Col Otter With 43 Men of C Coy RCR Toronto Arrival From SSAW

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Col Otter With 43 Men of C Coy RCR Toronto Arrival From SSAW

Postby Spañiard » 24 Jun 2017 02:22

SVP, the below are snippets...for the full account kindly fallow short link...-Col. W.D. Otter With 43 Men of C Coy R.C.R., Toronto Arrival From Second Anglo-Boer War, 25, Dec., 1900.

From the Officer Commanding 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, to the Adjutant General, Militia Department, Ottawa. Toronto. January 26, 1901. —

On the 24th of September, the officers and men who had decided to return to Canada on completion of their engagement, left their several stations for Pretoria, and there entrained on the 26th for Cape Town. Previous to their departure, Lord Roberts inspected them, and expressed his great satisfaction with the services they had rendered during the past ten months. These details, numbering 16 officers and 413 N.C.O’s and men, sailed from Cape Town for Halifax under Major Pelletier on the ss. Idaho on the 1st October, 1900. There now remained only 12 officers and 250 men of the regiment in South Africa doing regimental duty, composing ‘A and B’ Companies, N.C.O’s and men of the permanent corps and of the draft, together with some few men of various companies who had elected to remain. Of the three latter classes, I formed a third, or Provisional Company termed ‘I,’ and placed it under the command of Capt. A. H. Macdonell. Having on the departure of the time-expired details, received orders to furnish garrisons for Eerste Fabricken and Silverton only; I sent ‘I’ Company to the latter station, placing the station under the command of Capt. Weeks, while I retained ‘A’ and ‘B ’ Companies at the former station. On October 6, three companies, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, relieved us at Eerste Fabricken, the two companies there, with myself, being ordered to Silverton, and to which place we marched on the 8th instant. I assumed command of that station on the same day, and we remained there until October 24, without any incident of importance...........

On October 24, the Royal Canadians were relieved at Silverton by the volunteer company of the West Riding Regiment, and marched into Pretoria to take part in the annexation ceremony of the 25th, going into camp at Arcadia. On the 25th, the celebration of the annexation of the Transvaal took place, and for the purpose representative units of the army, such as the Composite Regiment of Household Cavalry, ‘A’ Battery, R.H.A.; Grenadier Guards Coldstream Guards, 2nd Gordon Highlanders, Royal Irish Regiment, King’s Royal Rifles, Australian Mounted Infantry, two battalions of English volunteers, Brabant’s Horse and Royal Canadian Regiment, joined the Pretoria garrison................

By 1 p.m. of the 31st instant the last of the Battalion (‘I’ Company and Headquarters’) had left Pretoria. The journey to Cape Town was a most uncomfortable and tedious one; the non-commissioned officers and men being closely packed in open cattle trucks, while the trains were only permitted to run through by daylight, owing to the danger of the line being broken, until we reached Cape Colony. During the first three nights of the journey it rained heavily, and all ranks were more or less cold and wet. It was not until 6 a.m. on the morning of the 7th that we reached Cape Town, and were at once transferred to the transport Hawardea Castle, the strength being 12 officers and 246 non-commissioned officers and men........

Canadian General William Dillon Otter, 1919.

VISIT TO ENGLAND. — On Nov. 29 we reached Southampton at 9.30 a.m. some 24 hours later than expected. At 11.30 a.m. the same day the battalion disembarked, and was met by Maj.-Gen. Stewart, commanding the southern district, who welcomed us in a very spirited and stirring speech, after which we entrained at the dock, and were steaming out of the station for London by noon. A quick run of two hours brought us to the Addison Road Station, Kensington at 2 p.m., and we found thei’e waiting us His Grace the Duke of Abercorn, and Earl Grey, chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the Colonial Entertainment Committee , Lord Onslow, Under Secretary of State for the Colonies; Lord Strathcona, High Commissioner for Canada; J. G. Colmer, Esq., C. M. G., Secretary to High Commissioner for Canada ; Colonel Lake, late Quarter Master General, Canada, Major General Trotter, commanding Home district, and many others who extended to us the most kindly and hearty welcome……

Arriving at the barracks, Major General Trotter officially welcomed us to his command, and referred in the kindest terms to the services of the regiment. The men were then told off to their rooms, and we found that every care had been taken for our comfort, even to the provision of a staff of cooks and waiters, etc., leaving us with no duties to perform, save that of a small regimental guard. That evening, the non-commissioned officers and men were kept in barracks, in order that they might clean their things ready for next day’s parade, of which I had been given notice. A decided change in the weather from cloud and rain to a bright sun took place on Friday, the 30th November, when the battalion paraded at 9.30 a.m., and marched to Addison Road Station, where it entrained for Windsor, arriving there at 11 a.m We were met by the Mayor and corporation of the borough at the station, and heartily welcomed.....................

