The Minute Book
Friday, 24 March 2017

"On Its Stomach"
Topic: Army Rations

"On Its Stomach"

The Fighting Force of an Army
Australian's Ration Allowance
Food in Depot Camps

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 24 March 1918

Whatever the Australian troops may be called upon to undergo in the nature of hard rations in the field, when they are in the depot and standing camps in Australia they have abundant and excellent food. Their ration is more liberal than that of almost any army in the fighting fields today, or amongst the forces of the mobilised central powers. Bully beef and biscuits, jam, biscuits and bully beef, jam, alternated, disguised with a dash of vegetables, was the ration at Anzac. It was a good ration, too, for any army fighting and moving every day, and with an abundant water supply available. But it was monotonous diet for such a campaign as Gallipoli, and unhealthy as well when the water supply was so strictly limited. Casting aside the condiments, and the little extras that came to hand, this was the staple food of the Australian army in the field. Compare it with the 1 ¼ lb. bread (or 1 lb. biscuit), and 1 1/2 lb. meat (or 1 lb. fresh or salt fish), 1 lb. potatoes and 8 oz. mixed vegetables that the troops at the camps throughout the Commonwealth have as the basis of their daily meals. Flour, rice and curry powder are a weekly ration, which helps the cooks to give variety to a breakfast, lunch or dinner. An army fights on its stomach; it builds up reserve in physique, muscle and toughened sinew by long hours of drilling, marching, exposure to the elements; it lives and prospers on the rations that are provided after a day of vigorous training and campaigning.

They trained us in the desert, fed us like fighting cocks, taunted us and flung us against the Turks; no wonder we thrashed them, was the summing up of a soldier from the battle field of Lone Pine. The scene at the feeding centre at a typical standing camp is interesting.

Behind the rows of tents a Royal Park were five blackened chimneys sticking like stems out of white painted brick works. The first four letters of the alphabet were blackened on the white walls, one for each company of a battalion, and an H.Q. for headquarters and the cooks. A red-roofed shed covered five rows of fire trenches, and a cook house and a picturesque garden of flowers surrounded the whole. That was the cooks' lines of a battalion. There are three at Royal Park.

Sergeant Cook here. very straight, very tall. And very burned, the head cook, the chef, as he is familiarly called, stepped out from a group of six men who were bending over a row of steaming dixies. What's for dinner?

Now it had been obvious to the senses that the ration was roast meat and onions. As a matter of fact it was a more elaborate meal than one would suspect, consisting of either baked potatoes and roast leg of lamb, or boiled mashed potatoes and boiled mutton and tea. The cook explained:

But different from the old camping days, sir, when the militiamen went to Semour and those places. Better'n we had in South Africa in any of the camps I was in. No man need complain, there is enough for all, though to speak plainly we could do with a bit more meat when the camp is a bit empty; but when there is a full battalion, a thousand odd men, then it is alright and a bit to spare. No, no waste, except it might be very occasional when a squad of a hundred or so are sent off up country , and they don't bother to carry their ration, trusting to luck to get it on the journey. It doesn't happen often. Got to watch some of the lads that they don't go and take a double ration on me. Like to try the soup? We use up a bit of the rice that is part of the ration and onion and the stock we get from last night's boiled meat. Good as meat as you would wish to get anywhere; they have sent us along a number of ewes, more's the pity, for after the drought they fattened them up and they brought good prices. Yes, I was in a line regiment is South Africa, and then cook, and when I can back went on to a station. Yes, ought to be used to cooking for numbers. Best way to see that the men appreciate what they get is to have a cook at the bins. The chaps who contracted for the waste for his pigs don't get much out of it; seldom quarter filled. Only time as when the time is too short to peel the potatoes—no use leaving them in their jackets—men too hungry to peel them I suppose. And the sergeant cook, smiling, commences to lift the lids of the huge cauldrons of stews and sizzling potatoes.

Time was, not five years ago, when it was only after the greatest effort that the cooks could be induced to dig their fire trenches narrow enough just to rest a dixie—that very handy cooking utensil of the army—on, or go to the trouble of constructing an Aldershot oven. To-day the fire trenches are bricked to the required width, the draught being created by the chimney stack at the end. The cooks, anxious at all times to economize labor, have found that the large-sized rubbish bins (there was something very familiar about these cauldrons) make the finest cookers, boiling or roasting enough meat for over 100 men. It saves in this way the labor of polishing the dixies bright again after every meal. They are ready piled, handy to be used for distributing the ration and tea into the tents.

A shower of sparks is flung in the air from a fire that is burning under an ordinary square iron tank. Here it is possible at all times day and night for hot water to be obtained; no restriction is placed on the troops for getting what they require for washing or bathing purposes.

It is all a little too luxurious for a camp! Between the comfort of a home and the hardships of the firing line lies a huge gulf. Such small luxuries as these help to bridge it; the spirit and the fighting power of the army depends on its stomach. Exactly to-day every Australian officer and soldier while in camp has for his scale of ration:—

  • 1 ¼ lb. bread or 1 lb. biscuit.
  • 1 ½ lb. fresh meat or 1 lb. fresh or salt fish.
  • 1/3rd oz. coffee.
  • 1/32nd oz. pepper.
  • 8 ox. mixed vegetable or 2 oz. cheese.
  • 1 lb. potatoes.
  • 3 oz. sugar.
  • ¼ oz. salt.
  • ½ oz. tea.
  • ¼ lb. jam.

Weekly he has ½ lb. flour and the same of rice, and 1 oz. curry powder. In the hands of trained cooks it is a ration calculated to strengthen the stomach to fight, to 'stick it' to the bitter end, in every true Australian.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 23 March 2017

Field Service Dress for Officers (1892)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Field Service Dress for Officers (1892)

Militia General Orders

Headquarters, Ottawa, 24th March, 1892

General Order (5)—No. 1
Field Service Dress for Officers

The Serge Patrol Jacket of the pattern approved for the Imperial Army has been adopted for the officers of the Canadian Militia, and will be worn in marching, field-day and drill order.

A detailed description is appended and sealed patterns will be issued to the Royal Schools of Instruction to secure uniformity.

Cavalry

Serge Patrol Jacket. Blue; (in Canadian Mounted Rifles and 3rd Prince of Wales' Dragoons, scarlet,) of the same cut as the serge frock now issued at the Royal School of Cavalry, Quebec, for non-commissioned officers and men. Full in the chest, collar and cuffs of the same colour and material as the rest of the jacket. Shoulder-straps of cloth of the colour of the regimental facings, with a small regimental button at the top. Badges of rank in gold.

Artillery

Blue Serge: Welted seams; stand-up collar, square in front, fastened with one hook and eye, a grenade, two and one-quarter inches long, in gold embroidery at each end; shoulder-straps of the same material as the garment, fastened at the top with a small black netted button, half an inch in diameter, badges of rank embroidered in gold. Five gilt ball-buttons down the front; a slit on each side, sleeves ornamented with flat plait, forming crow's feet six inches from bottom of the cuffs; two inside breast pockets and watch pocket.

Infantry and Engineers

Scarlet Serge: Full in the chest. Collar, cuffs and shoulder-straps of cloth of the same colour of the regimental facings. A small regimental button at the top of the shoulder-strap. Badges of rank in gold. Collar rounded in front with black enamelled leather tab and hook and eye. Two pleats on each side; on the left side an opening for the support of the sword belt. Five small regimental buttons down the front. A patch pocket with pointed flap and small button on each breast. Cuffs pointed five inches deep in front, and two inches deep behind. Scarlet lining, no collar badge.

