As the first Camp Commandant at Wimbledon of the British National Rifle Association it gave me much satisfaction to find a flourishing Dominion Rifle Association, with good ranges, at Ottawa, to which the picked men of the various Provincial Rifle Associations come, once a year, for competition. Experience has shown in England how important for the encouragement of Volunteers is target practice, and the emulation it produces. I hope, therefore, that the Government of the Dominion will deal with a liberal hand towards the Dominion Rifle Association, and enable it to have ample accommodation at its ranges for the representatives of the Provincial Associations when they come for the annual meeting to Ottawa.
- Your most obedient humble servant, R.G.A. LUARD, Major-General, Commanding the Militia.
APPENDIX No. I.
MILITARY DISTRICT NO. I.
DEPUTY ADJUTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE.
London, 2nd November, 1880.
- SIR,-I have the honor to forward, for submission Lo the Major-General commanding, the accompanying Inspection Report of the Active Militia Force in this district under my command, which have performed their annual drill for the year 1880-81 in obedience to the General Order of 5th May last.
DRILL COMPANY ASSOCIATIONS.
There are four Drill Company Associations in this district, viz.: “London Collewiate” Dufferin College,” “St. Thomas Collegiate” “Mount Forest High School.” The companies having been only lately authorized have had hardly time to get the public interested in their formation; the organization is in its infancy, but when it A shall have been properly worked up and regulations amended where found advisable, there can be no doubt but that it will result in fostering a military spirit among the rising generation able and willing to answer any call to defend our country. I inspected the “London Collegiate” Company on the 30th October; they drilled very smartly, having had the services of an instructor from “A” Battery, and I could conscientiously compliment them. At the brigade field day on the 1st July they were attached to the 7th Fusiliers, and again I saw them on parade when I inspected the 26th Battalion. Their drill was on these occasions far better than the average, and shows how successful these drill companies can be made, provided the school authorities give their cordial support as is done in London, and also provided they are so fortunate as to have an efficient captain. At my inspection of the London Collegiate Company I had the great pleasure of presenting Captain Houston with a sword and belt given by his company in token of their appreciation of the trouble and pains he has taken with them. 1 do think that particular interest is due and should be given to these drill companies in schools and colleges, for they are the nursery for our future best and most intelligent class to join the active militia as officers and non-commissioned officers; and as it is evident that the fate of these drill companies, as to whether they shall prove a success or not, depends in a very great measure upon the captain, who will naturally be one of the masters of the school or college from which the drill company is formed, and as very few of the masters know their drill, and as an inducement for them to render themselves capable of in strutting their companies, I would very strongly urge that the same grant should be paid half-yearly to each captain of an efficient Drill Company as is paid to the captain of an efficient infantry company of the active militia; this grant to be paid for providing an instructor until the captain is capable of instructing the boys himself. (This will also be an inducement for non-commissioned officers of militia to go to military schools and qualify for instructors to Drill Companies.) It must be borne in mind that the boys can be drilled from two to four times in the week, and they receive the instruction at an age when they are most capable of profiting by it, so that the money will be well earned. if the captain is at first unable to instruct his company, or provide a drill instructor satisfactory to the District Staff Officer, then the Government grant should be withheld and expended in sending an instructor from “A” or “ B ” Battery.
There are 31 Drill Sheds in the District, some of them viz; Hollen, St. Mary Lucan and Cross Hill have been repaired this year. The Sheds have generally been some 15 years standing, and the sills in many are showing signs of decay while the heavy snow and storms have strained some of the roofs, and therefore every year some may henceforth be expected to require considerable repairs.
There are 13 Rifle Associations kept up in the District, nearly every battalion having one, their returns of practice are not due until 1st December, but 1 am aware that rifle practice has been frequently carried on during the year.
- I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant, JOHN B. TAYLOR, Lt.-Colonel, Deputy-Adjutant General, Military District No. 1.
- To The Adjutant-General, Ottawa.
