Tuesday, November 10, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Fine.  Training.  Drill.”  [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: The history of the 14th Battalion mentions that “In addition to night outpost work, the November training included route marches, on one of which a Battalion bugle band made its first appearance” and there were also manoeuvres and drills “to instruct the troops in taking cover from enemy aircraft.”

29 Oct 14 & 08 Nov 14

PAY PROBLEMSOf the 1,166 names on the 14th Battalion’s 1914 Establishment list, 389 men, or 33.3%, gave England as their place of birth, another 72 (6.2%) were born in Scotland and 64 (5.5%) in Ireland.  While some of these men undoubtedly had brought their dependents to Canada, there were many more whose dependents were still in Great Britain.  When the first cheques for dependents allowance were issued, they were in Canadian dollars.  The British families had difficulty in cashing these cheques.  At the same time, the Canadian troops arriving in England came with Canadian dollars in their pockets which they had difficulty exchanging in England.

“Adjusting check problems: – Some little trouble was caused at the outset by the payment by cheques from Ottawa of the separation allowances to families of the married men residing in the United Kingdom.  The women had great difficulty in cashing these cheques, and Colonel Ward* has now arranged to pay future sums in British currency.  … Financially everything possible is being done to meet the convenience of the soldier.  Within twenty-four hours of his arrival here Colonel Ward was settled in suitable offices, rules and regulations prepared on the Franconia were in type and printed in book form and within a few more hours the Colonel was in Salisbury with £50,000 in British currency in exchange for the men’s Canadian money, so that the latter could be converted into its full English equivalent.  It speaks much for the well-lined pockets of the troops to state that though all the men had then a month’s pay to draw, the £50,000 fell far short of the sum actually required to meet the Canadian notes held.”  [1]

* Note:  Colonel Walter R. Ward was Chief Canadian Paymaster in London.  He had charge of all the records of all the men of the Canadian contingent and the addresses of their relatives.  He acted as the financial representative or administrator for the Canadian Government.

[1] War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Nov 10, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[3]  William Marchington, Staff Correspondent, “Britain’s Arms Open For The Canadians,”  The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, November 7, 1914, pg. 13, col. 1.


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