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Title: The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada

Date of first publication: 1901

Author: Ernest J. (John) Chambers 1862-1925

Date first posted: June 21, 2017

Date last updated: June 21, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20170638

This ebook was produced by: Brenda Lewis, David T. Jones, Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

From the Oil Painting by Lafayette.

The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada


I.The First Upper Canada Militia.
II.The Upper Canada Militia of 1812.
III.The Militia of the Rebellion of 1837.
IV.The Volunteer Rifle Companies of “Fifty-Six.”
V.Organized as a Battalion.
VI.The Fenian Excitement.
VII.The Baptism of Blood at Ridgeway.
VIII.A Period of Peace and Progress.
IX.The North-West Rebellion—With Otter to Battleford.
X.Fighting Poundmaker at Cut Knife Hill.
XI.Fifteen Years of Regimental Work and Development.
XII.Queen’s Own Men in Khaki.
XIII.Under the Admiring Gaze of Royalty.
XIV.An Honorable Record on the Rifle Range.







V.C., K.G., K.P., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E.,





Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year

one thousand nine hundred and one, at the Department

of Agriculture, by E. L. Ruddy.



Printing by R G McLean

    Binding by Wilson, Munroe & Cassidy

        Paper by Ritchie & Ramsay



the preface to that splendid series of regimental records, “Cannon’s Histories” of the British regiments, the prime motive of the King in ordering the preparation of those familiar works of reference is thus explained:

“The character and credit of the British Army must chiefly depend upon the zeal and ardour by which all who enter into its service are animated, and consequently it is of the highest importance that any measure calculated to excite the spirit of emulation, by which alone great and gallant deeds are achieved, should be adopted.

“Nothing can more fully tend to the accomplishment of this desirable object than a full display of the noble deeds with which the military history of our country abounds. To hold forth these bright examples to the imitation of the youthful soldier, and thus to incite him to emulate the meritorious conduct of those who have preceded him in their honourable career, are among the motives which have given rise to the present publication.”

These sentences explain very clearly one of the practical benefits of every regimental history; but I have always considered that any history of a Canadian active militia regiment that does not appeal very directly to the interest of the reading public outside the regiment, and in a special way to the whole of the militia, falls far short of accomplishing what such a publication should.

I fully realize the danger of attempting to embrace within the necessarily limited space of a regimental history anything like a complete history of our service, but feel that a mere bald record of any one regiment’s organization and services must be flat and unquestionably unprofitable, without some preliminary reference, however brief, to the military conditions existing in the district of its origin previous to its organization, or without some notice of military events in the country outside of those with which the regiment in question chanced to be directly connected. Consequently, while not forgetting that the work with which I have been entrusted is the preparation of a regimental history, I have endeavored to produce a publication which will have something more than a mere regimental interest, and with such a regiment as the Queen’s Own Rifles as my theme, it is my own fault if I have failed to accomplish that much.

The greatest good can be accomplished by drawing the attention of the reading, thinking public of Canada to the history of such a fine and representative regiment as the Queen’s Own Rifles. It shows under what discouragements and difficulties such corps are maintained, and gives an insight into the great sacrifices the public service of the country calls upon the militiaman to make. It recalls, too, the invaluable service rendered to Canada by her patriotic militia, and helps to keep alive the military spirit in the Dominion. This latter is not the least important of the functions of the militia force itself, in my humble opinion.

There are those, who, professing a great abhorrence of war, deprecate the fostering of a military spirit in the community, on the supposition that such a course is but calculated to produce warfare and jeopardize the commercial prosperity, the political independence and the domestic happiness of the country. However these good people arrive at such a childish conclusion, it is impossible to imagine. For the people of a country to say that they abhor war is not to insure peace, though it unquestionably expresses a worthy and honorable feeling. As a matter of fact the progress of a country along the paths of peace but brings nearer the risk of war. The commonly accepted theory is that peace produces national wealth, war national poverty; that wealth is power, and that the nation which can preserve peace long enough to give her a great preponderance of wealth, can command permanent peace throughout the length and breadth of the world. And this reasoning, in spite of the obvious fact that the increase of the commerce and wealth of a country increases its vulnerability and excites the cupidity and invites the attack of its neighbors! No country can be reasonably powerful, whether for purposes of war or for purposes of peace, unless it has the practical means at hand to vindicate its character. Solon remarked to Croesus when the latter showed him his treasure:—“Yes, sir, but if another should come with better iron than you, he would be master of all this gold.” The Duke of Cambridge, in a service speech, once said that “Where there is a great physical power in existence, peace is the result of that power, not war.” The only way a country can manifest its sincerity in the wish to preserve peace is to keep well prepared for war, and to sturdily maintain the military spirit of its population, rather than to proclaim from the housetops its adhesion to the cowardly, destructive, wicked doctrine of peace at any price. The present bloody war in South Africa is primarily due to the effect produced upon the Boer mind by the tremendous concessions, honorably enough, but supremely foolishly, made by a former British government, in pursuance of a milk-and-water policy along the lines of the impracticable principles of those good people who vainly expect the longed-for time when the spears shall be turned into pruning hooks to be hastened by the suppression of the military spirit in the various communities which go to make up this world’s struggling population. If Canadians are proud of and attached to the tie which binds them to the British Empire, as of course they are, they have special cause to cherish the military spirit of the country, a spirit which had its honest origin in the first military settlers from France and Britain, a spirit which repelled invasions in 1776, 1812, 1866 and 1870, and a wholesale appreciation of which was largely responsible for the preservation of peace upon many a threatening occasion. And as the maintenance of the Canadian militia has depended upon the military spirit of the country rather than upon official encouragement, so is it unquestionably true that the militia organization has done much on its part to keep alive the military spirit.

While the loyal heart of Canada still throbs with proper pride at the praise bestowed upon those of her martial sons who but recently returned from South Africa, after assisting some of the other cubs of the lion to wipe something off the slate, a history of a regiment which has done perhaps more than any other to keep up a wholesome military spirit in the Dominion, and has helped to elevate the standard of efficiency in the Canadian militia, should be of general interest not only in Canada but throughout the Empire.

And at a time like the present, when the officers and men of the Queen’s Own Rifles, and their friends and admirers, are rejoicing over the fact that so many of the past and present members of their distinguished regiment have during the campaign now drawing to a conclusion been able to render conspicuous service to the Empire, they might naturally be expected to welcome a connected record of the origin and past services of their corps with special satisfaction.

I have esteemed it a proud privilege to be entrusted with the writing of this history of Toronto’s crack rifle regiment, but must admit that I have found the responsibility involved a very serious one. For the regiment itself has always held such a conspicuously prominent place in the military service and in the military history of Canada, and so many of its former members have distinguished themselves in other corps, that to give as thorough a record of what the regiment and members thereof have accomplished as I would wish, would involve the writing of several bulky volumes. Being restricted for space I have been unable to enter as fully as I would like into some of the stirring incidents of the regiment’s honorable career, but I hope that the following pages may convey a fairly accurate idea of the splendid services rendered to Canada and the Empire by one of the oldest and most efficient volunteer military organizations in the country, and at the same time assist to some extent perhaps, in fostering that invaluable military virtue of esprit-de-corps, which has always been such a pronounced characteristic of the Queen’s Own Rifles.

I would like to add that, although never a member of the Queen’s Own, I have had a very intimate acquaintance with the regiment and many of its members extending over many years, and can speak with personal knowledge and independence of the fine soldierly spirit which animates all ranks.

I have stood on parade with the regiment several times at Toronto and elsewhere and have been no less impressed with their steadiness and soldierly bearing under arms than by the admirable spirit of true comradeship manifested in camp and in private life. It was my privilege to meet with the service battalion of the Queen’s Own during the Northwest Rebellion at Qu’Appelle, Battleford and Winnipeg, and I can conscientiously say that of all the battalions which were called out on active service at that stirring period of the Dominion’s history none presented a smarter appearance, none stood better with their sister corps throughout the campaign, and none returned with a more creditable record than did the service battalion of this regiment.

The following pages will show that the regiment during the campaign of 1885 but lived up to its previous record.


38a Park Avenue, Montreal,

   November 19th, 1901.


Raise high the monumental stone!

A nation’s fealty is theirs,

And we are the rejoicing heirs,

The honored sons of sires whose cares

We take upon us unawares,

As freely as our own.

Charles Sangster.


he story of the origin and services of the old Ontario Militia is the history of the heroic age of Canada’s premier province. It embraces some of the loftiest deeds of the years that have vanished, it includes the tales of the toils and sufferings, the discouragements and manly determination to persevere, the sore temptations and the unswerving loyalty, the defeats and the victories of heroic men—the men who sacrificed so much, who fought so well, who died so nobly, to keep that peerless emblem of true constitutional liberty—the British flag—flying over Canada in those perilous days of 1812.

The first Canadian militia to see active service under the British flag in what is now the Province of Ontario were French Canadians from the sister province. The capitulation of Montreal took place September 8th, 1760, and the treaty ceding Canada to Britain was only signed at Versailles in February 1763. In 1764 Pontiac’s conspiracy broke out, and early in the summer 300 militiamen from Quebec, Montreal and Three Rivers were despatched with the regulars for the relief or re-capture of the western posts. The special work which these militiamen were expected to perform was rather that of voyageurs than that of soldiers, but not altogether, as the services of the detachments commanded by Godefroi, Bellerive and Baby prove very distinctly. These special service companies were organized by voluntary enlistment under the old militia system which had existed under the French regime.

The first French militia was organized in 1649 when the colony of New France did not include more than 1,000 white people, fifty men being called out to assist in repelling an Iroquois raid. From that date until the present there has never ceased to be some sort of a militia in Canada. In fact there was a militia in Canada before there were regulars. The first soldiers to come to Canada in a military organization—the Carignan Regiment—came from France in 1665 and returned in 1669 except one company, which was eventually disbanded in New France. Count Frontenac reorganized the militia in 1674, and its organization remained the same until 1760, when the British accepted not merely a similar form of organization, but recommissioned many of the officers of the old regime, restoring to them not only their military ranks, but the judicial and other civic functions they had exercised under the old system.

Under the old French system every man was subject to be called upon for military service, the selection of men when a levy was required being left to the militia officers of the districts. These officers also acted as justices of the peace and as overseers of the rough public works such as road and bridge making, ordered by the Government. So that the militia was an important institution in peace as well as in war, and to the fact that it was an institution cherished by Britain’s new French-speaking subjects in America, is largely due the first steps taken under the British regime to improve the system. The French militia system can hardly be said to have existed in what is now the Province of Ontario, for the French hunters and traders who penetrated into that region were generally of the coureur-du-bois or out-law class. There were no settlements of any account around the established posts, and the garrisons were composed of regular troops. The history of Fort Rouillé, near the site of the City of Toronto, illustrates the fact that the western posts were maintained for purposes of trade with the Indians only, and not as the permanent centres of settlement as in the case of posts on the Richelieu and the Lower St. Lawrence. Fort Rouillé, which was established in 1749, appears from the first to have been spoken of popularly as Toronto. The erection of the fort was ordered by M. de la Gallissoniere while Governor-General, but the order was executed under the rule of his successor, the Marquis de la Jonquiere. The object was to intercept the Indian trade then being directed across the lake to Oswego. The fort was simply a stockaded, wooden storehouse with accommodation for the store keeper and a few regular soldiers. It appears to have been considered a less important post than those at Fort Niagara and Fort Frontenac (Kingston), but we learn on the authority of good missionaries that it excelled in hospitality if not in importance. The slender garrison of the little French trading post appears to have had a fairly quiet time of it for some years, but the progress of the war between English and French brought its difficulties for the store keeper, as the chief officer of the post was called, and in 1752 the French authorities had reported to them a plan suggested by the English to the Indians to destroy the fort. In 1757 the fort nearly fell a victim to the treachery of a war party of the Mississagas who had been summoned from their hunting grounds north of Lake Huron to join the French armies concentrating at Montreal. The party of warriors encamped near the fort, and by way of a breach in the monotony of their long march to the headquarters of their white allies, prepared a cunning plan to surprise their lonely little outpost on Toronto Bay. The motive was one easily appreciated by any who have had experience of the North American Indian—a desire to gain possession of the ample supplies of brandy reported to be stored up in the log warehouses of the fort. The garrison consisted of Monsieur Varren, the keeper, and ten men under Monsieur de Noyelle, a military officer. The latter, being informed of the plot, did not hesitate to reduce his little force by two men, for the purpose of despatching a canoe across the lake to Fort Niagara for assistance. The result was the arrival the next day from Niagara of a welcome reinforcement of sixty-one men and two swivel guns under Captain de la Ferté of the Sarre Regiment and M. de Pinsonn, an officer of the Bearn Regiment. The arrival of this reinforcement averted the threatened peril, and the dusky allies of the King of France, abandoning their amiable designs upon His Christian Majesty’s subjects’ store of trading brandy, resumed their journey to Montreal. Colonel Bradstreet’s successful operations against Frontenac (Kingston) in 1758 caused the French authorities to prepare plans to meet similar onslaughts upon their long line of trading posts along the lakes. The weakness of a division of force in defensive operations was recognized, and arrangements made for a concentration of what force there was available, upon the first approach of danger. Those old French officers were wise in their strategy as well as daring in the field. It was not the Christian King’s soldiers who lost him his American colonies. If the enemy appeared at Toronto the fort was to be burned and the garrison and supplies transported to Niagara, which was a more defensible position. In 1759 the Marquis de Vaudreuil, the last French governor, issued orders for the Mississagas and other Northern Indian tribes to be concentrated at Toronto and despatched thence to Niagara for the defence of that post. This order having been executed, Fort Rouillé was destroyed and its garrison drafted to Fort Niagara, which capitulated to Sir William Johnson, July 20th, 1759, two months before the Union Jack replaced the fleurs-de-lys on the lofty ramparts of Quebec. In September 1760 the site of the old French fort was visited by Major Rogers, the famous New England bush fighter, with two hundred men of his historical corps of Rangers.

Before the Constitutional Act of 1791 separated Upper from Lower Canada, the old French militia laws applied, theoretically at least, to the whole of Canada.

The British officials appeared decidedly chary about continuing the French organizations. In 1764, before English immigration had fairly begun, orders were issued for the return into stores of all the arms of the militia. The order was received anything but graciously by the “King’s new subjects,” whose natural leaders, the militia officers and seigneurs, saw in the order a step towards the curtailment of their rights and privileges. This feeling of dissatisfaction was increased when the Quebec Act was passed in 1774 and it was found that there was no mention of the militia in it. The French Canadians protested their loyalty to their new king, but explained that they felt aggrieved at the apparent doubts existing in the official mind as to their sincerity. Meantime the dispute between Britain and her colonies was clearly drifting towards revolution, and martial law was proclaimed in Canada June 9th, 1775. At the same time Sir Guy Carleton issued an appeal to the militia, but, thanks to the disarmament and complete disorganization of the militia, the response was disappointing, for practically the militia had no existence except on paper, and but very little of that. As the American invasion developed, some sort of organization of the Quebec and adjacent militia districts was effected, and how well the French Canadians justified their professions of loyalty is known to all who have read of the repulse of Arnold and Montgomery at Quebec. Sir Guy Carleton maintained three companies of militia on a war footing until 1783 and made a serious attempt to have the sedentary militia organized and drilled. In 1777 an ordinance relative to the militia was passed, and the same year, according to Mr. Benjamin Sulte, the interesting author of “Histoire de la Milice Canadienne-Francaise,” Carleton forwarded to Lord George Germain a list of the rebels, agitators and suspects in the colony. Mr. Sulte adds the interesting fact that there was not a single French name on the list. But meantime the French Canadian subjects of the king were not exactly satisfied, and one of their grievances was the disposition to neglect the militia. In 1783 there were, as explained by Mr. Sulte, three burning questions of vital importance keenly agitated for by the king’s new subjects: The creation of an elective chamber, the establishment of public schools and the reorganization of the militia—all worthy objects.

It was July, 1793, that Toronto (the name had been changed to York) received its first permanent British garrison. The site of the once busy trading post had been a solitude since the passing of the French regime, and nothing but a few trenches, some mounds of earth, rows of pickets and charred stumps and timber remained to remind the visitor of the enterprise of the Frenchmen. Governor Simcoe, however, selected the historical spot as the site for his new capital, and in the month in question detachments of the corps of Queen’s Rangers proceeded from Newark (Niagara), the old capital, to York, and were joined in due course by the Governor himself and the rest of the regiment. Governor and garrison appear to have passed their first year under canvas, or at least in huts of most flimsy construction. The first military function of any account appears to have taken place on August 27th, 1793, when, by order of the Governor, the Union flag was raised at noon and a royal salute of 21 guns fired by the troops and answered by the shipping in the bay, in honor of the Duke of York’s victories in Flanders.

During the early years of York’s existence her military garrison appear to have had a variety of occupations to engage their attention. We read of the Queen’s Rangers building roads, constructing huts, storehouses and a landing pier, and converting the garrison creek into a navigable canal, with sluices, etc. Official documents still in existence show that the soldiers were compensated to some extent for these heavy fatigue duties by liberal allowances of rum.

The Queen’s Rangers had been raised for service in Upper Canada by Simcoe, and named after a fighting corps bearing that title which performed conspicuous service under his command during the Revolutionary War. The original Queen’s Rangers were raised among the loyalists of the revolted American colonies in 1777 and participated in the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, the costly price Britain paid for losing for a short time the command of the sea. There were many corps of American loyalists fighting for the flag of Britain during the Revolutionary War, a fact which deserves to be remembered in this connection being, that at one time the number of loyal Americans in the ranks nearly equalled the number of the entire congressional army. And it was these same loyalists, or some of them, who, as everybody knows, laid firm and deep the constitutional foundations of the preeminently loyal province of Ontario. The story of the cruel persecutions, the criminal bespoiling, the practical expulsion, the pathetic exodus of the heroic champions of a lost cause is well enough known. Suffice it here to say that 10,000 loyalists had made what is now Ontario their home, when the first meeting of the legislature of Upper Canada met at Newark in 1792. Immigration had brought another 2,000 people into the province, so that the total population was 12,000 souls. The loyalist settlers had been men of importance in the old colonies, and accustomed to the conduct of public affairs.

Many of them having just passed through rigorous military service, it was only to be expected that the organization of a militia would be early provided for. The Province was set apart from Lower Canada in 1791, the first legislature met, as stated, in 1792, the first militia law was passed in 1793. The law provided that every man between sixteen and fifty years of age was to be considered a militiaman. On obtaining the proper age he was obliged to enroll himself under penalty of a fine of four dollars for neglect. The whole force was divided into regiments and companies, and every company had to be inspected by its captain at least twice a year. No pay was provided for these parades, but officers and men failing to parade were fined respectively eight and two dollars for each offence.

At the first official enrollment of the Upper Canada militia there were 1,525 militia in the old district of Lunenburg, 1,141 in Mecklenburg, 600 in Nassau or Niagara, and 947 in Hesse or Detroit, of whom 721 were French Canadians.

In 1794 the Militia Act was amended and the extreme limit of service was increased to sixty years, and the militiamen made available for manning the war vessels on the lakes. This same year a considerable distribution of arms was made throughout the province. The difficulty regarding the delimitation of the western frontier and the proposed movement of General Wayne upon Detroit was causing uneasiness. Acting on the instructions of Lord Dorchester, the Governor General, two hundred militia were called out for the defence of Detroit, and another force of 400 was embodied and placed on a war footing along the Niagara frontier. This force was dismissed upon the settlement of the trouble in dispute by the conclusion of the Jay treaty.

At this time war was again threatened between Britain and the United States, and in the sister province as well as in Upper Canada the efficiency of the militia came in for much attention. Of course the militia of the two provinces were completely distinct organizations, but the legitimate ambition of the French Canadians to have conceded to them, through satisfactory militia commissions, official positions of trust and honor in the province, was to lead to the establishment of a regiment in which not a few members of the Upper Canada militia were to take service and gain a military training which served the force in good stead eventually.

In 1784 Pierre Ducalvet, a leading citizen of Montreal, published an appeal for practical recognition of the militia, and realizing, apparently, the difficulty of acquainting the French Canadian officers with the British system and discipline, urged the establishment of a permanent colonial regiment of two battalions enlisted in the province, with British field officers and captains and French Canadian subalterns and non-commissioned officers, appointed by the Governor. This regiment was to be divided into some twenty detachments and quartered in the rural districts, to be an example for and act as schools for the sedentary militia. It was pointed out that in time of peace the regiment would be a valuable nucleus for the militia. For ten or twelve years the discussion of the burning militia question revolved around this “Appeal,” but the authorities showed no disposition to take action. So annoyed were the people, that at the first sitting of the legislature after the inauguration of the parliamentary system, a number of the members demanded the revocation of the ordinance concerning the militia altogether. The growing feeling among the French Canadians that they were mistrusted was somewhat appeased in 1793, when the Duke of Kent chose a dozen young French Canadians of good families for commissions in the British Army. The development of the war clouds in 1794 concentrated attention once more on the scheme detailed in Ducalvet’s appeal. Carleton (then Lord Dorchester), whose confidence in the French Canadians was only equalled by their admiration for and gratitude to him, expressed himself in favor of the carrying out of the main features of the proposition. When he left for England in 1796 Europe was in arms and the British regulars had been largely withdrawn from Canada. Before sailing, Carleton organized a regiment of two battalions very much after the plan suggested by Ducalvet and advocated with so much persistence for so many years by its author and others. The regiment was raised by voluntary enlistment and called “The Royal Canadian Regiment.” It was organized very promptly, each battalion being recruited up to an authorized strength of ten companies of sixty men each. The first battalion (Lieut.-Col. the Baron de Longueuil commanding) was composed exclusively, or almost so, of French Canadians, the second battalion being principally composed of English speaking men, many of them from the Upper Province. The list of officers of the regiment gives a fair idea of the extent of Upper Canada representation in the ranks. In the list published in Mr. Sulte’s book we find the following officers of British names in the list of the first battalion:—Richard Hay, Robert Anderson, Lieutenants; Rev. Salter Mountain, Chaplain; James Anderson, Surgeon.

First Commanding Officer of the Q. O. R.

The officers of the second battalion were as follows:—Lieut.-Colonel, John McDonnell; Major, Hazelton Spencer; Captains, Peter Drummond, Hector MacLean, Hugh MacDonnell, Neil MacLean, Miles McDonnell, Wm. Johnson, Angus McDonell, E. Taschereau, P. I. Maillot; Ensigns, P. de Boucherville, Wm. Deace, Peter Grant, Geo. Ermatinger, Chas. Lammire, Jos. Boardwine, Robert Doolsay; Chaplain, Abbe Duval; Adjutant, John Crompton; Quarter-Master, Andrew Cameron; Surgeon, James Davidson; Assistant Surgeon, Cyrus Anderson.

Upon organization the first battalion went into barracks in the City of Quebec; in the spring of 1797 it went under canvas at Point Levis as had been the custom of the regular troops. The second battalion passed the years 1796-7 in Montreal, with detachments at Sorel, St. John’s and Laprairie. In the spring of 1798 the first battalion proceeded to Montreal, the second to Quebec. By this time the regiment had become more like a regular corps than a militia one existing for instructional purposes rather than for garrison duties. As the war in Europe progressed, and the war of 1812 approached, Canada became more and more denuded of regular troops, and the Royal Canadians more and more resembled regulars. Both battalions were split up into small detachments and placed on garrison duty throughout the two provinces. In 1799 the project of adding the regiment to the regular service was discussed, but publicly abandoned, and the regiment was finally disbanded in 1802, when it was vainly hoped that the Peace of Amiens assured a long cessation of warfare in Europe and America. Many of the officers and men of the regiment after the disbandment settled in Upper Canada, and they, with the original Upper Canadians who had joined the regiment on its organization, made an important and well trained addition to the militia of the province at what proved to be a very important time.

We now come to the record of the first militia organization at York.

In 1798, while the Hon. Peter Russell was acting as the President of the Council, between the withdrawal of Governor Simcoe and the appointment of the Hon. Peter Hunter as President, it was decided that there should be a regiment of militia established at York. Accordingly an Order-in-Council was passed, and the Hon. D. W. Smith, Surveyor-General, was appointed Colonel. The Colonel then drafted the following officers, who were placed on the records and approved by the President-in-Council, as follows:—Col., the Hon. D. W. Smith; Lieut.-Col., John Smith, Esq., J.P., formerly captain in the British militia; Major, vacant; Deputy-Lieutenants, William Jarvis, Esq., professing to have the Governor’s commission as deputy-lieutenant and colonel of the York militia, East Riding; Richard Beasley, Esq., J.P., Member of Parliament, West Riding. To be Captains—Mr. Wm. Graham, formerly a captain in the King’s service and now on half pay; Mr. Fred. Baran de Lean, formerly a captain in the German troops, employed by His Majesty; Richard Beasley, Esq., Member of Parliament, now captain in the Lincoln militia; John Wilson, Esq., J.P., formerly captain of militia in Nova Scotia; Mr. Wm. Chewitt, of the Surveyor-General’s Department, formerly captain of militia in the eastern district; Mr. Wm. Berczy; Mr. George Playter, a U.E. Loyalist and pensioned; Mr. Thomas Ridout, lieutenant, from the Lincoln militia; Mr. Alex. Burns, Secretary to His Honor the President; Mr. Benjamin Mallory. To be Lieutenants—Mr. John Denison, formerly officer in the British militia; Mr. W. Allan, lieutenant from the Lincoln militia; George Chisholm, Esq., justice of the peace; Mr. Alexander Wood; Mr. Jacob Herkimer; Mr. Edward Wright, formerly quarter-master Queen’s Rangers; Mr. Archibald Cameron, merchant, formerly sergeant of the Queen’s Rangers; Mr. Thomas Barry, merchant; Mr. Samuel Heron, merchant; Mr. Archibald Thomson, formerly a militia officer; Mr. Wheeler Douglas, merchant miller; Mr. Algerman. To be Ensigns—Mr. James Ruggles, merchant; Mr. Gamble; Mr. John Tenbroch; Mr. Samuel D. Cozens; Mr. A. T. Ruggles, merchant. Staff—Mr. Alex. Macnab, to be Adjutant, with rank of Lieutenant; Mr. Abner Miles, to be Quarter-master.

Meantime, thanks to the military instinct of the first Governor and to the military spirit which animated the soldier-settlers, the development of a workable militia system was proceeding steadily throughout the whole of Upper Canada. In 1801 the Militia Act was amended to a trifling extent, and in 1808 a Militia Act was passed amending and consolidating the previous acts. The King’s birthday, June 4th, was set as the date of the annual muster, and the captains were compelled to call out their companies not less than twice nor oftener than four times each year for arm inspection and training. Each man was required to provide himself with “a sufficient musket, fusil, rifle or gun, with at least six rounds of powder and ball,” and the penalty for neglect in this particular was a fine of five shillings in peace and of forty shillings in time of war. In case of a man being proved to be incapable to provide himself with arms, they were issued to him by the government under certain restrictions. The clear intention was to provide a large force of sharpshooters or bush fighters to act as auxiliaries to a regular army in case of trouble, rather than to form the first line of defence. Some writers appear to think that such a force might safely replace the disciplined military organizations of to-day, and that, notwithstanding the fact that the backwoodsman and frontiersman have been replaced by the mechanic and the farmer.

A return of the enrolled militia for 1805 showed a total of 652 officers and 7,947 non-commissioned officers and privates. This year four thousand stands of arms were distributed among the militia.

That the people submitted to such an exacting militia law so cheerfully speaks volumes for the soundness of the loyalty of the province, and it promised well for the result when that loyalty was put to the supreme test of war.


All honor to the good and brave

  Who fought in days of old,

And shame upon the sordid knave

  Whose heart’s so dull and cold,

As not to feel an honest glow

  Of patriotic pride,

When he is told that long ago

  Such heroes lived and died.

John Reade.


or some time previous to the outbreak of hostilities, the feeling that the open antagonism of the dominant faction in the United States to Great Britain, and everything British, would lead to war, had been growing in Upper Canada. It was realized, too, that in the event of a breach of the peace, the province would have to sustain the perils and vicissitudes of a bloody campaign on its own borders, for though American hatred of Britain was brought to a focus through the dispute as to the right of search at sea, the immediate object sought for was the capture of Canada. As no less an authority than the present President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, tersely puts it in his very readable history of the Naval War of 1812. “Americans declared that Canada must and should be conquered, but the conquering came quite as near being the other way.” In their speeches American statesmen of the time went to no trouble to disguise their ambitions with regard to the conquest of the stronghold of British power on this continent. Thomas Jefferson, in 1812, remarked: “The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us experience for the attack on Halifax and the final expulsion of England from the American Continent.” Another as distinguished and equally optimistic statesman, Henry Clay, delivered himself of the following: “We have the Canadas as much under our command as Britain has the ocean. I would take the whole continent from them, and ask them no favors. I wish never to see a peace till I do.” The unnatural hatred which had led to the original persecution of the United Empire Loyalists, still existed among their former republican neighbors and was now principally directed towards the loyal province they had founded, and which was steadily developing into a thriving nursery for those noble principles of loyalty and constitutional liberty for which its founders had contended so devotedly and suffered so dearly. The founders of Upper Canada were inspired by well defined principles and ambitions, but these were not unfriendly or warlike.

In a letter written on the eve of his departure from England for Canada to take up the appointment of Governor of Upper Canada, Major-General Simcoe expressed in beautiful terms his hope to be able to effect a reconciliation and a reunion between Britain and her erstwhile colonies, the United States. He proceeded to explain that he hoped to accomplish his purpose not by aggression, but by making of the new province a model to show forth all the advantages of a British system and to demonstrate that such a province under British protection could have a superior, more happy, and more polished form of government that the United States could possibly obtain.

Among the people of England’s former colonies a deadly spite towards the loyal colony which had welcomed with open arms their staunch tory kinsmen aggravated that republican aggressiveness, that disregard for the liberty of others, and that cupidity which had led the young republic into the criminally rash and disastrous invasion of the Lower Province while barely on the threshold of its own existence. The events of the French revolution, of the Napoleonic wars, and of Britain’s bold stand as the champion of constitutional liberty, as opposed successively to republican license, anarchy, and military despotism, stirred up the more blatant demagogues in the United States, and led a grasping section of the people of that country to imagine that the time had come to bespoil the Mother Country, in her truly splendid isolation, of her American colonies and a goodly proportion of her world-wide commerce. The men who prated the loudest of their love of independence and freedom were the first to agitate for the stabbing of the country which stood alone in Europe as the champion of liberty and justice. As Mr. Roosevelt puts it in the book already quoted: “When the United States declared war, Great Britain was straining every nerve and muscle in a death struggle with the most formidable military despotism of modern times.” The military despotism referred to is of course that wielded by Napoleon, and Mr. Roosevelt admits that none of the acts of Britain considered as causes of the war “were more offensive than Napoleon’s Milan decree.”

While demagogues in the United States were as yet unsuccessful in their efforts to bring the national hostility to Britain to the fighting point, Upper Canada was quietly husbanding her slender military resources as best she might. The weight of the conflict was clearly to fall upon that well-disliked home of the exiled loyalists, and Britain was too much occupied in Europe to render much assistance.

As early as 1807 there was public official recognition of the impending danger, as the following circular letter, a copy of which is preserved in the Toronto Public Library, will show:

Government House, York, 26th November, 1807.


Sir,—It being explained that a proportion of the Militia should be in readiness for actual and immediate service, you are directed to call out the Militia under your command, and you are, by volunteers, or by ballot, to form a detachment of one-fourth of the whole, and such detachment having been inspected and found provided as by law required, you will dismiss them with orders to assemble at an hour’s notice, at such points as your discretion may dictate.

I am, Sir,

    Your obedient servant,

(signed) FRANCIS GORE,


The Hon. John M. Gill,

   Lieut. of the County of York,

      or in his absence to

      The Deputy Lieut. of the County.

It will be observed that there was no provision for paying the men, the idea being apparently to ascertain just how many men could be depended upon at short notice.

Governor Gore in his speech at the opening of the provincial parliament in 1809, after referring indirectly to the uncertainty as to the maintenance of peace, remarked: “Under such circumstances it becomes us to prepare ourselves to meet every event, and to evince by our zeal and loyalty that we know the value of our constitution, and are worthy of the name of British subjects.”

The material available for military purposes was, if excellent in quality, certainly very insignificant as regards quantity. The census of 1811 showed that the entire population of Upper Canada only amounted to 77,000 and there were only 1,500 regulars in the country to defend a frontier 1,300 miles in length.

Major-General Brock, who succeeded Governor Gore in 1811, was one of those who anticipated hostilities, and formed his plans for the defence of Upper Canada some months before the declaration of war. But his available resources were very slim.

Congress passed the bill empowering the President to declare war against Great Britain, June 18th, 1812.

In many parts of the United States the injustice of the war was publicly acknowledged. Virginia formally denounced the attempt to convert the Canadians into traitors preparatory to making them good American citizens. There was intense opposition to the war in New England, and in the port of Boston the shipping raised its flags at half-mast in token of mourning at the proclamation of a war so unnatural and ruinous. Minute guns were fired in other American cities.

Second Commanding Officer of the Q. O. R.

Three days after war was declared, Wellington crossed the Agueda at the commencement of the glorious Salamanca campaign. The mother country had embarked upon the Peninsula campaign in grim earnest, and the victorious advance of the Iron Duke’s legions was not to be checked until they had hurled the French invader across the Pyrenees and had victoriously paraded as conquerors through the streets of Paris. The power of the British Empire was mighty, but it was greatly dispersed. It was employed not merely in the Iberian Peninsula but in the East and West Indies, Africa and Sardinia.

The Royal Navy had to blockade nearly all the principal ports and rivers of Europe and was compelled to maintain fleets in the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. So many ships did Britain have to maintain in commission that most of them were very imperfectly manned. With every man and every bayonet so badly needed elsewhere, Canada was denuded of regular troops. Upon the declaration of war the United States put 175,000 men—a number exceeding the total male population of British North America capable of bearing arms—under arms at once. But there was no wavering among the people of Canada, one only feeling of loyalty animated the whole population.

Three months before war was declared, February, 1812, the formation of two flank companies from each militia regiment was authorized by the legislature. This authorization was somewhat on the lines of Sir Francis Gore’s circular of five years earlier. The object was to organize the men in each district immediately available for actual service. This time the volunteers were required to drill six days each month, no pay being provided. This enrollment of service companies was part of the project of the sagacious Brock for preparing the province for defence. The flank companies were so quickly filled with volunteers that Brock proceeded at once to extend the system. He applied for the men to be served with rations from the Imperial stores on drill days, and also asked for uniforms. As it was, the militiamen were instructed to provide themselves with a jacket, or short coat of dark colored cloth, and a round hat. On the declaration of war, Brock at once called out the flank companies, which produced a force of 800 men. These companies within three months were to cover themselves with glory at Detroit and Queenston Heights. Many of these men provided their own arms, but there were more volunteers without weapons pouring in than there were arms to issue, for the arsenals were but poorly provided. Many of the men were wretchedly clothed and many without shoes. Brock’s appeal for uniforms for his volunteer militiamen, however, appears to have been granted, for we read that of the militia he had with him at Detroit 400 “were disguised in red coats.”

The first actual operation of the war in Upper Canada after the declaration of hostilities appears to have been the despatch by General Brock of two companies of the 41st Regiment, then in garrison at Toronto, to Fort George, the detachment being en route within three hours of the receipt of the news.

On August 6th, Brock left York for Amherstburg, then threatened by General Hull with 2500 men, accompanied by a hundred volunteers from the militia composing the garrison of the capital. Hull, having considered discretion the better part of valor, and having withdrawn himself and his force to their own side of the river, a junction was quietly effected at Amherstburg with Colonel Proctor of the 41st Regiment and his force of 200 regulars and militia. Tecumseh and his Indians having joined Brock, the latter determined to carry out a plan he had formed as long previous as February to capture Detroit. There was no time lost, the assault was delivered on Oct. 16th, the Union Jack replaced the Stars and Stripes on the fort, and Hull and his whole force surrendered and were despatched as prisoners of war to Quebec. Truly an astonishingly successful result, and a noble baptism of blood for the York militia, who were so soon to win imperishable renown at the fierce struggle on Queenston Heights.

