RMR: Multicultural Melting Pot Since Day One

Monday, January 25, 1915

In Camp, Lark Hill, Salisbury Plains

The Battalion War Diarist wrote for this day: “Inspection by Gen. Turner, V.C., comd’g 3rd Bde.” [1]

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY: Col. A. F. Duguid, in his “Official History of the Canadian Forces in The Great War 1914-1919” has this to say about the composition of the First Canadian Contingent:  “Of the 34,500 rank and file less than thirty per cent were Canadian-born; over sixty-five per cent had been born in the British Isles and other British possessions, and of the remainder about one-half, or 2.6 per cent, were born in the United States of America.  Nothing definite can be stated as to the proficiency in arms of the other ranks; some had served in the British Regular Army, some in the Territorials and many in the Canadian Militia, but a large number were men of no military training or experience.”  [2]

The experience of the 14th Battalion was somewhat different.  The 1914 Establishment List of the Battalion shows the men of the newly formed battalion were born in twenty three different countries (or areas), and their proportional representation by place of birth differs from what Col. Duguid shows for the Contingent as a whole.

25 Jan 15

[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Jan 21, 1915.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089686.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, pg. 50
[3]    Figures based on - “Nominal Roll of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men, 14th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force - Issued with Militia Orders. 1915.”

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