The Minute Book
Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Woods Recognition Cards - The Aces
Topic: Cold War


Playing cards marked with silhouettes to practice recognition of armoured fighting vehicles and aircraft were a novelty given or sold to soldiers during the Cold War. A late edition of such cards was produced by Woods Manufacturing, of Ottawa, Ontario, (now Guthrie Woods.

The four aces for this deck, pictured above, featured the following:


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 29 March 2013

The British War Medal
Topic: Medals

The most common medal awarded to Canadians for service in the First World War is the British War Medal. This medal could be issued as the recipient’s sole entitlement, or it could be accompanied by the Victory Medal for those who served in a theatre of war, and, for those whose service in theatre started before the end of 1915, the 1914-15 Star. These groupings are colloquially referred to as the First World War "pair" (BWM + VM) and the "trio" (1914-15 Star + BWM + VM). Of these three medals, only the British War medal could be issued as a sole entitlement, i.e., without accompanying medals.

The British War Medal was awarded to any serviceman or woman who served outside Canada’s 3-mile limit, thus making those whose wartime service at sea (with a minimum of 28 days of mobilized service required) or on garrison duty in Bermuda eligible for this medal. As with any award, there were "special cases," for example, those who enlisted in the Overseas Military Forces of Canada in the UK were required to then serve outside of the UK to be eligible for the British War Medal.

Authorized for issue on 26 July 1919, most Canadians would have received their BWMs by the early 1920s. It is not unusual to see photographs from that era of soldiers wearing the ribbons for medals they had not yet received, holding place in their incomplete medal groups. Almost 430,000 British War medals were issued to Canadians who served outside of Canada during the Great War.

No clasps (bars) were issued for the British War Medal. An evolving plan to have clasps for naval and for army service quickly developed into lengthy lists of possible clasps which, given the attendant costs of production and distribution, was laid aside in the post-war economic environment. 68 naval and 79 army clasps were originally proposed, to accompany the approximately 6.5 million BWMs to be issued to Commonwealth soldiers.

 

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 March 2013 3:41 PM EDT
Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Halifax Armouries
Topic: Halifax

The above view of the Halifax Armouries is its most recognizable face to many people today. Haligonians whose daily commute or leisure activities take them along the main arteries bounding the Halifax Commons southwest of the Armouries would have no problem identifying the building by this profile. It is not, however, the "front" of the building as intended by the original design. As often happens when a city's evolution diverges from the orientations of its older architecture, the face of the Halifax Armouries actually fronts on Cunard Street, and not North Park Street (which runs across the side of the building as shown above).

The Halifax Armouries was constructed between 1895 and 1898 at a final cost of $250,000 (over budget by $75,000), designed by Thomas Fuller, Chief Dominion Architect for the Department of Public Works, it's original purpose was to provide new accommodation for the city's Militia regiments, a duty to it continues to serve to this day.

Constructed by J.E. Askwith Co. of Ottawa, the Armories' outer walls required $17,000 worth of freestone which was quarried in Pugwash. The the interior was lined with $35,000 of pressed brick. Construction of the foundation required 16,000 cubic feet of granite, and the whole was held together by 35,000 barrels of cement mortar.

At 50 metres wide by 92 metres long, the building provided one of the largest enclosed and unpillared spaces in the Dominion at the time of its construction, rivaled only by another Armoury in Toronto which was also designed by Fuller and used new iron and steel roof trusses to provide for a wide open drill floor. The Halifax Armouries was also he first building of its type to have electric lighting included from the design stage.


 

The Halifax Armouries remains the home of these Reserve units:


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 March 2013 9:40 PM EDT
Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Schools of Military Instruction; Training the Canadian Militia, c. 1865
Topic: Canadian Militia

In the days of British garrisons in Upper and Lower Canada, the method used to transfer skills to the officers of the Canadian Militia was the temporary establishment of "Schools of Instruction" by garrison battalions. Transitory in nature, in contrast to the established Royal Schools of the Canadian Infantry School Corps after 1883, these Schools of Instruction were individually authorized, conducted by the Commanding Officer of the designated British battalions, and qualified officers for command at company or battalion level. After the withdrawal of most of the British garrison units in the late 1860s, the Militia Department attempted to conduct a similar school system using qualified Militia officers to conduct the training. This approach was found wanting, most likely due to problems of consistency of training and availability of resources, and by the early 1880s led to the recognition of a need for established schools for infantry. The result was the creation of the Canadian Infantry School Corps, which is today The Royal Canadian Regiment.

The following text is the authorizing General Order for a School of Instruction conducted at the London garrison in 1865.


The Canada Gazette; April 29, 1865
Militia General Orders

Headquarters
Quebec, 27th April, 1865

Service Militia; Upper Canada

General orders, No. 1

His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief has made arrangements with His Excellency the Lieutenant General Commanding Her Majesty's Forces in British North America, for the establishment of a School of Military Instruction at London, in connection with the 1st Battalion of the 16th Regiment of Her Majesty's Forces.

This school will be opened for the reception of candidates on Tuesday, the 16th of May proximo, and His Excellency is pleased to order the following Rules and Regulations for the guidance of all concerned, viz:

1.    All Candidates for Commissions in the "Service" Militia, will be required before appointment, to obtain a certificate, as hereinafter mentioned, from the Commandant of one of the Schools of Military Instruction; and no person shall be appointed or promoted to the rank of Field Officer in the "Service" Militia who shall not have obtained a "First class" certificate.

2.    A "First class" certificate shall be given to those candidates who shall have proved themselves, to the satisfaction of he Commandant of the School of Military Instruction, able to drill and handle a Battalion in the field, and who shall have acquired a competent acquaintance with the internal economy of a Battalion.

3.    A "Second class" certificate shall be given to those candidates who shall have proved themselves able to command a Company at Battalion drill, and to drill a Company at "Company Drill," and who shall have acquired a competent acquaintance with the internal economy of a Company and the duties of a Company's officers.

4.    All candidates for admission to the Schools of Military Instruction will be required, before admission, to satisfy a Board of officers of their competence for the position of commissioned officer of the Militia.

5.    No candidate shall be permitted to remain at the Schools of Military Instruction after he shall have obtained a second class certificate, without the special permission of the Commander in Chief.

6.    No certificate of either class shall be given to any candidate who is not himself perfectly drilled as a private soldier.

7.    No candidate shall be permitted to remain at any of the schools for a longer period than three calendar months from the date of his entry.

8.    The traveling expenses of all candidates in coming to, and returning to their homes from the school shall be paid.

9.    All candidates on obtaining a "Second class" certificate, shall be paid a sum of Fifty dollars, and on obtaining a "First class" certificate , the further sum of Fifty dollars in addition.

10.    All Candidates for Commissions, while attending the school, shall be considered for all purposes of drill and discipline to be attached to the Regiment which shall constitute the School of Instruction; and it shall be competent to the Commander in Chief, on a representation from the Commandant, to dismiss any candidate from the school, for misconduct or for other sufficient cause.

