Canada’s Cadet Corps Roots Militia Official Report For 1880

For all discussions relating to military activities in Canada, 1837-1901.

Canada’s Cadet Corps Roots Militia Official Report For 1880

Postby Spañiard » 23 Aug 2015 01:55

Canada’s “Cadet Corps Roots” Annual Report On State Of The Militia, For 1880.

As the first Camp Commandant at Wimbledon of the British National Rifle Association it gave me much satisfaction to find a flourishing Dominion Rifle Association, with good ranges, at Ottawa, to which the picked men of the various Provincial Rifle Associations come, once a year, for competition. Experience has shown in England how important for the encouragement of Volunteers is target practice, and the emulation it produces. I hope, therefore, that the Government of the Dominion will deal with a liberal hand towards the Dominion Rifle Association, and enable it to have ample accommodation at its ranges for the representatives of the Provincial Associations when they come for the annual meeting to Ottawa.

• Your most obedient humble servant, R.G.A. LUARD, Major-General, Commanding the Militia.

London, 2nd November, 1880.

SIR,-I have the honor to forward, for submission Lo the Major-General commanding, the accompanying Inspection Report of the Active Militia Force in this district under my command, which have performed their annual drill for the year 1880-81 in obedience to the General Order of 5th May last.


There are four Drill Company Associations in this district, viz.: “London Collewiate” Dufferin College,” “St. Thomas Collegiate” “Mount Forest High School.” The companies having been only lately authorized have had hardly time to get the public interested in their formation; the organization is in its infancy, but when it A shall have been properly worked up and regulations amended where found advisable, there can be no doubt but that it will result in fostering a military spirit among the rising generation able and willing to answer any call to defend our country. I inspected the “London Collegiate” Company on the 30th October; they drilled very smartly, having had the services of an instructor from “A” Battery, and I could conscientiously compliment them. At the brigade field day on the 1st July they were attached to the 7th Fusiliers, and again I saw them on parade when I inspected the 26th Battalion. Their drill was on these occasions far better than the average, and shows how successful these drill companies can be made, provided the school authorities give their cordial support as is done in London, and also provided they are so fortunate as to have an efficient captain. At my inspection of the London Collegiate Company I had the great pleasure of presenting Captain Houston with a sword and belt given by his company in token of their appreciation of the trouble and pains he has taken with them. 1 do think that particular interest is due and should be given to these drill companies in schools and colleges, for they are the nursery for our future best and most intelligent class to join the active militia as officers and non-commissioned officers; and as it is evident that the fate of these drill companies, as to whether they shall prove a success or not, depends in a very great measure upon the captain, who will naturally be one of the masters of the school or college from which the drill company is formed, and as very few of the masters know their drill, and as an inducement for them to render themselves capable of in strutting their companies, I would very strongly urge that the same grant should be paid half-yearly to each captain of an efficient Drill Company as is paid to the captain of an efficient infantry company of the active militia; this grant to be paid for providing an instructor until the captain is capable of instructing the boys himself. (This will also be an inducement for non-commissioned officers of militia to go to military schools and qualify for instructors to Drill Companies.) It must be borne in mind that the boys can be drilled from two to four times in the week, and they receive the instruction at an age when they are most capable of profiting by it, so that the money will be well earned. if the captain is at first unable to instruct his company, or provide a drill instructor satisfactory to the District Staff Officer, then the Government grant should be withheld and expended in sending an instructor from “A” or “ B ” Battery.

There are 31 Drill Sheds in the District, some of them viz; Hollen, St. Mary Lucan and Cross Hill have been repaired this year. The Sheds have generally been some 15 years standing, and the sills in many are showing signs of decay while the heavy snow and storms have strained some of the roofs, and therefore every year some may henceforth be expected to require considerable repairs.

There are 13 Rifle Associations kept up in the District, nearly every battalion having one, their returns of practice are not due until 1st December, but 1 am aware that rifle practice has been frequently carried on during the year.

•I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant, JOHN B. TAYLOR, Lt.-Colonel, Deputy-Adjutant General, Military District No. 1.
•To The Adjutant-General, Ottawa.


Old Fort, Toronto, 4th November, 1880.


The Drill-shed at this station requires some repairs to the foundation, but as now belongs to the Trustees of Queen’s College, it becomes a question whether the Militia Department should have to bear the cost of these repairs. Estimates of repairs to Drill-sheds in the Peterborough district have been recently forwarded to headquarters and are urgently required. A Drill-shed at Belleville is also much needed, but, as far as I can learn. there is not much chance of the Municipal authorities assisting in the cost of erection at present. A Drill-shed is also required at Cobourg.

Rifle Associations.
Most of these Associations are in a flourishing condition and have held meetings this year. Those that have not will probably have their meetings before the end of the year. The meeting of the Prince Edward County Association, held at Pieton, was a great success, owing principally to the exertions of Lieut. Col. Bog, 16th Battalion.

• I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, B. VAN STRAUBENZEE, Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General, Military District N0. 3.
• The Adjutant-General, Headquarters, Ottawa.

Headquarters, BROCKVILLE, 1st November, 1880.

Drill Company Associations.

College of Ottawa Drill Company, Ottawa, Captain Frank J. Nelson ......1.

On this subject I cannot do better than report what I stated in last year’s report. The drill shed still remains in ruins, the centre is used by the City Corporation as a depot for lumber, stone and rubbish. Some of the side rooms left standing are used by the artillery and 3rd Battalion as gun-sheds and armouries, but these rooms are not safe, the windows are broken, the roof leaks and the flooring is rotten, so much so that it is dangerous to practise gun-drill. The corps suffer very much for want of a proper drill shed. The use of the Bonsecour Hall does not, by a long way, compensate for the loss of the drill shed. The hall is not large enough for a battalion to drill in, it is at a distance from some of the armouries, and triples the expense of guarding the armouries when an alarm arises, four guards are required at present, whereas, if the shed was rebuilt, one guard would suffice. The Montreal force of Active Militia is a credit to the city. This fact is admitted by all who have seen it, therefore an effort should be made by the citizens interested in the maintenance of the force to bring an influence to bear upon the city authorities to repair the old shed or to build a new one. A good site for a shed would be the east end of the Champ do Mars. The lower part of the building on the level of Craig Street, could be used for the artillery and cavalry, and the upper portion, on the level of Champ de Mars, would serve for drill purposes and armouries for the infantry; such a building would cost somewhere about $35,000. Let the expense be divided between the Government, and the City Corporation.

• I have the honor to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, JOHN FLETCHER, Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General, Military District No. 5.
• The Adjutant-General of Militia, Headquarters, Ottawa.

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