RMR Troops Armed

09 Sept 1914_ATHIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY – 09 September 1914 – By the eighth of September W. Marchington, the Staff Correspondent of The Globe, of Toronto, was able to report from Valcartier as follows:  “Every man in camp now has a rifle.  The work of issuing arms was finished today. Many are still without uniforms, however, and indications are that another two weeks will go by before all have received their war outfits.  The delivery of some ten thousand service uniforms is still awaited.  Thus it will be some time before the Canadian expeditionary force is ready to sail.”

The report continued: “The rains have moderated, but it is still far from fine.  The events of the past three days have shown what kind of stuff Canada’s soldiers are made of.  In all that time there has not been a ray of sunshine, and conditions generally have been most trying, but the troops have maintained their cheerfulness throughout, despite their dismal surroundings. The men spent the greater part of the morning drying their clothes, large bonfires being built for the purpose. Few had the good fortune to possess more than one suit, so some of the scenes witnessed were odd.”

“The heavy rains of the week-end at least served to show what a splendid place Valcartier is for the purposes of a military training camp.  Although some of the land is still under water, the ground was fairly dry by this afternoon, owing to the sandy character of the soil. The wet spell apparently did not adversely affect the health of the camp, a visit to the hospitals this afternoon eliciting the information that there were no cases of serious illness.  As a matter of fact there are fewer than sixty sick men in the camp.”

09 Sept 1914_B“In the meantime drilling and musketry will continue, when the weather is favourable.  Manoeuvres are expected to commence in a few days.  This afternoon the infantrymen were engaged in company drill, and in addition to this the Highlanders had a few hours at bayonet practice.  It was an off-day at the rifle ranges, but this branch of the work will be resumed in the morning when it is expected that ten to fifteen thousand men will be engaged at the targets.”  [1]


[1] W.Marchington, Staff Correspondent, “Troops At Valcartier All Have Rifles Now,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, September 9, 1914, pg. 4.
[2] Dodds, Brig.- Gen. W. O. H., C.M.G., D.S.O. (J.A.Millar) Photographs Relating to the Great War, 1914-1918.; Special Collections, University of Victoria Libraries.  http://spcoll.library.uvic.ca/Digit/WOD/Individual%20Photos/13_14.htm
[3] W.Marchington, Staff Correspondent, “Troops At Valcartier All Have Rifles Now,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, September 9, 1914, pg. 4.

Share your thoughts