Rifles

Rifle Green Serge: Square in front, stand-up collar with hook and eye and black silk tab. A body seam on each side, seven regimental horn buttons down the front. Two pockets on each side with pointed flaps. A small button with tab under each flap. A drawing string inside at the waist. Shoulder-straps of the same material as the garment, a small button at the top. Badges of rank in bronze. Collar and cuffs of the same colour at the regimental facings.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Medal Buyer Hits War Museum Sales
Topic: Medals

Medal Buyer Hits War Museum Sales

Ottawa Citizen, 22 March 1979

London— (CP)—The Canadian War Museum came in for harsh criticism Wednesday from a London dealer who paid more than twice the previous world record for a group of medals won by a young Canadian more than 60 years ago.

J.B. Hayward and Son paid £17,000 ($40,000) for a bar of medals which included the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry, the Military Cross and the Military Medal, and two service decorations.

The medals were awarded to Lieut. G.B. McKean of Edmonton during the First World War and were put up for sale by the widow, Mrs. C. McKean-Raby, who lives in England.

Immediately after the sale, John Hayward criticized the Canadian museum for "disposing of unawarded Canada General Service Medals, Distinguished Conduct Medals and Military Medals."

These unawarded medals, going for possibly $50 or $75 on the market," were falling into "unscrupulous hands."

False names were being engraved on them and the medals resold for "up to $500."

The previous world record for a Victoria Cross was £8,200 ($19,700) paid last year.

"The museum was really interested in this group," Hayward says, "Canada can have it (the Victoria Cross) any time they want it, providing they promise not to dispose of any more unawarded medals. I would like that in writing."

Rosamund Hinds-Howell of Sotheby's said that McKean's widow, now 86, put the medals up for auction because she did not wish to become a burden on her family.

elipsis graphic

George Burdon McKean, V.C., M.C., M.M.
(4 Jul 1888 – 28 Nov 1926)

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Discipline and Respect for the Colors
Topic: US Armed Forces

Discipline and Respect for the Colors

Home Lessons for New Army Men (Lesson No. 21, of 30)

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 21 September 1917

"All persons in the military service are required to obey strictly and to execute promptly the lawful orders of their superiors." (Army regulations, paragraph 1.)

Discipline is not merely an obligation imposed upon you; it is a protection to you. Your superiors, from the commanding general down, are just as much bound to respect the regulations of the army as you are; this includes respect for the rights of every soldier.

Discipline is the necessary rule of life in the army and is not in the least inconsistent with your own pride and self-respect as a citizen and a soldier.

Remember, also, that there are certain restrictions upon the relation of officers and men which are a necessary part of army discipline. An officer, even though in private life he may be your warm friend and associate, is expected not to mingle with you or other men in the ranks on terms of familiarity. This is a rule that is often far from agreeable to the officer; but he has no more power to change it than you have. The reason is clear. An officer cannot mingle with the men under him on familiar terms without becoming better acquainted and more friendly with some than with others. He immediately lays himself open to the suspicion of favoritism—a suspicion which tends strongly to undermine respect and authority.

Don't Argue With Officers

Argument has no place in the army. Even favorable comment on the conduct of orders of superior officer is entirely out of place. The duty of officers and men alike is to obey promptly. However, intelligent suggestions properly made are always welcome.

The discipline of the army is just and impersonal. You will be treated with fairness. Your rights will be respected. On your part you must respect the rights and authority conferred upon others.

How to Salute Colors

The American flag carried by a regiment is known as the "colors." It is the symbol of the nation and is treated always with the deepest respect. Another flag is carried which is the symbol of the regiment and is known as the "regimental colors." It is protected with a devotion second only to that felt for the national flag itself.

Thousands of brave men in previous wars have given up their lives to save the colors of their country and their regiment from the enemy's hands. As war is now conducted, it is no longer practicable, as a rule, to carry them into battle and fight under their folds.

Ordinarily the colors when not in use are kept in the office of the colonel or in front of his tent. During the day when the weather permits they are displayed unfurled. At night and during rainy weather they are "cased," which means they are furled and protected by an oilcloth covering.

Officers and men passing an uncased color always honor it by saluting.

Show Respects to Anthem

Similar rules of respect apply to whenever "The Star Spangled Banner" is played. Officers and enlisted men not in formation stand at attention, facing toward the music (except at "retreat," when they face toward the flag). They salute at the first note of the anthem, retaining the position of salute until the last note.

Every citizen of then United States, whether a civilian or a soldier, should give expression of his loyalty and devotion to his country by showing proper marks of respect for the colors and for the national anthem. When in civilian clothes, wearing a hat or cap, the correct thing to do is to remove it and hold it in the right hand opposite the left shoulder while passing an uncased color or during playing of the national anthem. If uncovered, stand at attention.

The coming habit of rising slowly, standing in a slouching attitude, and sometimes even carrying on conversation when the national anthem is played is an indication of gross ignorance or ill breeding. On the other hand, the man who stands silent and at attention is not only showing proper respect and setting an example which will have its effect on others, but also is cultivating in himself the feelings of pride and of patriotism which should belong to every citizen of the country.

It goes without saying that disrespect to the American flag can not be tolerated. If any such instances come to your attention you should report them at once to the proper authorities in order that they may be dealt with in accordance with the law.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 December 2016 4:19 PM EST
Monday, 20 March 2017

Victualling Aboard Transports (1859)
Topic: Army Rations

Victualling Aboard Transports (1859)

Scheme for the Daily Victualling of the Officers, Soldiers, Women and Children, embarked on board Transports and Troop Ships

Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, Adjutant General's Office, Horse Guards, 1st December 1859

SpeciesOfficers and SoldiersWomenunder 10 years of age
Breadlb.11/21/2
Spiritsgill1/2
Chocolateoz.1/311/2
Sugaroz. 1 3/47/8
Fresh Meatlb.1/31/21/4
Vegetableslb.1/31/42/8
Teaoz.1/61/42/6

But when fresh meat and vegetables are not issued, there shall be issued in lieu thereof, viz.:—

 SpeciesOfficers and SoldiersWomenChildren under 10 years of age
Every alternate day.Salt Porklb.3/41/21/4
Peaspint1/31/41/8
or 
Alternately on the same day when Salt Pork and peas are not issued.Salt Beeflb.3/41/21/4
Flourlb.1/23/8/16
or 
Preserved Meatlb.1/23/83/16
Preserved Potatooz.2 2/321
or
Rice (or (1/2 of each)

And weekly, whether fresh, or salt, or preserved meat be issued,—

 SpeciesOfficers and SoldiersWomenChildren under 10 years of age
Not exceedingOatmealpint1/61/81/16
Vinegarpint/61/81/16
Mustardoz.1/31/41/8
Pepperoz.1/61/81/16

N.B.—The oatmeal and vinegar are intended for occasional use.

Suet and raisins, or suet and currants, shall be substituted for one-fourth part of the proportion of flour—one half of the said fourth part in suet, and the other half in raisins or currants, at the following rates, viz.—

  • Half a pound of suet to be considered equal to 1 lb. of flour, and
  • One pound of raisins, or Half a pound of currants, to be considered equal to 1 lb. of flour.

In long voyages the allowance of water to be three imperial quarts per man a day.

Such non-commissioned officers and men who do not desire to receive a ration of spirits, and who signify the same to the commanding officer immediately on embarkation, may receive, in lieu of it, either a double allowance of sugar, chocolate, and tea, or, if they prefer it, liquor-money at one penny per day for the period of the voyage.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 19 March 2017

Will Close Messes if There is Abuse (1914)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Will Close Messes if There is Abuse (1914)

Minister of Militia's Views on Liquor Question in Regimental Messes

The Montreal Gazette, 19 March 1914

While it is not the principle of the Militia Department to interfere with the privilege of having liquor in the regimental messes, those in which abuses occur will be immediately closed, according to a statement made to The Gazette last night by Col. The Hon. Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia, who was in Montreal for the purpose of opening the St. Matthew's Church bazaar. The messes, however, he thought, should be closed at the same time as the bars. Reports are coming in from the different divisions and any action will probably be regulated by these, although no drastic change is likely to be made.

The question of liquor in regimental messes has been the subject of considerable interest in Montreal during the past six weeks. Early in February, a circular letter was issued to all officers commanding regiments, informing them that, owing to reports of abuse, the Department was considering entirely removing the privilege of having liquor in the messes. This was followed early in March by an order from divisional headquarters to the effect that the Craig Street Drill Hall would have to be closed early in the evening. The order was later modified, however, to forbidding the use of liquor after 7 o'clock on Saturdays.

Discussing the situation last night, Col. Hughes stated that it was not his intention to interfere with such privileges in the messes, as long as there was no abuse. Where abuses existed in an armory, however, the mess would be immediately closed. It was the abuse and not the use of liquor that was objected to. Temperance was making rapid strides all over the Dominion, and only four cases of abuses had been reported to the Department of Militia from the whole of Canada. Drinking, continued the minister, was dying out, and a far greater respect for the uniform was evident. No liquor would be allowed in the camps because there attendance was compulsory. In the messes, matters were different, and no person need go there who did not like them.

Reports were being made on the liquor question in the various divisions, said Col. Hughes, and although it was not likely that any further action would be taken at present any changes in the regulations would be based on these reports. He was in favor of closing the messes at the same time that the bars closed as there was no reason why men should be turned out of the hotels and then be able to go to a regimental club and continue drinking. Any such order would apply equally to all armories, as all were the property of the Government.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2017 12:57 PM EST
Saturday, 18 March 2017

Wearing of Ribands and Medals (1901)
Topic: Medals

Wearing of Ribands and Medals (1901)

General Orders, 1901

Headquarters, Ottawa, 1st December, 1901

G.O. 149 – Decorations and Medals

Information having been requested as to how medals should be worn, from those who have recently received their South African medal, the following is published for the information of all concerned:—

Military decorations and medals are to be worn over the sash and under the pouch belt on the left breast of the garment which is the full dress of the unit or individual. They are to be worn in a horizontal line, suspended from a single bar(of which the buckle is not to be seen) or stitched in the garment, and placed between the first and second buttons from the bottom of the collar of the garment; in Hussar Regiments, immediately below the top bar of lace on the left breast of the tunic when that garment is worn. This riband is not to exceed 1 inch in length, unless the number of clasps require it to be longer. The buckles attached to the ribands of the third class of the Orders of the Bath and of St. Michael and St. George should be seen. When the decorations and medals cannot, on account of the number, be suspended from the bar so as to be fully seen, they are to overlap. The width of a military medal riband is 1 ¼ inches. Military medals will be worn in the order of the dates of the campaigns for which they have been conferred; the first medal obtained being placed farthest from the left shoulder.

Medals awarded by the Royal Humane Society for bravery in saving life will be worn when authorized on the right breast.

Ribands only of medals and decorations will be worn with undress, or khaki uniform, and with white uniform, except when it is worn in Review Order. These ribands will be ½ inch in length, and will be sewn on to the cloth of the coat or jacket, or with white or khaki, worn on a bar without intervals. They should not be made to overlap, and when there is not sufficient room to wear the ribands in one row, they should be worn in two rows, the lower being arranged directly under the upper.

Miniature decorations and medals will be worn with Mess dress, but will not otherwise be worn in uniform.

Stars of Orders and miniature decorations and medals will be worn in evening dress (plain clothes), in the presence of members of the Royal Family or of Viceroys and Governors General, and on public and official occasions.

When a decoration is worn round the neck, the miniature will not be worn.

These regulations extend to retired officers, provided that under the regulations they are allowed to wear uniform.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 17 March 2017

1st Company, 1st Regiment, Disbanded (1865)
Topic: Canadian Militia

1st Company, 1st Regiment, Disbanded (1865)

Headquarters. Quebec, 17th March, 1865.

Volunteer Militia Lower Canada

General Orders, No. 1

His Excellency the Commander in Chief has been pleased to direct that Captain Hanson's Company, No. 1, of the 1st (Prince of Wales Regiment) of Volunteer Rifles, be removed from the list of Volunteer Militia. The officers and men of this Company having been guilty of a gross act of insubordination, in refusing to obey the orders of the Officer Commanding the Regiment, when directed to equalize the Battalion for inspection by the Inspecting Field Officer, on the 13th December last. An act by which that Company, not only compromised the character of the Regiment to which it belonged, but also that of the Force generally.

Obedience to orders, emanating from superior authority, is the first duty of the Volunteer as well as of the Regular soldier, and unless this cardinal principle in military matters is well understood, and fully acted upon, no discipline worthy of the name can ever be maintained. It is to be regretted that with this Company, the warning and admonition, which it received on a previous occasion, for an offense similar in character, should have produced so little effect, as to have rendered it necessary for His Excellency to have to resort to the extreme measure of disbanding the Company, by its repetition in the present instance.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:07 AM EDT
Thursday, 16 March 2017

Sir Sam Foresaw Need of Trenches
Topic: CEF

Sir Sam Foresaw Need of Trenches

Tells U.E. Loyalists He Recommended Siege Warfare in Germany Made War

The Toronto World, 16 March 1917

Disclosures hitherto unrevealed because of his official connection with the government as Canadian minister of militia and interesting information bearing upon his activities in that post were made by General Sir Sam Hughes in a review of practically all pertinent phases of Canada's part in the war in an address before members of the Toronto branch of the United Empire Loyalists in the Arts Association Building, 23 Prince Arthur Avenue, last night.

The most interesting perhaps was his revelation of a midnight meeting shortly after England declared war on Germany when Premier Borden called at Sir Sam's rooms in Ottawa.

"The prime minister was depressed with the news and asked my opinion," Sir Sam said, "I told him we were going to get the worst confounded licking and would be smashed if we didn't hold the line. Sometime previously I had taken with other Canadian officers what my critics chose to call a "junketing tour," in which I went abroad. I was the only colonel at an important war conference when Germany's plan of invading France was suspected and discussed. I recommended that trench warfare on a thirty mile front be adopted if Germany started. I said that an attempt to advance against german trained troops would be bordering on insanity. So when the prime minister had discussed the war as it was in the early stages with me I sent a cablegram to Lord Kitchener and Sir John French recommending my opinion again. But it was too late. The British and French had been pushed back to the Marne."

General Hughes declared that returned soldiers should not be pampered, but instead treated like men and given positions through government aid. He attributed present Canadian prosperity to the organization of the Canadian shell committee, which he first proposed and credited to Col. Thomas Cantley of new Glasgow, N.S., and himself with averting national bankruptcy in 1914.

The speaker attacked the so-called "labor shortage" belief, declaring that the agitation was due to influences working with German money. He said 1,000,000 single men in Canada were eligible for service and should be forced to the front. He justified his elimination of red tape while militia minister, complimented the valor of Canadian troops, and attributed much of the success of the militia department to the women of Canada.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Command and Rank of Officers (1859)
Topic: Officers

Command and Rank of Officers (1859)

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

1.     All commands belong to the senior officers, whether of cavalry, artillery, engineers, infantry, or marines. In case two commissions of the same date interfere, a retrospect is to be had to former commissions.

2.     When regiments or detachments are united, whether in camp, garrison, or quarters, the senior officer, either by brevet or otherwise, is to command the whole.

3.     Officers serving on the staff in the capacity of Brigadier-Generals are to take rank and precedence from their commissions as Colonels in the army, not from the dates of their appointments as Brigadiers.

4.     Officers who obtained the rank of Colonel prior to the 20th June 1854, are not to be included in the roster of field officers,—a distinct duty will generally be assigned to them as Colonels; but Colonels promoted on, and subsequent to that day, will continue to do duty as field officers until after five years from the dates of their commissions as Colonels.

5.     Captains having the brevet rank of field officers are to do duty as field officers in camp and garrison but they are to perform all regimental duties according to their regimental rank. Officers employed as Brigade Majors, if of the rank of Captain, are to take rank and precedence next after regimental field officers in the brigade or garrison in which they are serving.

6.     Officers employed as Town or Fort Majors, if under the rank of Captains, are to take rank and precedence as the junior Captains in the garrison in which they are serving.

7.     Second Lieutenants take rank of Cornets and Ensigns.

8.     Officers relinquishing their regimental commissions are not to be considered as retaining any rank in the service either from them or from any brevet commission they may have held, except in cases which may be exempted from this regulation by the Sovereign's especial authority.

9.     Field officers who have retired from the service by the sale of their commissions, and are desirous of having their names restored to, and retained in the Army List in italics, are, in their applications to the Military Secretary for this privilege, to state the date of their retirement, and that of their last commission, brevet as well as regimental.

10.     Officers of Her Majesty's Indian Forces, whose commissions are signed by authorities duly deputed to do so by Her Majesty, have rank and precedence with officers of the regular army, according to the dates of their commissions, in all parts of Her Majesty's dominions and elsewhere.

11.     When officers, having permanent rank, serve with those who have only temporary rank, and their commissions are of the same date, the officers having permanent rank take precedence of those having temporary rank.

12.     The following are the rules by which the relative rank of the officers of the regular forces, marines, militia, yeomanry cavalry, and volunteer corps, is to be determined:

1.     Officers of the regular and marine forces command the officers of equal degree belonging to other branches of the military service.

2.     Officers of fencible and militia regiments rank together according to the dates of their respective commissions.

3.     Officers of militia, having also rank in the regular service, are not permitted, whilst serving in the militia, to avail themselves of any other rank than that which they hold by virtue of their militia commissions.

4.     Field officers of the regular, marine, fencible, and militia forces, take rank above all officers of yeomanry and volunteer corps; captains, subalterns, and staff officers of yeomanry and volunteers corps, rank as juniors of their respective ranks, with officers of the regular, fencible, and militia forces.

13.     Corporals of the regiments of Life-Guards, and of the Royal regiment of Horse-Guards, rank with Serjeants of cavalry and infantry.

14.     Bombardiers of the Royal regiment of artillery, and 2nd corporals of the Royal engineers, rank as corporals of cavalry and infantry; corporals of the Royal artillery and Royal engineers take precedence with corporals of cavalry and infantry according to the date of their appointment as bombardiers, or 2nd corporals.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Unionizing of Military Bands (1909)
Topic: Martial Music

Unionizing of Military Bands (1909)

Following are a newspaper article on the effects of militia bands following union rules to refuse to play alongside other military bands and the resulting General Order.

elipsis graphic

Against Unionizing the Military Bands

Minister of Militia Does Not See Why the Military Bands Should Obey the Dictates of an American Union

Dawson Daily News, Dawson, Yukon Territory, 10 June 1909

Toronto, May 28.—A drastic order regarding union musicians in military bands will, it is understood, be issued shortly by the minister of militia and will affect both the G.G.F.G. and the 43rd D.C.O.R. bands. It will provide that military bands are not to be unionized; if they are, that they must not accept outside engagements.

For many moons there has been discord in Ottawa musical circles over the American Federation of Musicians. At first neither of the two military bands were unionized, but after a long agitation both joined the union. Since then there has been more or less friction and on several occasions trouble has resulted in getting music for the exhibition and other functions owing to the union rules. The matter has again come to a climax through a state of affairs in Toronto in connection with the music for the Toronto exhibition.

The adjutant general, in an interview with the Evening Citizen, said that it had come to his ears, unofficially, that the Toronto exhibition people had engaged the band of the Royal Canadian Regiment at Halifax to play at the exhibition. Thereupon all the regimental bands of the Toronto militia refuse to play because the band of the permanent force did not belong to the American Federation of musicians. The affair, he said, would certainly be taken up by the minister of militia when it had been reported on officially, as it would be. The idea that one band of his majesty's army refuses to play with another band of the same army because an American union orders it, was certainly something which should be looked into and action taken regarding it.

It is understood that as a result the music supplied at the Toronto exhibition will be from the permanent forces at Halifax, Quebec and Kingston.

elipsis graphic

General Orders, 1910

Headquarters, Ottawa, 1st April, 1910

G.O. 31—Instructions; Discipline, Member of Military Bands

The attention of the Department of Militia and Defence has been called to the fact that in certain instances, military bandsmen have refused to take part in engagements with members of other military bands solely for the reason that they are not members of a recognized union of musicians. While the department does not intend to interfere in any way with the right of militiamen to join Unions, yet as such bandsmen are provided with uniforms, quarters, light and heat, and, in addition, grants of money from public funds are made to military bands, it is not considered in the interests of the discipline of the force that military bandsmen, while in uniform, should be permitted to act in an unmilitary and improper manner.

No exception is to be taken on the score of membership or non-membership of military bandsmen in any union or society, and no discrimination shall be made in consequence of such membership or non-membership, provided that such membership or non-membership is not allowed to interfere with the performance of military duties; or to prevent bandsmen, when in the uniform of their corps, taking part in public or private engagements with other members of the militia in uniform, whether they are or are not members of any like union or society.

A man who disobeys this regulation is not to be permitted to serve as a bandsman, but must perform his military service in the ranks of his corps.

The allowance mentioned in Article 301, Pay and Allowance Regulations, shall not be paid to, or on account of, any band the members of which raise any objection to playing, when in uniform, with non-union members of the corps.

Commanding officers will be held responsible that this regulation is read to members of their units before they are detailed as bandsmen.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 13 March 2017

Duties of Officers (1897)
Topic: Officers

Militia General Orders

Headquarters,
Ottawa, 1st July, 1897

GENERAL ORDER 64

Duties of Officers

It has come to the notice of the General Officer Commanding that in some Corps of Active Militia Officers generally have not always accorded their Commanding Officers that support and assistance to which they are entitled both by Regulation and well established customs of the service, and the General Officer Commanding wishes it to be understood that should he observe a continuance of such a state of affairs in any corps it would be his unpleasant duty to take such steps as will ensure the support of regimental officers being loyally accorded to the fullest extent on all occasions to regimental Commanding Officers.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 12 March 2017

Trafficking by NCOs of the Permanent Force
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia General Orders

Headquarters
Ottawa, 18th March, 1894

General Order No. 16

Trafficking by NCOs of the Permanent Force Forbidden

1.     The Major General has observed that the practice has grown up at several permanent stations of allowing N.C. Officers to act as purveyors of various articles for the use of soldiers, and that stoppages are made from the soldiers' pay in respect of arcticles furnished by them or through such N.C. Officers.

2.     This practice tends towards very serious abuses and irregularities. All trafficking by N.C. Officers is therefore strictly forbidden.

3.     Commanding Officers are required to exercise a constant supervision over the charges made against soldiers' pay in the Monthly Pay Sheet, and to limit such charges strictly to those permitted by Regulation, or by special authority of the Major General Commanding.

4.     A return will be sent to the Assistant Adjutant General at Headquarters, on the last day of each month, showing the average decustion made from the pay of each rank in respect of:—

(a.)     Regimental charges.

(b.)     Stoppages credited to the public.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 11 March 2017

Medals; QRO 1859
Topic: Medals

Medals; QRO 1859

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

Medal with Annuity.

1.     A silver medal and an annuity are granted, as a reward for "distinguished or meritorious service," to Serjeants, either while serving, or after discharge, (such discharge not being anterior to the 19th December 1845,) with or without pension, and which may be held during service, and together with pension; the annuity is not liable to forfeiture except by sentence of court-martial, or by conviction of felony by a court of Civil Judicature. The name of the Serjeant, the number of his regiment, and the date of grant, are to be engraved on the side of the medal, which also bears the words "For meritorious Service."

2.     Commanding officers of regiments are to address their recommendations for this honorable distinction to the Military Secretary, transmitting at the same time descriptive returns and records of services of the Serjeants they select.

Medal with Gratuity.

3.     A silver medal and a gratuity are granted, under the provisions of the Royal Warrants, to non-commissioned officers and soldiers for "Long service and good conduct;" the rank and name, and the date of grant, will be engraved on the medal at the public expense. A medal and gratuity were also, during the Crimean War, granted for Distinguished Conduct in the Field.

4.     On all occasions in which commanding officers of regiments recommend soldiers for the Medal and Gratuity for Good Conduct,—which should be done as soon as practicable after the completion of the required term of service, viz., in the artillery, engineers, and infantry, eighteen years, and in the cavalry twenty-one years,—they are to transmit to the Adjutant-General a return of each individual so recommended, according to the form prescribed in page 195; care being taken to state accurately in this return where the soldier recommended is serving; and should he have been tried in the early part of his career, although not within the last eighteen years in the infantry, and twenty-one in the cavalry, a copy of the charge, finding, and sentence is to accompany the return. When the regiment is abroad, in order that the gratuity may be invested as the circumstances require, it must be stated whether the recipient will be sent to England as an invalid or otherwise, within such a period as to preclude the possibility of his wearing the decoration with the service companies. Under special circumstances, pensioners may be recommended by their former commanding officers for this distinction, but they are eligible only for the year in which they were discharged, and the application must be made within three years from the date of their quitting the service.

5.     In cases where the recommendation is made by the officer commanding the depot of a regiment, he is to state in his letter, inclosing the return, that he has communicated with, and obtained the concurrence of, the officer commanding the regiment.

6.     The grant of this distinction is to be announced in regimental orders, to the end that every man who obtains it may be held up as an object of respect and emulation to the non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the regiment in which he has served, and the Medal is to be delivered by the commanding officer of the regiment to the soldier on parade, and is to be worn by him as an honorable testimonial of his Sovereign's approbation of his conduct.

7.     A Serjeant on becoming an Annuitant will in all cases be required to relinquish the Gratuity of which he may be in possession, making a declaration in writing that he does so voluntarily. The Medal inscribed for "Meritorious Service" cannot be held together with that for "Good Conduct and Long Service but the latter must be surrendered on receipt of the former. Neither can two Medals for "Distinguished Conduct'' be held by the same individual, but a Serjeant on becoming an Annuitant must relinquish one of them. An Annuitant may, however, hold the "Meritorious Service " Medal, or that for “Good Conduct and Long Service," together with the Medal for "Distinguished Conduct in the Field."

8.     Commanding Officers are at liberty to recommend the re-appropriation of a relinquished Gratuity to any other deserving Soldier or Soldiers, provided they shall have been serving in the year for which the Gratuity was originally awarded, and shall have fulfilled the required conditions as to service and character in that year.

Forfeited Medals

9.     Medals granted for service in the Field, as well as Medals and Gratuities, and Medals and Annuities, for Good Conduct, are forfeited by soldiers on conviction of desertion or felony,—on being sentenced to penal servitude,—or on discharge with ignominy. They are also liable to forfeiture by sentence of court-martial, on conviction of disgraceful conduct, or, in case of Serjeants, on reduction to the ranks. Medals thus forfeited are to be transmitted to the Adjutant-General, for the purpose of being returned to the Mint.

Medals designedly made away with.

10.     Medals are to be shown at the weekly inspection of necessaries, when officers commanding companies are to ascertain that they are the property of the men showing them:—when a man is unable to produce his medal, a Board, consisting of one captain and two subalterns, is to inquire into and record the cause of the loss. If the Board be of opinion that the man has designedly made away with or pawned his medal, he is to be tried by court-martial and, if convicted, put under stoppages, and the amount is to be credited to the public. After five years' absence from the regimental defaulters' book the offender may be recommended to the Commander-in-Chief for a new medal, on again paying the value thereof.

Replacement of lost Medals.

11.     If the loss be proved to have occurred from carelessness or neglect, the loser may be recommended to the Commander-in-Chief for a new medal, at his own expense, after two years' absence from the regimental defaulters' book.

12.     If the loss be accidental the loser may be recommended at once for a new medal, either at his own expense or that of the public, according to the circumstances of the case; it being understood that, in order to justify the replacement of a medal at the public expense, the loss must be proved to have occurred on duty, by some accident entirely beyond the control of the loser; in all other cases, such as the loss of a medal cut from a tunic or stolen from a soldier's person, the loser must pay for it himself

13.     The Board is invariably to call for evidence as to the character of soldiers who lose their medals, and when no testimony regarding the loss is produced beyond the beyond the loser's own assertion, the Board, except under very special circumstances, which it will record in its finding, is to deal with the case as if it were proved that the loss occurred from neglect.

14.     When the Board recommends a medal to be replaced at once, the proceedings in original, prepared on a separate sheet in each case (unless the circumstances attending the loss be actually the same in each), are to be transmitted in a letter, with the prescribed Form of Return giving a description of the medal, and its various clasps, if any.

15.     When the Board does not recommend a medal to be replaced at once, the proceedings are not to be forwarded to head-quarters until the prescribed time has elapsed, according to the regulations above given for making the application.

16.     In cases in which the clasps are not lost they are to be transmitted to the Adjutant-General, to be attached to the new medal.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 10 March 2017

A Soldier's Trial and Execution, 1833
Topic: Discipline

A Soldier's Trial and Execution, 1833

Lancaster Assizes, August 16.

Glasgow Herald, 26 August 1833

John Roach, aged 34, was indicted for the wilful murder of Daniel Maggs, in the Regent Barracks, Salford.

Mr. Armstrong stated the case to the jury.

The first witness called was Hugh Brown, a private in the 85th Regiment, to which the deceased (Corporal Maggs) and the prisoner belonged. He stated that on the morning of the 24th of April Roach entered the barrack room in Salford, with his musket in his hand, and said "Corporal Maggs, I thank you for what you have done to me." Maggs replied, "John, it is your own fault." Roach then leveled his musket, and discharged its contents into the body of Maggs, who staggered a few yards and fell down into the passage. The prisoner had been on the escort the preceding night, accompanied by the corporal, and had been placed for his misconduct in the guard-room. He raised the firelock in great haste just after the words had occurred between them.

Thoman Lyons, another private in the same Regiment, deposed that Roach had been confined in the guard-house on the night before the murder; that he heard the report of the musket, and went into the room where it had been fired; that he met the prisoner coming out quite dejected; that he soon afterwards met Maggs, whose hand was placed on his side, and who, after saying "My God!" fell down on the floor, and in a few minutes afterwards died at the hospital.

William Hargreaves, another private, stated that he was one of the escort with Corporal Maggs, on the 20th of April. They reached Warrington on Saturday, and on the following morning they left Warrington, and breakfasted at a public house on the road. Witness stood as sentinel in the passage leading to the front door, and Roach and Maggs were with the deserter in the house, with many of the prisoner's friends. Roach requested the corporal to take off the handcuffs for the deserter, and said it was "damned cowardly treatment to keep on the handcuffs while the deserter took his breakfast." Maggs refused to do so, and said if he did not hold his tongue he would report him to the commanding officer. A further altercation occurred between them. The escort arrived at Liverpool the same day; the deserter was lodged in gaol; and the soldiers drew the charges from their muskets. On the 23rd of April they returned to Manchester, and on their arrival at the barracks Roach was placed by Maggs in the guard-room.

John Brown, a private in the regiment, deposed that on the morning of the murder he found a bullet, which after passing through the body of the corporal penetrated a lath and plaster wall, and then dropped to the floor.

Mr. John Boutflower, surgeon, stated that he examined the body of the deceased on the evening of the 24th of April; that a little below the right breast he observed a wound sufficiently large to admit three fingers; two or three of the ribs were fractured; and a smaller wound was found in the back, a little below the shoulder blade. He afterwards opened the chest, and found a wound, such as a gun-shot wound; the right lung was nearly torn up, and the effusion of blood on the chest was the cause of the corporal's death.

The prisoner having been called upon for his defence, said. "I was carried away in a moment of passion, but I had no intention, when I discharged the piece, of destroying the man. I am sorry for what I have done, and the action has cost me many a tear of repentance. I hope that Almighty God will look upon me as a penitent, and pardon me for what I have done."

The prisoner called Captain William Hunter, the commander of the company in which he had served, who characterized the prisoner as a humane and steady man.

The Jury, after a few minutes consultation, pronounced a verdict of guilty.

The Judge then, in a solemn and impressive manner, passed the awful sentence of law upon the prisoner, directing him to be executed on Monday next.

elipsis graphic

Execution

John Roach, the soldier, who was tried on Friday last for the wilful murder of Corporal Maggs, in the barracks at Manchester, under the circumstances detailed in the report of the trial, was executed on Monday morning, pursuant to his sentence, on a gallows erected behind the Castle. In the interval between the sentence and its execution, the unfortunate man, who is a native of Ireland, and a member of the Roman Catholic religion, was attended by the Rev. Mr. Brown, the resident priest at Lancaster, and we understand exhibited every mark of deep contrition and repentance for his crime, and of resignation to his untimely fate, the justice of which he fully acknowledged. The same propriety of behaviour which marked his conduct during the progress of the trial and afterwards, has, we believe, been manifested by him ever since his committal to gaol, being deeply sensible throughout of the enormity of his offence, and conscious that his own life must make atonement for it. It was generally expected that he would plead guilty; he was however induced to stand trial, though it was manifest during the whole course of it that he entertained little or no hope of escape.

At eight o'clock on Monday morning the prisoner was brought out for execution. He walked out with a quick and firm step, hardly glancing at the assembled crowd, and placed himself under the drop, with his back to the people. The executioner having put his cap upon his head, and adjusted the fatal rope, the burial service of the Catholic Church was read by the Rev. Mr. Brown, who kneeled down at the verge of the gallows. During this awful interval the prisoner stood firmly, though, as upon the trial, a convulsive twitching of the head and arms manifested the struggle that was going on within. The service being concluded, the bolt was drawn and the prisoner was launched into eternity. He did not appear to struggle much. After hanging the usual time the body was taken down and placed in a shell, to be interred within the limits of the gaol, pursuant to his sentence. There were about 2000 persons present, of whom a great portion were boys and girls belonging to the factories, who had been liberated a quarter of an hour sooner than usual in order to allow them an opportunity of witnessing the execution.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 10 March 2017 12:03 AM EST
Thursday, 9 March 2017

Military Notes: CASC Officers (1906)
Topic: Officers

Military Notes: CASC Officers (1906)

The Quebec Saturday Budget, 6 January 1906

A departmental regulation says that the Canadian Army Service Corps (permanent unit) being a combatant corps, its officers will hold the usual ranks and titles of combatant officers, but their command and authority will not extend outside the Canadian Army Service Corps until such time as they have qualified as follows: To be entitled to exercise as the senior officer present, the command of troops of other corps in the field, an officer must hold the same qualifications in the Canadian Army Service Corps (permanent unit) as are required for officers of corresponding ranks in the then combatant branches as laid down in King's regulations for the Army, 1904.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2017 11:35 AM EST
Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Colours of Regiments of Infantry (1859)
Topic: Militaria

Colours of Regiments of Infantry

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

1.     The Royal, or first, colour of every regiment is to be the Great Union throughout,—being the Imperial Colour of the United Kingdom of of Great Britain and Ireland, in which the Cross of St. George is conjoined with the Crosses of St. Andrew and St. Patrick, on a blue field,—and is to bear in the centre the Imperial Crown, and the number of the regiment underneath in gold Roman characters.

2.     The regimental, or second, colour is to be of the colour of the facing of the regiment, with the Union in the upper canton, except those regiments which are faced with red, white, or black; in those regiments which are faced with red, or white, the second colour is to be the Red Cross of St. George in a White Field, and the Union in the upper canton. In those regiments which are faced with black, the second colour is to be St. George's Cross the Union in the upper canton; the three other cantons black. The number of the regiment is to be embroidered in gold Roman characters in the centre.

3.     Those regiments which bear a royal, county, or other title are to have such designation on a red ground round a circle within the Union-wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks. The number of the regiment in gold Roman characters in the centre.

4.     In those regiments which bear any ancient badge, the badge is to be on a red ground in the centre, and the number of the regiment in gold Roman characters underneath. The Royal, or other title, to be inscribed on a circle within the Union-wreath of roses, thistles, and shamrocks.

5.     The regimental, or second, colour is also to bear the devices, distinctions, and mottos, which have been conferred by Royal authority; the whole to be ensigned with the Imperial Crown. Second battalions carry the same colours as first battalions, with the addition of "II BATT." on a scroll below the Union-wreath.

6.     The colours are to be of silk; the dimensions to be four feet flying, and three feet six inches deep on the pike, exclusive of the fringe:—the length of the pike (spear and ferrel included) to be nine feet ten inches: the cords and tassels of the whole to be crimson and gold mixed.

7.     No addition or alteration is to be made in the colours of any regiment of infantry without Her Majesty's special permission and authority, signified through the Commander-in-Chief of the army.

8.     The camp-colours to be eighteen inches square, and of the colour of the facing of the regiment, with the number of the regiment upon them. The poles to be seven feet six inches long.

9.     The following table shows the required proportion of camp-colours and pace- sticks for a regiment of infantry, as also the manner in which they are to be provided:—

Articles Price. Length of Time to last. No. of Articles required. Out of What Fund to be paid. Remarks.
s.   d.Years
Pace Stick7   6101712 by Captains of Companies.


5 out of Postage and Stationery Allowance.
1 for each Company.

4 for Drill Sergeant and his Aids.
1 for the Sergeant-Major.
A Camp-Colour5   058Postage and Stationery Allowance.The Bunting to be renewed when required.
A Saluting-Colour5   051Ditto
Adjutant's Aid2   054Ditto
Time Preceptor and PendulumConsidered unnecessary, and cannot, therefore, be admitted as a charge against the Fund mentioned,— a Plummet and String being deemed sufficient. 

10.     The saluting-colour to be an ordinary camp-colour, to be distinguished only from the other camp-colours by a transverse red cross; when the facings are red, by a transverse blue cross. The flags of battalion aids are to be 33 inches in the pole, including the bunting, which is to be of the same size as that of the camp-colour. The flags are to be carried in the hand, and, when elevated, placed on the muzzle of the fire lock.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Getting Ahead in the Army (1917)
Topic: Drill and Training

Getting Ahead in the Army

Home Lessons for New Army Men (Lesson No. 20, of 30)

The first rank above private is corporal. The corporal should be a real leader.

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 20 September 1917

Since regimental and company officers have full responsibility for the efficiency of their teams they are given corresponding authority in promoting men from the ranks to positions as noncommissioned officers. For all practical purposes their judgment as to the men under them is regarded as final.

One point as to which you may feel assured is the earnest desire of every officer to give promotion to the men who are best qualified—in other words, to select the men who have cultivated the soldierly qualities and in addition show capacity for further development and leadership. For the officers' own burdens are lightened and their success increased almost in direct proportion to their ability to promote the right men.

Chances for Promotion Good

The first rank above private is corporal. The corporal should be a real leader. He is expected to be more familiar with the various manuals amd regulations and with the duties of the men in the squad than are the men themselves. He is expected also to use his influence strongly toward building up soldierly qualities among these men.

Among the qualifications which all noncommissioned officers should possess the following have been selected by one military writer as being of first importance:

1.     Proficiency as guides in close order drills, and particularly as column leaders in route marching.

2.     Aggressive leadership, especially in drilling, marching and fighting.

3.     Ability to act as instructors.

4.     Thorough knowledge of the elements of field service.

5.     Thorough knowledge of interior guard duty.

6.     Skill in range finding and in estimating distances, so as to assist men in firing accurately.

7.     Proficiency in leading patrols.

8.     Ability to prepare written messages that are clear, complete and concise.

9.     Ability to sketch and read maps.

This list will suggest some of the lines along which you should work, whenever you have the chance. Many of the noncommissioned officers in the national army will be chosen, not only because of the knowledge or skill they already possess, but also because they show capacity for further development and for leadership.

The national army must fit itself for effective service at the front in the shortest possible time. To accomplish this result it must produce out of its own ranks men who are fitted for promotion first to places of noncommissioned officers, either in the first contingent or more probably in later contingents.

This need is your opportunity. It is an opportunity not merely for personal advancement—which in time of war is a small thing to work for—but more than that, an opportunity to render to your country the most effective service of which you are capable.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 18 December 2016 4:20 PM EST
Monday, 6 March 2017

Canadian Regiment for Halifax Garrison (1900)
Topic: The RCR

Canadian Regiment for Halifax Garrison

Details of Formation of Canadian Regiment
To Replace Regulars
Four Companies to Concentrate here—Lt.-Col. Vidal in Command

The Citizen, Ottawa, Ont., 6 March 1900

A militia order has just been approved by the department providing for the formation of a battalion to take the place of the regular [British] garrison at Halifax. The order is as follows:

"The formation of a provisional battalion of infantry from the active militia (the permanent corps, cavalry and afield artillery, and the active militia of the city of Halifax, which is already allotted to the defence of Halifax in the Imperial defence scheme excepted), is authorized to replace, temporarily, the First Battalion, Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians), at Halifax, N.S.

"The establishment of this battalion is as follows: One lieutenant-colonel, two majors, one adjutant, eight captains, eight lieutenants, eight second lieutenants, one quartermaster, total officers, 29; one regimental sergeant-major, one regimental quartermaster-sergeant, five staff sergeants, eight color sergeants, thirty-two sergeants, total sergeants of the regimental staff and sergeants, 47; 49 corporals, 16 drummers and buglers, 872 privates, total rank and file, 928, or a total of 1,004 of all ranks.

The Qualifications

"The qualifications for enrolment are:

"Age, between 18 and 45 years, chest measurement, minimum of 34 inches, height, minimum 5 feet 5 inches, to be unmarried.

"To pass the medical examination required for enrolment in the permanent corps of Canada.

"To be enrolled in a corps of the active militia, within the limits laid down in paragraph 1 of this order, and to have performed at least one annual training.

"Men not enrolled in the active militia but who have previously belonged to it and have performed annual training are eligible, provided they first enrol in a corps of the active militia within the limits above laid down and are carried on the strength of such corps.

"Officers, non-commissioned officers and men while serving in this battalion will be considered and returned as "on command" of the respective corps.

"Officers, non-commissioned officers and men serving in this corps will be paid the rates of pay and allowances provided for the active militia, which they will draw, in the case of officers, from the date on which they report for duty, and in the case of non-commissioned officers and men, from the date of enlistment.

Where They Will Be Raised

"Companies will be formed as follows:

"A—Right half from military district No. 11 at Victoria. Left half from military district No. 10 at Winnipeg.

"B—Military district No. 1, at London.

"C—Military district No. 2, at Toronto.

"D—Right half from military districts Nos. 3 and 4, at Kingston. Left half from the Ottawa brigade.

"E—Military district No. 5, at Montreal.

"F—Right half from military district No. 6 at St. John's, Que. Left half from military district No. 7 at Quebec.

"G—Three sections from military district No. 8 at St. John N.B. One section from military district No. 12, at Charlottetown, P.E.I.

"H—Military district No. 9, at Halifax.

"Companies will be formed of four sections of thirty men each.

District officers commanding will apportion the number to be enrolled from their district among the corps entitled to furnish men according to the strength of such corps. In the event of any of the number apportioned to their corps failing to contribute its quota the deficiency will be made up from corps having men to excess.

Three Years' Enlistment

"The men are to be enlisted in the corps to which they belong (militia form C. 1) for a period of three years, and enrolled in the provisional battalion by officer commanding districts for general service for a period not exceeding one year.

"The medical inspection will be at points of concentration of companies, and performed by the medical officers attached to permanent units, or where there are no such officers, by a medical officer belonging to the active militia, selected by the district officer commanding (militia form B. 4, embodies medical certificate). In the latter case, upon the completion of the enrolling, a statement of the number of men examined will be forwarded to chief staff officer, headquarters, Ottawa, certified to by the district officer commanding, for payment of remuneration.

"Distruict officers commanding will provide the recommendation required for the medical examination, and for the necessary clerical work, in his office, the drill hall, or elsewhere. He will also provide the necessary stationery, and if necessary, procure additional clerical assistance.

"All men will be enrolled as privates. Officers commanding companies may make temporary appointments of non-commissioned officers pending approval of the commanding officer.

During Formation

"The administration of companies during formation will be as follows:

(a)     "The companies during formation will be under command of the district officer commanding, but the officers commanding may correspond direct with the officer commanding the regiment respecting all regimental matters.

(b)     "At stations where units of the permanent force are quartered, the companies will be attached to such units for discipline, rations and accommodation. Blankets may be drawn from store, also barrack furniture.

"At other stations district officers commanding will act on their judgment. The men will either be accommodated in drill halls or other buildings, and a contract entered into for their rations at a rate not exceeding 20 cents per meal.

"Men enrolled will be kept at the enrolling centers until the company is complete, unless otherwise ordered. District officers commanding will immediately report to chief staff officer, headquarters, Ottawa, when the companies are complete, if it becomes apparent to them that the quota from their district will not be enrolled in time to proceed to place of concentration by the date hereinafter stated.

"An imprest of $200 is forwarded to district officers commanding, out of which they will pay all expenses incurred by these instructions, furnishing afterwards receipts in duplicate. They may request a further advance when needed, and will be held responsible that due economy is exercised, but they will carry out the enrolment, accommodation and rationing without incurring delay by asking for approval of their arrangements.

Concentration

"Companies B, C and D will be concentrated at Ottawa not later than Thursday the 15th instant, and A company by Thursday the 22nd instant. E and F companies will be concentrated at Quebec City not later than Friday the 16th instant and G and H at Halifax by Saturday the 17th instant.

"District officers commanding will warn the officer commanding the regiment at Ottawa, and district officers commanding concerned, in order that the necessary preparations may be made before the arrival of the troops.

"The troops will be clothed and equipped at points of concentration.

"Companies B to F will be concentrated by orders from headquarters at Halifax by Thursday the 22nd instant.

"The regimental staff will be formed at Ottawa by Lieut.-Colonel B.H. Vidal, who will temporarily assume command of the battalion.

"Company officers will see that men to act as their servants are included among those enrolled in their company."

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Sunday, 5 March 2017

His Food and Drink (India, 1859)
Topic: Army Rations

His Food and Drink (India, 1859)

The British Soldier in India, Fred. J. Mouat, M.D., F.R.C.S., Surgeon, H.M.'s Bengal Army, 1859

Fighting needs a full stomach, and the training in peace should always be subservient to the purposes of war, as mentioned above.

Most Europeans in the tropics, in easy circumstances, consume more animal food and stimulant beverages than is good for them. The soldier in particular, except in the field, eats too much meat, drinks more of strong liquors than his system can dispose of with impunity, and takes too little exercise to ward off the effects of his stimulant dietary. The result is that he attains the condition of a Strasburg goose, of which disease and death are the penalty.

Mr. Macnamara in India, and Mr. Gant in England, have shown that the results of the over-feeding of men and cattle are nearly identical. The excess of carbon is not consumed, and being deposited in the form of fat in the liver, kidneys, heart, and muscular tissue, proves rapidly destructive.

In 1853 the rations of the European soldiery in India were fixed at:—

  • Bread, 1 pound
  • Meat, 1 pound
  • Vegetables, 1 pound
  • Rice, 4 ounces
  • Sugar, 2 1/2 ounces
  • Coffee, 1 3/7 ounces
  • Or Tea, 0 5/7 ounces
  • Salt, 1 ounce
  • Firewood, 3 pounds.

The meat is usually beef. Mutton is given twice a week when procurable, and to it the soldier himself adds bazaar pork.

The daily allowance of food thus consumed is more than double the amount issued in the Royal Navy, where the greater part of the life of the individual is spent in the open air, and where he is constantly compelled to undergo an amount of physical exertion unknown to the soldier, except in war.

It would prove much more injurious than it does at present, if the quality were equal to the quantity.

The following, according to Mr. Macnamara, was the ordinary routine life of a soldier of the 1st Bengal Fusiliers at Dinapore:—

"After sleeping through the night in the very hot close air of the barracks, he rises at gun-fire and goes to parade, after which he employs himself in cleaning his accoutrements till breakfast time—8 o'clock. This meal over, he lies down and sleeps till dinner time, and after dinner he generally retires to his bed again, and sleeps more or less till 5 o'clock, the temperature of the barrack being frequently as high as 104° F. at that period of the day. About 5 o'clock he has to prepare himself for parade ; this over, he saunters about till 9 1/2, and then turns in for the night."

To discuss the nature of the nutritive principles contained in food, the due balance between the carboniferous and nitrogenous elements, or any other of the mysteries of dietetics which science is gradually unfolding, is foreign to my purpose.

Those interested in the matter, in its relations to troops,will find much very valuable information regarding it in the report of Mr. Sidney Herbert's Commission, and in the paper of Dr. Chevers.

It is sufficient for my purpose to state that the quantity of meat in the hot weather and rains should be diminished, and that of vegetables increased. The latter can, at all times and seasons, within the cost of the existing dietary, be accomplished with the aid of the desiccated and compressed vegetables now produced and exported in large quantities. The best and most wholesome of them is the dried potato. In the winter the regimental garden could and should furnish all that is needed.

Pork, unless educated in a regimental farm, or better brought up than in the bazaar, should be absolutely prohibited. Fish, in the vicinity of the large rivers, and on the sea-coast, might occasionally, with benefit, be substituted for meat, especially in the hot season.

But, above all, it should be well and properly cooked by the men themselves. The practicability of military cooking was established by the late Monsieur Soyer, as recorded in his culinary campaign. It was popular among the men in the Crimea, and would become so everywhere, if proper attention were paid to it.

Mr. Gubbins, in his graphic account of the siege of Lucknow, mentions incidentally, that when the cook boys levanted, the men of the 32nd had to cook for themselves. They were awkward at first, but soon acquired the requisite skill, and were well satisfied with their performances.

The idleness of the barrack-room, and the necessity of furnishing more occupation for the soldiers in garrison, are alone sufficient reasons for compelling them to cook for themselves in time of peace.

The necessity in the field is still greater, as cooks and followers of all kinds are multiplied to a most injurious extent in India, and are, besides, liable to make themselves scarce when most wanted.

A beginning in the right direction has been made in the Medical Staff Corps, in which professional cooks are regularly entertained. One or two enlisted in every regiment, would soon leaven the mass.

The baking of the bread, grinding of the wheat, and the whole preparation of the food of the soldier for consumption, should, as far as possible, be performed in the barracks and by the soldiers themselves. The more independent they are made, and the more intimate their acquaintance with supplying their own wants, the better for them in every point of view. There is no real difficulty in the matter, and the present helplessness and idleness of the soldiery cannot cease too soon for their morals and their manners, their health and their happiness.

There is scarcely a corps without butchers, bakers, tailors, blacksmiths, shoemakers, bricklayers, gardeners, and most other varieties of handicraftsmen, whose knowledge might and ought to be turned to good use. For those regiments in which they are not to be found, they should be specially recruited.

The subject of the soldier's dietary is, in truth, one of the most important matters connected with his well-being and efficiency. It should never, in any circumstances, be subject to his own control, or be liable to fluctuation on account of deductions from his pay, or from the dear or cheap state of the market near which he may be quartered.

In fact, as stated in the terse and clear language of Dr. Balfour's report:—

"That course should be habitually adopted in peace, which will best satisfy the requirements of a careful administration of the public finances, and be the most applicable to a state of war whenever war may break out.

"An army is maintained in peace with a view to the contingency of war, and it should be so organised as to be capable of expansion with the least possible change of method and system on the part of those who administer it. The mass of mankind do nothing well which they have not done long; and every change unnecessarily made at the commencement of war, when such disturbing influences are unavoidable, is the addition of unnecessary error and confusion.

"It appears to us, therefore, that all the arguments for a fixed stoppage and full ration in time of war apply also to a time of peace. In both cases it is the duty and interest of the Government to see that the soldier is provided with such a ration as will keep him in health and efficiency."

The Committee accordingly recommended one uniform rate of stoppage at home and abroad for the entire ration, the Government supplying the whole.

Fighting needs a full stomach, and the training in peace should always be subservient to the purposes of war, as mentioned above.

The diet of the tropics will necessarily differ from that of the Antarctic regions; that of the plains from the stations in the hills. The determination of the local difference should be left to the experienced medical officers in each, care being taken in all cases that the highest attainable standard of health and efficiency is maintained.

The question of strong waters is more difficult to determine. In this desirable direction much has been done by the judicious regulation of canteens; by the sale in them of sound, wholesome, malt liquors at reasonable rates; by the increasing taste for tea and coffee; and by the example of the officers, whose own habits have changed with the general change of society in this respect.

Temperance Societies are opposed to military discipline, and are of little efficacy. The real means of weaning the soldier from his present pernicious indulgence in the fatal habit that kills more than the sun, marsh, and sword combined, is to improve his moral and social condition, to hold out greater inducements to good men to enlist, to encourage marriage and the amenities of an honest man's home in the soldier's barrack, to introduce the practice of industrial occupations, and to furnish the means of such amusements as invigorate the frame without inducing ennui. These are bowls, quoits, cricket, rackets, gymnastics, swimming, and such other out-door amusements as healthy men never tire of, and drunken sots seldom indulge in.

That the men themselves readily take to such pastimes, who can doubt who has been acquainted with them in their own homes, before every moral feeling and healthful excitement has been blunted and blighted by the idleness and vice of the barrack-room as it now is? The practice of issuing rations of rum to young recruits should at once cease. Many a fine lad has been ruined by it.

To pursue this topic further is unnecessary. The magnitude and corroding influence of the vice are self-evident. The statistics of army disease record, with unerring accuracy, its general and fatal prevalence. It has literally realized the prophecy of Milton, that

"Intemperance on the earth shall bring Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew Before thee shall appear."

Of the efficacy, in due time, of the remedial measures suggested above, we entertain not the smallest doubt. The good work has, indeed, already begun, but like all other social changes, to be permanent in its results, its growth must be gradual.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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