11.    Candidates for Commissions, while attending the school, shall not be Members of the Mess of the Regiment which constitutes the school.

No. 2

The following officers are appointed as a Board of Examiners of candidates for admission to the School of Military Instruction at London:--

  • The Commandant of the School,
  • Lieut.-Colonel Shanly, Commanding Volunteers,
  • Major Moffat, Brigade Major.

By Command of His Excellency the Right Honorable the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief.
WALKER POWELL, Lt.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant General of Militia, Upper Canada.


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Soldier's Load 1914
Topic: Soldiers' Load

Field Service Pocket Book, 1914
The Soldier's Load

The following equipment carried by the dismounted soldiers is detailed in the Field Service Pocket Book; Edition 1914 (Amendments 1916).

Dismounted Men

This table applies primarily to infantry. Certain exceptions (prescribed in the Equipment Regulations) are necessary in the case of dismounted men of other arms. Range takers of infantry carrying the one-man instrument will be armed with pistols, and will carry neither rifles, bayonets, nor intrenching implements.

Detail

No.

Approximate weight.

Remarks

lbs

ozs

A. — Clothing, &c., worn by the Soldier.

Boots, ankle, pair *

1

4

4

* For kilted regiments substitute:—

  • Apron, kilt (0 lbs, 12 ½ ozs)

  • Gaiters, Highland (0, 10 ½)

  • Garters and rosettes (0, 2)

  • Hosetops, (0, 4 ½)

  • Kilt (3, 13)

  • Shoes, Highland (3, 8)

Braces *

1

0

4 ½

Cap, service dress (or glengarry), with badge

1

0

9

Disc, identity, with cord

1

0

¼

Drawers, woolen, pair *

1

1

½

Jacket, service dress *, and metal titles, with field dressing

1

2

8

Knife, clasp, with marlin spike and tin opener

1

0

8

Troops wearing khaki drill sent on active service from a arm to a temperate climate will be supplied with service dress jackets and trousers as soon as available.

In warm weather the cardigan may be carried in the pack.

Paybook (in right breast pocket of S.D) jacket)

1

0

2

Puttees, pair *

1

0

13

Shirt

1

1

2

Socks, pair

1

0

4 ¼

Trousers, service dress *

1

2

½

Waistcoat, cardigan

1

1

7

TOTAL (A)

14

11

 

B. — ARMS

Rifles, with oil bottle, pull-through, and sling

1

8

15 ¾

Drummers and buglers are unarmed.

Men of the M.G. detachments will place their rifles in the limbered wagon when the M.G. is removed. Men leading pack animals will carry their rifles slung.

N.C.Os. armed as staff-serjeants have no bayonet. Pipers wear dirks.

Bayonet and scabbard

1

1

8 ¾

TOTAL (B)

10

8 ½

 

C. — AMMUNITION

Cartridges, S.A., ball, .303-inch, rounds

150

9

0

N.C.Os. equipped as staff-serjeants carry 25 rounds.

Pioneers carry 80 rounds.

Signallers carry 50 rounds.

Drummers and buglers have no S.A.A.

Pipers carry 12 rounds of pistol ammunition.

D. — TOOLS

Implement, intrenching, pattern 1908, head

1

1

5 ¾

Colour-serjeants, N.C.Os., armed as staff-serjeants, pipers and signaller carry no intrenching implements. (For signallers the implements are carried in tool wagons.)

 

Ditto, helve

1

0

8 ¼

Carriers for ditto, head

1

0

9 ½

Carriers for ditto, helve

1

0

1 ¾

TOTAL (D)

2

9 ¼

 

E. — ACCOUTREMENTS

Waterbottle, with carrier

1

1

6

The armourer has a waist-belt and two 15-round cartridge pockets, bandolier equipment, pattern 1903; and a great-coat strap and mess-tin strap, valise equipment, pattern 1888.

Web equipment, pattern 1908:—

Belt, waist

1

0

13

Braces, with buckle

2

0

11

Carriers, cartridge, 75 rounds, left

1

0

14 ½

Ditto, right

1

0

14 ½

Frog

1

0

3

Haversack (18 ¾ ozs), with knife (3 ozs), fork (3 ozs), and spoon (2 ½ ozs)

1

1

11

Pack, with supporting straps (2)

1

1

11

TOTAL (E)

8

4 ¼

 

F. — ARTICLES CARRIED IN THE PACK

Cap, comforter

1

0

4

Nos. 1 to 4 of M.G. section will have their packs carried for them on the march, in the G.S. limbered wagon for M.G.

Holdall (3 ¼ ozs), containing laces (½ oz), toothbrush (½ oz), razor and case (3 ozs), shaving brush ( 1 ¾ oz), and comb (1 oz.)

1

0

9 ¼

Greatcoat, with metal titles

1

6

10 ½

Housewife, fitted

1

0

3 ¼

Mess-tin and cover

1

1

6 ½

Socks, worsted, pair

1

0

4 ¼

Soap

1

0

3

Towel, hand

1

0

9

TOTAL (F)

10

1 ¾

 

G. — RATIONS AND WATER

Bread ration (unconsumed portion), say

. 0 12

 

Cheese

. 0 3

Iron ration:—

Biscuit

 

0

12

Preserved meat (nominal)

 

1

0

Tea (3/8 oz), Sugar (2 oz), Salt (½ oz); in a tin

 

0

6 ½

Cheese

 

0

3

Meat extract, cubes

2

0

1

Water, pints

2

2

8

TOTAL (G)

5

13 ½

 

TOTAL WEIGHT CARRIED

A.— Clothing worn

 

14

11

This is the normal weight carried by a private. But exceptions occur in the case of N.C.Os. and certain other ranks (signallers, range takes, &c.).

B.— Arms

 

10

8 ½

C.— Ammunition

 

9

9

D.— Tools

 

2

9 ¼

E.— Accoutrements

 

8

4 /4

F.— Articles in pack

 

10

1 ¾

F.— Rations and water

 

5

13 ½

TOTAL

61

¼

 

Marching Order Without Packs

The above arrangements allow of the soldier having normally with him the whole of his equipment; but in circumstances the commander may decide to increase the amount of S.A.A. carried on the person, and to discard temporarily certain articles of equipment, e.g., pack and contents.

 

lbs.

ozs.

Marching order (as above)

60

11 ¼

Deduct pack and contents (F)

11

11 ¾

 

48

15 ½

Add 100 rounds S.A.A., in two 50-round bandoliers

6

2

Total "fighting equipment" (without pack, but with 250 rounds S.A.A.)

