which is merely boiled semolina. It is eaten either plan or with the addition of vegetables, and very occasionally a little mutton or goat-flesh may be added; but the semolina is the mainstay. On this a Turco will march forty or more miles a day, carrying a weight of from eighty to one hundred pounds, more than is borne by any other soldiers anywhere.

Italian soldiers are also splendid marchers, and they, too, exist largely on a farinaceous diet, macaroni, spaghetti, and so on. They are also very partial to fruit, which is issued, together with wine and cigars, as part of their regular rations whenever possible.

No German considers his daily menu complete without a sausage of some kind or other, and the "higher" it is as regards to flavor the better he likes it.

The mainstay of the French soldier consists of his beloved "soup," as he calls it, but which is really a thick nourishing stew, made from meat, potatoes, and various other vegetables.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Principles of War
Topic: Military Theory

The Principles of War

The following comparative chart of Principles of War was published in the Fall 1960 edition of the Canadian Army Journal (Vol. XIV, No. 4). The chart accompanied an article on "The Principles of War" by Major M.J.W. Wright, Royal Engineers. It was previously published in the July 1960 edition of The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal (United Kingdon).

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 18 February 2017

Fighting Men of India Brought Strange Problems of Food and Religion (1918)
Topic: Army Rations

Fighting Men of India Brought Strange Problems of Food and Religion

The Northern Advance, Barrie, Ontario, 24 Jan 1918
Lieut. A.M. Bealson

One of the commissariat problems of the war which has been solved satisfactorily, was the question of "Native meat." or the ration of meat for the Indian troops serving in Europe. The solution has been found in the institution of "Native butcheries." A native of high caste in India would, of course, not eat any meat that even the shadow of a European had passed over. In coming to France the Native troops have, however, been granted certain religious dispensations, not only with regard to food, but, in the case of Hindus, in being allowed to leave the boundaries of their own country. Doubtless a dip in the Ganges, for those who survive the war and return to India after it is over, will put matters right again! Nevertheless, their caste rights as to food are as strictly observed as the exigencies of active service allow. The goats and sheep, chiefly Corsican and Swiss, purchased for their consumption, are sent up in a truck to railhead alive, and are slaughtered by men of their own caste in a butchery arranged for the purpose, generally in a field or some open place in close proximity to the railhead. The Mohammedan will eat only goats or sheep slaughtered by having their throats cut, and the Hindu by their being beheaded. The latter method is carried out in the abattoir by a native butcher with the aid of a cavalry sword at one fell swoop, and of the two methods is certainly to be recommended as being the most rapid and instantaneous death. I need hardly add that the Native butchery is always looked on as an object of awe and interest, of not of excitement, by the French inhabitants, and none the less by the English soldiers, who consider it a tremendous joke.

The Natives do not object to their meat being handles by English soldiers, or to it being brought to them in the same lorry which also perhaps carried British ration beef, although the cow is a sacred animal to the Hindu and in the form of beef is naturally distasteful. The only point is that the goat's meat or mutton intended for their consumption must not actually come in contact with the beef, and this is arranged for by a wooden barrier between the two erected in the interior of the lorry. On one occasion, however, the native rations for a certain regiment had just been dumped on the side of the road, and were being checked by the Daffadar, or Native quartermaster, when at a critical moment an old sow, followed by her litter, came out of a farm gate and innocently ran over the whole show. A lot of palaver followed amongst the Natives, and there was no alternative; they would not have these rations at any price, and back they had to be taken to be exchanged. The pig is, of course, abhorrent to the Mussulman.

One story in connection with the rationing of the Indian cavalry whilst in the trenches at Ypres in the summer fo 1915 may be of interest. The cow being a sacred animal to the Hindu, it became necessary to replace the usual tins of bully beef by a suitable substitute. With this end in view, quantities of tins of preserved mutton were sent up for consumption by the Hindu personnel. The tins in which it was packed, however, unfortunately bore the trade mark of the packers, Messrs. Libby---a bull's head---and in consequence the Hindus would not have it that their contents could be anything but beef, until their own Native officers convinced them that such was not the case.

The organization for rationing Native troops is such that they are able to be fed in accordance with the rites of their caste, surely not an unimportant factor. There are various special articles.

