King Inspects the RMR in 1915

Thursday, February 4, 1915

In Hutments, Lark Hill, Salisbury Plains

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Canadian Division reviewed by H.M. The King, accompanied by Lord Kitchener.  The King first walked down the line and the whole Division afterwards marched past.  As weather was bad, all ranks wore greatcoats, which made the men seem very big and solid.  Afterwards lined both sides of railway as the King left on special train.  Men in high spirits, and much cheering.” [1]

04 Feb 15_B
King George V and Queen Mary Review the Canadian Division, February 4, 1915

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: On February 4th, 1915, His Majesty the King inspected the 1st Canadian Division on Salisbury Plain, and afterwards wrote a message to the troops, which was read to all units on board ship after their embarkation for France. The full text of the message is as follows:—

“Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Men:

At the beginning of November I had the pleasure of welcoming to the Mother Country this fine contingent from the Dominion of Canada, and now, after three months’ training, I bid you Godspeed on your way to assist my Army in the field.

I am well aware of the discomforts that you have experienced from the inclement weather and abnormal rain, and I admire the cheerful spirit displayed by all ranks in facing and overcoming all difficulties.

From all I have heard, and what I have been able to see at today’s inspection and march-past, I am satisfied that you have made good use of your time spent on Salisbury Plain.

By your willing and prompt rally to our common flag you have already earned the gratitude of the Motherland.

By your deeds and achievements on the field of battle I am confident that you will emulate the example of your fellow-countrymen in the South African War, and thus help to secure the triumph of our arms.

I shall follow with pride and interest all your movements. I pray that God may bless you and watch over you.”   [3]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Feb 4, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[3]   From Canada in Flanders, by Sir Max Aitken, M.P., 1916, as quoted by Captain Michael O’Leary;, Accessed August 30, 2014



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