Saturday, April 30, 2005

30 April 1915 - West Sandling Camp, Shorncliffe

The following day, a Friday, was spent "unpacking equipment, baggage &c." Presumably the men spent some time setting themselves up and exploring their new surroundings, while the officers met their counterparts in other units of the Canadian Second Division, settled in at the officers' mess, and started organizing activities for the first week of their stay. Wilbert C. Gilroy, an officer with the Canadian Dental Corps, arrived at Dibgate Camp near Shorncliffe in early June, also via the SS Carpathia, and recounts in a letter home that he was surprised to meet many of his old friends from Winnipeg in the officer's mess:
The old saying about the world being such a small place, still holds good. When I arrived at this out of the way place, I fully expected to be quite alone outside of the few I knew of our own crowd. But not so. As soon as we arrived I immediately began to see my old friends ... In fact I knew all the officers with exception of three or four which I know now. And it is the same all over the camp.
The 2nd Divisional Train now consisted of 26 officers and 459 men, organized into four Companies, Numbers 5 to 8, and the Headquarters. There were also three additional personnel attached from the Canadian Army Medical Corps (C.A.M.C.). Leslie Payne, George Willox, Bob Moodie and William Hogg would remain in this vicinity for most of the summer of 1915.

The following is from notes made by my father C.B. Payne (CBP):
The 1" O.S. map of 1945 (Sheet 173) shows what I think is likely to be [Dibgate] camp, though it isn't named, about 1½ miles N.E. of Hythe Town centre. In September 1950 my parents & Bunnie spent a holiday at Folkestone and I joined them for a [weekend]. (By bus from Canterbury where I worked 28th August 1949 to 15th Nov 1950.) On 10th September Dad & I walked to Sandgate, on the road to Hythe, and I vaguely recall his mentioning having been at a camp nearby. Or do I imagine it?
Shorncliffe appears to have been a military base at least as far back as 1802, when General Sir John Moore ("the father of the Light Infantry") began to develop further his ideas for the training of infantry at that location. Germans troops were even trained there during the preparations for the Crimean Campaign. Otterpool was another training camp to the west of Shorncliffe, near Lympne. Shorncliffe and Dibgate became major training and embarkation camps for Canadian (C.E.F) soldiers during the First World War, and the base for the entire Canadian Second Division. By February 1915, there were 40,000 Canadian troops training in Shorncliffe, Hythe and Dibgate. Shorncliffe is still an army barracks, and was recently home to a Ghurka Regiment.

According to the War Diary, Saturday was "spent in cleaning of lines &c." presumably preparing their camp for long term occupation, for training, and for the arrival of the horses, which they would take charge of and train with over the next few weeks. On Sunday, however, there was no parade, and no onerous duties to perform; the men would perhaps have had a chance to relax and explore a bit further afield.

Harold W. McGill had the following to say about the situation of the camp at Shorncliffe, in a letter home:
Our camp is on a hill over looking the sea about four miles from Folkestone. The ships are passing up and down all day and on clear days we can make out the French coast quite distinctly. With field glasses we can see the towns and villages. We are about 50 minutes by flying machine from the scene of the fighting.
This illustrated that even though it would be another four and a half months before they got to France, they could never feel too detached from the war. Louis Duff of the 28th Battalion expressed similar sentiments in his own letters:
Our camp is seven miles west of Dover on a height overlooking the sea. We have two very pretty coast towns close by, Hythe west of us about an hours walk and Folkestone, a popular sea side resort, east of us a couple of miles. On a clear day the coast of France shows up very plainly. Submarines and Torpedo Boat Destroyers are patrolling the sea all the time. Aeroplanes and dirigible balloons are a common sight.
The Wilbert H. Gilroy Collection, Correspondence & Photographs, publ. by the Canadian Letters & Images Project
War Diary of the 2nd Divisional Train, C.A.S.C., Apr 1915 - Jun 1916, Library & Archives of Canada microfilms Ref #T-10903 & #T-10904, transcribed by Brett Payne

