The Minute Book
Saturday, 22 April 2017

Militia Notes; Sherbrooke, Quebec (1899)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia Notes; Sherbrooke, Quebec (1899)

Drill Season Opens—The Drill Shed—Band Will Be Under Regimental Control

The Examiner, Sherbrooke, Quebec, 13 March 1899

The 53rd Regiment in Sherbrooke would become The Sherbrooke Hussars.
The Regiment would not get a new Armoury until 1909, the structure is listed on Canada's Historic Places: Sherbrooke Armoury.

The drill season has opened, but up to the present there has not been the interest manifested either by the men or non-coms. that should be apparent at the opening of the season's work. Owing to the unsuitable condition of the Drill Shed the Battalion has been compelled to rent the hall in Griffith's Block for drill purposes. The room is a very comfortable one and much of the inconvenience that was sometimes felt in the old quarters is done away with.

Recruiting is very slow. This should not be the case. There are a large number of the young men of the city who would find it very profitable from a recreation point of view to enrol themselves in the Canadian Militia. Apart from that it should be the desire of every eligible young man to know something of drill and fire arms. The non-coms., therefore, should be alive to their duty and keep out 53rd Battalion up to the high state of proficiency which has characterized it in the past.

There is every prospect of the Battalion spending a few days under canvas this year at some central point. That is if the mobilization scheme, which is reported from headquarters will take place this year, matures. This would be of lasting benefit to the militia. There is too much ceremonial drill now gone through by the militia, and it is to be hoped that they will now get down and learn something more of the work of a soldier than that of marching past and trooping the colours.

Speaking of a new drill shed it is earnestly hoped that when the deputation from City Hall and Board of Trade interview the Government that they will receive some definite line of action. Certainly there is more than need for a drill shed. It is in a most deplorable condition, and is certainly not at all adequate for the use of the battalion. The Government cannot be ignorant of the state of affairs for an officer was here last fall and inspected the building. It is practically no use to the Battalion, for as above stated drill goes on in a hired hall and the armouries are in the post office building, in two rooms on the top story, alongside the dwelling rooms of the caretaker of the building. Certainly not at all a desirable place for either the caretaker or the Battalion.

Classes have been formed for the purpose of taking part in the proposed tournament which will be held shortly in this city in aid of the Battalion fund.

The 53rd Batt. Band will in future be under the control of the regiment. This was decided at a joint meeting of the Regimental Committee and band on Friday night. This is a step in the right direction, and will have the effect of placing the band on a much better footing. Negotiations are now going on for the purpose of securing a first class leader. The prospects are bright for the band this season, as it is the intention to considerably augment it.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 15 April 2017

Calling Out the Militia and Rates of Pay (1865)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Calling Out the Militia and Rates of Pay (1865)

Headquarters,
Ottawa, 15th November, 1865

Militia General Orders

Canada Gazette, Ottawa, Saturday, November 18, 1865

1.     His Excellency the Administrator of the Government and Commander-in-Chief, having had under consideration the possibility that raids or predatory incursions on the Frontier of Canada, may be attempted during the winter, by persons ill disposed to Her Majesty's Government, to the prejudice of the Province and the annoyance and injury of Her Majesty's subjects therein;

And being impressed with the importance of aiding Her Majesty's troops in repelling such attempts, and for that purpose of placing a portion of the Volunteer Force on active service;

His Excellency directs one Volunteer Company be called out for service, for as long a period as may be thought necessary by His Excellency, from each of the undermentioned places, viz.:

Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Morrisburgh, Toronto, Port Hope, Hamilton, Woodstock, London;—the Companies so called out to be stationed at such places as His Excellency the Lieutenant General Commanding shall direct:

And that the said Volunteer Force shall, during the time it remains on active service, be placed under the command of His Excellency Lieutenant General Sir John Michael, Commanding her Majesty's Forces in North America; and that it shall be subject to the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, to the Rules and Articles of War, to the Act for punishing mutiny and desertion, and to all other laws now applicable to Her Majesty's Troops in this Province, not inconsistent with the Acts respecting Volunteer Militia.

2.     The rates of pay of the Force so called out for Service are fixed for the below mentioned ranks, respectively, as follows:

Ranks.Rate of pay per day.Daily rate of allowance in lieu of barracks, rations, and all other allowances.
Lieut. Colonel$4.87$1.00
Major3.901.00
Paymaster3.05.90
Adjutant with rank of Lieutenant2.44.90
Adjutant with rank of Ensign2.13.90
Captain2.82.76
Lieutenant1.58.72
Ensign1.28.69

And that in addition to the free rations and Lodging, the Non-Commissioned Officers and privates be paid at the daily rate following:

Rank.Rate of pay per day. (cts.)
Serjeant-Major50
Quarter-Master Serjeant45
Paymaster's Clerk45
Orderly Room Clerk45
Hospital Serjeant45
Pay Serjeants40
Serjeants35
Corporals30
Buglers25
Privates25

3.     The Officers in Command of the different posts where the above named Volunteer Companies may be stationed shall receive all orders from the Lieutenant General Commanding, and make all reports direct to such Officers as the Lieutenant General may appoint; with the exception of matters related to finance and promotions, which are to be referred direct to the Adjutant General of Militia.

4.     His Excellency calls on all Officers in Command of Volunteer Corps in Canada to complete their numbers, and to hold themselves with their respective Corps in readiness for actual service, and to march at a moment's notice to such places as may be indicated to them.

5.     The undermentioned Officers are appointed to act temporarily, as below, viz.:

In Canada West

  • As Assistant Adjutants General:
    • Lt. Col. W.S. Durie, Commdg. 2nd Battn, "Queen's Own" Rifles, Toronto.
    • Lt. Col. Samuel Peters Jarvis, 82nd Regiment, Adjutant Staff College.
  • As Deputy Assistant Adjutants General:
    • Lt. Col. J.B. Taylor, Commanding Oxford Rifles, Woodstock.
    • Lt. Col. F.T. Acherly, late 30th Regiment.

In Canada East

  • As Assistant Adjutants General:
    • Lt. Col. W. Osborne Smith, Commd. Victoria Volunteer Rifles, Montreal.
    • Lt. Col. L.T. Suzor, Brigade Major, Quebec.
  • As Deputy Assistant Adjutants General:
    • Major George Browne, late 69th Regiment.
    • Lieut. L.A. Casault, late 109th Regiment.

Major T. de Montenach will perform the duty of Brigade Major at Quebec, during the employment of Lieutenant Colonel Suzor, on other duty.

6.     Major Hill, of the 1st (or Prince of Wales') Regiment, Volunteer Rifles, of Montreal, is appointed major in Command of the Volunteer Force to be stationed at Sandwich, Windsor and Sarnia.

