Researching The Royal Canadian Regiment

Johncol, 1937

By Major V. Hodson, The Royal Canadian Regiment

DURING a discussion of "A" Coy. officers, it was pointed out that "A" Coy. had not seen any other part of the Regiment since the Regimental Reunion in 1933, when only some 33 O.Rs. went to London, Ont. lot was further pointed out that there had been a large turn over in personnel since 1933, with the result that at least seventy per cent of "A" Coy. personnel had never seen any other company of the Regiment. It was felt that it would be of great training value and would improve the outlook of "A" Coy., if it could be taken away from its familiar surroundings and given an educational holiday.

A visit to "D" Coy. in St. Johns, P.Q., seemed the most logical and inexpensive course. A tentative suggestion was forwarded to Major A.H.C. Campbell, O.C. "D" Coy., and this was received with enthusiasm. Therefore, as Lieut. Spry would be passing through St. Johns, P.Q., on his return from the C.S.A.S., he was detailed to discuss the preliminary arrangements with O.C. "D" Coy.

At this discussion a general outline of the scheme was agreed upon. Administrative difficulties could be easily overcome, in spite of the fact that during two days of the proposed visit, "D" Coy. were to be "hosts" to a conference of N.P.A.M. Officers. This would increase the accommodation difficulties. A tentative programme was drawn up subject to many later changes.

In view of the interest which "D" Coy. showed in the proposed plan, Major V. Hodson, Commanding "A" Coy. forwarded the application for authority to borrow four lorries from the R.C.A.S.C. (To .be run at the expense of "A" Coy.) and for permission to proceed to St. Johns, P.Q.

It was with gratification that "A" Coy. received not only authority to use the R.C.A.S.C. lorries, and the permission to proceed on the journey, .but the splendid news that the Department would pay the movement costs. This considerably eased the financial task which lay before "A" Coy. Immediately this authority was received, preparations, which had been temporarily suspended, were pushed ahead, and the hundred-and-one details were completed, with regard to accommodation, rations, transport, seating arrangements in lorries, kit to be taken, pay arrangements, sports kit, etc.

"A" Coy. broke camp at Aldershot, N .S., on 9th Sept., 37, and returned to Wellington Barracks, Halifax, N.S. The week-end was spent in opening tip barracks and in completing final arrangements for the move of Johncol, as the Column was to be named. A trial loading of personnel and stores was carried out successfully on Saturday morning, 11th Sept., 37. The Men's and Sergeants' Messes were already operating under R.C.E. control. The Wellington Barracks Officers' Mess did not open for this short period during which "A" Coy. Officers dined in the Ward Room Officers' Mess, Admiralty House.

By late afternoon of Sunday, 12th Sept., 37, O.C. "A" Coy. was satisfied that all arrangements were completed. All ranks were therefore ordered early to bed in anticipation of an early start.

Monday, 13th Sept., 1937 - Halifax, N.S. to Sussex, N.B., 227 miles

Reveille at 0500 hours A.D.S.T. found Halifax and Wellington Barracks wreathed in an extremely heavy fog combined with a slight drizzle of rain.

At 0630 hours "A" Coy. and attached personnel paraded. As the eight vehicles drove into Barracks and formed up on the Barracks square they could hardly be seen even with headlights on. Major Hodson reported "A" Coy. ready and Lieut.-Col. Westmorland ordered the column to entruck and to move on his signal.

Johncol moved out of Wellington Barracks at 0710 hours escorted by a motorcycle policeman supplied by the R.C.M.P.

During the day's run the weather continued to be unfavourable. The fe;; route took the column through Truro and Amherst and included a I dangerous detour over a soggy gumbo road. The lorries had great difficulty in keeping on the road over this low-lying area. The next stop was Moncton, N .B., where hot coffee was issued from the C.N .R. restaurant.

The Column arrived at Sussex Camp at 1640 hrs. Lieut.-Col. A. H. W. Landon, R.C.R., and Major Blake, R.C.E., had motored from St. John, N .B., and had made excellent arrangements for the comfort of the personnel of Johncol. During the evening we were visited by Brigadier Page, D.O.C., M.D.7. The Camp drying room was put to good use in drying out the men's clothing and bedding which had been soaked during the day's run. A hot meal and "A" Coy. turned in at the end of their first day's run, sleeping accommodation being provided in one of the camp buildings. During the evening the vehicles were refueled and made ready for the day.

