The First World War
An RCR Officer's Diary 1914-1918

OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER 1914

OCTOBER 1914

The Regiment was the highest paid Corps which had ever been stationed in the Island and the shopkeepers promptly took advantage of it as "soldier prices" quite equalled those for the American tourist.

On Oct 1st the four provisional companies were split up and the battalions was reorganized into eight companies.

This caused much confusion and endless work in the readjustment of stores, etc.

Captain Law returned to Canada on 3 months sick leave at the beginning of the month, and Lt Alexander at the end of the month on appointment as Adjutant of 24th Bn C.E.F. Victoria Rifles of Canada.

Fifteen men of [the] Valcartier Draft were returned to Canada for discharge as worthless.

On 13th of October, Field Marshal His Royal Highness The Duke of Connaught & Strathearn K.G., K.T., K.P., etc. Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Canada was appointed Honorary Colonel of the Regiment.

NOVEMBER 1914

On November 3rd war was declared on Turkey on account of her having bought certain German cruisers which had sought refuge from our fleet in her harbours and failing to dismiss their German crews.

"G" Co. under Capt Hoad moved from Prospect to Warwick for Company Training on 3rd.

On 9th Lt Ryan, the Bandmaster, who had been ill for some months, arrived from Halifax.

On arrival in Bermuda it was found that hardly any of the Valcartier draft had been attested. Instructions were therefore received for the men to be enlisted in the Regiment for 3 years at permanent Force rates of pay. This the men refused to do.

Later instructions were received that the men could be enlisted for the duration of the war plus six months, or for one year should the war cease before that time. Permanent Force rates of pay would be paid while in Bermuda and overseas rates of pay on leaving Bermuda for Europe.

The men still refused to take on, on the stand that they had volunteered to serve with the Regiment, but not in the Regiment at permanent Force rates.

Finally, on 11th [Nov] orders were received for overseas rates of pay to be given to all non-commissioned officers and men of the Regiment.

Regtl PayActive Service Pay
Colour Sergeantsb1.6015
Sergeantsb1.3515
Corporalsb1.1010
Privatesb1.0010

Practically all of the men "took on", those who still refused were men who leaped at an opportunity of getting out of the service on a technical error.

All N.C.O's and men of the Regiment who were married were granted "married allowances" from the date of embarkation for Bermuda irrespective of whether they were "on the establishment" or not, this concession was not however given to subaltern officers.

Field days were occasionally held on the Island and on 12th [Nov] one took place in which the Bermuda Militia Artillery, a very smart Coloured Corps, co-operated.

On 17th [Nov] Provisional Lieut Davis, Governor General's Foot Guards, reported for duty on attached, Lieut G.W. Cox who was serving with 1st Canadian Contingent was seconded to Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Sergeant Major (W.O.) J.W. Coupe was this day appointed Quartermaster with the Honorary rank of Lieutenant vice late Captain Fowlie.

Captain Trudeau, 85th Regt (attached), was appointed to the Regiment. Lt McCrea was appointed Transport Officer. On 28th Lieut Peterson sailed for Canada on sick leave, taking with him five men for discharge.

DECEMBER 1914

E Co., which had been at Warwick for Company raining, returned to Boaz Island on 7th [Dec]. Capt Willets was appointed Assistant Provost Marshal vice Captain Corner, Hampshire Regiment proceeded to England. Lieut C.L. Wood, 66th Regt (attached), was appointed to the Regiment on 9th [Jan].

Provisional Lieut S.C. Bate, Gov. Gen. Foot Gds, reported for duty on attachment on 10th [Dec].

On 12th [Dec] Capt Langford returned to Halifax to join 2nd Contingent at this time being organized. He took 98 men for discharge, of these were men of the Valcartier Draft who refused to be reenlisted, bad characters, medically unfit or aliens who were not allowed to be enlisted. The majority, however, were bad characters who had created endless trouble while with the Regiment.

Reglt Sergeant Major Legge, who had been appointed Quartermaster of 24th Bn C.E.F. also sailed for Canada, he was succeeded by Colour Sergeant H.P. Phillips as R.S.M.

In view of the extremely high cost of living in the Island, and as the overseas rates of pay did not include messing allowance, a special allowance of 8d per day was granted effective from September 26th. It was, however, interesting to note that the only contractor on the Island could afford to grant 5/- per man per month to the Regimental Institutes.

The Regiment was the highest paid Corps which had ever been stationed in the Island and the shopkeepers promptly took advantage of it as "soldier prices" quite equalled those for the American tourist.

On 16th [Dec] "H" Co. under Captain Eaton marched to Warwick from St David's for Company Training, part of "G" Co. under Capt Hoad replacing them, the remainder of the Company under Lt Trudeau going to Prospect. "H" Co. returned to St David's at the end of the month.

On 20th [Dec] H.M.A.S. Melbourne arrived and sent the following message:-

"On arrival at a British Colony the Australian Navy sends greeting to the Canadian Army."

To which reply was sent:-

"On behalf of the Canadian Army, The Royal Canadian Regiment heartily reciprocates the greetings of the Australian Navy."

On 22nd [Dec] 116 Recruits under Capt McManus, 6th Regt (attached R.C.R.), arrived from Esquimault via Halifax.

Lieut Willoughby started a Regimental subscription towards the Prince of Wales War Relief Fund, in a little over a month 228 was collected.

In reply to a Christmas telegram the Honorary Colonel The Duke of Connaught sent the following reply:-

"Much appreciate your telegram of good wishes from all ranks and heartily reciprocate the same."

Arthur

This was the first occasion on which the Regiment was able to celebrate Christmas without snow. The day was like a hot summer day. The usual Company dinners, and outdoor games were held. Every officer and man in the battalion received a present of a cake of maple sugar from the Duchess of Connaught, this was enclosed in a small green cardboard box with a card on which was a portrait of Her Royal Highness with:-

Good luck and best wishes for XMas and 1915.

Louise Margaret
Duchess of Connaught

A present was also received by all ranks from H.R.H. Princess Mary. This consisted of an embossed gilt metal box showing a profile of H.R.H. Inside was a pencil made from a cartridge case engraved "M" surmounted by the Princess' coronet. A card of good wishes was also enclosed.

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