The Minute Book
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Respecting Orders Given on Parade (1880)
Topic: Discipline

Militia General Orders

Headquarters, Ottawa, 8th October, 1880

General Orders (19), No. 1

Respecting Orders Given on Parade

The following is published for general information and warning:—

In one of the Corps of the Militia of the Dominion, a Lieutenant commanding a company had occasion, on parade, to find fault with the drill of one of his men, a Private. The Private not only answered him while in the ranks, but afterwards, off parade, went to the officer and argued with him as to the correctness of the order he had received. This provoked the Officer to such an extent that he so far forgot himself as to use personal violence towards the Private Soldier, and to subsequently exceed his authority by striking the name of the Private off the Roll of his Corps.

To mark his disapprobation of conduct so subversive of all military discipline, the Minister of Militia and Defence has approved of the removal from the Service of both the Officer and private, and their names will therefore be erased from the Roll of their Corps. The Major General hopes that what has unfortunately occurred may act as a warning to the Militia Service generally so that it may be thoroughly understood that an order given to Soldiers on parade must not be answered or abjected to, but obeyed; that a Soldier who feels himself aggrieved must not go to his Officer unless accompanied by a non-commissioned Officer who has been previously informed of the man's object in wishing to speak to his Officer; and that Officers must on no account use violence, or take the law into their own hands.

It is with extreme regret that the Major General finds it necessary to publish this order.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 23 January 2017 9:41 PM EST
Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Modern Brutus (1864)
Topic: Discipline

A Modern Brutus

The Evening News, Providence, Rhode Island, 20 April 1864

In Toronto there lives a retired colonel of the British army, staunch and loyal, who allowed a private soldier of good character, in the 30th Regiment, to marry his daughter. His regiment, soon after he marriage, was ordered to Montreal, and he took his wife with him, where he deserted both her and the Queen's service, and came across the lines to the protection of the stars and stripes. The colonel indignantly sent for his daughter, and she has continued to live with him, hearing occasionally from her husband, but refusing, or rather permitting her father to do it for her, to go to him as requested. Last week they were suddenly surprised by the appearance of the deserter, who entered the house without ceremony. His wife flew to him and her father at him, the latter arresting him as a deserter from Her majesty's service. In vain did the son-in-law argue and the daughter weepingly plead. With Roman firmness the British colonel insisting upon handing him over to the authorities, assuring him that thus he should treat his son or his brother, had either been a traitor. With an unyielding conviction of duty, the colonel dragged his erring relative to the barracks, and gave him up to the penalties of the law.

elipsis graphic

The 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot was in Canada from 1861 to 1869 and during this period defended the border with the United States during the Trent Affair (1861) and the Fenian Raids (1866). 

elipsis graphic

Historical Records of the XXX. Regiment

"The regiment landed at Toronto on 12th July [1861], and were quartered, three companies at the New Barracks, and three at the Old Fort; the remaining companies under canvas, half at each barracks." (p. 210)

"On the 23rd September [1863], in accordance with instructions, the regiment proceeded from Toronto to Montreal. The regiment relieved the 1st Battalion 16th Regiment, and was quartered in the Molson College Barracks, and formed part of the 2nd Military Division, under the command of Major-General the Hon. James Lindsay." (p. 211)

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 2 April 2017

Court of Enquiry---Cornwall (1866)
Topic: Discipline

But while expressing his strong condemnation of such unsoldierlike conduct, His Excellency must remark that if the general discipline of the administrative battalion had been better, such a discreditable occurrence would probably not have taken place.

Militia General Orders

Headquarters Ottawa, 10th August 1866

General Orders Volunteer Militia

Court of Enquiry—Cornwall

No. 1.

The proceedings of a Court of Enquiry, lately assembled at Cornwall, to investigate the circumstances connected with a disturbance which broke out in camp at that place, have been forwarded by the Major General Commanding to His Excellency, the Commander in Chief, who is pleased to order the publication of the following remarks:

It is clear from the evidence that the discipline of the administrative battalion at Cornwall was by no means creditable.

1.     One non-commissioned officer states that he had been drinking in the canteen with two of the officers. If such was the habit in the battalion, it is not surprising that the officers had little influence over the men under their command; for it is one which is certain to destroy all discipline.

2.     Another evidence states that he was kept on sentry from six p.m. on the 3rd until three a.m. next morning, that is to say for nine consecutive hours.

3.     Lt.-Col. Hawkes states in his evidence, as the reason of not being able to discover the men who fired their rifles on the night of the 3rd July, that the rifles had been fired with blank ammunition on the morning of the 3rd July. That is to say, Lt.-Col. Hawkes allowed his men to return their rifles to the arms racks after firing without having cleaned them. This is most discreditable, and it is little surprising that the rifles in the hands of the volunteers should become worthless, if such a practice is permitted by the Lt.-Colonel of a battalion of volunteers, who has had considerable experience in the regular service.

The evidence given before the Court is very conflicting, but it tends to show that shots were fired by both the Ottawa Volunteers and men of the Hochelaga Regiment. But while expressing his strong condemnation of such unsoldierlike conduct, His Excellency must remark that if the general discipline of the administrative battalion had been better, such a discreditable occurrence would probably not have taken place.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 31 March 2017

The Soldier in Battle (US Army, 1917)
Topic: Discipline

The Soldier in Battle

Home-Reading Course for Citizen Soldiers (Lesson No. 24, of 30)

Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, 25 September 1917

The average civilian, no matter how brave he might be, has little desire to go into battle. Even though he knows very well that the chances of his being killed or wounded are comparatively small, yet the thought of placing himself in a post of danger face to face with a well trained and courageous enemy is more or less terrifying to him.

This state of mind is entirely natural. Every man goes through it. The bravest soldiers of the civil war and of all wars testify to their dread of entering battle; but this is a feeling that can be conquered even by a man who is physically timid.

Self-Confidence Is Necessary

As a man's military training progresses, his body becomes stronger and therefore better able to stand the strain and intense activity. He grows accustomed to the noise of heavy firing. He gets practice in handling his rifle and his bayonet with skill, so that he becomes confident of his ability to defence himself. He learns how to advance over ground apparently swept by bullets without exposing himself to really effective fire. He grows used to the idea of meeting enemies face to face in battle.