Friday, April 29, 2005

29 Apr 1915 - England at last, and on to Shorncliffe

The passage took twelve days and, according to the War Diaries, the ship tied up at Avonmouth Dock in the Bristol Channel sometime between 6 and 8 in the morning on Thursday 29th April. Avonmouth had been used by the First Canadian Division, under Lt.-Gen. Alderson when they sailed for France almost three months earlier, and was a major port employed in the massive troop movements required during the war. It had been chosen as a result of Germany's declaration of their intent of unrestricted submarine attacks on all shipping in the English Channel, which had effectively ruled out the use of Southampton. The men were given the order to disembark at 10 a.m., laden with heavy kit bags and other personal gear, and once off the ship were immediately marched to the nearby railway station, where they boarded a waiting troop train.

For many of the men who stepped off onto dry land that morning, this was a return to the home which they had left only a few years previously, having been part of the huge influx of immigrants arriving in Canada in the last decade or so. However, Leslie Payne and his friends would have been largely unfamiliar with this part of the country. Leslie and William were from the Midlands, while Bud and Bob hailed from further north in Scotland, and there would have been many others like them, in much the same boat, so to speak, as the roughly 15 percent of the 2nd Div Train who were Canadian-born.

They didn't have much time to store their belongings in the luggage lockers and settle into their seats before the train pulled out at 11.15 a.m. It rattled its way slowly eastwards across the countryside of southern England, eventually arriving at Shorncliffe Barracks, west of Folkestone on the south-east coast, at a quarter-to-five that afternoon.

The following extract from Canada in the Great World War, written in 1919, gives a good impression of the town and countryside which greeted the men:
And now a word about Shorncliffe Camp. It was in an ideal location on Sir John Moore's Plain, on a plateau overlooking the sea, and consisted of brick buildings of comparatively modern construction. It composed five unit lines known as Ross, Somerset, Napier, Moore, and Risborough Barracks, and was undoubtedly one of the finest permanent barracks in England. A mile to the east, on the opposite side of the valley, was the beautiful seaside resort of Folkestone, a town of considerable size and importance. To the west, about three miles distant, lay Hythe, familiar for its school of musketry and extensive ranges. Joining Folkestone, and extending almost as far along the shores as Hythe were Sandgate and Seabrook, in some places only the width of a single street, and frequently littered with shingle when a stormy sea dashed through the breakwaters and lapped the doorsteps of the dwellings huddled under the cliff. In prominent locations along the coast at this point were ancient martello towers, erected originally as a means of coast defence and now used by the troops as storehouses and observation posts ...

... In April, 1915, units earmarked for the 2nd Canadian Division commenced to arrive. Accommodation in the barracks was not available, although some of the earlier arrivals were temporarily allocated until tenting arrangements were made. The majority, however, occupied one or other of the hutted camps, the position of which it will be necessary briefly to outline.

From the south-west corner of the barrack area a road led west for approximately a mile, skirting the front of the camps known as St. Martin's Plain. Then clipping into a valley and curving through a hamlet, it emerged another mile west and entered East Sandling Camp. Bisecting this camp, it continued on another two miles to West Sandling Camp on the left, and still another mile to Westenhanger Race Course and Otter-pool Camps on the right and left respectively ...

... The huts occupied as headquarters were at the very commencement of the road on St. Martin's Plain; and Otterpool, the farthest camp away, was approximately six miles.
From the railway station at Shorncliffe the men were marched to a hutted camp at West Sandling. However, part of the "Train" got lost, and only arrived at the camp at 10 o'clock that night, exhausted. At least the huts had beds, and they are unlikely to have had much difficulty adjusting to their first night on solid land for almost two weeks.