Atta is coarse ground flour, very similar to that of which so-called "standard" bread is made at home. Of it the Natives make chupattis, which are round flat cakes of baked dough. Dhal consists of pried pease. Ghi is a kind of butter, which, judging by its smell, would appear to be rancid. Gur is simply brown sugar or molasses. It may be mentioned that the Native meat ration is very small. The Natives are not meat-eaters in the accepted sense of the word, and their small ration they invariably "curry" with the ration of ginger, chillies, turmeric and garlic, which are the raw ingredients of curry powder. Not infrequently also they are issued with a ration of rice and also dried fruits.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 17 February 2017

Change of Button With the New King
Topic: Militaria

Change of Button With the New King

Letters "E.R.I." Must Give Place to "G.R.I." on all Uniforms

The Evening Record, Windsor, Ontario, 21 May 1910

"At the time of the German warship's [Huerta] visit [1 October 1913], consideration was being given to the Regiment's badges. The designs bearing the V.R.I. cypher of Her Majesty Queen Victoria were still in use in some instances, but had been replaced in others by types bearing the cypher of His Majesty King Edward VII or that of His Majesty King George V. A number of designs were submitted to Lieut.-Col. Fages, but no decision was reached until, as mentioned later in this book, the point was eventually settled by the restoration to the Regiment of the right to use the V.R.I., "in memory of the Sovereign in whose reign the unit was raised and in view of the services the Regiment rendered in the Great War." - (pp. 193, The Royal Canadian Regiment; 1883-1983, R.C. Fetherstonaugh,1936)

"V.R.I." altered nine years ago to "E.R.I.," must now be changed to "G.R.I." on the buttons and badges of those in the service, military or civil, of the British governments.

Every button on every serge and tunic and service cap in the active militia of Canada, every helmet and cap badge in the Royal Canadian regiment (sic), and many other corps as well, has been displaying in monogram form that Edward VII was Rex and Imperator, just as they were used to announce to the world that the wearer owed allegiance to Victoria, Regina and Imperatrix.

Postmen of Canada wear the royal monogram on the collar as well as on brass buttons. It is invariably found on the uniforms of customs officers, and sometimes on police buttons. As new clothing is ordered for these the new buttons will appear. In the case of soldiers of the permanent forces, the old buttons will be replaced before new clothing is needed. As soon as the "G.R.I." buttons are to be had by the regimental tailor the change will begin to take place.

Customs, parliamentary and other government stationery usually bears the monogram prominently, and here a change is due in new supplies.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Thursday, 16 February 2017

90.5 Per Cent of Privates Get Top $1.50 a Day
Topic: Pay; the Queen's shilling

90.5 Per Cent. Privates Get Top $1.50 a Day

The Montreal Gazette, 16 February 1944

Ottawa, February 15.—(CP)—Defence Minister Ralston said tonight in the Commons that 90.5 per cent. of Canadian privates overseas were receiving the top pay of $1.50 a day as authorized under pay increases last year.

Privates are placed in categories, usually governed by their degree of traininjg, of $1.50, $1.40, and $1.30 a day.

Fifty per cent. of Canadian Women's Army Corps privates overseas received the top pay of $1.20, said the minister.

More than 65 per cent. of the privates stationed in canada received the top pay of $1.50 and 60 per cent. of C.W.A.C. privates received $1.20.

Gordon Graydon, Progressive Conservative House leader, asked why women's pay was less than that of men in the army. Col. Ralson replied that women were not adaptable for all forms of service and their pay was on the basis of 80 per cent. of that given men.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Guard Duty
Topic: Drill and Training

Guard Duty

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 19, of 30)

Even though a sentinel be only a private soldier, he is in a position of real dignity and authority. He represents the commanding officer.

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 19 September 1917

In addition to drilling and fighting as a member of a squad, company, regiment, or other "team" of the army, you will have certain important duties as an individual soldier. These duties call for a higher level of intelligence and self-reliance and throw on you a greater personal responsibility.

In the training camp your company will be required at times to perform guard duty. This means that one or more of your commissioned or non-commissioned officers, and a number of privates will be detailed for this duty. Customarily a detail of this kind continues for 24 hours, from noon of one day to noon of the next, each private takes his turn at standing guard.

Your duties as a sentinel are best expressed in the general orders which every sentinel is required to repeat whenever called upon to do so. Memorize these general orders now and never permit yourself to forget them. Think them over and you will see that they are clear and exact. They are meant to be strictly obeyed.

Duties of Sentinels

My general orders are:

1.     To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

2.     To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

3.     To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

4.     To report all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.

5.     To quit my post only when properly relieved.

6.     Te receive, obey, and pass on to the sentinel who relieves me all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and officers and noncommissioned officers of the guard only.

