Warm Greeting for RMR in England

THIS DAY IN RMR HISTORY, 15 October 1914 – From the 14th BATTALION (RMR) WAR DIARY:

Thursday, October 15, 1914

Camp Salisbury Plain, West Down South

The second entry in the Battalion’s War Diary showing a location of “Camp, Salisbury Plain, West Down South,” states: “Cooked rations issued to battalion which disembarked at 6:30 p.m. and marched to the Plymouth Railway Station.” [1]

 

HOW CANADIANS WERE GREETED AT PLYMOUTH

15 Oct 14_A 15 Oct 14_B“Plymouth is agog with excitement over the landing of the Canadians. Right up in the estuary the transports are steadily discharging their cargoes amidst scenes of keenest enthusiasm. Yesterday the surprise in this famous port was unbounded when the transports suddenly came into the harbour.  From south to north the eye travelled up the Hamoaze, following what seemed an almost unending line of masts and funnels until it faded away in the dim light of the higher waters before taking their turn for Saltash Bridge.

It was an unprecedented sight, one, indeed, without parallel in the history of the great western port. Never before has there been such an assemblage of this class of ship in these waters, and it was altogether a most inspiring scene. The ships rigging and decks were masses of khaki-clad figures, and the company of each ship appeared in the happiest of spirits.  Little steamboats, dwarfed almost into insignificance beside these great levithans, passed about in every direction and added to the din of welcome with sirens and hooters.  As the small passenger steamers passed those on the boats waved and cheered to the smiling faces high above them, who acknowledged the greeting in true British fashion.  One of the ships had on board some of the Kilties regiments, and as each of the ships passed along, the skirl of the bagpipes came over the water and the men cheered to the echo the inhabitants of the three towns.  The folk were only allowed to see them in the distance, for much to the disappointment of the public, none of the Canadians were allowed ashore.”  [4]

The Regimental history records that “Disembarkation of the 14th Battalion commenced on the evening of October 15th when Nos. 1, 2, 3,7 and 8 Companies landed from the Alaunia and marched to Plymouth Railway Station.  Entraining here, the companies travelled all night, detraining at Patney Station shortly after dawn on the 16th… Meanwhile Nos. 4, 5 and 6 Companies and the Base Company of the Regiment remained at Devonport on the Andania.”    [5]

 

[1]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Oct. 15, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089670.jpg
[2]   “How Canadians Were Greeted in Britain: A Great Welcome Accorded Them by the People of Old Plymouth,” Canadian Associated Cable, The Globe (1844-1936), Toronto, Ontario, October 16, 1914, pg. 1, col. 5.
[3]  R.C. Featherstonhaugh, The Royal Montreal Regiment 14th Battalion C.E.F. 1914-1925, Montreal, The Gazette, Printing Co., Ltd., 1927, pg.16.
[4]  War Diary, 14th Canadian Battalion, The Royal Montreal Regiment, Oct. 15, 1914.  Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001089670.jpg

 

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