The New Canadian Contingent.
(From our special correspondent
The Canadians who arrived in England a week ago are now in camp at Shorncliffe. All of them are picked men, representative of the best elements in the fighting material of the Dominion.
One battalion is composed exclusively of men from British Columbia. In the other regiments are volunteers from various parts of Canada, notably Quebec and Winnipeg. All of them have undergone a considerable amount of drilling at home. Although they have by no means completed their full course of training they have shown such remarkable aptitude that they will be ready to take their place in the fighting line in a very short time from now. Ninety per cent. of them are British-born.
Their voyage from Canada, made without incident, occupied ten days. Before this the British Columbian Battalion made an overland journey by train which took them a week. During the whole of the journey on land and sea the crime-sheet of the contingent was entirely blank. On board ship shooting, exercises, and sports were enjoyed by the men, and in one of the transports a military athletic tournament was arranged.
The behavior of the second contingent since arrival has been exemplary. The discipline of the camp and barracks has found its natural counterpart in courtesy in the streets, and the people of Folkestone and Cheriton have nothing but praise for the visitors from oversea. Many of the Canadians are professional men of standing in the Dominion. Others have been successful in business and commerce. All of them have made financial sacrifices in order to join the Expeditionary Force. A fine spirit of personal and intellectual equality ̶ a spirit which, when properly directed, assists rather than depreciates discipline ̶ pervades the camp. The officers understand their business and at the same time understand their men. The men are intelligent enough to know that discipline is the only road to efficiency. And they are determined to by more than ordinarily efficient.
The sense of responsibility among the Canadians at Shorncliffe, remarkable enough in its way, is in no sense surprising when one gets to know the men who form these particular battalions. The British Columbian Battalion approximates very nearly in material to the public schools and university corps. A private whom I met in a Folkestone restaurant to-day was, for instance, an old Eton boy whose father holds a high command in the British Army.