By Command of His Excellency the Administrator of the Government and Commander-in-Chief.
P.L. MacDougall,
Colonel, Adjutant General of Militia,
Canada

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 28 January 2017 11:14 AM EST
Saturday, 8 April 2017

The Canadian Militia (1860)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Canadian Militia (1860)

(To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle)
The Morning Chronicle, Quebec, 6 November 1860

To His Excellency Lieut.-General Sir Fenwick Williams, Bart., Administrator of the Government

In my former communications I proposed some change in the Active Volunteer Militia for of the Province, Which I believe will, if adopted, have the effect of rendering that force much more efficient than it is at present. The cost of maintaining the force, under the proposed arrangement (about £12,000 per annum) would be much less than under the present system. It is satisfactory to be able to state that, every brother officer of the volunteers to who I have spoken, has expressed his approval of the changes proposed in my letter.

Militia Staff

Colonel Sewell has kindly favoured me with his manuscript, which gives full details of the plan proposed by him for the formation of militia staff.

I therefore proceed to notice the leading points, as an officer of long experience who has seen some service in the army, and who had taken a warm interest in everything relating to the Canadian Militia for the last forty years, his plan deserves the careful attention of the Government, and of every Canadian who takes an interest in the welfare of the country.

The Colonel proposes that the Government should lay out certain portions of wild lands at "Militia locations" in different parts of the Province; those locations would be surveyed, and marked off into lots of 100 acres each. Volunteers would then be called for, each man receiving his 100 acres, upon which he would settle, and proceed to clear a portion of his land. The term of service for which he would engage would be 12 years, at the expiration of which the land would belong to him forever, on his paying one shilling per acre; the money so obtained by the Government to be placed to the credit of the Militia Fund.

The men would be told off in companies of 40 men each; over each company would be placed a captain of militia staff, and a lieutenant, who would receive their lots of 300 acres each, upon completing six years service, at the same rate as the men. Each location might contain a battalion, say 10 companies of 40 men each. Six of these "militia locations" in different parts of the province would thus give to us a force of 2400 bayonets. The companies would be numbered from 1 to 60, and would represent and constitute the staff of sixty battalions of the Canadian Militia. The men would be properly drilled, as hereafter described. Each company would bear the number of the battalion district to which it appertained; and, in case of threatened invasion or war, would be ordered to proceed to that district. For instance, say that the Island of Orleans was battalion district No. 26; the captain of No. 26 company militia staff would then be ordered to take his men to the Island, and to form as battalion out of the men residing on the Island who would be liable to service, appointing 24 of the most intelligent men as sergeants and the remaining 16 as captains. The staff captain would then receive the rank of lieut. colonel and take command of the battalion, the staff lieutenant becoming major.

Those 40 well drilled men in the battalion would be of great service in instructing the men in the duties of a soldier, indeed without their aid it would require a long time to bring the Battalion up to that degree of efficiency which would warrant its being brought into the presence of a hostile force.

After the men would have built their log homes, and become somewhat settled on their land, they should set to work and make good serviceable roads from the location to a turnpike road or to the nearest railway station. For this work they would be paid by the government; they would, of course, work cheaply, and this would be a first rate method of opening up the country. Intending settlers would take advantage of those good roads and in a short time the land for miles around the Militia locations would be taken up for settlement, even at an advanced rate of purchase.

Colonel Sewell proposes that the law allow the men to be ballotted for, if Volunteers not be forthcoming; but there would be no necessity for this. At the present moment there are thousands of our hardy young countrymen working in the factories of the United States; the agricultural districts of Lower Canada have furnished a large proportion of those young men, who have left their homes and country to seek a living among strangers. The number of our young men, especially farmers' sons in Lower Canada who annually emigrate to the United States, is almost incredible and the man who will show us how to check this constant flow of the bone and sinew of our country to a foreign and (at times) not very friendly neighbour, deserves something of his countrymen. The plan proposed by Colonel Sewell is admirably adapted to effect this, and if adopted will have the effect of turning thousands of acres of comparatively worthless wild lands into well cultivated districts, and enable us to retain in our midst thousands of our hardy young peasantry, the pride of our country who will otherwise, inevitably become citizens of a foreign and rival neighbouring country, and perchance hereafter bear arms against us.

Colonel Sewell proposes to divide the 12 years' service into two portions, the first of three years, the second nine years. The the first period the men shall be drilled for three hours daily during an annual period of three months. In the second period they shall be drilled daily for one month, between seed time and harvest. This amount of drill will be considered sufficient to give the men a good knowledge of the duties as soldiers. The following will show the annual cost for the maintenance of one Battalion of 400 men during the first period; the second period would be less expensive.

10 Staff Captains92days at5s£230 3 0
273days at3s409 10 0
10 Lieutenants92days at4s184 0 0
273days at2s 6d341 5 0
20 Sergeants92days at2s184 0 0
273days at7 1/2 d170 12 6
20 Corporals92days at1s 6d138 0 0
273days at7 1/2 d170 12 6
300 Privates 92days at1s1656 0 0
273days at7 1/2 d3071 5 0
Clothing for 400 men to be renewed every 3 years at £3—£1200 or per annum400 0 0
 £6955 5 0

So that, for maintaining six battalions of Militia Staff equal to 2,400 bayonets, the annual expense to the Province would be about £40,000.

If the Active Volunteer Force were reduced to the footing proposed in my former letter, there would be sufficient quantity of arms in store to arm the Militia Staff. It would perhaps be better to serve out the Enfield Rifles to only one company per battalion; the remainder might be armed with the old musket, till they are better acquainted with the use and care of arms. It would be the duty of the paid Musketry Instructors to devote a portion of their time in instructing the Militia Staff. The uniforms to be served out by the province to the Militia Staff, would be coarse, strong and serviceable; a great coat, forage cap, tunic and trousers. Cloth of our own manufacture, or étoffe de pays, would be cheap and serviceable. Colonel Sewell, in his manuscript, goes into the details of this system, but the outline which I have given will serve to enable the public to form a fair idea of the admirable plan which he has proposed for the organization of our Canadian Militia, which at present is sadly deficient in anything like organization.

In my former communication the annual cost to be incurred for the maintenance of the Volunteer Force was estimated at about £12,000 0
Add cost of maintaining 6 battalions Militia Staff, on the plan proposed by Colonel Sewell40,000 0 0
Expense of Adjutant General's Department, including pay of Field Officers, Storekeepers, repairs of arms, travelling expenses, &c.6,000 0 0
Total annual cost of maintaining Canadian Militia.£58,000 0 0

This amount may seem large at first sight, but when we consider the advantages which the Province would reap from this expenditure, in opening up new districts of country, the encouragement given to emigration, the retaining our young peasantry in the country, the facilities afforded for training 60,000 men in case of war or invasion, and the confidence imparted to the country at large from a knowledge of our strength, those advantages, it must be confessed, would be cheaply acquired.

We must not lose sight of the fact that there would always be at the disposal of the Government, in different parts of the country, a considerable force of well-disciplined men, whose services could be obtained at an hour's notice.

If the expenditure involved is considered too large for the present state of our finances, let a beginning be made, and the experiment tried by forming a location for only one battalion; this would involve an annual expenditure of only £7,000 (seven thousand pounds,) and a short time would show how the system worked.

The large quantity of land that we should bring under cultivation, and the revenue which the Province would derive from the adoption of this plan are well worth considering; while it will be readily admitted that every industrious farmer whom we should induce to settle in Canada, and every young habitant whom we could persuade to remain at home, would materially increase the revenue and develop the resources of the country.

