RMR “Prepares to Move” in 1915

Monday, February 22, 1915

In Billets, Flêtre

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Orders received to be ready to move next day.”    [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY:  Life in the army is governed by Orders, which come from many levels and in many forms.  A few of these can be summarized:

“1.     Orders: There is always a mass of orders, and it is the officer’s duty to be familiar with them. Orders come under three main headings:

(a)     Standing Orders. These consist of Regimental, Corps, Unit and Station Standing Orders and the officer must ensure he is familiar with them.

(b)     Routine Orders. These are the normal daily orders as issued by order of the Commanding Officer. They affect all personnel in the unit and must be read daily. On returning from leave, or a course, an officer should read all orders issued during his absence.

(c)     District, Command and Army Orders and Army Council Instructions. A great number of these orders and instructions will not affect the individual officer, but nevertheless it is his duty to make himself acquainted with them. A.C.Is. are of especial importance.”    [2]

Orders can also be categorized as follows:

“Official Sources for Battalions:  The establishment of battalions and the appointment, assignment and promotion of officers were announced in the General Orders. These official government documents also contained the army regulations and any amendments.

At the individual battalion level, various types of administrative documents were kept. Everything mentioned in the General Orders regarding a battalion’s officers (promotions, decorations and transfers) was reported in the Daily Orders, Part II, by the staff of each battalion. The arrivals and departures of soldiers to and from the battalion were recorded, as well, along with information on leave, discipline and promotions.

Another administrative record kept by the staff of the battalion was the war diary. Each battalion had to note its daily activities, such as movements, training and, of course, military operations in which it took part, in the war diary. Battalions also sometimes recorded the number of dead and wounded for the day and any leave granted to officers. The war diaries are an invaluable source of information on the activities of the battalions.”    [3]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Feb 22, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089694.jpg
[2]    Captain Michael O’Leary; quoting from Customs of the Army, 1956, Sect VIIIhttp://regimentalrogue.com/srsub/army_customs_1956_sect8.htm
[3]   Marcelle Cinq-Mars, Archivist, National Film Board of Canada,  http://www3.nfb.ca/ww1/historic-sources.php


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