Formation of the 2nd & 3rd Divisions, in Canada in the Great World War, publ. 1919, and reproduced on Old And Sold Antiques Digest
Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, Official History of the Canadian Army in the Great War, by Colonel G.W.L. Nicholson, CD, publ. Army Historical Section, 1964, Available online from the Directorate of History & Heritage
War Diary of the 2nd Canadian Divisional Train, C.A.S.C., C.E.F., Library & Archives of Canada, Microfilm Ref. T-10903.
TheShipsList-L Rootsweb Mailing List Archives : Various Postings to this thread
History of the First Canadian Division, The Great War 1914-1918, by Joanna Legg & Graham Parker

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

26 Apr 1915 - Received Pay

Leslie Payne's C.E.F. Pay Book shows him to have been paid on 26 April, while he was on board the Grampian.

Monday, April 18, 2005

More accounts of the Atlantic crossing

This is a good opportunity to introduce readers to another blog currently being developed which relates the experiences of a CEF soldier, in the form of letters written to folk back at home. Dear Miss Griffis is published by the Glenbow Museum, and consists of the First World War Letters from Harold McGill to Emma Griffis, whom he later married. The letters are published on a weekly basis.

McGill enlisted with the 31st Battalion, and later served with the 5th Canadian Field Ambulance in France. His letter to Emma written from Shorncliffe in June 1915 gives a brief account of the journey from Montreal, Quebec to Devonport, near Plymouth on the SS Carpathia.
There was scarcely any rough weather on the ocean trip and I never missed a meal. The land lubbers fared better than the old travellers very few of the former being seasick. I never even felt a twinge, but then I was too busy most of the time to indulge in any such frivolities. We never got a glimpse of a submarine although we kept a sharp lookout. There were over 2200 troops aboard and the last part of the journey was run with lights all shut off at nights, or at least with portholes all blanketed. For the last two days we had two machine guns mounted on deck and 100 men on guard with loaded rifles.
These sentiments were shared by Louis Duff of the 28th (North-West) Battalion from Moose Jaw, who wrote the following in letters to his uncle and aunt in Saskatchewan:
29th June 1915, Dibgate Camp, Shorncliffe: Just a line to let you know we arrived O.K. and am well. We had a glorious trip across the water, fine weather and comparatively calm sea. Only a few of the 2000 on board suffered from sea sickness, as for myself, I was really sorry the trip was so short, 10 days from Montreal to Plymouth
In an account of the history of the 117th Battalion (Gilbert's Galloper's : The Rise and Fall of the 117th Eastern Townships Battalion, C.E.F.) Craig Myers provides the following assessment of the feeling among the men on board during the crossing:
Letters home to loved ones share the soldiers' experiences while crossing the Atlantic. Some told of seasickness, cramped conditions, and boredom. However, the general theme of the letters was that the soldiers were happy and felt a certain esprit de corps within the 117th.
Dear Miss Griffis, an ongoing blog publ. by the Glenbow Museum
Gilbert's Galloper's : The Rise and Fall of the 117th Eastern Townships Battalion, C.E.F., by Craig Myers on the Eastern Townships Heritage Web Magazine and the 117th Eastern Townships Overseas Battalion web site
World War I Letters of the Duff & Morrison families of Saskatchewan, on The Canadian Military Heritage Project web site

The journey across the Atlantic

Unfortunately, there appear to be no exisiting War Diaries for the journey across the Atlantic written for the 2nd Divisional Train, which commence on 29 April 1915, after they had arrived in England. Whilst it is possible that they have subsequently been lost, it is far more likely that they were never written in the first place.

