Demon Booze A Problem For Canadians in 1914

Thursday, November 12, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Rain and (bad) storm.”  [1]

12 Nov 14THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY:  “Ottawa, Nov 13.  There have been fifteen new “casualties” among the Canadian troops on Salisbury Plain.  But the casualties are due to the common enemy of all mankind, and not to the Germans or Austrians.

Too much British hospitality and too much firewater taken by some of the Canadian troops while on leave from camp in London or elsewhere have resulted in fifteen privates being dismissed from the ranks.  Word to this effect was received here today, and the pay of the men has been stopped by the Militia Department.  It is also stated that in a few cases lieutenants have been reduced in rank to sergeants for the same cause.

These sporadic outbreaks of men on leave after the strict discipline of Valcartier and Salisbury have evidently caused General Alderson a little trouble.  Hence his public request to the British public to stop treating the Canadian troops, with his added statement that unless more discretion is shown passes will have to be stopped entirely.”  [3]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Nov 12 , 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2]   “Fifteen Casualties Among The Canadians,” Privates Dismissed Because Of Indulgence In Liquor – General’s Warning,”  The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, Saturday, November 14, 1914, pg. 3, col. 3.
[3]   Ibid.

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