Night Marches for RMR’s Training in 1914

Monday, November 23, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Fine.  Drill.  All Battalions of Canadian Division now definitely organized on 4 company and platoon basis, to be same as British organization.”  [1]

23 Nov 14THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY:  “London, Nov. 23.  Work at the camps of the Canadian expeditionary force last week was marked principally by musketry practice and night marches.  Different battalions have been out until 2 a.m., covering often fifteen and twenty miles.  The work in the day-time has been steady and unbroken.  The men are settling down to their training with fine vigor.

The Ross rifle has proved itself a very effective weapon,* and frequent scores of 9 out of 10 bulls at the 500 yards range speak sufficiently for the general marksmanship of the contingent.

It is not all work, however, at Salisbury. At Bustard Camp this week has been installed a travelling cinema, and crowded houses indicated the men’s appreciation.”  [3]

* Note: This assessment proved to be premature and overly optimistic, as later events in the field of battle would prove.

[1] War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Nov 23 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2] “Canadian Soldiers Make Night Marches,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, November 24, 1914: pg.4, col. 3.
[3] Ibid.

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