First Ever Division Sized Parade in Canadian History

First Ever Division Sized Parade in Canadian History

06 Sept 1914_ATHIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY – 06 September 1914 – “For the first time in the history of the Canadian Militia, a complete division was paraded this afternoon and passed in review before H.R.H. the Governor-General. Sir Robert Borden, Colonel the Hon Sir Sam Hughes, other ministers of the present cabinet, Sir Wilfred Laurier, Chonosuke Yada, Consul General of Japan, and many other distinguished people.  There were 23,000 men in the review, horse, foot and artillery.  An additional 7,000 men could have been paraded, but Col. Williams decided that as they were in mufti they should not march.  Two battalions were laid low as a result of inoculation, and duty battalion and camp service required an additional 1,000 men, there being in camp 33,025 of all ranks.” [3]

06 Sept 1914_B
Review of First Canadian Contingent, Valcartier Camp, September 5, 1914 Left to Right: Gov. Gen. F.M. H.R.H. Duke of Connaught, unknown, Col. Sam Hughes, Col. V.A.S. Williams, Commandant, Valcartier Camp

“The review was headed by the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in quarter column of batteries.  They were followed by the cavalry in column of troops.  The Royal Canadian Dragoons and Lord Strathcona’s Horse, formed this section.  The artillery and cavalry of the permanent force made a fine showing.  The divisional artillery followed in quarter column of batteries in the ammunition column in rear of brigades.  The infantry followed led by Lieut.-Col. Mercier, their formation being double companies in line of quarter column. [The three infantry Brigades were commanded by Lieut.-Col. Mercer, Col. Turner, V.O., D.S.O., and Lieut.-Col. Currie.]  A signal company and the Army Medical Corps brought up the rear.  The division required 40 minutes to pass the saluting base.” [5]

06 Sept 1914_C
Highland unit passing in review order before Gov. Gen. at Valcartier, September 5, 1914

Note:   The photographs displayed above were purportedly taken on Saturday September 5th, a day which from the photographs appears to have been quite sunny.  This may have been a rehearsal parade. We are told by several sources that heavy rain started on Saturday night and continued on through the actual review parade on Sunday, September 6th and did not stop until late Monday. 

[1] “Finest Military Review In Canada Was Held Sunday,” The Montreal Daily Mail, Montreal, Monday, September 7, 1914, pg. 2, col. 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/06_5.htm
[3] “Finest Military Review In Canada Was Held Sunday,” The Montreal Daily Mail, Montreal, Monday, September 7, 1914, pg. 2, col. 4
[4] 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/12_4.htm
[5] “Finest Military Review In Canada Was Held Sunday,”The Montreal Daily Mail, Montreal, Monday, September 7, 1914, pg. 2, col. 4

 

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