It is unnecessary here to enter into the details of the service rendered during the campaign by the militia of Upper Canada, except to point out that militiamen took part in all of the operations of the war and bore a distinguished part in the long series of bloody battles, including Queenston Heights, Stony Creek, Beaver Dam, Chrysler’s Farm and Lundy’s Lane. A considerable portion of the militia called out on active service was chiefly useful as irregulars, scouts, sharpshooters, etc., very important functions in such a campaign, but there were some of the Upper Canada corps, such as the battalions of Incorporated Militia and the Glengarry Light Infantry, raised in 1811 by Colonel George McDonnell, formerly of the 8th King’s Regiment, which fought through the campaign in the battle line, shoulder to shoulder with the regular line regiments, regiments whose fine discipline, manœuvring capacity and steadiness in the rude shock of battle was never counted upon in vain.

Between the close of the campaign of 1812 and the resumption of operations in 1813, the Legislatures of both Upper and Lower Canada met and passed large votes for the equipment of a considerable force of militia, and in course of time 8,000 men were under arms in Canada. This was considered a large force at the time, but really it was a pitifully slight array for the protection of 1800 miles of frontier threatened by United States armies aggregating 27,000 regulars and militia.

The opening of the campaign of 1813 was a decidedly discouraging one for the militia of the York district, for it brought with it the humiliation of the capture of York itself, practically by surprise, on April 28th. The details of this regrettable incident are sufficiently familiar to the ordinary military reader to leave little cause for reference to them here.

The descent of General Dearborn and Commodore Chauncey with their force of ten armed vessels and 2800 men was so far unexpected that no adequate means of defence had been attempted. A rude block house and fort at the entrance of the harbor, with a few intrenchments and batteries, very poorly armed, were the sole attempts at fortification. There were only sixty Glengarry Fencibles and a few Indians on hand to oppose the landing of the invaders at Humber Bay, and there were available altogether for the defence of Toronto only 300 regulars and 220 militia. The regulars formed part of the 8th King’s (now the Liverpool) Regiment, and a small detachment of the Newfoundland Regiment. When General Sheaffe withdrew his force of regulars he left the officers in command of the militia to make what terms they could with the enemy. On behalf of the inhabitants, Colonel Chewett and Major Allan of the militia, (the 3rd York), and Lieutenant Gouvreaux, of the provincial marine, subscribed to the terms of capitulation.

Major William Allan was the second in command of the East York battalion of the Third York Militia Regiment which was first enrolled in 1811 or early in 1812. This regiment consisted at organization of two battalions, the East York and the West York. The most complete list obtainable of the East York battalion’s officers during the war, that of 1813, is as follows:—Lieutenant-Colonel, William Chewett; Major, William Allan; Captains, John Button, John Wilson, Peter Robinson, John Arnold, James Fenwick, James Mustard, Duncan Cameron, David Thomson, John Robinson, Samuel Ridout, Thomas Hamilton, John Burn, William Jarvis; Lieutenants, John H. Shultz, George Mustard, Burnet Vanderburg, Robert Stanton, George Ridout, William Jarvis, Edward McMahon, John Wilson, Eli Playter; Ensigns, Andrew Thom, A. Smalley, Donald McArthur, William Smith, Andrew Mercer, James Chewett, George Kuck, Edward W. Thomson, Charles Denison, George T. Denison, D’Arcy Boulton and Quarter-Master, Charles Baynes.

Many of these names have since become familiar in the history of the Upper Canada and Ontario Militia.

Towards the close of the war it was the fashion to speak of the incorporated militia as the King’s Canadian Legion. In 1814 a general order was issued prescribing the uniforms of the militia to be similar to those of the regular army, scarlet, and with blue facings, the same as worn by the “Royal” regiment.

The treaty of Ghent, which terminated the war, was signed December 24th, 1814, but it was some weeks later before hostilities actually terminated. The war, into which a section of the American people plunged so lightly, proved a most disastrous venture for the United States. The Republic did not gain an inch of territory, and the questions which were the ostensible cause of the war were left undecided, and were not even so much as referred to in the treaty. Canadian independence of republican control was of course assured, and so the promoters of the war could not claim to have gained anything. The losses sustained by their country on the other hand were fairly astounding. Though at the opening of the war the national vanity was tickled by an occasional unexpected naval victory over some of Britain’s undermanned and underarmed frigates, the mistress of the seas did not take long to assert her unquestioned right to the title. The United States navy was destroyed or imprisoned in its own harbors, 3,000 American merchantmen were captured, and the foreign trade of the country practically annihilated. The drain upon the financial resources of the republic had been so severe that direct taxation increased fifty per cent., and her credit had been so impaired that the government could not negotiate a loan. The Americans had had the humiliation of seeing no less than twelve armies, destined for the capture of Canada, defeated by inferior forces. Their national capital had been destroyed, and two states, Maine and Michigan, passed temporarily under the sway of the British flag.

Third Commanding Officer of the Q.O.R.
Now District Officer Commanding Military District No. 2.

The war had also during its course brought much loss and hardship to Canada, but it left a name of imperishable renown for the Canadian militia. In his speech at the opening of the Upper Canada Parliament, Feb. 6, 1816, Governor Gore, referring to the record of the men of the province during the war, remarked:—“The gallant defence of the colony by its own militia, supported during the early part of the war by a very small portion of His Majesty’s regular forces, has acquired for it a high distinction for loyalty and bravery. The obstinate contention with successive armies of invaders, and their ultimate discomfiture, had not failed to attract the notice of the world, and gives to this province an importance in public opinion which it becomes us to maintain.”


The midnight brought the signal-sound of strife,

The morn the marshalling in arms—the day

Battle’s magnificently stern array.



hen the Canadian Militia has been needed it has always been badly needed, but it is wonderful how soon the people of Canada, as a whole, appear to forget the claims of the service as soon as the period of actual service is over. It was so after the conclusion of the war in 1815. The old territorial militia system was kept up on paper, lists of officers were periodically published, and the ceremony of the annual muster, which was more of a picnic than anything else, was kept up. In the legislature the question of the Militia attracted occasional attention, but practically the force was dying a natural death, when the rebellion of 1837-38 stirred it into life again. The facts connected with the actual operations of the rebellion, the skirmish at Gallows Hill, the affairs of the “Caroline,” Prescott, etc., are sufficiently well known as to obviate the necessity of any special reference here further than to point out that the forces engaged were not units of militia, but parties of loyal enthusiasts hurriedly got together, and without any discipline at first; officers and non-commissioned officers being sworn in, selected, appointed, armed and accoutred on the emergency.

Machinery had been provided for keeping up a militia force in theory but not in practice. It looked very well on paper, however, and was practically the same system which had served very well in the last war. An occasional act was passed or order issued initiating some trifling change in the system.

May 16th, 1829, we find the following important militia order issued:

Militia General Order,

        York, Upper Canada, 16th May, 1829.

No. 1. His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor has been pleased to direct that in future the several regiments of Militia in this province shall consist of two battalions each, the first battalion to be composed of men not exceeding forty years of age; the second or reserve battalion of such men as may be within the limits of the Corps, from that age to the period established by law.

No. 2. The attendance of the reserve battalion may be dispensed with on next day of assembling.

No. 3. The establishment of the first battalion will be eight companies of light infantry (when they can be formed of thirty men each). These will be divided into a right and left wing.

No. 4. One company in each wing will be armed with rifles.

No. 5. Young men under the age of eighteen enrolled for the militia will not be assembled with the battalion, but commanding officers will make arrangements for their being instructed in small divisions in their own homes.

No. 6. It is recommended that the Militia fines, which are placed at the disposal of colonels of regiments for the incidental expenses of the corps may be expended in remunerating one sergeant in each company to be employed in drilling the young men who are not called out with the battalion.

No. 7. Colonels will be responsible that the fines are demanded from every individual who may be absent on the days appointed by law for the assembling of the Militia.

Colonel James Fitz Gibbon, whose name had become so conspicuous during the war of 1812, who was gazetted Colonel of the West York Regiment in 1826, and who at this period held a position in the Adjutant-General’s office, subsequently becoming Deputy Adjutant-General, under the auspices of Sir John Colborne, formed a drill corps during the year 1835, for such young men of Toronto as desired military instruction. A handful of well-connected young men had availed themselves of the opportunity. In 1836 Colonel Fitz Gibbon devoted himself with redoubled ardor to preparations for the insurrection which he declared would break forth before the next winter. He got together a rifle corps to the number of seventy, and drilled them twice a week with tireless enthusiasm, declaring that when the hour of trial should come, he and “his boys” would be found in their places, however the rest of the community might see fit to demean themselves. (“Dent’s Story of the Upper Canadian Rebellion.”)

As the time of the actual outbreak approached, the government continued to rest in undisturbed confidence. All through the autumn the Governor and his advisers received regular intelligence of secret drillings, of the manufacture of pikes and of other seditious proceedings, but all to no purpose. It appeared as though they persisted in regarding all the preparations as being merely for effect and to intimidate the government. Sir Francis B. Head himself, in his “Narrative,” page 315, shows that he had known exactly what the preparations of the rebels were, but thought it political wisdom to ignore them. “I considered it better,” he writes, “under all circumstances, to await the outbreak, which I was confident would be impotent, inversely as it was previously opposed; in short, I considered that, if an attack by the rebels was inevitable, the more I encouraged them to consider me defenceless the better.” It is a record of history, however, that Sir Francis early in the summer of 1837 felt perfectly secure. When Sir John Colborne asked Sir Francis how many troops in the Upper Province could be spared for the Lower Province, where prompt measures were being taken to suppress the threatened outbreak, the latter without a moment’s hesitation said “All,” and of course Colborne, with the promptness and caution of a veteran soldier, at once requisitioned all, and got them, not a company being even kept as a garrison in the city, which was the seat of the provincial government. The last detachment to be sent out of the province to Lower Canada consisted of a subaltern and thirty men withdrawn from Penetanguishene in November. When this little party was on its way to Toronto, Colonel Fitz Gibbon urged the Lieutenant-Governor to keep them in the city, in order that their presence might have an effect upon the local militia. “No, not a man,” answered His Excellency, “The doing so would destroy the whole morale of my policy. If the militia cannot defend the province, the sooner it is lost the better.” “Then, Sir,” entreated the hero of Beaver Dams and many another hard fight, “let us be armed, and ready to defend ourselves.” “No,” responded Sir Francis, “I do not apprehend a rebellion in Upper Canada.” (Dent.)

Fourth Commanding Officer of the Q. O. R.

The only preparation the Governor had consented to make was to permit of 4,000 stands of arms being brought from Montreal, but even then, he had neglected to have them properly guarded. As a matter of fact, they were handed over to the municipal authorities, who placed them in the old City Hall, with a couple of constables to keep watch over them at night. Fitz Gibbon, who appears to have been the only military official on the alert, was afraid that the rebels would some night overpower the two constables and gain possession of the arms. To guard against such a contingency he induced his rifle corps, whom he continued to drill with vigilant regularity, to volunteer a nightly guard of fifteen to twenty men to watch the City Hall, and to furnish two sentries to guard the approaches to Government House. The Governor refused, however, to have this arrangement carried out, remarking: “But that I do not like to undo what I have already done, I would have those arms brought from the City Hall and placed here in the Government House, under the care and keeping of my domestics.”

This was only a day or two before the Governor and the City of Toronto received that rude midnight awakening to learn that the rebels had fired the first shots of the rebellion at Montgomery’s Tavern.

After the Governor had been alarmed by Alderman Powell and Colonel Fitz Gibbon a number of volunteers, foremost among them Colonel Fitz Gibbon’s “boys,” presented themselves at the City Hall, and were promptly served out with the arms. Among these volunteers were the judges, merchants and other influential officials and citizens. To facilitate this hurried recruiting Alderman Powell rode through the city to give the alarm. It was decided to send a picket to the Yonge Street tollgate, and Judge Jones, by reason of his official position and high standing in the community, was given charge of it. Those long militia lists appear to have been forgotten.

By the following Thursday, December 7th, there were nearly 1,000 volunteers in Toronto, the whole under the command of Colonel Fitz Gibbon, and so many men kept pouring into the city that the Governor was forced to issue an order requesting them to stay at home, as there was no means of feeding them in Toronto.

Among the volunteers was a party, (perhaps they might be designated a corps), which forms a sort of link between the old Markham troop of the War of 1812 and “D” Squadron of the Governor-General’s Body Guard. In 1815 the troop was disbanded, but Captain Button, the commanding officer, kept a number of the uniforms, thinking that they might prove useful, and so they did. When news of the uprising reached Captain Button, he got some of his old troopers and a few other neighbors together, dressed them in the old uniforms, and rode into Toronto to proffer his services, (which proved very useful), at the head of twenty men.

After the first hubbub was over, the authorities were glad to avail themselves of the regular militia organizations.

The original order book of the First Regiment West York Militia, May 29, 1837, to November 26, 1838, is preserved in the Toronto Public Library. The contents are interesting, as showing the actual duties performed by the enrolled militia. The officers of the regiment were as follows: Lieutenant-Colonel, James G. Chewett; Major, George Denison; Captains, Thomas Denison, B. Turquand, Thomas Fisher, J. C. Goodwin, Robt. Harding, Walter Rose, Clarke Gamble, William Stennett; Lieutenants, John Powell, R. O. Denison, Jno. Caldwill, Myles B. Stewart, Edmond Ridout, Colley Foster, George Stegman, William Spragge, Geo. B. Ridout, G. D. Wells, Wm. Boulton, Theodore Hart; Ensigns, Aug. B. Sullivan, Geo. T. Denison, Alex. Shaw, Wm. James Coates, Geo. Shaw, Edward C. Fisher; Quartermaster, J. Murchison.

December 16, 1837, there appeared copied in regimental orders the following brigade order:—

“It is necessary that the sedentary militia of the Town should furnish two officers and fifty men daily, to parade at the Parliament House at 3 p.m. for duty until further orders. Each regiment should furnish one officer and twenty-five men, and commanding officers should make arrangements accordingly.

J. B. Macaulay, Colonel.”

A regimental order instructed Captain Gamble to take charge of the regimental detachment, which really was intended as a night guard.

Similar orders were issued October 24th, 1838. They required the First Regiment of East York Militia and the First Regiment of West York Militia to immediately call out for active service one Captain, four subalterns and 100 rank and file each. Captain Gamble was again ordered to take command of the service company. Company drills for the whole regiment were ordered the same date.

On the 9th of November a regimental order was issued designating the Parliament Buildings as the alarm post for the regiment.

It is estimated that during these rebellion troubles no less than 40,000 militiamen were called into service. There were four battalions of “Incorporated Militia,” uniformed like regular troops, and not disbanded until 1843; twelve Provincial battalions, and 106 regiments of country militia, as well as thirty-one corps of artillery, cavalry and rifles.


It is most meet we arm us ’gainst the foe;

For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom

But that defences, musters, preparations,

Should be maintained, assembled and collected,

As were a war in expectation.

Henry V. Act II.


o the hurly-burly and excitement of the rebellion years there succeeded another period of military stagnation in Canada. The form of the annual enrollment of the sedentary militia was gone through with, but there was no attempt at military training except in a few isolated and quite unofficial and unrecognized rifle clubs, and one or two equally unofficial cavalry troops. The annual muster and inspection or enrollment rapidly generated into very much of a farce, particularly in the rural districts, where many men had to travel great distances and lose several days time to attend a function which consisted in calling the roll, in giving three cheers for the Queen, and too often in considerable drinking of beer and liquor, and consequent rowdyism. There was no attempt at practical training for several reasons, among which the principal were that there was no time to accomplish anything in one day, that there was no one to give instruction, no knowledge of military affairs being exacted from the officers; and that there was no equipment for the men. The force simply consisted of the militia lists—a paper army.

The year 1841 was one of considerable importance to Canada and the Upper Canada Militia. The Act of the Union of the two Canadas passed by the British Parliament in 1840 came into effect by royal proclamation, February 10th, 1841, and thenceforth the militia became a national, instead of two distinct provincial institutions. By this Act the House of Assembly, the fore-runner of our Dominion Parliament, was conceded complete control over the revenue in all its branches, and the supervision of the entire expenditure of the country, including, of course, the militia vote. Then followed a period of active administrative reform and political excitement and development, during which there was not much interest bestowed upon the question of national defence, except by a few enthusiasts. At least one corps maintained its organization in the Toronto district, the original troop of the Governor-General’s Body Guard. It was first raised in 1822, and for fifteen years the men provided their own uniforms and drilled without arms. During the rebellion the troop was called out and armed by the government, and when the arms were called in at the termination of the trouble, the officers bought swords out of their own pockets to arm the troop. This arrangement continued until 1855, and though the troop was an entirely independent and self-supporting organization, it performed escort service at the time Lord Elgin opened parliament in Toronto in May, 1850. This troop, under the name of the York Dragoons, had been originally organized by Captain George Taylor Denison, a veteran of the war of 1812, in 1822, at the request of Lieutenant-Colonel William Chewett, commanding the First West York Infantry Militia, who was desirous of organizing a troop of cavalry in connection with his regiment. For its services in the rebellion the honorary title of the “Queen’s Light Dragoons” was bestowed upon the corps. In 1838 the organizer of the troop was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the West York Militia, and his son Richard L. Denison, gazetted Captain of the Troop in his place. So the name of Denison has long been a household word in the Toronto Militia. Up to the time the troop was gazetted into the active militia on the passage of the Act of 1855 it turned out periodically for drill and was taken on the strength of the reorganized force, uniformed, equipped and drilled. But this is anticipating somewhat.

Up to 1841 the militia of the two sister provinces had been organized on very similar systems. Universal liability to service was the underlying principle in both, and the ballot was always available in both to raise any active force required to be embodied, in the event of the number of volunteers offering being insufficient. But there were some points of divergence. In Upper Canada the militia was composed of all the male inhabitants between the ages of 18 and 60, and they had to muster annually for enrollment on June 4th, the old King’s birthday. Colonels, however, had the right to assemble their commands one day in each month for drill and inspection, but they seldom, if ever, did it. In Lower Canada the service age was from 16 to 60, and there were three muster days each year, namely, in June, July and August. The object of these musters was not merely enrollment, but “to review arms, to fire at marks, and for instruction in the exercise.” At the time of the union the muster rolls showed in Upper Canada, 248 battalions, with 117,000 men, and in Lower Canada 178 battalions and 118,000 men.

For want of service the military forces of the provinces were languishing. There was even very little local excitement, and the regulars were available to cope with any internal disorder. The first general election under the Act of Union was marked by riotous and stormy scenes. In Toronto, where the Hon. J. H. Dunn and Mr. Isaac Buchanan were the candidates, blood was shed in the streets and the military had to be called out before complete order was restored.

The dispute over the Oregon boundary in 1846 revived the drooping interest in the militia to some extent, and legislation then passed can almost be said to be the stepping stone between the old, purely sedentary, militia system and the present one, which encourages the maintenance of purely volunteer regiments under a militia system, and relegates the old sedentary militia organization very much to the back-ground, some good people may think too much so, perhaps. The Militia Act of 1846 continued the system of annual enrollment and universal service, but it provided for a classification of the militia, as at present, into active and reserve militia. The active militia was to be drawn by voluntary enlistment or ballot from among the men under forty, the remainder of the adult male population, with the usual exceptions, to form the reserve. The active militia force was not to exceed 30,000 men and had only to drill for one day, June 29th. Under this act, (9 Victoria, Chap. 28), the government divided the province into regimental and battalion divisions, the officers commanding battalions were supposed to divide their divisions into company divisions. The militia of both classes were required to enroll themselves in the month of June each year with the officer commanding the company within the limits of which they resided. The officer commanding the battalion was to make a return to the Adjutant-General, who in turn would inform the Colonel of the number of men required for active service. The officers commanding companies were then required to muster all the “First Class” men, and from them obtain by volunteers or ballot their quotas for active service. The enrollment of the men required for active service being completed, the governor was to order them to assemble “for the purpose of being formed into companies or battalions.” Militiamen were only required to serve for two years at a time, and the governor might on emergency embody the whole of any regiment. In event of the ballot being resorted to, substitutes were allowed. The force thus raised by the old territorial machinery of district colonels and captains, was obliged to drill but one day a year, namely, on June 29th. The organization of independent volunteer companies was also authorized, a very radical advance. The limitation of the annual training to one day detracts from the importance of this act, but it must be remembered that the total revenues of the country were but a little over five millions of dollars.

Fifth Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Own Rifles.

The militia under this Act certainly made a brave showing on paper, as the following list of the sedentary militia in York and Toronto, prepared by Major Thompson, shows:

1st Battalion York—Lieutenant-Colonel, Wm. Thompson, Nov. 10, 1846; Majors, Wm. Birdsall, Dec. 23, 1846, Samuel Price, Jan. 23, 1847; Captains, Jas. Patterson, W. H. Patterson, Duncan Merigold, W. A. Thompson, Duncan M. Campbell, F. W. Jarvis, Wm. McGrath, Jas. G. Thompson.

2nd Battalion York—Lieutenant-Colonel, W. A. Baldwin, 1849; Majors, George Bond, 1849, Geo. Dupont Wells, 1849; Captains, Wm. Moore, Jno. Wilson, Arch. Cameron, Jno. Anderson, Feranchli Jaches, Jacob Snider, Richard Playter, Elias Snider, Ed. Nanton, And. McGlashin, Jno. Burke.

3rd Battalion York—Lieutenant-Colonel, Jno. W. Gamble, Nov. 10, 1848; Major, Thos. Fisher, 1847; Captains, Wm. Gamble, And. Ward, Thos. Montgomery, Ed. Masson, Jno. A. Scarlett, St. Geo. Scarlett.

4th Battalion York—Lieutenant-Colonel, Jno. B. Warren, Nov. 10, 1846; Major, Jno. Welsh; Captains, Aleck MacPherson, Jno. McGill, Jno. Dow, Silas B. Fairbanks, Yachins Burnham, Jos. Laing, Thos. N. Gibbs, Robt. Pierson, Robt. Perry.

5th Battalion York—Lieutenant-Colonel, Ebenezer Birrell, 1850; Major, Paul F. Whitney, 1851; Captains, Donald McKay, Jno. Richardson, Jno. Leys, Jno. Lumsden, Emanuel Playter.

6th Battalion York—Lieutenant-Colonel, Geo. Hamilton, 1850; Major, Archibald Clendenning, 1848; Captains, Jno. Torrance, Jno. Taber, Jos. Secord, Henry Howell, Jno. Wilson, Jno. Elliott.

7th Battalion York—Lieutenant-Colonel, E. W. Thompson; Majors, Jno. Lynch, F. Campbell; Captains, Jno. Wiggins, Peter Campbell, Seth Campbell, Jno. Scott, Peter J. McCallum. G. Van Wyck, Thos. Archdeacon.

8th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, Chas. Mitchell; Major, D. Switzer; 9th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, Francis Boyd; 10th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, Geo. S. Cotter; 11th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, David Bridgford; 12th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, William Cruikshank; 13th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, A. Smalley; 14th York, vacant; 15th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, Jas. Burns; 16th York, not organized; 17th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, Jas. Vrooman; 18th York, Lieutenant-Colonel, Peter Cameron; 19th York, not organized.

1st Regt. Toronto, Lieutenant-Colonel, Geo. Duggan; 2nd Regt. Toronto, Lieutenant-Colonel, Hon. R. Baldwin; 3rd Regt. Toronto, Lieutenant-Colonel, Wm. B. Jarvis; 4th Regt. Toronto, Lieutenant-Colonel, Richard L. Denison; 5th Regt. Toronto, Lieutenant-Colonel, Hon. Henry Sherwood; 6th Regt. Toronto, Lieutenant-Colonel, Jas. G. Chewett; 7th Regt. Toronto, Lieutenant-Colonel, Geo. Gurnett.

The force was on the threshold of a great change. From a theoretical, paper army the militia was about to become a practical force, comprising much of the public spirit and the bone and sinew of the country.

When the Crimean War broke out in 1854, practically all of the regular soldiers in Canada were withdrawn, and the Canadian government was given to understand that it must be prepared to do more than it had hitherto done in the way of national defence. The good will of the Canadian people was acknowledged in England, for Canadian volunteers had volunteered their services for the war. Among other offers of men received from Canada was one from the Montreal Volunteer Fire Department, which for some time had practiced military drill, to furnish a hundred men. As a matter of fact the military spirit was very much alive in the country, and public opinion was ripe for a practical improvement of the military system.

And so it comes that one of the most important of Militia Acts (18 Vic., Chap. 77), was passed in 1855. Two divisions of the militia, the sedentary and the active or volunteer, were clearly recognized and defined. The annual enrollment of the sedentary militia was to be continued, but the formation of active militia or volunteer companies, not to exceed 5,000 men, was authorized. It was provided that the arms of the sedentary militia were to be kept in armouries or distributed among the men. It was provided that “the active militia shall consist of volunteer troops of cavalry, field batteries and foot companies of artillery, and fifty companies of riflemen.” The Act came into force on July 1st, 1855, and was to continue in operation for three years, and from thence until the end of the next ensuing session of Parliament and no longer, “provided that if, at the time when this act would otherwise expire, there should happen to be war between Her Majesty and the United States of America, then this Act shall continue in force until the end of the session of the Provincial Parliament next after the proclamation of peace between Her Majesty and the said United States.”

The following year an amendment to the Act (19 Vic., Chap. 44) was passed. This contained the important provision that the discredited muster day of the sedentary militia might be dispensed with, and the organization of unpaid volunteer corps was authorized.

Meantime the provisions of the Act of 1855 had been taken such good advantage of, that early in 1856 the full number of corps authorized had been organized, and in several cases equipped, at the expense of the officers and men themselves. Immediately after organization, all ranks set to work with enthusiasm to perfect themselves in drill, and thanks to a considerable extent to the regular instructors available, rapid progress appears to have been made. In 1840 the Royal Canadian Rifles Regiment was organized in Canada. The regiment was in no way connected with the militia, being an Imperial corps and recruited among veterans who had not served less than seven years in line regiments. As might be supposed the men were a remarkably sturdy and generally fine lot. The regiment performed garrison duty until 1871, when it was disbanded. This corps did its part in keeping up some military spirit in Canada previous to 1855 and, moreover, did good service to the newly organized active militia regiments by providing them with very efficient instructors.

Toronto, always a centre of active loyalty, was quite naturally one of the very first cities to avail itself of the privilege to organize volunteer rifle companies. Several were in fact organized before the end of the year in which the act was passed, though they were not gazetted until 1856. Before the end of the latter year there were four good rifle companies gazetted in Toronto, and all entered upon the serious work of military training with enthusiasm. There was absolutely no connection, but considerable rivalry between the several companies, this rivalry producing a spirit of emulation which greatly conduced to the progress of the new organizations toward military efficiency. The captains of the respective companies were directly responsible to the inspecting field officer for the province. The first public parade of the new companies, on record, was on May 24th, 1856, for an inspection by the Governor-General, Sir Edmund Head, who had had a great deal to do with the establishment of the new order of things. According to all accounts the newly created force gave a very good account of itself.

In 1858, while British hearts everywhere were throbbing with indignation over the fiendish cruelties of the opening days of the Indian mutiny, the Imperial Government authorized Sir Edmund Head to accept an offer of a regular regiment made by the people of Canada. This was the origin of the 100th Regiment, now the second battalion of the Leinster Regiment. Among the original members of the regiment were several men who enlisted direct from the Toronto rifle companies.

It is interesting to recall at this point, that the volunteer force now existing in Great Britain owes its origin to the wave of patriotic feeling which swept through the “Tight Little Island” in the years 1858-9, as a result of the menaces of French invasion at the time of the Orsini trouble. That was quite three years after the creation of the Canadian volunteer companies, organizations which exist to the present. It is true, however, that a few isolated British volunteer companies that exist to-day were formed as early as 1852, but they seem hardly to have been backed up by either public enthusiasm or official encouragement. It must not be forgotten, either, that as many as 463,000 volunteers were raised in the British Islands during the great French war.


At the forging of the sword—

Swift leaped the quiet hearts

In the meadows and the marts;

The tides of men were drawn

By the gleaming sickle-planet of the Sword.

Isabella V. Crawford.

A period of keen military feeling, which, owing to a succession of various events, steadily developed in intensity, succeeded the organization of the volunteer militia troops, batteries and companies authorized by the historical act of 1855. The organization of these corps of citizen soldiery itself gave a marked fillip to the martial feeling of the time. Then the stirring times of the Crimea and the Indian Mutiny, the recruiting of the 100th Regiment, the return of the war-scarred regular regiments from the East, the ante-bellum excitement, with the organization of volunteer corps, among our republican neighbors to the South, and the fervor of the volunteer movement in the Old Country all had their effect upon the public mind in Canada. The announcement that the Prince of Wales was to make a visit to Canada, as the representative of the Queen was received with great interest by all classes, by the infant volunteer militia force with more than any other section of the country, perhaps. Drills became more frequent, and there was the greatest zeal shown by all ranks of the rifle companies to get into the best possible shape before the arrival in the country of the heir to the throne. In 1859 a new militia act, (22 Vic. Chap. 18,) was passed, its principal provision being that battalions of infantry and rifles should be organized wherever practicable. It was also provided that the volunteer militia force should drill for six consecutive days in each year, with pay at the rate of One Dollar per diem per man. The appointment of Assistant Adjutants General, without pay, was also provided for. Under the provisions of this act, on November 17, 1859, the existing nine volunteer rifle companies in the City of Montreal were, by General Orders, constituted into a battalion styled the First Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada. This was the origin of the First Prince of Wales Rifles, which, after amalgamation some five years ago with the Sixth Fusiliers, the only infantry regiment in Canada with white facings, became the First Prince of Wales Fusiliers. The Montreal rifle companies had a distinct, and to a certain extent recognized, regimental organization, even before the passage of the act of 1859. On the 8th May, 1856, Lieutenant-Colonel Dyde, of the Montreal Light Infantry (Militia), was by General Order appointed to command the four volunteer militia rifle companies of Montreal then in existence. The fourth company had only been gazetted the second of the same month. On the 23rd of August, the same year, just a month after the gazetting of the sixth company, an adjutant was appointed for all the companies. In November a paymaster, a quartermaster and a surgeon were gazetted, and in December the two senior captains were created majors. So all the machinery for a regimental organization was officially provided, but the companies appear to have been considered as separate organizations, and a regimental designation was withheld until after the passage of the Act of 1859. In 1858 seven of the companies, under the quasi-regimental organization so peculiarly developed, proceeded to Portland, Maine, for the celebration of the opening of the first International line of the Grand Trunk, thus inaugurating a series of visits of Canadian corps to the neighboring republic, which has done much to develop the good feeling which now happily exists between the two neighboring and kindred nations.

In Toronto, the question of the organization of the volunteer rifle companies on a regimental basis does not appear to have been seriously considered until it was taken up by a celebrated member of that energetic and peculiarly military family, whose name is an honored household word in the Canadian militia. Lieutenant-Colonel George Taylor Denison, Sr., was at the time the officer commanding the Toronto district. He saw the advantage that would result from the consolidation of the separate companies into a battalion, and used his persuasive powers to convert the various company officers to his ideas. But there was a difficulty in the way. There were only four companies in the City of Toronto, and the Act provided that a battalion should consist of not less than six, nor more than ten companies. The Act, however, only required that the companies to constitute a regiment should belong to the “same locality or district,” and as there were several good companies in the district, this difficulty was easily got over. Colonel Denison proposed that the companies at Barrie and Brampton should be regimented with the Toronto companies, thus making a battalion of the minimum strength required by the law. The project having had the approval of the government, Colonel Denison convened a meeting of representatives of the companies concerned, and the plan was unanimously approved of.

Sixth Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Own Rifles.

In due course the organization of the regiment was officially effected by the following order:—


    Quebec, April, 26th, 1860.

Militia General Orders,

        Active Force.

No. 1. With reference to the general order No. 1, of the 13th Nov., 1856, His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief, has directed that the Volunteer Force Artillery Company therein authorized at Toronto, shall be changed into a Rifle Company.

No. 2. In pursuance of section 26 of the Consolidated Militia Laws of the Province, His Excellency is pleased to constitute into a Battalion of Riflemen the following six companies of the Volunteer Force now serving in the 5th Military District of Upper Canada, to be styled the “Second Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada,” viz:—

The Barrie Rifle Company,(First),
The 1st Rifle Company, Toronto,(Second),
The 3rd Rifle Company, Toronto,(Third),
The Highland Rifle Company, Toronto,(Fourth),
The Rifle Company, formerly Foot Artillery,(Fifth),
The Highland Rifle Company, Whitby,(Sixth).

The numbers in parentheses opposite to each company designate their position by seniority, but the Highland companies will always take the flanks of the battalion on parade.

No. 3. Second Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada.

To be Lieutenant-Colonel—Lieut.-Col. William Smith Durie, from Barrie Rifle Company.

To be Majors—Captain George Brooke, from 1st Rifle Company, Toronto. Captain Alex. Mortimer Smith, from Highland Company, Toronto.

To be Paymaster—Major Robert B. Denison, from unattached list.

To be Adjutant—Captain Henry Goodwin, from Toronto Foot Artillery Company.

To be Quarter-Master—Major John Nickinson, from the 3rd Toronto Rifle Company.

From this dates the existence of one of the very best of the regiments of the Canadian Militia—a corps with a truly national reputation—a corps which commands, as no other does, the pride and admiration of all classes of Canadians from Atlantic to Pacific.

And the regiment’s creditable record from that day to this, active and varied as it has been, is easy to follow, thanks to the order books and the regimental record kept with religious care by a succession of capable Adjutants. No one who has not been an Adjutant can know how many things conspire to cause a neglect of the record of regimental life, commonly known as the digest of services; it requires one who has made researches into records of several corps to appreciate a well kept set of regimental books. And such the books of the Queen’s Own Rifles certainly are. Not the least portion of the considerable debt the regiment owes to Colonel Otter is due on account of his splendid work in the regimental orderly room while acting in the capacity of Adjutant. The regimental books, started by, and for many years, written up by him, are a monument to his energy and exactness, and are creditable also to a succession of capable Adjutants succeeding him. The digest of services is moreover a model of terse, soldierlike English, making the task of the regimental historian a particularly easy one.

It will be observed that the original intention of incorporating the Brampton Company in the battalion was dropped, the Highland Company at Whitby, for some unexplained reason, being added instead.

Lieutenant-Colonel William Smith Durie, the first commanding officer of the regiment, upon whom developed the task of the initial organization, was an officer of considerable experience, having been a Lieutenant in Her Majesty’s 83rd Foot. The Barrie Company ever since its organization had been under his command and had attained a considerable degree of efficiency.

The officers commanding the various companies at the time of the formation of the regiment, with the dates the companies were originally gazetted as separate units, were as follows:

No. 1. Lieut.-Col. W. S. Durie, 26th Dec., 1855.

No. 2. Captain G. Brooke, 20th March, 1856.

No. 3. Major J. Nickinson, 20th March, 1856.

No. 4. Captain A. M. Smith, 15th Sept., 1856.

No. 5. Captain Henry Goodwin, 13th Nov., 1856.

No. 6. Captain James Wallace, 31st March, 1856.

The first regimental parade was not long following the organization of the new regiment. May 12th, 1860, the following “Active Force District Orders” were published:—

No. 1. In pursuance of the Militia General Orders of the 2nd inst., the Active Militia Force of No. 5 Military District of Upper Canada (except those stations outside the County of York) will parade in brigades on Thursday, the 24th inst., in the field on the west of the Parliament Buildings, Toronto, at a quarter before noon, for the purpose of firing a “Feu-de-Joie” in honor of Her Majesty’s Birthday.

The following regimental orders resulted:—

Regimental Orders, Headquarters, May 14th, 1860.

2nd Battalion Volunteer Rifles.

No. 1. Agreeable to the above Military Order No. 1, of the 5th Military District of Upper Canada, of the 12th inst., the following companies belonging to the 2nd Battalion of Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada, stationed in Toronto, will parade at 10 o’clock a.m. precisely, at the Armoury, St. Lawrence Hall, for the purpose therein mentioned.

No. 2 Volunteer Rifle Company.

No. 3 Volunteer Rifle Company.

No. 5 Volunteer Rifle Company, late Foot Artillery.

No. 4 Volunteer Highland Volunteer Rifle Company.

No. 2 The late Foot Artillery Company, may, for the present, parade in their artillery uniform.

No. 3 The Highland Company, will fall in until further orders on the left, No. 2 Volunteer Rifle Company on the right.

