Friday, December 11, 1914

In Camp, West Down South, Salisbury Plains

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “All day rain.  Divisional drill in morning.”  [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: In the months immediately following the outbreak of war, Canadian authorities implemented various security measures including having militia units post sentries at vital installations such as the Lachine Canal and its locks, and the various bridges leading from the island of Montreal. The Victoria Rifles, one of the RMR’s founding units, were tasked with these duties around Montreal.  At the same time the authorities implemented regulations prohibiting the possession and use of certain radio equipment.  Another measure enacted was to control aerial navigation over the Dominion.

“Reports and rumours of strange aircraft flying in the vicinity of areas under military guard led to the immediate consideration of a new military arm, and later to the issue of the first regulations to control aerial navigation over Canada.

Meanwhile, in the absence of restrictive orders and to avoid international complications with the United States, where most of the machines were owned, the guards were instructed not to fire upon them.  By Order in Council of 17th September [1914] (P.C. 2389) flying within ten miles of thirty-nine wireless stations and nineteen other places in Canada – including most of the cities – was prohibited.  Under this Order, also, aircraft might not enter Canada except across the southern boundary.  Landing areas for aircraft coming from outside Canada were restricted to eleven, distributed across the breadth of the country.  Clearance certificates from officers commanding Military Districts were required before a voyage could be resumed, and the carrying of prohibited goods – explosives, firearms, photographic apparatus, carrier or homing pigeons and mails – was forbidden.  The passage of foreign military or naval aircraft, other than Allied, was prohibited.  Contravention of these provisions was declared punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000 and imprisonment up to five years, but the Minister of Militia and Defence might for special reasons grant exemptions to such persons as he might deem expedient.”   [2]


[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Dec 11, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089681.jpg
[2]   Col. A.F. Duguid, “Official History of the Canadian Forces in The Great War 1914-1919, Vol. 1, Part 1, King’s Printer, Ottawa, 1938, pp. 15-16.


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