THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY – 13 September 1914 – Sunday, September 13th was a fine day, the first sunny Sunday since the men had come to camp.  It was a busy twenty-four hours, the busiest since camp began.  The first part of the day was occupied in rescuing 200 remounts that had broken out of their corrals during the night and plunged into the Jacques Cartier River.  Then there were inspections throughout the lines by the Minister of Militia and Defence; later the first brigade moved across the river and spent the morning in tactical exercises.

In the afternoon the First Canadian Contingent turned out for another parade and inspection by the Governor General, Field Marshal H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught.  Nearly all the troops were now equipped with uniforms and the minister declared he was pleased with the progress of equipping and training the troops.  Close to 30,000 men paraded this time.

Church services were held in various parts of Valcartier camp.  It was expected that more than twenty thousand men would take part.  Among the preachers were Bishop Farthing of Montreal, Archbishop Hamilton of Ottawa, Canon Piper of Thorold, Canon Almond of Montreal, and Canon Scott (the RMR’s own padre) of Quebec.  Roman Catholic services were conducted by Canon Sylvestre of Montreal, Rev. Father O’Leary of Quebec, and the local curé, Father Jolicoeur.  There were three different altars for the Roman Catholics and five locations for the Protestants.  [1]

“The outstanding features today were the church parades and the large invasion of visitors. It is estimated that between fifteen and twenty thousand people came in during the day for the purpose of visiting relatives in the ranks and seeing the camp. The Canadian Northern had every wheel turning, and trainload after trainload of people were discharged at Valcartier, while the roads from the city to the camp, a distance of sixteen miles, were alive with vehicles of every description.  It seemed as if the whole Province were moving to Valcartier.” [2]

The visitors to camp had many questions, and the troops had a busy time explaining the mysteries of the bell tents, and the manner in which eleven men fit in each of them.


[1]W. Marchington, Staff Correspondent, “Finest Body of Men are Valcartier Troops: Dr. Shillington and Staff have Completed Task,”   The Globe (1844-1936); Toronto, Ontario, September 12, 1914; pg. 3
 [2]W. Marchington, Staff Correspondent, “Canada’s Division Soon Ready to Move, Nearly All Men Equipped with Outfits,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, September 14, 1914, pg. 3.




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