Friday, April 16, 1915


The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Left Steenvoorde by motor buses as far as Poperinghe, halting there for mid-day meal.  Marched from Poperinghe through Vlamertinghe, Ypres, St. Jean and Wieltje and halted north of Wieltje until dusk when guides from French occupying trenches at St. Julien arrived and guided battalion in.  Battn. took over trenches from St.Julien- Poelcappelle road east for about 700 yards to sector taken over by 16th Canadian Scottish.  French Zouave troops on our left towards Llangemarck.  Relief of French completed about midnight.  2 companies (1 & 4) in line, No. 3 in support, No. 4 Company on left next French.  No. 3 Company in support in dug-outs 300 yds. in rear of No. 4 Co., No. 2 Co. in local reserve in St. Julien, where Battalion H.Q. were situated. One company of 13th R.H.C. also in St. Julien in local reserve.  Trenches in very bad condition”. [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: On this day “the men experienced a thrill when motor buses carried them over the Belgian border and on towards Ypres. Even at this early date Ypres had acquired a sinister reputation, as a host of gallant soldiers had fallen there in the fierce fighting of the previous autumn. Now another host was marching into the salient – a Canadian host, which asked only that, in any hour of trial, it might worthily uphold the proud traditions which the dead had established.” [2]

16 April 15

Parliament Formally Prorogued After Day’s Battle on Measure

“Votes for the Canadian soldiers on active service are now assured if the King in council approves the proposal. Otherwise the legislation enacted by the Dominion parliament will be inoperative.

After a day of wrangling and amending of the measures, the Senate finally accepted an amendment from the House of Commons late yesterday afternoon, and parliament prorogued at 6 o’clock, two hours later than the hour set.

At the morning sitting of the Senate the bill was amended by the addition of two clauses, one providing for the appointment of six scrutineers, three nominated by the prime minister, and three by the leader of the Opposition, to generally supervise the balloting; and the second, to make the consent of the secretary for war a precedent to the act coming into effect.

The bill was then sent back to the commons, where the first amendment was accepted and the second again amended to make the sanction that of the King in council. On division the Senate accepted this amendment and the measure was passed on division.” [4]

[1]    War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, April 16, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089715.jpg
[2]   R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette, Printing Co., Ltd., 1927, pg. 35.
[3]  Google Maps
[4] “Soldiers Get The Franchise,” The Citizen, Ottawa, Ontario, Friday, April 16, 1915 pg. 7, col. 1.

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