It is fortunate, however, that the appropriate War Diaries for the 27th Canadian Infantry Battalion were written, and have survived. The 27th were also part of the 2nd Canadian Division and, while they arrived at Shorncliffe a month after the 2nd Div. Train, one would expect the crossing to have followed a similar pattern, with the men having similar experiences and daily on-board routines. These War Diaries have been filmed and scanned by the Library & Archives of Canada, and are available, along with many others, on the ArchiviaNet web site. The actual images may be viewed by clicking on the links provided below:

The daily routine for the men to follow on board was as follows:
    Time :: Duties
    6.00 am :: Reveille - Turn out. Make Beds. Wash
    6.30 am :: Sick Parade
    7.00 am :: Breakfast - 27th Battalion
    7.30 am :: Breakfast - NCOs
    7.45 am :: Breakfast - 31st Batt & Bordens Battery
    8.00 am :: Breakfast - Officers
    9.00 am :: Orderly Room
    10.30 am :: Assembly - General Parade on Decks & Daily inspection of Ship
    11.00 am :: Troops allowed below
    11.30 am :: Dinner - 27th Battalion
    12 noon :: Dinner - NCOs
    12.15 pm :: Dinner - 31st Batt & Bordens Battery
    1.00 pm :: Dinner - Officers
    2.00 pm :: General Parade
    5.00 pm :: Tea - 27th Batt
    5.00 pm :: Tea - NCOs
    5.45 pm :: Tea - 31st Batt & Bordens Battery
    7.00 pm :: Tea - Officers
    9.30 pm :: Stop Smoking - Everyone below but guards & Police
    10.00 pm :: Lights Out
    10.30 pm :: Lights Out - Saloon
The first two or three days out on the open sea were understandably difficult, with many of the officers and men suffering from mal-de-mer or sea-sickness. It was made worse by some miserable weather with very choppy seas. The third day on board, when the diarist remarked that they had passed close to the Newfoundland fishing fleet, was characterised by rain, sleet and snow! By the fourth day, however, most had recovered and some semblance of routine had been established. They had also ironed out some teething problems with the cooking staff, which had found catering for the numbers in the confined quarters difficult to cope with. Another factor which helped enormously was an improvement in the weather, with calm, clear days and plenty of sunshine. Apart from regular daily physical exercise, then men attended lectures from their platoon commanders on training, defences, guard mounting, equipment, sanitation and First Aid. They also carried out lifeboat drills at 4.30 every afternoon and, as they got closer to their destination, firing parties were detailed as sharpshooters on lookout duty for submarines. Luckily no periscopes were sighted!

Not every minute on board was arduous. Some evenings there were performances by the brigade band in the YMCA, which had been opened in the 2nd Class Dining Room. Sundays were given over to a church service and general relaxation. Monday 24th May was Empire Day, and the troops were granted a holiday. A patriotic band concert and sporting events were held. Robert Lindsay has posted images of the programme of entertainment for the night of June 4th, 1915, which his grandfather attended when crossing with the 28th Battalion on the S.S. Northland.

On Day Eleven, when they had their first sight of England, a torpedo boat appeared, then escorted them into Devonport, following some two miles astern, where they were taken in tow to their moorage at the Admiralty Dock. The war diarist had the following comments to make about their enthusiastic welcome:
Brigadier issued orders that men were not to cheer on entering Port. This order was not obeyed. Imagine men keeping quiet when entering an English Port on Troopship and are cheered by all the Boats in the Harbor. Especially Canadians!
Jimmie Johnston, in his recollections of a similar journey across the Atlantic in September 1916 (Riding into War, 2004), talks about the advantages of volunteering for mess duty on board:
Before we left the harbour, they called for volunteers for mess orderlies for the trip. About a dozen of us volunteered and were fortunate in doing so, as we were given good staterooms, two to a room, and the privilege of going to the galley any time we cared to, to have something to eat. This was a real break, as I soon found out that if I started to get sick a few sour pickles would help my stomach a lot. All we had to do was carry the meals from the galley to the dining halls, which of course was bad enough when the sea was rough. We had no dishes to wash and no other duties, except on boat drill once or twice a day, which we all had to attend.

We had a few days of real rough weather, and these were the times we appreciated the stateroom, as most everyone was sleeping in hammocks, and one surely got all the benefits of the roughness in these. Oh yes, and the day we got off the boat we were paid thirteen dollars apiece for the extra work. Believe me, if we had known this when we had got on the boat there would have been a lot more volunteers as thirteen dollars was a lot of money to have landing in England.

