Militia Recruiting Standards Raised in 1915

Militia Recruiting Standards Raised in 1915

Saturday, April 10, 1915

Billets, Cassel

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “All ranks resting.” [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: “More care will be exercised in receiving recruits for the active militia in the future than has been the practice heretofore. It is understood that the militia officials are far from satisfied with the showing made by members of the active militia when they were examined for the overseas contingent, because a great number could not pass the medical test.

10 April 15_AIt is claimed that the test for the active militia should be almost as severe as the test for overseas and there is no use the government paying for drilling men who, when war comes, are medically unfit. Of course there can be a little latitude because the primary object of the militia of this country is not to go to Europe to fight but to defend Canada. Accordingly, while great care may be taken to send only the men of the very best physique overseas, if it came to defending this country, the line would not be drawn nearly so close and as a result it is not considered necessary to make the examination quite so severe as that for overseas. However, it is thought that the examinations for the active militia in the past have been much too lax and great numbers of men who are not medically fit for even the defence of Canada have been for years in the units.

The stricter medical examination is causing some dissatisfaction because it is argued by some that when a man is anxious to drill even with the government allowing no pay, the examination should not be strict as nearly all would be called upon if Canada were in danger, whether they had perfect physique or not.”[3]

10 April 15_B(Canadian Associated Press) London, April 8 – The following humorous incident of trench life will, no doubt, find its way to Canada in letters written by soldiers at the front to relatives and friends at home. It was related at the office of the Canadian Associated Press by an officer who is on sick leave. The Germans in a trench not a hundred yards away from the Canadian position called out to know what their foes had on their bill of fare for dinner. Now the Germans have a particular appetite for sardines, and as this canned luxury happened to be one of the things on the list that day there were many appeals for the Canadians to pass over some of these dainties.

A trooper was sent out to deposit half-a-dozen tins in a bunch half-way between the trenches. Later a German hopped out of his trench to secure the sardines, but as the tins were attached to a piece of string, and had begun to retreat commensurate with the pace of the venturesome ‘Fritz,’ the attempt to secure them was soon abandoned. Fear of treachery probably was superior to his liking for sardines.

The officer who told the story was asked what the Canadians would have done if the German had followed the receding bait right up to the trench. ‘Thrown empty sardine tins at him most probably and told him to get back to his sausage,’ was the reply.” [5]

[1]   War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, April 10, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa,
[2]   “More Severe Tests For Active Militia,” The Citizen, Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 10, 1915, pg. 1, col. 3.
[3]   Ibid
[4]  “Cruel Canadians With Sardine Bait,” The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec, Friday, April, 9, 1915, pg. 7, col. 2.
[5]   Ibid

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

div#stuning-header .dfd-stuning-header-bg-container {background-size: initial;background-position: top center;background-attachment: initial;background-repeat: initial;}#stuning-header {min-height: 100px;}