55

1 ½


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 25 March 2013

The RCR Regimental Cypher in Wolsley Barracks Officers' Mess
Topic: The RCR

In 1958, the 75th anniversary year of The Royal Canadian Regiment, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, visited Canada and presented new Regimental Colours to the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Regiment. In preparations for this Royal Visit, extensive renovations were made to the Officers' Mess at Wolseley Barracks (Canadian Forces Base London). Among these renovations was a custom made royal cypher following that used by Queen Victoria. The Royal Canadian Regiment, having been granted the right to wear the cypher of Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1919 by King George V, is the only Commonwealth regiment to wear a deceased sovereign's emblems.

To this day, above the fireplace in Wolseley Barracks Officers' Mess, hangs the cast brass crown, “VRI” and scroll that constitutes the regimental cypher. These were designed and produced by London sculptor (originally of Owen Sound) Mrs Anna Brown, nee Shields. Mrs Brown was a graduate of the Ontario College of Arts.

While many who have visited the Mess have seen the cypher over the fireplace, often they remained unaware that two more examples of the crown and VRI are also to be found within the Mess. Inside the Mess entryway is a second set of double doors. Normally propped open, this positioning hides the fact that on each door, mounted on the black leather upholstery that covers the doors, are to be found two more sets of the cypher castings.


 

 


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 March 2013 8:17 AM EDT
Sunday, 24 March 2013

Terms Current at Army Headquarters (1953)
Topic: Staff Duties

The Owl (July, 1953)

Course journal; publication of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India

Terms Current at Army Headquarters

Serial
(a)
Term
(b)
Meaning
(c)
1Take remedial action.Find some means of sorting this mess out. I cannot think of any.
2Transferred for appropriate action.I hope you will know what to do with this.
3Emphasize this point.Expand one page to fifteen.
4Read and initial.Spreading the responsibility for doing nothing on this.
5Your recommendations are being examined.More time is needed to think of an answer though a couple of months have already elapsed.
6A modified policy.A complete reversal which nobody admits.
7A coordination staff officer.An officer who has a desk between two expediters.
8Under active consideration.We are looking in the files for it.
9Under consideration.Never heard of it.
10Expedite.To compund confusion with commotion.
11Resubmit through proper channels.Tactical delaying action in respect of distasteful or troublesome communication.
12Put up this letter on its file.I do not know what action to take on it. I hope you do by the time you put it up.
13File it.I could not care less. I hope you do not either.
14We may agree.I cannot find any reason for objecting to the proposal but I dare not say 'I agree.'

The Frontenac Times


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 23 March 2013

How Carling Farm became Wolseley Barracks
Topic: Wolseley Barracks

On 2 June 1886, during budget discussions in the Canadian House of Commons, the topic of an appropriation for the new Infantry School Corps building in London was raised. $30,000 was being requested to continue with the proposed infrastructure for the establishment of "D" Company at what would become Wolseley Barracks.

Members of Parliament who are quoted below are:

  • The Hon. Joseph Philippe René Adolphe Caron, P.C.; Conservative Member for Quebec County, Quebec (Appointment at the time of this session: Minister of Militia and Defence)
  • The Hon. Sir Hector-Louis Langevin, P.C., Q.C., C.B.; Conservative Member for Three Rivers, Quebec. (Appointment at the time of this session: Minister of Public Works 1879 – 1891)
  • The Right Hon. Sir William Mulock, P.C.; Liberal Member for York North, Ontario
  • The Hon. Edward Blake, P.C., Q.C.; Liberal Member for Durham West, Ontario

House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada
Fourth Session – Fifth Parliament

2 June 1886

London Infantry School – $30,000

Mr. Blake – Will the hon. gentleman explain the vote of $30,000 for the London Infantry School?

Sir Hector Langevin – It is to enable the chief architect to carry on the work of the proposed new barracks. The cost of the barrack building, including furnishing, heating, etc., is estimated at $75,000; then there is $3,600 for the architect and $2,000 for the clerk of works, the total estimated cost being $81,000.

Mr. Blake – Has the hon. gentleman received any information as to difficulties with the drainage of the site of the school.

Sir Hector Langevin – I have not.

Mr. Blake – It has been stated in the papers that there are serious difficulties, and that pile driving will have to be resorted to in order to overcome them.

Mr. Carling – The architect was in the city yesterday, and he says that the difficulty can be overcome by the construction of a drain.

Mr. Blake – I suppose this is the property as to which the tripartite agreement was made some time ago, under which the city bought some property from the Minister of Agriculture, and the hon gentleman took that property and gave the city some other property?

Sir Adolphe Caron – Yes

Mr. Blake – Will the hon. gentleman state the nature of the arrangement?

Sir Adolphe Caron – In 1884, on the recommendation of General Middleton, it was determined to establish an Infantry School in London. The citizens of London were very adverse to the school being established on the Government Property, for reasons which they set forth. Upon that recommendation, three sites were offered, the Geary site, the Kent Site, and the Carling farm. The matter was submitted to the brigade major of the district, and he recommended the Carling farm as the most suitable. The offer made to the city was $10,000 in cash and a deed of 16 acres of land of Government property and the right to use some 90 acres adjoining for camping purposes for 20 years, for 8 acres of land now used as our military property. The proposition was approved by Order in Council; but it had to be submitted to a vote of the ratepayers of London, who rejected it. Subsequently, however, the city made a new proposition, that they would give a free deed of fifty-five acres of the Carling farm within city limits, which has been used as a military camp-ground for many years, for eight acres of the Government property referred to in the former proposition. This proposition was again referred to the brigade major, and was referred by him to Mr. George Durand, a well-known architect of London, on the 26th of April, 1885. A valuation of the two properties was sent in by him. The Government property was estimated at $141, 355 and the fifty–five acres of the Carling farm were estimated at $46,000. I was not satisfied to take this valuation; I wanted to get more than one, and the proposition was again submitted to the valuation Mr. McElheran, and auctioneer and valuator, and Mr. William M. Ward, a real estate agent, and these gentlemen reported the value of the Government property at $39,030, and the fifty-five acres of the Carling farm at $44,000. This subsequent offer of exchange was referred to the council and approved, and the exchange has been made, and the contract for the building let, and the work is now going on. I will bring down and lay on the Table all the papers.

Mr. Blake – Is Mr. Durand the architect of the building now?

Sir Hector Langevin – Yes.

Mr. Blake – It has been represented outside, from time to time, that this institution, which is to be erected in or near London, is to be analogous to the Kingston College.

Sir Adolphe Caron. – No; it is to be analogous to the School of Infantry, Toronto.


Although Mr Durand is identified above as the architect for the new Infantry School in London, the building was designed by Henry James, Chief Architect for the Militia Department. (With thanks to Dr Georgiana Stanciu, Curator of The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, for this confirmation.)


