Canada’s “Militia” Interim Training Report During The Season Of 1908.




  • To His Excellency the Right Honourable Sir Albert Henry George, Earl Grey, Viscount Howick, Baron Grey of Howick, in the County of Northumberland, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom and a Baronet; Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael ‘ and Saint George, &c, &c, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of Canada.

May it Please Your Excellency:

  • The undersigned has the honour to present to Your Excellency an interim report on the training of the Militia of the Dominion of Canada, during the season of 1908; to be embodied at a later date in the Report of the Militia Council for the year ending March 31, 1909.
  • Respectfully submitted, F. W. BORDEN, Minister of Militia and Defence. Department of Militia and Defence, Ottawa, April 1, 1909.
  1. The accompanying report briefly outlines the general scheme of training carried out by the Canadian Militia during the season of 1908, and appended will be found the report of the Inspector-General on the results of that training (Appendix EI).
  1. There is, also, appended the report of the officer commanding the militia at the Quebec Tercentenary Celebration (Brigadier-General W. D. Otter, C.Y.O., C.B.) on the part taken by the troops on that occasion (Appendix EII).




  1. Early in the year, a “Memorandum for Camps of Instruction” was prepared and published. In it were defined the respective responsibilities of general and administrative staff officers; details were given as to the manner in which camp duties were to be performed; the methods to be adopted in carrying out musketry and judging distance practices were explained; and for each arm a syllabus of training was prescribed.
  2. At the same time attention was drawn to the fact that a syllabus was merely intended as a guide. It might be varied at the discretion of the Camp Commandant. But nothing was to be allowed to interfere with proper attention being given to musketry, and the fullest possible use was to be made of available range accommodation.
  3. So far as relates to drill, movements not essential to manoeuvre in the field were eliminated; and in the training of cavalry and infantry special importance was attached to:—
  • Attack and defence;
  • (b) Information and reconnaissance;
  • (c) Orders, field messages and reports;
  • (d) Marches and protection.

Theoretical instruction in the foregoing subjects was to be provided by means of lectures, and results were subsequently to be tested by practical work in the field.

  1. In addition to the training they received in camp, detachments of field and heavy artillery were sent to Petawawa for practice with service ammunition, instructions for practice being drawn up on the lines adopted in the Royal Artillery.


Officer in tent at militia camp, Rockcliffe, Ont.

Officer in tent at militia camp, Rockcliffe, Ont.



  1. The training of city corps was ordered to be carried out, as usual, at local headquarters, and attention was directed to the importance of taking advantage of rifle ranges wherever available.


  1. Units of the Permanent Force are required to undergo, yearly, a progressive course of training, the instructions laid down for the Regular Army,* in the training manual of each arm, being followed as closely as local circumstances permit, as follows:—


  • September to March—Individual instruction.
  • March and April—Troop training.
  • May—Squadron training.
  • June and July—In camps of training.
  • August—Combined training in central camp, otherwise squadron training.

Horse Artillery—

  • September to March—Winter training (including battery manoeuvre).
  • April and May—Battery training.
  • June and July—In camps of training.
  • August—Combined training in central camp, otherwise battery training.


  • September to March—Individual instruction.
  • April and May—Company and battalion training.
  • June and July—In camps of training.
  • August—Combined training in central camp, otherwise company and battalion training.


Number of Officers and Men Of the Active Militia Trained During 1908.

Number of Officers and Men Of the Active Militia Trained During 1908.



  1. Courses for officers and non-commissioned officers of the Active Militia were held, during 1908, at all schools of Instruction from the 1st April to the 30th June, and from the 15th September to the 15th December.
  2. In addition, Provisional Schools of Instruction were held at Charlettetown, Moneton, St. John, Montreal, Sherbrooke, St. Hyacinthe, Ottawa, Galt, Port Arthur, Morden, Lloydminster, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Victoria.


  1. The usual spring course at the School of Musketry at Ottawa was cancelled, owing to the Quebec Tercentenary Celebration; but an autumn course, attended by 52 officers and non-commisioned officers, was conducted, on a sytem very similer to that which is adopted at the School of Muketry at Hythe, England.

The Course is made to embrace:—

  • (a) Preliminary training;
  • (b) Care of arms;
  • (c) Construction of rifle;
  • (d) Theory of rifle fire;
  • (e) Judging distance and range practice;
  • (f) Mechanism and employment of the machine-gun;
  • (g) Application and control of fire;
  • (h) Practical field training with the rifle, and comprehensive range practices.


  1. Advanced courses of instruction in signalling, both in camps of training and at local headquarters, were arranged for.
  • E. F. JARVIS, Secretary, The Militia Council.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s