Tuesday, 14th Sept., 1937-Sussex, N.B. to Riviere-du-Loup, P.Q., 323 miles

After breakfasting and packing and loading lorries in the dark Johncol started off again in a rainstorm. The roads were particularly bad because of construction work being done over the greater part of them. The column went through Fredericton, N .B., at 0910 hrs., passing the old R.C.R. Barracks now used by the New Brunswick Liquor Commission.

The vehicles were refuelled at Woodstock, N.B., at 1155 hrs., and at Edmunston at 1710 hrs. The troops were able to obtain hot coffee during these stops. This was extremely welcome in view of the cold damp rain. At Edmunston, Major Hodson and 2/Lieut. Taschereau went on ahead by car to make arrangements for the stop over of Johncol at Riviere-du-Loup.

After passing over a long, tedious, and somewhat dangerous winding bit of road the column reached the Armouries at Riviere-du-Loup at 2115 hrs. Although very small the building did provide shelter from the biting cold wind. After a bit of confusion owing to the confined space the troops settled down. They were issued with a hot meal cooked on a stove in a nearby private house, owing to the fact that Major Hodson on arrival had found no cooking facilities available in the Armouries.

Wednesday, 15th Sept., 1937-Riviere-du-Loup to Quebec, 145 miles

Johncol left Riviere-du-Loup at 0845 hrs. For the first time during the journey the sun shone although it was quite a chilly day. Greatcoats were worn during the first few hours en route.

After only one refuelling stop, Johncol reached Levis, and crossed over the Quebec Bridge, and arrived at the Citadel at 1410 hrs. Here the officers and men of the Royal 22e Regiment were out in force to greet us. It was a great joy to hear their band playing the R.C.R. Regimental March as we drove in and formed up. Lieut.-Col. Dupuis, Commanding The Royal 22e Regiment ordered beer for "A" Coy., and then a first rate dinner.

Personnel of Johncol were given passes until 2300 hrs. They were shown over the Citadel by men of the Royal 22e Regiment and some of Quebec City.

The Drums of "A" Coy., R.C.R., beat Retreat on the square at the Citadel. In playing-off they included the Regimental March of the Royal 22e Regiment much to the enjoyment of the officers and men of that unit.

Thursday, 16th Sept., 1937-Quebec to St. Johns, P .Q., 209 miles

Johncol left the Citadel at 0800 hrs. A cage of eight pigeons the property of Captain Duncan Douglas, R.C.A.S.C., was taken with the column for a distance of fifty miles and then released.

The Column had to pass through the heavy city traffic on the way out of Quebec. There were several nervous moments but none of the vehicles had any serious difficulties.

After one refuelling at lunch time, the column reached Chambly where it was met by Major A. H. C. Campbell and Lieut. V. N. Hodson of "D" Coy.

On arrival at St. Johns Barracks at 1830 hrs. "A" Coy. detrucked and immediately tents were allotted and the task of settling in was begun.

"D" Coy. had very generously pitched camp for us on the bank of the Richelieu River, and had hot showers and food ready for us; Both were very welcome.

The Company took little time in settling down and by 2100 hrs. all were quite ready to take part in the combined "A" and "D" Smoker. It was one of the best smokers "A" Coy. has ever had the pleasure of attending. This success was due entirely to the previous arrangements made .by "D" Coy. At this smoker were all ranks of "A" and "D" Coy., the Regimental Adjutant, Lieut. W. J. Moogk, R.S.M. Davis, Q.M.S. V. Bonner, and Provost Sergeant Clark from Headquarters Coy., and Sergeant R. C. T. Lewis and Sergeant Dunhill from "C" Coy ., C.Q.M.S. Hersey from "B" Coy. was the Toronto Representative. As well as these there were several Instructional Cadre personnel from various districts. Briefly, it was a very "large" evening in spite of Cpl. Meadows' harangue about the "Lost Company", the R.S.M.'s oratory, Major Campbell's reminiscences, Lieut. Ritchie's hats, the rapid fire sketches of Pte. Smith, "D" Coy., Pte. Pope's dancing and singing, and Q.M.S. Bonner's song-leading.

Friday, 17th Sept. 1937 - St. Johns Barracks

The first task in the morning was a practice parade of the combined Guard of Honor provided by "A" and "D" Coys. At this, it was found that "A" Company's arm drill was slightly slower than that of "D" Company's. However, this difficulty was soon overcome, and it was really remarkable how well the two companies worked together.

In the afternoon "A" and "D" Coys. provided a firing party in Montreal for the late Flying Officer Morrison, R.C.A.F. . On this day the vehicles of Johncol went into the R.C.A.S.C. garage in Montreal for maintenance.

Many of the N.P.A.M. Officers arrived this day for the week-end conference.

"A" Coy. Drums beat Retreat on the barracks square before a large crowd of R.C.R. personnel and spectators from the city of St. Johns as well as the Directing Staff and some of the officers attending the N .P .A.M. conference.

Saturday, 18th Sept., 1937 - St. Johns Barracks.

Although a slight rain was falling early in the morning the weather cleared up so that the Ceremonial Parade was held in brilliant sunshine. The Guard of Honour under the command of Major V. Hodson with Lieut. W. J. Moogk and Lieut. J. Ritchie as Half Guard Commanders, was formed up on the Recreational Field. The Guard received Brigadier R. O. Alexander, D.S.O., D.O.C., M.D. No.4, with a General Salute. After the inspection, the Guard marched past in column of half Guards and then in column of route. Brigadier Alexander then presented Coronation Medals to Major Campbell, and Corporal Meadows of "D" Coy. and to Q.M.S. Reid, R.C.A.M.C. The parade was then ordered to "Stand Easy" and Brigadier Alexander complimented the Guard on its splendid performance. He spoke highly of "A" Coy's Drums. He also said how proud he was, as an ex-officer of the Regiment to have the honour of taking part in this parade. Major Hodson then called for three cheers for the Brigadier, after which the Guard marched back to the barrack square.

After a short break the two companies paraded again and marched through the city of St. Johns and the town of Iberville. During this march the singing of Don Coy. was outstanding.

During the day the Infantry Brigade Signal Section, R.C. Signals arrived to demonstrate to the officers attending the N .P .A.M. Conference.

At noon Major and Mrs. Campbell gave a very enjoyable party for the officers of "A" Coy. Later in the afternoon the subalterns gave a party for the married officers and their wives. Both these parties were rather unusual in that we had as large a number of serving and ex-officers of the Regiment as have been gathered together for some time. Those present were:- Major General W. W. P. Gibsone, C.M.G ., Brigadier and Mrs. R.O. Alexander, Major M. F. Gregg, V .C., Major V. Hodson, Major and Mrs. Salmon, Major Nicholls, Captain Buell, Lieutenants MacAgy, Hodson, Moogk, Ritchie, Spry and Taschereau.

In the evening an exhibition of Army Boxing was staged in the R.C.D. Riding School. Owing to the uneven weights it could not be conducted as inter-company competition, but many good bouts were put on by the personnel of the two companies. Captain D. B. Buell, R.C.R., came down from the Royal Military College, to act as referee.

Sunday, 19th Sept., 1937 - St. Johns Barracks

Amidst a heavy downpour of rain the mechanized M.G. Platoon or "D" Coy. assisted by some men of "A" Coy. gave a demonstration before the N .P .A.M. Officers. The demonstration of a rifle coy. in the Attack assisted by a mechanized M.G. platoon, had to be cancelled owing to the rain.

The personnel of "A" Coy. suffered a certain amount of hardship at this time as their bedding and clothing became very damp. However, thanks to Don Coy's assistance the discomfort was eased considerably.

During the afternoon there was an Officers' Golf Match which was won by Major Hodson and Son, or so it was reported.

Monday, 20th Sept., 1937 - St. Johns Barracks

The N.P.A.M. Conference having concluded, and thereby making barrack accommodation available, and owing to the bad weather "A" Coy. moved into Barracks Monday morning.

The inter-company Miniature Shooting Match was competed for and won by "A" Coy. The following are the scores obtained:

"D" Coy."A" Coy.
Lieut. Boyle45 Lieut. Taschereau49
Sgt. MacKenzie47Sgt. Flanders47
Cpl. Chapman43 Cpl. Ranger48
L/Cpl. Johnston48Cpl. Gabinet49
L/Cpl. Brier45 Pte. Farnath48
Pte. Cameron49 *Cpl. Duffey42
Pte. Mitchell49Pte. Fogarty42
*Pte. Goodridge41Pte. Normanv49
Pte. Hunter47Pte. Croft45
Pte. Smith47Pte. Hunt, G. H.48
Pte. Hampton49Pte. Cormier48

*Counted out.
L/Cpl. Johnston team Captain "D". Sgt. Flanders team Captain "A".

In the evening "A" Coy. were hosts to Don Coy. at a theatre party in St. Johns.

Tuesday, 21st Sept., 1937 - St. Johns Barracks

The inter-company Track and Field Sports were held in the afternoon. "D" Coy. won by four points after doing very well in all the Track Events. "A" Coy. showed up well by winning several of the Field events and the relay race. The individual winner was Corporal Forgrave "D" Coy. At the end of the sports the prizes were presented by Mrs. A. H. C. Campbell.

In the evening the Regimental Band arrived from London, Ont., en route to the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Halifax, N.S. A short reception was held in the gymnasium, after which the Band very generously turned out and played a short programme on the Barracks Square. The "Good Old Band" played all the old favourites much to the enjoyment of everybody. The crowd were all around the square, hanging out of windows, sitting in doorways, or on benches. In the half-light, it was a scene that we shall never forget.

Wednesday, 22nd Sept., 1937 - St. Johns Barracks

At 1030 hrs. the inter-company football match was played. This was an event to which many had looked forward. Before a large crowd from both companies, "A" Squadron, R.C.D. and many civilians, the two teams fought it out. During half-time the Band played a short programme. The final score was 4-3 in favor of "A" Coy.

Mrs. Campbell presented "A" Coy. team with the Campbell Cup for perpetual competition between "A" and "D" Companies. The two teams then repaired to the Canteen where the new Cup was well and truly wetted.

At 1415 hrs. the two Volley-Ball Teams played a hard fought match which was eventually won by a very small margin by "A" Coy.

In the evening the Drums beat Retreat just prior to the dinner given in the Officers' Mess of the Royal Canadian Dragoons. The R.C.R. Band played a programme during dinner which was greatly appreciated by the many serving and ex-officers of the Regiment who were present.

Thursday, 23rd Sept., 1937 - St. Johns to Quebec, 209 miles

Johncol was formed up on the Barrack Square by 0745 hrs. and after many goodbyes moved off at 0800 hrs. "D" Coy. turned out and lined the roadway through the Main Gate and cheered us on our way. What with the cheering of both companies, the Band playing, and the roar of the vehicles, Johncol enjoyed rather a noisy send-off.

After an uneventful run, Johncol reached the Citadel in Quebec by 1630 hrs. The same hospitality was extended once more by all ranks of the Royal 22e Regiment. Here the vehicles were made ready for the long run of the next day, and all ranks went early to bed.

Lieutenants MacAgy and Taschereau left the column here and proceeded on leave.

Friday, 24th Sept., 1937 - Quebec to Woodstock, N.B., 338 miles

At 0700 hrs. Johncol left the Citadel and returned by the original route to Riviere-du-Loup which was reached by lunch time.

Woodstock, N.B., was reached by 2030 hrs. Here the Officer Commanding, The Carleton and York Regt. had made splendid arrangements for us. The Armouries were thrown open to us. Hot showers were available and a good meal was soon issued. In spite of the long day's drive most of the troops availed themselves of the privilege of visiting the local County Fair, to which admission was free to troops in uniform.

Saturday, 25th Sept., 1937 - Woodstock, N.B. to Sussex Camp, 130 miles

After a considerable delay in refuelling the vehicles, Johncol left Woodstock at 0930 hrs. After driving over bad roads in a perpetual cloud of dust, the column arrived at Sussex Camp at 1500 hrs. Here the column was visited by Lieut.-Col. Landon, R.C.R., and Major H. T. Cock.

After unloading the vehicles, a clothing and blanket beating parade was held in order to get rid of the dust. The expected rainstorm began just about tea-time and as a result all ranks turned in early.

Sunday, 26th Sept., 1937 - Sussex Camp to Halifax, N.S., 227 miles

At 0700 hrs. and in another rainstorm Johncol set off from Sussex Camp. Truro was reached at 1300 hrs. Here lunch was issued while the vehicles were refuelled.

Johncol reached Wellington Barracks at 1630 hrs. after doing the last day's run in a continuous drizzle of rain. Although tired, wet, and cold, the men of "A" Coy. did not take long to unload and get settled down in Barracks. By 1730 hrs. all were ready for the hot meal which was then issued in the Wellington Barracks Men's Mess.


After around trip of 1858 miles it was considered that our record of no serious casualties to men or vehicles was one of which to be justly proud.

The report of Lieut.-Col. Westmorland, R.C.A.S.C., the technical Officer of Johncol is attached as App. "A" and is of particular interest.

All ranks of Johncol are deeply grateful to the Officer Commanding, the officers and men of "D" Coy ., R.C.R., for all their kindness and their wonderful hospitality; to Lieut,-Col. Dupuis and all ranks of the Royal 22e Regiment for the interest they showed in our welfare; to Major F. R. Henshaw and all ranks of 1st Field Coy., R.C.E., who so kindly relieved us of the many barracks and garrison duties during our absence from the Fortress of Halifax; and to the Engineer Services, M.D. 6, for constructing the seats for the lorries. We are also grateful to all raQks of "A" Squadron, R.C.D., for the splendid way in which they treated the personnel of Johncol during their stay in St. Johns Barracks. Our thanks are also due to the two N .P .A.M. units, the Carleton and York Regt., and Les Fusiliers du St. Laurent for their kindness in allowing us the use of their Armouries. All ranks of "A" Coy. are grateful for all the help given by the Department of National Defence and the Staff Officers at Headquarters, Military Districts Nos. 4, 5, 6 and 7.

"A" Coy., R.C.R., is particularly thankful to Lieut.-Col. Westmoreland and the drivers and mechanics of the R.C.A.S.C. who so ably carried out their guarantee that they would get us to St. John and back again. In spite of the few hardships of dust, and rain, and bumps, all ranks of Johncol returned to Halifax with a much increased knowledge of the difficulties of long distance movement by M. T ., of other units of the Permanent Force, and of the geography of our country. Most important of all was an increased confidence in their ability to do a job and to do it well.

Report of Major V. Hodson is attached as App. "B".

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Notes on Move of "A" Company, the R.C.R. from Halifax, N.S. to St. Johns, P.Q., by R.C.A.S.C. Mechancal Transport in Convoy

1.     Object. To move 79 all ranks of "A" Company, The R.C.R., from Halifax, N.S., to St. Johns, P.Q., and return, by R.C.A.S.C. Mechanical Transport in convoy.

2.     Convoy Composition.. The convoy consisted of two light cars, one van and five Ford V-8 light lorries. The convoy was in charge of and led by Lieut. Colonel H. Westmorland, R.C.A.S.C., and the rear was brought up by Major H. Hodson who was thus in a position to report unusual occurrences.

3.     Mileage and Cost. The total mileage covered by the convoy was 1858 miles, and both outward and return journeys were completed in 3 1/2 days.

The "legs" of the outward journey were:-

Halifax, N .S., to Sussex, N.B.227 miles
Sussex, N .B., to Riviere-du-Loup, P.Q.323 miles
Riviere-du-Loup, P.Q., to Quebec, P.Q.145 miles
Quebec, P.Q., to St. Johns, P.Q.209 miles

On the morning after arriving in St. Johns, P.Q., the lorries proceeded to Montreal R.C.A.S.C. M.T. Garage for washing and greasing - 25 miles.

The "legs" of the return journey from St. Johns, P.Q. were:-

St. Johns, P.Q., to Quebec, P.Q.209 miles
Quebec, P .Q., to Woodstock, N.B.338 miles
Woodstock, N .B., to Sussex, N.B.145 miles
Sussex, N .B., to Halifax, N.S.227 miles

The convoy left Halifax, N.S., at 0615 hrs. on the 18th of September, 1937, and arrived on their return to Halifax at 1715 hrs. on the 26th of September, 1937.

The longest driving day was from Sussex, N .B., to Riviere-du-Loup, when 14 3/4 hrs. were put in on the road from 0615 hrs. to 2100 hrs. in heavy rain storms and with the highways in extremely bad condition. The highest mileage covered in one day was from Quebec, P .Q., to Woodstock, N.B., namely 338 miles, between 0700 hrs. and 2020 hrs.

In no case were Lieut. Colonel Westmorland, Major Hodson, the four R.C.A.S.C. drivers and the one R.C.R. driver relieved; all of them drove the entire distance, and in no case did anyone of the drivers show signs of unusual strain or fatigue.

The total cost of gasoline, oil, grease and repairs was $360.01, or approximately $4.50 for the return journey of each passenger carried.

4.     Repairs. Very few repairs were found necessary, the most common being flat tires, of which there were eight:

The other repairs were as follows:-
Fan Belt and Door Lock purchased.
Set of Points purchased.
Timing overhauled.
Door Lock purchased, brake drum repaired.

5.     March Discipline. Before leaving the Station it was realized that there would be difficulty in passing signals, owing to, the bodies or the light lorries protruding a considerable distance outside the driver's cab. In order to overcome this difficulty, the drivers were provided with a coloured baton as an extension of the arm and hand. With this aid less difficulty was experienced in passing signals from front to rear.

It was found that only when travelling slowly through villages or over roads under repair was it feasible to drive at a distance of 20 yards and according to the state of the road and the speed of the convoy, the distance varied from 20 yards, when moving slowly, to 200 yards over the very dusty sections encountered in New Brunswick.

It was noticeable in wet weather on gravel roads, that the throw-back of muddy spray obscured the windshields of following vehicles to a distance of 50 yards, when travelling at 35 miles an hour. The maximum speed maintained on paved roads with good visibility was 42 miles an hour, and it was found that in the day's run, including halts and refueling, this cruising speed produced an average of 25 miles per hour.

Although the convoy was signalled across level crossings by the leader, yet it was impressed upon all drivers that they individually were responsible for making certain that no train was approaching when the vehicles driven by them crossed the railway. In one instance half the convoy had crossed the railway when a train whistle was heard and the driver of the fourth vehicle, on his own initiative, waited for the train to pass. This is an important point which should be made clear .to drivers whenever a convoy is on the move.

The control of the convoy was made difficult at times by the lack of motorcycles. It is considered that two motorcycles should be provided for each District. These motorcycles must be powerful if they are to overtake the leader of the convoy when on the move, with a message from rear to front.

6.     Refuelling. The operation of refuelling seven vehicles at a normal sized filling station took from twenty to forty minutes, and on some days took place twice, thus 25 miles distance was lost. If the vehicles were provided with sufficient two gallon cans to refill their tanks at least once, refuelling could be carried out simultaneously on the side of the road by the drivers during regulation halts, thus effecting a saving of from half an hour to an hour a day.

7.     R.C.M.P. Assistance. Assistant Commissioner Vernon, R.C.M.P., Halifax District, was requested, in the interest of both the convoy and the civil population, to give what assistance he could. The assistance given was most valuable. Through the co-operation of Superintendent Bruce of the Province of New Brunswick with Assistant Commissioner Vernon of Halifax, a R.C.M.P. patrol was in advance or the convoy from Halifax to the border of the Province of Quebec, and on the return journey from the border of the Province of Quebec, to Halifax, N .S.

This patrol led through crowded areas, signalled the "all clear" at level crossings, and gave us assistance in passing gangs of workmen and equipment in the many sections of New Brunswick where the highways are under construction. This assistance was particularly valuable in view of the fact that the leader of the convoy had no motor cyclists at his disposal.

8.     The Attitude of the Infantrymen Conveyed. The eighty odd men who were passengers were seated on lumber benches especially constructed, and cushioned only by the three blankets issued to each man. They underwent the long hours of sitting and. of comparative exposure, extremely well. When the covers were rolled up the men had no wind-shield and were exposed to the full force of the wind, and when it was raining, as it frequently did extremely heavily, some of the men, especially those on the outside, got wet, even with the covers lashed down.

The usual halts of ten minutes after the first half hour and then a halt every two hours, were maintained.

The convoy was halted, engines cut off, and men dismounted, and in turn engines started up and men mounted by signal. The only relaxing of this system being that passengers were allowed to remount individually after dismounting, as soon as they were inclined. This was done at the request of the men through their Adjutant. This feature was a surprise, because it was considered that after sitting for hours the men would have preferred to stand or walk about rather than to climb back as soon as possible into their seats.

As will be seen in the attached report from the Officer Commanding "A" Company, The R.C.R., there was no sickness during this move, and no sickness subsequently which could be attributed to it.

9.     Lesson to be Learned. From a transport point of view the lessons or points to be considered in future convoys are these:-

(a) The desirability of having at least two motorcyclists mounted on two powerful motorcycles.

(b) The desirability of having ten to twelve two gallon cans of gaso- line in each lorry to do away with the needless delay of refuelling at filling stations en route.

(c) In order to save time, having a spare wheel already loose in the vehicle effects a saving of approximately ten minutes in the event of a flat tire.

(d) The provision of semi-automatic signalling arms as used in Great Britain because of the difficulty of a driver seeing the arm and hand signal of the driver ahead of him, masked as it is by the body projecting beyond the width of the cab.

(e) The leader of a convoy has much better vision and control from an open car than from a closed car.

(Signed) H. Westmorland, Lieut. Col., R.C.A.S.C., D.S. & T.O., M.D. No.6.

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Wellington Barracks, Halifax, N .S.

22nd October, 1937.

D.S. & T.O.,
Military District No.6,
Halifax, N.S.

Visit of "A" Coy., R;C.R., to St. Johns, P.Q., by Motor Convoy.

Herewith as requested a few points in connection with the marginally noted subject:

(a) A total of 87 all ranks moved in five lorries and one van and two privately owned motor cars.

(b) 16 men in each of four lorries, 7 men in one lorry together with kit bags, cooking utensils and kitchen shelters for bivouac purposes, 2 men in the cab of each lorry and van and two in each motor car.

(c) Three days rations were carried in the van together with other odds and ends, i.e., drums, etc.

(d) The bodies of the lorries were fitted with rough lumber seats in blocks of four, filling the entire box of the lorry and capable of sliding in and out of the lorry as one unit.

(e) The actual seats were slightly sloped as were also the backs.

(f) The men travelled with their fighting order and folded their blankets on the seats and over the back of them thus making a not too uncomfortable seat.

(g) With only four men to each seat there was ample room to change position and to stretch the legs.

(h) The only apparent suffering displayed at halts was the usual stiff- ness that would be experienced in any type of car when driving long distances.

(i) Had the weather been fine no other discomforts would have been experienced, but owing to excessively heavy rains accompanied by very high winds, the covers for the lorries were unable to prevent some men, chiefly those on the sides of the lorries, from getting wet. On the first night this was compensated for by use of the drying room at Sussex Camp, N .B.

(j) The whole journey from Halifax, N.S. to St. John P.Q. was carried out in four days, this includes a stop over of half a day at Quebec, P .Q.

(k) The daily runs were as follows:


1st dayHalifax to Sussex Camp.Approx 237 miles
2nd daySussex Camp to Riviere-du-Loup.Approx 323 miles
3rd dayRiviere-du-Loup to Quebec.Approx 145 miles
4th dayQuebec to St. Johns, P .Q.Approx 209 miles


lst daySt. Johns, P .Q. to Quebec.Approx 209 miles
2nd dayQuebec to Woodstock, N.B.Approx 338 miles
3rd dayWoodstock to Sussex Camp.Approx 130 miles
4th daySussex Camp to Halifax.Approx 227 miles

(l) There was no sickness of any kind during the journey to and from St. Johns, nor did any develop after, that was strictly attributable to the journey.

(m) I consider that at the end of the outward and homeward journey, with one night's good rest the men would have been fit to carry out any duty they might have been called upon to do.

(Signed) V. Hodson, Major, Commanding Halifax Station, The R.C.R.

Pro Patria

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