Six Battalions of 400 men each—2400 men at 100 acres per man, would give 240,000 acres, which at the end of twelve years would yield at one shilling per acre£12,000.
If the lands around the Militia location were sold to Emigrants at an annual rent of one shilling per acre, we may safely conclude that double the quantity of land occupied by the Militiamen would be taken up by Emigrants. Thus 480,000 acres at one shilling per acre, would give annually £21,000, or at the end of 12 years£388,000
Total increase in 13 years£300,000
or an average of £25,000 per annum.  

Colonel Sewell also recommends that, at the end of every three years, as the 240 men would have completed their first period, or "active service," a new quota of men should be called out to replace them. The men who had completed their first period of service would then be denominated "available service men," their cost to the province during the nine years of available service would be a mere trifle. By this means a much greater extent of country would be settled, and a larger revenue acquired.

Having thus alluded to the important subject of a properly organized Provincial Militia, a subject which, it is well known, has not failed to receive due attention from your Excellency, as well as from our esteemed Governor General, I may be allowed to express the hope that the powerful influence at your Excellency's command, will not cease to be exerted in favor of our obtaining for Canada, a system of Colonial defence which shall be consistent with our means, and commensurate with the growing requirements of this important portion of the British empire, always bearing in mind the axiom of those dark and unsettled times, "the best was to preserve peace is to be prepared for war."

An Officer of Volunteers.
Quebec, 3rd November, 1860.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Militia Camp; 18 Sep 1885
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Militia Camp; 18 Sep 1885

General Middleton to be Here on Tuesday
The Review Fixed for Wednesday the 22nd

The easiest solution of the difficulty would be to abolish the salute altogether. It takes a long time to learn, and when a man does know it he can't shoot at an enemy with any greater degree of precision.

The London Advertiser, London, Ont., 18 September 1885

Wednesday night proved particularly cold on Carling's farm [present location of Wolseley Barracks, London, Ontario], and many of the volunteers found it impossible to obtain much sleep. Two blankets is far too little at this season of the year, and if a man puts one under him the other amounts to very little when thrown over him. However, a brisk 6 o'clock parade in the morning set all this right, and gave the men a good appetite for breakfast. Fortunately they fare better in the matter of food than clothing, the eatables furnished by the contractors being of first-class quality.

Rifle Practice

Immediately after breakfast yesterday morning, four companies of the 21st battalion marched to the Cove range and spent the day in rifle practice under the supervision of Major Bigger, musketry instructor. Some very fair scores were made, but the majority of the men show want of practice. The other battalions were put through their marching drill, and they already begin to show rapid improvement. Corps which only go into camp every second year can hardly be expected to turn out a large number of efficient soldiers Still, through the strenuous efforts of energetic officers, the majority of the battalions in the district have been brought to camp in a tolerably fair condition, and some of them far better than could be expected. What some recruits find it hardest to get through their heads, however, is the salute.

The Salute

There are so many different ways, under different circumstances, that this is not to be wondered at. It is easy enough for a volunteer to understand that when passing an officer it is proper to salute with the hand furthest away. He can remember that all right. But when his is required to remember, also, that in case the officer passes him as he stands he has simply to stand at attention; again, if his hands are full, he has only to look toward the officer, or, if he be on a sentry beat, to shoulder arms, and turn to his front for a company officer and present arms for a commanding officer; or if he is mounted, simply to turn his eyes towards the officer; or if he is carrying a rifle, in passing and officer to bring the rifle to the shoulder and pass the left hand across the body and touch the sling. No volunteer with ten days' drill could ever be expected to get all these different modes of salutation down to perfection, and consequently amusing mistakes sometimes occur. For instance, the other day an officer stepped up to a sentry, and said: "Here comes the main guard; see that you present arms properly." The officer was surprised a moment later to see the sentry bring his rifle to the shoulder, cock the hammer, and draw a bead on the leading rank. Another sentry was observed walking up and down his beat with his rifle at the "present," when a staff sergeant was passing. The easiest solution of the difficulty would be to abolish the salute altogether. It takes a long time to learn, and when a man does know it he can't shoot at an enemy with any greater degree of precision.

The Review

General Middleton has intimated that he will probably be hereabout the 22nd inst., and the review has therefore been fixed for the succeeding day. It will commence between 10 and 11 o'clock in the morning and last until about 3. Owing to the presence of three batteries of artillery and four troops of cavalry, together with a larger number of infantry than usual, nearly 1,800 altogether, it is expected it will be much better and more interesting than former ones.

Brigade Orders; Camp, London, Sept. 17

Detail for to-morrow—Field officer of the day, Lt.-Col. Munroe, 22nd Battalion, next for duty, Lt.-Col. Wilkinson, 21st Battalion; surgeon of the day, Surgeon Smith, 28th Battalion; next for duty, Surgeon Holmes, 24th Battalion.

No. 1—All mail matter will be delivered at the provost tent, as per paragraph No. 11, brigade orders, 5th September, inst.

No. 2—No officers' servants or orderlies will be permitted to leave the camp unless properly dressed.

No. 3—The battalion furnishing the duties for the day will detail two non-commissioned officers for gate duty, the one to relieve the other at the main entrance to the camp, and they will be held responsible that all men leaving the camp by the main entrance have passes and are properly dressed. These non-commissioned officers will parade with the main guard, with waist belts and side arms only; any assistance required by these non-commissioned officers will be furnished by the main guard.

No. 4—Two waiting men, properly accoutred, will accompany the several guards at guard-mounting daily.

No. 5—The whole of the brigade will parade tomorrow, in drill order, at 2:45 p.m., rear of the provost tents facing south, the battalion markers to be on the ground five minutes before the hour named to take up the position for their respective corps.

Notes

Diarrhoea is rather bad among the men, and a large number are on the sick list from this complaint.

Large numbers of visitors watch the volunteers drilling every afternoon.

To-day the whole brigade will be inspected by Lieut.-Col. Clarke and will march past in double quick time, in open and close column, etc. These movements will be worth witnessing.

The Y.M.C.A. have, as usual, opened a tent upon the ground, where the volunteers are furnushed with accommodations for writing, reading the daily papers, etc., gratis.

Major Martin, on our report the other day, was credited with coming from Tilsonburg. It should have been Tilbury East.

Lieut. Fairbanks, of the London Field Battery, arrived and took up his quarters in the camp to-day. He was warmly welcomed by the "boys."

The drill instructor of the 22nd Battalions is Sergt. Wilson, of the Kentish (England) Regulars. He is an excellent instructor, and has one of the best-drilled, neatest battalions in the camp.

Rev. Mr. Ball, chaplain of the 7th Fusiliers in the Northwest, is again out at camp, and will officiate at the service to the volunteers there on Sunday morning.