MILITARY DISTRICT NO. 2.
OLD Fear, Toronto, 23rd November, 1880.
SIR,—I have the honor to forward, for submission to the Major-General commanding the Militia, the accompanying inspection report of the Active Militia. In Military District No. 2, relative to the annual drill of 1880-8], performed in compliance with ‘the General Orders, dated at Ottawa, 5th May, 1880.
No. 1 Company, 19th Battalion.
This company, under the command of Major Thompson, performed its annual drill at Niagara, and was inspected by Lieut.-Col. Villiers, who reports as follows:- “The company mustered 1 officer and 42 men. The appearance of the men was’ clean and soldier-like. Arms and accoutrements perfectly clean. The drill was very well executed, which consisted of proving, manual and firing exercise: marching and wheeling by company, half company and sections, file marching and forming company to right and right about, forming of fours- The ball practice has been done to the 200 yards, and when completed the return will be forwarded. I mustered the men, and the service roll was also handed to me, all of which was perfectly satisfactory.”
No. 5 Company, 12th Battalion.
This company under the command of Captain Tremayne, performed its annual drill at Sutton, Company Headquarters. Was inspected by Lieut.-Col. Denison, Brigade Major, who reports as follows: “On the 2nd October, 1880, I inspected No. 5 (Sutton Company) 12th Battalion, their annual drill having been completed that day.- On parade, 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 3 sergeants, 36 men, 1 absent with leave (sick). Total, 2 officers, 3 non commissioned officers, 37 men, 2 off—40. The company is composed of very fine men. Drill consisted of inspection of company, proving company, and company drill, extending for the attack, changing front, when extending closing to, and extending from flanks and centre. The men very steady under arms. The officers do not hold certificates.”
- I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant, W. S. DURIE, Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant General, Military District No. 2.
MILITARY DISTRICT No. 3.
DEPUTY ADJUTANT-GENERAL’s OFFICE.
H.Q. Old Fort, Toronto, 4th November, 1880.
The Drill-shed at this station requires some repairs to the foundation, but as now belongs to the Trustees of Queen’s College, it becomes a question whether the Militia Department should have to bear the cost of these repairs. Estimates of repairs to Drill-sheds in the Peterborough district have been recently forwarded to headquarters and are urgently required. A Drill-shed at Belleville is also much needed, but, as far as I can learn. there is not much chance of the Municipal authorities assisting in the cost of erection at present. A Drill-shed is also required at Cobourg.
Most of these Associations are in a flourishing condition and have held meetings this year. Those that have not will probably have their meetings before the end of the year. The meeting of the Prince Edward County Association, held at Pieton, was a great success, owing principally to the exertions of Lieut. Col. Bog, 16th Battalion.
- I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, B. VAN STRAUBENZEE, Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General, Military District N0. 3.
- The Adjutant-General, Headquarters, Ottawa.
MILITARY DISTRICT No. 4.
Headquarters, BROCKVILLE, 1st November, 1880.
Drill Company Associations.
College of Ottawa Drill Company, Ottawa, Captain Frank J. Nelson ……1.
In the country parts the interest in target practice is not being maintained. The small quantity of ammunition now allowed for the annual practice is only sufficient to teach many men that they know nothing of rifle shooting, and consequently they are discouraged from making further trial. The propriety of authorizing a greater number of rounds to be expended under proper supervision at company headquarters, might be considered, and if concurred in, would doubtless tend to keep up the interest by frequent masters of the men, without pay, for target practice, thus leaving the whole of the short period in camp for drill and other duties.
The following Associations are in active operation:—
- Metropolitan (Ottawa).
- Guards (Ottawa).
- 18th Battalion (Co. of Prescott.)
- Ramsay (Almonte.)
