Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: March 1918

Promulgated Militia Order # 195. Certificate Ottawa under No. 53022 Signed, S. T. Blackwood Major A.A.G. for A.G.

Particulars of Certificate in B.F. & P.T.

No. Certificate 1366. Dated Ottawa 2/5/17. Period of Instruction, 21 Working days. HQ'rs School Winnipeg M.D. #10.

Result = good.

Sailed from Canada Feby. 21 1918.
Landed England March 4. 1918
France June 3 1918
Joined 1 C.M.R's Aug 14.1918.

Sunday 3 March 1918

Called by steward at 6.30 after 4 hours sleep. Went out on deck to find dense black fog. Hustle & Bustle to disembark. Carpania & Saxonia only boats docked. 249th first unit off at 10.30 a.m. Stood by train till 12.30. Changed my money for English Currency at American Y.M.C.A. booth. Saw Yankee nurses and "Sammies" go out to camp. Batt. nearly went to Shorncliffe. Went into our train at 12.30 and pulled out at 1K. First day I put foot on soil of England arriving at Liverpool at 2 in the morning. Batt goes to Bramshott camp, Hants, via Crewe, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Banbury, Oxford, arriving at 9.30 p.m. after 9 hours on an "English" train. Marched 2½ miles through blackness into segregated area in Camp. Men got hot meal & Huts allotted. Officers taken to 17th reserve Batt. (N.S.H. Bri.) & got fine wash & Meal. Slept in hunch on forms in large room, very cold.

[this entry has been crossed out and substituted with the following entry]

Monday 4 March 1918

My first day in England after voyage lasting 11 days. Anchored in Liverpool harbor about 2K. in the morning. Was suddenly awakened by steward ordering all up at once. I only had 4 hours sleep. Went on deck to find a heavy black fog on which made the air dark as night. 249th Batt went off boat first, about 10.30 K. & had to wait on dock & in station for train until 12.30. In meantime I changed my Can. Money for English currency at Amer. Y.M.C.A. Booth. Saw U.S. nurses & "Sammies" entraining for some camp. Mistake nearly caused batt go to Shornecliffe. Reached Bramshott camp at 9.30 p.m. after 9 Hrs. on train via Crewe, Birmingham, Stafford, Oxford, Banbury, Guildford. Marched from Liphook 2½ miles in pitch dark to segregated area in camp. Men got huts allotted & hot meal. Officers taken to 11th R.B (N.S.H.R) & got fine wash and hot meal. Officers slept in large cold room on wooden forms.

Tuesday 5 March 1918

Got my first impressions of Bramshot camp. Very similar to Aldershott N.S. Attached to 17th R.B for Rat. & discipline. Had hair cut & shave. Class of Officers in P.T. at 7.30 a.m. (gee whiz). Cold dull morning. Saw Pines of Brandon. Wrote letter to Eva. Walked up to where our men were in quarantine (segregation) & saw some snappy drill by highlanders. Fussed around trying to make our barn-like room more home like. Chown & I walked over camp & to Post Office. Very raw & no sunshine. Camp all huts accommodating 33 men each. Eat in Huts. Good macadam roads. Very pretty camp in nice weather. High Hills & low valleys. Meals good at Mess. About 75 officers eat. Spent evening with men in huts & played Ron. H. Gramophone. Wrote Dad.

Wednesday 6 March 1918

Beautiful bright sunshine. Was up to Men's lines. Hogie, Houston & I walked over to 15 Reserve Batt. & Y.S. Batt. Saw Carry Mc Kee who showed me around. Saw D'utton & Turnbull of "B" Coy. 196th. Monteith at B&F school at Shornecliffe. Lew Pickett with Y.S Batt. Saw Col. McKay in distance. [?] & Armstrong in France. Spent afternoon in lines. Organized P.T. Instruction for parades. Arranged with the officer i/c B & P.T. to give 24 of the Instructors refresher at once. Made out lists for refresher. Over to lines at night. Wrote Ed. R. aunt's Sadie & Ella.

Thursday 7 March 1918

Woke up to find it quite dull. It cleared up nice & bright about noon. Batt. Muster parade at 9K. P.T. Parade cancelled. 2 p.m. started 30 Instructors on short refresher course in P.T. 2.30 short talk on routine of Camp by Major Morris & Capt. Finlay. Watched Instructors working. Had dinner at 5.30 early sitting. Hogie, Chown and I wandered into 17th officers dance about 10K. I met a few girls & a very nice nursing sister from Vancouver. Miss Leigh. Invites me to dance at Hospital Monday. Chown excels himself, feeling prime at the time. Bed 12 p.m. Hogie & Connely nearly have "set-to".

Friday 8 March 1918

Clear & Mild. Kit inspection 9 a.m. till noon. Kits looked splendid. Saw Capt. Mingee. Men start squad drill under staff Instructors. 2 p.m. Parade Instructors B & P.T. for Refresher in Hut D 1. Hogie & I down town. Sold my T. Cook Lamp for 4 Bob. Purchased handkerchiefs, & razor blades. Saw Tricky Freer 196th Batt. Now Anti-gas Instr. To 5th Brigade also saw Trent Cunnigham 196th anti-gas Instr. also. Had hot bath & dressed for Dinner. Sent bunch of laundry. Played game with Capt. Ball. Officers applying to Chinese labor Coys. Sent card to Harry's brother & Dad Firman. Saw aeroplane fly over Camp.

Saturday 9 March 1918

Bright & Warm. Finest day since landing in England got up early & started the men on their first P.T. Parade 15 Platoons on parade good work done. 10 A.M. Men get first pay of £1. Shaved & had dinner Judge is joined by his son. Went up to Freer's office. 2P.M. Hogie & I walked over & saw football game between 20th & 21st reserves score 1-1. Great game. Went over to 15th reserve. Saw Capt. Barclay. Couldn't see McKee. Outlook bad for staying in Eng. Chen gets permission to see A.G. at London. Back to 17th for supper. Ate hearty meal.

Sunday 10 March 1918

Another beautiful day. Had large parade to Church at Segregation area. Fine talk from officer. No music so Chown led off in the hymn. Fine English girl sang solo. Walked over with Badger to see Capts Mingee & Finlay for instructions re parade for the G.O.C. tomorrow. Put on slacks for Formal dinner. 17th Band played splendid music for meal. Kennedy & I walked over 10 miles through Hazelmere Hammer, Shotterhill etc. I was all eyes. Country all beautiful. Spring buds out green. Saw Hosford, Badger etc. 3 miles from camp. Back in time for Mess. Note from Sis Frigh. Started letter to Dad.

Monday 11 March 1918

Another beautiful day. Up early & took charge of left half "B" Coy. For the General's Inspection. Formed up in Close Col. Of ½ Coys. at 9.30. Col. Rattray inspected all drafts for the Genl. Asked me, name, home, occupation & said he'd see me later. Y.S. Batt marched past for our benefit. Did fine marching & rifle exercises. Saw Lew Picket in ranks. Over at 12.20 p.m. 2 p.m. men start parade under own instructions. Chown, Jack and I in Town. Up again with Houston. Hogie over to 21st for Dinner. Order comes for us to apply to revert to ranks by 4 P.M. No action by anyone. Chen back from London 6 P.M. saw everyone up to Gen. Turner. Six of us to stay in Eng. Seven under 35 years. Dance at Sister's Mess.

Tuesday 12 March 1918

Bright & Warm. Six officers only start class in P.T. at 1130 a.m. under Sgt. Mjr Instr. Worked nicely for 20 minutes. Dressed, breakfast & started Batt. on P.T. at 9 a.m. 14 Staff Instrs. present Batt. parades for Drill 10.30. Practise in ceremonial "fall in". Major Chenowith Inspector. Chown & I play catch before Dinner. Officers doing nothing. Finished letter to Dad authority for Chenowith, Hosford, Hogarth, Chown, Badger & I to remain in England come in letter from Hdqrs. Hogie & I went over to see Charlie Watt at 21st Reserve. Met the padre. Lunched & came home 10.30 p.m.

Wednesday 13 March 1918

Bright & Warm. 7 officers take P.T. at 7.30 started batt. On P.T. it 9K. All officers went before A.D.M.S. for examination. Passed for General Service. Hosford to go before an Oculist. Sports day in Camp. Budd & Stevenson of 236th were in to see us. Have joined R.F.C. also Ryder, McKinnon, & Scovil. Hogie & I went to Football game between 20th & 21st. Fine game. Reserved seats for show. Called for Watt at 20th & went to show, Diana of Dobsons. Fine performance. Chown and Chenowith went to show at Guildford, arranged to meet Watt next night. Signed for my final overseas outfit allowance. Gawthrop & Kennedy back from London. Wrote letter to Eva.

Thursday 14 March 1918

Clear & Warm. Took P.T. at 7.30. Handled Men's P.T. Parade at 9K. 236th Officers over to see us, Norman McLean, Bobbie Blair, and some others. Saw another aeroplane just before Dinner. 3 Segregation camps hold joint athletic meet. Batt. paraded to Campus led by officers. I umpired game of baseball between 249th & 1st Q.R. Fernie wins his events. 249th won on points. Held stop watch for the sprints. Saw H.R. Hancock of "Y". "Y" gave fine prizes. Rain comes on just as day is over. Watt, Hogie & I were going out together, but no, rain.

Friday 15 March 1918

Clear & Mild. Gawthrop, Potter, Kennedy, Ball leave for London. Took over duties of A/Q. Master form Kennedy. Present at Men's P.T. at 9 a.m. No instr. for officers class at 7.30 so no P.T. On Drill parade in a.m. & Spent afternoon arranging for handing over stores to 17th Reserve. Judge went over to see Col. Guthrie at night & came home "tanked". Hogie, Chown & I played cards all evening in Chenowith's hut.

Saturday 16 March 1918

My 21st birthday. Up at 6 a.m. & up to lines to see stores all turned in & checked. My department running quite smoothly. Men's blankets all to be disinfected. Hustle & bustle to move over to 15th Reserve. Officers baggage over at 11 a.m. I ate lunch at 17th. Men paraded to 15th for lunch & Supper. Alberta draft mixes blankets with ours at the disinfector & much trouble. Met Col. Cross about 5 p.m. Went with he & Chen. to men's Mess Rooms. Ate supper at 15th. Over to Disinfector at 7 p.m. & returned blankets to 17th. Men given blankets & put in huts about 8.30 p.m. Paid Mess fee at 17th. Saw Bill Hall Can Mail in. Letter from Dad & Marriette.

Sunday 17 March 1918

Bright & Warm. Our boys had no warning for parade so officers had to roust them out. Nice church service by 15th Padre After church 249th men were allotted their quarters with the respective Coy's. of the 15th according to their Training History sheets. Saw Homer Finlay of old #8 Platoon 196th Sat next to McKee at formal dinner. Band present at Mess. Arne over to hut & got general clean up. Mr. [?] moves out to let me occupy his bed in Hut 1, Room 2. Chown & Houston in with me. Supper at 4.30 p.m. & sat around hut all evening Wrote letter to Dad.

Monday 18 March 1918

Bright & Warm. Had breakfast & went on parade at 9 a.m. Took No.3 Platoon of 249th men had march past column of Route. Col. Rattray inspected us at 9.30. Took until noon. Gave boys a nice talk & rec'd three cheers. On parade again at 2K. I i/c of #24 Platoon with McKee as Coy. Cdr. Had another march past. Pat Gleason in my platoon Saw Cyril Harding. Applied for 6 days leave to London. Got my hair cut at Y.S.B. Had bath & went to dinner. Hogie, Chown, Chen & I go to 1st show of "Under Cover". Great. Met one of actors. A.N.C.B. theatre system fine organization.

Tuesday 19 March 1918

Dull & showery. 249th officers take day off & went on no parades. Getting ready for London. Sent two pairs boots to shoemakers & neither pair back in time to let me get away. Leave came through about 5 p.m 6½ days. Reveille 20th to noon 26th. Got ½ fare warrant, Leave form & Sugar Permit from Asst. Adjt. Chown and Chen got away in a hurry about 1K. figuring on laying over in Guildford for dance. Met Lt. Davis 18th Res Messing officer in Ante-Room. Took me over to men's kitchen Sgt. Mess & Sgt. Cubicles. Met some fine fellows. Back to Off. Mess again. Went to bed after talk with Hogie, & Chisholm. I was feeling happy.

Wednesday 20 March 1918

Bright & Warm. Batman woke me up at 6.30. Had early breafsat & sent batman up to "tin town" for a taxi. Waited too long & got one ourselves at "Tin T". Cost 13s to run 4 of us Hos. Badger, Hogie and I to Haslemere. Train for London pulled out while we were buying tickets. Saw Ham McFadden at Haslemere. Arrived London 11 a.m & took taxi to R. Palace Hotel. Tried all day but no rooms available any place, slept with Kennedy & Hogie with Sam at R.P. Walked all afternoon. Had supper at Strand Corner Restaurant. Lunch at Rgts with Fallis and Hogie. Saw Col. Guthrie. Town full of R.F.C. men. Girls on Piccadilly a damn nuisance. Lost Hogie & came home in a cab. Saw the "Bing Boys". Fine. Bed 1.30 a.m.

Thursday 21 March 1918

Clear & Warm. Had late breakfast with Kennedy. Engaged Room with Houston. Went to C.A. Pay Office. Found my account at Trafalgar square Bank of Montreal 31-12-2. Drew 6-2-2. Went with Houston & Hogie to Food Controller for Meat Coupons. Had lunch about 2K at R.P. Hotel. Hogie to Seaford 3K. Houston & I to see O.C. R.F.C. Told me to apply through usual channels. Got tickets to "The Freaks". Waited ages to get a dinner at Strand Corner House. Went to "The Freaks". Who among us shall say which are the freaks. Rotten show, waste of time. Back to hotel. Air raid announced to be imminent, later cancelled. Met fine little waiting girl. Date for show tomorrow with her.

Friday 22 March 1918

Clear & Mild. Third day in London. Took in Chu-Chin-Chow with Miss. Pearson from the Regents Palace. Met Sadie Green. Hogie & I over to her place for late supper.
Saturday 23 March 1918

Bright & Warm. Had lunch with Sadie Green at Lyons Corner house. Took in a Movie. Met Hogie & Major Bothwell at 7.30 p.m. Had tea at Lyons & went to see "General Post" at Haymarket. Great show. Supper at Winter Gardens & to Bed.

Sunday 24 March 1918

Clear & Warm. Slept till noon. Got my coat from Green's. Hogie & I ate dinner with two stenographers from Canadian Headquarters Argyle House. Took in a cinema & home with them in a taxi. Met Sadie Simmonds of "Box of Tricks" Coy. Hogie & I took her home.

Monday 25 March 1918

Lovely Day. Hogie, Houston & I had breakfast at 10K in the Reg. Palace. Hogie & I went buying. Met Capt. Ball. (Leaving for Canada on 26th) also met Badger & Hosford Saw Marshall of 1st. Quebecs getting ticket for Canada. Hogie & I ate lunch at Reg. Palace Grill with Peggy & Betty. Had dinner with Chown at Palace & went to Drew & Son's for my breeches. Met Hogie at 8K. & went to the Revue "Box of Tricks". Fine show; not a dull moment. Walked down to Charing X station & back to hotel & Bed. Paid tailor 4-16-6 for my breeches. To be delivered to me at camp.

Tuesday 26 March 1918

Clear but cool. Hogie & I up at 9.30. Breakfast at Regents 10K. Settled for my room & Hogie, Houston & I leave Waterloo station by 11.10 train for Bramshott. Met Mrs. Cooke & Sister Jones on train. Very fine people. Invitation to her home. Buss to camp at 2 p.m. Batman gone on draft. Saw Roper, Monteith, Goulden & McLean. McLean transferring to R.F.C. Fine dinner at Formal Mess. O.C. talks to officer's. Training more intensified commencing tomorrow, (7½ hours a day). Monteith over to my hut for couple of hours. Told me Harry Robinson had been killed. Neeley & McLeod in to see me. Attached to "D" Coy. 15th Reserve. Houston went to Witley, on duty there.

Wednesday 27 March 1918

Cloudy & cold. Took charge of Class 5 "D" Coy. for the Morning 8 to 12 noon. Nearly froze standing around parade ground. Tried to see C.O. but he was too busy. On parade again from 1.30 to 5 p.m. Wind very strong & dust worse than Camp Hughes. Had me black as a nigger. Saw Dutton & Archie Smith for a minute. Potter over after dinner from London. Going to Witley to join Artillery as a gunner. Was up town with him about his tunic. Had supper at 9 p.m. in the mess. Started letter to Dad. My breeches arrived from London. McLean of the 196th told me of seeing Mitchell & Lussier of R.F.C in London.

Thursday 28 March 1918

Bramshott Camp. Woke up late & had to rush as usual. Had rained all night & still continued. Took Bombing test all morning Lectures, Dummies & finally hand & Rifle grenades on real stuff. Rain got heavier at noon. No parade in p.m. slept till nearly five. Got notice of Outfit allowance to my credit. Wrote letter to Dad. Had lunch in Mess at 9 p.m. Wrote card to L. Felton.

Friday 29 March 1918

Dark & threatening in the morning but clearing nicely towards afternoon. Spent all morning on the wiring & entanglements. Learned the 25 yard apron barbed wire entanglement. Most of afternoon in Brigade Model trenches. Instructed on above by Lieut. Severin E.O. for 15th Reserve. New & good batman allotted to Chown & Myself. Number of Subs. on next draft go on six days final leave. Over to Mess at 9 p.m. for lunch. Wrote letters to Dad & Eva. Instructed Bank Montreal to transfer sum of $100 net to C.S. Making Enclosed blank cheque to cover total cost etc.

Saturday 30 March 1918

Up bright & early. Went up to parade at 8K. Spent all morning on Lewis Gun in one of the huts. Heavy rain. On Machine gun from 8.30 to 12.45. Very interesting & seemed no time at all. No parade in afternoon. Got Lewis gun into our room & spent some time on it. Rain stopped & Chown & I up to Tin Town. Purchased nibs & polish. Met Major Ryder & Budd, also McLean of 236th. Over to 17th Mess & got card for Hosford & letters for [?]. Back to hut & on gun again. Hogie, Chown & I over to Mess for lunch 9.30. Very foggy about this time. Ryder tells me Paul McLeod coming over here.

Sunday 31 March 1918

Cold & Raining. Fell in with Presbyterian party on church parade. Capt Hindley delivers splendid sermon held in East Mess Room. On C.O's Inspection of Huts. Saw Lew Pickett. Coy. O.O. so up to Mens Mess at 12.30. Monteith & Pickett over to Hut & had long talk. Houston up from Witley on bicycle. Neeley over & we worked on gun till on in evening. Taken on strength of 15th Reserve effect from date of sailing from Canada 21-2-18 Chenowith & Hosford reverted to Subs by same order. Allotted to 28th Batt'n in France. Over to Mess 9K. for lunch.

Original Scans

Original Scans