Canada’s “Permanent Force” Annual Militia Report, Year Ending Mar. 31st, 1910.

PERMANENT FORCE.

 

GENERALLY.

  1. The Strength of the Permanent Force is well up to the limited establishment allowed.
  2. Confidential reports continue to be rendered by officers commanding units on their subordinates, and it has proved to be a very satisfactory way of ascertaining the capabilities of officers throughout the Force.
  1. During the year o officers have been appointed to the several branches of the Permanent Force as fallows:—
  • Cavalry………..2.
  • Artillery……….1.
  • Engineers………2.
  • Permanent Army Medical Corps (including Nursing Sisters). 2.
  • Canadian Army Pay Corps…… 1.
  1. With a view to commemorating, in a permanent and appropriate manner, the great service rendered by Lord Strathcona to the empire during the late South African War, the designation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles has been changed by His Majesty’s permission, and with the unanimous consent of all ranks, to that of Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians).
  1. In July, 1909, the Officers Commanding the Maritime Provinces Command was requisitioned for troops to assist in quelling the disturbance in connection with the strike at the Dominion Coal Company’s mines, and detachments, composed as fallows, of the Permanent Force stationed at Halifax were sent:—

To Glace Bay, July 7th:—

  • Staff…………………………………………3.
  • Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery………214.
  • Royal Canadian Engineers…………………52.
  • Royal Canadian Regiment……………….259.
  • Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps…8.
  • Permanent Army Medical Corps…………..10.
  • _______________Total…………………..546.

 

To Inverness, July 11:—

  • Royal Canadian Engineers, 2.
  • Royal Canadian Regiment, 103.
  • Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps, 4.
  • Permanent Army Medical Corps, 2.
  • ………Total…………….. 111.

 

Royal Canadian Dragoons, ca 1910.

Royal Canadian Dragoons, ca 1910.

 

  1. The strength of the troops on strike duty was gradually reduced, until March 3rd, 1910, when the remainder were returned to Halifax.
  2. The manner in which all ranks carried out their duties reflected great credit upon themselves and the Permanent Force in general.
  3. It has been considered advisable, owing to the stage of development in the application of the principles of Army Service Corps work that has now been reached the Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps, to raise the standard of qualification, especially as regards the non-commissioned officers of the higher ranks, and this change is having a most beneficial effect is producing a number of highly trained non-commissioned officers.
  4. An important improvement in the system of enlistment and training of recruits in the Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps was established by making the Halifax Detachment a Training Depot. As far as possible, hereafter, all recruiting will be done at Halifax, where every facility exists for the training of recruits.
  5. The experiment was tried this year of having instructors from the Permanent Section attached to the companies of the Canadian Army Service Corps in Camps of Instruction, and so satisfactory did it prove, that it is hoped to extend the principle next year, and have instructors attached to every company undergoing training. It was found this year that having instructors in camps resulted in the work being performed in a uniform and systematic manner. In some instances there had been fund a tendency to introduce ‘localisms,’ but the presence of instructors from the Permanent Section caused the elimination of these.
  6. In all camps where companies of the Army Service Corps were trained, bread was baked for the troops, an
  7. As an increase in the personnel of the Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps stationed at Toronto had become necessary, and as it was impossible owing to luck of funds to make provision therefore by increasing the Establishment, a detachment of the Corps was withdrawn from Esquimalt (where it was considered it could best be spared, owing to the small number of troops at that station) and transferred to Toronto. Besides performing their regular duties for the permanent troops at Toronto, the members of this unit will be utilized as instructors to the militia companies in Western Ontario. Another advantage in having this detachment at Toronto is that they will perform the necessary transport work, thus effecting a considerable saving.

 

ADMINISTRATION AND DISCIPLINE OF THE PERMANENT FORCE.

  1. The administration and discipline of the several units of the Permanent Force have, as a whole, been very satisfactory.

 

Returns State of The Permanent Force on March 31, 1910. 1.

Returns State of The Permanent Force on March 31, 1910. 1.

 

APPENDIX A.

Ottawa. July 8, 1910.

  • From the Director-General. Medical Service, Canadian Militia.
  • To the Adjutant-General, Canadian Militia.

Sir,—I have the honour to submit my report upon the Medical Service for the year ending March 31st 1910:—

ADMINISTRATION.

  1. A steady improvement is to he noted in the medical administration of the Commands and Independent Districts, under the decentralization system now in vogue.
  2. Regulations for the Canadian Medical Service, and Standing- Orders for the Permanent Army Medical Corps, have been prepared and are now in the hands of the printer. These regulations will supply a long felt want, and should greatly facilitate the work of administration.

PERMANENT ARMY MEDICAL CORPS.