Private soldiers are not required to study tactical problems. These are solved by higher officers. But every man should thoroughly understand the following elementary principles of combat:

1.     The offensive wins.

2.     Battles are won by the individual soldier. It is emphatically "up to" him. Splendid leadership and fine equipment are of avail only when each private does his utmost.

3.     Victory depends more on nerve and fighting spirit than on the best weapons and armor in the world.

Defensive action alone never wins victories. The army which succeeds must be ready and anxious to attack. There are many advantages to taking the offensive. The destruction of hostile trenches by heavy bombardment preceding the attack weakens the enemy's spirit and sometimes leads to the surrender of men who are in no condition to withstand assault. The chief advantage, however, is the fact that the attacking side chooses its own time and place to strike, forcing the enemy to readjust his defences accordingly.

All these remarks tend toward one conclusion, namely, that the discipline of the army is a big factor in giving men the tenacity which enables them to go into battle with dauntless courage and to win victories. Discipline can accomplish wonders even among men who are naturally lacking in brains and self-reliance. It can accomplish as great deal more, however, among those who possess these natural qualities.

Men who are thoroughly disciplined, and yet within the limits of discipline possess the priceless quality of initiative, make ideal soldiers. They are the men who can always be trusted to pull themselves out of tight places, to carry attacks through until success is won, to hold out against all odds.

Army Success Depends on Men

Men of this type will be found in the national army—tens of thousands of them.

Within the next few months the national army will be formed into a splendid body of troops filled with a spirit of loyalty and of enthusiasm for our just cause, efficient from top to bottom, in which every man will be fitted and ready to do his duty. Such an army backed by all the resources of the country—resources of men, of money, and of materials practically without limit—is bound to go forward to victory. There may be temporary reverses and periods of gloom, as in all other wars; but in the end victory must and will be won.

This is the object toward which all your training is to be directed. Put into that training all your own earnestness and energy. Fit yourself to wear with pride and credit the uniform of an American citizen soldier.

This is the road of honor and of real service to the nation.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
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


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
Friday, 3 March 2017

The Basis of Good Discipline
Topic: Discipline

The Basis of Good Discipline

Combat Lessons, Number 2, September 1946

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

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Monday, 23 January 2017

1st Company, 1st Regiment, Disbanded (1865)
Topic: Discipline

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 9:43 PM EST
Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Battalion Duties--General Remarks--NCOs (1917)
Topic: Discipline

Battalion Duties—General Remarks—NCOs

They must be examples at all times to their men, and endeavour constantly to increase their military knowledge.

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

1.     Non-commissioned officers must not walk out with private soldiers, or associate with them in a familiar way. Their friends must be non-commissioned officers.

2.     A non-commissioned officer returning from leave of absence or command should report himself to the Adjutant or the Regimental Quartermaster.

3.     Non-commissioned officers must never lend to or borrow money from private soldiers.

4.     Sergeants must not enter the men's canteen except on duty. (N.B.—If possible, a place should be arranged for non-commissioned officers, and if no canteen is available, an estaminet should be reserved for them.)

5.     Non-commissioned officers must never use harsh or intemperate, and, more particularly, obscene, language to the men.

6.     Non-commissioned officers must back up their officers always, and pull together for the honour of their Regiment.

7.     In walking out, non-commissioned officers must give an example of dress and smartness. Sergeants wear belt and side-arms; other ranks belts only.

8.     They must be examples at all times to their men, and endeavour constantly to increase their military knowledge.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2017 8:43 AM EST
Saturday, 17 December 2016

Soldiering in Annam (1883)
Topic: Discipline

Soldiering in Annam (1883)

Composition of the Annamite Army and its Discipline

Montreal Daily Witness, 6 September 1883

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

The Drill

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


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

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 17 December 2016 12:13 AM EST
Thursday, 15 December 2016

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

Battalion Duties—General Remarks—Private Soldiers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

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

Officer's Right to Wear His Uniform
Topic: Discipline

Officer's Right to Wear His Uniform

Case Against Major ("Foghorn") MacDonald Opened in Police Court
Disputed Regulation
Defence Contended That Major Could Not Be Discharged During Duration of War

The Montreal Gazette, 14 September 1918

An earlier Minute Book entry on "Foghorn" MacDonald - "Foghorn" MacDonald Attains Distinction in Service at Front (1916)

Questions as to the legality of the act of the Adjutant-General of Canada in striking Major Neil Roderick ("Foghorn") MacDonald from the strength of the active list of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and transferring him to the reserve of officers were set by Mr. W.K. McKeown, K.C., counsel for the defence, when the trial charging Major MacDonald with wearing a uniform without permission when off duty opened in the Police Court before Judge Leet yesterday.

Mr. McKeown, throughout the course of the proceedings, declared that it was the intention of the defence to prove that the act was not in conformity with the agreement entered into between the King and major MacDonald, when the latter enlisted as a private in the Canadian Army. Another serious question raised by the attorney for the defence was whether the Canadian Expeditionary Force is part of the Canadian Militia and governed by the King's regulations for the Canadian Militia, or whether it was part of the British army and governed by the King's regulations for the Imperial army. The legal points were the subject of much debate among the lawyers and Lieut.-Col. Hill. G.S.O., who was the star witness for the for the prosecution.

When the case was opened Mr. M.L. Gosselin, K.C., acting for the prosecution, declared that Major MacDonald had been struck off the strength of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on December 14, 1917 and that by routine order of march 18, 1918, Major MacDonald was transferred to the reserve of officers. He was off duty since December 14, and had been warned to take off his uniform, which he had been wearing in public. Mr. McKeown, however, contended that Major MacDonald had enlisted for the duration of the war and six months after it had concluded if necessary, and had made a contract with the King. He went overseas as a private and rose to the rank of major. Application was then made for his transfer to the Forestry Corps, and after serving for three years in France he was successful, last fall, in securing a furlough for three months. While in Canada, he was struck off the strength without his request. The defence, therefore, contended that a man could only be struck off the strength for three reasons, viz., death, discharge, and the stopping of pay.