7.     To talk to no one except in line of duty.

8.     In case of fire or disorder to give the alarm.

9.     To allow no one to commit a nuisance on or near my post.

10.     In any case not covered by instructions to call the corporal of the guard.

11.     To salute all officers, and all colors and standards not cased.

12.     To be especially watchful at night, and, during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.

Sentinel Must be Obeyed

Even though a sentinel be only a private soldier, he is in a position of real dignity and authority. He represents the commanding officer. He must be respected and the orders he gives as as a sentinel must be strictly obeyed, not only by other soldiers but by officers, whatever their rank.

During the night the sentinel will challenge any person or party who comes near his post, calling out sharply, "Halt. Who is there?" the person challenged, or one of the party if there are several persons, may be permitted to approach for the purpose of giving the countersign or of being recognised. In case of doubt it is a sentinel's duty to prevent any one from passing him and to call the corporal of the guard. A sentinel will never allow himself to be surprised, nor permit two parties to advance on him at the same time.

Scouting Duty Is Important

One of the most responsible duties to which a soldier may be assigned is patrolling or scouting. An infantry patrol usually consists of from 3 to 16 men. It is sent out for the purpose of obtaining information as to the enemy, his numbers, and the nature of the country over which the patrol travels. It is not usually intended that the patrol should fight, since its prime purpose is to obtain and bring back information. However, it may be forced to fight, if discovered, in order to protect the escape of at least one of its members with a report of the information secured.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Birds Sing Gaily Over the Trenches
Topic: CEF

Birds Sing Gaily Over the Trenches, Despite Gunfire

Soldiers Feed Plucky Songsters as Well as Great Variety of Pets Kept in Dugouts

The Windsor Evening Record, Windsor, Ontario, 3 March 1917

Although this article isn't specifically about the CEF, it has been tagged as such to keep it with other First World War material.

With the British Armies in France, March 1.—One of the distinct surprises to the newcomer at the war is to find larks singing over the front line trenches. One would think that birds of every sort had long since been driven far from the war zones, but, instead, they lurk in and about in great numbers. Very often the sudden flight of a covey from as secluded thicket or remnant of wood has given the first signal of a shrapnel attack.

The drumming of big guns, the "pat-pat-patter-patter-patter" of machine guns, the whirr and "bang" of "plum puddings" and "run jars" sent over by the enemy trench mortars, seen to have lost all terror to the feathered songsters. The chirp as gaily and loudly over the muddy "line" as if there was no such thing in all the world as war.

The British Tommy is very fond of pets. When he can safely do so he throws crumbs over the parapet for the larks, and if he had his way he would fill up every nook and corner of the trench with some sort of animal mascot. As it is, there is a strange mixture of pets and pests in these deep cuttings in the earth—the outposts of battle—where the men themselves live a sort of animal life. It is a life no human being was ever intended to live, and yet the health of the troops is positively amazing.

Rat Is Premier Pest

Of all the trench pests the rat, of course, by reason of his size, takes precedence. He is everywhere. No amount of cleaning up has tended to wipe him out. In fact he waxes fatter and fatter as the war goes on.

Of the pets the dog is by far the most numerous and popular. There are goats and cats and canaries and various species of mascot, but the dog becomes more a part of the life than any of the others.

Many a subaltern of company commander has gone "over the top" into battle with his dog leaping and barking happily beside him. Scores of dogs have been killed beside their masters and hundreds wounded. In the fighting about mametz, during the great "push" on the Somme, a Red Cross searching party came upon a pathetic little group composed of a subaltern his dog and four private soldiers, just as they had sprawled to their death in a burst of machine gun fire.

The dogs in the trenches have great fun chasing rats. They will even leap over the parapet after them into "No Man's Land." And sometimes old "Fritz" from the enemy trenches will snipe them. There is one old terrier now in the front line who has been wounded four times. If he survives this war, this old veteran is going to have a collar with four gold stripes on it.

Work of Red Cross Dogs

The Red Cross Dogs of the French hardly come under the head of pets. They are a lasting tribute to the part dumb animals have played, and are playing in the great world conflict. The dogs, however, render a service scarcely more notable than the little French donkeys that carry ammunition to the front line trenches. These little burros are as wise as they are grey. Their long straight ears, always poking forward, are attuned to the sounds of battle, and when the firing gets too heavy they dart for the shelter of shell holes and lie there with the drivers until danger temporarily is past.

Some of the strangest animals of the war are the wild cats of Ypres. The old mother and father cats of Ypres were once domesticated. But when the frightened population fled at the first bombardment, the cats, true to all cat traditions, remained behind. Now Ypres is a wilderness of ruins, and all cats born and living there have become like wild animals.