It might be remembered at this point that the regiment as originally organized, never paraded intact owing to Numbers One and Six Companies being out of the city.

May 26th, 1860, the regimental staff was completed by the appointment of the following:—Surgeon, James Thorburn, M.D., from the late No. 4 Independent Rifle Company of Toronto; Assistant Surgeon, Frank Hull, M.D.

On the arrival of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in Toronto, September 9th, 1860, the Battalion furnished a Guard of Honor, under the command of Capt. Fulton.

September 12th, 1860, the regiment was reviewed by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, in the Queen’s Park. The companies present were Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, the Barrie Company having been brought in for the occasion.

The drill rooms used by the several companies this year were one on the North-East corner of King and Nelson Streets, by No. 2 Company, and the St. Lawrence Hall, by Nos. 3, 4 and 5 Companies. Six days’ pay for sixty men per company was the drill allowance this year.

The complete list of officers belonging to the 2nd Battalion Volunteer Rifles of Canada, at the time of the Prince’s visit, was as follows:—Lieutenant-Colonel, Wm. S. Durie; Majors, George Brooke and Alexander Mortimer Smith; Captains, James Wallace, No. 6 Company, Alexander Thornton Fulton, No. 4, James Smith, No. 3, Alexander McKenzie, No. 1, Douglas G. MacDonald, No. 2, Peter Paterson, No, 5 Company; Lieutenants,—Thompson, John Gardner, Joseph Rogers, Wm. Monaghan, Edward H. Duggan, John Brown; Ensigns, Edward Joshua Walker, Farquhar Morrison,—Davids, Robert Mead,—Dixon; Paymaster, R. B. Denison; Surgeon, James Thurburn. M.D.; Assistant Surgeon, Frank Bull, M.D.; Adjutant, Captain H. Goodwin; Quartermaster, John Nickinson.

May 24th, 1861, the battalion paraded on the field west of the Parliament Buildings and fired a feu-de-joie in honor of Her Majesty’s birthday.

October 18th, 1861, the Toronto Companies, with the rest of the city brigade, were inspected by Lieut.-Colonel MacDougall.

Seventh commanding Officer of the Queen’s Own Rifles.

The new active force had, before the end of the year 1861, made such substantial progress under the acts of 1855 and 1859 that the permanency of the new institution appeared assured. The wave of patriotic fervor which swept over Canada at the time of what is known in history as the Trent Affair made that permanency a matter of certainty.

Messrs. Mason and Slidell, two eminent southern politicians despatched by the Confederate government to London and Paris as Commissioners were, in November, 1861, passengers on the British mail steamer “Trent” bound from Boston to Liverpool, when the “Trent” was deliberately stopped on the high seas by a cannon shot fired across her bows by the United States warship San Jacinto, Captain Wilkes. The “Trent” was boarded by an armed boat’s crew, and her captain compelled by force to relinquish the persons of his two passengers, Messrs. Mason and Slidell, in spite of his protests. It will be recalled that the principal announced excuse for the war of 1812 was the determination of the United States to assert the principle that a neutral flag at sea protected all sailing under it in war time from either belligerent. British sailors were induced to desert from their ships, and when those ships demanded them back, the action of their officers was denounced throughout the United States as an outrage upon civilization. It is perhaps unnecessary to recall the fact that this question, and all of the other fine theories about sailors’ rights which blatant demagogues were once so fond of prating about in the early stages of the war, were not even referred to in the treaty of peace of 1815. It is but one more of many proofs of the utter insincerity of the arguments of the war advocates and apologists, that when Captain Wilkes forcibly took Messrs. Mason and Slidell off the “Trent” he was regarded as a national hero by our neighbors across the line. There had been a bad feeling developing between Britain and the United States for some time before this, and it but needed this outrage upon the British flag to bring it to a crisis. Even with a formidable rebellion within their own borders, the more radical and self-assertive section of the American people could not forego their accustomed amusement of stirring up the anti-British feeling in the republic, even at the peril of arraying the Mother Country on the side of the Confederate States and assuring the success of the rebellion.

The news of the outrage was received throughout our Empire with an unaccustomed outburst of indignation, and a set determination to insist upon the vindication of the national flag. The government demanded satisfaction and the release of the commissioners. The anti-British element in the United States insisted that these reasonable demands be refused, while the British government seriously but unostentaciously took steps to enforce them. It was realized that if there was to be war, the brunt of it would fall upon Canada, and so a large number of troops, including some of the regiments of guards, were despatched to this country. Fortunately the sound common sense of the better elements in the United States prevailed, the Washington government released the two commissioners and made amends, and war was averted. But while the question remained in abeyance the situation was very critical.

Throughout Canada there was but one feeling, that of determination to maintain the cherished British connection, and to resist any and all attempts to compel Canada by force of arms to become part of the United States. Thousands of volunteers sprang to arms. In a few weeks a national defensive force, strong in loyalty, manly vigor and courage, but weak in military organization and training, was placed at the disposal of the authorities. Nowhere did this patriotic fervor find stronger expression than in Toronto, where numerous companies of volunteers were enrolled, and the citizens of all classes and all grades of society turned out to be initiated in the mysteries of the decidedly complicated military drill of those days.

Night and day were bodies of men to be seen hard at work perfecting themselves as far as possible in military exercises. Attired for the most part in plain clothes, these bodies of citizen soldiery did not present a very smart appearance; but their patriotic enthusiasm was destined to have a lasting effect. This spontaneous arming of the free people of a free country resulted in a marvellous development of that military spirit which has produced Canada’s first line of defence—the active Militia. This, and the forcible demonstration given of the unanimous preference by the Canadian people for British constitutional liberty, as opposed to the democratic institutions of the neighboring republic, were really the only results of the “Trent” affair. Canada has consequently no reason to regret Captain Wilkes’ officious indiscretion.

New independent companies sprang up all over Canada, and many new battalions were raised. One direct result was the reorganization of the Second Battalion.

While the excitement over the “Trent” affair was at its height, namely, about the end of the year 1861, and early in 1862, several independent companies were organized in Toronto, three of which were immediately after organization attached to the battalion, viz., Captain Latham’s Company, as No. 7; Captain Macdonald’s (“The Second Merchants”), as No. 8; and Trinity College Company as No. 9. November 21st, 1862, an official reorganization of the regiment took place. The Barrie Company became independent, subsequently being drafted into the 35th Battalion; the Whitby Company also became independent, subsequently forming part of the 34th Battalion; while Captain Latham’s Company was transferred to the newly organized 10th Battalion. New companies replaced them. By general order of the date last mentioned the battalion was constituted as follows:—

20th March, 1856No. 2 Co. in original formation1Capt. D. Macdonald.
20th March, 1856No. 3 Co. in original formation2Capt. Jas. Smith.
13th Nov., 1856No. 5 Co. in original formation3Capt. P. Paterson.
30th August, 18611st “Merchants’ ” Co.4Capt. W. R. Harris.
14th March, 18622nd “Merchants’ ” Co.5Capt. Wm. Murray.
6th Dec., 1861“Victoria” Co.6Capt. L. W. Ord.
14th March, 1862“Civil Service” Co.7Major R. Spence.
3rd June, 1861“Trinity College” Co.8Maj. R. B. Denison.
5th May, 1862“University” Co.9Capt. H. Croft.
31st March, 1856No. 4 Co. in original formation (Highland)10Capt. A. T. Fulton.

At the time of this reorganization there was great diversity in the uniforms of the companies. Nos. 1, 2 and 3 Companies wore rifle green uniforms with scarlet facings; Nos. 4 and 5 wore light gray uniforms with scarlet facings; No. 6, “The Victoria Rifles,” brown uniforms with scarlet facings; No. 7, dark gray, scarlet facings; No. 8, light gray, no facings; No. 9, rifle green, scarlet facings; No. 10, Highland uniform. The battalion must have presented a decidedly variegated appearance upon the occasion of its first parade; but it made a favorable impression nevertheless. The battalion was inspected September 24th, 1862, by His Excellency the Governor-General, Lord Monck, on Spadina Avenue Common. Nos. 5, 6 and 10 Companies formed the several Guards of Honor during the stay of His Excellency.

In regimental orders, Dec. 18th, 1862, the following appeared:

Agreeable to the standing orders adopted by the officers of the 2nd Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles on the 12th inst., the Lieut.-Colonel commanding hopes that each officer of the battalion will at once provide himself with a suit of winter uniform in accordance with the regulations on the subject, viz.: a dark gray coat with gray fur facings; forage cap with a band of gray fur and black leather peak; knicker-bockers reaching to the knee, and long boots.

During this month a band was organized under the leadership of Mr. A. Maul.

A general order of January 30th, 1863, announced the promotion of Mr. Thomas Henry Ince to be Captain in the battalion, vice R. B. Denison, appointed Brigade Major.

From the receipt of the following communication dates the present designation of the regiment, with but a slight amendment.

Adjutant General’s Office, Quebec,

                  14th March, 1863.


With reference to my letter to you of the 11th inst., I am now desired by His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief to acquaint you that Her Majesty has been pleased to approve of the Second Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles, at Toronto, being designated in future “The Queen’s Own Rifles, of Toronto.”

I have the honor to be, Sir,

    Your most obedient servant,

        A. M. DE SALABERRY. Lieut.-Col.


Lieut.-Col. Durie,

    Commanding 2nd Batt. Vol. M. Rifles,


The following communication to Lieut.-Col. Durie speaks for itself:—

Adjt. General’s Office,

        Quebec, May 1st, 1863.

Sir,—I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 28th March last. Enclosing the Standing Orders of the Volunteer Battalion under your command, which I now beg to return duly approved by order of His Excellency the Commander in Chief, subject to the provisions of the Militia Law. With reference to the emblem or device enclosed in the said communication, I am to draw your attention to the General Order of the 18th March last, by which you will perceive that the designation granted to your battalion is that of “The Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto.”

I have the honor, etc.,

      (Signed) A. M. De Salaberry, Lieut.-Col.

May 25, 1863, the battalion paraded at the Model School grounds at 10 a.m., when Mrs. Draper, wife of the Chief Justice, on the behalf of ladies, the relatives and friends of the officers of the Battalion, presented a splendid mace to Lieut.-Col. Durie for the use of the band, the inscription being as follows: “Presented to the 2nd Battalion Vol. Mil. of Canada, the Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto, by ladies, the friends and relatives of the officers of the Corps, in testimony of their warm interest in the welfare of the Battalion. Toronto, 24th May, 1863.”

From an Old Print.
On parade upon the occasion of the presentation of a Silver Mace to the Regiment by lady relatives and friends.

The battalion, after the presentation, proceeded to Spadina Ave., where, in conjunction with the 30th Regiment Royal Artillery, and 10th Battalion V. M. a “feu de joie” was fired, and a review held by Major General Napier, C.B.

The battalion had lost no time after reorganization in providing itself with regimental uniforms, for the regimental order for this parade contained the following: “The companies belonging to the battalion will parade in their usual regimental uniforms, including shakos with the green ball.”

Oct. 8, 1863, the battalion was present and took part in the grand volunteer Review on the Denison Common, at the head of Crookshank Lane, at which 900 regulars and 3200 volunteers were reviewed by Major General Lindsay. The battalion was brigaded with 10th Battalion, the Volunteer Artillery and the Naval Brigade, under Col. Peacock of Her Majesty’s 16th Foot.

During the months of January and February 1864, the several companies of the battalion were inspected on their private parade grounds, by Col. Mountain, R.A., L.F.O., who had been appointed to inspect and report whether the Volunteer Force had complied with the instructions in a recent general order, whereby the payment of $6.00 per man was granted in lieu of clothing.

The Inspecting Officer expressed himself as much pleased with the appearance of the several companies.

First surgeon of the Queen’s Own Rifles.

In the order, drawing the attention of the battalion to the approach of this inspection, we get an idea of the good feeling animating the corps at the time, and also of the good record it had already established. The order in question (January 4), read as follows:—

With reference to the above general order the Lieutenant-Colonel commanding trusts that every exertion will be used by every officer, non-commissioned officer and man belonging to the regiment, not only in promoting and effecting the efficiency of their own respective companies, so very desirable for their own sakes, but also in upholding and retaining the reputation for its steadiness under arms and soldierlike appearance for which the battalion has won for itself when inspected on every occasion, and which can only be done by displaying the same attention to drill, the same cheerful obedience, and the same zeal and exertion in keeping their arms, clothing and accoutrements in good order, which the Lieutenant-Colonel takes so much pleasure in recording, has always been shown by every member of the battalion when called upon to uphold the character which the Queen’s Own Rifles of Toronto has now gained for itself, and which he believes will be both a pride and pleasure ever to retain.

At an officers’ meeting, 12th May, 1864, it was “Resolved”: “That the Officers of the battalion provide themselves with Patrol Jackets and Forage Caps.”

June, 1864, the new Drill Shed on Simcoe Street being completed, the battalion took possession of the part allotted to them, being the South end, and commenced drilling there.

A few extracts from the General Orders regarding the annual training, copied into regimental orders are interesting:—

“Each volunteer for whom payment is demanded shall have attended since the first day of April, 1864, at least 16 days’ drill, each day’s drill to consist of two drills, of one and a half hours each, or if found more convenient to the men, a drill of an hour and a half will be allowed to count for half a day’s drill, at which drill not less than one half of the actual strength and at least one commissioned officer of the company shall have attended.”

“Each non-commissioned officer and man who performs the course of target practice hereinafter appointed shall be allowed to count each target practice as four drills of an hour and a half each.”

“In cases where ranges are provided all battalions and companies of volunteer militia shall in accordance with the General Order of October 2, 1863, have expended 30 rounds per man of ball ammunition, and the officer commanding such battalions and companies shall keep careful and accurate returns of all target practices in accordance with forms which will be provided from the office of the Adjutant-General of Militia.”

First Adjutant of the Queen’s Own Rifles.

Battalion orders of October 21, 1864, contained the following: “Sergeant W. D. Otter and Corporal James Smith from No. 6 Company will rank as staff sergeants to the battalion till further orders.”

From this date the handwriting of Staff Sergeant Otter becomes conspicuous in the regimental books, and his handiwork can be discerned in orders affecting not merely interior economy, but discipline.

About August, 1864, Nos. 6 and 8 Cos. became disorganized owing to neglect on the part of their respective Captains.

Battalion orders of May 1, 1865, contained the following:—

Till further orders the men will parade with tunics and shakos. Sergeants will parade with their rifles. Officers in undress uniforms and forage caps, and wearing their swords.

May 19, 1865, the following order was issued:—

“The Commanding Officer calls the attention of the non-commissioned officers and men to the fact that the habit indulged in by some of them of wearing shirt collars on parade has the effect of giving them anything but a soldierlike appearance, and trusts that for the credit of the battalion the practice will in future be discontinued. Stocks of patent leather or other black material suitable for the purpose should invariably be worn when tunics are used. Or, in case the collar of the tunic should not admit of the stock being worn under it, a piece of black leather should be sewn on the underside of the front part of the collar, so as to cover the opening in the front of the throat. But in no case shall any shirt collar be worn.”

2. “The commanding officer expects that all officers of the battalion who have not yet done so will provide themselves as soon as possible with the proper regulation patrol jacket; forage caps should be worn by officers when in undress uniform, but not when tunics are worn.”

3. “Captains and officers commanding companies will do all in their power towards having the hair of the men of their respective companies neatly and properly cut.”

4. “The proper regulation chevrons for the non-commissioned officers of the Q. O. R. are as follows, and will be worn on both arms:—For corporals, two black stripes on a red ground; for sergeants, three black stripes on a red ground; for color-sergeants, the colors worked in gold with one gold stripe beneath on the right arm, and three black stripes similar to those worn by sergeants on the left arm; for staff-sergeants, three gold stripes. The quarter-master-sergeant will wear four gold stripes. The sergeant-major will wear four gold stripes with a crown on each arm.”

On Dec. 24, 1864, in consequence of the “St. Albans Raid” from Canada, a force of three administrative battalions was ordered to the frontier to prevent a repetition of the same and to enforce neutrality. The Queen’s Own was ordered to find two companies, each 65 strong, to form a part of this force. These companies were made up of volunteers from the several companies of the battalion, No. 1 Service Company being composed of men from Nos. 1, 2 and 3 companies, No. 2 Service Company, of men from the remaining companies and a few from No. 3.

On December 30th the Service Companies proceeded to Niagara (their destination) via St. Catharines, under the following officers:

No. 1. Company—Captain, Jno. Brown; Lieutenant, W. D. Otter; Ensign, Jas. Bennett.

No. 2 Company—Captain C. T. Gillmor; Lieutenant, W. D. Jarvis; Ensign, W. Corbould; Ensign and Act. Adjutant, Dixon.

Messrs. Jarvis and Corbould, though not at the time officers of the battalion, were appointed, owing to there not being sufficient officers able to go for so long a period.

The companies proceeded by railway to St. Catharines, and from thence marched to Niagara, going into barracks on the day after their arrival.

The Administrative Battalion was composed of the above with companies from Kingston, Collingwood, Barrie, Simcoe, Whitby, Scarboro, Lacolle and Hemmingford, the whole under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Durie of the Queen’s Own. The remainder of the Queen’s Own at headquarters were left under the command of Captain Croft.

The Service Companies returned from Niagara, after an absence of four months, April 28, 1865.

The following memorandum dated July 6, 1865, quoted in the battalion order book, is interesting:—“His Excellency the Commander in Chief desires me to acquaint you with the fact that the great object he has in view is the efficiency of the volunteers in rifle shooting, and to this end he desires that no volunteer shall be permitted to fire more than his allotted share (60 rounds) of the government allowance of ball ammunition. And that it is the duty of the officer commanding to take care that every volunteer on the strength of the company shall, within the year, fire at the target that number of rounds. That if the whole of the government allowance is shot away at rifle matches by a few volunteers from each company—a practice at present frequently followed—His Excellency’s object cannot be attained.”

A regimental order of August 4, 1865, read as follows:—“Lieutenant Otter will act as adjutant of the battalion until further orders.”

In due course the battalion orders contained a notification of the following general order:—

“Aug. 25, 1865, 2nd Battalion, Q.O.R., Toronto, to be Adjutant, Lieutenant W. D. Otter, vice Dixon promoted.”

A battalion order of Sept. 2, 1865, will recall reminiscences of Otter’s “Guide” to many a Canadian militiaman:—

“Until further orders the following will be the mode of forming the battalion parade:—

“On the bugle first sounding for coverers, the coverers, under the superintendence of the sergeant-major, will take up wheeling distance for the probable number of files in the respective companies.

“On the bugle sounding the fall-in, the men will fall in, one pace in rear of their coverers, who will, on the command from the sergeant-major, ‘By the left, dress up,’ face to the right and give the command to their companies, ‘Dress, eyes front.’ The sergeant-major will then give the command, ‘Call your rolls,’ on which the coverers will move out in front of their companies and number them. They will open the ranks for inspection, doing so with fixed bayonets. When that is done the ‘officers call’ will sound, and captains of companies will proceed to inspect their companies as per ‘Field Exercises.’

“On the bugle sounding ‘Coverers’ a second time, companies will fall in line and be dressed by the adjutant. On the ‘Advance’ sounding, captains will march their companies on their coverers, and stand at ease.”

In consequence of Fenian alarms, a guard for the protection of the drill shed against fire, etc., was on November 2nd, 1865, ordered to be furnished by the Queen’s Own and 10th Battalion, on alternate nights, mounting at 8 p.m., and dismounting at 5 a.m., and to consist of one sergeant, one corporal and six privates; No. 2 Company, Queen’s Own, finding the first guard on this evening.

Brigade Orders of November 10th, 1865, contained the following:—

“The Commandant is directed by the Adjutant-General of Militia to request Lieutenant-Colonel Durie and Lieutenant-Colonel Brunel to convey to the officers and men of their respective commands his thanks for the good spirit they have shown in furnishing a guard over the arms, and in the drill shed.”

The same night, Nov. 10th, 1865, the drill shed guard was increased to twelve privates, under an officer, owing to further alarms. On the 14th instant it was reduced to nine men.

November 15th, 1865, a night attack being anticipated, a piquet of thirty men was told off from the battalion, under Captain Jarvis, with Lieutenant Morison and Ensign Campbell, as subalterns. Nothing occurred, however.

Owing to repeated alarms and threats of a Fenian invasion, the Government decided on sending a force of volunteers to the frontier, and the Queen’s Own was ordered to find a company, 65 strong, for the service.

At a parade of the battalion, on this evening, a call for men to volunteer for this service was made, as only about twenty came forward, it was decided to draft for the remainder, each company to furnish eight men (there being only eight effective companies in the battalion). Captain Jarvis, of No. 7 Company, was nominated for the command of the service company, with Lieutenant Morison, of No. 2 Company, and Ensign Campbell, of No. 9, as subalterns. The service company was completed November 18; drafting being resorted to in Nos. 2, 4, 5, 9 and 10 Companies. Nos. 1, 3 and 7 Companies furnished their quota without a draft. On the 20th the service company left at 7 a.m. for Sarnia, that being their destination. Until further orders, companies were ordered to furnish one sergeant, one corporal and nine men for the armoury guard, to parade at 7.30 sharp.

November 27th, 1865, Lieutenant-Colonel Durie being appointed Assistant Adjutant-General, and Major Smith, waiving his claim, Major Gillmor was placed in command until further orders.

About the end of the year No. 3 Company, owing to the illness of Captain Patterson, became disorganized.

January 24, 1866, No. 8 Company paraded for the first time since re-organization.

The same month the following appeared in General Orders:—

The formation of a volunteer company at Toronto, to be attached to the 2nd Battalion Queen’s Own Rifles and to be called the Upper Canada College Rifle Company, is hereby authorized. To be Captain (temporary), Captain Frank C. Draper, Military School, and No. 6 Company, 2nd Battalion Queen’s Own Rifles; to be Lieutenant (temporary), V. E. Fuller, Gentleman, Military School; to be Ensign (temporary), M. Willson, Gentleman, Military School.


Let but the rash intruder dare

To touch our darling strand,

The martial fires

That thrilled our sires

Would flame throughout the land.

Charles Sangster.


he year 1866 was a stirring one for Canada and especially for the Queen’s Own.

For months there had been threats made that the Fenians would invade Canada in the spring. It took a long time to convince the authorities that there was anything serious in these threats, and when that much was accomplished, those in authority, military and civil, appeared to think that there was more to be feared from local disturbances than from armed invasions from across the International frontier. The very idea that the United States government would permit an armed force to be organized and equipped in that country and despatched across the frontier for the invasion of the territory of a friendly power was poo-poohed, and so, though certain precautions were taken to prevent local disturbances or mere raids, no adequate steps were taken to contend with invasion. In reality the danger was very serious. The termination of the long war in the United States, between North and South, left thousands of veteran soldiers, a considerable proportion of them Irish and foreign adventurers, with nothing to do. So that there was plenty of ready material at hand for such an enterprise as that planned by the Fenian leaders. Of course, if the United States authorities had desired to nip the movement in the bud by forbidding the organization of the invading forces in their country, they could have made the invasion an impossibility. But, either they did not so desire, or for fear of antagonizing a certain section of the populace, dared not act. So for months the Fenian leaders were allowed to canvass for funds, and organize and drill companies of soldiers for the invasion of Canada, and even when a general mobilization was in progress there was not one word of protest. Meantime in Canada people were unable to decide whether to treat the Fenian threats seriously or not. The officers and men of the Queen’s Own were among those who were disposed to take the matter seriously.

Jan. 30th the battalion was ordered to be in readiness for service in consequence of Fenian alarms. On the 7th of March at 11 p.m. the battalion received orders to parade for active service at once. Officers and men were warned during the night, and at 10 a.m. of the 8th inst. the battalion paraded in the drill shed 417 strong. Orders were then issued to parade in the shed daily at 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. for drill. The cause of this sudden alarm was the receipt of news strengthening the belief in a threatened Fenian Raid.

March the 10th the battalion was inspected in the drill shed with the 10th Royals and the Provisional Battalion by Major-General Napier, C. B.

The same evening the following brigade order was issued:—Major-General Napier, C.B., commanding Her Majesty’s forces in Canada West, is desirous of expressing to Colonel G. T. Denison, the officers and non-commissioned officers and men of the Volunteer Militia of the 5th and 10th Military Districts, his gratification at the creditable and soldier-like appearance made by the force at his inspection this afternoon. The zeal, activity and good feeling shown by one and all, in so nobly responding to the sudden and unexpected call into active service in defence of their Queen and country, plainly proves that the same noble and loyal feeling still exists which was shown and proven in days gone by by the Canadian Militia when called upon to act with and fight by the side of Her Majesty’s regular forces. And the Major-General fears not, that if required to take the field, the same good conduct and gallantry will be displayed now which has always been exhibited by the Canadian Militia.

“The Major-General feels sure that the present opportunity of being on active service will not be lost, and hopes that the militia, by steadiness in the ranks, obedience to orders and attention to their drill, will acquire increased efficiency and thus uphold their general good conduct and character.”

As the obligatory day parades were seriously interfering with business, the following brigade orders were issued March 12th:—

“Major-General Napier, C. B., commanding Her Majesty’s forces in Canada West, having assumed command of the Volunteer Force now called out for active service, directs until further orders the following corps will drill at their respective drill sheds from 7.00 o’clock every evening until 9.30. It must be clearly and distinctly understood that these corps must parade at the time specified punctually.

“On Saturday these corps will parade at 1.30 o’clock p.m. punctually:—The Naval Brigade, Toronto Battery Garrison Artillery, 2nd Battalion Q. O. R., 10th Royal Regiment.

“The corps belonging to the 5th Military District will drill as usual. The guards will mount as usual.”

During the excitement occasioned by the general turn-out of all the volunteers in the country at this time, advantage was taken of the military ardor then prevalent to reorganize Nos. 3 and 6 Companies, which was done by Messrs. J. B. Boustead, and G. M. Adam, the remaining companies being filled up to their strength viz., 65, and No. 5 to 80, which it had been specially permitted to do.

March 13th, the following appeared in the garrison orders:—

Volunteer Militia,

      Garrison Order.—

A copy of resolution adopted by the common council of the City of Toronto, having reference to the Volunteer Force, was this day received by the Commandant, who has ordered that it shall be read to each corps at its parade to-morrow, 14th.

The following is the resolution:—

Resolved:—That the existing state of affairs, in consequence of the threatened disturbance of the peace of the province by lawless men in the bordering Republic, and the prompt measures taken by our Government to meet the emergency, demand public attention.

That this Council, as the representatives of the citizens of Toronto, deem it fitting to commend the gallant conduct of the volunteers, who, with patriotic loyalty, valour and ability, flew to arms with most unprecedented alacrity at the first sound of alarm to defend our Queen and country, therefore, that His Worship the Mayor be requested to communicate with the commandant of this military district, requesting him to make known to the volunteers under his command, the gratitude and admiration in which their loyal and patriotic conduct is held by the citizens of Toronto.

(Signed) JOHN CARR,

             City Clerk.

(Signed) GEO. T. DENISON,


The Seventeenth of March (St. Patrick’s Day), trouble being expected on account of the Hibernian Society’s procession, the battalion was kept under arms in the drill shed with the 10th and provisional battalions from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

At this parade the muster of the Queen’s Own was thirty-nine officers and 666 non-commissioned officers and men, inclusive of the service company at Sarnia, and the Upper Canada College Company attached. By virtue of a Brigade Order of the previous day, the Mayor of the City of Toronto was authorized and permitted to swear in 100 men belonging to the volunteer militia force then serving in the City of Toronto as special constables. These men were not required to attend parade on St. Patrick’s Day, but remained off duty on this service.

At this time, as on many other occasions, the Queen’s Own justified its claim to be considered a generally useful corps by supplying the clerical staff for the Brigade Office. Garrison Order, March 17th, 1866, reads as follows:—“No. 1. Private C. Foster, No. 8 Company, 2nd Battalion, will continue to act as clerk in the Brigade Office with the rank of staff-sergeant, and private Alex. Robertson, of No. 9 Company, 2nd Battalion, will continue to act as clerk to the Assistant Adjutant-General and the Commandant, with the rank of staff-sergeant, their rank to commence from the 8th inst., when they entered upon their duties.”

Another Brigade Order, dated March 21st, contained the following:—

“The Medical officers of the Queen’s Own Rifles will, until further orders, have the charge of the following companies of the 3rd Provisional Battalion, viz.: No. 5, Derry West Infantry; No. 6, Grahamsville Infantry; No. 7, Cookstown Rifles and the Battery of Garrison Artillery.”

March 27th.—The strength of the battalion was reduced to 500 under pay, i.e., fifty men per company, including the men at Sarnia.

March 28th.—The following Brigade Order was issued:—

“Major-General Napier, C.B., cannot permit the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the volunteer militia, just relieved from active service, to return to their homes without expressing to them his very great satisfaction at their good conduct when on duty, and, although relieved, the same credit is due to them in so nobly coming forward and enrolling themselves for the defence of their country, which has been accorded to the whole force.

“And the Major-General feels quite sure, from his own knowledge, having had many opportunities of witnessing the good feeling shown by the volunteer force, that if required, the same alacrity and the same zeal will be manifested again, which has already been shown and proven.”

Agreeable to instructions received from the Adjutant-General of Militia, the whole volunteer militia force serving in Toronto was relieved from active service on Saturday, the 31st inst. The force was paid up to the 31st inst., inclusive. Officers commanding corps were required to take charge of the ammunition which had been issued to their respective corps.

The following Brigade Order was issued March 29th, 1866:—

“The volunteer militia force lately embodied for active service, being about to return to their homes, Major-General Napier, C.B., commanding 1st military district, C.W., avails himself of this opportunity of tendering his thanks to the commandant, Colonel G. T. Denison, the officers, non-commissioned officers and privates, not only for the prompt manner in which they responded to the Governor-General’s call for active service, but also for their uniform good conduct during the time they have been under his command, which he will not fail to bring to the favorable notice of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief. The Major-General feels confident that should the service of the volunteers be again required they will not fail to rally under their colors for the defence of their Queen and country, and he assures them he will be proud to have them once more under his immediate command.”

March 31st the evening parades were discontinued, and instead of them the battalion was to drill two days per week, forenoon and afternoon, alternately, one of such days to be a field day. Officers were to receive pay without allowances. Non-commissioned officers and men 50c. per drill. The full strength, (650) had to be accounted for.

April 4—The service company returned from Sarnia to the number of 39 men, under Lieutenant Morison, the remaining 26 men being transferred to the provisional battalion at Sarnia under Captain Jarvis and Ensign Campbell.

On April 25th, a concert was given in the Music Hall under the auspices of the Battalion, in aid of the “Fund for the relief of the men on Service,” and proved successful, the sum of $360.00 being realized.

May 18th, the following extract from General Orders appeared in battalion orders:—

“2nd Battalion Queen’s Own Rifles, Toronto, Lieutenant and Adjutant W. D. Otter to have the rank of Captain to date from the 8th of March, 1866.”

May 24th, 1866, there was a parade in honor of Her Majesty’s Birthday. Previous to leaving the shed, Major Gillmor, on behalf of the officers of the battalion, presented Captain Otter with a splendid charger with appointments, as a mark of their esteem and appreciation of his zeal in the service of the corps.

The battalion then proceeded to the Denison Common north of St. Stephen’s Church, and, brigaded with the Royal Artillery, Her Majesty’s 47th Foot, Volunteer Cavalry and Artillery, 10th Battalion and Naval Brigade, under Major-General Napier, C.B., fired a feu-de-joie, and marched past.

Before marching home, the Major-General informed the Volunteer Corps that they were this day relieved from duty and that pay would cease.

In the evening, a concert was given in the drill shed to the Toronto Volunteers, at which the bands of the 47th, Queen’s Own and 10th Royals, Mrs. J. B. Robinson and a chorus of some 300 children assisted. Five thousand people were present.

Meantime sensational stories about the operations of the Fenians again began to gain circulation. Eventually, on May 31st, at 6 p.m., Major Gillmor received an order to proceed the next day with 400 men of the battalion to Port Colborne, information having been received of a force of the Fenians crossing at Fort Erie. Officers and men were warned at once, the following battalion order being issued:—

“The regiment will parade to-morrow at 4 a.m. to proceed to Port Colborne.”

On the first of June the battalion paraded at 4 a.m. in the drill shed, 356 strong, and left Toronto at 6.30 a.m. by the steamer “City of Toronto” for Port Dalhousie, from whence the railway was taken to Port Colborne, arriving there at 1 p.m., and being billeted at once. The Fenians were said to have crossed from the United States at Fort Erie during the morning.


The frontier’s the field for the patriot’s sword,

And cursed be the weapon that faction controls.

—(Hon. Joseph Howe)


une 2nd, 1866, will always be a memorable date in the annals of the Queen’s Own Rifles, and of the Canadian militia.

The action at Lime Ridge, or Ridgeway, on this date, was not in itself, perhaps, a battle of the first class. The numbers engaged were small, and the butcher’s bill light, according to the standards we have come to adopt since the Boer war began. But it was one of the most decisive battles ever fought on Canadian soil, nevertheless, for though the immediate result of the action was the retirement of the Canadian troops, the ultimate result was the speedy withdrawal of the invading army of Fenians from the soil of Canada.

And though there is considerable for a patriotic son of Canada to regret in connection with the day’s operations, there is much more to excite his pride and admiration. History must certainly award a chaplet of honor to the men who, ill-equipped, hungry and weary from lack of sleep, were quite unexpectedly called upon to face an enemy of unknown strength—an army in whose ranks were some of the most experienced soldiers and desperate characters of one of the world’s longest and most bloody wars—and who, advancing to the attack without a moment’s hesitation, successfully sustained the obstinate resistance of the enemy for two hours, before being thrown into confusion by a most injudicious order.

It was a beautiful summer morning when Colonel Booker’s force began its march from Ridgeway station. The sun was shining bright overhead, the trees and fields looked at their best in their heavy foliage, the gardens surrounding the farmers’ houses were gay with blossoms. It was all very beautiful and very peaceful; all but the column of armed men marching grimly along the very dusty road in the direction of Stevensville. To these armed men their beloved country, in her summer garb, must have appeared well worth fighting for.

But to tell the truth there appeared little immediate prospect of a brush with the Fenians just yet. The special business of the day was the tramp across country to Stevensville, where the troops expected to find Colonel Peacocke and his column of regulars and militia, rations, and perhaps even an hour or two of sleep. It was seven o’clock when the column began its march from Ridgeway Station, and as Stevensville was four miles and a half distant, it was calculated that the junction with Peacocke would be effected by nine.

The Queen’s Own had the honor of marching at the head of the column, the advance guard being furnished by No. 5 Company. Immediately in rear of the Queen’s Own marched the Thirteenth Battalion of Hamilton, and behind them the York and Caledonia companies.

On the command being given, the advance guard, followed in due course by the rest of the regiment, marched off with the familiar old swinging pace for which the Queen’s Own has always been noted.

While the column was being formed up, some mounted farmers had ridden in with word that the Fenians were advancing along the very road by which the column was to proceed, and were near by. The news was not treated seriously however, for, according to information received, the Fenians had been ten miles distant at nine the preceding night.

But the advance guard was on the alert and it was fortunate they were.

So many and so very divergent accounts of the events of this day have been published that much misapprehension exists as to what actually occurred. Under the circumstances it is safer to reproduce a well authenticated contemporaneous account. Fortunately the Queen’s Own Rifles possess such in the regimental digest of services written in the familiar hand and plain unvarnished English of the then Adjutant, Captain Otter. Captain Otter was present from the firing of the first shot, and was in a position to know exactly what the orders issued were. His account, moreover, was approved in every detail by Major Gillmor. This account of the events of June 2nd, and of the days immediately following, reads as follows:—

Second June, 1866 (Saturday), paraded at Port Colborne at 12.30 a.m., and marched to a train, on which was the 13th Battalion of Hamilton and the York and Caledonia Rifle Companies, who had arrived the night before. At 4 a.m. a detachment of 125 officers and men of our own corps arrived from Toronto.

It was intended that the force should leave at 2 a.m., but further orders detained us till 5 a.m. These orders were from Colonel Peacocke, H.M. 16th Foot, who was to be in command, and was brought by Captain Akers, R.E.