Liable for Service

Judge Leet then asked Mr. Gosselin if Major MacDonald could be called upon to render military services while a member of the reserve of officers, and Mr. Gosselin replied in the affirmative, stating that any man is liable to be called up. In the meantime, however, he is not serving. "If they had needed Major MacDonald's services," said Mr. Gosselin, "they would have kept him on active service. This man has tendered his resignation."

Judge Leet—"Has it been accepted?"

Mr. McKeown—"No. My Lord, that's what we contend."

Lieut.-Col. Hill was then called to the stand to give evidence. He explained that Major MacDonald had no right to wear the King's uniform after December 14, when he was struck off the strength of the C.E.F., and his pay stopped. When asked who issued the order regarding Major MacDonald's discharge, Col. Hill said that it came from the Adjutant-General at headquarters.

At this point the question whether the C.E.F. was part of the Canadian Militia or the British army was raised. Col. Hill declared emphatically that the C.E.F. was part of the Canadian Militia, while Mr. McKeown was of the opinion that it was part of the British army, and Judge Leet seemed to think along the same lines as the lawyer.

"While in England," said the colonel, "they come under the direct control and supervision of the Overseas Minister of Militia. When in France they come under the British army."

Col. Hill, in continuing his evidence, said that Major MacDonald had received forms from the Adjutant-General asking him to fill them in if he desired to be placed on the Reserve of Officers. Instead of that Major MacDonald said he wished to return to the infantry.

Mr. Gosselin—"Did you see Major MacDonald last February?"—"In February or early in March."

"In connection with the uniform?"—"Yes. It was reported to me that this officer was appearing in public in uniform. I had written to him on February 28 about this matter, and had advised him not to wear it again. After he received the letter he came to see me. He gave me to understand that he was shortly to get his civilian clothes, and as soon as they were ready he would discontinue wearing his uniform.

Serve During War

Mr. Mckeown—By the declaration made by officers do they engage to serve during the war similar to the men?—I think so.

Do you know of any document signed by Major MacDonald which would modify those attestation papers?—he was notified that he was struck off the strength and was transferred to the reserve of officers. He acknowledged this and thereby accepted it.

Do you refer to the document regarding the transfer in which he stated that he wished to be transferred to the infantry?—Yes.

You referred to this as an application of transfer to the reserve. Is it not true that this document shows nothing of the kind, that there is nothing said in it indicating that Major MacDonald thereby applied to be transferred to the reserve? Is there any mention of the reserve in this document?—Not on the face of it.

Have you any other documents to indicate whereby Major MacDonald in any way modified the terms of the original attestation in December, 1914?—No, there is no record. There is a record of his having signed a document promoting him for commissioned rank.

You have stated, Col. Hill, that Major MacDonald was struck off the the strength on December 14, 1917, what was the procedure by which major MacDonald was struck off the strength at that time?—A letter from the Adjutant-General at headquarters to the O.C. of Military District No. 4 informing him that in accordance with his request Major MacDonald had been struck off the strength.

How long have you been with the Militia?—Twenty-two years.

Are you conversant with the King's regulations and orders which govern the Canadian Militia, which govern the British army?—We have the King's regulations for the Canadian Militia and there are also the King's regulations for the Imperials.

Which apply to members of the Canadian Militia?—Both.

Which has the precedence?—In Canada, the Canadian, overseas the Imperial.

From Adjutant-General

Are you familiar with these two sets?—Fairly well.

Can you indicate to the court the authority for the letter dated Ottawa, December 28, 1917, purporting to report that Major MacDonald had been struck off the strength from December 14, 1917?—That's a letter from the Adjutant-General or one of his deputies. That letter was written under the authority given the Adjutant-General,

Which set?—General order No. 1 of 1905, under the duties of the Adjutant-General.

Is there anything in the King's regulations and orders for the Canadian Militia giving authority for the letter, apart from section 11, paragraph c.?—Undoubtedly, I don't happen to know it.

I mean is there any other order which will justify this letter?—Not that I know of.

Can you indicate anything in the King's regulations and orders authorizing the striking off strength of officers and their transfer to the reserve list?—Paragraph 26.

Are there any other provisions in the King's regulations and orders dealing with the transfer of officers to the reserve?—Not that I know of.

According to you, under which set of these regulations does Major MacDonald fall?—The regulations for the Canadian Militia.

Is it not a fact that the officers are struck off the strength only in virtue of district orders, and not by letters?—Not necessarily. A letter from the Adjutant-General is sufficient authority.

Now is there any cause assigned anywhere for the action in striking Major MacDonald off the strength?—yes.

The witness then produced a letter from the Adjutant-General to major-General Wilson, dated November 14, 1917, stating that Major MacDonald's leave expired on December 13, 1917, and that a communication had been received from overseas saying his services would be more valuable in Canada than overseas. The letter informing the Adjutant-General of this was written by Major Moorhead, director-general of timber operations.

In continuing the cross-examination, Col. Hill said that Major MacDonald's record was a clean one, and that he had risen from the ranks to a high post in the army.

Mr. McKeown told Judge Leet that there was absolutely no power or authority by which the militia could discharge Major MacDonald from the active force and transfer him to the reserve list.

Col. Hill also admitted that the transfer to the reserve did not change Major MacDonald's status, and that being struck off the strength did not affect his standing as an officer. It merely meant that he was not a member of the active force.

Capt. J.S. Livingstone, provost-marshal, was the second and last witness to be called by the prosecution.

Did you see him in the month of August in connection with the wearing of his uniform?—I did.

What was your object in speaking to him?—To have him take it off.

The witness declared that Major MacDonald had informed Col. Piche, acting O.C. for Military District No. 4, that he would take off his uniform.