There is no change in these buildings since last year, and with the exception of the glass, all are in a fairstate of repair. I would refer to my remarks on this subject in last annual report, page 30. Major Carmichael, commanding No. 7 Company, 56th Battalion, has generously offered a free site and one hundred dollars towards moving the drill-shed from Millar’s Corners (not now used) to Spencerville, and I would strongly urge that this be authorized.
- I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant, W. H. JACKSON, Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General, Military District No. 4.
- The Adjutant General of Militia.
MILITARY DISTRICT No. 5.
Headquarters, Montreal, 2nd December, 1880.
There are sixteen Rifle Associations working efficiently in the District. I am happy to report that these Associations continue to prove of practical benefit to the force, enabling the members of corps not allowed to drill, to keep up their practice, and in bringing together once a year, in friendly competition, the members of the different corps, and thereby maintaining a good “esprit de corps” throughout the District.
MONTREAL DRILL SHED.
On this subject I cannot do better than report what I stated in last year’s report. The drill shed still remains in ruins, the centre is used by the City Corporation as a depot for lumber, stone and rubbish. Some of the side rooms left standing are used by the artillery and 3rd Battalion as gun-sheds and armouries, but these rooms are not safe, the windows are broken, the roof leaks and the flooring is rotten, so much so that it is dangerous to practise gun-drill. The corps suffer very much for want of a proper drill shed. The use of the Bonsecour Hall does not, by a long way, compensate for the loss of the drill shed. The hall is not large enough for a battalion to drill in, it is at a distance from some of the armouries, and triples the expense of guarding the armouries when an alarm arises, four guards are required at present, whereas, if the shed was rebuilt, one guard would suffice.
The Montreal force of Active Militia is a credit to the city. This fact is admitted by all who have seen it, therefore an effort should be made by the citizens interested in the maintenance of the force to bring an influence to bear upon the city authorities to repair the old shed or to build a new one. A good site for a shed would be the east end of the Champ do Mars. The lower part of the building on the level of Craig Street, could be used for the artillery and cavalry, and the upper portion, on the level of Champ de Mars, would serve for drill purposes and armouries for the infantry; such a building would cost somewhere about $35,000. Let the expense be divided between the Government, and the City Corporation.
- I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, JOHN FLETCHER, Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General, Military District No. 5.
- The Adjutant-General of Militia, Headquarters, Ottawa.
MILITARY DISTRICT, NO. 6.
Headquarters, Montreal, 1st December, 1880.
There are four Rifle Associations in the District under my command, viz: The 65th Battalion Rifle Association, Lieut.-Col. A. Ouimet, President; the 83rd Battalion Rifle
Association, Lieut.-Col. J. Sheppard, President; the 86th Battalion Rifle Association, Lieut.-Col. K. Houde, President; and the Rifle Association for the 5th Brigade , Division, Lieut.-Col. D’Orsonnens, President.
- I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, A. C. DELOTBINIERE HARWOOD, Lieut.-Col., Deputy Adjutant-General, Military District N0. 6.
MILITARY DISTRICT No. 7.
Headquarters, Quebec, 15th November, 1880.
There are nine rifle associations in this district, all working well, which rank as follows as to efficiency. They have held annual meetings at their respective head quarters:
- The Stadacona Rifle Association—Lieut.-Col. Turnbull, President.
- The County of Megantic Rifle Association—Lieut.-Col. King, President.
- The 8th Royal Rifles ……..”………..”………………”……Alleyn, ……”…
- The Temiscouata………….”………..”………………”……Hudon, ……”…
- The County of Quebec……”………..”………………”……Laurin,…….”…
- The Rimouski……………..”…….…..”…………….”……Dr. Fiset,….”…
- The County Champlain……”………..”……………..”……Massicotte,.”…
- The Queen’s Own Canadian Hussars Rifle Association—-Lieut.-Col. Forsyth, Pt. 17th Battalion Rifle Association.