A number of volunteers came down to Barnum's circus the other night, and afterwards got drunk. While noisily going along the street a policeman told a sergeant if he wasn't quieter he would arrest him. The sergeant drew his sword-bayonet and dared the policeman to do it, and the policeman accepted the challenge, collared him, and made him put up the sword, and took him to the Police Station. At the request of his captain the magistrate let him off lightly next morning.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


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

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

Field Service Dress for Officers (1892)

Militia General Orders

Headquarters, Ottawa, 24th March, 1892

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

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

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

Cavalry

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

Artillery

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

Infantry and Engineers

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

Rifles

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

Canadian Army Battle Honours


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

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

Will Close Messes if There is Abuse (1914)

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

The Montreal Gazette, 19 March 1914

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

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

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

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

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2017 12:57 PM EST
Friday, 17 March 2017

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

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

Headquarters. Quebec, 17th March, 1865.

Volunteer Militia Lower Canada

General Orders, No. 1

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

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

The Senior Subaltern


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

Trafficking by NCOs of the Permanent Force
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia General Orders

Headquarters
Ottawa, 18th March, 1894

General Order No. 16

Trafficking by NCOs of the Permanent Force Forbidden

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

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

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

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

(a.)     Regimental charges.

(b.)     Stoppages credited to the public.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


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

The Militia Camp; 17 Sept 1885
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Militia Camp; 17 Sept 1885

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

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

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

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

The Strength of the Brigade

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

The force is divided up as follows:

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

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

Brigade Orders; Brigade camp, London, Sept. 16

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

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

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

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

M. Aylmer, Lieut.-Col.

The Pipes Are There

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

Notes

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

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

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

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

Canadian Army Battle Honours


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

New Brunswick Defenceless (1858)
Topic: Canadian Militia

New Brunswick Defenceless (1858)

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

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

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

The Senior Subaltern


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

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

The Seventh's Sergeants

Their First Annual Dinner a Decided Success

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

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

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

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


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

How Canada Gets Along Minus Army (1925)
Topic: Canadian Militia

How Canada Gets Along Minus Army (1925)

Called Greatest Pacifist Nation Indifferent to Things Military
Militia is Reliance
3,000 Men in Uniform No One Interested in Soldiering

The Border Cities Star, Windsor, Ontario, 10 August 1925

Veterans of the C.E.F. for the most part brand any man who would join the army in times of peace as several kinds of lunatic at large.

Toronto, Aug. 10.—Under the heading "Canada, the Greatest of Pacifist Nations, Seems Indifferent to Things Military," the following article appears in the Toronto Weekly Star.

Until today, the world has never seen a great nation with flourishing seaports on two oceans, with ships carrying her merchant flag on the seven seas, and three thousand miles of frontier, unarmed and unprotected. It simply never happened in history.

Canadians are like no other people in the world. We are an Atlantic power, and a Pacific power. To the east is Europe carrying more bombs and side arms than in 1913, and to the west is the perennial yellow menace. In the Republic to the south last year the Government of the United states put on a "Defence day" and 16,000,000 Americans showed their interest in the affairs of arms by taking part. Even the South American republics have a total of 180,000 men under arms today. In the midst of all this Canadian go about the business of earning their daily bread with a general indifference to things military. It seems to be the accepted principle that it costs too much to have soldiers cluttering up the countryside. Maybe it is healthy.

Queer Lot

The permanent force is always the first to feel the knife of parliamentary economy which slices away methodically every year until infantry officers find they have only a few barrack sweepers to command and cavalrymen find nothing to ride in their riding schools.

We are a queer lot in Canada. Seven years ago we had an army of shock troops the equal of any fighting men in the world. Today, we have about 3,000 men in uniform and no-one is interested in soldiering. If there was any interest in it in Canada, it would have been capitalized by politicians and made a political issue long ago.

Next to tax collecting soldiering is the most thankless job, It takes genuine courage to hold His Majesty's commission in the Dominion in these piping times of peace—perhaps more courage than it did in the big bass drum days of Armageddon.

Veterans of the C.E.F. for the most part brand any man who would join the army in times of peace as several kinds of lunatic at large. The soldier is looked at askance as the most insignificant of civil servants, a sort of economic liability who must be tolerated for sake of old times. The permanent force is always the first to feel the knife of parliamentary economy which slices away methodically every year until infantry officers find they have only a few barrack sweepers to command and cavalrymen find nothing to ride in their riding schools.

Yet working quietly at their jobs every day, are a group of men who are making the most of the money appropriations for national defenses of this country. There are no grand manoeuvres every year in Canada. There are no great, glittering reviews. But the Canadian headquarters staff of the Department of National Defense—men who would be a credit to the Imperial war office—are from day to day working at the defense problems of Canada.

League's Opinion

In the lobbies of the League of Nations building at Geneva last year the younger men of the secretariats used to gather and talk informally. Conversations invariably turned to disarmament and the Canadians always interjected "Well, when you chaps get down to our basis of disarmament we'll begin to talk to you." But there was usually someone present who gently ruined the effect of the statement with a reminder that the British navy and the Monroe Doctrine made an ever-present row of bayonets around Canada, and that the unarmed condition of the Dominion was largely a matter of dollars and cents. It never failed to leave the Canadians without a "come back," and in their hearts they knew that their countrymen were more indifferent to armaments than any political influential people in the world.

By statute the enrolment in the Canadian permanent force is limited to 437 officers and 6,000 men. Actually the present strength is 413 officers and 3,085 men. The maintenance is of course in the hands of parliament. In 1924 when United States demonstrated its was resources on Defense day, Canada reduced her estimates for national defense by $1,000,000.

Horrible Example

South American republics have made such good fiction with the supposedly musical comedy armies made up mostly of generals.

So, with half the authorized strength, Canada's professional soldiers carry on. Pacifists say, "Well done, an example to the world," while militarists say "A horrible example of unpreparedness." Certainly it never happened before. No country claiming equality of nationhood with any nation on earth and about to send an ambassador to a foreign capital, ever stood in the international arena with a few minesweepers and about one battalion of infantry to back its claims.

Denmark not long ago announced that she was about to disarm and the world was amazed. Denmark's disarmament constituted a reduction of an army of 11,000 to a civil police force of about 6,000. Canada has done better (or worse) than that. Canada, with a score of lakes that could absorb Denmark, could parade the army, the navy, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and still go recruiting for enough to equal the 6,000 of "disarmed" Denmark.

South American republics have made such good fiction with the supposedly musical comedy armies made up mostly of generals. But, Chile with an army of 21,000 German-trained troops constantly under arms and the Argentine with a regular army of 18,000, assume the proportions of world powers. Brazil, with compulsory military training, has 42,000 men carrying arms, and Mexico, with a more stable government than she has had for 30 years, keeps 65,000 active soldiers.

Armed Powers

A few other examples of armed power are interesting: Japan, 16,000 officers and 216,000 other ranks; Russia (army and navy) 562,000; United States, army 36,500, navy 100,000; Irish Free State, 1,080 officers, 14,600 men. New Zealand has compulsory cadet training for all men between the ages of 12 and 25. South Africa requires men between 21 and 25 to belong to a rifle association and learn to handle firearms. Australia with compulsory military training of a senior cadet nature maintains nearly 6,000 active troops and a sea-going naval reserve of 8,000.