This concluded the evidence, and Judge Leet announced that the case would be adjourned until Thursday morning next, when the defence will be heard.

elipsis graphic

Charge Against Soldier Dropped

Concerned Major ("Foghorn") MacDonald's Right to Wear Uniform New Order-in-Council Gave Power to Try By Courts Martial, But Major Appeared in Mufti

Montreal Gazette, 20 September 1918

An effective compromise in the case of Major "Foghorn" MacDonald's persistence in wearing his uniform in defiance of orders from the provost marshal and the military authorities to the contrary developed yesterday afternoon in the Police Court, when the defendant appeared for the first time in mufti and Mr. Louis Gosselin, K.C., representing the plaintiff, withdrew the case because the order-in-council under which he had been prosecuting the defendant had been superceded by a new order-in-council lately issued. Mr. W.K. McKeown, K.C., for Major MacDonald indicated that his client abated not one jot or tittle of his claims that he had the right to wear the uniform but had resumed mufti because his understood that it had been the intention to arrest him on the withdrawal of the police court proceedings in order to try the case by court martial under the new order-in-council. It was intimated by Mr. McKeown that the case would next reappear on the floor of the House of Commons.

Mr. Louis Gosselin, K.C., opened the proceedings by saying, "I wish to make a statement regarding the MacDonald case. The authority underlying the prosecution of Major MacDonald for the wearing of his uniform while not actually on active service and without permission was order-in-council, P.C. 17, dated January 4, 1918. Dince this case began the order-in-council 17 has been replaced by order-in-council P.C. 2161. The new order-in-council does not reserve any pending litigation. The authority under which this prosecution was commenced having lapsed, it had become necessary to withdraw this case. Such a case as the present one now finds authority under order-in-council P.C. 2161, which grants recourse either to a court martial under Section 40 of the Army Act or to the Civil Courts.

"I now find that since the adjournment this morning Major MacDonald has discarded his uniform and is now in mufti. This is in compliance with the law which was all we wanted. Under these circumstances, I suppose the case will be dropped.

Mr McKeown's Statement

Mr. W.J. McKeown, K.C., made the following statement on behalf of Major MacDonald:

"On behalf of Major MacDonald I wish to publicly declare that he has had no participation whatever in the move just made by the militia authorities in withdrawing the charge of wearing his uniform as a major without right.

"The proof already of record by the witnesses for the prosecution shows that from the time of his enlistment in September, 1914, to date, there has never been any charge whatever made against Major MacDonald, and that on the contrary his services to his king and country on the battlefields of Flanders earned for him successive promotion from private to the rank of major. After three years' service he applied for an was granted three months furlough and it was while Major MacDonald was here in Canada enjoying a well-earned rest, that the militia authorities took it upon themselves to dispense with his further services.

For Duration of War

"Major MacDonald's contention has always been and still is that in virtue of his attestation papers of September, 1914, and order-council No. 372, his enlistment was for the duration of the war and his status that of an officer of the British army, and that he is in no way subject to the orders of the Militia Department at Ottawa, and in any event, that no authority exists for the action of the adjutant-general taken in December last in striking him off the strength of the C.E.F. or for the routine and district orders of March following purporting to transfer him to the reserve list of C.E.F. officers.

"It having been intimated to Major MacDonald that it is the intention of militia authorities immediately upon the withdrawal of the police court proceedings, to cause his arrest for trial by court martial under an order-in-council dated the 5th of the present month, and not yet published in the Canada Gazette he has, upon advice of counsel decided to return to mufti so that the substantial question of his status and rights may be neither obscured nor jeopardized by a decision of a court martial upon a technical offence involving only the matter of his right to wear his uniform.

"It is, however, the intention of Major MacDonald's friends to pursue what they believe to be his rights in the connection, and to maintain the same by every legal means available and it is quite likely that the current subject will be aired upon continuance of the House of Commons in the next session. There is no objection to the withdrawal of the complaint on the present occasion."

Military Discipline

Judge Leet—"What is the distinction between the old and the new authority?

Mr. Gosselin—"The new authority provides that the man who wears the uniform without right is by that act made subject to military discipline and law and may be dealt with under Section 40 of the Army Act for conduct contrary to discipline. The fact of wearing a uniform subjects a civilian to military discipline for the purposes of that offence only. Under those circumstances I could not proceed but had to take the prosecution under the new order-in-council and that will only permit a trial before court martial. A man wearing the uniform is made subject for that purpose to a court martial. We are not after punishment of any kind but we did desire that the major should comply with orders. The theory of the Militia Department is that he is already discharged. He was requested to take his uniform off and on two occasions he promised. He is in mufti now, and we are satisfied."

Judge Leet—"As the original authority has been superseded, I don't see that there is anything to do but to allow the withdrawal."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 29 August 2016

Discipline and Mobility
Topic: Discipline

Discipline and Mobility

Lectures on Land Warfare, A Tactical Manual for the Use of Infantry Officers, Pub. William Clowes & Sons, Ltd., 1922

"…it is better to lose one man in marching than five in fighting."

The discipline, courage, and endurance of the troops, as well as the cause for which they are fighting, are at least of equal importance to their armament and numbers. "If their discipline and leading be defective, Providence seldom sides with the big battalions ... and troops that cannot march are untrustworthy auxiliaries ("The Science of War"). "An army which cannot march well is almost certain to be outmanoeuvred. A general whose strategy is based upon time calculations that are rendered inaccurate by the breakdown of the marching power of his troops runs grave risk of disaster. It is therefore necessary that the question of marching should be studied, not only by generals and staff officers, but by regimental officers and men. It is on the latter that the hardships and exertions fall, and their cheerful endurance can best be ensured by teaching them the great results attainable by an army which can move faster and further than its adversary, as well as the dangers incurred by an army which allows itself to be out-marched. Superior mobility alone enabled Frederick the Great to move 'like a panther round an ox' so as to place his army across the enemy's flank. The discipline of his troops enabled him to apply the "principles of combination" (General Sir E. B. Hamley). "Nothing compensates for absence of discipline; and the constant watchfulness that is necessary in war, even when danger seems remote, can only be secured by discipline, which makes of duty a habit." (General R. Taylor, C.S. Army). At the Battle of Hastings (Oct. 14, 1066) lack of discipline and disobedience of orders changed the fate of the English nation and brought about the Norman Conquest. Harold, the English king, had defeated the forces of Harold Hadraade, King of Norway, at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire (Sept. 25, 1066). Four days later, Duke William of Normandy landed in Pevensey Bay, with 60,000 horse and foot. Harold hastened south to meet him with troops exhausted by battle and marching. After King of Norway, halting six days in London to collect reinforcements, the English force entrenched itself on the hill of Sautlache and awaited attack. The Normans were unable to penetrate the abattis, but they gained the victory which changed the whole history of the English race by the stratagem of a feigned retreat. Harold's undisciplined auxiliaries, contrary to direct orders (which were obeyed by the regular troops in the centre), swarmed out of the palisades in pursuit of the fleeing Normans, who suddenly turned about and penetrated the English lines mingled with the discomfited auxiliaries. Had the "irregulars" shown the same sense of discipline as the regulars there had been no Norman Conquest.