At 5 a.m., in obedience to Colonel Peacocke’s orders, the force left Port Colborne, the strength being, Queen’s Own 480, 13th Battalion, York and Caledonia Companies about 400, in all say 880, under the command of Colonel Booker, 13th Battalion. Moved to Ridgeway Station on the B. & L. H. Railway, where we left the train and marched towards Stevensville, for the purpose of forming a junction with Colonel Peacocke’s column.

No. 5 Company, Q.O.R. (armed with Spencer repeating rifles), formed the advance guard, followed by the remaining companies of the battalion, the 13th Battalion and York Company, the Caledonia Company finding the rear guard. In this order the column moved about two miles, when at 7 a.m. the Fenians were discovered in our front. The advance guard was immediately extended from its centre, Nos. 1 and 2 on its left and right. No. 3 centre supports, No. 4 left, No. 7 as a flanking party to the left, supported by No. 8, and No. 6 flanking to the right, No. 9 and 10 in reserve. After an advance of say half a mile, No. 6 was sent as a support to No. 2 on the right, and immediately the Fenians, who were extended behind the fences, their main body being well posted in a wood, opened fire, which was immediately returned by our men, who continued steadily advancing. The firing became general, being heaviest on our centre and right. At almost the first fire Ensign McEachren was hit in the stomach, and being taken to the rear, died in twenty minutes.

We continued driving them for about an hour, when our skirmishers being reported out of ammunition, Nos. 9 and 10 companies were sent to the right, and the 13th Battalion ordered to relieve us, which they did by sending out three companies to skirmish, and who had not been engaged fifteen minutes, when the cry of “Cavalry” was raised at seeing two or three Fenian horsemen advancing towards us. Colonel Booker ordered the reserve (Queen’s Own) to “Prepare for Cavalry,” and the companies forming it, viz.: Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8, formed square. The mistake was immediately seen, the order given to “Reform Column,” and the two leading companies (Nos. 1 and 2) to “extend.” On re-forming, the reserve being too close to the skirmish line, was ordered to retire, the left wing of the 13th who were in our rear, seeing our men retire and thinking we were retreating, broke and retired in a panic, on seeing which our men also broke and ran. Just previous to this the retire was sounded to Nos. 1 and 2 of the Queen’s Own, who, not seeing the necessity of the order, disobeyed, until it was again sounded, when they reluctantly moved to the rear, the remainder of the skirmish line doing the same, though not understanding the reason of their recall, but on seeing the reserve in disorder, they too became demoralized and fled. The fire of the now pursuing Fenians became hotter than ever, and the volunteers being crowded up in a narrow road, presented a fine mark to their rifles, causing our poor fellows to fall on all sides.

It was in vain the officers endeavored to rally the men, several times squads, and even a company were collected, but never in sufficient force to check the pursuit, though a constant fire was kept up until the Fenians ceased following. For the first two or three hundred yards it was a regular panic, but after that the men fell into a walk, retiring in a very orderly manner, but completely crestfallen.

The enemy followed to Ridgeway Station and there gave up the pursuit, moving on Fort Erie. We returned to Port Colborne, arriving at about 1 p.m. very tired and hungry, not having had any sleep the previous night nor any food that day.

Had the “retire” not been sounded we should have beaten them in ten minutes more, for part of their force was actually retreating before we commenced to retire.

General O’Neill in command of the Fenians, and other officers of their force, owned to some of our wounded whom they captured (owing to our not having ambulances or vehicles of any description) that we “behaved splendidly and were mistaken by them for regulars, owing to our steadiness, and that had we fought five minutes longer they must have succumbed, as their men were fast becoming demoralized.”

The following is a list of the killed and wounded in our own corps.


Private Wm. SmithNo.2Company.
Lance-Corporal Mark Defries3
Ensign Malcolm McEachren5
Private Alderson7
  ”     Tempest9
  ”     McKenzie
  ”     Mewburn

Total seven.


No.1CompanyEnsign Wm. Faheyknee.
Private Oulsterleg (calf).
2Sergeant Hugh Mathesonthigh (died on 11th inst.)
Corporal Wm. Lakeymouth ” ” ”
Private Wm. Thompsonneck.
3Captain J. B. Bousteadcontused.
Lieutenant J. H. Beaventhigh.
Private Chas. Winterthigh.
4Chas. Lugsdinlung and arm.
5Chas. Bellknee.
Private Cappwrist.
6Lieutenant W. C. Campbellshoulder.
Corporal Paul Robinsknee (since amputated).
Private Rutherfordfoot.
7Sergeant W. Fosterside.
9Private E. T. Paulknee.
  ”     R. E. Kingsfordleg.
  ”     E. G. Patersonarm.
  ”     W. H. Vandersmissengroin.
10Color-Sergeant F. McHardyarm.
Private Whitearm (since amputated).

Total 21.


In addition to the above several were sun struck. Some six of the 13th Battalion and two of the York Rifles were also wounded.

On June 3rd, the battalion was aroused and paraded about 1 a.m., in consequence of an alarm which proved to be false. At 3 a.m. we were again aroused and placed on a train on which was the 7th Battalion of London, and 22nd Oxford Rifles, who had arrived the previous night. The train left at 6 a.m., proceeding to Sherk’s Crossing, about six miles from Port Colborne, where the force disembarked, and formed column of route as follows: 7th, who furnished the skirmishers, 22nd, St. Catharines Home Guard, and Queen’s Own (finding the rear guard), the whole being under the command of Captain Akers, Royal Eng., moved to the Garrison Road, passing by the battle ground of yesterday, where we learned that the Fenians had recrossed to the American side, after a skirmish with the Welland Field Battery, and Dunnville Naval Brigade. The march was continued to Fort Erie, where we arrived at 2.30, and immediately went into camp with the York Cavalry, 10th, 19th, and a Provisional Battalion of Volunteers, two batteries of Royal Artillery, Her Majesty’s 16th, 47th, and 60th Foot (4th Company), the camp being under the command of Colonel Lowry, of the 47th.

The Queen’s Own remained here doing piquet duty until 1.30 a.m. of the 5th inst., when orders were received to strike tents, parade, (without bugle sound), and embark on a train then waiting for us. This was done by 3.30 a.m. and at 6 a.m. we left Fort Erie, having with us Colonel Wolseley, Assistant Quarter-Master-General of Her Majesty’s Forces in Canada. Our destination was unknown, but supposed to be Toronto, or Lower Canada. On reaching Hamilton, however, we were ordered to Stratford, where we arrived at 5 p.m. and immediately went into billets.

It should have been mentioned, that on leaving Port Colborne, on the 3rd inst., the York and Caledonia companies were attached to us, as Nos. 11 and 12 companies, and accompanied us to Stratford.

On the 5th, the remains of Ensign McEachren, privates Defries, Alderson, Smith and Tempest, were buried in Toronto, being followed to the grave by all the volunteers in the City, and an immense number of citizens.

The regiment remained in Stratford until the 18th inst., being in billets during that time. Besides the Queen’s Own, Captain Gore’s Battery of Royal Artillery and two companies of H.M. 16th Foot, were stationed there, the garrison being under command of Colonel Wolseley for a week, and then under Major Bancroft of the 16th. We drilled regularly twice a day, and found a piquet of one company each night for the battery at the railway station.

On the 18th inst. we left for Toronto, much to the disappointment of all, as our treatment at the hands of the citizens of Stratford had been most kind. On leaving, the Mayor, on behalf of the corporation and citizens, presented an address to the commanding officer of the regiment, expressing regret at the removal, and testifying to the uniform good conduct of the men during their stay.

On arriving at Toronto we were received by thousands of people, notwithstanding that a heavy rain was falling. We were met by Major-General Napier, C.B., commanding the district, and a deputation of citizens, and publicly thanked for our services. We were then relieved from duty.

Our strength on returning to Toronto was 725, officers and men, including the York and Caledonia Companies who accompanied us.

The following are the names of gentlemen who joined the corps as volunteers on hearing of the action at Ridgeway: J. E. Robertson, Adam Lillie, —— White, Edward Butt (from New York), Geo. M. Ray, Rusk Harris, Alex. Beecher, W. P. Cassels, E. P. Crawford, G. F. Duggan, F. W. Holmstead, Jas. Louden, J. E. Farewell, Wm. Mulock, —— Radenhurst, M. C. Moderwell, —— Mitchell, C. W. Bell, P. M. Barker, and a number of others.

The news of the fighting at Ridgeway created intense excitement in Toronto.

The number of “Varsity” published on June 2nd, 1883, contained an interesting account by a member of the Queen’s Own of the feeling in Toronto the day after the action. “That Sunday, June 3rd, was one such as Toronto had never seen before. The most contradictory rumors were afloat in the city. The churches presented a most extraordinary spectacle. Instead of the usual attendance of quiet worshippers—of the hymn of praise, the calm discourse—the attendant throng was assembled in deep humiliation and earnest prayer. I doubt whether a single sermon was preached in Toronto on that day. Excited people came rushing into the churches and announcing the latest news from the front. Then a prayer would be offered up by the pastor, or the congregation would bow their heads in silent supplication. The merchants, on word being received that the volunteers were suffering from want of food, ransacked their warehouses for supplies to be sent to the front by the steamer that was to go to Port Dalhousie that afternoon for the dead and wounded; and all the young men were hastening to the front.”

The Toronto papers of Monday, June 4th, 1866, published details of the arrival of the steamer City of Toronto at the wharf on the previous evening with the dead and wounded. The Globe account contained the following:—“The vessel was expected to reach Yonge Street wharf about 9.30 p.m. Long before that hour, however, a continuous stream of people from every quarter of the city poured along our principal streets towards the foot of Yonge Street, the steamer’s landing place. * * * * Owing to unavoidable delay and an adverse wind, the steamer did not reach her landing as early as was expected. Towards nine o’clock, however, several hearses, and stretchers borne by soldiers of the 47th Regiment, were brought to the wharf. Several members of the medical profession were in attendance to render any service in their power to the wounded soldiers. Before ten the steamer hove in sight, and shortly after came to her moorings. At one end of the vessel lay arranged together the rough coffins containing the dead. They were formed of rough pine timber, the name of the occupant being chalked on the cover.”

The remains of the fallen volunteers were accorded a public funeral on the afternoon of Tuesday, the 5th. A publication of the time gave the following particulars regarding the funeral:—“The bodies lay in state in the drill shed, which was appropriately draped. The coffin of Ensign McEachren occupied the middle and front position of the platform, covered with the Union Jack; that of Corporal Defries was placed on the right, and that of Private Smith on the left, each draped with the banners of the respective Orange Lodges to which they had belonged. The coffins of Privates Alderson and Tempest were placed behind and above, covered with flags. The remains of Privates McKenzie and Mewburn were buried at Woodstock and Drummondville respectively.”

At 3.20 the catafalque, which was to carry the remains to their places of burial, arrived, and they were placed upon it by the escort of the Queen’s Own who had accompanied their fallen comrades to the city. The procession started from the drill shed at 3.50 in the following order:

Band of the 47th Regiment.

Firing Party.

Officiating Clergymen.

Remains of

Ensign McEachren,

Corporal Defries,

Private Smith,

Private Alderson,

Private Tempest.


Funeral Committee.

Third Battalion of the Fifth Military District.

Privates and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Army.

Officers of Volunteers according to rank.

Officers of the Army according to rank.

Major-General Napier and Staff.

Mayor and Corporation.

Citizens on foot.


The procession moved up Simcoe Street to King, along King Street to Parliament Street, and up Parliament to St. James’ Cemetery, the Band of the 47th Regiment (now the First Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment), playing the Dead March in “Saul,” and the bells of the City tolling. The shops were closed, the streets crowded, and a majority of the citizens wore badges of mourning. The procession was about half-a-mile in length. On arriving at the cemetery the coffins were taken from the catafalque and placed on the steps leading to the Church, and the Lloydtown Rifle Company ranged themselves on each side as a firing party. The burial service of the Church of England was read by the Rev. Mr. Grassett, Rector of St. James’ Cathedral, the Rev. Mr. Boddy, Curate of the Cemetery Chapel, and the Rev. Mr. Williams, Garrison Chaplain. The musical service was conducted by Mr. Carter, and the choir of St. James’ Cathedral, and consisted of the introductory sentence “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” the anthem, “I heard a voice from Heaven,” and the hymn, “Nearer my God to Thee.” The service over, six volleys were fired over the remains, and they were removed to the vault of the chapel.

Within a week, the remains of two more victims of Fenian bullets, Sergeant Hugh Matheson and Corporal F. Lackey, were laid alongside those of their predeceased comrades.

The Globe, on the morning of June 6th, published an editorial thoroughly expressive of the public feeling in Toronto at the time. The following terse paragraph is worth repeating:—

“We have buried our dead, but the lesson which they have taught us in their fall will live long after all who were present at the ceremonies of yesterday have followed them to the tomb. It is a lesson of devotion to country, which, when deeply learned by a people, produces glorious results. Our brave fellows died to save our country from being overrun by a horde of robbers; but beyond that, to preserve to us institutions and laws, attachments and sympathies, hopes and aspirations, all in fact that is dear apart from family ties, to an intelligent population. On their tombs the people of Canada will record anew their determination to yield no jot or tittle of their birthrights, to hold fast the tie to the mother land which distinguishes them, and proudly distinguishes them from other nations of this continent. Behind the mask of sympathy for Irish wrongs, there lurks a desire to force this country into a political connection with their neighbor by means of border troubles. If anyone should ever be tempted to yield to such a pressure, the recollection of the men who fell at Lime Ridge will banish forever the despicable thought. The autonomy of British America, its independence of all control save that to which its people willingly submit, is cemented by the blood shed in battle on the 2nd of June.”

The following official recognitions of the regiment’s services upon this memorable occasion were received by the commanding officer:—

Assistant Adjutant-General’s Office,

                   Toronto, June 8th, 1866.

Sir,—I am directed by Major-General Napier, C.B., commanding 1st Military Division, C.W., to acknowledge receipt of a copy of your dispatch dated Stratford, June 6th, 1866, addressed to Lieutenant-Colonel Lowry, 47th Regiment, detailing the operations of the volunteer force on the morning of the 2nd, in which the Queen’s Own was engaged with the enemy.

It is now my gratifying duty to convey to you, not only the approbation, but the very great pleasure the Major-General experienced in hearing from you of the good conduct of the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the regiment under your command on that occasion.

That they fully confirmed and justified the good opinion that the Major-General always entertained of them by their gallant conduct in meeting for the first time the enemies of their Queen and country. The Major-General feels quite sure that the regiment will always cherish and sustain the character now so nobly won by the Queen’s Own. I have also to express to you by the Major-General’s desire his entire approbation of the very able and gallant manner in which you commanded the Queen’s Own under very trying circumstances, and it will give him much pleasure in bringing before His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief, the gallant service rendered by the Queen’s Own on the occasion, which you will be good enough to convey to the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the regiment under your command.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

    Your most obedient servant,

        WM. S. DURIE, Lieutenant-Colonel,

                    A. A. General Militia.

Assistant Adjutant-General’s Office,

                   Toronto, June 11th, 1866.

Sir,—I am directed by His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief, to express to you his thanks for the gallant conduct displayed by you and the battalion under your command on the occasion of the action at Lime Ridge.

I have the honor to be, Sir,

    Your obedient servant,

        WM. S. DURIE, Lieutenant-Colonel,

                    A. A. General Militia.

To Major Gillmor,

    Commanding Queen’s Own Rifles,


June 19th, the officers of the corps gave a supper at the Queen’s Hotel to the officers of the York and Caledonia Companies, previous to their leaving for home, which they did on the 21st inst., the Queen’s Own Band playing them off.

June 27th, the regimental parades were resumed, with a march out.

July 15th was a public holiday in honor of the Toronto volunteers, when a dinner was given to the whole force in the Crystal Palace, and an address presented by the Mayor on behalf of the citizens.

July 25th, the corps marched out, passing by the residences of some of the wounded, viz., Ensign Fahey, Privates White, Lugsdin, Oulster and Bell, and giving each three hearty cheers.

A camp of instruction was formed on August 14th at Thorold, and on the 22nd the Queen’s Own received orders to join it on the 25th, which was done, the regiment leaving Toronto on that day by the steamer City of Toronto to Port Dalhousie and marching from thence to camp, arriving about 3 p.m., 500 strong, and immediately going under canvas.

The force in the camp was a demi-battery of Royal Artillery, four companies of H.M. 16th Regiment, the 13th Battalion of Hamilton, and 22nd Oxford Rifles; Colonel Wolseley, A.Q.M.G. as commandant. The battalion remained in camp for eight days, drilling three times each day, including two field days.

The above drill was in lieu of the ordinary eight days’ drill, and the men received $1.00 per day and free rations. Officers full pay.

General orders of August 24th contained the following letter, communicated through the regular official channel to His Excellency the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief, the Right Honorable Viscount Monck:—

Horse Guards, July 21st, 1866.

The Under-Secretary of State for War.

Sir,—With reference to the several reports which have been received from the General Officer Commanding in Canada, relative to the Fenian movement in that province, and to the measures taken by the colonists for repelling any Fenian attack, I am directed by the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief to request that you will acquaint the Secretary of State for War, that His Royal Highness, having observed the alacrity, loyalty and zeal shown by the volunteers and militia forces of Canada, in having come forward for the defence of the colony on the late trying occasion, in support of the troops, is very desirous of expressing to the force his full appreciation of their gallant and energetic behaviour, and the very great gratification and satisfaction he has thereby experienced. And His Royal Highness trusts, therefore, that Lieutenant-General Peel will see no objection to the necessary communication being made by him to the Colonial Office, with the view to His Royal Highness’ sentiments, as above expressed, being made known through the proper channel to the volunteers and militia of Canada, lately employed against the Fenians.

I am, etc.,

    W. F. FOSTER.


Peace hath her victories

No less renowned than war.



o the exciting term of active service on the Niagara frontier succeeded some months of spasmodic excitement, followed by many years of peace and substantial regimental progress, with an occasional summons to arms in aid of the civil power. An event of first importance in the history of the Canadian Militia during this period was the Confederation of the Dominion, effected in 1867, and the passage, the following year, of the Militia Act at present in force.

After the regiment returned to headquarters from active service, in 1866, all the machinery for turning the corps out at a moment’s notice was carefully preserved. A brigade order issued September 25th, provided that in case of alarm, all the militia in the City, except the Toronto Field Battery, would muster at designated alarm posts, viz.: All those officers and men living west of York Street and the College Avenue at the drill shed, and those living between York Street and the College Avenue, on the west, and Church Street on the east, at the corner of Yonge and Wellington Streets. The arms, accoutrements and ammunition would be issued to the men residing east of York Street and the College Avenue only, and such men were held responsible for their proper preservation and safe keeping, until again returned into stores. This order was sanctioned from headquarters.

September 14th, Lieut.-Colonel Durie resigned the command, and was succeeded by Major Gillmor, whose rank of Lieutenant-Colonel was antedated to June 1st.

The gold chevrons, worn by Staff Sergeant, were abolished by battalion orders on October 8th. Chevrons of black braid on a red ground, as at present worn, were substituted.

October 22nd, at a meeting of officers, it was resolved that the winter uniform, then worn, (frock coat and gray fur, etc.,) be changed to a black cloth patrol jacket, trimmed with black fur, black fur cap, dress trousers and short leggings.

November 14th, weekly drills were resumed with a muster of about 180 officers and men, which each week grew smaller, until December 19th, when drill ceased. The small attendance at drill was caused by the battalion having already put in the annual drill, at Thorold instead of at home. Immediately on returning from the camp, numbers gave the necessary six months’ notice, previous to leaving the force, as their business engagements, or their employers, would not permit them to remain longer in the militia, owing to the demands on their time for drill.

Major Dixon, who had for several years been adjutant of the regiment, in 1866 published an “Active Service Manual for Volunteers,” embodying the regulations generally in force in Her Majesty’s regular army, and in a general order dated February 1st, the Commander-in-Chief recommended the same to officers commanding volunteer battalions and corps, as a useful guide.

During February, 1867, corporal Jno. Conner of No. 1 Company and private Arthur Reed of No. 8 Company, died of diseases contracted on service, and were buried by their companies.

On February 21st, the old Enfield rifles and bayonets were returned to provincial stores at Toronto, previous to the issue of Spencer repeating rifles, 600 of which were received by the battalion on February 26th.

On the last mentioned date a district order explained that as the issue of the Spencer rifles was only a temporary measure, pending receipt of breech-loaders, the Imperial Government would not sanction the marking of the arms.

March 2nd, Corporal Jno. Robins, of No. 6 Company, died of disease contracted on service and was buried by his company. On the 6th of the same month the “Spencers” were issued to companies, and the men instructed in their use.

On March 15th, another Fenian Raid being anticipated, the Regiment was ordered to parade on three evenings each week. Two men per company were ordered, the same date, to attend at the Garrison Common for Target practice, at 2 p.m. each day until further orders.

The necessity for the Queen’s Own being held in readiness for active service having ceased, the extra drills were discontinued on March 26th, and the regiment ordered to parade in future on Wednesdays only. The following appeared in regimental orders:—“The officer commanding having witnessed with gratification and with pride the loyal and patriotic spirit exhibited on the present, as on all former occasions, by the regiment, and the cheerful alacrity with which all parades were attended at much personal inconvenience, and he fears loss to many, offers his thanks to each officer, non-commissioned officer and man for the cordial and hearty co-operation he has received from all, in his efforts to place the regiment in a fit state for active service if required.”

March 27th, 1867, the regiment was inspected by Major-General Stisted, C.B. Thirty-four officers and 439 non-commissioned officers and men were present, and the battalion was highly complimented by the General.

At an officers’ meeting, held April 3rd, it was decided that a rolling collar on the patrol jacket replace the standing one previously worn, and that the facings on the collar of the same be discarded, also that the double stripe on the trousers of the officers be changed to a single two-inch stripe of mohair braid.

The officer commanding afterwards decided that the scarlet facing on the cuff of the jacket should not be worn in future.

On April 10th, the battalion went into summer uniform. The tunics of the non-commissioned officers and men were improved in appearance by the addition of a shoulder strap marked with the since familiar “Q.O.R.” May 1st, cloth forage caps were provided for the sergeants and band, and by a regimental order, the field officers and adjutant were ordered to dispense with the peaks on their forage caps. On the 10th a memorial from the officers asking to be allowed to dispense with the peaks on all forage caps, being presented to the officer commanding, their request was granted.

General Orders of June 14th stated that arrangements had been made for the exchange of the Spencer rifles for Snider Enfield breech-loading rifles. The order continued:—“The exchange will be made with the least possible delay, to effect which depots of these rifles and of ammunition for the same will be formed at Quebec, Montreal, Prescott, Kingston, Toronto and London, from whence district staff officers may draw to supply the corps in their several districts.”

July 1st there was a parade with the 13th Hussars, Royal Artillery, 17th Foot, 4th Battalion, G.G.B.G., 10th Battalion and Volunteer Field Battery on Denison Common to celebrate the first Dominion Day.

Drill commenced for the year 1867-68 (weekly) on October 9th, when the long Snider-Enfield rifles received the preceding month were issued.

November 5th the regiment lined the streets on the occasion of the late Bishop Strachan’s funeral, about ten officers being in the cortege. On the 8th, R. W. Robinson, late of H.M. 16th Regiment, was appointed Band Master.

On December 18th drill was ordered to cease until January 22, 1868.

Upon the occasion of the opening of the first provincial parliament of Ontario by the Lieutenant-Governor, Major-General Henry W. Stisted, December 27th, 1867, there was more than usual ceremonial to signalize the inauguration of the new order of things in provincial politics. There were no less than three guards of honor furnished by the Queen’s Own, the 10th Royals and the Grand Trunk Battalion. The guard of the Queen’s Own was stationed at the Governor’s residence at the corner of Portland and Front Streets, where it remained until the return of His Honor from the House.

The issue of the new rifles soon had the effect of arousing an increased interest in the force in rifle shooting. The following memo. had reference to the inauguration of the inter-provincial match, which is still one of the features of the D.R.A. prize meeting:


Assistant Adjutant-General’s Office,

           Toronto, August 13th, 1868.

District Memo.

The Brigade Majors of Divisions will communicate at once with the Officers Commanding Corps of Infantry, in their respective divisions with the view of obtaining the names of one or two good rifle shots in each regiment who would be willing to proceed to Montreal on or before September 15th, at their own expense, in order to represent this district and compete for the Military District Prize. Officers Commanding Corps are requested not to forward the name of any man unless a “first-rate” and a good average shot. Ten men required for this prize to be competed for at the annual match of the Dominion Rifle Association.

The militia corps which existed at the time of Confederation did not all necessarily become part of the Dominion militia force created by the act. Existing militia corps had the option of forming part of the reorganized force, but certain formalities had to be complied with. The following general orders were issued at Ottawa September 24th, 1868:

No. 1. Officers Commanding Corps of volunteers organized previous to October 1st, 1868, are hereby notified that the following section of the militia law which comes into force on that day, must be complied with within three months thereafter.

Every volunteer corps duly authorized previously to and existing on the day on which this act shall come into force, including the officers commissioned thereto, shall for the purpose of this act be held to be existing, and shall be continued as such, subject to the provisions of this act, and within three months after the day on which this act shall come into force, all such corps shall be mustered by their captains or commanding officers, the provisions of this act shall be read and explained to them, and such of the men as have not previously given notice of their desire to be discharged shall take the oath hereinafter prescribed, and be re-enrolled as volunteer militia, and each man shall sign a muster roll; and thereafter such men of any volunteer corps in any regimental division, as complete three years continuous service in such corps, or complete three years, including any previous continuous service in the same corps immediately before such muster, or had served three years continuously in such corps immediately before such muster, and are discharged after giving the required notice, shall not be liable to be ballotted for any period of drill or training of the active militia, until all the other men in the first, second and third classes of militiamen in the company division within which they reside, have volunteered or been ballotted to serve.

Such men as re-enroll within three months after the 1st day of October to complete three years, including their previous continuous service, may be permitted to quit the corps, should they desire to do so, after their three years service shall have expired.

The Queen’s Own was amongst the first regiments to re-enroll under the new act.

The departure of Lord Monck from Canada was signalized by the issue of the following complimentary general order:—


    “Ottawa, November 12th, 1868.

“General Order.

“The Governor-General desires before leaving Canada to address a few words of farewell to the members of the staff, officers and men of the militia and volunteers whom it has been his high privilege to command during the last seven years. A comparison of the condition of the force as it now exists with that which obtained when the Governor-General assumed the command in the year 1861, would show an enormous improvement in numbers, efficiency and equipment. On more than one occasion while His Excellency has been in Canada, circumstances have compelled him to call for the active services of the volunteers.

“The manner in which on those occasions they sacrificed time, money and convenience for the public service, is now a matter of history, and has won for them the admiration of the public and the warm commendation of the Imperial authorities. The volunteers are embodied for no aggressive purpose, and are organized solely for the defence of their native land and the maintenance of internal order and peace.

“While His Excellency trusts and believes that the volunteer force will never be called upon to display its efficiency in the prosecution of actual hostilities, the experience of the last seven years proves that the existence of such a force of citizen soldiers may at times avert from the country many of the disastrous consequences of a state of war.

“His Excellency, therefore, trusts that the officers and men of the volunteer force, while not withdrawing themselves from their civil avocations, will esteem it a sacred duty which they owe to their country to maintain their organization, and to keep up that discipline without which the largest force of men is useless for military purposes.

“His Excellency cannot conclude without expressing his satisfaction at the alacrity and readiness with which the orders he has seen fit to issue from time to time for the government of the volunteers, have been obeyed by the officers and men of the force generally.

“The Governor-General wishes the force farewell, and will always continue to watch with interest their future progress.”

General Orders during February, 1869, announced that the Queen’s Own, having complied with the provisions of the Dominion Militia Act, were continued in existence under the new Act. A district order March 5th provided that all the companies of volunteer militia, which had been gazetted, would be permitted to recruit up to 55 non-commissioned officers and men, but not beyond that number unless under special circumstances. Regimental Orders a few days later included the following:—“With regard to the district memo. of the 5th inst., permission has been granted to the regiment to recruit the several companies to 65 non-commissioned officers and men.”

Regimental orders of May 24th contained the following:—“No. 1. Captain and Adjutant Otter will act as Major, retaining the appointment of drill instructor, and Captain Jarvis will act as Adjutant until further orders.”

At the annual pay muster on April 7th, the parade was 376 officers and men. In June, No. 6 Company became disorganized and was disbanded, the remaining men being transferred to other companies.

His Royal Highness, Prince Arthur (now Duke of Connaught), who was quartered in Montreal with his regiment, the First Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, Lord Alexander Russell commanding, visited Toronto in October, 1869, arriving on October 2nd and leaving on the 6th. The soldier prince was accorded a most enthusiastic reception, recalling that tendered to his brother, nine years before.

The day of His Royal Highness’ arrival, the Queen’s Own furnished a guard of honor at the City Hall, one field officer (Major Brown) and two companies, the remainder of the regiment being detailed in keeping sufficient ground clear in front of the City Hall on the arrival of H. E. the Governor-General and H.R.H. Prince Arthur.

Just after the royal visit was over there was another of the periodical Fenian scares of that time, and district orders were issued, October 9th, warning all officers commanding battalions of volunteer militia in the Brigade District to hold their battalions in readiness to turn out for active service at short notice. The men were instructed to take home their rifles and accoutrements, and the regiment was ordered to mount one sergeant and three men as a guard over the magazine in the Toronto drill shed, to be relieved in turn by a guard furnished by the 10th Battalion. October 12th, a district order provided that regiments might be mustered for evening parade, but the order was to be carried out without causing alarm. The guards were withdrawn on January 12th, 1870.

Early in the spring, much excitement was caused throughout Canada by the Red River rebellion, Louis Riel and some of the French half-breeds refusing to acknowledge the authority of the new Dominion, in what is now Manitoba, and setting up a so-called Provisional Government. It was decided to send a mixed force of regulars and militia to restore order under the command of Colonel Wolseley, and the Militia Department took steps to raise provisional battalions. April 17th the Militia Department wired for the names of five officers of the Queen’s Own Rifles who would be willing to join the expedition. Captains Bennett and Harman and Ensigns Shaw and Crocker at once volunteered, and their names were sent to Ottawa. Nothing further was heard until April 22nd, when the following memo, was received from the Brigade office.

“I am instructed to obtain the services of six men from the 2nd Battalion Queen’s Own Rifles, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Gillmor, who will voluntarily enlist into the force about to be formed for Red River service. Rate of pay:—Color Sergeants $15 per month, Sergeants $15 per month, Corporals and Buglers $13 per month, Privates $12 per month. The men are required to be between the ages of 15 and 45, and of good character, who will engage for one year certain, and two if required, each man to be subject to medical examination.”

Of the officers who volunteered, one, Captain Harman, was appointed Lieutenant in the First Ontario Rifles. Ensign Hugh John Macdonald[1] was appointed Ensign in the same battalion. Twelve men of the regiment were permitted to enlist in the service battalion.

This year, 1870, was made memorable by the withdrawal of the regular troops from Ontario in pursuance of the policy of the Home Government, to allow Canada to provide as much as possible for her own defence.

The First Rifle Team to Represent Canada at the Wimbleton (England) Matches.

1.Sergt. McMillen.8.Sergt. Wilkinson.15.Pte. Sache, (Q.O.R.)
2.Capt. Gibson.9.Sergt. Harris.16.Sergt. Kincaid.
3.Pte. Murison.10.Lieut. Burch, (Q.O.R.)17.Capt. Werner.
4.Lieut. McNachton.11.Pte. Jennings, (Q.O.R.)18.Lieut.-Col. Skinner.
5.Pte. Joseph Mason.12.Capt. Bell.19.Pte. Dr. Oronhyatekha, (Q.O.R.)
6.Sergt. McDonald, (Q.O.R.)13.Ensign Wastie.20.Capt. McClenaghan.
7.Lieut. Little.14.Sergt. Omond.21.Capt. Cotton.

The spring saw another Fenian scare. Two Fenian forces crossed the Quebec frontier in May, one from New York State, the other from Vermont. Both were promptly driven back by the Eastern Townships and Montreal militia. Prince Arthur saw his first active service on the frontier at this time. In Toronto it was deemed necessary to have a guard mounted at the drill shed owing to the excitement.

The inauguration of the Ridgeway Monument in Queen’s Park, which had been designed by Mr. Robert Reid, of Montreal, took place with fitting ceremonial on Dominion Day, 1870.

In 1871 the battalion, 420 strong, formed part of the brigade camp at Niagara from the 6th to the 21st of June. There was a force of 5,000 men in this camp, which was under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Durie. Just before going into camp, Glengarry caps were issued in place of forage caps.

In this year, largely through the exertions of Lieutenant-Colonel Skinner, a team of Ontario riflemen proceeded to Wimbleton (England) under command of that officer, to represent Canada at the annual prize meeting of the National Rifle Association. Five members of the Queen’s Own Rifles, Ensign J. Burch, Sergeant A. A. Macdonald, Private Dr. Oronhyatekha, Private Sache and Private W. T. Jennings, were on this team.

In October a reinforcement of 200 was despatched to the Red River, the Queen’s Own furnishing eight men as its quota.

Since the disbandment of old No. 6 Company there had been but nine companies in the regiment, and on May 22nd, 1872, permission was given to raise a new No. 10 Company, under command of Captain W. H. Ellis, a number of non-commissioned officers and men being transferred to the new company from F Company. This company, which was raised largely through the exertions of Major Cherriman, was familiarly known as the University Company. The subalterns were Messrs. Vander Smissen and Langton, and the company had been thoroughly organized some time before it was gazetted on the strength.

A fife and drum band was organized in May this year.

From June the 12th to the 27th, 1872, the battalion, 453 strong, was again in camp with the brigade at Niagara. This year the government determined to take charge of the Wimbledon team and to make it a Dominion instead of a Provincial undertaking, and during the camp (on the 21st), the following general order was communicated through Brigade Orders:—

“The Wimbledon detachment, a detachment of marksmen belonging to corps of the active militia, will embark on board the steamship Scandinavian, at Quebec, on the 22nd inst., and proceed under command of a staff officer of the militia, as representatives of Canadian riflemen, to compete at the rifle matches to be held at Wimbledon, England, next month. These marksmen have been selected from among many of the best shots in the Dominion, with due regard to respectability of character. The individuals composing this detachment will report themselves at the brigade office, Quebec, Military District No. 7, at 1 p.m., on Friday, 21st inst., and be handed over by the Deputy Adjutant-General of that district to Brigade Major Worsley, of the Grand Trunk Railway brigade, the officer detailed to take charge of the party. The Adjutant-General feels confident that the individuals selected for this honourable service will prove by their conduct and good discipline, as well as by their skill in the use of the rifle, worthy representatives of their country and of the military force to which they belong. In announcing the despatch of this detachment the Adjutant-General desires to call the special attention of the non-commissioned officers and men of the active militia now performing or about to perform their annual course of target practice in the various camps of exercise, to the event, in the hope that it may tend to promote increased emulation and efficiency. Should circumstances admit of the annual despatch of a similar detachment to England, in selecting individuals, due regard to character and conduct will invariably be paid; for although skill in the use of the rifle is indispensable, respectability of character in a representative of the Dominion is of primary importance.”


1. Lieut.-Colonel Henry M. Pellatt, commanding.
2.Major John A. Murray.5.Hon. Major A. Burdette Lee, Paymaster.
3.Major Percival L. Mason.6.Hon. Captain J. O. Thorne, Quartermaster.
4.Lieut. James George, Adjutant.7.Surgeon-Major, Lester L. Palmer.

In 1873 Major Otter was selected to proceed to England as “second in command” of the Wimbledon team. On his return, in September, he was presented with a gold watch and chain by his brother officers.

The brass band was disbanded the same year; the instruments were sold, and for some time the regiment depended upon the fife and drum band for music.

In 1874 Lieutenant-Colonel Gillmor commanded the Wimbledon team. In September a number of the members of the regiment attended the unveiling of a tablet in the Ridgeway Methodist Church, in memory of the heroes of 1866. A feature of the ceremony was the address by Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Otter. In December the brass band was reorganized; a new set of instruments was imported from England, and Mr. Carey, who had held a similar position in the Old Royal Canadian Rifles, was appointed Bandmaster. The result was most satisfactory.