Analyzed, the condition of the Canadian permanent force is as follows. The figures speak for themselves and offer good arguments for pacifists and militarists. The Royal Canadian Dragoons consists of 17 officers and 272 men; and the net expenditure for the regiment was $64,814 during the fiscal year ended last March (a trifle less in the cost of upkeep than Mister Coolidge's White House policemen). Lord Strathcona's Horse maintains 16 officers and 183 men at a cost of $64,317. The Royal Canadian Artillery kept 56 officers and 617 men at a cost of $203,970. The three infantry regiments were: The Royal Canadian Regiment, 404 all ranks, $104,631; Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, 269 all ranks, $93,391; Royal 22nd Regiment (French-Canadian), 189 of all ranks, $43,396.

Military Costs

The Royal Military College at Kingston cost Canada $338,082 in the last fiscal year. The attendance for the year was 165, and as well as the regular studies for cadets, the college carried on staff courses for officers of the permanent and non-permanent militia.

On cadet service $450,000 was spent in 1923-24, which was the largest amount expended on this work since the war. The estimates for cadet work for 1925 have been reduced to $400,000. The total number of enrolled cadets was 110,000 for the year ending last March.

That is where Canada stands in military matters. The headquarters staff is concentrating its efforts on the maintenance of a training service. Consequently nearly a full quota (under the statute) of officers is maintained. The theory is that the officers will constitute a training staff for the non-permanent militia and a skeleton organization for a fighting force in times of emergency. It is tough work. Officers without men to command must have their hearts in their work to carry on.

Has War Plans

Present strength of the non-permanent militia is, on paper, 140,000. The figure is not to be taken literally. It is extremely optimistic but headquarters continues to carry the names of authorized militia units which are barely breathing, rather than let the slimmest organization be lost.

Canada has war plans. There are two complete combat schemes filed in the National Defense department. One is to meet emergencies of home defense, the other is to place an expeditionary force abroad in the event of Canada responding to an empire call. They don't talk much about them at headquarters but they think a lot about those plans and they don't tell the world their thoughts. Headquarters bets on the militia. In the long run they count on the all-round citizen soldier of Canada to do the big fighting jobs, and they tell you without boasting that there is no finer militia material in the world than in Canada. Present strength of the non-permanent militia is, on paper, 140,000. The figure is not to be taken literally. It is extremely optimistic but headquarters continues to carry the names of authorized militia units which are barely breathing, rather than let the slimmest organization be lost.

So, at Ottawa with sincerity and that devotion to duty which has always characterized their profession, a small group of highly trained officers works thoughtfully on iron rations. To these men the St. Lawrence River development, obscure harbors on the British Columbia coast, and the sand dunes of Sable Island have a significance unknown to civilians.

Meanwhile the world wonders. Is in Canada the pacifist vision coming true, or is she indifferent to the rattling sabres of the world?

Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 27 January 2017

The Canadian Militia (1879)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Canadian Militia (1879)

The Montreal Gazette, 4 March 1879

The remarks of Lieutenant-General Sir Selby-Smith, in his annual report, on the necessity of an organized force which could always be depended on in case of such disturbances as those of which the country has recently has experience, are worthy of careful attention. The inconvenience of employing volunteers for the purpose of quelling riots in which their own fellow-citizens are the actors has often been felt; and we have not to go far in either space or time for illustrations of some of the bad results of the system. The formation of a small permanent force such as that which General Smyth suggests would remove that inconvenience and make the repression of disorder practicable without the risk of provoking complications that are the most difficult to deal with. As to the plan on which such a force should be raised, General Smyth has certainly quite sufficient military knowledge and experience, and well as acquaintance with the needs and capabilities of the Dominion, to enable him to frame one in every way suitable. It will have been seen that he proposes that three regiments should be maintained by the Federal Government, composed of two battalions each, to be raised and recruited in Canada, each battalion to serve in the old country and here for alternate terms of three years, thus completing their period of enlistment, which should be fixed at six years. At the close of their six years' service the men composing the battalions should pass into a reserve and receive a grant of land or some other inducement to settle permanently in the country, with a stake in it. By this system of alternation and interchange, complete solidarity would be established between the soldiers of Canada and that of the Empire, and our little Canadian force have full opportunity for thorough training, and be imbued with a British spirit. In case of war the system would be capable of expansion to any limits required. Another scheme proposed was that only three Canadian battalions should be formed, whioch should be interchanged triennially with an equal British force of the line. Hitherto, it appears that nothing has been done towards giving either suggestion a practical form, but it is hoped that the matter will not be lost sight of. Of course, the carrying out of such a plan would not interfere materially with our Canadian militia, as at present organized and composed. It would be from the militia that, in all likelihood, such a force would be, to a great extent, supplied and on it also it would have to mainly depend for the enlargement which extraordinary contingencies might necessitate. The value of such a force may be inferred from what general Selby-Smyth says in another part of his report regarding the probable effect of the muster of volunteers is this city last Queen's Birthday on the Fenian raiders who were at that time rumoured to be about to cross the line into Canada. He thinks, and with good reason, that there were Fenian spies present on that occasion and that the sight of so large a body of well trained and well equipped soldiers, whom they would have to encounter, if they attempted to put their project into execution, had a salutary influence in deterring them from the menaced movement. How much more would such disturbers be cowed into tranquility is a permanent force, always armed and prepared to meet invasion, were maintained in the Dominion! In a short time we should probably be put to no more trouble or expense (and such occasions have cost us our share of both) from such unscrupulous free booters.

The report goes on to make some excellent suggestions as to the proper administration of the militia force. It is to be noted that some of these suggestions merely call for the enforcement of the existing laws on the subject—a telling commentary on the manner in which it has been hitherto neglected. We do not intend just now to take them all into consideration, but we have no dough that they will receive from the proper authorities the attention which is their due. Of […missing line of text…] Corporation of Montreal—that which regards the rebuilding of the drill shed. It is advised that the Government should urge on our Municipal Council the duty of re-construction or, in the case of refusal or neglect, due for the value at stake, $12,000. This is a matter which demands immediate settlement, and it is hoped it will be arrived at with as little delay as possible. Both this and several others of the suggestions to which we direct attention have already been made to no purpose. It is evident from them and from the whole tenor of the report that our militia force has, up to the present, by no means received the attention of which such a force in a country of the extent, population and position of Canada is worthy.