With regard to marching, General T.J. Jackson once observed, in reply to an allusion to his severe marching, that "it is better to lose one man in marching than five in fighting."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 18 August 2016

Australian Soldiers; The Question of Discipline (1916)
Topic: Discipline

Australian Soldiers; The Question of Discipline (1916)

The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 February 1916
By Sergeant

The most heartbreaking part of an officer's or N.C.O.'s work during the period of recruit training is to educate Australians to submit to discipline. It is almost an impossibility to teach a new man to instantly obey and order, and to get him into the soldierly habit of coming to attention when addressing anyone of superior rank, or saluting when passing him in camp or elsewhere. It necessitates a very complex knowledge of the Australian character to account for this peculiarity in the men, and a study of his individuality, descent, and all the influences at work upon the man from infancy to adult life, before an officer may consider himself qualified to handle new recruits, and change their modes of thought.

The average Australian is in most cases descended from parents and grandparents who, by nature of their own bringing up, were free of all restraint. In the infant days of colonisation—going back beyond the date when the convict system was abolished—the conditions of life were hard and pitiless in the extreme. The gradual opening up of the back country called forth a type of men and women who had fearlessly and doggedly to face privations, loneliness, and hardships. From this class there descended and even more independent generation, which, inheriting all the pluck and endurance of their parents, had added to these qualities an unalterable love of freedom, inseparable from their mode of life. The "bush" had to be conquered. They were a law unto themselves, resenting interference; each endeavouring to carve out a path for himself; and with little aid from the Government. So strenuous was the existence, so bitter the disappointments, as obstacle after obstacle was attacked—often only to be found insurmountable—that the combative spirit, inherent be reason of descent from British stock, was increased in parents and transmitted to offspring. Each individual acted independently for his own ends. Children, from mere infancy, were allowed the utmost freedom, and taught to do each one for itself. They grew up strong in their belief in their own ability to conquer in the battle of life. Not trained in strict obedience even to their parents, they took orders from none, and never learnt discipline.

Another factor to be reckoned with in considering the influences at work in forming the character of the present generation is the absence, especially in the country, of class distinctions. Birth and education counted for next to nothing. Money and success alone talked. But the rick man knew better than to expect servility and obedience from his poorer countrymen. It was not in their nature to humble themselves to anyone. If work was offered, the labourers sold their knowledge and power alone for wages agreed upon, but did not feel called upon to treat their employers with the respect which is part of a similar bargain in older countries. The employer was called "boss" not "sir."

As the colonies grew in importance, and education became compulsory, the literature eagerly devoured on all sides dealt with the operations of bushrangers and convictism, the minds of the young people turning naturally to deeds of daring and unlawfulness, there being more excitement in such reading than in the books which a differently descended and trained people would choose. Besides, the parents in many cases had come into personal conflict or friendly communication with the outlaws, and the tales of the doings of these desperate men appealed to the readers as touching on acts perpetrated at their doors. All of this had a tremendous effect upon the rising generation, and is reflected in the character of our soldiers, as may be witnessed in their behaviour in camp, and their utterly fearless conduct when facing the enemy in the present war.

To such a bold, independent people the idea of discipline is accounted a sign of weakness. It is this feeling which makes the recruit shuffle up to an officer and salute in a half-hearted way. He thinks his mates will twit him for it. For this reason saluting is not popular. The recruit cannot get the idea out of his head that he is acknowledging in public his inferiority. It is no use telling him to salute his superior officer is merely discipline. He knows not the word. It is "double Dutch" to him. All he see in front of him is a fellow-man. Nothing more. Why should he salute him? You have to take these recruits in hand just as a school-master does new boys. First study their disposition. No two are alike. One may be dull but good-tempered so long as you don't rub him the wrong way. Another is smart and quick to learn. Yet another is conceited, and with ignorance added is the most difficult to deal with. All are fearless. They must be taught as you would teach children the A B C. Gradually and firmly, taking care not to tire either mind or body, making the work interesting, and watching for inattention which must be nipped in the bud. Finding fault with individuals in the presence of their mates should never be permitted; but insubordination must not be allowed. Instruction and example, or detail and demonstration, cannot be carried too far. Recruits are very imitative. They mostly all want to learn, and are attracted more by what they observe than most officers think. This is very noticeable when the men first get into uniforms after a period in dungarees. The change is sometimes marvelous. From slow, slouching fellows, they blossom out into smart, upright soldiers eager for further training, but never altering in their dislike for discipline.

All this, it is said, alters after going to the front. Hourly association with British troops effects a change. It is not the severity of the English officers. It is imitation! They face into line with the British "Tommies" simply because they do not want to behind in anything. The spirit to conquer asserts itself. If discipline added to their other good qualities will place them first in the eyes of the world, then discipline it is!

If officers and N.C.Os. would give some consideration to the foregoing remarks, and endeavour to study the recruits individually, much better results would accrue. You can lead Australians, but you cannot drive them. Properly handled, they are the finest men in the world. But those who would lead them must understand and know that, and become acquainted with all the influences which are and have been at work for a hundred years in forming their characters, otherwise the labour of teaching and training is lost.

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Jugoslav Military Etiquette
Topic: Discipline

Jugoslav Military Etiquette

The Stanstead Journal, Rock Island, (Stanstead) Quebec, 13 August 1925

In the Jugoslav army there is to be observed an interesting difference in military manners. The army is composed of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The traditions of the Serbs favour the spirit of comradeship between officers and men. Off duty the two regard each other as equals. The Croats and Slovenes have been accustomed to the Austrian etiquette, which is modeled on the Prussian, under which the men are regarded as inferior creatures.