28th (Northwest) Battalion History by Robert Lindsay
Riding into War : The Memoir of a Horse Transport Driver, 1916-1919, by James Robert JohnstonRiding into War : The Memoir of a Horse Transport Driver, 1916-1919, by James Robert Johnston, The New Brunswick Military Heritage Series, Vol. 4, publ. 2004 by Goose Lane Editions & The New Brunswick Military Heritage Project, ISBN 0-86492-412-7
War Diary of the 27th Battalion, Library & Archives of Canada, ArchiviaNet web site

Sunday, April 17, 2005

17 Apr 1915 - Off to England at last!

At last, the men received the word they'd been impatiently waiting for, and on Saturday 17 April they embarked on board the R.M.T.S.S. Grampian, which had been tied up at the wharf in St. John harbour for the last couple of days, after dropping off a load of inbound passengers from England. They set sail on the following day, and would have had their first onboard church service that morning. The ship was a large one - some 10,000 tons - and there would have been many other 2nd Division troops on board as well, such as the 18th Battalion.

The R.M.T.S.S. Grampian - Image by David Kelly © & courtesy of World War I Document Archive - Ship Photo Gallery
Image by David Kelly
© Copyright & Courtesy of World War I Document Archive - Ship Photo Gallery

TheShipsList-L Rootsweb Mailing List Archives : Various Postings to this thread

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

... and some informal photos too

The following two photographs were from my grandfather's collection, and appear to have been taken on the same occasion as the "official photographs" shown in the previous posting. The first (CLLP 2nd from left) shows a line of six soldiers on parade in uniform and with rifles, standing at attention on a sidewalk cleared of snow, in front of a substantial stone and brick building; Leslie Payne and at least one other appear to be wearing spurs. Using the official photos, I've been able to identify all of the five other men in the first photo, four with a good degree of certainty. Bob Moodie and William Hogg were, of course, Leslie's friends, and have been mentioned in earlier postings.

From Left to Right: L.-Cpl. Robert "Bob" Valentine Moodie, Dr. Charles Leslie "Les" Lionel Payne, Dr. Benjamin Gerdes, Cpl. William Percival Hogg, Dr. John Purves Brown, Dr. Harry Williams Corner

The second photo (below) is more informal and shows Leslie alone, standing in the snow with riding crop but no rifle, in front of what appears to be the same building. The building looks to be at least four stories high. The photo is in the form of a post card, and is addressed on the reverse, "Lce/Corp L Payne, Reg. No. 1989 C.A.S.Co., Dibgate Camp, Nr. Hythe, Kent", although it does not appear to have gone through the mail. It seems unlikely that it was actually taken in Kent, as the chance of snow that far south in England by the time CLLP reached there in April is probably slim.

The following is from Gord Grossley:
"CLLP is wearing his puttees infantry-style. The tying tapes show as a thin lighter band of cloth around the upper calf ... Rank was worn on both arms during WW1, so he is still a Private. The men are all wearing breeches, as worn by mounted personnel, and the rifles carried are the Canadian Ross Mk III. The cap badges ... are the Canadian 'General Service' type, a bronze maple leaf with crown and 'CANADA' on a scroll below."
It seems likely, therefore, that the photographs were indeed taken at the same time as the official ones, probably in St. John, New Brunswick during the three weeks that they spent there before embarking for England, and subsequently sent to Leslie Payne in England.

13 Apr 1915 - Pay Day & an Official Photograph Session

Leslie Payne's C.E.F. Pay Book shows him to have been paid on 13 April, while the 2nd Div. Train were still in St. John. It was around this time that official photographers arrived to take photos of the entire company. It is not clear exactly what date this took place, but the published photos show Leslie Payne still with a rank of "Dr" (Driver), so it may have been prior to his appointment to Lance Rank on the 5th. They appear to have been taken on the steps of large building, presumably somewhere in the vicinity of the army camp or barracks, although the remainder of the background has been in the images shown below. Click on any image to view a larger version of the same.

Lieut. E.O. Leadley, Lieut. R.A. Laird, Major H.J. Freeman, Lieut. J.R.C. Stanley, Lieut. R.W. Marshall, S.Sgt.-Maj. C.E. Rowe (W.O.)

Top Row - S.-Sgt. A.E. Read, Coy. Q.M.-Sgt. S.H. Headland, S.-Sgt.-Maj. C.E. Rowe (W.O.), Coy. Sgt.-Maj. A.C. Pollett, S.-Sgt. W. James
2nd Row - S.-Sgt. W. Ball, Sgt. W.R. Lintott, S.-Sgt. H. Dowds, Sgt. H.G. Green, S.-Sgt. R. Simmons, Sgt. F. MacGregor

Top Row - Dr. L. Payne, Dr. J. Newell, Dr. C. Gazen, Dr. H.A. Shoobert, Dr. B. Gerdes, L.-Cpl. R.V. Moodie, Pte. B.M. Pressley, Dr. A. Macdonald
2nd Row - Dr. F.C. Batting, Dr. G. Smith, Cpl. A. Burwell, Cpl. J. Tompkin, Cpl. A. Dickeson, Dr. T.O. Stow, Dr. T.L. Johns
3rd Row - Dr. W. Leavitt, L.-Cpl. P.W. Ninnes, Dr. O.J. Durnell, Dr. H. Cheffins, Dr. G. Chadney, Dr. E.W. Lowery
4th Row - Cpl. H. Worthington, Dr. S.E. Fairs, Dr. G.H. Day, Dr. E.L. Pennell, Dr. J. MacDougall, Dr. T. Boyce, Dr. E.A. Bullock, Trptr. J. Boswell
5th Row - Sgt. H.G. Green, Lieut. E.O. Leadley, Cpl. S.C. Bullock

Top Row - Dr. M.H. Renahan, Cpl. W.P. Hogg, Dr. W.F. Behm, Dr. L.B. Reed, Dr. F.M. Booth, Dr. W.B.C. Woolett, Dr. J.A. Jennings, Dr. E.C. Bown
2nd Row - Dr. G. Chilton, Dr. W. Allan, Dr. D. McElroy, Dr. C.H. Salmons, Dr. H.M. Payne
3rd Row - Dr. C.A. Gardiner, Dr. G. McGlashen, Dr. H.W. Corner, Dr. T. Bennett, Dr. C. McLennan, Dr. J.P. Brown, Trptr. J. Boswell
5th Row - Sgt. W.R. Lintott, Lieut. R.W. Marshall, Cpl. S. Davies

Top Row - Pte. G.R.L. Richards, Pte. A. Davis, Pte. W.B. O'Hare, Pte. A.N. Kerr
2nd Row - Pte. J.T. James, Pte. A.M. Woolett, Pte. W. Emery, Pte. G.H. Willox
Third Row - Sgt. F. McGregor, S.-Sgt. A.E. Reed, S.-Sgt. W. James
4th Row - Lieut. R.A. Laird, Lieut. J.C. Stanley

Photographs by kind courtesy of Bruce Tascona

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

5 April 1915 - Formation of 2nd Divisional Train & No. 7 Company - Officers

The Second Divisional Train appears to have been officially created in late March 1915, with Leslie and his friends being assigned to No. 7 Company upon their arrival in St. John. According to a later entry in the War Diary, Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. Shaw, S.S.O., left earlier for England with his batman, both from No. 5 Company, presumably to make preparations for the Train's arrival at Shorncliffe. John Arthur Shaw was born in Bowmanville, Ontario, and enlisted in Toronto on 26 January 1915, having served for four years in the Queen's Own Rifles (1891-1895) and a further 11 years in the C.A.S.C. (1904-1915). At the time of his enlistment he was working as an insurance broker.

Major H.J.B. Freeman, Commanding Officer of No. 7 Company, 2nd Div. Train, C.A.S.C.The officer commanding No. 7 Company was Major H.J.B. Freeman. Originally born in Montreal on 28 July 1876, Hugh Joseph Baker Freeman was an accountant, and was living with his wife in Long Beach, California when he enlisted in the C.A.S.C. at Winnipeg on 11 November 1914. He had no previous military service.

The other officers with No. 7 Company were as follows:

Lt. EO Leadley, No 7 Coy, CASCLieut. Edward Oswald Leadley was a married 30 year-old commission merchant in Winnipeg, although from Stratford, Ontario. He had no previous military experience, although he was an active militia member.

Lt. RA Laird, No 7 Coy, CASCLieut. Roland Arthur Laird was also from Ontario (Oshawa), and working as a clerk in Spokane, Washington at the time of his enlistment in the C.A.S.C. in Winnipeg. He was married, and had considerable previous military experience, including four years with the D.R.O.C., three years with the Rocky Mountain Rangers, 2 years 10 months with the 16th L.H. and another 2 years 10 months with the 72nd Regiment.

Lieut. J.R.C. Stanley, No 7 Coy, CASCLieut. John Richard Charles Stanley was born in Plumstead, Kent, England, and served for 12 years with the Imperial Army Service Corps prior to his emigration to Canada. He then served for four years in the Canadian Permanent Forces. At the time of his enlistement at Winnipeg on 11 November 1914, he was an active member of the 18th Militia Company, C.A.S.C., which formed the nucleus of the Winnipeg contingent of the 2nd Divisional Train. He was single, aged 37, and working as a clerk.

Lieutenant R.W. Marshall, who is pictured with the other officers of No. 7 Company in the official photograph taken in St John, New Brunswick, apparently did not proceed with the 2nd Divisional Train overseas, as he is not included in the list of officers for that unit which accompanies the War Diary for April 1915, being an account of the strength on disembarkation.

Lt.-Col. A.E. Massie, Commanding Officer of the Second Divisional Train, Courtesy of York County NB GenWebThe Commanding Officer of the 2nd Divisional Train was Lieut.-Colonel Albert Edward Massie, who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, but emigrated to New Brunswick with his parents in about 1880. His attestation paper states that when he enlisted at St John on 25 Febrary 1915, at the age of 46, he was married, working as a manager in St John, and had previously served for ten years in the 71st Infantry Regiment and a further twelve years in the Army Service Corps. The York County NB GenWeb site has a transcript of a newspaper obituary for Lt-Col Massie, unfortunately undated, which includes the following account of his military service:
Col. Massie had a long military career which began in Fredericton in the ranks of the 71st York Battalion [sic]. He was commissioned as an officer and later was captain and quartermaster of that unit. After removal to Saint John he was selected to organize and command the first unit of the Canadian Army Service Corps in New Brunswick. His success was so outstanding that he was promoted in that branch of the militia and in the early stages of the Great War was appointed to command the 2nd Divisional Train, C. E. F. and served with it in France. Col. Massie won the D.S.O. in active service, being three times mentioned in despatches.
War Diaries of the First World War, from Library & Archives of Canada.
Soldiers of the First World War, online database of soldiers who served in in the Canadian Forces during WW1, by Library & Archives of Canada.
Photograph & Newspaper obituary for Col. A.E. Massie, transcribed by York County NB GenWeb

5 Apr 1915 - Leslie Payne appointed to rank of Lance Corporal

Although the entries on Leslie Payne's Casualty Form/Active Service (B.103) commence with his arrival in England, the date of his appointment to "Lance Rank" has been filled in as 5 April 1915, which would have been while they were in St. John.

Friday, April 01, 2005

1 Apr 1915 - Cpl Hogg assigned pay to his mother

On 1 April, shortly after their arrival in St. John, William Hogg assigned $15 of his monthly pay to his mother, Louisa Hogg, of 48 Sackville Street, Derby.

Service Records for William Percival Hogg, Collection of Brett Payne, from Library & Archives of Canada