Camp Life in 1914

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY, 28 October 1914 – From the 14th BATTALION (RMR) WAR DIARY:

Wednesday, October 28, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Rain.  Training under difficulties on account of bad weather.”  [1]

28 Oct 14CAMP LIFE:  Apparently the question of how the troops at Salisbury Camp were to pass their off-duty time was of considerable concern.  “A promising response is being made to Sir Edward Ward’s appeal for gifts of books for the troops on Salisbury Plain.  Fifty thousand volumes are asked for and will certainly be quickly obtained.

Colonel Ward has been appointed by the War Office generally to advise Lord Kitchener in regard to matters affecting the overseas contingent.  His idea is to organize a lending library at Salisbury Camp.  Already the Canadian contingent has received from the minister of the interior a neat little collection of patriotic poems and songs beginning with the Maple Leaf and ending with Kipling’s Recessional.

The canteen question at Salisbury Plain is likely to take on a new phase, at any rate among section dwellers in camp.  A strong feeling is growing that canteens should be in charge of a canteen sergeant, who will see proper regulations enforced, instead of such an institution being under contract from an outsider, who may only show anxiety to establish as big a trade as possible.  Amongst the officers there is a strong desire to establish regimental messes, instead of the present brigade messes, which prove expensive.”  [3]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Oct. 25, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,

[2]   “The Question of Library, Messes and Canteens Discussed at Salisbury Plain,” Canadian Associated Press Cable, The Ottawa Citizen, Wednesday, October 28, 1914, pg 1, col. 7.
[3]   Ibid.

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