On Monday, 10th, the battalion paraded at 7 a.m., marched to the Addison Road Station and entrained for Liverpool, leaving at 8.10 a.m. Lord Strathcona, Mr. Colmer and many other Canadians seeing us off. Having many matters to attend to in connection with the pay, clothing, etc., of the men, I was unable to leave London with the battalion, which went under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Buchan. That officer informs me that the reception received in the streets of Liverpool was simply marvellous in its enthusiasm and expression of good feeling. The Court of Assize adjourned in order to welcome the battalion as it passed St. George’s Hall....................................

The steamer “Lake Champlain,” having arrived late from Canada was not ready to receive the battalion, and consequently it was embarked on “The Ems,” another vessel of the same line for the night and following day. Leaving London on the 11th, I arrived at Liverpool early on the morning of the 12th, and finding the “Lake Champlain” now ready, the battalion was transferred to her from the “Ems” at 10 a.m. The Lord Mayor and Lord Bishop of Liverpool,.........

VOYAGE To CANADA. — The SS. Lake Champlain, of the Beaver line, left Liverpool at noon of the 12th December, and soon after officers and men had settled into their quarters. These were found to be most comfortable, the officers having first class, and the N.C.O.’s and men second class accommodation, while in the matter of food nothing was left to be desired. The passage out was rather slow, owing to head winds and a heavy sea, and it was not till the morning of the 23rd that we reached Halifax. The N.C.O.’s and men were at once paid off, received their discharges, and entrained for their respective homes.

I have the honour to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,
W. D. OTTER, Colonel,
Late Commanding 2nd Royal Canadian Regiment.

South African War; parade of returned Royal Canadian Regiment, troops; Toronto, 5th Nov., 1900.

The Gazette, Montreal, 26th. — Toronto’s Welcome: —Colonel Otter And His Men Given Enthusiastic Reception. — Toronto, December 25th. — Colonel Otter, Captain Mason, Lieutenant Temple and some forty men of C Company, R.C.R., and invalids of other corps, arrived home this morning, and were given a hearty welcome by the civil and military authorities. At the Union Station a big crowd had gathered, and the city regiments were formed up on parade to welcome the colonel and his men. Colonel Otter and Mrs. Otter, with Mayor and Aldermen, entered carriages in waiting, and the men were conveyed in two tally-hoes to the armouries by way of the principal down-town streets, which were pretty well filled with spectators. On their arrival at the armouries the city regiments lined the street on both sides, and amid great cheering, the gallant little band passed into the armouries where the formal welcome took place.

Replying to the civic address and that of the Queen’s Own Reserve, Colonel Otter said he had had the unique experience of having thrice been welcomed back from the front by the citizens of Toronto. In 1866, after the Fenian Raid; in 1885, after the North-West rebellion, and on the present occasion. The Colonel paid a splendid tribute to the Royal Canadians.........

Special To the Star. — Toronto, December 28th, 1900. — Toronto Honours Colonel Otter Governor-General’s Speech. — The toast of the Governor-General given by the chairman, was prefaced by a speech, in which reference was made to the past record of Lord Minto in Canada. After some preliminary remarks, Lord Minto said: ‘I have come to assist in doing honour to Colonel Otter, and I need not assure you how glad I am to have such an opportunity of being present at this great demonstration to him in my public capacity, and also as an old friend and comrade. I rejoice to see him receive this well-earned appreciation from his fellow-countrymen. I first knew Colonel Otter when I was here with Lord Lansdowne, fifteen years ago. He had then made for himself a reputation as a first-rate officer and organizer, and when the rebellion broke out in the spring of 1885 he was given charge of the column destined to relieve Battleford. Though I myself served with another column,