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 23 March 2013 2:42 PM EDT
Friday, 22 March 2013

The Organization of the Canadian Militia; 1914
Topic: Canadian Militia

An essential part of the equipment and references carried by every officer of the British Army and Commonwealth forces in the early 1900s was a copy of the Field Service Pocket Book. The standard aide memoire of officers on operations anywhere in the Empire, this little volume provided all manner of information necessary for planning and conducting operations, ranging through staff duties, rates of march, engineering and logistic guidance, and details on the forces of the Empire.

The 1914 edition of the Field Service Pocket Book provides the following description of the forces of the Dominion of Canada:


CANADA

Nature of ForceTime of Engagement (Years)Arms and Armament (exclusive of that of Fixed Defences)
Permanent Militia34.7" Q.F., 18-pr Q.F., 13-pr Q.F., 12-br B.L., 60-prs and howitzers, M.L.E. and Ross rifles, and Maxims
Active Militia3As above.
Royal N.W. Mounted Police5M.L.M. and Winchester carbines, Colt revolvers, Maxims and Maxim-Nordenfeldts

Units of all arms and departments. The permanent force and active militia together comprise:–

  • 33 regiments and 2 independent squadrons, cavalry and mounted rifles.
  • 2 batteries horse artillery
  • 31 batteries field artillery
  • 10 brigades (31 batts.) field artillery
  • 4 regiments (20 cos.) garrison artillery
  • 2 regiments (5 batts.) heavy artillery
  • Engineers
    • Permanent corps
    • 5 field cos.
    • 3 field troops
    • 1 wireless detachment
    • 1 section field telegraph company attached to each field company
  • Corps of Guides
  • 95 regiments and 6 independent companies of infantry
  • 13 signal sections
  • 15 companies and 7 detachments Army Service Corps
  • 7 cavalry field ambulances
  • 14 field ambulances
  • 2 general hospitals
  • Other departmental troops

Organized as 7 mounted brigades, 10 brigades field artillery, and 23 infantry brigades and army troops.

A Militia Council, presided over by the Minister of Militia and Defence, administers the forces.

Eastern Canada is sub-divided into six divisional areas, in each of which a division of all arms is organized, together with 4 cavalry brigades.

Western Canada is divided into three military districts.

Organized into 12 divisions and administered by a Controller at Ottawa.

All males between 18 and 60 are liable for service in time of emergency.


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 22 March 2013 12:03 AM EDT
Thursday, 21 March 2013

In the Highest Tradition (BBC)
Topic: Tradition

It will be a sad day and an evil day for the British Infantry if the reformers succeed in weakening or destroying the regimental tradition. - Field-Marshal Earl Wavell, 1950

In the Highest Tradition

This 1989 BBC series explores the world of British military tradition.

Episode 1

First transmitted in 1989, this is the first episode in a six-part series which delves into the world of regimental tradition. This programme includes looks at the origins of Emperor Joseph Bonaparte's chamber pot, a druid oration and the story of goat who escaped being eaten to become a regimental mascot.

Episode 2

First transmitted in 1989, this is the second in a six-part series which delves into the world of regimental tradition. This film includes the story of Millie the Mule and just why a rose is still eaten, raw, in one battalion's mess. It also features the 'White Helmets' a team of motor cycle stunt riders. One team of retired soldiers has an average age of 74 years but they still meet up to perform stunts in front of their successors.

Episode 3

First transmitted in 1989, this third film in a six-part series delving into the world of regimental tradition looks Gurkhas' history and commitment to the British Army. They swear their oath of allegiance directly to Her Majesty the Queen and continue to revere 'The Queen's Truncheon', which was awarded to them by Queen Victoria in recognition of their service during the Indian Mutiny.

Episode 4

First transmitted in 1989, this is the fourth in a six-part series which delves into the world of regimental tradition. It looks at the illustrious history of the Royal Scots Greys with an account of how a French Imperial Eagle was won at Waterloo, and covers the tragic events of the Charge of the Light Brigade, the origins of the Victoria Cross and follows the transition from horse to the tank.

Episode 5

First transmitted in 1989, this is the fifth in a six-part series which delves into the world of regimental tradition. It features stories about the Grenadier Guards, the favourite tipple of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment and how the King's Own Scottish Borderers made porridge palatable.

Episode 6

First transmitted in 1989, this is the final part of a six part series which delves into the world of the British Army's Regimental traditions and the stories behind them. This is a world where a Napoleonic Drum Major's staff remains prized booty, a dog wears campaign medals awarded by Queen Victoria's command and snuff is served from a ram called George.


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 March 2013 1:44 AM EDT
Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Formation of the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade; CEF
Topic: CEF

Extracts from the opening pages of the War Dairy of the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade.

The 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade was formed in France on the 22nd December, 1915. The units comprising the Brigade being:-

Lieut. Colonel A.C. Macdonell, D.S.O. Officer Commanding Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) was appointed Brigade Commander with the temporary rank of Brigadier General, and took over the Command of the 7th Brigade on the 22nd December, 1915. General Macdonell has seen considerable fighting, being present at the actions at Festubert, Givenchy, and Cuinchy besides which he had previously seen active service in the South African War, in Command of Canadian Mounted Rifles.


THE ROYAL CANADIAN REGIMENT

The Royal Canadian Regiment was raised as a unit of the Canadian Permanent Force in December 1883 under the name of the Infantry School Corps, being raised primarily for the purpose of instructing the Canadian Militia, but its establishment being increased it took over the garrisoning of places occupied by Imperial Troops. A detachment took part in the Expedition in North West Canada, 1884-1885, and bears that honour, and Saskatchewan, in 1899 2nd Battalion was raised for service in the South African War 1899-1900 and was present at the battle of Paardeberg. A 3rd Battalion was raised to garrison Halifax, Canada. Both these Battalions were disbanded after the South African War.

The Regiment bears the Badge of the Imperial Cypher V.R.I. and Imperial Crown granted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria in 1894. On the outbreak of the European war the Regiment was mobilized at Halifax, Nova Scotia and occupied the defences at that station, with detachments at defensive points throughout Nova Scotia.

Having been brought up to War strength by recruits from the Canadian Expeditionary Force Camp at Valcatier P.Q. the Regiment sailed for Bermuda on September 10th 1914 And relieved the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. On being relieved by the 38th Battalion Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force it proceeded to England via Halifax leaving Bermuda on August 13th 1915, arriving in England September 5th 1915. It was rearmed and equipped at Shorncliffe, casualties being filled by drafts from Canada and volunteers from the other Canadian Battalions at Shorncliffe. The Regiment landed in France on November 1st and proceeded to Bailleul, being billeted around Meteren and forming part of Corps troops of the Canadian Corps. A week later it moved to Westhof and went into the trenches for instruction in trench warfare with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade at Ploegstreert [Ploegsteert] The Regiment then moved to LaClytte – 2nd Canadian Divisional Area – on November 19th where after supplying working parties for front line trenches and supports for about a month it moved to Boeschepe and became part of the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade on the 22nd December 1915.