  1. The personnel of this corps is far too small to carry on, without excessive and even dangerous strain, its ever increasing and highly technical duties.
  • C. JONES, Colonel Director-General Medical Service.

 

Royal Canadian Engineers on parade, 1909 Halifax, NS.

Royal Canadian Engineers on parade, 1909 Halifax, NS.

 

PERMANENT FORCE SIGNALLERS.

 WESTERN ONTARIO COMMAND.

Permanent Force:—

  1. The Permanent Force in the Western Ontario Command have good signallers.

There is a marked improvement in the case of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Toronto, and the No. 1 Regimental Depot, Royal Canadian Regiment, London, Ont.

EASTERN ONTARIO COMMAND.

Permanent Force:—

  1. The Permanent Force in this command show a decided improvement over previous years, and both ‘A’ and ‘B’ Batteries, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, now have a very efficient body of signallers.

QUEBEC COMMAND.

Permanent Force—

  1. The Permanent Force in this command have a competent staff of signalling instructors. The Royal Canadian Dragoons at St. Jean, P.Q., deserve great credit for their signalling efficiency. They head the list in order of merit (Permanent Force) throughout Canada.
  2. The Royal Canadian Regiment and Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery, Quebec, also have very good signallers, especially the former.

MARITIME PROVINCES COMMAND.

Permanent Force—

The Permanent Force at Halifax, N.S., have a very efficient staff of signalling instructors, but at the annual inspection, a large number were absent on strike duty at Glace Bay, N.S.

No. 10 MILITARY DISTRICT.

Permanent Force—

  1. The Strathcona Horse (Royal Canadians) have a very efficient body of signallers, and deserve great credit for their increased efficiency.

No. 11 MILITARY DISTRICT.

The Permanent unit in this district has five assistant instructors in signalling, and should assist greatly in the instruction of signallers of the Active Militia units.

GENERAL REMARKS.

Permanent Force—

  1. All the Permanent units in 1909, for the first time, show a decided improvement in signalling. The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery at Kingston, and ‘K’ Company, Royal Canadian Regiment, at London, have greatly improved and are now well up to the average.
  • I have the honour to be, sir, Your obedient servant, BRUCE CAERUTHERS, Major, Assistant Adjutant-General for Signalling.

 

Permanent Force Expenditure of Pay and Allowances etc. Mar. 31st 1910. 2.

Permanent Force Expenditure of Pay and Allowances etc. Mar. 31st 1910. 2.

 

Permanent Force Expenditures at each Station, Mar. 31st, 1910. 3.

Permanent Force Expenditures at each Station, Mar. 31st, 1910. 3.

 

Permanent Force Expensess for 1909-10. 4.

Permanent Force Expensess for 1909-10. 4.

 
APPENDIX F(I).

Ottawa, February 21, 1910.

  • From the Inspector-General, Canadian Militia,
  • To the Secretary, Militia Council.

Sir,—I have the honour, as Inspector-General of the Militia, to submit my report for the training season of 1909, for the information of the Honourable the Minister in Militia Council which it depended for maintenance and drill.

  1. In the Permanent Force, establishments had to be reduced below the limits of efficiency, and recruiting to replace men discharged had to be stopped.

Permanent Force.

  1. Much as the corps which attend annual camp suffered in establishment and efficiency from the reduction in the Votes, it is probable that the various units of the Permanent Force suffered even more, for, while the many scattered camps of rural corps demanded the services of more instructors and staff, there were fewer men available in the Permanent Force to meet these demands. Outside the season of the annual camps, the Schools of Instruction were hard put to it to find funds to carry on their regular work.
  2. The shortage of men also rendered it more difficult for the various units to maintain themselves in a state of efficiency. The administration of a school of instruction requires practically the same number of officers and men to carry it on whatever the size of a unit may be. Thus, with a lowered establishment, fewer men are left available for training purposes.
  3. It is much to be regretted that, as in 1908, so again in 1909, lack of funds made it impossible to assemble the several units of the Permanent Corps in camp at Petawawa for that combined training of the different arms, which alone, under modern conditions, can give real efficiency. If the Permanent Force is to fulfil satisfactorily its duty of instructing the Active Militia, not only in drill, but in combined tactics and the various duties of field service, it is essential that the several field units of the Force should themselves be brought together and exercised in combined training for at least a month every year. Otherwise, with the restricted areas locally available for training, it is impossible for its small and widely separated units to keep themselves efficient in field work.
  4. The demands made on the Permanent Force at Halifax, N.S., by the outbreak of the strike at Glace Bay increased the difficulty experienced by the Permanent Infantry and Artillery of Halifax Garrison in maintaining themselves in an efficient condition, in that it prevented them from carrying out their training fully, or at the proper time of year. While these demands on the Permanent Force at Halifax have not yet entirely ceased, they have considerably diminished, but they still prejudicially affect the efficiency of the corps concerned.
  5. Considering the difficulties under which they laboured from the foregoing circumstances, the permanent units are considered to have done their work satisfactorily during the past season, but they have not yet reached the standard of efficiency which ought to be maintained.
  6. As regards the Cavalry, the Royal Canadian Dragoons and the Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles have been necessarily kept at too low an establishment to enable them to carry out properly their own squadron training and, at the same time, efficiently instruct the corps of the Active Militia for whom they provide. Rightly enough, they have made the latter duty their chief aim, and their own efficiency has some what suffered in consequence. The Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles did especially good work in carrying out instruction both at headquarters .it Winnipeg and in provisional schools for the recently raised cavalry units in the West.