In a paper contributed to the February number of Rose-Belford's Magazine, entitled "A Plea for the Militia," by "Two Militiamen," the whole case is very clearly and patriotically stated. After speaking of our national pride, our great extant and resources, and our growing importance, the writers very opportunely ask how we should maintain our rights, protect our liberties and retain our possessions, if Great Britain's naval and military assistance were withheld or withdrawn. They then very pointedly contrast our position from a military standpoint with some of the smaller European powers, giving a result which is far from flattering to our self-love. The Netherlands, with a population of less than 4,000,000, expend for military purposes £1,541,909, have an army of 61,947 men, a navy of 47 ships, with 705 guns, manned by 9,200 men, and a militia of 100,323 men. Switzerland, with a population of less than 3,000,000, expends £586,237, has an army of 84,369 men, a reserve of 50,069 men, and a militia force of 65,981 men. Sweden, with a population of less than 4,500,000, expends £925,000, has an army of 7,885 men and a reserve force of nearly 140,000 men. Norway, with a population of less than 2,000,000, has an army of 12,750 (peace footing), and of 18,000 (war footing), 20 ships of war, with 156 guns, manned by 2,393 men, and a reserve of 62,000. Denmark, with a population of less than 2,000,000, expends £1,114,000, has an army of 37,000 men, 33 ships, with 291 guns, manned by 1,125 men and a reserve of 32,393. Greece, with a population of less than a million and a half, expends £336,757, has an army of 14,061 men, a navy of 14 ships, manned by 653 men, and a reserve of 24,000. Canada, with nearly 4,000,000 of population, has only a poorly equipped militia force of 43,729, of which she expends only £200,000. These figures speak for themselves, and almost make unnecessary the excellent argument which follows, by which the plea is so well supported. Let any Canadian compare Canada with the Netherlands or with Denmark, and he will appreciate the motive of these two loyal militiamen in presenting their plea. Again, "in Great Britain the people are taxed $6.86 per head per annum; in France $4.50; in Prussia, $2.20; and in the United States (exclusive of the State militia) $1.39 per head, while in Canada we only burden ourselves with 14 cents per head of our population for militia purposes."

Most readers will agree with the writers that no "Canadian would object to that tax being doubled or quadrupled." To the question why a militia should be supported which in peace is not required, and in war would be inadequate as a protection against invasion, "Two militiamen" answer by an appeal to history. They recapitulate the services of the Canadian militia from 1775, when Quebec was held by it against the enemy till the arrival of British reinforcements, until the occurrence of the riots of the last few years. In 1812, 1813, in 1837, in 1862, in 1865, in 1866-70, what would the country have done had there been no militia to repel such attacks? "Two militiamen" then deal with the question as to what principle will render the force most efficient at least cost, and come to the conclusion that the nearest approach to our system, as defined by law, is the Danish system. Having glanced at its working and results and given a brief sketch of the Swiss system, they ask, "What are we to do towards the same end?" To this they reply that "no hurried extension of the present system is necessary or would be prudent." "But," they add, "the framework must be built in time of peace, upon such solid foundation that it will neither shrink nor give war under pressure of war." Sufficient funds must be provided to carry on the work regularly, and the vote should be a standing sum, not subject to legislative caprice. Once the country has decided what it can afford to spend annually, let those persons who are held responsible for the efficiency of the force be held responsible for its proper expenditure. After showing that there is no object for which the people at large are more willing to submit to outlay, and that there is no money so evenly distributed through the country as the money paid to the militia, the article closes with an appeal to the community to conquer the the apathy with which the past struggles for existence of the militia force have been regarded. And this appeal is accompanied by the warning that, if the present force is discouraged to death, the law providing for the establishment of the ballot must be executed and, instead of employees, employers may be pressed into the ranks. All that is asked is that the provisions of the militia law be slightly emended and rigidly enforced, that a little more money be spent in the actual training of the men, and that the Canadian people take a living interest and pride in their citizen soldiery and encourage them by precept and example, stimulating rather than retarding their efforts to fulfill their duty.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


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

Permanent Corps; Issue of Clothing, 1892
Topic: Canadian Militia

Militia General Orders
Headquarters, Ottawa, 29th April, 1892

GENERAL ORDERS (8)

No. 1

PERMANENT CORPS

Issue of Clothing

The following changes in the issue of clothing to Permanent Corps will take effect from the 1st May, 1892 .

1.     Two serge jackets will be issued in the second year of the soldier's service instead of a tunic, and an alternate issue of one tunic and one serge jacket, or two serge jackets will be continued during the remainder of his service.

2.     No special clothing or distinctive marks allowed for privates of the Infantry School employed as bandsmen.

3.     Clothing will be issued on fixed dates twice a year as follows:

(a .)     "Summer issue" to be made on the 1st April and taken into wear on the 1st May, consisting of—

  • 1 serge jacket.
  • 1 tunic or second serge jacket
  • 1 pair summer trousers.
  • 1 pair summer boots.
  • 1 forage cap.

(b.)     "Winter issue" to be made on the 1st September and taken into wear on the 1st October, consisting of—

  • 1 pair cloth trousers.
  • 1 winter cap.
  • 1 pair winter boots.

The interval of one month is allowed to admit of the clothing being fitted, to the satisfaction of the officer commanding the Troop, Battery or Company, before being taken into wear.

4.     Men who become entitled to new clothing in the period between the 1st May and 1st October, will receive the summer issue as soon as possible after the first named date . Those who become entitled to the issue between the 1st October, 1892, and the 1st May, 1893, will receive the winter issue for wear on the first named date, and the summer issue similarly on the latter date.

5 .     Recruits joining during the course of a summer period will be given the complete summer issue. Those joining during the winter period w ill be given the summer issue (with the exception of summer trousers) in advance. Tunics will in no case be issued to recruits during the period of probation fixed by paragraph 23, Regulations for Permanent Corps .

6.     Soldiers whose term of service expires within either of the above mentioned periods will not be issued in advance with new clothing in respect of their uncompleted term of service.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


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

Total Establishment of the Canadian Forces (1897)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Total Establishment of the Canadian Forces (1897)

The Daily Telegraph, Quebec, P.Q., 14 October 1897

The total establishment of the permanent force and active militia of Canada for 1897-98 is 36,188 of all ranks, and 3,551 horses, made up as follows:—

  • Permanent force,
    • Cavalry, all ranks, 145 men and 101 horses,
    • Artillery, 340 men and 78 horses,
    • Infantry, 317 men and 4 horses;

[This is] an increase over last year of two men and one horse. The cavalry is increased from 132 to 145, and the artillery and infantry reduced from 344 to 340 and 324 to 317 respectively.

  • Active militia,
    • Cavalry, all ranks, 2,383, and increase of 268,
    • horses, 2,181 instead of 1,940;
    • Artillery, 4,052 men and and 835 horses;
    • , 212, and increase of 61;
    • , 28,739 men and 352 horses, a reduction of 223 men and 3 horses.

Of the whole force the increase is 353 men and 679 horses.

The following are the changes in the 7th Military District:—

Total strength of "B" Battery is 43 officers and men, and 23 horses. A veterinary lieutenant has been added to the force, and one gunner reduced. No. 1 and 2 companies of the R.C.A. are reduced by four. While a major, a captain and an orderly room clerk have been added, a lieutenant and six gunners have been reduced, leaving the present total strength 167 officers and men, and seven horses.

The Queen's Own Canadian Hussars, which formerly consisted of two troops, is now a squadron with one major, one captain, two lieutenants, two second lieutenants, surgeon-major, veterinary lieutenant, and paymaster, the ranks of adjutant and quartermaster being absorbed, as well as several of the non-commissioned ranks, which now consists of nine instead of eleven, the reduction being in the regimental sergeant-major and troops sergeant-majors, there being but one of the latter at present.

