06 Oct 14THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY, 06 October 1914 – Of life on board ship, Duguid in his “Official History” wrote: – “The routine on board the transports was left to the commander of the troops in consultation with the captain of the ship.  Reveille as a rule was at 5:30 or 6:30 a.m., followed by physical exercises and breakfast from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m.  The forenoon was occupied with sweeping, cleaning, guard mounting, and morning parades.  The hour of the midday meal varied from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., after which the afternoon parade was held.  Morning and afternoon parades included rifle exercise, squad and section drill, signalling, physical exercises and fire drill.  On all ships boat drill was carried out at least twice during the voyage and several muster parades were held; on Sundays there were church parades, and on Saturday sports.

Lectures for officers were delivered at 5:00p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; tea for the men was at 6:00 p.m.; dinner for the officers at 7:00 p.m., and although “Lights Out” was sounded at 9:15 p.m. time was found in almost every ship for concerts, when local talent provided entertainment, and the usual collection was made for seamen’s charities.  The daily run – from 200-250 miles – and the noon position aroused the usual interest, and although the sending of wireless by the transports was forbidden “except in the case of dire necessity,” news of the outside world was picked up by wireless from passing vessels or from the Marconi station at Poldhu [south Cornwall, England]. Most of the transports were amply provisioned, but in several there were complaints as to both quantity and quality; in one the troops were called upon to grind cargo wheat for their own subsistence.”  [2]


[1]  Editing with Traces of the Past;
[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. 100-101.


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