Tuesday, January 26, 1915

In Camp, Lark Hill, Salisbury Plains

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Duty Battn.  All day brigade manoeuvres near West Down South.” [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: “From the time of arrival in England leave not exceeding six days for all ranks up to twenty percent of the force was granted, with a free ticket to any place in the British Isles.  On 6th November the G.O.C., with regret, reduced the percentage “owing to the numerous reports he had had of considerable numbers of men being drunk and disorderly in public places of entertainment in London and other towns.”  The restriction was removed in mid-December when half the Contingent was allowed six days leave for Christmas, and the other half a similar period at New Year.  On 26th January all leave was cancelled and all on leave were recalled.”  [2]

DISCIPLINE: “Civil offences committed by the troops were few; of military offences more than half were for absence without leave, drunkenness ranked next, and cases of insubordination were rare.  Absence without leave usually meant overstaying pass; a military crime classified in the circumstances as a minor offence, for determination was needed to forsake the bright lights of London or the kindly warmth of home and friends, when the alternative was a tent on a wind-swept waste where darkness lasted fourteen hours a day and all was wetness, mud, and misery.”  [3]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Jan 26, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2]   Col. A.F. Duguid, “Official History of the Canadian Forces in The Great War 1914-1919, Vol. 1, Part 1, King’s Printer, Ottawa, 1938, pp. 131
[3]   Ibid, pp. 131-132

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