The First Field Battery is now a six-gun battery, with a total strength of 102 men, of all ranks, instead of 79, and 49 horses instead of 29, necessitating an increase of one officer, two sergeants, two corporals, two bombardiers, two trumpeters, thirteen gunners and two drivers.

The Quebec Garrison Artillery company detached from the Levis companies, 100 strong, as follows: One major, one captain, two lieutenants, one second lieutenant, one company sergeant-major, quartermaster sergeant, four sergeants, four corporals, four bombardiers, one trumpeter, and eighty gunners.

The total rank and file of the Royal Rifles remains the same as last year, 278 men instead of 277 (the addition being a paymaster), made up of twenty-six officers, six staff-sergeants (an addition of six), eighteen corporals, six drummers or buglers, twenty-four bandsmen, and 180 privates. There is a reduction of six privates to make up for the increase of sergeants.

The strength of the Ninth Battalion is 368, same as formerly, the only change being twenty-four instead of eighteen sergeants.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Canadian Militia to Hong Kong (1898)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Canadian Militia to Hong Kong (1898)

Chance for Canadian Militia

Daily Mail and Empire, Toronto, Ont., 3 January 1898

New York, Jan. 2.—The London Correspondent of the Sun cables:—

"The Sun is enabled to say that in the event of trouble in the far East the Canadian militia have an opportunity of covering themselves with glory. The War Department and the Admiralty have between them drawn up a scheme whereby a battlion of this militia will be hurried to Hong Kong from Vancouver the minute war seems imminent. They would reach China long before any force from England could get there, and it is thought their cooperation would boom the Imperial unity idea. Presumably the views of the Dominion Government had been ascertained beforehand, and some steps have been taken to find out whether the gallant militiamen would be willing to follow glory to the cannon's mouth."

The Senior Subaltern


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

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

The Most Efficient Cavalry Corps (1897)

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

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

The marks were distributed as follows:—

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

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

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

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

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, 10 December 2016

Canadian Cavalry (1893)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Canadian Cavalry (1893)

Troopers from Quebec—Quartered in the Old Barracks

The Toronto Daily Mail, 23 August 1893

The Province of Ontario now boasts of a Cavalry school. The Royal Canadian Dragoons, as they are called, left Quebec on Monday morning, at eight o'clock. They came by C.P.R. special, and were expected at the Queen's wharf here at ten o'clock yesterday morning, but it was half an hour later before the train pulled in. Lieut.-Col. Otter, D.A.G., and Capt Macdougall, with the band of No. 2 Co., C.R.I. were on hand to welcome the newcomers. Whilst the horses and baggage were being disembarks the band played several quick-steps. Among those present to witness the arrival was |Lieut.-Col. F.C. Denison, M.P. When everything was in readiness the troops started on the march to its new quarters, preceded by the band of No. 2 Co., C.R.I., which played the march commonly known as "Knock 'Em in the Old Kent Road." The infantry men in the barracks formed up and cheered the troopers as they came in. It is altogether likely the troop will be doubled in strength shortly, and the Cavalry school will be in full blast in a few days. The number of applications for admission to the school from officers of cavalry corps in the surrounding country is very large. Five officers are attached to the school, the troop being in command of Lieut.-Col. Turnbull. The troopers are quartered in the old stone barracks on the western side of the quadrangle. The officers will belong to the officers' mess of No. 2 Co. The Government will at once take into consideration the advisability of increasing the barracks accommodation for the officers. The accommodation for the infantry officers attending the school was rather limited, and with the increase in the permanent staff almost all the available room will be taken up. The two married cavalry officers will have to find quarters outside the officers' building. The troopers wear dark blue uniform with yellow facings, and they look very smart. Many of the men have seen active service. Captain F.T. Lessard is adjutant, Mr. W. Forester 1st lieutenant, and Capt. Hall, of "B" Battery, is attached as veterinary surgeon, and rumour has it that he will shortly be transferred to the cavalry. The trip from Montreal was very agreeable.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 2 December 2016

Royal Military College of Canada (1891)
Topic: Canadian Militia

Royal Military College of Canada (1891)

Northern Messenger, Montreal & New York, 17 April 1891
From an obituary/biographical sketch; Captain Huntley Mackey, R.E.

The Royal Military College, of Canada, writes the assistant secretary to the High Commissioner for Canada to a London paper, was founded in Kingston in the year 1875, and was opened in June 1876 with a class of eighteen cadets and a staff consisting of a commandant, a captain of cadets, and three professors.

The only available building at first was the old Naval Barrack at Point Frederick, now used as a dormitory. The present college building was completed in the summer of 1878; new batches of cadets were at first admitted every six months, and by June, 1878, when those who had originally joined completed their course, the number had increased to about ninety. The staff had in the meanwhile been gradually added to, and is now complete with a Commandant (Major-General; D.R. Cameron, R.A., C.M.G.), ten Professors, three Instructors, Staff-Adjutant, Medical Officer, and Paymaster, etc.

The total number of cadets approved for admission to the present date is about 250. Of these 235 actually joined. The number who have graduated is 135. The number of cadets who have, so far, been gazetted to commissions in the Imperial Army, between the Cavalry, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, and Infantry services, is sixty-nine. In addition to these ex-cadets have been appointed to Commissions in the Mounted Police of Canada, the Schools of Artillery, Schools of Infantry, and to the Staff of the Royal Military College.

Of the cadets who have not obtained military employment, the greater portion have become civil engineers, and the services of these gentlemen have been much sought after, and very highly valued, not only in Canada, but in the United States also. Two of the graduates are employed on the Hydrographical Survey of the Canadian Lakes, three on the Geological Survey, and about seven in other Government Departments. About thirty cadets took part in the suppression of the Rebellion in the Northwest in 1885. The present strength of the cadets is about eight-five, and this may be expected to increase, as some twenty-four may be admitted every year. The age of admission is over fifteen and under eighteen years of the 1st of January preceding the entrance examinations, which takes place annually in the month of June.

The College course, being a four years' one, allows ample time not only for a thorough military training, but also for the study of Civil Engineering, Civil Surveying, Physics, Practical Chemistry, and other subjects which are naturally of great use to cadets in civil life, the course comprising Military Drills, both Infantry, Artillery, and Engineer; Signalling, Fencing, Riding, tactics, Strategy, Military Administration and Law, Fortification and Military Engineering, Mathematics and Mechanism, Astronomy, Geology and Mineralogy, Chemistry and Electricity, etc.

The college possesses a small observatory, and a most valuable assortment of surveying instruments, a most complete chemical laboratory, physical apparatus of almost every description, and a good selection of drawing and other models.

All of this has been gradually built up, and, needless to say, at great expense to the Dominion. But the growth of the college in public estimation warrants the expenditure, and it is an institution of which Canada may well feel proud; in fact, its success has been so noted that it seems likely a similar college will shortly be started in Australia.