A major in a Slovene cavalry regiment has just resigned his commission. He could not tolerate the sight of his Serb colonel sitting in a restaurant engaged in friendly conversation with one of his soldiers.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 6 August 2016

The Discipline of Fear
Topic: Discipline

The Discipline of Fear

The Glasgow Herald, 19 April 1915

The last report of the British "Eye Witness" at the front contained some interesting allusions to certain methods current in the German Army for the purpose of maintaining its cast-iron rigidity and its mechanical, it not its spiritual, efficiency. "The discipline," he writes, "is principally that of fear, the men being in positive terror of their officers, who behave with a kind of studied truculence more befitting slave-drivers than leaders of men … This is borne out by the use of the cat-o'-nine tails, which is well established, one of these instruments having been captured by us near Neuve Chapelle … Such," he continues, "is the fear of the officers and the general mistrust that the men do not even speak to one another of their grievances for fear that their complaints should reach the ears of their seniors. Of the outward forms and restraints of discipline there is no relaxation even in the trenches. When an officer passes the men must spring to attention and must remain with shouldered arms, without moving a muscle, perhaps for a quarter of an hour., while the officer in question is near them. When they are relieved from the trenches every spare moment is devoted to drilling and training. The slightest fault is punished with extreme severity, the offenders often being tied to a tree for hours together."

Such evidence as this—and of course it could be greatly simplified if one took the trouble to quote from the many descriptions given of the War Lord' legions in the days of peace—indicates that the German system has not travelled in the direction of leniency since the days of Frederick II, when, as Macauley states, "Military offences were punished with such barbarous scourgings that to be shot was considered by the Prussian soldier as a secondary punishment." Probably in the eighteenth century Frederick's system did not differ greatly in principle from that to be found elsewhere. The difference nowadays is that, whereas every civilized country has imported into its methods of discipline, however inflexibly they may be maintained, the mitigating qualities of reason and humanity, Germany adheres to the brutal and brutalising formulas of the past, steadily refusing to countenance the idea that men can be as readily, perhaps more easily, led than drive.

"A thorough knowledge of the secrets of human nature," says von der Goltz, "is very essential to a general. An army is a very sensitive body, not a lifeless instrument, or a set of chessmen to be moved backwards and forwards, according to calculation, until the enemy is checkmated. An army is subjected to many psychological influences, and its value varied according to its general feeling." Again, "The general must understand how to look into the hearts of soldiers, in order to estimate rightly what may be required of them at a given moment." Yet this authority makes nothing of his own text. He is so ignorant of human nature that he regards the best army as being that in which submissiveness and uniformity have been most fully attained. The explanation is that the German officer, and not the German soldier, constitutes the German Army. "Non-commissioned officers and soldiers rapidly come and go in the Army; its officers alone are the constant element by which tradition is handed down." The British officer who a few months ago publishes that instructive volume "The German Army From Within," states that "the German axiom is that the greatness of an army lies with its men." Speaking with a knowledge derived from experience with both armies, he asserts the firm conviction that "one British Tommy is the equal of three Germans of the same rank." A system which operates to destroy personal initiative in the ranks is obviously inferior to one in which individuality is encouraged, even if stress were not laid on the fact that the human material to begin with starts in the one case from a slavish docility and in the other from what is usually and alert and independent intelligence. The German private is merely "cannon food," while the all-important officer is too often typified by that Colonel Nicolay who last August was the murderer of the unfortunate Englishman, Mr. Henry Hadley. Incidentally the hope may be expressed that, provided the arms of the Allies do not anticipate the work of justice, this specimen of German Kultur may be brought to a stern account. One can readily conceive of such men, the authors of countless infamies in Belgium and France, rallying their men in their trenches with blows and with words used by Frederick to his flying troops—"Scum of the earth, do you want to live forever?"

The contrast in methods carries us back to fundamentals. It is not, as some may suppose, a question of conscription versus voluntary service, although it may be granted that the regime of the Junker would have short shrift in any volunteer army that we can imagine. There is conscription in every Continental country, yet so far as we know the discipline obtaining in the German Army stands in inglorious isolation, bearing no resemblance either to the paternalism of Russia or the camaraderie encouraged by the democratic Gallic spirit. It is the something wrong with German human nature, the primitive brute lying so near to the surface of Germany's ingeniously organised national life, that we detect using the forms of discipline to express itself. It is Heine's "braggart with the capacious maw, carrying like a corporal's staff, which he first dips in holy water before bringing it down on one's head" that we perceive—the rude and savage Prussian, who has learned nothing from human progress but the means for augmenting his rudeness and equipping his savagery with the diabolical resources of science. Grant this native imperviousness to the gentler virtues of the race, transfer to a State which exalts itself above every human institution all the ruthlessness of individuals whose culture is only skin-deep, and you get the German Army, a marvellously efficient machine, whose efficiency up to a certain point is the greater by its suppression of the units of which it is composed, even at the cost of their degradation and bruitalisation as human being. But one is inclined to wonder what enormities mat be possible to such a machine if by sudden reversion to the human nature it outrages it should turn upon its authors and engineers. The German Government have only known it as a victorious force or, at all events as a force in which the belief in victory is still strong. What will it be in the hour of defeat.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 22 July 2016 10:34 AM EDT
Thursday, 4 August 2016

Miss Manners' Rules of Military Desert Etiquette
Topic: Discipline

Miss Manners' Rules of Military Desert Etiquette (1991)

Don't flatulate in closed tents. A professional steps outside.

Times Daily, Florence, Alabama, 18 February 1991

1.     Don't leave half-drunk, open water bottles. Finish them.

2.     Don't leave dip cups (spittoons) lying around. Empty them.

3.     Never separate a soldier from his or her cot.

4.     Rinse out the wash basin after use. No one wants your soap scum and hair.

5.     Don't flatulate in closed tents. A professional steps outside.

6.     Never open a new case of MREs just because you don't like any of the meals left in the open box.

7.     Never relieve yourself in the presence of soldiers of the opposite sex. If by accident this happens, always apologize.