PRINCESS PATRICIA'S CANADIAN LIGHT INFANTRY.

Among the many Regiments serving in France and elsewhere on the side of the Allies few have been inaugurated under more favourable auspices than The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Owing to the untiring energy and generosity of Major A. Hamilton Gault, D.S.O., authority was granted, one week after the war was declared, to raise one Battalion to form part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. To facilitate recruiting depots were established at Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Calgary and Edmonton Alberta. In each of these cities prominent citizens were invited to collect recruits, besides which notices were inserted in various Canadian Newspapers, calling for recruits and stating terms of enlistment.

Lieut. Colonel Farquhar D.S.O. Coldstream Guards was given command, and Headquarters were established in the city of Ottawa, the Capitol of the Dominion of Canada. Recruiting commenced on the 12th of August 1914, and by the 26th August the Regiment was up to strength, fully equipped and ready to proceed overseas. One of the conditions of enlistment was that every recruit have previously belonged to some regiment of the British Army, and it is interesting to note that 50% of the recruits had previously seen active service, and that every regiment of the British Army was represented, with the exception of the Inniskilling Dragoons.

The Battalion sailed from Quebec on September 28th, 1914 …[overseas, it] joined the 27th Division, being Brigaded with the 2nd Battalion Kings Own Shropshire Light Infantry, 3rd and 4th Battalions Kings Royal Rifles, Corps, and 4th Battalion Rifle Brigade, to form the 80th Brigade.

Arriving in France on the 22nd December, 1914, … the Battalion was engaged in trench warfare taking part in an attack on the German sap near Shelby Farm on the 28th February 1915, (where Where Major A Hamilton Gault was wounded) and the counter attack at St. Eloi on the 15th March 1915. On March 21st 1915 Lieut. Colonel H.D. Farquhar was killed and Lieut Colonel H.C. Buller, Rifle Brigade took Command of the Battalion. On the 5th April 1915 The Battalion took over the trenches in Polygon Woods and remained in the Ypres Salient, without being relieved, until the 3rd May – 25 days – when they moved to the Bellewarde [Bellewaerde] Line. On the 4th May there was a heavy bombardment of this line by the enemy and 25 men were killed and 96 wounded, they were relieved here during the night by the 2nd K.S.L.I. and held the G.H.Q. line at Ypres. Lieut Colonel H.C. Buller being wounded during the shelling of that place on the following day the 5th May 1915, when the Germans made a general attack. Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry losing 16 Officers and 450 other ranks, killed and wounded, during the engagement. On being relieved from the first line trenches on the 9th May 1915 they formed a composite Battalion with the 4th K.R.R.C. and took part in the counter attack at Hooge on the 24th May 1915, when they again had a heavy casualty list. On the 28th May 1915 the 80th Brigade moved to the Armentieres District and relieved the 6th Division at L'Epignette, and the Battalion remained in that vicinity until 14th September 1915, when the Brigade took over an area in the Somme District where they remained until the 25th October 1915, during part of this period the Battalion was in the trenches continuously for 23 days. leaving the 8th Brigade, 27th Division on 9th November, 1915 The Battalion was attached as Instructional Battalion to the 3rd Army School of Instruction until the 25th November 1915, when it entrained for Castre and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force, becoming part of the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade on the 23rd December 1915.


42ND BATTALION, (5TH ROYAL HIGHLANDERS OF CANADA).

42nd Battalion (5th Royal Highlanders of Canada) Canadian Expeditionary Forces (Lieut Colonel G.C. Cantlie) joined the Brigade on its formation at Mont-des-Cats, having been for a period of nearly three months on Active Service in France. Recruited and mobilized in the City of Montreal, Province of Quebec in February 1915, and after five months training in Canada sailed for England, where further training in musketry was undergone until the 9th October 1915 when the Battalion came over to France.

The 42nd Canadian Infantry Battalion is now perpetuated by The Black Watch of Canada (Royal Highland Regiment).


49th BATTALION (CANADIANS).

The 49th Battalion (Lieut Colonel W.A. Griesbach) mobilized in Edmonton, Alberta, the majority of the members of the Battalion being railway men, miners and farmers – about 35% being Canadian and the remainder British born, and recruited from the Northern portion of the Province, from Edmonton Peace River District and the vast territory north and west of the Capital City of the Province, a large percentage of the men being of Scotch descent.

The 49th Canadian Infantry Battalion is now perpetuated by The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (3rd Bn, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry).


The Brigade being composed as it is of well disciplined and seasoned troops there seems no reason why it should not be able in a short while to hold its own with the other Brigades of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. All feel that the good opinion already formed after a careful inspection of the units, will not be misplaced, and that when the records of this campaigns are written, the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade, will not have failed to carry out its duties in a sound soldierly manner.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Royal Canadian Regiment in the Great War; 1914-1919
Topic: The RCR

In 1914, the officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of The Royal Canadian Regiment (The RCR) formed a large share of the approximately 3000 professional soldiers in Canada's army. While the single infantry regiment of Regulars might have expected to find itself despatched to Europe at the outbreak of the First World War, this was not to be. Instead, the Department of Militia sent its one infantry battalion to garrison Bermuda for a year while Sir Sam Hughes executed his plan to create a new Expeditionary Force separate from the Regular Army and the Canadian Militia. The RCR would later join the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France as a unit of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, and the question of its deployment to Bermuda would be raised in the Canadian Parliament.

The RCR would serve in France and Flanders from November 1915 until the end of the War and approximately 4800 Canadians would wear the Regiment's eight-pointed star cap badge and fight as Royal Canadians. From Mount Sorrel in 1916, through Vimy in 1917 and ending with the Pursuit to Mons in 1918, The Royal Canadian Regiment would be awarded 16 Battle Honours for its achievements and sacrifices on the fields of battle in France and Flanders.

One member of the Regiment, Lieutenant Milton Fowler Gregg, would receive the Victoria Cross, and many others would receive other awards for acts of courage and meritorious service.

Discover more about The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War at The Regimental Rogue; presenting elements including the unit's War Diary and information on the officers and the NCOs and soldiers of the Regiment.

The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 18 March 2013

Library and Archives Canada - Faces of War
Topic: LAC

Second World War photos on line at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

One of the greatest challenges with the ever increasing accessibility of LAC holdings via on line databases is keeping track of what is available. While much of the searchable nature of the LAC catalogue leads to file references that must be ordered (either locally for viewing by yourself or a hired researcher, or through the LAC for copying), there is an increasing amount of items that have been scanned and made available for direct viewing.

One of these collections is Faces of War. This collection displays nearly 2500 images of Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen from the Second World War.

The Basic Search Page allows searching image descriptions by any key word (or words) you enter.

The Advanced Search Page supports a more detailed filtering approach. Selecting a button for Army – Navy – Air Force will bring up a selection list to choose a unit, ship or squadron. Clicking the Geographical button lets you choose applicable locations. You can also sort for images by the photographer's name.

