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

JANUARY, FEBRUARY 1915

JANUARY 1915

Shortly after the beginning of the new year band commenced a series of concerts for the benefit of the numerous American visitors. Capt Law returned from sick leave early in the month and Lt Cockburn, 58th Regt, reported for duty (on attachment).

The rank of Company Sergeant Major and Company Quartermaster Sergeant was brought in, the former dealing with training and discipline, the latter pay, clothing and equipment.

On 7th [Jan] 200 casuals under Capt E.B. Costin with Lts Balders, McCrea and Bate marched to Warwick for musketry.

"F" Co. moved from Warwick to St David's while "G" Co. moved from St. David's to Warwick.

On 13th [Jan] Mr Henri Taschereau was appointed provisional Lieutenant in the Regiment. This was the first appointment of this kind that had been made for over twenty five years.

On 18th [Jan] Maj and Brevet Lt. Col. Carpenter arrived from Halifax and took over command on 21st from Lt Col Fages who sailed for Canada on 23rd on appointment to command 4th Divisional Area at Montreal. This was undoubtedly one of the most popular promotions that had ever occurred in the Regiment.

Capt Law took over command of "C" Co. from major Burnham who had been appointed O.C. Detachment St George's Island.

By Army order officers holding temporary commissions in the Regular Army were given rank in the Army according to the date of their appointments, and by London Gazette officers of the Dominion Forces overseas were given temporary commissions in the Army from the date of their embarkation abroad.

At the end of the month all the Signallers scattered over the Island were called in for training.

FEBRUARY 1915

On February 1st the battalion was re-organized again, being brought on to the new Four (double) Company basis. The distribution became as follows:-

Headquarters
(Prospect)
Lt Col Carpenter Commanding
Major Kaye 2nd in Command
Lieut Willoughby Adjutant
Hon Capt Fiset Paymaster
Hon Lieut Coupe Quartermaster
Hon Lieut Ryan Bandmaster
M. G. Section
(Prospect)
Lieut Cock
"A" Co. ("A" and "E" Coys.)
(Boaz Island)
Maj Hamilton-Gray O.C.
Capt Brett (attached) 2nd in Command
Capt Willets A.P.M.
Lieut Poston No. 1 Platoon Commander
Lieut Hodson No. 2 Platoon Commander
Lieut Wood No. 3 Platoon Commander
Lieut Cockburn (attached) No. 4 Platoon Commander
"B" Co. ("B" and "G" Coys.)
(Prospect)
Maj Burnham O.C.
Capt E.B. Costin 2nd in Command
Lieut Holloway Command Signalling Officer
Lieut Bouchard No. 6 Platoon Commander
Lieut Davis (attached) No. 7 Platoon Commander
Lieut Bate (attached) No. 8 Platoon Commander
"C" Co. ("D" and "H" Coys.)
(St. David's Island)
(2 Platoons at Prospect)
Capt Eaton O.C.
Lieut Macculloch 2nd in Command
Lieut Balders No. 9 Platoon Commander
Lieut Carruthers No. 10 Platoon Commander
Lieut Heron No. 11 Platoon Commander
Lieut Trudeau No. 12 Platoon Commander
"D" Co. ("C" and "F" Coys.)
(St. George's Island)
Capt du Domaine O.C.
Capt Law 2nd in Command
Lieut Grant-Suttie No. 13 Platoon Commander
Lieut Landon No. 14 Platoon Commander
Lieut Logan No. 15 Platoon Commander
Lieut McCrea No. 16 Platoon Commander

Under the new organization the battalion was divided into Headquarters and a Machine Gun Section, and four companies (each of 227 all ranks). The Company was commanded by a Major or mounted Captain with a Captain 2nd in Command, and four platoon commanders. Platoons were commanded by a subaltern with a platoon sergeant as 2nd in Command. The platoons were numbered consecutively throughout the battalion from 1 to 16. Platoons were in turn divided into four sections each under an N.C.O. and numbered throughout the Company from 1 to 16 also.

The immediate advantage of the new company organization was that every man in the company was a "rifle". Machine Gunners, Signallers, Pioneers, Stretcher Bearers, etc., were all supernumery to the establishment and remained with the Headquarters. The company being much larger became more of an independent unit, and where in the past two companies (more or less strange to each other) would be allotted a task together, under the new arrangement the same number of men would be working under one commander with whom they had worked and trained and whom they knew. The chain of command was more distinct and defined than previously. The platoon being a unit in a different sense altogether to the old half company, its commander had far wider scope and was entirely responsible for its training.

The Commander of the Company possessed a 2nd in Command to carry on the administrative work, while freeing himself for training. Under this organization the rank of Colour Sergeant was abolished after being in existence for a little over 100 years. The rank of Company Sergeant Major and Company Quartermaster Sergeant was brought in, the former dealing with training and discipline, the latter pay, clothing and equipment.

Company Sergeants Major ranked as Warrant Officers. Warrant Officers were consequently divided into two classes I and II. Those ranks and appointments for the most part which had been W.O. In the past became Class I, while those of the Sqdn, Batty, Coy Sergt Maj, Colour Sergt, etc., became Class II.

On 2nd [Feb] Lt W.S. Fenton, Gov. Gen. Foot Gds., reported for duty on attachment.

On 3rd [Feb] Lt Cock with M.G. Section marched to Warwick to carry out Field Training.

On 6th [Feb] Capt O.V. Hoad (attached) sailed for Halifax for Australia having been recalled by his Government, two days later Capt Brett, 7th Gurkha Rifles, sailed in H.M.S. Essex for India having also been recalled.

Capt Costin was appointed Commandant and Lt McCrea Quartermaster of Warwick Camp.

Maj Burnham having been relieved by Capt du Domaine as O.C. Detachment St. George's returned to Prospect to take over "B" Co.

Nos. 1 & 2 Platoons "A" Co. marched from Boaz to Warwick on 16th [Feb] being relieved by 13 & 14 Platoons "D" Co. under Lt Logan from St. George's.

Lt Taschereau reported for duty on 16th [Feb] and Lt Davis G.G.F.G. (attached) was appointed to the Regiment.

On 20th [Feb] Lt Landon sailed for England via Halifax on appointment as A.D.C. To Major General Landon Commanding 9th Division.

It was at this time that the Commanding Officer gave instructions for the Sam Browne belt, or if in Mess Kit, gold sword slings, to be worn by the Orderly Officer during the whole tour of his duty.

The Machine Gun Section returned to prospect at the end of the month.

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