Would space admit, much more might be said in justice to the Royal Military College of Canada, tending, as it does, to develop a true and loyal spirit towards the Mother Country.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 2 December 2016 12:25 AM EST
Friday, 25 November 2016

The Militia System of the Dominion (1871)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Militia System of the Dominion (1871)

Many battalions are provided with colours and bands, and during the annual training the officers generally mess together. A very sensible arrangement, ending both to increase a military feeling and to create an impression on the enemy is the supplying of infantry with uniforms similar to that worn by the Imperial army.

The Daily Standard, Victoria, Vancouver Island, 31 July 1871

A short time since we gave a brief summary of the militia law of the Dominion, shadowing forth how it would affect the Province. In a recent article we gave a somewhat imperfect idea of the military stores of the Dominion. We now find, in the London Saturday Review, an article on the military system of Canada, and as it grasps and handles the subject in such a masterly manner, supplying an amount of information difficult to get every day, we have given up our editorial space to lay an extract before our readers this morning. Here is the extract:

While we in England have been employed in noisily discussing the best defensive organization, the Canadian appear to have quietly, with a minimum both of cost to the country and hardship to individuals, solved the question. Indeed, we should say that, with the exception of Prussia and Switzerland, Canada is far in advance, as regards defensive organization, of every country in the world. After calm consideration and successive elaborations, the following results have been attained. The foundation of the system is the axiom that every man owes it to his country to serve in its defence against its enemies. All British subjects between the ages of eighteen and sixty—with a few necessary exceptions—are liable to military service. The exceptions referred to are judges, ministers of religion, professors in Colleges or Universities, the officials in penitentiaries and public lunatic asylums, persons disabled by infirmity, and the only son of a widow, being her sole support. Half-pay and retired officers of the regular army and navy, sailors and pilots when employed in their calling, and masters of public schools are enrolled, but are only liable to actual service in case of war, invasion or insurrection. All others are both enrolled and liable to serve when called upon, and are divided into four classes, constituting the whole—with mere nominal exceptions—of the adult population of the colony, constitute the regular or reserve Militia. The total population of the North American Confederation is estimated at about 4,000,000, and the number liable to service at 675,000 men. For purposes of organization, the whole country is divided into nine military districts, which are further subdivided into twenty two brigade and one hundred and eight-six regimental divisions. The Minister of Militia and Defence is at the head of the whole organization, and is assisted by a chief executive officer styled the Adjutant General, who has under him at headquarters a deputy. The Militia of each district in under command of a Deputy Adjutant General, and in each brigade division there is a brigade major, who seems, however, to be simply a staff officer, and to exercise no actual command. To each regimental division are assigned a lieutenant colonel and two majors, and to each company division a captain and two subalterns. The regimental and company divisions correspond as closely as possible to electoral and municipal divisions. The regimental officers attached to the Reserve Militia reside in their respective districts, and are appointed principally for purposes of enrollment and ballot; consequently, the recruiting and organizing staff would not be, as would be the case with us, dislocated in the event of an invasion, but a continual flow of recruits to the active army could be kept up. The organization we have described, except as regards deputy adjutant generals and, to a certain extent, brigade majors, is essentially of a reserve character, and simply provides for the immediate carrying out of any measures deemed necessary without imposing any actual duty in time of peace. In England, on the contrary, the organization for the ballot is not to be commenced until the emergency arises.

We now come to the actual army of Canada, or, as it is termed, the Active Militia. At present the consists entirely of corps raised by voluntary enlistment, and numbers on paper 44,519 men, or 1 in 15 of all men liable to serve, and 1 in 100 of the population. The different arms of the service are thus represented:

  • Cavalry, 1,666, chiefly organized in isolated squadrons and troops;
  • 10 field batteries with 42 guns, 441 horses, and 750 men;
  • 4 companies of engineers, 232 men;
  • 3 marine companies, 174 men; and
  • 73 battalions of infantry numbering 36,729 men, and
  • 2 battalions for Service in the Red River District, 862 men.

In addition to the above, twenty-five new corps are in process of formation. When organized, they will raise the strength of the Active Militia to 45,040 men.

According to the Militia law of the Dominion, it is only required that the Active Militia should amount to 40,000 men, furnished in due proportion by the different districts, and to be raised by ballot if necessary. Hitherto there has been no necessity to have recourse to the ballot; there is, however, a growing feeling in the Dominion that voluntary enlistment involves undue hardship on individuals, and it seems probable that the ballot will ere long be brought into operation. At present, volunteers enlist for three years, but according to the law, men obtained by ballot would serve only two years. At the end of their service in the Active Militia the men who compose it re-enter the Reserve, and are not liable to be called out until all other men in the same company division have volunteered or been balloted to serve. The number of men called out for training each year is 40,000, and the number of days' drill is sixteen, during which the men receive pay. A system of assembling the troops in each brigade in camps for the purpose of annual training has also been introduced with the best possible results, and the practice is likely to be extended. During the time that the militia is embodied, it is subject to the Queen's regulations and the Articles of War, and, as a matter of fact, discipline appears to be thoroughly maintained. Rifle practice by companies is sedulously practised, and skill in the use of the rifle is encouraged by the bestowal of prizes at the annual training. The great assimilation to the customs and practices of the regular troops is remarkable even in social and ornamental details. Many battalions are provided with colours and bands, and during the annual training the officers generally mess together. A very sensible arrangement, ending both to increase a military feeling and to create an impression on the enemy is the supplying of infantry with uniforms similar to that worn by the Imperial army. It may be remarked here that the men of the Canadian Active Militia are far taller and larger than the soldiers of our regular regiments. As regards both combatant and non-combatant staff, no efforts have been spared to render the local army efficient, and a still greater improvement is to be looked for shortly. It is proposed that then Adjutant-General of the Militia should be styled in future Major-General Commanding the Militia; that his staff officer—the present Deputy Adjutant-General at Headquarters—should be turned Adjutant-General, and receive the rank of Colonel; that the Deputy Adjutant generals who command districts should receive the title of Colonel on the staff, and that all staff officers should in future before appointment, pass a special examination, and only hold their offices for five years, and not be eligible for reappointment in the same office. With a view to obtaining properly qualified officers for the staff, it is recommended that a Canadian Staff College should be established; and in order to obtain competent instructors for it, the suggestion is made that the Imperial Government be asked to allow a certain number of Canadian officers to join the Staff College at Sandhurst. But the Canadian authorities have already take practical steps to secure a good professional training for their officers, by the institution of schools of instruction, in which measure they were far in advance of Mr. Cardwell. These schools of instruction were first established in 1864, and already nearly 6,000 young men have passed through them. Some of the graduates now hold commissions in the Active Militia, while other will be provided for as vacancies occur. And on an increase to the Active Militia, being required, would furnish an ample supply of well-qualified officers. Moreover the boys in most large schools undergo elementary drill. Thus it will be seen that a large proportion of males of all ages from ten to sixty receive a certain amount—in some cases a very considerable amount—of military training, and that, if the ballot is enforced, there will in course of time be probably about half a million of men more or less trained to arms. We have shown that the combatant and recruiting staff is completely organized, and considerable attention is now being paid to the administrative staff or store department, and arrangements have been made for a due supply of all the arms, camp equipment, and other stores required for field service or camps of instruction.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST

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