Rain and Mud Greets RMR in November 1914

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY, 01 November 1914 – From the 14th BATTALION (RMR) WAR DIARY:

Sunday, November 1, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Rain.”  [1]

01 Nov 14
Army motor car at Lark Hill, Salisbury, pulled by horses

Rain and Mud: “The weather continued to be cold and raw, with occasional frosts at night, and there were no facilities for drying clothes.”  [3]

While organization work and training is proceeding, the days are quite short.  It is dark when reveille sounds and the men dress by candlelight.  At 6:15 am they fall in for a run, then fold blankets and clean tents, and other duties before breakfast which is followed by drill or a route march.  There is more drill in the afternoon and the evening meal is served about 5 o’clock, again by candlelight.  At present the men are free to enjoy themselves in the evenings but apart from such places such as the Y.M.C.A. there is not much opportunity for recreation.  Huts are being built by civilian contractors and men are being detailed from each Canadian battalion to assist the contractors to speed up the completion of these huts for occupancy by the Canadian troops.

“Following Lord Robert’s visit, the 14th Battalion Diary states that company training was carried out, several long route marches took place, and on one occasion, battalion manoeuvres in extended order familiarized the troops with the mud which was to play such a part in their lives in the months to come.”  [4]

[1] War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Nov 1, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089676.jpg
[2] Army motor car at Lark Hill, Salisbury, pulled by horses; Canadian War Museum Photo Archives Image: M.298; Control No.1990003-362
[3]  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, pg. 128
[4]  R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette, Printing Co.,Ltd., 1927, pg. 18.




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