In May, 1875, Lieutenant-Colonel Gillmor resigned; his resignation was accepted, and Lieutenant-Colonel Otter succeeded him. Colonel Gillmor, on retirement, was presented with an illuminated address by the officers and ex-officers. He declined to accept a banquet and a more valuable gift which had been previously tendered him.

Saturday, October 2nd, the regiment was called out with the other city corps in aid of the civil powers. The Roman Catholic congregations had been holding pilgrimages from one church to the other, threats had been made to break up the processions, and the civil authorities appealed to the military for assistance. The brigade was under arms all day of September 3rd, but there was no disturbance.

During the year F (or No. 6) Company became disorganized and a new company was recruited by Lieutenant R. B. Hamilton from among the members of the Toronto Lacrosse Club.

Photographs by J. Fraser Bryce.

1.Captain and Brevet Major Ernest F. Gunther.5.Captain Harry F. Wyatt.
2.Captain Malcolm S. Mercer.6.Captain Rybert K. Barker.
3.Captain Robert Rennie.7.Captain John M. Davison.
4.Captain Arthur G. Peuchen.8.Captain William G. Mitchell.
9.Captain George C. Royce.

New Year’s Day, 1877, the eight companies of the regiment were ordered out on active service again. There had been trouble for some days between the Grand Trunk Railway and its employees, and the situation at Belleville, particularly, assumed a very ugly phase. On December 31st, 1876, a brigade memo, reading as follows was issued: “Lieutenant-Colonel Otter, Queen’s Own Rifles, will be good enough to warn quietly captains of companies that it is probable that the Queen’s Own Rifles may be required for service at short notice.” Next day at 6 p.m. a district order was issued calling out eight companies of the regiment, to parade at 7.30 the following morning. During the night, officers and men were notified, and at the time appointed, the regiment paraded up to the required strength at the Old Fort. The weather was very cold, with snow so deep that it required four locomotives to draw the train. When the train reached Belleville it was greeted with yells of derision by a large mob of rioters, and as the regiment quietly fell in on the platform it was subjected to a bombardment of ice, iron bolts, and such other missiles as could be picked up about a station yard. One missile knocked Major Miller down; private G. E. Cooper received an ugly cut over the eye from an iron nut, several others were less seriously injured and many were frost bitten. Guards were posted about the railway works, and a detachment under Captain Buchan detailed as an escort for the express train bound for Montreal. During the day several minor conflicts with the strikers occurred, during which two of them received bayonet wounds. On the evening of the 3rd, the regiment returned to Toronto, an agreement between the company and the workmen having been effected. The Major-General commanding the militia and the General Manager of the Grand Trunk both wrote Lieutenant-Colonel Otter complimenting him on the conduct of the Queen’s Own during this very trying and disagreeable duty.

January 19th, Captain Lawrence Buchan (now Colonel Buchan, C.M.G., commanding Royal Canadian Regiment) was gazetted Adjutant, vice S. M. Jarvis promoted to be Major.

In March 1 Company was reorganized and recruited by Lieutenant Fred. H. Wright from among the students of the Toronto School of Medicine. The previous month B Company had been reorganized and recruited from the Sons of England by Captain Strange. During the summer G Company was reorganized by Captain R. H. Bowes and Lieutenant W. E. Hodgins, later commanding officer of the Governor-General’s Foot Guards, Ottawa. The recruits, on reorganization, were drawn from the law students of the city.

This was the year of the Turkish war cloud, when war between Britain and Russia appeared impending. As a result the officers unanimously decided to offer the services of the battalion to the Home Government, and the offer was duly forwarded through the proper channels.

Regimental orders of July 11th contained the following reminiscent of the New Year’s service at Belleville:—“The officer commanding regrets to inform those who were present at the Belleville riots in January 7th last, that after repeated fruitless attempts to secure the pay for the service, he has been compelled to enter an action against the municipality, which, however, will not be decided until October next. In the meantime the Militia Department, in recognition of their satisfaction at the manner in which the arduous duty was performed, have authorized the distribution of a woollen muffler to each officer and man as a souvenir of the service.”

The mufflers must have been much appreciated in mid-summer. It might be added that eventually (October 2nd) the men’s pay was forthcoming.

The annual inspection took place November 17th before Lieutenant-General Sir Selby Smythe, who highly complimented the regiment.

In July the smart rifle busby was adopted as the full dress head dress of the regiment. A complete new issue of clothing was made during the autumn.

February 7th, 1878, the following appeared in general orders:

2nd Battalion The Queen’s Own Rifles, Toronto.

Special Badge and Device authorized.—The badge and device of the battalion shall be a maple leaf (in silver for officers and bronze for non-commissioned officers and men) on which a scroll or garter clasped with a buckle and bearing the legend, “Queen’s Own Rifles” and the motto “In pace paratus” encircling the figure “2” and surmounted by the Imperial Crown.

Cross belt ornaments—A lion’s head, chain and whistle in silver, with a centre ornament, which shall be on a silver plate between two wreaths of maple leaves (silver), conjoined at the base, encircling a Maltese cross of black enamel fimbriated, between the arms of the cross four lioncels (silver) passant gardant, charged upon the cross a plate of black enamel inscribed with the figure “2,” with a border also of black enamel and fimbricated, inscribed with the words, “Queen’s Own Rifles.” Over all the Imperial Crown, in silver, resting upon a supporting tablet of the same.

Another general order of March 14th read as follows:—

2nd Battalion Queen’s Own Rifles, Toronto.

Adverting to No. 1 of general orders, February 7th last, with reference to the “cross belt ornaments” those for sergeants shall be of bronze of the pattern therein described, substituting a scarlet enamel cross for the black, and a scarlet enamel tablet under the Crown.

April 27th, a company drill competition on the lacrosse grounds, for a silver cup, was won by F Company, commanded by Captain R. B. Hamilton. On May 24th the regiment participated in the Queen’s Birthday review in Montreal. Besides the Montreal Brigade, there participated B Battery R. C. A., Ottawa Field Battery, Governor-General’s Foot Guards, Ottawa, the Queen’s Own, the 8th Royal Rifles, Quebec, and the Barlow Greys (of Vermont). The government contributed a capitation grant of two dollars a man, and an allowance of two days’ drill pay towards the cost of the trip. The Queen’s Own admittedly carried off the honors of the day. Thanksgiving Day, the same year, the battalion had a sham fight on Scarboro Heights with the Engineer Company.

Photographs by J. Fraser Bryce.

1.Lieutenant A. D. Crooks.5.Lieutenant Duncan S. Storey.
2.Lieutenant George M. Higinbotham.6.Lieutenant Arthur J. E. Kirkpatrick.
3.Lieutenant and Captain Arthur T. Kirkpatrick.7.Lieutenant Sidney W. Band.
4.Lieutenant Frank D. Benjamin.8.Lieutenant John A. Gunn.

Photographs By J. Fraser Bryce.

1.Lieutenant Ewart B. Walker.5.2nd Lieutenant Leslie M. Beers.
2.Lieutenant James C. Allan.6.2nd Lieutenant F. M. Ellis.
3.Lieutenant William A. H. Findlay.7.2nd Lieutenant W. D. Allan.
4.2nd Lieutenant William R. Kingsford.8.2nd Lieutenant W. C. Michell.

The regiment, 531 strong, went to Montreal for the Queen’s Birthday review in 1879 again. The Marquis of Lorne and Her Royal Highness the Princess Louise were present. Besides the corps that had attended the previous year’s review before Lord Dufferin, there were present this year, the Quebec and Shefford Field Batteries, the Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College, and the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn, N.Y. The Queen’s Own was admitted by all to be second to no corps on the ground.

The following September there was a review in Toronto before the Marquis of Lorne and the Princess Louise. In addition to the city corps, A Battery, R. C. A., the Hamilton Field Battery, the Uxbridge, Port Hope and Peterboro Cavalry, the Victoria Rifles, the 7th, 13th, 20th, 21st, 38th and 46th Battalions were on parade. In the autumn Mr. John Bayley replaced Mr. Carey as bandmaster.

In 1880 the battalion had a three days’ camp at Niagara, holding a review there on the Queen’s Birthday. The annual inspection took place in November before Major-General Luard, who said the battalion compared favorably with the London Inns of Court Rifles, commonly known as the Devil’s Own.

In 1881 the regiment went to Brantford, on the invitation of the Dufferin Rifles, for the Queen’s Birthday, remaining under canvas from May 21st to the 25th. The parade state showed 373 of all ranks. The annual inspection took place November 12th, the Signal Corps, organized by Lieutenant Villiers Sankey, and the Ambulance Corps, organized by Dr. Lesslie, parading then for the first time in public.

Early in 1882 the field service forage cap replaced the Glengarry as the undress head-dress. The same year the sergeants inaugurated their mess and recreation rooms. May 15th the non-commissioned officers and men produced the comedy, “Our Wife,” very acceptably at the Grand Opera House. For the Queen’s Birthday the battalion went to Kingston, where a review, in which the local corps, the Gananoque Field Battery and the Montreal Garrison Artillery participated. June 16th the officers entertained Captain and Adjutant Buchan at the Albany Club, upon the occasion of his leaving for Winnipeg to reside. The annual inspection took place November 9th before General Luard, who expressed his complete satisfaction at the showing made. A somewhat important change was made in the official designation of the regiment early in this year as per the following general order:—

Ottawa, January 13th, 1882.

General Order,

2nd Battalion Q.O.R. of Canada.

The words “of Canada” have been authorized to be substituted for “of Toronto” in the additional designation of this battalion. The battalion will therefore in future be designated “The 2nd Battalion Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.”


      Adjutant-General of Militia, Canada.

In 1883 the regiment went to London, Ont., for the Queen’s Birthday, and Lieut.-Colonel Otter went to Wimbledon in command of the Canadian team. The annual inspection took place on the Exhibition grounds before Major-General Luard, who again expressed himself as well pleased. In December Lieut.-Colonel Otter resigned the command of the regiment, to assume command of the School of Infantry, established at the New Fort in connection with the “Infantry School Corps” (now the Royal Canadian Regiment).

February 29th, 1884, Major Albert Augustus Miller was gazetted Lieut.-Colonel, vice Otter, transferred to the Infantry School Corps. February 10th the officers tendered an enthusiastic dinner to Lieut.-Colonel Otter. Brantford was revisited on the Queen’s Birthday. There was a big military parade on Dominion Day, in connection with the celebration of the semi-centennial of Toronto. Besides the local corps there were present on this occasion the Hamilton and Welland Field Batteries, Governor-General’s Foot Guards, Ottawa; 6th Fusiliers, Montreal; 12th York Rangers, 14th, Kingston; 34th, 36th and 77th Battalions. The annual inspection took place on November 6th, Major-General Middleton being the inspecting officer. He found the regiment in splendid shape, for the preceding eighteen years had been years of progress and steady development. There had been some apparent set-backs, but they had not been without their lessons, and these lessons had been taken to heart. It was well they had, for the regiment was quite unexpectedly about to be subjected to a most severe test of efficiency and spirit.

Hugh John Macdonald is a son of the late Right Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald. He in 1885 served during the North-West Rebellion as Lieutenant in the 90th Rifles. He subsequently became Premier of Manitoba.


Wide are the plains to the north and westward,

  Stretching out far to the gray of the sky

Little they cared as they filed from the barrack room,

  Shoulder to shoulder, if need be, to die.

Was there one flinched? Not a man, not a boy of them;

  Straight on they marched to the dread battle’s brunt

Fill up your glasses and drink to them, all of them,

  Canada’s call found them all at the front.

Stuart Livingston.


outbreak of the Northwest Rebellion of 1885 came with the startling suddenness of a flash of lightning from a summer sky. It was verily a bolt from the blue. As the time of active service on the International frontier receded further and further into the past, that short-sighted section of the community that considered it smart to scoff at the militia, and to jeer at the idea of sustaining a healthy military spirit in Canada, became more outspoken with their jibes. Service in the militia was laughed at as “playing at soldiers,” and a very considerable section of the press denounced the action of the Militia Department in establishing the schools of military instruction as an absurd and wanton waste of money. The eight or ten years immediately preceding 1885 were years of very little encouragement for the Canadian militia. All the practical service there had been to do was when a corps or a city brigade occasionally was called out in aid of the civil power, and officers and men alike hate such service in any country. There were some men in Canada who could look ahead, and who realized that sooner or later a time would come when the militia would be wanted, and wanted badly. Thanks to the faith that was in these men, to their patriotic self sacrifice, and to the excellent esprit de corps that existed in many of the militia regiments, the force was able at this time to save Canada from a most humiliating crisis, if not from a terrible disaster.

Ever since the Red River troubles of 1870 stories of half-breed discontent had been arriving from the Northwest. Trouble had been predicted time and again but nothing ever came of it. In 1875, while Major-General Selby Smythe was in command of the militia, it was announced that Gabriel Dumont, one of those who had been associated with Riel in the troubles of 1870, had organized what he called a provisional government in the Batoche settlement, on the South Saskatchewan. The General, at the time, happened to be travelling in the Northwest, and he was despatched to Batoche with a force of fifty of the Northwest Mounted Police to investigate. Dumont explained that his object was to merely introduce a sort of municipal system, somewhat after the style of the tribal organization which used to prevail among the half-breeds on their hunting expeditions. Dumont was easily induced by the General to abandon his project. Every now and again, during the succeeding ten years, petitions against certain enactments would be received at the Department of the Interior, and news of discontent would be circulated. The land regulations, and neglect in the issue of scrip were the ostensible cause of the complaints. Open threats of armed rebellion were reported, but nobody took them seriously. With the bustle of railway construction, the steady movement of immigrants and other settlers in the west, and the revival of commercial prosperity and industrial activity in the east, it appeared absurd to anticipate the clash of arms anywhere within the peaceful borders of the Dominion. During the summer of 1884 it was announced that Louis Riel had returned to the Northwest from Montana, and was stirring up an agitation among the half-breeds. The report was simply set down as a newspaper story. During the winter one or two obscure paragraphs were published in a few papers to the effect that people in the Northwest feared trouble if the grievances of the half-breeds were not settled. One two-line paragraph, which appeared in some of the papers early in March, stated that Riel had asked the half-breeds to take their arms with them when they attended the public meetings he was holding through the Saskatchewan district. The first announcement of the fact that Riel had established what he called a provisional government was not taken seriously. A despatch stating that Riel had looted stores and made some prisoners, was set down as an exaggeration. On March 22nd a despatch was received by the Government, stating that a mail had been looted near Duck Lake, that the telegraph wires had been cut, and that Riel was encamped with a large force at Duck Lake, threatening Fort Carlton, which was held by a small force of the Northwest Mounted Police. But any apprehension which might have been produced by this despatch was completely allayed by the announcement that a reinforcement of Mounted Police had gone to Carlton from Prince Albert, and that a still larger force was on its way from Regina to the latter town. The Mounted Police had successfully carried out many a desperate enterprise in the far west, and the Canadian public saw no reason to worry over the news from Duck Lake, calmly concluding that in due course they would hear that the “Riders of the Plains” had Mr. Riel and his friends safely in the Prince Albert lock-up. When General Middleton and his aide-de-camp left Ottawa, on March 23rd, for the west, via Chicago, it was announced that the Commander-in-Chief was merely starting on a tour of inspection through Manitoba and the Northwest. And the confiding public believed it, even though the Winnipeg militia corps had been called out the same day. It was explained that they were required to do garrison duty for the Mounted Police despatched to the north. Then came the rude awakening of the country from its fool’s paradise. On March 27th came the news of a fight at Duck Lake, with a casualty list of twelve killed and twenty-five wounded. The country was at once aroused. A strong force of militia was at once called out, and the whole population was carried away with patriotic ardor and military enthusiasm. The militia force from being sneered at, found itself lionized. The force responded nobly to the call, in fact it was not so much a question of getting the number of men required, as to keep back those not needed. Rumors of Fenian activity, circulated undoubtedly to try and complicate the difficulties of the Government, but intensified the military enthusiasm of the population.

The Queen’s Own was one of the first corps called upon.

In brigade orders of March 27th, appeared the following:—

“In accordance with orders received from headquarters the 2nd Regiment Queen’s Own Rifles, and the 10th Royal Grenadiers will parade at the drill shed to-morrow morning at 9 a.m.”

That the regiment was in good shape and animated by the proper spirit was shown by the splendid muster at the hour named. All of the companies were in full strength, and scores of former members of the regiment were present to offer their services. It might be mentioned that the spring drills were in progress when this sudden summons to active service was received, the first regimental drill having taken place on March 18th. Some time after the parade had been formed, orders were received from Ottawa that only 250 men each would be required from the Toronto regiments. This caused considerable disappointment, and gave rise to much competition among both officers and men to secure places in the service detachment. The selection was however systematically made, and at eight the same night the 250 men ordered for service paraded.[1] On Monday the 30th, the detachments departed from Toronto amidst scenes of patriotic enthusiasm which fairly baffle description.

Now, as this is supposed to be a record of regimental services, and not a history of the campaign, the compiler will avail himself of extracts from the very excellent diary of one of the best known officers of the regiment, an officer who had special opportunities of knowing exactly what was going on. Thanks to this well-kept diary, one is able to follow not only the experiences of the service, but the impressions created by them at the time, upon those directly concerned:

Monday, March 30th—To-day, at 12.15 p.m., we steam slowly away from the Union Station, sadly parting from our many friends, but soon regaining cheerfulness at the thought that work lies before us. After the excitement and strain of the past few days we appreciate the luxury of rest, and we quietly settle down and make ourselves as comfortable as we can. Much speculation is indulged in as to the chances of the rebellion collapsing before we reach the Northwest, and the general impression seems to be that it will not be necessary for us to pass Winnipeg. On our train are C Company Infantry School Corps, 80 men, under Major Smith, Lieutenants Sears and Wadmore, and our own Q.O.R. contingent. We have been ordered to bring 250 men only, but investigation discloses the fact that 23 extra men have smuggled themselves on board. Our officers are Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, Major Allan, Captain and Adjutant J. M. Delamere, Surgeon Lesslie, Quarter-Master Heakes, Captains Brown, Kersteman, McGee and Macdonald, Lieutenants Mutton, Hughes, Brock, Cassels, Gunther, Scott, Lee and George. The 10th “Royal Grenadiers” are to follow us on another train. Lieut.-Colonel Otter, in command of the Toronto Brigade, comes with us. He appoints Lieutenant Sears as his Brigade Major and Dr. Strange as his Brigade Surgeon.

At one o’clock on Saturday morning I was roused by the D.A.G. and told of the Duck Lake affair and notified that the regiment had been called out. After that one had no time to recollect one’s thoughts, scurrying from house to house during the night warning the officers, parading in the morning and remaining in the drill shed. Then when orders reach us that 250 men only are required, choosing the lucky ones and seeing to their proper equipment, inspection in the evening by Colonel Otter, no time is left on Saturday for one’s own affairs. Sunday is somewhat quieter, but much remains to be done. The parade for the distribution of tuques, mufflers and underclothing takes much time, and then odd matters remain to be looked after, so that on this day too, one is allowed no rest, and to-day, of course, until we reach our train, we do not even try to think. Now I can analyze this affair, and I come to the conclusion that I am very lucky to have the chance to go. About 11 p.m. we reach Carlton Junction, and here have supper, much to our gratification; each man has brought a certain amount of provender with him, but cold snacks do not properly take the place of our accustomed hot meals. The accommodation at Carlton is limited, and the men are fed in relays so that much time is consumed in the process of consumption. The officers wait until the last. We here meet Mrs. Edward Blake,[2] who, with Mr. Beaty and Mr. Mulock, have come to say good-bye and present us with a flag. The Grenadiers catch up to us at Carlton, but we leave before them.

Tuesday, March 31st. We leave Carlton Junction about 2 a.m. Early in the afternoon we reach Mattawa and are furnished with a very good dinner, then we are allowed an hour or two to stretch our legs and wander up to and through the village.

Wednesday, April 1st. We reached Biscotasing about two this morning, cold and very hungry. This is the last station on the regular line of railway, and it is the headquarters of the construction department. Here during the winter, the C.P.R. have had employed some six thousand men. All have lived in tents. This seems almost incredible when one knows that the mercury frequently freezes in this region, but so it is. Even at this date we feel the cold greatly, and the thermometer we find well below zero. We leave Biscotasing about four, and make a station called Nemagosenda about 11.30. Here there are only one or two big shanties. We are given by the occupants some hot tea, which is as the poet says, “Grateful and comforting.” After this we run slowly all day and about seven reach Dog Lake. After supper we go by rail four miles to the end of the track. We have before us a break of fifty-one miles, and are to drive this distance in sleighs. Fifty-five teams await us, but these are not enough, and most of our baggage has to be left behind in charge of a rear guard of eighteen men under Lieutenant Gunther. We are much delayed in getting away, but at last we are safely stowed and start about 11 p.m. The 10th remain at Dog Lake waiting for teams.

We drive all night through a very wild and beautiful country; the bright moonlight enables us to fully appreciate the features of the scene, and very exciting is our experience. Most of the time we drive along the line of railway, the right of way as it is called, but very often we plunge into gloomy, impassable looking forests. The roads in most places very rough, though we meet with no mischief. The cold is very trying and renders sleep quite impossible. Every now and then one is forced to take a smart run to keep one’s very marrow from freezing. At some unearthly hour in the morning (April 2nd) we stop at a small camp, and some of the lucky ones secure a cup of tea, but it is not until eight this morning, after a drive of thirty-five miles, that we have a chance to rest and warm ourselves. Our haven was Magpie Lake where there was a large camp. About eleven we left Magpie Lake, and after a most delightful drive of five hours we reached the track again at a place hereafter known to fame as Camp Desolation. The day is very bright and fine, and we thoroughly enjoy our sixteen miles by daylight. Not to mention the scenery, which always charms and pleases, we have the excitement of making our way over a very rough and very much drifted road. Upsets are a thing of constant occurrence, but are a source of nothing but amusement, and howls of delight rise from the expectant onlookers as some subtle snow bank claims its unwary victims. All the teamsters are expert with swear words, and it is startling and forcible the way they use them. They seem to be a very rough lot, of all nations and kindred, many Swedes, Finlanders, French, and in fact, as the foreman tells me, there are plenty of every nationality but Christians. At Camp Desolation no trains await us as we expected, and we have to stand shivering and hungry for three hours before the cars arrive, and then we find we have to ride one hundred and seven miles in open flat cars. There is no help for it and we pack in as best we may. Each man has but one thin government blanket and prepares for a cold night.

Friday, April 3rd. The horrors of last night are simply indescribable. We leave Camp Desolation about seven, cold and very hungry, but for some time we enjoy ourselves very well. The mode of progression is, to say the least of it, somewhat novel, the railway ties are merely laid on the snow unballasted and unlevelled. Sometimes we seem to be plunging down veritable precipices, so steep are the grades, and at all times oscillation is so violent that one momentarily expects the car to leave the track bodily. Soon we find, however, that it is becoming too cold to allow any interest to be taken in anything but the question of how not to freeze, and even that question, in spite of the vigorous efforts of some of the more cheerful and pluckier spirits to keep the men’s courage up, ceases ere long to bother our poor fellows. The thermometer by actual observation goes down to 35 below zero, and the wind is biting. Our cramped quarters render movement of any kind impossible, and at last we simply make up our minds to freeze.[3] All things have an end, and about 2.30 we reached a camp called Heron Bay, ninety miles from Camp Desolation, and have a meal. I was about to say breakfast, but it is really the dinner of the day before yesterday. Many of our fellows have to be lifted out of the cars so stiff with cold are they, but warmth and food soon revive them, and their troubles are no sooner over than they are forgotten. Only two or three men, wonderful to relate, are much the worse for the experience of the night. We leave Heron Bay about six, refreshed and cheerful, and soon catch our first glimpse of Lake Superior. A run of an hour and a half brings us to Port Munroe, seventeen miles from Heron Bay, and here we find the second break in the track, one of eighteen miles, and across this we are to march. At the camp on the lake shore we are given some sandwiches, cakes and coffee and then vigorously begin our tramp. We start at noon exactly and make the eighteen miles in six hours and a half. Very good time it is, too, over heavy roads and with arms and accoutrements as a load. Moreover we have no stragglers.

We reach the track at a place called McKellar’s Harbor, and as a train is waiting for us C Company Infantry School Corps, and Companies 1 and 2 run down at once to Jack Fish Bay, a large settlement seven miles distant. The Staff with Nos. 3 and 4 Companies are to follow. They have a very good supper at Jack Fish Bay, and then are turned into a large empty warehouse for the night, and it is a night of luxury for them, as it was about the first good night’s rest since leaving Toronto. We, with Companies 3 and 4, are not so fortunate. The train returning from Jack Fish Bay ran off the track, and we are kept all night standing around trying to keep from freezing, and without food.

Saturday, April 4th. When we do arrive at Jack Fish Bay about 6 a.m., there is little or nothing left to either eat or drink. We prepare for another march to-day across the third break, twenty-three miles, but fortunately enough sleighs are on hand to furnish accommodation for us all, and we drive instead. We again reach the track at a place called Winstan’s Landing. There is no train ready, and we shiver for four mortal hours, most of the time exposed to the sleety rain. Then the welcome whistle is heard, the train, flat cars again, comes in sight, and with little delay we embark and run down to McKay’s Harbor, seven miles. It is dark when we reach this place, and snowing hard. No arrangements have been made for our food or shelter, and after waiting around for what seems an eternity, we are thrust into the damp, dirty hold of a propeller for the night, that is most of the men are. A few of the men and nearly all of the officers are put up at the C. P. R. Hospital.

Sunday, April 5th. (Easter). We leave McKay’s Harbor about ten, two men short, Beaumont, of H Co., with congestion of the lungs, and another man with something of the same kind of thing—remain in hospital. A very enjoyable run of forty-seven miles brings us to what is called Nepigon, and to our fourth and last break. We leave the cars at two and make Red Rock, on the west side of the Nepigon, twelve miles distant, at half-past five. Bad roads and heavy loads account for the slow time. We get a telegram here telling us that all is well at home, and that things are still looking bad in the Northwest. That satisfies us. We shall be wanted after all. A train awaits us at Red Rock, but the quarters are altogether too cramped, in many cases six men being crowded into one seat. We hear more cars are promised at Port Arthur and we are content to wait.

Monday, April 6th. We leave Red Rock some time this morning early and reach Port Arthur, sixty miles distant, about six a.m.

From Port Arthur to Qu’Appelle Station the trip was uneventful.

Wednesday, April 8th. Qu’Appelle Station (Troy, as it is called properly) we make early in the morning, and after a short delay we disembark in heavy marching order, march to a convenient piece of prairie and pitch our tents. This, of course, for the first time, and the work is novel and rather slowly done. At Qu’Appelle we find B Battery, Major Short in command, waiting for us. A Battery and the 90th are with the General at the Touchwood Hills. We, it seems, are to go west and work up to Battleford, probably. C Company I.S.C. leaves us to-day. The right half under Major Smith and A. Y. Scott of “Ours” attached, are to join the General; the left half, under Lieutenant Wadmore, Brock with him, leave by rail for a place called Swift Current, some distance west, where there is a large quantity of supplies. It is quite impossible to keep warm to-night, and even in the tents the men suffer severely. A chorus of coughing, most distressing to hear, is kept up with monotonous persistence.

Thursday, April 9th. Our long lost rear guard rejoins us, and is warmly welcomed, as is also our baggage. Cooking can now be indulged in. A new brigade is formed to-day. B Battery, the Guards Company, and half C Company I.S.C. and ourselves, and a very handy little force it will make. Captain Mutton is to-day appointed Brigade Quarter-Master, and leaves us for the Staff, so that we are becoming short of officers.

We see Boulton’s Scouts to-day.

Saturday, April 11th. We enjoy a night of warmth and comfort in the cars and pitch camp in the early morning at Swift Current close to the railway. C Company I. S. C. have taken up their quarters in the station. Camped here awaiting for us, about a hundred Mounted Police under Colonel Herchmer, and we now learn definitely that our destination is Battleford. That place is almost due north, about two hundred and eight miles distant, the trip there is not likely to be pleasant.

The column arrived at the South Saskatchewan River on the 14th. A steamer arrived shortly after to ferry the force to the north bank, but the crossing was not effected until the 17th. This was due to the fact that the steamer of the well known western type, broad, light draft, with one paddle wheel across the stern, could not be navigated in the swift current owing to strong unfavorable winds. At this place a heavy snow storm and hard frost made camping uncomfortable to say the least of it.

Saturday, April 18th. Cold of course last night, and when we poke our heads out in the morning we find two inches of snow on the ground and a sleety rain falling, not too pleasant indeed. We start shortly after twelve on our long march to Battleford. We have enough teams to carry all our provisions and a portion of our men. Half the men will be able to drive at a time, and we ought to make good progress. To-day we do about twelve miles, and a disagreeable march it is, a damp, dull, miserable day, and the prairie a sea of mud. We see no vegetation at all, and the country seems very wretched. To-night we begin to realize that we may be nearing the enemy and for the first time form a laager. The waggons are placed in an open square, each face being about two hundred paces long. The horses are tethered in the inside and the tents are pitched on the outside, doors opening towards the waggons. The men are ordered to sleep with their arms beside them and at the first alarm to make for the waggons. Then their position will be a happy one; the enemy in front, and a frantic, struggling mass of mules and horses, more dangerous still, behind them. Owing to some mishap no proper supply of wood has been brought with us and there is none to be had to-night. Nothing in the shape of fuel is to be had for miles and miles, and our poor fellows are obliged to content themselves after a hard day’s work with hard tack, corned beef and cold water.

Monday, April 20th. We start in good time after a miserable cold breakfast and put in over five hours good hard work. Then we dine, but what a dinner. Hard tack, oatmeal and water, no wood to be had yet. We push on for another four hours in the afternoon and make altogether to-day thirty-two miles. The pace is very quick indeed. Again we have no means of doing any cooking. Fortunately, though too late to be of use to us to-night, some teams laden with wood catch up to us and great preparations are made for a good hot meal in the morning.

Thursday, April 23rd. Last night was quiet but very cold, and to-day it is bitter; snow flurries every little while and ice on the sloughs. We have an early start and make good progress. The trail runs down hill and through Indian reserves.

We can see Battleford, when about eight miles away, from a height of land called Eagle Hills, and are disgusted to notice clouds of smoke rising from the settlement. We are ordered to camp, however, much as we would like to press on and render help if help is needed. It is not considered advisable to advance when night is approaching.[4] The scouts, however, go on to make an investigation. In the evening shots are heard from the direction of the town and twenty-five of the Mounted Police start off to see what the trouble is. Dr. Lesslie goes with them. They come back all right and report that the scouts had a few shots with some odd Indians, but that the main body, that had been besieging the town, had departed. Before leaving they set fire to Judge Rouleau’s house as a last work of defiance.

The column reached Battleford on the 24th, the Q. O. R. camping on the south side of the Battle River.

Saturday, April 25th. Last night was very cold indeed. We hear to-night the news of the fight with the breeds (at Fish Creek). Reports are very vague and unsatisfactory. I must describe the situation of things over in the fort. The enclosure is about 200 yards square, with some log houses as barracks and storehouses, also stables, and inside the enclosure have been pent-up for a month over 530 people, of whom over 300 are women and children. In a small house (the Commandant’s), a two-storey frame cottage, seventy-two people have been quartered, amongst them Captain and Mrs. Nash. (Captain Nash at one time commanded a company in the Q. O. R.) Food was very scarce and water was only to be obtained at the risk of death. All the inhabitants of the town have huddled here, as the people were not allowed to stay in the town, half a mile away—too far away to be under protection, though strange to say, the Indians did not make any attempt to pillage or burn it.

Monday, April 27th. I hear to-day that an expedition of some kind is going out to see what the Indians are doing. Most of the men are to cross the river as soon as possible (into the town), and only a small garrison will be left on this side.

Tuesday, April 28th. The weather is much milder. All hands are at work around Government House, a large building on the south side of Battle River, throwing up earthworks. This work is promptly christened Fort Otter, and the name is hammered in brass nails on the gate. We are told that only one company of ours is to go with the column to make the reconnoissance. Brown, Hughes and Brock are the three officers, and Cassels is attached to C Company I.S.C.

Wednesday, April 29th. Very cold, miserable night, and dreary morning. Nos. 2 and 3 Company cross over the Battle River this a.m. and pitch camp about midway between the town and the fort, Colonel Miller in command. He is appointed Commandant of Battleford. He appoints Captain Delamere Brigade Major. No. 1 Company is to go to the front and No. 4 is to remain at Fort Otter under Major Allan. The flying column is, we hear to-night, to consist of the Artillery, C Company I.S.C., Captain Nash’s Company of Battleford Rifles, some of the Guards and No. 1 Company of ours, and of course some police. They are to be ready to leave in the morning.

Friday, May 1st. The men of the flying column are ordered to be ready this afternoon to leave for the front. The object of the expedition is, we hear, to make a reconnoissance. It is not thought there will be any fighting to do. About 4 a.m. the column starts. The force consists of 8 Scouts, 70 Mounted Police under Captain Neall; B Battery; 80 men with two seven-pounder brass guns and a Gatling gun, under Major Short; C Company I.S.C., 45 men, under Lieutenant Wadmore; No. 1 Company Queen’s Own Rifles, under Captain Brown, 55 men; Battleford Rifles, under Captain Nash, 40 men; 20 men of the Guards, under Lieutenant Gray; Queen’s Own Rifles Ambulance Corps, Surgeon Lesslie, Sergeant Fere and 8 men. Colonel Otter is in command and Colonel Herchmer, Surgeon Strange, Captain Mutton and Lieutenant Sears are on the staff. There are fifty waggons to carry the column.

The men had properly speaking no kit. The annual drill period being short, nothing except the uniform had been issued to the militia, other than to the Infantry School Corps, and A and B Batteries of Artillery. The regiment was called out on Saturday morning. The men were selected during the day, but had little opportunity of purchasing necessaries. Inspection showed that the boots, (personal property), were excellent. At a special session, the City Council of Toronto, determined to supply underclothing and socks, and these were distributed Sunday afternoon.

Mrs. Edward Blake, wife of Edward Blake, Q.C., then a member of Dominion Parliament, and now a member of the British House of Commons for Longford. Mr. Mulock, then a member of Dominion Parliament and now Hon. Wm. Mulock, Postmaster General of Canada.

The train consisted of ordinary flat cars surrounded by a temporary fence and provided with a roof—no seats.

The trail ran through thick poplar bush.


              —a wilder brood hath ne’er appalled the sight

With carbines, tomahawks, and knives, that gleam with baleful light;

Dark plumes of eagles crest their chiefs, and broidered deerskins hide

The blood-red war-paint that shall soon a bloodier red be dyed.

Hark! to the death song that they chant—behold them as they bound,

With flashing eyes and vaunting tongues, defiantly around.

George Murray.

The Cut Knife Hill action was certainly one of the most desperate affairs of the whole Northwest campaign, and the statement can be made without fear of contradiction, by one who had the advantage of being present at the fights of Fish Creek and Batoche, of viewing the scenes of the battles of Duck Lake, Frenchman’s Butte and Loon Lake, in company with some of the principal actors therein, and of visiting Cut Knife Hill two months after the battle with Poundmaker, in company with two of Lieutenant-Colonel Otter’s principal officers, the late Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. Herchmer and the late Major Short.

The story of the fight forms one of the most stirring stories of Canadian history, and the honorable part played in the day’s operations by the detachment of the Queen’s Own, will be for all time a subject of pride to the members and friends of the regiment.

On a bright May day—and the choicest May days are very bright indeed in the far Northwest—Colonel Otter’s particularly business-like little flying column left Battleford, gained the heights above the southern banks of the turbid stream, and took up the trail leading westward towards the reservation of Poundmaker, the great Cree chief.

Poundmaker was, in many respects, the most distinguished Canadian Indian of his generation. He was one of the greatest chiefs the mighty Cree nation ever produced. As a matter of fact the best blood of three great Indian tribes united in his veins, and he appeared to possess in happy combination the best characteristics of them all. He possesses the audacious courage, the noble bearing, the handsome face, athletic figure, and general manliness of the Blackfoot; the industry, shrewdness and skill in the chase of the Assiniboine or Stoney; the caution, cunning and dogged determination of the Cree. And above all he possessed to a remarkable extent that talent of rugged figurative oratory, which is so highly prized among all the tribes of North American Indians. Having been largely instrumental in securing peace between the three great Indian tribes he represented in his person, he held a commanding position among the Northwest Indians at the time of the rebellion.