Lion Cub Is Pet

A Canadian sergeant-major came marching out of the "line" a few days ago with a magpie sitting on his shoulder. A private in the same company had a kitten curled up on the top of his knapsack. All the overseas troops bring mascots with them. The South Africans started out with as great collection of springboks, baboons, duikers, but the climate of northern France in winter mood is far from friendly, and the warm weather pets have mostly been "done in."

Probably the most amazing of all war pets, however, was the lion cub adopted by the American in the French aviation service. They read in a Paris paper that a "perfect dear of a cub" was for sale and promptly sent emissaries in to buy it. They said when it grew up they were going to drop it in the German lines, but it was spoiled by being pampered.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 13 February 2017

Brother Officers
Topic: Officers

Brother Officers

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 1 July 1939

Two men, who had served as officers in the same regiment in the Great War met again on May 6 last in the Greenwich police court. One of them, Mr. Frank Powell, sat on the bench as the presiding magistrate, and the other, George Robertson Lightbound, stood in the dock charged with obtaining £1000 by fraud.

The magistrate did not recognise Lightbound as a brother officer until Detective Sergeant Hare read out his record. The detective said that the prisoner was educated at a public school and military college. His relatives held responsible positions in Canada. He retired from the Canadian army with the rank of major, and became a district magistrate in South Africa. At the outbreak of the Great War he went to England and obtained a commission in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Mr. Powell interjected, The Yorkshire Light Infantry! I was in that regiment myself. I remember the man now.

The case against Lightbound was that he had obtained £1000 from his employer, a printer, at Catford, by pretending that he was entitled to a share in an estate in Canada.

The magistrate, in sentencing him to 12 months' imprisonment, said with some emotion, I never thought it would be my lot to sentence a brother officer.

elipsis graphic

George Robertson Lightbound

A few notes on the early military service of George Lightbound can be gleaned from online files at the Library and Archives Canada, and the Canada Gazette:

A mining broker in Montreal, George Robertson Lightbound was serving in the 3rd Regiment, Victoria Rifles of Canada, when he enlisted on 26 October, 1899, for service in Canada's First Continent in the South African War. As 7795 Pte. G.T. Lightbound, he served overseas as a private soldier in the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment.

Completing his service with The RCR in South Africa and discharged on 4 November, 1900, Lightbound was awarded the Queen's South Africa medal with three clasps; Paardeberg, Dreifontein, and Cape Colony.

George Lightbound returned to South Africa as an officer in the South African Constabulary. The Canada Gazette of 14 April 1901 notes that Provisional 2nd Lieutenant G.R. Lightbound, having been appointed to the South African Constabulary, his name is removed from the list of Officers of the Active Militia, 21st march, 1901. His service with the SAC would add a fourth clasp, Transvaal, to his medal.

Having returned to Canada, and to the Victoria Rifles of Canada, after serving in South Africa, Lightbound resigned his commission in the Canadian Militia on 25 March 1909.

elipsis graphic

A litle more information can be gained from a post on the Great War Forum by member Granite-Yorkie:

I've just been digging around- I'm guessing that officers holding temporary commissions could not resign their commissions per se, so instead they relinquished their commissions.

I've come across the case of Alfred E. Swann, late Natal Police, who served with the Yorkshire Light Infantry- who "relinquished his commission" after receiving an adverse report from his Commanding Officer. A more interesting case, referred to in passing in the memoirs of Basil Liddell-Hart, was that of George Robertson Lightbound—who relinquished his commission in the Yorkshire Light Infantry on 11th September 1916, shortly before being sent to prison for embezzling the battalion mess-funds (Liddell-Hart refers to the 11th's 2i/c—not by name—but it happened to be Lightbound; being a "foul-mouthed bully, later sent to gaol for embezzling embezzling mess funds": Memoirs, p.12). Lightbound was also jailed for fraud in the 1930s, the magistrate who sent him down happened to be Frank Powell, who had served as a 2nd Lieutenant with Lightbound after being gassed at Loos (Powell was in the 9th Battalion).

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Canadian Army Round-Up for 1960
Topic: Canadian Army

The Canadian Army Round-Up for 1960

The Shawinigan Standard, Shawinigan, Quebec, 21 December 1960

The year 1960 saw the Canadian Army complete a decade of the most active and extensive operations in their peacetime history in service under the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty organization and, at home, in the vital role of planning national survival should the holocaust of nuclear war ever become reality.

During the same year, the Army entered a new, sensitive area of the troubled world scene as part of a UN protective force to preserve peace in the month-old Congo Republic.

Canadian soldiers now serve from the Middle east to the far east, from the Arctic Circle to the Congo equatorial belt.