Lieut.-Col. Blanchet, President. The armouries, both in the city and in the rural parts, are in good condition, and accoutrements complete. The arms have been found generally in good order, with the exception of those of No. 6 Company, 17th Battalion, which were dirty. Several of the arms have been received into the military stores for repairs. The Quebec Armory was inspected by Major-General Luard, who expressed himself well satisfied with the arrangements, and at the very creditable manner in which they were kept. The arms of 38 companies have been thoroughly repaired by the Armorer of the District.
- I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, T. J. DUOHESNAY, Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy-Adjutant General, Military District No. 7.
- The Adjutant-General of Militia, Head Quarters, Ottawa, Ontario.
MILITARY DISTRICT No. 8.
- Province of New Brunswick
- Headquarters, Fredericton,
- 12th November, 1880
I quote the following from the Report of the Council of the New Brunswick Rifle Association for 1880, of which Major J. H. Parks is the zealous President, and Major O. R. Arnold, the efficient Secretary. The annual competition took place at Sussex on the 24th of August and following days. The sum of $1,114.00 was appropriated to the prize list, in addition to the several cups add medals which are the property of the Association, and a number of prizes given by individuals. We have again to regret that the attendance of competitors was not as large as it should have been, as, notwithstanding the inducements offered, it showed no in crease over that of the previous year.
The Council would ask the earnest consideration of the members of the association, to the best means of increasing interest in rifle shooting, and as to what improvements could be made in the system that would bring a large number of marksmen to the annual matches. The system of nursery prizes or prizes from which first-class shots are excluded, would, perhaps, if more, fully developed, produce good results. The monthly com petitions of the St. John County Rifle Association have had a beneficial effect on the shooting of that county, and if adopted by the other County Associations, would work a decided increase in the number of competitors at Sussex, and also an improvement in their shooting. It might also be worthy of consideration how far some of the matches might be exclusively appropriated to the non-commissioned officers and men of the Militia force.” I am glad to observe that the opinion of the Council, as to “ exclusive” appropriations for prizes “ to the non-commissioned officers and men of the militia force,” coincided with my own, already expressed, under the head of “Target Practice.” In my opinion, in no better manner could such appropriations be applied than in offering prizes by the rifle associations for regimental and company shooting during the performance of the annual drill, under rules framed by the associations. The following County Rifle Associations held their annual matches this year as usual:—
- York—President, Brevet-Major Staples.
- Carleton—Pres…. Lt.-Colonel Raymond.
- St. John—Pres…..Capt. Hall.
- Kings—Pres……..Lt.-Colonel Domville.
- Northumberland—Pres…. Lt.-Colonel Ferguson.
- Charlotte—Pres……..Major McGee.
- I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant, GEO. J. MAUNSELL, Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General, Military District No. 8.
MILITARY DISTRICT No. 9.
Headquarters, HALIFAX, 24th November, 1880.
The Rifle Associations are still doing good work, encouraging recruiting and keeping up good esprit-de-corps by team matches. Eleven Rifle Associations exist in this District, and all hold their annual meetings, thus stimulating the men to efficiency the most important part of their duty, the proper use of their weapons. I had the satisfaction of taking thirty-seven, competitors from the Active force of this District to take part in the annual matches of the Dominion Rifle Association at Ottawa, in September, and they did themselves credit by their discipline and soldierly conduct and appearance, as well as marksmanship.
- J. WIMBURN LAURIE, Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General, Military District No. 9.
MILITARY DISTRICT No. 12.
Headquarters, CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I., 1st November, 1880.
The Prince County Rifle Association held its annual meeting on the 18th August and three following days. The Queen’s and King’s County Associations held theirs on the 27th and 17th September respectively, all of which were numerously attended. In addition to these meetings there have been many private matches between the companies, where money rises and articles of value have been competed for. A detachment of sixteen officers and men from different corps, proceeded to Ottawa early in September to take part in the annual competition held on the 6th of that month.
- I have the honor to be, Sir, Your most obedient, humble servant, JOHN HAMILTON GRAY, Lieut-Colonel, D.A.G.. Military District No. 12.