8.     Never hog the shower water. Always turn the shower off until you need to rinse.

9.     Always drive on the dust down side of pedestrians. It is very improper to 'dust' walking soldiers.

10.     Be cautious when playing volleyball in boxer shorts.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 22 July 2016 10:45 AM EDT
Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Salute
Topic: Discipline

The Salute

US War Department Pamphlet 35-3, WAC Life, May 1945

One of the most important of military courtesies is the salute. It is a respectful greeting, a sign of recognition between military persons.

It is that, and no more. There has been a good deal of misunderstanding about the salute, most of it on the part of people who don't know how soldiers feel about it. Many civilians completely misinterpret its purpose and meaning. They take it to be an acknowledgement of the soldier's inferiority to his superiors. Nothing is further from the truth. Salutes are given and returned. They are a privilege of the military alone. Every officer salutes every other officer, just as every enlisted man salutes every officer. The highest-ranking general in the Army is required to return the salute of the greenest buck private. The fact that the subordinate salutes first is simply common-sense courtesy applied to a military expression; it is for the same reason that gentlemen step aside for ladies in doorways and younger people are introduced to their elders rather than the other way around.

The salute has an additional purpose. It is evidence of respect for authority. In the Army, an officer does not determine his own authority nor just assume as much of it as he feels he should have; his authority is prescribed and becomes his duty and responsibility whether or not he likes it. In saluting, you acknowledge respect for the position and authority of the officer who holds that position.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Salutes Important Part of Discipline
Topic: Discipline

Salutes are Important Part of Their Discipline

Men of Army, Navy and National Guard Strict in Their Observance of This Requirement When Sometimes Otherwise Lax

The Day, New London, Connecticut, 25 July 1912

Colonel Rogers emphasized the importance not only of saluting but made it plain that it was just as serious an offence to fail to return a salute of a subordinate.

Adam, the man with the fig leaf uniform, is said to have been a lance corporal when the story about 75 cent epaulets was new. This story, which is alleged to be just off the griddle every time it is told, runs thus:

A young C.N.G. officer passing a rookie private, notices he does not salute. Calling the enlisted man to attention the young officer in sharp tones inquires: "You see these shoulder straps! Well, I paid 75 cents for them, and when you go by you salute them. Se11!'

Exactly when the 75 cent shoulder strap story broke into the Connecticut National Guard cannot be determined, but it used to be perpetuated at about all the Niantic camps to the discomfort of not only the poor privates involved, but the officers and enlisted men who had been to more than one camp. Once a rookie second lieutenant tried to tell of this funny method of instilling respect for superiors into enlisted men as he had exemplified it. An officer with a 15-year service medal grunted and promptly informed the narrator that the origin of the tale had been traced to one of the tours of duty of Eden.

Among the citizen soldiery of this state the importance of the military salute was not fully realized until the Spanish-American war. Each of the volunteer regiments was braced up by a regular officer entering it who had most of the whipping into shape to do. The New London regiment, the Third, had no less a martinet that the them Maj. Alexander Rodgers, who became a colonel of volunteers, and is now a colonel of cavalry. Colonel Rogers emphasized the importance not only of saluting but made it plain that it was just as serious an offence to fail to return a salute of a subordinate. Many a man of good intention scan testify to this. It was sandy, as he was affectionately referred to, when out of hearing, who used to look a man square in the eye and demand: "Put your heels together!' The victim would comply; salute again and wonder how in thunder the colonel could see that his heels were not clean together.

After Colonel Rodgers got through his whipping into shape, when the Third was mustered out, his legacy was a better understanding in the C.N.G. of what soldiering really was. Subsequent camps found it to be no uncommon state of affairs for the proprietor of a drug store, who happened for the week to be squeezed into the uniform of a hospital corps sergeant, to be gracefully saluting and be recognized by his $9 per week soda jerker, who more fortunately expanded his chest in the blouse of a second lieutenant. As many of the volunteers went back into the Third infantry as commissioned or non-commissioned officers, it has been passed on until the coast artillerymen, who transferred from that regiment, came to associate with the regulars at the island, when the necessity for the "walloping' promptly was not a novelty.

Regular soldiers have various terms for the act of saluting, though walloping is a favorite. It is such a matter of routine for them that they wondered why a civilian should be curious about the custom. The regular used to be loath to salute a National Guards officer and the sensitive guardsman got sore. Then along came the Dick bill that made the national Guards of the several states the reserve of the regular army and there was no room for doubt. It is rare that a National Guard officer passes a regular soldier and does not "get the wallop.'

It is provided in regulations that the enlisted men of the army and the enlisted men of the navy must salute the commissioned officers of the navy or army and that the salutes must be returned. Army records are said to show instances of court martials for officers who ignored the salutes of enlisted men.

A group of 15 men, mostly privates from a New York national guard regiment, showed their ignorance in first rate shape at State and Bank streets one afternoon last week. They lounged about in a most distressful manner, leaning against the building wall, hanging onto awning brackets, smoking and talking, while an ensign of the navy found it necessary to pass and repass them. Not a one of the guardsmen offered to indicate that he had any respect for the ensign's rank. The ensign did not seem to mind whether they noticed him or not.

A nattily dressed sailor on the curb crooked his elbow and touched his cap and the ensign reciprocated. The jackie looked disdainful at the New Yorkers and murmured, "Tryin' to make tin soldiers o' themselves.'

A negro sailor passing the Neptune building repeatedly saluted the clerk from the army recruiting office, who was attired in a white uniform and looked like an officer. The sailor evidently had a few salutes to spare.

In the navy it is the midshipman on the way down the scale who is the last man entitled to the salute. In the army the second lieutenant is the last.

The army claims to observe the rule of saluting most stringently, a condition due possibly to the fact that officers and men do not come into contact as frequently as in the navy. Aboard a torpedo boat destroyer where there is little room the officers usually require no saluting of men in continual passing back and forth. More than once an obliging officer has been known to say in the morning, "You need not salute me any more today.' The suspension of the rule saves time and physical effort without impairing discipline.