Since 1950, more than 67,000 troops have served abroad in fulfillment of Canada's international obligations. Nearly half of them saw service in the Korean conflict. Another 3,000 have kept Canada's 5,500-man NATO brigade group at operational strength in West Germany. Others are serving with the UN Emergency Force on the Gaza Strip and with the Truce Commission in Indochina. Canadian soldiers also serve as UN Observers in Palestine, India, Pakistan, and Korea.

Across Canada troops of both regular and militia forces have become deeply involved in a new and serious role—planning for national survival under nuclear war. Army commitments in this field include responsibility for early warning of nuclear attack to the Canadian public and re-entry operations in devastated areas.

No small part of national survival preparedness has been the intensified programme during 1960 to qualify all troops in first aid under the St. John Ambulance. Some 17,000 soldiers received their official certificates from the St. John Ambulance.

Meanwhile the regular business of the Army in training for modern warfare goes forward. Militia units rendered obsolete by changing tactics of battle have been converted or absorbed. Brigade groups of the Regular Army continue to hold large scale exercises testing new battle tactics at major camps across Canada and in Germany. Mobile column are planned for national survival duties involving both regular and militia units.

In London, Ont., the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, has maintained a state of combat readiness throughout 1960 as Canada's standby force to assist the United nations if called upon.

Announcement of adoption of the 762mm Honest John rocket system was made during the past year and troops have been training on the use of the new weapon at U.S. bases. Other new weapons and equipment are undergoing field trials, notably the canadian designed troop-carrying vehicle, the bobcat.

The Army also adopted a new, NATO pattern steel helmet in 1960 and continued exhaustive trials on newly designed combat clothing and boots.

A paramount factor in adoption of any new item for the Army still evolves around possible NATO standardization.

Historical milestones of 1960 brought about the centennial year of the Queen's own Rifles of Canada, the Army's oldest infantry regiment that is but five years younger than the Canadian Army itself. One of the youngest corps—the Canadian Provost Corps—observed its 20th anniversary.

In the far reaches of the north country, a team from the Ottawa-base Army Survey Establishment covered nearly 50,000 square miles mapping little known Banks Island, northern Victoria Island and the Western Arctic Archipelago. This was done during the short summer months inside the Arctic Circle.

At the same time Canadian Army Engineers continued to maintain the vital Northwest Highway System linking Alaska over a 1,221-mile stretch of roadway. An important link in this system was restored last summer when the new peace River bridge was opened.

While the Army assumes new duties in the tropics, one of the oldest jobs in the vast Canadian north has been passed on to the Department of Transportation (DOT). Operation of the far-flung Northwest Territories and Yukon Radio System, a responsibility of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals for 36 years, was turned over to DOT last summer.

In the realm of personal amenities, 1960 was a good year for the soldier. Troops were granted a pay increase, Maple Leaf Services (MLS), a non-profit corporation operated by and for the Army, added new shopping centres in camps Petawawa, Borden and Valcartier. MLS chalked up nearly $13 million gross in sales, by far their biggest year yet. Every penny of net profit from MLS is channeled back to the soldier in providing recreation, welfare and related services.

Although the Canadian soldier is well fed in major camps, research continues to improve his rations in the field and isolated localities. A new rapid freeze-drying method of dehydrated foodstuffs has been developed. It will provide dehydrated raw pre-cooked meats the same in taste and appearance as the original following reconstitution by cooks.

In international competition, a Canadian soldier from New Westminster, B.C., Sgt. Gunnar Westling, won the coveted Queen's prize at Bisley, England, last July. This is the Commonwealth's highest shooting award.

Early in 1960, the Canadian Army became the first in the world to complete its official history of the Second World War. The third and final volume of this history completed the official story of Canadian soldiers at way from 1939 to 1945.

Canadian troops at home and abroad are encouraged to be good citizens as well as good soldiers. In Germany and other countries they are active in community affairs and helping the under-privileged. Soldiers serve on volunteer fire departments, scouting movements and charitable organizations. They are on call in times of disaster, search and rescue and the maintenance of order. During the past year troops were on hand to fight the rampaging floods of Quebec, the forest fires of the Maritimes and to blast away with artillery guns the threatening snow avalanches in the Canadian Rockies. Working with Department of Transport last summer, Army radar groups tracked rain-making aircraft as they seeded cloud formations.

Few nations in the world with a small peacetime regular Army are today maintaining such widespread global commitments for the preservation of peace as Canada. To provide for a reasonable rotation of troops serving on the more arduous and hazardous overseas posts, many soldiers have done two of more tours abroad during the past decade.

Because few complain may be one reason why senior officials have placed Canadian Troops 'among the most adaptable and resilient in the world.'

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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