THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY, 24 October 1914 – From the 14th BATTALION (RMR) WAR DIARY:

Saturday, October 24, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

Today’s entry was even shorter than the preceding day, stating simply: “Rain. Division inspected by F.M. Lord Roberts, V.C.”  [1]


24 Oct 14The Battalion History records:  “Three days after General Alderson’s inspection of the 3rd Brigade, the Canadian Division was reviewed by its Honorary Colonel, Field Marshal Earl Roberts of Kandahar, V.C.  No British soldier was more popular than this veteran, and the troops endeavoured by the warmth of their welcome to prove that his services in South Africa had not been forgotten. Unfortunately, his review was somewhat marred by heavy rain.”

The report filed by Canadian Associated Cables carried two days later by The Globe in Toronto tells this story:

“Lord Roberts yesterday made his informal round in an almost uninterrupted rain.  His stay extended over four hours, during which the officers of every brigade came under his notice, several battalions also parading for inspection. Before leaving the veteran soldier expressed his keen pleasure with everything he had seen and extended congratulations to the Divisional Staff. ”

“The Salisbury hotels this weekend received a considerable patronage from proud parents who journeyed thither to visit the lads home from Canada [ie. British born men who had enlisted in Canada with Canadian units].  Under such unexpected circumstances many of these visitors, it is certain, came to Salisbury with an entire lack of appreciation of two features – namely, the immense size of the camp and its distance from the nearest city.  One instance comes to light of a doctor journeying from Edinburgh, a distance of a hundred odd miles, to see two sons from Vancouver.  He spent a couple of days searching the camp before finding his boys.”   [3]

[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Oct. 23, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089670.jpg
[2]  "Bobs" Sees Troops Amid A Downpour: Several Canadian Battalions Parade for Inspection – Veteran Greatly Pleased -Salisbury Hotels Crowded During the Week-end With Parents Seeking Soldiers From Canada-  Services Are Held in Marquees;”  The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, October 26, 1914, pg. 3, col. 1.
[3]   Ibid.


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