Officers in civilian clothes are very generally saluted, when it is known that they are officers by the men of their command or others. A regular colonel who wore his "cits,' raised a rumpus in the Crocker house one evening because some naval cadets did not salute him. He had strong reasons for thinking that the cadets knew who he was. At any rate they felt particularly well acquainted with him, when he got through with them.

A big sailor, who is classified as a coal passer, gave a brilliant example of his respect for superiors in bank street during the past week. To watch him coming up the sidewalk not one in a hundred would say he could undertake any more difficult task than taking a nap and getting away with it. He had "a big bundle,' which occupied pretty much all of his time. Down the street came an officer, eyeing him closely. Mr. Jack gathered himself together like a flash and swung his hand to his cap in neat style, while he braced his big bulky form as stiffly as if he hadn't had a drop to drink. The officer of the patrol evidently considered the coal passer able to take care of himself when he could do as good a job as that for he passed him by.

In civil life a man is considered ill-mannered who does not remove his cigar, cigarette or pipe from his mouth when saluting. It is considered bad manners in the army and navy. In fact it is regarded as such a breach of etiquette that a man who tried it would probably never forget the date. The soldier salutes with the elbow close to his side, the sailor with the elbow raised so that the upper arm is extended. Both are required to be snappy in the performance of the salute and usually pains are taken to see that they do nor become negligent and skip a few of the motions.

To the observing citizens the salute is impressive. Not a few men, who have been watching sailors and soldiers on the streets lately, express admiration at the way the most of them carry their most distant hand to their caps in respect to the uniforms of the officers they meet. Undoubtedly, most of them have heard the story of the 75 cent epaulets.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 2 July 2016

Keeping Soldier in Irons is Abolished
Topic: Discipline

Keeping Soldier in Irons is Abolished

The Victoria Advocate, Victoria, Texas, 10 June 1923

London.—Lieut. Col. Walter Guinness announced in the [UK] house of commons recently that the army council has decided to abolish Field Punishment No. 1.

Corporal punishment in the army was abolished in peace time in 1868 for the reason that some commanding officers were discovered to be introducing many illegal punishments to avoid having to resort to the lash. Then, in 1881, flogging was finally done away with, and two forms of field punishment, known as No. 1 and No. 2, were introduced, it having been found necessary to employ some form of punishment in the field which should cause the offender no injury and which should not prevent the performance of his active military duties.

Under field punishment No. 1 the offender could be kept in irons—fetters, or handcuffs, or both—and attached for certain periods of time to a fixed object. He could be subjected to any labour, employment, or restraint as though he had been sentenced to imprisonment. Field punishment No. 2 was precisely similar, except that the offender could not be attached to a fixed object.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Discharged---With Ignominy
Topic: Discipline

…the non-commissioned officer in charge of the escort steps forward and, amid a silence almost to be felt, with a sharp knife divests the prisoner of all military distinctions in the form of medals, badges, buttons, &c.

Discharged—With Ignominy

The Age, Melbourne, Australia, 8 March 1930
By Montague Norman

Some gave them white bread,
and some gave them brown,
Some gave them plum cake,
and drumm'd them out of town.

How many reading or hearing the words of the old nursery rhyme ever give a thought to the meaning of those contained in the second portion of the last line? Few of us, I'm sure, and yet there is a very interesting meaning to them. Without any doubt, Lewis Carroll, when penning "Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass," knew all about them, for we see in the older editions of this classic of our childhood a picture of Alice holding her ears against the din created by phantom sticks in the air all around her. And to military custom we may turn for an explanation.

Some sixty or seventy years ago the British Army recorded amongst the list of authorised punishments for certain crimes under its jurisdiction that of being "discharged—with ignominy." This sentence was carried out, where awarded, with full military honors—or, rather, dishonors, the delinquent soldier being literally "drummed out" of his regiment.

During the war, as a member of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, I was on one occasion posted to the reserve battalion of the regiment at its depot at Parkhurst Barracks, Isle of Wight. Curiously enough, it was at these barracks that almost the last case of "drumming out" took place. At that time, somewhere in the sixties or seventies, the barracks were the depot of the North Devon Regiment. With a first-hand knowledge of the locality, it is easy for me to reconstruct the scene depicting the last act in the regimental life of the degraded soldier.

Picture the gravelled parade ground, some one hundred and fifty yards across, and bounded in the front, as we stand in the roadway, by a high iron picket and stone pillar fence, and on the other three sides the barrack buildings, with the officers' mess and quarters on the right. Drawn up on parade is the battalion, forming three sides of a hollow square, the fourth side being peopled by the prisoner and escort, the colonel and the adjutant, and finally the battalion fife and drum band. A brisk command brings all ranks stiffly to attention, and no sound is heard save the voice of the adjutant as he reads loudly in a clear voice the details of the crime of which the prisoner has been found guilty and the sentence awarded him by the court-martial by which he has been tried—"to be discharged—with ignominy."

The reading of the sentence concluded, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the escort steps forward and, amid a silence almost to be felt, with a sharp knife divests the prisoner of all military distinctions in the form of medals, badges, buttons, &c. One by one they are cut off, and one by one thrown in the dust, until at last the culprit stands, divested even of support for his nether garments, and gripping tightly to tunic and trousers to keep them in place. Follows the pinning of these garments, and the N.C.O. stands back, ready for the next scene in the drama of shame. The battalion is formed into two ranks, the prisoner handcuffed, and the actual drumming-out commences. Out steps the smallest drummer boy in the band, holding a rope with a running noose in his hand. This he slips around the neck of the degraded man, and, led by the drums and fifes shrilling the Rogue's March, a piece of music written especially for just such an occasion, a procession is formed, which marches from the right of the line to the left and back again, between the ranks.

The march concluded, and every man having had a good look at his erstwhile companion, the procession now directs its steps to the main gate, which opens on Cowes-Newport road. Here the band wheels to the right to permit of the little drummer performing his last rites—the removal of the rope and the hearty kick to help the departing man on his way to—the arms of the civil authorities, who dispose of him as they see fit, usually by a term of imprisonment.

And thus did the British army, in the "good old days" of sixty or seventy years ago, "drum out" and rid itself of a member who might prove himself an undesirable constituent of her majesty's forces.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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