RMR’s Mock Battles Rattle Camp Valcartier

17 Sept 1914THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY, 17 September 1914 – “The Highland Brigade was engaged in a sham battle to-day, and the fighting became so fierce that at one time the men actually leathered one another.  The manoeuvres were closely followed by the Minister of Militia.  Col. Meighen of Montreal commanded the attacking force, which was composed of the 5th Royal Highlanders and the 1st Royal Montreal Regiment, while the defending force under Col. Leckie of Vancouver was composed of the 48th Highlanders of Toronto, the Cameron Highlanders of Winnipeg, and the Seaforth Highlanders of Vancouver.  Col. Turner, V.C., chief umpire with the attacking force, considered that the exercises had been well carried out, taking into account the restricted area in which the men had to work.  The artillery had been compelled to come into action at rather short range, but they had kept well concealed, and had never been exposed to rifle fire, although they were quite within range of it.

Part of the scheme of the defending forces involved their retirement, which was well covered, Col. Turner said, by their artillery.

The Highlanders left camp at 7 o’clock in the morning, carrying sufficient food with them for the day.  They returned in the evening tired but happy, every man singing as they marched back to camp.

The correspondent had started his report of the day stating “On Monday [Sept 21st] there is to be a sham battle in which the whole force is to be engaged.  Up to the present tactical exercises on a large scale have not been attempted; but the training work has now reached the stage where it is considered advisable to have more than 25,000 men engaged in one large scheme.”  [2]


[1] W. Marchington, Staff Correspondent, “Sham Battle will Occupy Whole Force,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, September 18, 1914, pg. 3.
[2] Ibid.

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