Just how far Poundmaker had been responsible for the atrocities committed by Indians in the vicinity of Battleford was not known, though there was pretty conclusive proof that some of his young men had taken the war path, and it was known that emissaries from the insurgent half-breeds had been received in his tepees. At the best the great chief was understood to be wavering, and Lieut.-Col. Otter thought that a demonstration in force in the direction of his reserve would have a beneficial effect. So the flying column started out from Battleford that May afternoon of 1885.

In his official report Colonel Otter gave the following lucid explanation of this movement:—“Having learned on the 20th ult. from my scouts, that a force of Cree and Stoney Indians, numbering about 200 men, were encamped near the reserve of the former tribe, some thirty-eight miles from here, and subsequently that Poundmaker, the Cree Chief, was hesitating between peace and war, the latter eventuality depending upon his being able to obtain assistance from Big Bear’s tribe, I felt it necessary that definite action should be taken in order to make Poundmaker declare himself, and prevent a junction of the forces of the two chiefs. I determined on a reconnoissance in force.”

Colonel Otter’s report proceeds to give the composition of his column and some information about his advance, explaining that at daybreak they reached the enemy’s camp, “which was seen on the higher of two hills, partially surrounded by a wide ravine with a large creek running through it. Crossing the creek, our advance guard, the scouts and police, were almost at the top of the lower hill before our presence was discovered and the general alarm sounded. Hardly had our scouts gained the crest of the hill when the advanced part of the enemy was met, who opened fire upon our men with vigor. The police immediately extended on the brow, and the guns,[1] supported by B Battery (garrison division) were pushed forward into the same line, opening fire with shrapnel on the camp. The disposition of our force was as follows:—In the centre of the front line, and just behind the brow of the hill, was the Gatling, flanked on either side by a seven-pounder brass gun, all under the personal supervision of Major Short, ably assisted by Captain Rutherford. The support of these guns consisted of the garrison division of B Battery. Immediately to the rear, resting in a slight declivity, were the horses of the Police and the waggon train. On either flank of the artillery were the Police. To the right and right rear was C Company and the detachment of the Guards (Ottawa Sharpshooters). To the left, lying on the lower ledge of the hill, and extending nearly to the creek, was the Queen’s Own; and protecting the right rear and ford was the company of Battleford Rifles. The positions thus described were, with some slight changes, retained by these corps more or less throughout the action.”

This official report contained the following references to the work performed by the Queen’s Own detachments:—

“The right rear, which took in the ford, was menaced, and a part of the Battleford Rifles, under Captain Nash, assisted by individual men of C Company, Guards, and Q. O. R., with Constable Ross, (Chief Scout) of the Police, undertook to clear the coulee at that point. This they did most effectually, capturing four ponies whose riders were shot by them. A similar duty had now to be performed on our left rear, which was entrusted to parties of the Queen’s Own and Battleford Rifles, and proved one of the sharpest brushes of the day.

“Lieutenant Brock, Q. O. R., most pluckily led the party to clear our left rear, and Sergeant McKell and privates Acheson and Lloyd, of the same corps, distinguished themselves by assisting the wounded to places of safety in the face of a heavy fire, private Lloyd himself being wounded in this duty. The ambulance corps of the Queen’s Own was particularly prominent in answering the numerous calls from the front for assistance, many times having to traverse ground that was raked by the enemy’s fire. Brigade-Surgeon Strange, I. S. C., and Surgeon Lesslie, Q. O. R., rendered willing and valuable assistance to the wounded, both on the field and in the temporary hospital that was established in the waggon laager.”

As to the conclusion of the action, the brigadier remarked in his report: “At eleven o’clock, that is, six hours after the beginning of the engagement, our flank and rear were clear, but the position we occupied was not tenable over night, while both guns were practically useless through broken trails, and the wounded required proper attention. Further, the object of the reconnoissance had been accomplished, inasmuch as Poundmaker had declared his intentions. But Big Bear, or at least his men, had effected a junction before my arrival, as the number of the enemy was fully five hundred fighting men, including some fifty half-breeds. I therefore concluded to withdraw and return at once to Battleford in case a counter-attack might be made on that place.”

These extracts give a better idea than could otherwise be conveyed of the objects sought to be obtained by the movement from Battleford, and of the results as they appeared to the officer in command, at the time. Of course Colonel Otter was mistaken in supposing that Big Bear or any of his men had joined Poundmaker, for they were still many miles away, in the Fort Pitt district, but the force with Poundmaker was much larger than at first supposed.

About two months from the date of the fight it was the privilege of the compiler of this history to make a thorough inspection of the battlefield of Cut Knife Hill in company with two of the principal actors in the engagement, as already stated. A strong mounted force had been despatched from Battleford by General Middleton to try and effect the arrest of some of the men of Poundmaker’s band, still at large, who were wanted for various criminal acts. A small party of those connected with this column availed themselves of the opportunity to ride over to Cut Knife Hill. The battlefield was a glacis-like hill side. With the exception of a very shallow depression or coulee a little to the rear of the centre of the position held by Colonel Otter’s men, and which coulee, the day of the fight, was occupied by the corral and hospital, there was no cover from the surrounding elevations except a few buffalo “wallows.” The position held, as pointed out by Lieutenant-Colonel Herchmer and Major Short, and as clearly indicated by the rows of empty cartridge shells and the holes cut by the gun trails in the sod on recoil, was in the shape of a horseshoe, the toe up-hill, the heel on the creek at the bottom of the hill. The rim of the horseshoe was defined by ravines or coulees, all connected in such a way that it would be possible for the Indians, who occupied these natural trenches to move under their cover completely round both flanks and across the front of the position of the troops without being observed by any but those who exposed themselves uncovered against the sky line. The coulees were not as deep, as precipitous, as heavily wooded, or individually as formidable natural defences as the coulee in which Gabriel Dumont hoped to entrap the cautious Middleton at Fish Creek, but in combination they made a much more deadly man-trap. The centre of the glacis within the horseshoe, the depression already mentioned alone excepted, was swept from the ravines in front and on both flanks. Had the troops not succeeded in keeping the Indians out of the shrub-lined banks of the creek—it was quite a considerable torrent—the position would have been shot-swept from the rear as well. And it was not only the immediately surrounding coulees that held hidden foes that trying day. Poundmaker and his braves had been famous buffalo hunters before the great slaughter had cleared the prairies of their shaggy herds, and long-range buffalo rifles played their part in the day’s tragedy. Major Short during the fighting felt convinced that his guns were drawing a vicious fire from the crest of a commanding hill so far off to the left front that the scouts declared the Indians had no weapons that would carry so far. So convinced was the Major that the Indians were firing from that extreme distance that he ordered a couple of shrapnel to be dropped at the spot indicated. Upon the occasion of the subsequent visit the Major, accompanied by the writer, rode over to the spot to satisfy his curiosity, and sure enough there were several shallow rifle pits on the top of the hill looking down over the battlefield, with some pieces of blanket in them and with numerous very long, solid, brass cartridge shells scattered about. Some fragments of gun shells picked up in the vicinity verified the artillery range, while a couple of graves, covered up with linen, afforded gruesome proof of the accuracy of the gun practice. Major Short with all a true gunner’s fervor, was most outspoken in expressing his regret that he had not been allowed to take his nine-pounder rifled guns on the reconnoissance instead of the brass seven-pounder affairs. He explained that at the best the seven-pounders were very poor substitutes for the accurate-shooting nine-pounders, and the seven-pounders were not even in fair condition, the woodwork of the trails being so rotten that the sockets in which the elevating screws worked became loose after the first few rounds. Before they had been in action long the trails themselves collapsed and had to be bound together, and eventually the guns had to be actually lashed to the trunnions with the drag ropes. What aggravated the annoyance of the artillerymen all the more was the knowledge that owing to the excellent state of the trail (road) they might just as well have taken the well-found nine-pounders left behind in Battleford, although the scouts had assured Colonel Otter that it would be absolutely impossible to take any heavier ordnance than the seven-pounders.

The casualties of Lieut.-Colonel Otter’s column in this action amounted to eight killed in action, and fourteen wounded. The Queen’s Own detachment was fortunate in having no killed, but of the total number returned wounded, no less than five belonged to that body. The regimental casualty list for this day, according to the official return, was as follows:—

Color-Sergeant George E. Cooper, shot through the right buttock. Serious.

Private George W. Watts, superficial bullet wound of left thigh. Slight.

Private J. S. C. Fraser, superficial bullet wound of left calf. Slight.

Private Charles A. Varey, shot in right side of neck. Serious.

Private George E. Lloyd[2], shot in back. Severe.

The Indians fought throughout the day with considerable skill. They appeared to be the beau-ideal of skirmishers, exposing themselves but little, and moving with marvellous quickness. Frequently they exposed blankets, or other articles of attire, to draw the fire of the troops, and promptly aimed at any who allowed their zeal to get the better of their judgment and exposed themselves to aim at the decoys. During the progress of the fight, the whole neighborhood resounded with the “coyotte,” a most annoyingly defiant and disconcerting battle cry; but except upon the occasion of the rushes, not a glimpse could be got of the wily foe. Such glimpses as could be had showed that the warriors were in full war paint—not merely their faces, but their bodies were painted in the fanciful designs common among the Crees and Stoneys, while their long, plaited hair was plentifully adorned with camp feathers.

An interesting historical fact about this action is, that it was supposed to have taken place precisely on the same spot as a fierce fight between the Crees and a war party of a branch of their traditional enemies, the great Blackfoot confederacy. Tradition asserts that after crossing the creek at the very ford used by Lieut.-Colonel Otter’s column, a raiding party of Sarcees was ambushed by the Crees and completely annihilated, the hill and creek deriving their present names from that of Chief Cut Knife, the leader of the defeated party.

And now we will return to the diary, so copiously quoted in the preceding chapter, for an account of some of the principal movements of the service battalion, after the return of the flying column from Cut Knife Hill.

Wednesday, May 6th. The cold last night was something unbearable. One peculiarity about it was that it left us powerless to protect ourselves. We nearly froze in our tents, and the men on picquet suffered severely. Orders were given to-day that No. 1 Company of ours was to remain in charge of Fort Otter, and all the others were to come across. The Staff and the Police crossed this afternoon. We got a mail to-day and were able to enjoy our letters.

Thursday, May 7th. C School, I.S.C., and No. 4 of ours, cross this afternoon, and No. 1 Company moved into the enclosure at Fort Otter.

Saturday, May 9th. A beautiful, warm day. We have had to-day a cricket match between Q.O.R. and the rest of the columns. We had an excellent team. George Lyon and D.O.R. Jones and some others of cricket fame were on the team, and we win.

Saturday, May 23rd. Another fine, warm day. Father Cochin[3] has returned from Poundmaker and says he is coming in to surrender. The whole of the half-breeds are to be here on Monday. The priest gave us information about the fight at Cut Knife. He was present for a time, and thought our people had a marvellous escape. Poundmaker had with him in the fight 380 braves and about 40 half-breeds. Riel had told the Indians that the “Yankees” were coming to help him, and when they saw the dark tunics of the Queen’s Own they thought they were friendly and would turn on the Red Coats as soon as the firing began.

The Indians were pretty well punished and Poundmaker wanted to surrender, saying that the other troops were coming up, and if they fought like those at Cut Knife the Indians could do nothing. The Stoneys persuaded him to hold out, however, and as day after day passed without molestation, they decided to move and join Riel. Every day they expected to be attacked, and advanced in fear and trembling. They would march a few miles each morning and then spend the rest of the day making rifle pits and preparing for an attack. At last came the news of Riel’s defeat at Batoche, and they saw the game was up. The priest did not think we could have advanced at Cut Knife. A deep ravine was before us, and we should have been terribly cut up in crossing that.

At this point it is as well to break in on the extracts from the diary, to explain that Major-General Middleton, with a portion of his column, reached Battleford and assumed command on May 24th. The General’s column had marched across the barren prairie and great alkali plains from Qu’ Appelle to Clark’s Crossing, on the South Saskatchewan. The original plan of campaign was that Middleton, having reached Clark’s Crossing, thus covering Saskatoon and the other settlements up the South Saskatchewan, and making a demonstration calculated to attract the attention of the half-breeds and Indians from both Battleford and Prince Albert, Colonel Otter’s column should descend the river by steamers and scows with supplies and ammunition from the crossing north of Swift Current, joining Middleton at Clark’s Crossing, where an advanced base, with large stores of supplies, would be established. Clark’s Crossing was conveniently situated, with regard to both Prince Albert and Battleford, and when the plan of campaign was first laid down the General was given to understand that there would be no difficulty, as soon as the navigation of the Saskatchewan was open, to keep the depot at Clark’s Crossing replenished by steamers running either from Swift Current or from Medicine Hat, where the railway crossed the river. Reliable navigation of this part of the Saskatchewan proved a myth, but before this had been demonstrated, the General had to change his plans. He had hoped to have made such a showing of force, when his own and Colonel Otter’s columns were united at Clark’s Crossing as to have caused the submission of the half-breeds without bloodshed. Riel and his Lieutenant, Gabriel Dumont, an old buffalo hunter and Indian fighter, had established their headquarters, and were reported to be throwing up formidable entrenchments at the village of Batoche, some forty miles down the South Saskatchewan from Clark’s Crossing. These fortifications were reported to be on both sides of the river, and the General’s idea was to advance along the right bank of the river with his own column, while Colonel Otter, with his column, was to advance along the opposite side. But this plan was changed owing to the very alarmist reports received from Battleford, which was represented as being threatened and in a most defenceless state. So urgent were the demands for assistance, that the General ordered Colonel Otter’s column to strike across country from Swift Current direct for Battleford. Still believing that a disposition of his force so as to cut off the retreat of the half-breeds from both sides of the river would result in the peaceable submission of the rebels, the General divided his little force at Clark’s Crossing, the detached column on the left bank being placed in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Montizambert, R.C.A., the General himself advancing down the right bank, on which side the principal rebel force was understood to be.

On April 24th Dumont, with 280 half-breeds, besides a number of Sioux braves, attempted to ambush Middleton’s column at a point where the trail ran along Tourond’s Coulee, in the middle of which flows the stream commonly known as Fish Creek. The object of the half-breeds was to capture the General, the guns, and the supply train, and to annihilate the rest of the force. There were barely 300 men and two guns available for the fighting line with Middleton, and it was entirely due to the General’s foresight in keeping a wide front and the flanks screened by mounted men that the ambush did not succeed, the position of the enemy’s parties being disclosed well before the infantry advance guard approached the projected ambush. The fighting lasted from ten in the morning until nearly five in the afternoon, and the casualty list was no less than one officer and nine men killed and four officers and thirty-eight men seriously wounded and incapacitated from duty, besides several slightly wounded. A small party of Sioux Indians, deserted by their half-breed allies, retained their places in some rifle pits in an angle of the coulee until the withdrawal of the fighting line to a camp pitched in a plain to the left of the position held all day. The General refused to allow an attempt to be made to clear out the last rifle pits, considering that it would result in an unnecessary loss of life, as the rebels had been foiled in their plans, and as many of them as could possibly do so, had fled from the field.

In this desperate fight, the Queen’s Own was represented by Lieutenant Scott, attached to the left half of C Company of the Infantry School Corps (now R.C.R.I.) under Major (now Lieutenant-Colonel) Smith. Mr. Scott was present with the redcoats the whole day, winning the commendation of his Commanding Officer and the respect of his men. C Company was in the forefront of the fighting all day and was largely instrumental in frustrating a desperate attempt by the half-breeds to turn the right flank. Several former well known members of the Queen’s Own were much and honorably in evidence during the action, particularly Major Buchan and Lieutenant Hugh John Macdonald, of the 19th Winnipeg Rifles, and Lieutenant E. Brown, of Boulton’s Horse. Major Buchan commanded the three companies of the 90th which reinforced the right of the firing line, while the half-breeds, under cover of the smoke from the fired prairie, were desperately trying to turn the flank.

After the action, the wounded had to be provided for, and ammunition awaited, as the artillery had but little left, and it was May 7th before Middleton marched upon Batoche from Fish Creek. The force reached Batoche on the morning of May 9th, but it was the afternoon of the 12th before the village was captured. Captain E. Brown, of Boulton’s Horse, already referred to, was shot dead while gallantly leading his troop (to the command of which he had only been a few days promoted) in the final charge upon the rebel rifle pits. Captain Mason of the Royal Grenadiers, at one time a member of the Queen’s Own, was seriously wounded in the first advance upon the rebel position; Captain F. Manley of the same corps, also an old Queen’s Own man, was wounded in the second day’s fighting. Major Buchan commanded the 90th in the final charge.

Riel having surrendered on the 14th, Middleton and his column marched to Prince Albert, and in due course proceeded to Battleford. May 26th Poundmaker came into Battleford with a number of his leading men and was taken into custody. The interest of the campaign now centred in the movements of Big Bear and his big band of Cree Indians in the Fort Pitt district. Big Bear was known to be at or near Fort Pitt, which had been abandoned, and it was surmised that Major-General Strange, who had left Calgary with an independent column of militia and Police, must by this time be in contact with the hostiles. It was generally understood among the men of the Battleford column that General Middleton would leave his old regiments at Battleford for a rest, and take the corps which had been under Colonel Otter’s command on a campaign against Big Bear’s band. The prospect of moving and taking the field caused great enthusiasm in the lines of the Queen’s Own, and news from Strange and Big Bear was awaited with much interest. May 29th news arrived that Strange had been in contact with Big Bear’s force near Fort Pitt, and was still in the vicinity awaiting reinforcements and supplies. The next day General Middleton embarked his old column, except the A Battery, R.C.A. field division, on three steamers for Fort Pitt, leaving the Queen’s Own and the rest of the Battleford column, greatly to their disgust, in garrison at Battleford. As a matter of fact there was not much cause for disappointment, for while the infantry regiments of the Batoche column were doomed to lie idle at Fort Pitt, the Queen’s Own were destined to take a really active part in the Big Bear hunt and do considerable work in the field. On arriving near Fort Pitt, General Middleton started with his mounted troops to follow up the trail of Big Bear’s band towards the woods and muskegs of the far north. In expectation that the Indians would try and double back to the east and south, he gave orders to Colonels Otter (Battleford), and Irvine, N.W.M.P., (Prince Albert), to take mobile columns from the forces under their commands and patrol the country to the north respectively of Battleford and Prince Albert. Meantime the regiment had been doing such duties as came in its way in the same old spirit. The following extracts from the officer’s diary, already quoted, are interesting:—

Wednesday, June 3rd. The prisoners are transferred to Fort Otter this evening, Poundmaker included. He (Poundmaker) some time ago prophesied that he would yet occupy the Government House at Battleford, and now he does, but not in the manner he expected. Here is a copy of the formal warrant of commitment of the prisoners to Captain Brown, who is in command at Fort Otter.

Battleford, June 3rd, 1885.

Brigade Memo.

Captain Brown will take charge and be responsible for the under named prisoners charged with treason, felony, etc., viz.:—Poundmaker, Yellow Mud Blanket, Breaking the Ice, Lean Man, Crooked Leg, Charles Bremner, William Frank, Baptiste Sagers and Harry Sagers. He will see that they are properly fed and that sufficient exercise for the preservation of health is allowed them.

W. D. OTTER, Lieutenant-Colonel,

          Commanding Battleford Column.

To Captain Brown,

    Commanding Detachment Q.O.R., Government House.

Thirty men of No. 4 Company, under Captain Kersteman and Lieutenant Gunther, go to Fort Pitt this morning as escort to steamer carrying supplies.

Sunday, June 7th. This evening we receive orders to be prepared to move to-morrow to try and cut off Big Bear’s retreat. We rejoice at the prospect of having another chance. Once more will pork and hardtack become our trusty friends. Captain Kersteman and his men returned from Fort Pitt to-night just in time. No. 1 Company came into camp from Fort Otter this afternoon. About four o’clock we start for the steamboat landing and proceed to cross to the north bank of the Saskatchewan by the steamer Baroness. The crossing is very slow as we have to go in detachments, and the current is so strong that the steamer has to take a very round about or crooked course; shoals here are very plentiful. It is after nine p.m. before we are all over to the north shore, and then the men have to wood up the old tub, so that it is quite ten o’clock before we march up the steep banks and reach our camping ground. We have to start very early in the morning, and as the night is fine we do not pitch any tents, but bivouac, turning in in our blankets after having had some coffee.

Tuesday, June 9th. Reveille sounds at 3.30 a.m., an unearthly hour to our unaccustomed ears. After a hasty breakfast we start at 5.15 a.m. The new Otter’s column is composed of some 30 scouts under Lieut. Sears, 30 men and two guns of A Battery under Colonel Montizambert, 45 C School, I.S.C., 45 Foot Guards and 250 Queen’s Own. We leave most of our buglers and a number of sick and wounded behind. We have with us ten days’ provisions and are told that we are to wander with systematic aimlessness for that period over a part of the country to the north, known as the Squirrel Plains. We have a terribly trying march of twelve miles in the morning, the test being almost overpowering to the men in their present poor condition. A paddle in a friendly slough and a rest of some four hours restores us to something like old time energy. We start at 3 p.m. and soon reach a stream called Jack Fish Creek, fourteen miles from Battleford. This is a stream of clear sparkling water, and so unlike anything we have as yet seen in this country that we imagine there must be some mistake. The current is very rapid and the water in places quite deep, but the bed of the stream is full of boulders. The command “Prepare to ford” is given, and soon a Highland Brigade, only more so, makes a bold dash through the rushing water and clambers eagerly up the steep bank on the other side of the little river. Then we follow its winding course for many miles, and about eight o’clock reach its source, Jack Fish Lake, 28 miles from Battleford, not bad for the first day. Here the country is very beautiful, park-like with its clumps of trees and pretty little lakes. We bivouac again for the night.

The 11th brought the column to Stony Creek, about 55 miles from Battleford and three miles from the south end of Turtle Lake. From here Colonel Otter scouted the west and east sides of the lake and patrolled the plains for three days. On the 12th a party of the scouts captured five ponies and some flour and bacon from a couple of Indians who had been with Big Bear’s band, but who escaped into the woods on the approach of the scouts. Meantime the Queen’s Own was having its share of marching. The scenery was generally beautiful and much appreciated, but numerous muskegs, or bogs, interfered seriously with the marching some days. The column was operating far north in the great lone land, and, it being near mid-summer, there was virtually no night at all. One could read with ease up to eleven o’clock. The weather was subject to decided fickleness. June 12th the heat was intense, so much so that though the first half day’s march was from 4 to 8 a.m., the men were almost overpowered. During the afternoon there was a thunderstorm, and it was succeeded by a clear, frosty night, which was most trying to the men in their bivouacs. The next day they went about shivering in their overcoats. June 14th was hot once more, but the succeeding night was bitterly cold and thick ice formed on the pools of water. On the 15th, while the column was at Turtle Lake, a man named O’Brien of No. 1 Company, lost himself in the swamps, causing much anxiety among his comrades, but late at night he turned up. The same day the enterprising Northwest mosquito began to make life miserable for all ranks. During the night of June 18th-19th there was a terrific thunderstorm, all ranks in the bivouac being soaked through. By this time supplies had run very short, and the men had to subsist on hard tack and dried apples. Monday 22nd being very warm, the regiment donned the blouses and havelocks sent by the ladies of Toronto. The blouses were made of gray flannel, and were most comfortable, if rather too loose to be very natty. The change effected a great improvement in the appearance of the regiment, for the original uniforms were by this time patched beyond recognition. Meantime by way of variety to the marching, officers and men enjoyed frequent opportunities to bathe in the numerous beautiful lakes near the various bivouacs, and as the lakes teemed with fish and their shores with wild ducks, there was considerable sport to be enjoyed, although the implements of chase were annoyingly scarce.

In the officer’s diary, so frequently quoted, the following touching entry appears under date June 23rd, while the column was at Birch Lake:—“Yesterday some Montana cattle, in charge of a real live cow-boy, came up from Battleford for our consumption. The cattle are wild and a general order warns the men not to approach them. We presume the order refers to the cattle in their raw state, but the warning is equally applicable to any one rashly desiring their acquaintance in any state. A steak from a fatling of the herd was presented to us to-day for our mid-day meal, but all attempts to despatch it are futile.”

During the night of the 24th the column witnessed a most wonderful aurora. The sky was at times deep crimson, with bright gleams of golden light flashing across it.

On June 28th Lieutenant-Colonel Otter received an order from General Middleton to return to Battleford if there was no chance of catching Big Bear. From the reports received from his scouts, and from the statements of some stragglers from Big Bear’s band taken prisoners by them, Lieut.-Colonel Otter arrived at the conclusion, and rightly, that Big Bear, almost alone, had moved towards the south, intending to get across the Saskatchewan.

Big Bear, and his son, having slipped between the forces of Lieut.-Colonel Otter and Lieut.-Colonel Irvine, crossed the Saskatchewan at a point a little to the west of the site of Fort Carlton, and surrendered himself to Sergeant Buntlin of the Northwest Mounted Police. The chief’s followers had dispersed as a result of the energetic pursuit.

On the afternoon of June 29th the column left Birch Lake for Battleford, arriving on the north bank of the river opposite the town at 8 p.m. on July 1st. During this last day’s march a terrible thunderstorm broke upon the column. Hail stones of an inconceivable size, many of them being an inch in diameter, were mixed with the rain. Several of the men were cut in their faces, and all had hard work to escape injury. All of the horses were stampeded.

Sunday, July 5th, the regiment embarked at Battleford on the steamer Northwest for Grand Rapids en route for home. On the way down the officers had the opportunity at Prince Albert to have a look at Big Bear. The regiment reached Grand Rapids on the 10th, Winnipeg on the 15th, left Winnipeg on the 19th, left Port Arthur on Lake Superior by steamer on the 20th, reached Owen Sound on the morning of July 23rd and proceeded at once by train to Toronto, arriving in the afternoon. To make a parting quotation from the diary, which has been drawn upon so extensively in the preceding pages:

“With hearts light and thankful, withal, we see once more the far off smoke of our beloved Toronto, and as our eyes fill fast at the roar of welcome that meets us, our labors, our trials, our dangers and our hardships are all forgotten, and gratitude and enthusiasm alone remain. God Save the Queen.”

The enthusiasm with which the Governor-General’s Body Guard and the service battalions of the Queen’s Own and Royal Grenadiers were welcomed back to Toronto can never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. Had the troops been returning from a bloody campaign of several years’ duration they could not have expected a warmer welcome. The Governor-General’s Body Guard, under Lieutenant-Colonel Denison, who during the greater part of the campaign had been doing duty on the main line of communication near Humboldt, arrived at Toronto on the morning of Thursday, July 23rd, the Queen’s Own and Grenadiers late the same afternoon. The troops detrained at the North Toronto station of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and before they marched off every man was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the ladies of the Volunteers’ Supply Committee. Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, in addition, received from the ladies a beautiful floral tribute to the regiment in the shape of a large shield composed of white flowers, with the monogram of the regiment in colored flowers in the centre, and also the inscription “Cut Knife Creek.” The mayor, having delivered an address of welcome to each corps in succession, the troops proceeded to the old drill shed via Yonge and Queen Streets, Spadina Avenue, King and Jarvis Streets. The Queen’s Own band struck up the lively air “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” as the service battalion marched out of the station yard, but it mattered not much what tune was played, it was scarcely possible to recognize any air above the tumult of the cheering which accompanied the column on its march through the densely packed, and handsomely decorated streets. An official welcome awaited the troops at the old City Hall, where were gathered His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor and other leading officials and prominent citizens. A large chorus of school children was stationed at this spot, under the direction of Mr. Schuch, and sang choruses, including “The Maple Leaf,” “Rule Britannia,” and “God Save the Queen.”

Such immense throngs of people crowded into the drill shed after the reception was over that it was impossible to do anything further than to dismiss the men with orders to parade the following morning for instructions.

The militiamen of the Queen City had shown that they were ready when required by their country; their fellow-citizens showed that they appreciated their patriotism.

The guns were old brass seven pounders found in Battleford. The trail had been reported impracticable for the nine-pounders.

Private Lloyd was a divinity student, and is now Honorary Chaplain of the regiment.

Rev. Father Cochin was a Roman Catholic missionary who had been taken prisoner by Poundmaker and detained until the 20th of May, when he was despatched with a letter to Lieutenant-Colonel Otter from the Indian chief, stating that he had just heard of Riel’s defeat, and wished to make terms. Lieutenant-Colonel Otter sent back the priest to Poundmaker with a message to the effect that he would have to treat with General Middleton.

With Father Cochin, when he arrived first in Battleford, were three half-breeds and the teamsters of a supply train of twenty ox, and three horse teams, captured by Poundmaker’s men May 14th on the Swift Current trail, at a point fifteen miles from Battleford. Poundmaker was at the time on his movement from Cut Knife towards Batoche, and had established himself in a fairly strong position near the trail which was Lieutenant-Colonel Otter’s line of communication with his base.


One from the ends of the earth—gifts at an open door

Treason has much, but we, Mother, thy sons have more.

From the whine of a dying man, from the snarl of a wolf pack freed,

Turn, and the world is thine. Mother be proud of thy seed.

Count, are we feeble or few? Hear, is our speech so rude?

Look, are we poor in the land? Judge, are we men of the blood?

These that have stayed at thy knees, Mother, go call them in—

We that were bred overseas wait and would speak with our kin.

Not in the dark do we fight—haggle and flount and gibe;

Selling our love for a price, loaning our hearts for a bribe.

Gifts have we only to-day—Love without promise or fee—

Hear for thy children speak from the uttermost parts of the sea.

Rudyard Kipling.


absence of the service battalion in the Northwest did not prevent the regimental work proceeding as usual at headquarters. The military spirit aroused throughout the country by the campaign sustained the enthusiasm of the officers and men left behind, and the possibility of a further draft being required for active service served as an incentive to all ranks. On April 1st regimental orders formed the part of the regiment remaining at headquarters into six companies for drill purposes as follows:—A and C as No. 1, under Captain Medland and Lieutenant Thompson; B and C as No. 2, Captain Pellatt and Lieutenant Cheeseborough; D as No. 3, under Lieutenant Mason and Lieutenant Walsh; F and G as No. 4, under Captain Jennings and Lieutenant Bennett; H and I as No. 5, under Captain Murray and Lieutenant Greene; K as No. 6, under Lieutenant Acheson.

This organization remained in effect for but a brief period, for so many men, many of them former members, were taken on the strength, and the attendance at parades was so large that it was found advisable to revert to the regular ten company organization. The spectacle was consequently presented of the regiment turning out ten good companies on parade at its headquarters, while it was maintaining a service battalion of four companies at the front.

To the headquarters battalion fell the melancholy duty of attending the funerals of Lieutenant Fitch and Private Moore of the Royal Grenadiers, killed in action at Batoche, whose bodies were brought home for interment.

So far was the ordinary routine of the regiment at headquarters observed that the home battalion even made the usual “Queen’s Birthday” trip, proceeding to Orillia, where the regiment went into camp for three days, combining useful training with the celebration.

In the autumn the regiment participated in the welcome home accorded by Toronto to Lieut.-Colonel Otter and C Company, Infantry School Corps, who had been retained on service in the Northwest since the rebellion. A and B Batteries, R.C.A., remained in the Northwest until the following spring.

On the thirteenth of May, 1886, at a parade of the city regiments in Queen’s Park, in presence of a large audience, the medals awarded for the campaign were presented to the members of the Queen’s Own who had been on active service in the Northwest. Major-General Middleton, Lieutenant-Colonel Otter, and the Royal Grenadiers received their medals at the same time, the presentations being made by Lady Middleton.

Fourteen years of hard, useful work and steady development intervened between the Northwest Rebellion and the next demand made upon the Queen’s Own for active service. It requires more skill and devotion to maintain a voluntarily recruited military organization in a state of efficiency during the piping times of peace than it does during the stirring days of war. And yet we know that the best and most lasting work in the construction of any military machine must be done in peace time. The difficulty is to secure and retain the material—the men.

That regiment which neglects to offer during peace time attractive conditions of service to the young men of its district will soon find its usefulness curtailed, and its very existence jeopardized. The officers of the Queen’s Own have consequently worked hard to preserve unimpaired the attraction which service in the regiment has always offered to the young men of Toronto who have been glad to serve in the ranks of a regiment which has had a wide reputation for general efficiency and smartness, which has for years been able to boast of a muster roll far in excess of its establishment, and in which an excellent esprit de corps has been conspicuous. The principle of action has been to set before all ranks a high ideal, and to unite all ranks in a common effort to attain a high reputation, to deserve it, and to maintain it.

In order that the benefit of one training might not be lost before the time for another had arrived, it has become the custom of the regiment to drill both during the spring and fall of the year, an example which other corps in Toronto and elsewhere finding advantageous, have followed. The spring drill takes place during April and May, usually terminating with the celebration of the 24th of May, until lately “Queen’s Birthday,” now “Victoria Day,” when a Review appropriately closes the spring training. The fall drill takes place in September, October and November, closing with the annual inspection and field manœuvres, Thanksgiving Day being usually devoted to the latter. The winter months have been devoted to the training of men desiring to qualify themselves for non-commissioned rank, necessitated by the rule requiring as a condition of promotion the holding of a certificate of qualification, and to reunions designed to bring the men into touch with each other, and to keep up the continuity of interest in the regiment in a way that drill alone is not calculated to do.


The social side of regimental life, a most important part of military work in a volunteer service, has not been overlooked, and not overdone, as sometimes happens. Social intercourse between the members of the Queen’s Own is made a pleasant and powerful aid to military efficiency, but has not been allowed to be considered as the purpose of the regimental organization. The fact that the regiment has been over strength has increased its requirements in the way of uniform beyond the quantity receivable under militia regulations, and it has been found necessary from time to time to provide articles not supplied by the government, such as leggings, busbies and helmets. In order to provide funds for these purposes the officers have funded their drill pay and made stated contributions annually to a regimental fund, and the men of each company have voluntarily funded their pay into company funds. The company funds are also used to promote rifle practice by reducing the cost of ammunition to the men, and by providing prizes for the company rifle matches. In this way the greater part of the annual drill pay is devoted to maintaining the efficiency of the regiment. The remainder is very properly spent upon a company dinner or other entertainment. A feature of the regimental work, which has partaken of the nature both of pleasure and practical utility, has been the annual outing. These trips have served to interest the men and have given both officers and men some insight into the mysteries of regimental transportation and supply, and life in camp. The trips have usually taken place on the 24th of May, and generally on the invitation of the local authorities of the places visited, to participate in celebrations of the late Queen’s birthday. Whenever possible the regiment has gone into camp and utilized a day or two in practical work. The expenses connected with these trips have always been borne by the regiment.

In this way, since the rebellion there have been visited, Orillia (2nd visit) in 1886; Napanee, 1887; Ottawa, 1888; Montreal, 1889; Peterboro, 1890; Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1891; Owen Sound. 1892; St. Thomas, 1894; Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1895; Kingston, 1896; Windsor, 1897; Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1901.

Interesting events in the history of the regiment during the past ten years or so have been the various Thanksgiving Day field manœuvres held in the vicinity of Toronto. These field days were participated in by all of the Toronto corps, and generally by the 13th of Hamilton. In 1899, when the operations extended over a rough district near the mouth of the Humber, the Prince of Wales Fusiliers, under Lieut.-Colonel Cooke, formed part of the defensive force. At other times the operations have extended over High Park, the country north and east of it, and the Don Valley. These manœuvres have accomplished the object of stimulating officers and men to take an interest in work not possible on the drill ground, to give them some instruction under something like service conditions and to give experience by operations made as realistic as possible. The country around Toronto is well suited for this sort of work, and the manœuvres have always proved of great interest and much practical value. Officers and men of the Queen’s Own always entered with keen zest into the spirit of these interesting events, although they usually entailed considerable fatigue. It might be added that Toronto is the only place in Canada where practical work of this kind is periodically carried on, though the paramount importance of it must be universally acknowledged.

During the period to which this chapter refers the regiment has maintained, in efficient condition, its band, bugle band, stretcher bearer section and signal corps. The regimental establishment provides for a band and for ten buglers and drummers, but not for a stretcher bearer section or signal corps, it being assumed that men trained for these purposes can be drawn from the ranks when required. A word or two is necessary to show how these corps came into existence.

