CANADIAN SOLDIERS REPUDIATE COMPLAINTS IN 1914

CANADIAN SOLDIERS REPUDIATE COMPLAINTS IN 1914

Saturday, November 14, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Sports day for men in the afternoon.”  [1]

The Regimental history mentions that at a divisional field day General Alderson directed the proceedings by signals sounded on a huntsman’s horn.  [2]

 The Canadian news report from London this day reported – “The pioneers of the 14th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, have lost the regimental dog Buller, which has been ordered into quarantine.  The pioneers are now appealing to English friends to find them another mascot.”  [3]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY:  “London, Nov. 15. – A communication subscribed to by a number of Canadian soldiers appears in the Saturday morning papers complaining of a wrong impression that has been spread about by the more “chicken-hearted of the members” that conditions at Salisbury Plain camp are far from satisfactory.  “It is true,” they say, “that they are not such as we should adopt for pleasure in times of peace, but have we not adopted them in grim earnest at a time of imperial danger for ourselves and all those with whom we have come in contact?   We most assuredly say that we are a great deal more comfortable and better off than most troops in England to-day.  Our tents are not poor.  We have three or four good blankets apiece, straw mattresses, pillows, and waterproof sheets.  We have good greatcoats and an abundant supply of warm underclothing, sweaters, socks, helmets and boots.

Finally we should like to say that Canadian troops arriving in England were given a reception that went to the hearts of us all, and particularly those who are Canadian-born and strangers in this country.  This treatment has, we regret to say, been returned in a manner that may well bring the blush of shame to all those, happily in the great majority, who have come here not to picnic, but to undergo whatever might be necessary, to give up our comforts, or if need be, our lives in the service of the Empire.”  [4]

[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Nov 14, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089676.jpg
[2]  R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette, Printing Co., Ltd., 1927, pg. 19.
[3]  “With the Canadians on Salisbury Plain,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, November 16, 1914, pg. 9.
[4]   “Canadian Soldiers Repudiate the Wail:  They sign Public Communication saying Salisbury Conditions are not so bad,” The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, Monday, November 16, 1914:  pg.13, col 1.

 

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