 

Strength of Permanent Force by Stations, Included AM Officers etc., March 31st 1910. 5

Strength of Permanent Force by Stations, Included AM Officers etc., March 31st 1910. 5

 

  1. My inspection of ‘B’ Squadron, Royal Canadian Dragoons, at Toronto, led me to the conclusion that too wide permission had, in 1909, been given to local ‘exhibitions’ to obtain the services of the men of this Squadron for what are known as ‘Musical Rides.’ The training of the horses and the riding of the men have consequently suffered. I recommend that, in future, permission for this object should be given very sparingly, and only on condition that training does not suffer thereby.
  2. The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery has maintained the standard of efficiency referred to last year, and its discipline has much improved. The association of the two batteries in barracks together at Kingston has resulted in an improvement in its work as a brigade, and, consequently, in the competency of its instructors to instruct the brigades of Active Militia Field Artillery.
  3. On the other hand, the concentration at a single station of the only available instruction in Horse and Field Artillery Training has distinct drawbacks, and transport from distant stations becomes a serious expense. It is much to be regretted that shortage of funds prevented the holding of courses of instruction for officers and men of the Active Militia during the early months of 1909. Like the Cavalry, the Horse Artillery has suffered from being asked too often to perform at exhibitions, and a check should be put on the practice.
  4. The barracks at Kingston are bad, and there is a serious deficiency of stable accommodation. Were an epidemic to break out among the horses, the results would probably be disastrous.
  5. The two companies, Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery, stationed at Halifax, N.S., considering the drawbacks involved in their protracted absence from headquarters on strike duty at Glace Bay, appeared to be in a very fairly satisfactory state of efficiency, and handled their guns smartly at my inspection on the occasion of the annual mobilization of the fortress.
  6. Their training was entirely stopped by the strike from the beginning of July to the beginning of September. The gun practice was interrupted for the same reason, and much of it had to be carried out hurriedly at the end of the season under bad weather conditions. Considering these difficulties, the practice was creditable.
  7. Special night courses of instruction were held for the benefit of the 1st Regiment Canadian Artillery, with results good on the whole, but rather spoilt by irregular attendance on the part of those instructed.

 

A Battery R.C.H.A. June 3rd 1907, Renfrew, Ont..

A Battery R.C.H.A. June 3rd 1907, Renfrew, Ont..

 

  1. The Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery at Esquimalt are reported to maintain a satisfactory state of efficiency, while the Heavy Company at Quebec has done good work in the instruction of the Active Militia companies of its arm of the service. The horses of this unit, however, are of a poor stamp, while the stabling accommodation is bad and unsanitary.
  2. The Royal Canadian Engineers have done useful work in connection with engineer services throughout the country; in fact, their work has been so widely utilized that, except at Halifax, N.S., and Esquimalt (where a small detachment is detailed), it has not been possible to give the personnel, which is composed of men of a very intelligent class, anything like a proper opportunity of practising the purely military side of their duties. It is desirable that greater facilities for this should be afforded to them, probably at Petawawa, during next summer’s training. When in annual camps they might with advantage be employed more fully in instruction of the Active Militia Engineer Companies and less in the carrying out of routine work, which could as well be done by contractors. An expansion of the corps, sufficient to enable it to supply an engineer staff at each command and district headquarters, would well repay the outlay involved, and would ultimately save money to the public. The issue of the new Regulations for Engineer Services has had beneficial results.
  3. The Headquarters of the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry have been employed ever since the middle of the summer on strike duty in Cape Breton. As the Infantry Garrison of Halifax must, if possible, be kept up to a certain strength, the reductions in establishment due to shortness of funds fell almost entirely upon the outlying depots of the regiment. At these stations the small numbers available gave both officers and men few opportunities for practising field duties. The outlying companies, consequently, vary considerably in efficiency in that portion of their work, though they are smart and well turned out at ceremonial drill, and the administration is well carried out. As a considerable detachment was still detained at Glace Bay at the time of my inspection of regimental headquarters at Halifax, it was impossible to test the regiment at field duties. The barracks and institutes were, however, in a satisfactory condition, and the ceremonial drill was smartly performed.
  4. The Departmental Corps, namely, the Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps, Permanent Army Medical Corps, Canadian Ordnance Corps, Army Pay Corps and Corps of ‘Military Staff Clerks, continue to make progress. The work performed by all in quarters and at annual camps has been on the whole satisfactory. I am of opinion, however, that, now that these organizations are becoming more experienced, a further amount of attention might with advantage be given to the instructional side of their work in relation to the Active Militia.
  5. In the Permanent Army Medical Corps, in spite of the drawback of reduced establishments, which made it as much as they could do to carry on properly their routine duties and militated against their field training, good work ha-s been done. The establishment of Command and District Stores for medical supplies, with the consequent decentralization from Ottawa, though hampered by lack of funds, has made progress.
  6. One of the most pressing needs of the Permanent Force at the present moment is the need of a larger number of qualified and experienced officers of the rank of major or upwards, especially in the Artillery. Engineers and Departmental Corps—the senior captains in the two first named having only seven years’ service, while those in the others have even less. Several promising young officers are coming on, but they have not as yet either sufficient practical military knowledge or, what perhaps more important, enough experience in commanding men to make it advisable to promote them at once. Until that time comes, it will probably be necessary to continue the present system of borrowing, temporarily, a few experienced officers from the Imperial Army.
  • I have the honour to be, sir. Your obedient servant, PEKCY H. N. LAKE, Major-General, Inspector-General.