The ambulance corps, as it has been until recently called, and the signal corps were organized and equipped at regimental expense in 1881. It was found not practicable to train men and draw them from the companies when required, as men preferred remaining with their companies on important occasions, and so the number who could be induced to train was small. The difficulty was overcome by allowing each of these corps to recruit and develop an esprit de corps for itself. These were the first corps of the kind organized in Canada, and members of both rendered good service during the Northwest Rebellion.

The bugle band has made a national reputation for itself. The original bugle band, organized in 1863, under Bugle-Major Clarke, consisted of 20 men, and was placed in charge of the present Bugle-Major, Swift, in 1879. The bugle band of the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, in garrison at Halifax, was formed entirely of volunteers from the Q.O.R. Bugle Band.

The year 1892 saw the organization of a very popular and promising regimental organization, the Queen’s Own Bicycle Corps. Many military men have considered that there is a possibility of infantry increasing its mobility, to some extent at least, by the use of the bicycle. So far military bicycling is largely in its experimental stage, and the Queen’s Own has contributed its share towards the intelligent exploitation of the experiment.


As early as 1887 there were bicycle corps in the Victoria Rifles, Montreal, and the Dufferin Rifles, Brantford, but little practical use was made of them on account of the need of a digested form of drill.

In 1892 a number of enthusiastic wheelmen in the ranks of the Queen’s Own took up the question of military cycling. Under Color-Sergeant J. J. Langton, a Bicycle Corps was organized, consisting of two sergeants and twenty men, and soon their numbers were increased. The drill question, however, proved the great drawback to the efficient handling of even such a small number as Sergeant Langton had under his command. But he set resolutely to work, and to his credit and that of those associated with him, they now have a system that has been highly commended, not only by military men in Canada, but by others from England and the United States.

Certain events of considerable regimental interest have occurred since 1885, which had best be mentioned in chronological order.

In May, 1886, the white helmet was first issued as the summer head-dress. This same year the regiment decided, provided the necessary authority could be obtained, to proceed to England to participate in the celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee of 1887. The preliminary arrangements as to expenses, etc., were even completed, but the hopes of the regiment were doomed to disappointment, as the then Minister of Militia decided that he “could not under the law give authority for a regiment of Canadian Militia to go to England.”

April 10th, 1889, the officers commanding approved of a mess uniform for sergeants, and an order was promulgated requiring sergeants to provide themselves with same on appointment.

Lieut.-Colonel R. B. Hamilton was gazetted to succeed Lieut.-Colonel Allen in the command of the regiment August 30th, 1889. In his farewell order, Lieut.-Col. Allen took the opportunity of returning to all ranks his cordial thanks for their unswerving loyalty and support given to him under trying circumstances, when ill-health prevented him from giving his personal attention to the drill and discipline of the regiment.

The regiment paraded in review order on Friday evening, May 30th, 1890, in honor of Major-General H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, who, on his way home to England at the expiration of his command in India, stopped at Toronto.

During January, 1892, the regiment had the melancholy duty of participating in the funeral of two of its former commanding officers. Lieutenant-Colonel Charles T. Gillmor, who commanded the regiment at Ridgeway, was buried on the 7th of that month; Lieutenant-Colonel A. A. Miller, who was in command during the Northwest campaign, on the 19th.

The spring training of 1894 was noteworthy on account of the exceptionally large parades. On three occasions the parade state was over 700 of all ranks. Sunday, May 13th, when the regiment paraded with the other local corps for divine service in the Pavilion, there were 738 of all ranks on parade. That was the largest muster in the history of the regiment to that time.

During April, 1895, the regiment moved into its present comfortable quarters in the new Drill Hall.

March 26th, 1896, Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton retired, retaining rank, the command devolving upon Major J. M. Delamere, who had been thirty years in the regiment, and had passed through all the intermediate grades from private to senior major.

The year 1897 is historical throughout the British Empire as Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year. The Queen’s Own was well represented on the military contingent selected by the Militia Department to represent Canada in the impressive ceremonies in London. Major H. M. Pellatt was detailed to No. 4 Unit of the contingent, (infantry and rifles), and had direct charge of the rifle quota. Sergeant McCausland received the appointment of Quartermaster-Sergeant to the contingent, and the following members of the regiment were detailed to form part of the rifle unit:—Sergeant McKenzie, Private Rowland, Private Jackson. The Queen’s Own turned out 519 strong for the Jubilee review at Toronto. Lieut.-Colonel Otter was in command of the brigade.

On November 24th the Governor-General, the Earl of Aberdeen, and Major-General Gascoigne were present at a regimental parade, and the latter inspected the regiment, and afterwards, at the Governor-General’s request, addressed it, expressing himself in very complimentary terms.

The regiment had the honor of winning the Gzwoski Challenge Cup for general efficiency in 1898. It had previously been won by the regiment in 1891 and 1893.

In 1899 Major-General Hutton, then in command of the Canadian Militia, devised a plan for providing to some extent for the filling of a most glaring deficiency in the training of the active militia, namely, the absence of practical field training for the city corps. In Toronto the corps had made an effort themselves to make up for this deficiency by the means of the outings and Thanksgiving Day field days, already referred to, but in most Canadian cities not even that much practical field training had been accomplished. Major-General Hutton’s idea was that the city corps should go into camp with the rural corps for three days at the end of the annual trainings of the latter, participating with them in field manœuvres. To take part in this plan the Queen’s Own omitted the usual 24th of May trip, but with the other Toronto city regiments went into camp alongside the rural corps on the 29th of June. The regiment put in some valuable work in extended order and battalion attack formation on June 30th, and on the 1st of July participated in field manœuvres.

The event of this year (1899) was the outbreak of the Boer war and the raising of the Canadian Contingents. On October 25th the regiment paraded to participate in the send-off accorded to the Toronto quota to the first contingent, of the raising of which an account will be given in the next chapter, and in the evening of the same day the regiment turned out as a guard of honor to Lieut.-Colonel Otter, D.O.C., formerly commanding officer of the regiment, on his departure to take over the command of the contingent.

During the year 1900 Field Marshal Lord Roberts did the Queen’s Own Rifles the honor of accepting the Honorary Colonelcy of the regiment, an honor much appreciated by all ranks. By special permission of Lord Roberts this volume is dedicated to him as Honorary Colonel. During March, 1901, Lieutenant-Colonel Delamere received from Lord Roberts, for the officers’ mess of the regiment, a handsome portrait of himself.

On March 26th, 1901, under the new regulation of the Militia Department restricting the period of command, Lieutenant-Colonel Delamere retired, and was succeeded in the command of the regiment by Major Pellatt.

Lieut.-Colonel Pellatt, on May 22nd, gave a supper in honor of his predecessor, at the regimental armouries. In addition to the officers of Lieut.-Colonel Pellatt’s command, there were present:—Lieut.-Colonel Delamere, Colonel Otter, Major Peters, Major Myles, Colonel Buchan, Lieut.-Colonel J. I. Davidson, Lieut.-Colonel John Bruce, Lieut.-Colonel Jas. Mason, Lieut.-Colonel W. C. Macdonald, Lieut.-Colonel Clarence A. Denison, Lieut.-Colonel H. J. Grasett, Mayor Howland, Surgeon-Colonel Ryerson.

Lieut.-Colonel Pellatt, speaking of the guest of the evening, explained that Lieut.-Colonel Delamere had won the good feeling, respect and friendship of the regiment, which parted with him with regret.

During the evening Colonel Otter drew attention to the fact that, with but two exceptions, all of the officers present had served in the Q. O. R. He said that Lieut.-Colonel Delamere had performed a yeoman’s service, not only to that regiment, but to the militia at large.


Up to the battles’ very front they bore

Our country’s honor, ’till with every breeze

Fame sang their valor round the seven seas.

Rev. F. G. Scott.

October, 1899, was a month fraught with events of tremendous importance for the British Empire. The declaration of war upon Britain by the South African Republic and the Orange Free State brought to a focus the long-standing dispute between an overbearing, unreasonable oligarchic despotism, spoiled by previous ill-advised concessions, and the mighty power which has so long stood in the world for enlightened government, personal liberty, and the widest possible measure of even-handed justice.

This momentous event was destined to put to a much more severe test than at first anticipated the military power of Britain. And it settled, once for all, for the edification of her sceptical, and not always friendly neighbors, the substantial character of the bonds of family affection and mutual esteem binding the outlying parts of the Empire, as with bands of steel to the motherland across the seas, and to one another. This war has thoroughly demonstrated that Britons the world over are determined to stand shoulder to shoulder for the inviolability of the world-wide Empire.

So far as Canada was concerned the Boer war gave her people the opportunity they had long yearned for to give a practical demonstration of their loyal devotion to the British Empire. It was in defence of their own altars and hearths that the Canadian militiamen of 1776, 1812-15, 1866 and 1870 rallied round the flag of Britain. The Northwest campaign of 1885, with its long and weary marches, its hardships and its hard fighting, was a purely domestic affair. Canadian militiamen took it as a disappointment and an actual hardship that they had been given no chance to take their part in Britain’s various wars of recent years. A few of the Dominion’s brave and more adventurous sons occasionally showed up at the frequently changing “Front,” and always creditably, but they were very few in number. Lord Wolseley, recalling the skill of the men who had accompanied him on his Red River expedition, obtained a battalion of Canadian voyageurs to assist him in his Nile campaign; but they were but boatmen after all. It was soldiers, men to fight the Empire’s battles, that Canada wanted to send across the seas as a token of her love for and fealty to the Empire. Battalion after battalion of the Canadian Militia offered itself for service with the Imperial armies, to have the patriotic offer declined with thanks.

The brave “Old Country” could do her own fighting we were told; Canada was contributing handsomely to Imperial defence by building railways and developing her inland waterways.

“Very pretty,” was an historical remark made at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as the colonial contingents swept through the streets of London in review, “but what will it all amount to under the stress of war, with the Empire calling on these colonies for men and money?”

The Boer war gave the scoffer his answer.

The causes and data of the war are familiar to everybody. As the summer of 1899 progressed it became more and more apparent that the negotiations of the Bloemfontein conference between the representatives of Britain and the South African Republic were being prolonged to no good purpose. It was evident that the Dutch Republicans would not recede from their demands, and that they were simply gaining time by the conference to still further perfect their plans for the invasion of Natal and Cape Colony. No one appears to have realized that the military preparations of the two republics had already been made on a gigantic scale. Finally some hazy suspicion of the actual state of affairs began to dawn upon the authorities. On September 6th the British Government ordered 10,000 British troops from England and India to reinforce the slender garrison in Natal, but the Boer forces were already in the field and moving towards the frontiers. October 8th, the Boers having in the meantime taken up all the commanding positions along the frontiers, the British Government ordered the mobilization of an Army Corps and called out some of the Army Reserves. The next day the Transvaal ultimatum, demanding the withdrawal of the reinforcements introduced into Natal, was presented, and stated that if the terms were not complied with by the 11th inst. the two South African Republics would consider themselves in a state of war with Britain. Meantime the work of rushing the Boer forces to the frontiers was proceeding with feverish activity. October 10th the British agent at Pretoria was instructed to apply for his passport. October 12th Natal was invaded in force. The day previous it was unofficially announced through the press that the Imperial Government had accepted the offer of troops received from the Dominion Government, and that arrangements for recruiting a force had already been made. The response (a splendid demonstration of Canadian loyalty) was almost surprising in its intensity, even to those thoroughly familiar with the earnest, loving sincerity of the devotion of the people of the Dominion to the flag of Britain and the person of her venerable and venerated Sovereign.


1.Captain R. K. Barker.8.C. W. Allen.15.J. F. H. Ussher.
2.*Albert Beattie.9.F. E. Ware.16.S. M. Ward.
3.*W. S. Blight.10.E. H. Redway.17.S. B. Playfair.
4.R. W. Kidner.11.W. J. Rooke.18.G. R. Eakins.
5.R. M. Young.12.F. T. D. Hector.19.G. S. Ellis.
6.Henry Young.13.James Kennedy. 
7.W. H. Hewitt.14.H. W. A. Dixon. 
* Died in South Africa. 

As early as June the question of organizing a Canadian contingent for South Africa had been mooted, and the proposition gradually and rapidly developed, meeting with popular favor everywhere. On July 14th Lieut.-Colonel Samuel Hughes, M.P., from his seat in the House of Commons at Ottawa, drew attention to a telegraphic despatch stating that the colony of Queensland, Australia, had offered to raise 250 men to assist the troops of the Mother Country in the event of war in the Transvaal. He urged that the Canadian Government should do the same thing.

The Right Honorable Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Prime Minister, replied that he hoped it would not be necessary for Queensland or any other part of the Empire to go to the assistance of Great Britain in South Africa. All were of the opinion that the trouble there would be appeased before the sword was unsheathed.

The question of colonial contributions towards the army in the event of war in South Africa began to be discussed in Britain as well as in the Colonies. In the British House of Commons, the Right Honorable Joseph Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, on July 29th, referring to offers of colonial help, said that it would always be a satisfaction to think that Great Britain might count upon the loyalty of the Colonies in time of trial. He pointed out that the outrageous treatment to which the British in South Africa were subjected was part of the policy of the Boers. The situation was dangerous to Imperial interests.

Two days later, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in the Canadian House of Parliament, seconded by the Hon. George E. Foster, acting as leader of the opposition, moved the following resolution:—

“That the House has viewed with regret the complications which have arisen in the Transvaal Republic, of which Her Majesty is suzerain, from the refusal to accord to Her Majesty’s subjects, now settled in that region, an adequate participation in its government.

“That this House has heard with still greater regret that the condition of things there existing has resulted in intolerable oppression, and has produced great and dangerous excitement among several classes of Her Majesty’s subjects in her South African possessions.

“That this House, representing a people which has largely succeeded by the adoption of the principle of conceding equal political rights to every portion of the population, in harmonizing estrangements, and in producing general content with the existing system of government, desires to express its sympathy with the efforts of Her Majesty’s Imperial authorities to obtain for the subjects of Her Majesty who have taken up their abode in the Transvaal such measure of justice and political recognition as may be found necessary to secure them in the full possession of equal rights and liberties.”

The resolution was carried amidst scenes of great enthusiasm.

Shortly afterwards wide publicity was given to statements that the Militia Department was preparing plans for the despatch of a Canadian contingent to South Africa, and numerous offers of service were received by the Department, though no official announcement was made until the middle of October. Though there is no doubt that such a thing had been discussed at militia headquarters, and though certain official enquiries had even been made weeks before the decision to send the contingent was officially announced, the first reports which gained publicity were promptly contradicted, and very properly.

Great Britain was not at war, and was honestly desirous of avoiding it; there can be no doubt of that. It was palpably desirable, in the interest of peace, that nothing should be done, either in Canada or elsewhere, to aggravate the situation. Consequently the public was kept uninformed, for diplomatic reasons, of official correspondence on the question of a Canadian contingent, which had passed between Ottawa and Westminster.

Meantime a number of militia officers, prominent among whom was Lieut.-Colonel Hughes, maintained an agitation for the organization of a contingent, and individual offers of service poured in upon the Militia Department.

And so the movement gradually gained ground, as the diplomatic negotiations between Chamberlain and Kruger progressed. The Dominion Government corresponded with the Imperial authorities on the subject, but individual members of the ministry denied that anything was being done.

On October 3rd, the following cable message was despatched by Mr. Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the colonies, to the Governor-General of Canada, the Earl of Minto:—

“Secretary of State for War and Commander-in-Chief desire to express high appreciation of signal exhibition of patriotic spirit of the people of Canada shown by offers to serve in South Africa, and to furnish the following information to assist organization of force offered into units suitable for military requirements. Firstly, units should consist of about 125 men; secondly, may be infantry, mounted infantry, cavalry; in view of numbers already available infantry most, cavalry least, serviceable; thirdly, all should be armed with 303 rifles or carbines, which can be supplied by Imperial Government if necessary; fourthly, all must provide own equipment, and mounted troops own horses; fifthly, not more than one captain and three subalterns each unit. Whole force may be commanded by officer not higher than major. In considering numbers which can be employed, Secretary of State for War guided by nature of offers, by desire that each Colony should be fairly represented, and limits necessary if force is to be fully utilized by available staff as integral portion of Imperial forces; would gladly accept four units. Conditions as follows: Troops to be disembarked at port of landing South Africa fully equipped at cost of Colonial Government or volunteers. From date of disembarkation Imperial Government will provide pay at Imperial rates, supplies, and ammunition, and will defray expenses of transport back to Canada, and pay wound pensions and compassionate allowances at Imperial rates. Troops to embark not later than October 31st, proceeding direct to Cape Town for orders. Inform accordingly all who have offered to raise volunteers.”

Similar despatches were forwarded the same day to the governments of Queensland, New Zealand, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

The government maintained silence on the subject, and it was not until October 11th that semi-official advices from Ottawa intimated that such a message had been received, and the Government would probably offer 1000 men on the basis set out in Mr. Chamberlain’s despatch of October 3rd. This message was not communicated to the public until some days later.

The statement that Canada would send troops to South Africa was expected, and the receipt of the semi-official notification of the Government’s intention was received with all the enthusiasm which might have been expected as a culmination of the excitement which had prevailed throughout Canada for so long a time. There was from the very first, however, some disappointment expressed that the scheme did not provide for a complete Canadian regiment, but nevertheless the enrollment of men was begun forthwith at many regimental headquarters without awaiting the formal authorization. The officials of the Militia Department, too, proceeded with their preparations, and a Cabinet Council, to finally to decide upon the extent of Canada’s contribution, was called for the 12th, and an adjourned meeting was held on the 13th.

On the 14th the Governor forwarded the following cable to Mr. Chamberlain:—

“Much pleasure in telling you that my Government offer 1000 infantry on organization proposed in your telegram of the 3rd October.”

The same day the Government announced officially, through the press, its sanction of a plan for the immediate enlistment of a thousand men for service in South Africa. The decision was communicated to the public in the form of an official announcement prepared upon the conclusion of the Cabinet Council the previous evening.

It was intended that the contingent should consist of eight units. The command of the units was offered to and accepted by Lieut.-Colonel Otter, who, in response to a telegram, arrived at Ottawa from Toronto the morning of the 15th. It was understood that he would be in command only until the forces reached South Africa, when it was intended that the eight units would be absorbed by different British regiments, and their identity as a Canadian force lost.

Every arrangement for the organization of the units was pushed forward from this time without any unnecessary delay. According to arrangements already made by the Minister of Militia, the contingent was to be sent to South Africa in the dark serge uniforms of the rifle regiments of the Canadian service, uniforms of khaki to be taken on the troop-ship and served out just before the arrival of the force in South Africa. This arrangement was strictly adhered to. The contingent was equipped with the Lee Enfield rifle and the new Oliver equipment recently issued to the Canadian Militia.

On October 16th, the following cable was received by His Excellency the Governor-General:—

“Her Majesty’s Government has received with much pleasure your telegram of 13th October, conveying Canada’s generous offer of 1000 troops, which they gratefully accept.”

In the meantime recruiting was going on apace, although there was much disappointment over the conditions imposed by the Imperial Government. It was the undoubted wish of the people of Canada, as well as of the government, that the contingent should proceed to South Africa as an established unit instead of being divided upon arrival.

On October 18th, His Excellency telegraphed Mr. Chamberlain, offering a regiment of infantry instead of eight independent companies, as follows:—

“After full consideration my Ministers have decided to offer a regiment of infantry, 1000 strong, under command of Lieut.-Colonel Otter.

“My Ministers hope that Canadian contingent will be kept together as much as possible, but realize that this must be left to discretion of War Office and Commander-in-Chief.”

On October 23rd. Mr. Chamberlain replied as follows:

“Referring to your telegram of October 18th, no objection to proposed organization of force, provided each battalion of infantry commanded by Major and only one Lieutenant-Colonel appointed to command the whole. Please communicate substance of cypher telegram of October 16th to your Ministers.”

This, when announced, caused the greatest satisfaction throughout the country. It was arranged that Lieut.-Colonel Otter should retain the command. It was decided to organize the contingent under the name of the “Second (special service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry.” In other words the contingent was made a service battalion of Canada’s only regular infantry regiment.

On October 20th, the companies were designated as follows:—“A” Company, raised in British Columbia and Manitoba; “B,” at London; “C,” at Toronto; “D,” at Ottawa and Kingston; “E,” at Montreal; “F,” at Quebec; “G,” in New Brunswick and P. E. Island; “H,” in Nova Scotia.

On October 23rd, orders were issued for the movement of the companies to Quebec, the point of concentration, where several days would be required to clothe and equip them. The British Columbia half of “A” Company left for Quebec the same day.

Many more recruits offered than were needed, and several hundred must have been rejected.

There was great enthusiasm shown at all the company headquarters on the departure of the various companies, and the troop trains were enthusiastically cheered from one end of Canada to the other. The farewell receptions and presentations, the loyal speeches, the patriotic band music in the streets and at the railway stations, made up one great national outburst of loyalty which was fairly overwhelming. The City of Toronto fairly outdid itself in this respect, the municipal authorities sustaining the expense of a special train for the locally recruited company from Toronto to Montreal, in order that the departure might be made the occasion of a magnificent public demonstration. Every city gave presents of cash, articles of equipment, insurance policies, etc., etc., to its departing volunteers.

Monday, October 31st, the regiment embarked at Quebec on the S.S. “Sardinian,” amid scenes of the most intense enthusiasm. Wednesday, November 29th, the “Sardinian” reached Capetown, and the same day the disembarkation took place. The long trip across the Atlantic had been put to good account, and the regiment was in an infinitely more efficient state than when it left Quebec.


The new year, 1900, found the British Empire decidedly perplexed and anxious about the position of affairs in South Africa, but there was no weakening of the national faith. The bull dog courage and determination of the race were not shaken in the least, but there was certainly a feeling of disappointment and surprise abroad. And there was considerable anxiety in Canada, not merely on account of the turn taken by the war, but also for the regiment dispatched to South Africa. It was realized that the regiment must by this time be in shape to render a good account of itself, and the public was prepared to hear of it being given its baptism of fire any day. They did not have long to wait after the new year set in, and the news set the heart of Canada aglow, for the Dominion’s sons had undergone the supreme test of battle with credit to their country.

The Canadian papers of January 2nd contained despatches from Belmont giving an account of an action at Sunnyside, the nearest Boer position to Belmont, in which C Company (Toronto) under command of Captain Barker, Q. O. R., of the Royal Canadian Regiment, had been under fire and had rendered a good account of itself. It was a trifling skirmish, but the intended object had been successfully and brilliantly executed, and the colonial troops, who were chiefly engaged, had come out of their baptism of fire with marked credit. The news was received with great enthusiasm in Canada and especially in Toronto, the operation being the first in which Canadians were engaged.

The following cablegram was received by His Excellency the Governor-General from Right Honorable Joseph Chamberlain, Secretary for the Colonies:

London, January 3rd.

“I congratulate Canada on gallant behaviour of contingent in engagement at Sunnyside.”

(Signed) Chamberlain.

The London Daily News correspondent at Belmont, describing the action and the part the Australians took in it, said:—“We are proud of them, and doubly proud that the men fighting with them were our own cousins from Canada.”

February 21st, 1900, was a day which will never be forgotten in Canada. It was at once a day of glory and of supreme sorrow for Canadians; one of proper patriotic pride that Canadians had been privileged to take their places in the fighting line in defence of the flag of the Empire; one of sorrow that the newspaper despatch, received by the Toronto Globe from its special correspondent at the front, gave a long list of Canadians who had sealed their devotion to Queen and country with their lives. And there was much anxiety throughout Canada, too, that eventful day. The despatch contained a suspicious looking list of missing and prisoners, and people felt inclined to repress their feelings of pride, for there was a disquieting impression abroad that the sacrifice of the Canadian regiment at the front had been in vain, and that our men had suffered a reverse. So the people of the cities and towns crowded anxiously around the newspaper bulletin boards, only to be disappointed in the natural wish for further news, for the press censorship in South Africa had sealed up the sources of information after the receipt of the Globe’s terse but circumstantial despatch. This stated that Colonel Otter’s regiment had been in action at the Modder River, on Sunday 18th, and that the action lasted all day. A list of nineteen killed, sixty wounded, seven taken prisoners, and eight missing, was appended. This was all the news forthcoming for a couple of days. The anxiety throughout the Dominion was intense, and flags were half-masted everywhere out of respect to the country’s heroic dead. Gradually the position became clearer, though the censorship remained so strict that the news from the front was very scant. It became apparent that the Canadians formed part of an army rapidly and secretly mobilized by the genius of Roberts and Kitchener, and holding Cronje and his Boer army closely invested at a place on the Modder River known as Paardeberg. In time particulars arrived of the investment of the Boers and bombardment of their camp. In due time another list of casualties, sustained by the regiment on the 20th, was received in Canada, and close following came the crowning glory of the operation.

And a crowning glory it was in every respect for Canada’s regiment at the front and for the people of Canada as a whole. The tragic mistake of Majuba Hill, with all of its wretched consequences, had been avenged by the surrender of Cronje and his army on the very anniversary of the unfortunate Colley’s reverse, and this splendid result was largely due to a brilliant advance made upon the Boer position that morning by the Royal Canadians, accompanied by a party of the Royal Engineers. As if to increase the satisfaction of the Canadian people at the glorious news, it reached Canada the same day, and although there were not wanted tears for the additional dead, the country was fairly carried away with patriotic fervor. There was no doubt about the satisfactory result of Canada’s sacrifice this time, for Lord Roberts, in his despatches to the War Office, spoke of “the very successful attack made by the Royal Canadian Regiment upon the enemy’s trenches this morning.”

The whole world appeared to be struck with the significance of the conspicuous and noble part played by the gallant sons of Canada in this momentous event. As fine an army corps as could be picked from the whole British Army was under Roberts’ command at Paardeberg. Household troops, famous cavalry regiments and many of the most famous English, Scotch, Irish and Welsh regiments of the line were in the various divisions forming that great circle of brawn and steel round the Boer position. Representative detachments of the naval forces of the Empire were there as everywhere where there is danger to be faced in defence of the flag of the Empire. And yet it was left for a regiment of Canadian militia, men who had left this Canada of ours, inspired by the noblest ideals of patriotism and loyalty, to uphold the dignity of the British Empire on the distant plains of South Africa, to take so large a part in avenging the slur of Majuba, and in doing it to give to the world a marvellous demonstration of the solidity of the Empire and of the devotion of her colonial sons to the mother flag.

At the commencement of the war there were not wanting those who declared that Canadian militiamen would require months of arduous training before they could take their place alongside the regiments of the army. It was eminently satisfactory that they should be thus early pronounced “worthy to stand with the regulars.”

At this point, at the mention of the crowning glory of the service of the Canadian Contingent, it is well to take up the story of the important connection of the Queen’s Own Rifles with the battalion which acquitted itself so well.

As if it was not enough that the Queen’s Own should be honored by the selection of a former commanding officer, Lieut.-Colonel Otter, for the command of the service battalion, the appointment of second in command fell to Lieut.-Colonel Lawrence Buchan, a former adjutant of the Queen’s Own, and the command of the Toronto Company (C) was, moreover, given to Captain R. K. Barker of the same regiment.

And if Toronto’s crack rifle regiment was honored so signally in the selection of officers for the battalion, it was equally honored by the spirit shown by so many of its non-commissioned officers and men in enlisting. In the scheme for recruiting twelve men was the allotment made to the regiment. A fine spirit of pluck and loyalty animated the regiment, and so many of its men presented themselves for enlistment that the whole Toronto company could have been formed out of the regiment had not a restriction been placed upon the number of men to be accepted from each regiment, in order that the company might be as representative as possible of all the regiments in the district. Under the circumstance it was a very awkward task to select the quota from the large number of men offering themselves, but eventually the following twenty-seven men were taken on the strength from the Queen’s Own:—Sergeant A. Beattie, (died of enteric fever at Bloemfontein, April 14, 1900); Corporal H. W. A. Dixon, Corporal R. W. Hoskins, Privates L. Allen, (wounded Cronje’s Laager, February 27th, 1900), B. M. Bird, W. S. Blight, (died of enteric fever, Bloemfontein, April 15, 1900), G. Eakins, G. S. Ellis, F. T. D. Hector, W. H. Hewitt, F. Iglestrom, Joseph Jordan, L. McGiverin, James Kennedy, (wounded at Paardeberg, February 18, 1900), E. H. Redway, W. J. Rooke, John Seager, M. M. Stewart, (wounded at Paardeberg), C. Tomilson, J. F. H. Ussher, (wounded at Paardeberg). W. J. Vanderwater, (wounded at Paardeberg), S. M. Ward (wounded at Paardeberg), F. E. Weir, N. W. Wilson, H. Young, A. Young; Bugler D. F. Williams.

These names do not represent by any means the full representation of the Queen’s Own in the battalion, for many men, being determined to proceed to South Africa, enlisted as members of other corps whose quotas were not at the time complete. So a very much larger proportion of the service battalion was composed of Queen’s Own men than appeared by the rolls of the regiment.

The record of the special battalion is ancient history now, but it is interesting to follow the Queen’s Own men across the sea, and to accompany them by means of a personal narrative into the field. Among the members of the regimental quota, no one is more generally known or liked than Sergeant James Kennedy of “A” Company, who went to South Africa as private in “C” Company, R.C.R. At the request of some friends, he consented to jot down a brief account of his experience in South Africa. He writes, in part, as follows:—

“The voyage out to South Africa was rather uneventful, each day being taken up with drills, and training in the handling of the rifle, etc. The voyage was as pleasant as possible, considering there were nearly double the number of men packed into the Sardinian that she could comfortably carry. We arrived in Table Bay one month from the time we left Canada. We marched out to Green Point, where we spent one day, and then entrained for up country. The people of Cape Town gave us a most enthusiastic send off, loading the cars we were in with cakes, fruit and liquids galore. Each company of the regiment was divided into four sections. In C Company, No. 1 section was composed entirely of Queen’s Own men, No. 2 of Grenadiers, No. 3 of men from rural corps, and No. 4 of 48th Highlanders. We were like the young bears, with all our troubles before us.

“Our first halt was at De Aar Junction, a dusty, dirty hole. A sand storm was blowing about all the time we were there. From De Aar we went to Orange River Station, and the next day to Belmont. Here we spent many weeks of hard training, some days drilling hard, at other times out on route marches to harden us all to the work before us.

“A flying column under Colonel Pilcher left Belmont on the 31st of December, 1899, to relieve the town of Douglas, which had been occupied by a Boer commando. C Company was the only company of the Royal Canadians that was taken. After a lot of hard marching and thirst we came up with the enemy on a small kopje. I was in the supports, and although the bullets were whizzing over my head now and then, I did not have the satisfaction of firing a shot. Right in front of me was another Queen’s Own man, Weir, peacefully banging away. Finally we rushed the laager and the game was up. We captured over forty prisoners, and I had the doubtful pleasure of being on sentry over them until the following day.

“We went on to Douglas, gathered up the loyal part of the population, and started back to Belmont. Then the old routine went on again at Belmont—guard, picquet, outpost, drill and route march until February 8th, when the regiment was inspected by General Smith-Dorrien. The Canadians had been brigaded in the 19th Brigade, along with the Gordons, the Cornwalls and the Shropshires.

“On February 13th, as well as I can remember, we received orders to move. We passed a number of places that to me now are but a dim memory. I remember the names of Ram Dam, Riet River, Klip Drift, and Jacobsdale, and then a name that is stamped not only on my brain but all over my carcass, and that is Paardeberg.

“We had marched all the previous day and all night, and in the morning came up with the Boer position, where Cronje and his warriors had outspanned and laagered to receive us. We had marched about 38 miles in the previous day and night over a loose, burning sand, with only what water our water bottles held, and we arrived at Paardeberg about daybreak on the morning of Sunday, February 18th. We were permitted to lie down when we halted, but not to take off any of our kit. But as my feet were sore I took off my boots, rolled myself up in a blanket and went to sleep, but only to be wakened and told to get ready to march again. We had a small issue of rum, some half-done coffee and a bite of biscuit, and then off we went. We first formed up in column, and got a few words of caution. Then, “quick march.” When we started off most of us felt tired and worn out, but as we came up closer to the enemy’s position and could hear the steady booming of the heavy guns, interspersed with the rattle of rifles and maxims, the soreness and fatigue disappeared and in its place a certain buoyancy came over us. When we thought we were just about in the fight we were swung about, and, after making a considerable detour, we came up to the river, across which a rope had been stretched to assist in fording. Some of the Highlanders, who passed over ahead of us, were carried off their feet and had trouble to prevent themselves being drowned, the Modder having a very strong current. When it came to C Company’s turn to cross we put what little valuables we had in the crown of our helmets, slung our rifles across our shoulders, linked arms, and plunged into the coffee-colored water. Bugler Williams being rather short, Jordan and myself got him on our shoulders and carried him across the water, and we were sometimes up to our chins. On arrival at the other side of the river we found ourselves rather mixed up, Gordons, Cornwalls and Shropshires, having broken into our company coming across. I had to sprint some distance before I came up with C Company, which had in the meantime been extended.

“You could hear the steady boom-boom of the 4.7 naval guns and the rat-tat-tat of the maxims. Soon something would go “ting,” beside your ear, and of course you ducked your head. Then as we got closer to the Boers we began to advance by rushes. We had been extended to about ten yards interval, so as to minimize the casualties. Each Sergeant was in the centre of his section, the Lieutenant in the centre of his half-company and the Captain in the centre of the company, and we always kept one eye on the centre. When we saw the men there jump twenty or twenty-five yards we did likewise. Now the Modeler River has quite a curve about Paardeberg and as we advanced we came towards the river again. Finally the right of the Canadian line had got within about seventy-five yards of the river, while the left was about seven hundred yards away. Here we lay nearly all day, and to add to our misery a drizzling rain came on. Not that it could make us any damper than we were, but it made the ground bad to lie on. Then, out came the sun and we were nearly steamed to death. So we lay there all day seeing nothing to fire at, each man being behind a stone, an ant hill or anything that would offer the slightest cover. Corporal Hoskins and myself lay together for quite awhile, and if either of us stuck up our heads to take a look the bullets began to patter pretty fast around us. There was a small depression on the ground to my right, and in the afternoon a Highlander came running up to take cover in it. As he reached the edge he fell forward on his face, dead. But soon other sights drove it out of my head. The trees on the opposite side of the river were filled with Boer marksmen, but not one was visible, we fired all day on their position, but had no idea what we were hitting.

“Along towards 5 o’clock in the afternoon the word was passed along to prepare to charge, shortly followed by the command “charge.” We all fixed bayonets and charged, and such hell of bullets which greeted us when we jumped to our feet was appalling. I charged down to the bank of the river and observed that the surface of the water was being well rippled up with bullets. As there seemed no possible way of crossing, and no sense in doing so, I turned and charged back to cover, making even faster time than on my advance. The first Toronto man I saw wounded was John Ussher of the Queen’s Own Rifles and he was being carried off by his chum, Private McGivern, Queen’s Own Rifles, and Lieutenant Marshall of Hamilton, under a heavy fire. I also saw Fred Anderson, Queen’s Own Rifles, run up and help a wounded man. Mr. Fred Hamilton of the Globe lay a short distance to my right rear, nearly all day busy making notes and paying no attention to the bullets singing around him. When I returned from the charge, Anderson and myself were close together and as he had heard there was good shooting on the left he proposed we go there, and as I was sick of being shot at without seeing anything to shoot back at I readily agreed. Off we went on the hunt for trouble and I at last got it. We got down among the trees on the river bank, and keeping well under cover made our way quite a distance to the left. Here I saw the first Boer I had really seen in action. He was sitting behind a tree on the opposite side of the river quietly firing away. I was within 150 or 200 yards of him so I dropped to my knee and let bang, but never touched him. My sights had got raised going through the undergrowth. I got him on my second shot, and almost instantly I felt as if I had been struck with a sledge hammer between the shoulder and elbow of the right arm. A bullet had hit me, fracturing my arm in two places. Shortly afterwards I was struck above the knee of the right leg. Anderson went to try and get a stretcher for me, and faced almost certain death in doing so. But luckily he got through without a scratch. I rolled over on my face and tried to creep to a hollow behind me, but was again struck in the middle of the back, the bullet coming out down my right thigh, taking away the power of my right leg for the time being. I was now utterly helpless and soon got another bullet through my right shoulder, fracturing the tip. Still another went through the arm and ripped up the side of it. Two were expanding bullets, making small holes where they entered and great cavities where they escaped.