A SPLENDID REGIMENT. — Referring to the nature of Colonel Otter’s command in South Africa, Lord Minto sald: ‘His was a magnificent regiment, composed of splendid material. It was raised in the shortest time, and under circumstances which reflected the greatest possible credits upon Canada; but is was composed of company units, raised from localities at very great distance from each other, ail full of magnificent esprit de corps, and full of the very best kind of material; but, when gathered as a battalion it must have been necessarily rather deficient in that internal machinery which is the main standby of the commanding officer.’Lord Minto then continued: ‘You ail remember, under the administration of Colonel Otter, the gallantry in the field of battle of Royal Canadians, who have so distinguished themselves. It was Colonel Otter’s lot to command the first Canadian régiment that left the shores of the new world. Now that he has returned to the Dominion, I hope it will fall to his part to organize the troops of the Dominion.’ (Applause.)..............

South African War; parade of returned Royal Canadian Regiment troops on Yonge St., looking n. from s. of Charles St. 5th Nov. 1900.

AN OVATION TO OTTER. — The toast of Colonel Otter’s name was drunk with the greatest enthusiasm, the cheers and singing being kept up for some minutes. When the gallant Colonel rose to respond there was another tremendous outburst. Colonel Otter replied to the toast as follows: — ‘Your Excellency and kind friends. I feel that I am beginning one of the most trying ordeals that have fallen to my lot during the last fifteen months, viz., that of properly acknowledging this more than enthusiastic reception this evening. Your Excellency has kindly said you hoped and you have no doubt that I shall get my reward from those in authority, but I will ask you, can any man ask for more than I received to-night? Can anyone give me the respect, the confidence, the love, I may say, that is shown me this evening? No, good friends, I am satisfied. You trusted me. You had confidence in me when I left fourteen months ago. You had every confidence in me ; and now, after fourteen months have elapsed, after I and the others have gone through many hardships, privations and troubles, you meet me here to say: ‘Otter, you have done well.’ I cannot ask for more. I do not. I am perfectly well satisfied that you most intimate, and my best friends, can certainly now take me by the hand and say: ‘Otter, you have done well.’ It is useless for me this evening to try to thank you properly for this demonstration. If I strive to do so I cannot, I feel that I shall go to bits. But, believe me, that while I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for this, that I fully appreciate its whole meaning, and that I am more than satisfied with the welcome that you have given me, I don’t think it is fair or right to the regiment, that I have had the honour to command for some time past, to sit down without craving permission to say a few words in connection with their services.......................................

THOSE LEFT ON THE VELDT. — ‘All this was not done, of course, without loss. Many who left with me from Québec in health and spirits were left on the veldt; many others have returned with me, but not the same men, and never to be the same men again. The regiment had its full share of losses, its full share of sickness and of every other privation that falls to the lot of the soldier in active service. It may be of interest to you to hear that our deaths numbered 70, and wounded 120 and that 400 were invalided from fever. His Excellency has referred to the Royal Canadians as having been the first battalion that had the honour of rubbing shoulders with the Imperial troops. Such is the case, and I am glad to be able to tell you that that association was one of the greatest possible pleasure..........

MANY ANXIOUS MOMENTS. — ‘One cannot, of course, go through a campaign such as occurred in South Africa without some anxious moments, and those we had. In connection with this, I might refer to one in particular, viz., in the cold, dark morning of the 27th February last, when, at 2 a. m., we began our advance on the Boer laager at Paardeberg. We experienced then trying moments, moments that none of those who have survived will ever be likely to forget. We felt in those moments that not only the reputation of the regiment, but that of Canada and the future of the campaign rested upon us. The interval between the time in which we left our own trenches until that when we came under the fire of the enemy, at less than 100 yards from their trenches,...................

Canadian Second Anglo-Boer War Toronto Souvenir, 1900.

A RECORD OF GOOD SERVICE. — ‘This was only the beginning of the record of good service of Canadians in South Africa. Much more was to follow, for there were other Canadians who had come to join us. You all, no doubt, recollect the death grip with which the Second Canadian Mounted Rifles held on at Honing Spruit. You recollect the spirited march of the Canadian artillery to the relief of Mafeking. You recollect the glorious death of Borden and of Burch at Reitz Vlei, followed by that of Captain Chalmers,........................

MADE ARCHIE STAND UP. — Cries of ‘Stand up, Archie.’ Captain McDonnell was received with great cheering. Colonel Otter continued: ‘ We have nicknamed him ‘Light-house,’ and he will answer to that name.’



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