 

Signal Corps, Royal Canadian Regiment Ca. 1907, Halifax N.S.

Signal Corps, Royal Canadian Regiment Ca. 1907, Halifax N.S.

 

REPORT BY GENERAL SIR JOHN FRENCH, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., K.C.M.G.

INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE IMPERIAL FORCES. HIS INSPECTION OF THE CANADIAN MILITARY FORCES.

                                      

Ottawa, July 5, 1910.

  • To the Hon. Sir Frederick Borden, K.C.M.G., &c., Minister of Militia and Defence, Ottawa.

(C)—PEACE TRAINING.

Before expressing an opinion as to the standard of peace training reached by the

Canadian forces and their methods of instruction, it will be convenient if I briefly recount the opportunities which I have had of forming a judgment on these matters. My field training inspections were as follows:—May 21, the 8th and 9th Regiments of the 20th Infantry Brigade carried out a scheme of manoeuvre in the Levis Camp at Quebec. May 2.5, the Royal Canadian Dragoons carried out a reconnaissance scheme in the neighbourhood of Toronto. May 26, the 13th and 91st Regiments at Hamilton performed some minor drill operations in their drill hall. June 1 and June 2, the 14th Regiment of Infantry and the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery practised manoeuvre schemes at Kingston. June 4, the Governor General’s Foot Guards and the 4.3rd Regiment carried out an ‘attack and defence’ scheme in the neighbourhood of Ottawa. June 8 to June 10, the Royal Canadian Regiment carried out field operations in connection with the fortress defence at Halifax, and the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery worked their guns against a night attack by destroyers represented by government transport boats. June 1.5 and 16, the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Brigade, and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Infantry Brigades were seen both at field training and manoeuvre at Niagara-on-the-lake. June 18, the 6th, 7th and 8th Infantry Brigades carried out field operations under Col. S. Hughes at Kingston. June 20, at Petawawa Camp, the 3rd Cavalry Brigade was seen at field training, and the 2nd and 8th Brigades, Canadian Field Artillery, at manoeuvre and field firing. Judging from all I have been able to see, I should consider the standard of training efficiency which has been reached by the troops of the Permanent Force to be satisfactory. In my opinion their peace establishment is not large enough to enable them to properly carry out the work of supervising the training and instruction of the militia, and, at the same time, to permit of their attaining themselves to that perfection of field efficiency which it is very desirable should be possessed by the small regular force maintained by the Dominion. For this reason, as well as those which I have brought forward in the course of this report, I think, when funds are available, the Royal Canadian Dragoons should be increased by one squadron, and a battery should be added to the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.

I cannot close my remarks on the training of the Permanent Force without expressing my admiration of the performance of ‘A’ and ‘B’ batteries of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery at Kingston under Lt.-Col. Burstall, on June 2. I have no doubt it is in some degree owing to this officer’s able instruction and supervision that the Canadian Field Artillery appear to have attained to the degree of efficiency which, considering the circumstances under which they serve, has caused me considerable astonishment.

  • I have the honour to be, sir. Your obedient servant, T. D. P. FRENCH, General.
  • Inspector General of the Imperial Forces.

 

Spañard

 

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