“I lay there alone until about midnight, when I heard voices near me, and recognized friends. They gave me a drink and tied my arm to my side with their handkerchiefs, which greatly eased the agony I was suffering. I had a good drink of rum, which pulled me together. I had nearly bled to death by this time, but the rum put new life into me. They left me and I contrived to get on my feet with the help of my rifle, but immediately pitched on my head. I think I must have lost consciousness for a while; anyway I was too weak to try another attempt. That was the longest and loneliest night I ever put in. It seemed like years. Towards morning I heard a voice in the distance calling ‘Jim,’ ‘Jim Kennedy.’ I tried to answer, but was unheard. In a few minutes they called again right beside me, and I sang out, ‘I’m here.’ It was Jordan, Sergeant Beattie, who afterwards died at Bloemfontein, and some others. Jordan, who was a medical student, constructed a stretcher out of his coat and some rifles, and they got me on it, and off we went. The noise having stirred the Boers to fire again, we had to go warily. Poor Beattie, ever mindful of the comfort of others, finding my head hanging down, took his bandolier, swung it around his neck and made a support for my head. They got me about half way in when they had to lay me down, the jarring of the rough-made stretcher causing me much agony. Some went for a stretcher, while the others, Jordan and Tom Morse of Stanley Barracks, lay down on either side of me to keep me warm. After a time a stretcher was procured and I was taken around by the bivouac to bid the boys good-bye. Here the Young brothers, Bob and Harry, with two others, took charge of me and carried me down to the ford, where the wounded were being ferried across. Here they turned me over to the Medical Service Corps, or, as our men called them, the “poultice wallahs.” That finished my career as an active combatant.

“I reached the hospital about five o’clock in the morning, nearly twelve hours after I was first wounded. My wounds were roughly dressed, and three days afterwards my clothing was all cut away. Had it not been for the Young brothers having generously given me their blankets the night I was wounded, I would have been sent down country naked, except for my right-hand trouser pocket, which I used for a valise to carry my earthly possessions in. Of the three days and nights in the mule wagons, on the way to Modder River Station, I need say nothing, save that they were days and nights of misery and suffering. But once we got on the ambulance train we were comparatively happy. When we reached Modder Station I had my wounds dressed by a Dr. Jamieson, who, taking pity on my rather undraped appearance, made me happy with the present of a suit of pyjamas, a very welcome gift. My stay in Wynberg Hospital was a very pleasant experience, as was my trip to England, where people could not do enough for Canadians.”


Another interesting personality contributed to the Canadian Contingent, that fought at Paardeberg by the Queen’s Own was young Bugler Douglas F. Williams (Number 7311), who sounded the now historic charge. A personal story, by this bright young soldier, of his part in this hot day’s work is worthy of a place in the regimental record. He has just returned to South Africa as bugler in the Third Contingent. Bugler Williams says:—

“We arrived at Paardeberg drift about 6 a.m. on Sunday. After a hard night’s march, firing was heard just in front of where we camped, and we knew that a fight was on quite close to us. Just as we were becoming interested in a breakfast of biscuits and coffee, which the cooks had just placed on the fires, we were ordered to parade. This meant fight, and the idea of breakfast was gladly given up for a chance to get at the wily one whom we had been marching after for a week or so. We were soon at the river bank, and after securing our kits tightly around us to prevent them from washing away, we started to cross. I was carried over on the shoulders of some of the bigger fellows. If it had not been for this I should have had to stop at the river bank, because the water was much deeper than I was tall, and the current was too strong to think of swimming. When on the opposite bank, the companies were soon in line and extended, and we were into it almost before we knew where we were. We advanced in short rushes, taking advantage of any cover we could see. Our company was acting support when we started, but we were shortly brought into the firing line. All day was spent in advancing and firing. The orders came from the centre and were passed to the right and left from man to man. As I was only armed with a revolver, which had not a long enough range to be of any use, most of my time was spent in helping wounded and passing ammunition from one man to another. By about 4.30 p.m. we had got quite close to the enemy’s position, and were the furthest advanced of any of our troops, and we had to keep pretty near the ground. The Cornwalls had moved up to within about 100 yards of our rear, and we heard them getting orders to ‘fix bayonets and be ready to rush.’

“Bayonets were fixed, straps were tightened and we were ready. Soon I heard the Cornwalls getting orders to charge, and looking back, saw them coming on the run. The orders came from the centre for the Canadians to charge. It was plain that by the time the order had got the length of our line (about half a mile) that the Cornwalls would be past us, and not wanting any regiment to beat us at the finish, when we had led all day, I jumped up and blew the Canadian regimental call, and then the ‘charge.’ I sounded four times, namely, to the right, left, rear and the front.”


Another of the Queen’s Own buglers who saw considerable service in South Africa is E. W. McCormick, who was a bugler attached to the Strathcona Horse. He returned to Canada with them, but has again gone to South Africa with the third contingent.

Space forbids any attempt to chronicle here the active part taken by the Royal Canadians in the trying campaign which followed Paardeberg—the weary marching, the severe fighting, the short rations, the trying climatic changes, the ravages of fever, the sufferings in the hospitals, the triumphant entries into the enemy’s capitals. This all goes to make up the well-known history of the war. An extract from Major-General Smith-Dorrien’s orders to his 19th Brigade on June 5th, 1900, gives a soldierly summary of a very active period of the battalion’s service in the field. This extract reads as follows:—

“The 19th Brigade has achieved a record of which any infantry might be proud. Since the date it was formed (Feb. 12, 1900), it has marched 620 miles, often on half rations, and seldom on full. It has taken part in the capture of ten towns, fought in ten general engagements, and on 27 other days. In one period of 30 days it fought on 21 of them, and marched 327 miles.”

A month or six weeks before the issuing of this order, the battalion had been joined at the front by a reinforcement sent out from Canada. On March 8th a call was made for 100 men to replace the casualties in the special service battalion. Toronto was asked to furnish twenty of these men, and Queen’s Own men succeeded in securing no less than seven of the coveted places. The detachment, having been enlisted, concentrated, clothed and equipped in eight days, embarked at Halifax on March 16, some of the men having travelled 1,500 miles to join. The Queen’s Own men in this detachment were:—Privates L. F. V. Jackson, C. W. Lillie, V. O. McCarthy, J. R. D. McKerrihan, J. T. Pepper, S. B. Playfair, F. A. Lake.

The drain upon the battalion through killed, wounded and sick was very severe, as may be judged by the fact that between July 13 and November 1 no less than 316 men invalided home were landed at Quebec. The returned troops were welcomed home with the greatest enthusiasm, particularly a large detachment of 119 men, including the wounded of the Paardeberg actions, who were landed by the Steamship Lake Ontario at Quebec, Saturday, August 24th. This party had been placed under charge of Lieutenant-Colonel Delamere, commanding the Queen’s Own, by special request of the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Wolseley. Lieutenant-Colonel Delamere was in England in command of the Bisley Team of that year.

A detachment of the battalion, 434 all told, disembarked at Halifax, November 1, and the remainder, 289 all told, disembarked at the same port on Christmas Eve. This last detachment, with the battalion headquarters, came home via England, where they were greatly lionized.

It is hopeless to attempt to describe the enthusiasm with which the various detachments of the regiment were welcomed home, and space only permits a very brief reference to the other Canadian contingents sent to South Africa.

The Sardinian was still in the St. Lawrence when the question of sending a second contingent began to be mooted. As the first contingent marched through the crowded streets of Quebec to the transport the first news of the disaster of Nicholson’s Nek was posted on the bulletin boards. On November 2nd, the government cabled the Imperial government offering to send a second contingent it deemed advisable. November 7, the offer was declined, but on December 16, it was accepted. During January and February the Canadian Mounted Rifles, Lieut.-Colonel L. Herchmer, 378 all told; the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lieut.-Colonel Lessard, 379; and a field division of the Royal Canadian Field Artillery, consisting of C, D, and E Batteries, Lieut.-Colonel C. W. Drury, 569 men, embarked at Halifax. March 16, Strathcona’s Horse, Lieut.-Colonel S. Steele, 548 men, embarked at Halifax, and on May 1st, a reinforcement for the regiment of 50 men embarked at Montreal. Canada sent to South Africa altogether, 160 officers and 2,932 non-commissioned officers and men. Canada also placed at the disposal of the Mother Country to relieve the regular regiment in garrison at Halifax the 3rd (Special Service) Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, 29 officers and 975 non-commissioned officers and men.

The casualties among the Canadian contingents in South Africa were as follows:—Killed or died of wounds, 65; died from disease or accidentally killed, 79; wounded, 197; missing, 2. On the return of the various contingents, no less than 310 officers and men remained in South Africa, with permission to join various military bodies.


Round you to-day a people stand arrayed

    That fain with peace two wedded worlds would dower;

Therefore rejoicing mightier hath been made

    Imperial Power!

Alfred Austin.


visit of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to Canada, with its splendid pageants, and its magnificent demonstrations of Canadian loyalty, will never be forgotten throughout the broad Dominion. All classes in Canada were anxious to recognize the graciousness implied by the visit, and united to give a loving welcome to the official bearers of a royal message from a beloved monarch to his devoted people. It was but natural to expect that the Canadian Militia would enter with the keenest zest into the work attendant upon the preparation of a national welcome worthy of the auspicious occasion, but there was a special reason why the most prominent place in connection with the historical event should be accorded to the Dominion’s defensive force.

When in the middle of September, 1900, Her late lamented Majesty Queen Victoria, first signified her assent to the tour of their Royal Highnesses, as originally planned, to the Australian colonies, it was officially explained that Her Majesty wished “to signify her sense of the loyalty and devotion which have prompted the spontaneous aid so liberally offered by all the colonies in the South African war, and of the splendid gallantry of her colonial troops.” It was with the express idea of giving effect to his royal mother’s wishes that His Majesty King Edward VII. when, on February 14th, following, he assented to the tour being made, decided that it should be extended to New Zealand and the Dominion of Canada.

And so it happened that, as the royal visit to Canada was primarily a royal acknowledgment of the services rendered to the Empire by the Canadian Militia in South Africa, the militia functions in connection with the visit were given exceptional prominence. And these functions were on a scale never before attempted in Canada. Military reviews were arranged by the militia authorities in the capitals of each of the provinces, that for the Ontario Militia taking place at Toronto, on the exhibition grounds, on Friday, October 11th, and resulting in the largest parade of Canadian Militia ever held. This review, a success in every sense of the word, can fairly be said to have been the crowning event of the visit of the Duke and Duchess to Canada.

Naturally it excited the keenest interest among all the corps of the Toronto garrison. The Queen’s Own was considerably the strongest regiment on parade. It certainly presented a most soldierly appearance, with its ten strong companies of sturdy, well set-up men, in their dark, carefully fitted rifle uniforms, and smart rifle busbies.

There were detached two officers for duty on the staff of the first infantry division, Major P. L. Mason and Captain A. P. Kirkpatrick, and, for various duties, several non-commissioned officers and men. Altogether there were 687 officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the Queen’s Own on parade before their Royal Highnesses, a very good showing, when it is remembered that the authorized strength is 418 of all ranks.

The whole force underarms numbered about 11,000 men, under command of Major-General O’Grady-Haly, who was attended by the following staff: Adjutant-General, Col. Aylmer; A. A. G., Major A. O. Fages, R. C. R.; A. D. C., Major E. T. H. Heward, U. L.; Quartermaster-General, Col. Cotton; A.A.G., Lieut.-Col. Nelles, R.O.; D.A.A.G., Capt. Lafferty, R.C.G.A.; A.D.C., Lieut. R. Cockburn, Suffolk Regiment.

The force consisted of a cavalry brigade, three brigade divisions of field artillery, two infantry divisions and several units of the Army Medical Corps.

The force was drawn up on the ground to the west of Stanley Barracks, on which the right of the long line of quarter columns rested. A bright, clear dawn was succeeded by a light haze, which in turn gave place to a dense fog which rolled in from the lake as the force was being formed up, temporarily shutting out most of the parade ground from the sight of the great mass of spectators. In front of the grand stand were drawn up veterans of the Fenian Raids and the Northwest Rebellion, among them many old members of the Queen’s Own, officers and men. Near them were also drawn up those officers and men of the regiments on parade who had served the Empire in South Africa, and who were about to receive at the hands of their Sovereign’s son and heir the silver tokens of royal gratitude. The men to receive medals were detached from their units before the arrival of the Duke and Duchess, and rejoined after the presentation. The Queen’s Own South African men formed quite a large company, and as they marched across the parade ground under command of Captain Barker the cheers which arose from the grand stand testified to the warm place the regiment holds in the hearts of the Canadian people, for the crowds in the grand stand that day represented not merely Toronto or Ontario, but the whole of Canada, many thousands of people being present from the City of Montreal alone.

It was hard to imagine a more picturesque sight than was presented to those on the big grand stand before the great mass of haze rolled over the parade ground from the lake. It was truly historic ground that the flower of Ontario’s loyal militia was drawn up on to do honor to the Empire’s future King and Queen. To the left loomed up the monument marking the location of old Fort Rouille, which in the time of Louis XV. was the extreme limit of the sphere of activity of the adventurous French, where Indians from the far West came to trade their furs and where the fleur-de-lis once spread its white folds in the fresh lake breeze. Away off to the right of the line loomed up the grassy mounds marking the site of old Fort Toronto, where the Union Jack, thanks to unpreparedness and official bungling, was once upon a time, for a brief period, replaced by the starry flag of Britain’s obstreperous offspring across the lake. The very ground occupied by Canada’s sons at this review was that upon which their forefathers so stubbornly contested the advance of Forsyth’s American riflemen upon the fort in 1813. Valor, handicapped by lack of preparation, does not count for much when an enemy is knocking at our doors.

The 10,000 men drawn up in brave array on this historic ground for the appreciative gaze of Royalty to rest upon, showed that Canada, since 1813, has made some progress in learning the great fundamental military lesson of history that the only way to be able to secure peace and safety is to be prepared to enforce them. Just how much progress the country has made studying this subject had better not be discussed here.


It is sufficient for the time being that these militiamen, cavalry, artillery and infantry present a most useful and imposing appearance. In the distance the cavalry and artillery loom up in dense masses, nearer the columns of infantry, their fronts carefully aligned, present a particularly gay appearance, owing to the large number of scarlet coated battalions. There are just enough rifle regiments to relieve the color-effect and prevent the scarlet from appearing monotonous. Among all the corps the Queen’s Own is easily distinguished by the exceptional strength and greater number of its companies. The regiment also presents to the most critical eye an appearance of exceptional solidity. As the last details of forming up the parade are completed, a leaden sky shuts out the hazy sun, and Lake Ontario projects a dense bank of fog upon the parade ground, hiding all but nearby objects from view. And so the position remains for some time, the eyes of the spectators being able but dimly to make out the outlines of the heads of the columns immediately in front of them. An aide-de-camp gallops into the fog towards the Headquarters Staff, and the force is hoarsely called to attention. A carriage containing Her Royal Highness drives up to the pavilion erected in front of the public stand, amid the enthusiastic cheers of the spectators. There is a wait of but a few minutes before the running up of the Royal Standard to the flag staff, and the royal salute, given by the guard of honor of school-boy cadets, drawn up near the saluting point, announces the arrival of His Royal Highness. The Duke, accompanied by a brilliant staff, looks very soldierly in his uniform of Honorary Colonel of the Royal Fusiliers, the old 7th or City of London Regiment, one of the oldest and most distinguished regiments in the Imperial Army. His Royal Highness did Lieutenant-Colonel Pellatt, Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Own, the honor of accepting the use of his handsome white charger for the occasion, as also for the review at Quebec, and the splendid animal was a mount worthy of England’s future king. Later the Duke showed his appreciation of Lieutenant-Colonel Pellatt’s courtesy in a most marked way. The royal train, at the conclusion of the Toronto visit, was about to leave the station, the Duke sent for the new Commander of the Q.O.R., receiving him most graciously in the State car in the presence of the Duchess, personally expressed his thanks and presented him with a breast pin of gold, ornamented with the York crest, set in diamonds and rubies.

As the Duke took up his place near the flag staff to receive the royal salute he was greeted by round after round of cheering, in the intervals of which could be heard snatches of the National Anthem from the infantry bands massed in rear of their respective divisions. The massed bands aggregated over 200 musicians each, their playing being most impressive. As His Royal Highness, attended by the General, rode into the fog to inspect the line the sun for a few seconds showed a few rays of brightness through an opening in the dense mass which hung over the field, the beginning of a fight for mastery between sun and haze, resulting in a wonderfully short time in the complete discomfiture of the latter. Long before the march past was over, the sun was shining in an unclouded sky with the brilliancy and genial warmth of a summer day.

As the Royal Prince and his party reached the right of the line there came from the haze to the spectators, in splendid volume, the strains of the air chosen as the inspection tune for the occasion. It was a beautiful air, too, catchingly melodious, yet of impressive dignity and abounding in rich harmony. It was recognized by but a few, and those acknowledged the appropriateness of the selection, not merely on account of the merit of the music, but on other grounds. In the playing of that air the bands of the Ontario Militia corps did an honor to the sister province of Quebec, and particularly to its patriotic French population, which has been much appreciated by the latter. For the air which set people’s blood a tingling, was the comparatively new French Canadian loyalist Hymn, “O Canada! Terre de nos aieux” (O Canada! Land of my ancestors), by a well-known French Canadian composer, Calixte Lavallee, and really the first Canadian anthem ever composed worthy of the name or theme.

The inspection of the line over, His Royal Highness rode back to the saluting point, dismounted and presented the medals to the men who had served in South Africa.

The presentations over, the recipients joined their respective corps and the whole force marched past, this movement completing the programme, the various corps marching off the field as they reached the further end of the saluting base.

As indicating what the Queen’s Own Rifles as a regiment has done for the militia as a whole, it is interesting to remark that the commanders of both infantry divisions, Colonels Otter and Buchan, and three of the brigade commanders, Lieut.-Colonel Mason, Lieut.-Colonel McLaren and Lieut.-Colonel King were former members of the regiment, as were also a surprisingly large number of battalion commanders and other officers on parade. And these former members did not forget their old regiment, for the day of the review they assembled in a social gathering in camp to recall old days and to do honor to the regiment from which they came. The esprit de corps cultivated in the Queen’s Own is abiding.

Review before H. R. H. the Duke of Cornwall and York, October 11th, 1901.

Curiosity impelled the officers of the regiment to scan the rolls of officers of the various regiments present to ascertain how many ex-members of the Q. O. R. were officers in these corps. The following is a list of officers on duty during the Royal Review, all of whom have served in the Q.O.R.: Col. W. D. Otter, C.B., A.D.C., D.O.C., M.D. No. 2, Commanding 1st Infantry Division; Col. L. Buchan, C.M.G., R.R.C.I., Commanding 2nd Infantry Division; Lieut.-Col. W. E. Hodgins, R.O., A. A. G., 2nd Division; Major V. Sankey, R. O., Transport Officer; Major E. H. T. Heward, R.O., A.D.C. to G.O.C.; Major W. Nattress, A.M.C., P.M.O.; Lieut.-Col. James Mason, R. O., Commanding 1st Brigade, 1st Division; Lieut.-Col. H. McLaren, “13th” Regiment, Commanding 2nd Brigade, 1st Division; Lieut.-Col. F. King, Commanding 3rd Brigade Division F.A.; Lieut.-Col. G. Acheson, “29th” Regiment, Brigade Major, 4th Brigade; Lieut.-Col. J. Bruce, Commanding 10th Regiment R. G.; Lieut.-Col. J. E. Halliwell, Commanding 15th Regiment Argyle L. I.; Lieut.-Col. W. C. Macdonald, Commanding 48th Regiment Highlanders; Lieut.-Col. A. T. Thompson, Commanding 37th Regiment Haldimand Rifles; Major J. T. Fotheringham, Commanding No. 4 Bearer Company; Major A. Y. Scott, Commanding No. IV F. H. Company; Capt. M. F. Muir, 2nd Dragoons; Rev. L. F. Skey, Chaplain 2nd Dragoons; Lieut. S. F. Smith, G.G.B.G.; Lieut. D. I. Warren, G.G.B.G.; Capt. Hume Blake, T.M.R.; Lieut. J. H. Moss, T.M.R.; Major A. H. Macdonell, R.C.R.; Capt. J. Burnham, R.C.R.; Major H. B. Cronyn, 7th Regiment; Lieut. D. J. McLean, 7th Regiment; Major H. Brock, 10th Regiment; Surgeon-Major E. E. King, 10th Regiment; Capt. J. C. Mason, 10th Regiment: Capt. A. Curran, 12th Regiment; Capt. J. Agnew, 12th Regiment; Capt. J. H. Herring, 13th Regiment; Capt. R. H. Labatt, 13th Regiment; Capt. A. F. Matheson, 15th Regiment; Major F. W. Macqueen, 22nd Regiment; Major H. V. Knight, 22nd Regiment; Capt. Morton, 22nd Regiment; Major W. Wallace, 36th Regiment; Major J. A. Duff, 36th Regiment; Capt. J. Knifton, 36th Regiment; Capt. F. J. Hamilton, 36th Regiment; Capt. O. Heron, 36th Regiment; Capt. W. A. Smith, 36th Regiment; Lieut. S. G. Beckett, 36th Regiment; Lieut. R. Y. Douglas, 36th Regiment; Lieut. W. H. Hedges, 36th Regiment; Lieut. D. F. McKinley, 36th Regiment; Lieut. W. Cowan, 36th Regiment; Capt. W. M. Weir, 37th Regiment; Capt. W. D. Cameron, 43rd Regiment; Capt. T. C. Boville, 43rd Regiment; Major J. A. Preston, 46th Regiment; Lieut. C. C. Harbottle, 48th Regiment; Lieut. M. J. Woodbridge, 48th Regiment.

All have served in the Queen’s Own Rifles.

First row (standing) from left to right—

Captain Weir, Colonel Buchan, Lieut.-Col. Macdonald, Major Cronyn, Lieut.-Col. King, Colonel Otter, Lieut.-Col. McLaren, Major Nattress, Lieut.-Col. Helliwell, Major Mason, Lieut.-Col. Mason.


Second row (standing) from left to right—

Captain Hamilton, Captain Heron, Lieutenant Douglas, Lieutenant Hedges, Lieut. McKinley, Captain Knifton, Captain A. T. Kirkpatrick, Captain Agnew.


The big review was but a part of the duty falling to the Queen’s Own in connection with the royal visit to Toronto, the regiment being called upon to furnish no less than three guards, as follows:—

The Guard of Honor at railway station on arrival, Thursday, October 10th, at 2 p.m. Officers: Major Gunther, Lieutenant Higinbotham, Second-Lieutenant Kingsford.

Guard of Honor to the Governor-General at Parliament Buildings at 7.30 p.m., Thursday, October 10th. Officers: Captain Mercer, Lieutenant Benjamin, Second-Lieutenant Ellis.

Guard of Honor on Saturday, October 12th, on departure of Governor-General. Officers: Captain Rennie, Lieutenant A. J. E. Kirkpatrick, Second-Lieutenant Beers.

The Detail of the Guard for each occasion consisted of: 1 captain, 2 subalterns, 1 sergeant-major, 1 color-sergeant, 3 sergeants, 4 corporals, 96 rank and file, 10 drummers and 20 bandsmen, and every guard furnished by the Queen’s Own was up to full strength. Splendid guards they all were as a couple of facts about the first one mounted will show. In Major Gunther’s guard, which received their Royal Highnesses on their arrival in Toronto, there were no less than sixty-four men six feet or over in height, and in the whole guard there was not a man under five feet eight inches, certainly facts which speak eloquently of the present physical standard of the regiment.


As the years and centuries have passed, and as the improvement of firearms has progressed, so have military men, and the army authorities become more and more insistent upon the importance of musketry training, just as they have been indefatigable in their efforts to build up a system of tactical instruction, in keeping with the requirements of modern warfare.

The oldest drill manual I have ever been able to find lays down the good rule that “the soldier who cannot shoot is an encumbrance to the service.” And the army manuals, or red-books, have for decades impressed upon all ranks the fact “that no degree of perfection the soldier may have attained in the other parts of his drill can upon service, remedy any want of proficiency in marksmanship.”

These principles have not been overlooked in the Queen’s Own, and its record with the rifle and in the encouragement of rifle practice is in every way creditable.

The shooting interests of the regiment are under the supervision of a committee elected annually by the officers, consisting of three officers, the senior of which acts as President, and a Secretary and Treasurer.

The regiment has been particularly fortunate for many years in having a number of enthusiastic rifle shots among the officers, non-commissioned officers and men. It has never been the policy of the regiment to import crack rifle shots, considering it more satisfactory from a regimental standpoint to aim at excellence in having every man in the regiment efficient in the use of the weapon he is armed with, rather than gathering together a team of professional shots. To effect this object, enthusiastic Company officers, non-commissioned officers and men have worked indefatigably in conjunction with the Rifle Committee.

For shooting purposes the regiment is divided into two classes. The first class includes all those who have won badges under the regulations of any previous year, and the second class includes the remaining members of the regiment.

At the close of the season’s shooting the following badges are awarded: Silk cross guns and crown to the non-commissioned officer or man making the highest aggregate of five scores during the season at 200, 500 and 600 yards; silk cross guns to all non-commissioned officers and men making five scores of 62 points or over; and worsted cross guns to all non-commissioned officers and men making five scores of 52 points and over, the possible being in all these cases 75 points without sighting shots. When the regiment was armed with the Snider rifle it was found more difficult to make five scores of 52 and 42 points, respectively, than the above scores with the Lee-Enfield rifle, and that was at a time when the ranges fired were 200, 400 and 500 yards.

No member of the regiment is eligible to compete in any regimental competition unless he has performed at least 60 per cent. of the regimental drills for the current year, or for such portion of the year as he has been a member of the regiment.

There are two Sergeant Instructors in Musketry, who take full charge of the Morris tube practice for recruits, and the instructing of all unqualified marksmen at the ranges.

Much credit is due to the efforts of the instructors in musketry for the general efficiency of the young shots, as intelligent coaching is the secret of a beginner making such progress that his interest in rifle shooting will be permanently awakened.

Many members of the regiment have won honors, both for themselves and the regiment at the Provincial and Dominion Rifle Matches.


Several times Queen’s Own men have won great distinction, both at Wimbledon and Bisley. One case was specially interesting. In 1899 Captain R. Rennie had the honor of making the highest score ever made by a Canadian in the annual matches for the Kolapore Cup. Captain Rennie’s score was as follows:—

200 Yards,5, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 4=32 
500   ”5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4=34 
600   ”5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 4=34 

For a number of years the regiment has had large entries for the O.R.A. and the D.R.A. Matches, at which the regimental teams have won a fair share of the prizes offered.

Yearly regimental rifle matches are held in the fall season, at which a large number of individual prizes are offered, in addition to many valuable trophies that have been presented to the regiment for competition among the several company teams. At these competitions it is usual to have at least 400 members of the regiment competing, and as many as 480 members of the regiment have competed in one match, and this while the authorized strength of the regiment was only 458 all ranks. However, that was only in keeping with the general activity of a corps that has efficiently maintained and equipped for many years at least 200 members over strength.

Among the many trophies annually competed for, not mentioning many handsome and valuable trophies competed for by individual companies, the following may be mentioned:—

“Victoria Rifles” Challenge Cup, presented to the regiment for competition in field firing, open to teams of five men per company; held by “H” Co.

The Zimmerman Cup, presented for competition by skirmishing teams; held by “A” Company.

“Dufferin Rifles” Challenge Cup, presented for competition by ten men from each company, the aggregate score at regimental matches to count; held by “H” Co.

“Toronto Silver Plate Company’s” Challenge Cup, open to company teams of ten men, the aggregate of scores in general regimental match to count; held by “B” Co.

“Industrial Exhibition Association” Challenge Cup, to be competed for by teams of five named men at annual regimental match; held by “K” Co.

The “Mail” Challenge Trophy, for competition between officers and sergeants. Teams of six members each. Scores in general match to count; held by the sergeants.

“The Delamere Practice Cup,” donated by Lieutenant-Colonel Delamere, to be awarded the company making the highest aggregate score by ten men on eight named days during the practice season; held by “H” Co.

A regular system of lectures on rifle shooting, by competent instructors, to beginners and marksmen desiring greater proficiency, was established some years ago and is still maintained. These lectures have been found productive of very much benefit and encouragement to young shots.

In the District Annual Marching and Field Firing Competitions, open to company teams from the Toronto Garrison, the regiment has shown commendable interest. This year the competition was held on Thanksgiving Day, November 28th, and fourteen teams competed. Six of these were from the Queen’s Own. Out of five team prizes offered “H,” “B,” and “A” Companies won, respectively, the 2nd, 4th and 5th places.

In addition to the purely rifle exercises, the regiment has a flourishing Revolver Association. This was first formed in 1889, with Captain Pellatt, President; Lieutenant Mercer, Vice-President, Sergeant N. B. Sanson, Secretary, and Sergeant J. O. Thorn, Treasurer. The present Standard Revolver Target now in use at nearly all Revolver Association Matches in Canada, was first adopted and used by the Queen’s Own Revolver Association. The interest in revolver shooting has never lessened, and to-day there are few officers in the regiment that are not efficient revolver shots.

The committee of the Regimental Rifle Association is composed of: President, Captain M. S. Mercer; Secretary, Lieutenant W. A. H. Findlay; Treasurer, Lieutenant J. M. Davison; Sergeant Instructor in Musketry, George Creighton for the right half battalion, and Sergeant Instructor in Musketry, George Hutchinson, for the left half battalion.

While the duties of the committee are very onerous, they are made exceedingly pleasant by the enthusiastic efforts of all ranks to promote the shooting interests of the regiment.

In short, on the rifle range no less than in the drill hall, officers and men of the Queen’s Own have shown that they appreciate the full force of their regimental motto, “In Pace Paratus.”


Wm. Smith Durie, late Lieutenant H. M. 83rd Foot, Captain Barrie Rifle Company, prior to its incorporation with this regiment. Gazetted Lieut.-Col. and to the command of the regiment April 26th, 1860. Commanded the 2nd or Central Administrative Battalion at Niagara from December 1864 to April 1865. Appointed Assistant Adjutant-General of Militia November 18th, 1865, retired September 14th, 1866. Deceased.

Geo. Brooke, Captain, March 20th, 1856; Major, April 26th, 1860. Appointed Captain of No. 1 Independent Company on its formation, and with it joined the battalion. Deceased.

Jno. Nickinson, Captain and Brevet-Major, March 22nd, 1856; Quartermaster, May 26th, 1860. Appointed Captain of No. 3 Independent Company on its formation, and with it joined the battalion. Deceased.

A. M. Smith, Captain, September 18th, 1856; Major, April 26th, 1860. Retired retaining rank July 13th, 1866. Appointed Captain of the Highland Company (Independent) on its formation and joined the battalion with it. Commanded a provisional battalion at Port Hope in June 1866. Had previously served in H. M. army. Deceased.

Henry Goodwin, Captain and Adjutant, April 26th, 1860. Retired January 27th, 1865, with rank of Major. Served as non-commissioned officer in the Royal Horse Artillery at the Battle of Waterloo. Joined this battalion with and in command of the Foot Artillery or No. 5 Company. Appointed Adjutant on the formation of the battalion and served as such until retirement. Appointed Provincial Storekeeper at Toronto. Deceased.

James Wallace, Captain, March 31st, 1858. Retired November 21st, 1862. Appointed Captain of the Whitby Company (No. 5 Company) on formation. Retired with his company on the re-organization in November, 1862.

R. B. Denison, Lieutenant and Paymaster, April 26th, 1860; Captain, June 3rd, 1861. Retired January 30th, 1863. Appointed Captain of Trinity College Company on its formation. Deceased.

A. T. Fulton, Lieutenant, September 18th, 1856; Captain, May 11th, 1860; Major, August 21st, 1863. Retired retaining rank June 16th, 1865. Appointed Ensign on formation of Highland Company and joined the battalion with it as Lieutenant.

T. H. Pattison, Lieutenant, August 10th, 1857. Retired retaining rank May 11th, 1860. Joined on formation of the battalion as Lieutenant of Independent Company No. 1.

Jas. Smith, Lieutenant, March 12th, 1857; Captain, May 11th, 1860. Retired retaining rank July 28th, 1865. Joined on formation of the battalion as Lieutenant of Independent Company No. 3.

Alex. McKenzie, Captain, May 11th, 1860. Retired retaining rank November 21st, 1862. Joined on formation of the battalion as Lieutenant of the Barrie Company and retired with it on the reorganization in November, 1862. Deceased.

D. F. Jessop, Lieutenant, May 11th, 1860. Joined on formation of the battalion as Lieutenant of Foot Artillery Company (No. 5 Company).

Wm. Thompson, Lieutenant, December 16th, 1858. Retired November 21st, 1862. Joined the battalion on formation as Lieutenant of Whitby Company. Retired with that company on the re-organization in November, 1862.

Douglas McDonald, Ensign, August 10th, 1857; Captain, May 11th, 1860. Retired retaining rank December 30th, 1864. Joined the battalion on its formation with Independent Company No. 1. Deceased.

Joseph Rogers, Lieutenant, May 11th, 1860. Joined the battalion on its formation with Barrie Company as Ensign.

John Gardiner, Ensign, September 18th, 1856; Lieutenant, May 11th, 1860; Captain, August 21st, 1863. Retired retaining rank July 13th, 1866. Appointed Ensign of Highland Company on its formation, and with it joined the battalion. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Had previously served in H. M. army.

Peter Paterson, Lieutenant, May 11th, 1860; Captain, November 13th, 1860. Retired 1866.

Jno. Brown, Ensign, May 11th, 1860; Lieutenant, December 19th, 1860; Captain, October 18th, 1864; Major, November 30th, 1866. Retired retaining rank March 24th, 1871. Commanded No. 1 Service Company (2nd Administrative Battalion) at Niagara, 1864-65. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Deceased.

Andrew Fleming, Lieutenant, May 26th, 1860. Deceased.

Henry O’Brien. Lieutenant, May 26th, 1860.

E. J. Walker, Ensign, May 26th, 1860.

W. Monaghan, Ensign, May 26th, 1860; Lieutenant, August 8th, 1860.

E. H. Duggan, Ensign, May 26th, 1860; Lieutenant, August 8th, 1860.

Jas. Thorburn, M. D., Surgeon, April 26th, 1860. Surgeon-Major, September 19th, 1879. Retired with rank of Surgeon Major January 13th, 1881. Served as Surgeon of Independent Company No. 4, and on formation of the battalion was appointed surgeon, served in that capacity during Fenian Raid, 1866, and Belleville Riots, 1877.

Frank Bull, M. D., Lieutenant and Assistant-Surgeon, May 26th, 1860. Joined the battalion as Assistant-Surgeon on its formation. Died January 20th, 1863.

J. J. Vance, Captain, August 8th, 1860.

Farquhar Morison, Ensign, August 8th, 1860; Lieutenant, November 22nd, 1861: Captain, June 1st, 1866. Served as Lieutenant of the service company sent to Sarnia in November 1865, and April 1866. On service died during Fenian Raid, 1866. Died November 25th, 1870.

G. W. Bingham, Ensign, August 8th, 1860.

W. A. Dixon, Supernumerary Ensign. August 28th, 1860. Subsequently appointed to an Ensigncy in H. M. 82nd Foot.

Jos. Davids, Ensign, December 19th, 1860; Lieutenant, January 13th, 1866: Captain, November 30th, 1866. Retired retaining rank May 20th, 1871. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Robert H. Mead, Ensign, February 23rd, 1861.

Jno. Shedden, Ensign, May 3rd, 1861; Lieutenant, August 21st, 1863. Retired December 22nd, 1865. Subsequently appointed to command of 3rd Battalion Grand Trunk Railway Brigade. Deceased.

Salter Vankoughnet, Lieutenant, June 3rd, 1861. Retired January 30th, 1863. Deceased.

Wm. Murray, Lieutenant, August 30th, 1861; Captain, March 14th, 1862. Retired retaining rank December 16th, 1865. Deceased.

W. R. Harris, Ensign, August 30th, 1861; Lieutenant, April 17th, 1862; Captain, July 18th, 1862; Paymaster, November 18th, 1864; Brevet-Major, November 18th, 1869. