Tuesday, May 03, 2005

3 May 1915 - The first week of training in England

Monday morning brought the men a taste of what their training was to be like in England, with a long route march in the morning and dismounted wagon drill and other activities in the afternoon. They were exhausted after the first day, only to find that the schedule was to be repeated each day for the rest of the week. On Tuesday, they also had a lecture on horses from Captain Simon, the Veterinary Officer. Friday morning brought a full inspection of all four C.A.S.C. companies by the General Officer Commanding (G.O.C.) the Canadians.

The training regime was certainly a step up from what they had experienced in Canada, but they acquitted themselves well. Louis Duff (28th Battalion, in Letters Home) reported, perhaps a little breathlessly:
We thought we were training pretty hard in Winnipeg but we are going at it even harder now. About another four weeks and they figure we will be fit for the firing line.
The following is an extract from the John Mould Diaries, as presented as part of an online exhibit by the Archives of Ontario:
... a walk a distance of twenty to thirty miles in one day. It came very hard on them the first week or two, quite a number of men falling sick with sore feet but they settled down to it after a while and can now march the distance and feel nothing of it, everyone being in good condition. The country here has seemed to work wonders and every man at the present time is fit for anything.
On Friday, all four companies were inspected by the G.O.C. at Sandling, and on the Saturday morning, "considerable time was devoted to physical training." The War Diary reports, "General health of men very good." They were given the remaining half-day off which, together, with the usual absence of parades on Sunday meant they had plenty of time for more recreational activities.

John Mould Diaries, an online exhibit by the Archives of Ontario


Anonymous GIRLS OF 1884 said...

Re Gordon McNeill Cooper of London Ontario. He was a son of Albert E London diamond merchant and Annie Cooper. They were owners of the Frederick Marlett Bell-Smith painting of 1884, Return from School, also Daughters of Canada.
Widow Cooper donated the painting to City of London in 1940. Presumably Gordon and his brother were uninterested in housing this huge work of art by a friend their fathers. Painting currently at Museum London, historical information being gathered from time to time. Wonder where Gordon got to, and if his descendents are aware of the connection with the painting. Maybe someone will pick this up from the item you posted..

26 February, 2012 11:24  
Blogger Brett Payne said...

Thanks for your note, although I think it should have appeared here.

26 February, 2012 14:56  

Post a Comment

<< Home