Faces of War is an excellent resource introducing Canadians to some of the photos held by LAC of Canadian service members in the Second World War. Hopefully, over time, resources will be available to expand this database to include more of their holdings.


The three faces shown above were cropped from the following LAC images, see the full images at the links:

LEFT:

  • Title: Private D.B. MacDonald of The Royal Canadian Regiment, who carries a Bren light machine gun, near Campobasso, Italy, October 1943.
  • Location: Campobasso, Italy (vicinity)
  • Date: October 1943.
  • Photographer: Smith, Jack H., Photographer
  • Mikan Number: 3226037

CENTRE:

  • Title: Able Seaman Carl Carlson with one of the hull plates of H.M.C.S. QU'APPELLE which was pierced by a German shell during an action in which H.M.C.S. QU'APPELLE, H.M.C.S. SKEENA, H.M.C.S. RESTIGOUCHE and H.M.C.S. ASSINIBOINE sank three German armed trawlers. England, 16 August 1944.
  • Location: England
  • Date: August 16, 1944
  • Photographer: Arless, Lt Richard Graham., Photographer
  • Mikan Number: 3374382

RIGHT:

  • Title: Groundcrew servicing a Hawker Hurricane IIB aircraft of No. 402 (City of Winnipeg) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F.), Fairwood Common, Wales, March 1942.
  • Location: Fairwood Common, Wales
  • Date: March 1942.
  • Photographer: Unknown., Photographer
  • Mikan Number: 3199522

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 4 March 2013 12:54 PM EST
Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Woods Recogniton Cards; The Jokers
Topic: Cold War

Today, if you walk into an area where soldiers are relaxing, you'll find many engrossed in personal electronics, listening to customized playlists, texting or watching videos on their smart-phones or, possibly, reading the latest bestseller on an electronic reader. During the Cold War, before so much of our personal time was taken up by solo interaction with electronics, those same soldiers might have been found reading (anything from pulp sci-fi, to Sven Hassel, to the inevitable selection of magazines they wouldn't have shown their mothers (ok, not exactly reading those ones)), or small groups playing cards.

Few infantry section vehicles or command post vehicles didn't have a deck of cards, often with a cribbage board, tucked in a corner for those long periods of "hurry up and wait." Solitaire, cribbage, euchre, poker, all were fair game to the troops, and new platoon members night be warned not to start playing for cigarettes or cash with certain peers, because there was no way they could expect to come out ahead.

From as early as the Second World War up to the Cold War, companies that manufactured items for soldiers also tapped into this time killing activity. Various companies produced sets of playing cards with vehicle and aircraft silhouettes on each card. With these, a soldiers could convince himself that not only as he playing euchre, he was also learning. Among those groups for which armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) and aircraft recognition were primary requirements, like TOW and air defence gunners, the argument might had some validity. For most others, the information on the cards was just a novel decoration on something they would use just as much if they were from an ordinary Bicycle deck.

In the 1990s, Woods Manufacturing, of Ottawa, Ontario, (now Guthrie Woods made just such a deck. The deck included the three Jokers shown here displaying outline drawings of a tank, a helicopter, and a jet fighter. The three images included the names of the major components of each vehicle, adding to the learning potential of the cards for young soldiers.


 

 


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 16 March 2013

Battle Honours; DETROIT (16 August 1812)
Topic: Battle Honours

On 16 August 1812, a force comprised mainly of British Regulars and Canadian Militiamen totaling 1360 crossed the Detroit River under the command of Major General Isaac Brock to attack Fort Detroit. Defended by Brigadier General William Hull and a force of approximately 2500, it was by a series of ruses and feints that Brock led his opponent to believe that the besieging force as much stronger that it actually was. As a result, Fort Detroit was surrendered to Brock with few losses on either side. The strength of 1360 for Brock's force does not include the First Nations warriors that were present, and the number is taken from the published Prize Money list for those eligible for reward for being present at the action (see the list below).

Following the War of 1812, the 41st (The Welch) Regiment of Foot was awarded the Battle Honour "DETROIT" for its role in the action.

In 2012, the Canadian Government decided to award Battle Honours to War of 1812 units and to link these honours to perpetuating modern Canadian Army units. Eleven separate Battle Honours were awarded to units of the Canadian Militia at Detroit. These eleven honours are perpetuated today by five infantry regiments, one armoured reconnaissance regiment and one artillery regiment of the Canadian Army.

Out of Brock's force of 1360 officers, non-commissioned officers and men, 1076 belonged to line infantry units which might be eligible for battle honours. Of these, 302 were on the roll of the 41st Regiment and 774 belonged to the Canadian Militia regiments at Detroit.

540 of those present (70% of 774) belonged to the regiments of Militia that are now perpetuated by the Essex & Kent Scottish Regiment. These are the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Essex Militia and the 1st Regiment of Kent Militia. The remaining 30%, or 234, share eight awarded Battle Honours and are now held by five perpetuating regiments:

  • The Queen's York Rangers perpetuate the 1st and 3rd Regiments York Militia which, combined, had 87 officers, NCOs and men present.
  • The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry perpetuates the 2nd Regiment York Militia which, combined with the 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia had 65, all ranks, present.
  • The Lincoln and Welland Regiment perpetuates the 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia which, combined with the 2nd Regiment York Militia had 65, all ranks, present.
  • The 56th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, perpetuate the 1st and 2nd Regiments Norfolk Militia which, combined, had 68, all ranks, present.
  • The Royal Canadian Regiment perpetuates the 1st Regiment of Oxford Militia and the 1st Regiment of Middlesex Militia which, combined, had one officer and 13 NCOs and men present at Detroit.

The largest single regimental presence by the Canadian Militia at Detroit for which a Battle Honour was awarded was the 1st Regiment Essex Militia which paraded 312 all ranks. The smallest single regimental presence by the Canadian Militia at Detroit for which a Battle Honour was awarded was the lone officer of the 1st Regiment of Middlesex Militia, followed by the 13 NCOs and soldiers of the 1st Regiment of Oxford Militia.


The force structure and unit strengths shown in the following table has been extracted from The Publications of the Champlain Society; Select British Documents of the Canadian War of 1812, Volume 1 (Toronto, The Champlain Society, 1920)

British Forces Listed as Eligible to claim Prize Money from their Involvement in the Surrender at Detroit 16 August 1812.

  Offrs / NCO / Men British Army BHs Awarded Canadian BHs Awarded (2012) Currently held by
General and Staff Offrs9 / -/ -   
Field Train Department1 / 1 / -   
Commissariat1 / 2 / -   
Militia Staff Officers4 / - / -   
Royal Artillery1 / 5 / 24   
41st Regiment of Foot13 / 26 / 26341st (The Welch) Regiment of Foot The Royal Welsh
Royal Newfoundland Fencible Regiment4 / 8 / 41   
Provincial Marine Department5 / 9 / 119   
1st/3rd Regts York Militia4 / 6 / 77 1st Regt York Militia
3rd Regt York Militia
Queen's York Rangers
2nd York/5th Lincoln Militia3 / 3 / 59 2nd Regt York Militia
5th Regt Lincoln Militia
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry
Lincoln and Welland Regt
1st Regt York Militia2 / 3 / 19   
2nd Regt Norfolk Milita6 / 3 / 59 1st Regt Norfolk Militia
2nd Regt Norfolk Militia
56th Fd Arty Regt, RCA
1st Middlesex (attd to Norfolk)1 / - / - 1st Regt Middlesex MilitiaThe Royal Canadian Regiment
Oxford Militia- / 2 / 11 1st Regt Oxford MilitiaThe Royal Canadian Regiment
1st Essex Militia22 / 32 / 258 1st Regt Essex MilitiaE&K Scot
2nd Essex Militia23 / 11 / 131 2nd Regt Essex MilitiaE&K Scot
1st Kent Militia9 / 8 / 46 1st Regt Kent MilitiaE&K Scot
Troop of Essex Militia Cavalry1 / 1 / 4   
Indian Department5 / 11   
49th Regiment- / - / 1   
Officers (regts not mentioned)3 / - / -   
Total117 / 131 / 11121115 Inf + 1 Armd Recce + 1 Arty unit

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 March 2013 3:40 PM EDT
Friday, 15 March 2013

The Vimy Pilgrimage Medal
Topic: Vimy Pilgrimage

In July of 1936, approximately 6200 Canadians sailed to Europe aboard five liners of the Canadian Pacific and Cunard steamship lines to participate in the Vimy Pilgrimage. These passengers formed the bulk of the attendance at the unveiling of the Vimy Memorial by King Edward VIII on 26 July, 1936.

Among the Pilgrimage Equipment issued to each traveler was the "Official Medal," also referred to as the "pilgrimage badge" (and all manner of variations of those terms). The July 1936 handbook given to pilgrims stated that:

"In addition to the official beret, haversack, guidebook and pilgrimage badge, each pilgrim will be handed a white celluloid identification button on which his party letter and company number are shown in black."

The Vimy Pilgrimage Badge, designed to resemble a soldier's medal, was further mentioned in a paragraph specific to the wearing of medals during the trip:

"Wearing of medals. When wearing decorations and service medals on ceremonial occasions, there should be worn well up on the left breast. The Company leaders will inform the pilgrims as to the occasions when the wearing of medals is appropriate. The Vimy Pilgrimage Badge or medal may be worn throughout the Pilgrimage. It should be pinned to the right lapel, as shown in the illustration."

Many photos of the Pilgrimage show the Pilgrimage medal being worn. King Edward VIII is among the many who wore it on 26 July 1936 at the unveiling ceremony. His medal was recently acquired by the Canadian War Museum.

In the pages of "Service," the history of the Royal Canadian Legion (by Clifford Bowering, pub. 1960) can be found the following description:

"Before the ceremonies began His Majesty, wearing his Vimy Pilgrimage badge, descended the steps to meet many of the Canadian veterans and their families. To the veterans this was a great moment in their lives. Hundreds crowded around the popular monarch, some to take pictures, some to talk to him, some to shake him by the hand. Eagerly, enthusiastically and obviously happily at ease, King Edward walked among his veteran-subjects, chatting, asking questions. He has a special word for Mrs C.S. Woods of Winnipeg, mother of eleven sons who had fought in the was and of whom five gave their lives. For half an hourthe King met with the veterans and return to the memorial only upon the arrival of President lebrun of France."


 

 

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 14 March 2013

Field Punishment No. 1
Topic: Discipline

"When it is decided to tie a prisoner to a fixed object, it has been found advisable to carry out this punishment in as public a place as possible." - The Canadian Officer's Guide to the Study of Military Law, by Major E.W. Pope, The RCR, 1916

Many old soldiers like to talk about the "good old days" when, in their hazy remembrance, soldiers were more disciplined, less likely to question any aspect of military life, and worked and played harder. While the achievements of the Canadian Army in the Balkans throughout the 1990s and Afghanistan in the past decade certainly prove that today's soldiers are as effective as any previous generation in their own time, the idea that soldiers "play" less hard is more a distortion of the effects of the cultural shift away from acceptance of drinking as a sport or hard drinking an expected ability, by some, of a professional soldier. These changes have not diminished the Canadian soldier's ability to make Canadians proud of their service at home and abroad, but we easily forget that one of the aspects of maintaining discipline in days past was harsher punishments in the military justice system.

In the 1980s, a soldier caught with marijuana might face 30 days or more in military jail, while his civilian counterpart might receive a few hundred dollars fine from a local civil court. Turning the clock back further, we find that the most common punishment handed out at summary trials during the First World War, those expedient trials run by Officers commanding Battalions or Companies, was Field Punishment No. 1.

The following excerpt from The Canadian Officer's Guide to the Study of Military Law, by Major E. W. Pope, The Royal Canadian Regiment (Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1916), provides a description of this style of punishment.

CHAPTER XIV - RULES FOR FIELD PUNISHMENT AND THE KEEPING OF CONDUCT SHEETS

(See M.M.L. p. 721, and F.S.R. Pt. II, chapter on "Discipline")

109.     I.     For any offence committed on active service an offender may be sentenced, by his commanding officer, to twenty-eight days' Field Punishment, and by a Court Martial to three months'

Field Punishment.

Field Punishment is of two kinds:

(a)     Field Punishment No. 1.

(b)     Field Punishment No. 2.

2. Where an offender is sentenced to Field Punishment No. I, he may, during the continuance of his sentence, unless the Court Martial or the commanding Officer otherwise directs, be punished as follows:

(a)     He may be kept in irons, i.e. in fetters or handcuffs, or both fetters and handcuffs; and may be secured so as to prevent his escape.

(b)     When in irons he may be attached for a period or periods not exceeding two hours in anyone day to a fixed object, but he must not be so attached during more than three out of any four consecutive days, nor during more than twenty-one days in all.

(c)     Straps or ropes may be used for the purpose of these rules in lieu of irons.

(d)     He may be subjected to the like labour, employment, and restraint, and dealt with in like manner, as if he were under a sentence of imprisonment with hard labour.

3.     Where an offender is sentenced to Field Punishment No. 2, the foregoing rule with respect to Field Punishment No. 1 shall apply to him, except that he shall not be liable to be attached to a fixed object as provided by paragraph (b) of Rule 2.

4.     Every portion of a Field Punishment shall be inflicted in such a manner as is calculated not to cause injury or to leave any permanent mark on the offender; and a portion of a Field Punishment must be discontinued upon a report by a responsible medical officer that the continuance of that portion would be prejudicial to the offender's health.

5.     Field Punishment will be carried out regimentally when the unit to which the offender belongs or is attached is actually on the move, but when the unit is halted at any place where there is a provost marshal or an assistant provost marshal the punishment will be carried out under that officer.

6.     When the unit to which the offender belongs or is attached is actually on the move, an offender awarded Field Punishment No. 1 shall be exempt from the operation of Rule 2. (b), but all offenders awarded Field Punishment shall march with their unit, carry their arms and accoutrements, perform all their military duties as well as extra fatigue duties, and be treated as defaulters.

110.     Method of carrying out Field Punishment. Although it has not been considered advisable to allow Field Punishment No. 1 to be administered in the United Kingdom, it is the punishment most frequently met with in the theatre of war. It is easily carried out, if the proper procedure is understood, and has been administered with excellent results. It must be remembered for obvious reasons that a man undergoing Field Punishment does not thereby miss his tour of duty in the trenches. No punishments are carried out when the unit is actually on trench duty, and since the sentence runs concurrently with this duty due attention should be paid to this point by the Commanding Officer in making his award. Many officers have an idea that Field Punishment No. I consists in merely tying a prisoner to a fixed object for a certain length of time each day. This is quite wrong. The proper system is to make a man sentenced to this punishment do all the fatigues and sanitary work possible in the vicinity of the billets which his unit is occupying, with a view to relieving well-conducted men there-from. Then when there is nothing left for him to do of that nature, he can be tied to a fixed object for a period not exceeding two hours daily. When it is decided to tie a prisoner to a fixed object, it has been found advisable to carry out this punishment in as public a place as possible.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The 1914-1915 Star
Topic: Medals

The first medal that many Canadian soldiers might have been eligible to receive for their First World War service was the 1914-15 Star. Eligibility for the 1914-15 Star was achieved if the soldier served in a theatre of war before the end of 1915. In the Western Europe theatre of war, for operations in France and Belgium, the specific dates of eligibility were from midnight of 22-23 November 1914 until 31 Dec 1915.

Over two million 1914-15 Stars were awarded to soldiers of the British Empire, and of these, 71,150 went to Canadian soldiers of the Great War (There is also a 1914 Star for those who reached a theatre of war before the end of 1914, of which only 160 were awarded to Canadians.) each 1914-15 Star is impressed (stamped) on the reverse with the recipient's service number, rank, name and unit. Officers medals do not include a service number because officers did not have service numbers during the First World War.

Any soldier who was eligible for the 1914-15 Star also received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, these three forming the colloquially named First World War "trio."

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 12 March 2013

If you went to Hospital, You were Going to Get the Blues
Topic: CEF

The photo above shows an unidentified soldier of The Royal Canadian Regiment with a friend. Both men are wearing the standard dress for convalescing soldiers — Hospital Blues

During the First World War, many soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force found themselves spending time in hospital. Diseases and injuries that today might be healed relatively quickly with batteries of antibiotics and other medicines to help the body combat infection could mean a hospital stay of week, or months, longer than we might envision under modern health care. Wounded and sick soldiers, depending on available facilities could find themselves recuperating not only in Hospital in France, but also throughout the United Kingdom. Especially, for the many which crossed the Channel as stretcher cases, their units administratively transferring them to holding units in the UK, there was not effective system (nor could there be one efficiently) that ensured a soldier would awake to find his own clean uniform to wear while convalescing.

Instead, we find that widespread service was made of the British Amy's existing solution for clothing recuperating solders, the "hospital blues." Blue linen suits, lined in white and nattily accessorized with a bright red tie. What self-respecting soldier wouldn't find that outfit stylish and debonair for "walking out" during his convalescence, especially since they came in a range of few sizes fitting few soldiers well. Although originally cut to be buttoned to the neck, turning down the collar of the jacket added the benefit of bright white lapels to the hospital blues' appeal.

There was, however, one saving grace. Each soldier kept and wore his service cap and regimental badge with the hospital blues. This ensured they retained their regimental affiliations, and with discerning eye, could identify members of their own unit, or of ones they had fought with.

Soldiers might find themselves in "blues" for months at a time. The outfit also ensured that locals recognized the recovering soldier as such, and not mistaking him for someone they thought deserving of a white feather for ducking military service. The hospital suit garnered the respect due a man fighting for nation and Empire, even if the cause of his lengthy hospital stay might have been due to catching something his mother and minister would highly disprove of.

The greatest advantage of the blues was that while required to wear them, a soldier knew he was going to be sleeping in a warm bed, eating three square meals a day, and that his duty comprised getting fit enough to return to the fight.

More on Hospital Blues:

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2016 2:45 PM EST
Monday, 11 March 2013

Perpetuation and Coming Commemorations – Follow the Lineage
Topic: Perpetuation

(Or: "How One Regiment Could be Fighting in Three Places at Once")

The following regiments of the Canadian Army perpetuate more than one fighting unit of the infantry or machine gun corps of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. In many significant battles of the First World War, which these regiment's forebears won battlefield honours, they (and, hopefully, the organizers of commemorative events) will have to trace the actions of each perpetuated unit to fully develop an understanding the the roles of the soldiers they now honour in perpetuation. This may lead to some modern units standing in representation of more than one unit of the CEF during the Great War centennial years.

Notably, in each case, the various perpetuations are spread between Brigades and Division of the Corps, and the individual unit actions may, in some cases, be well separated in location and time. This can produce the appearance of inconsistencies when the detailed background is not well understood. For example, The Royal Canadian Regiment (The RCR), which itself reached France in November 1915, could find itself at events celebrating the battle of the summer of 1915. This is because it also perpetuates the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion, a unit of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division that did reach the battlefields in early 1915 and won honours there now carried by The RCR in their memory.

First, some nomenclature:

  • Cdn Inf Bn – Canadian Infantry Battalion
  • Cdn Inf Bde – Canadian Infantry Battalion
  • Cdn Inf Div – Canadian Infantry Division
  • CMGC – Canadian Machine Gun Corps

Regiments with Multiple Perpetuations of CEF Combat Units

The Royal Winnipeg Rifles

The Royal Canadian Regiment

The Black Watch of Canada (Royal Highland Regiment)

The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's)

The North Saskatchewan Regiment

The Nova Scotia Highlanders

The Victoria Rifles of Canada (reduced to nil strength and transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle on 5 Mar 1965)

  • 24th Cdn Inf Bn / 5th Cdn Inf Bde / 2nd Cdn Inf Div
  • 60th Cdn Inf Bn / 9th Cdn Inf Bde / 3rd Cdn Inf Div

Why are the Division identifiers in different Colours? In the First World War, the soldiers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force wore distinctive shoulder flashes that, to a practiced eye, identified the soldier by his division, brigade and battalion. See this post for a brief explanation of the shoulder flash system.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 27 April 2014 5:48 PM EDT

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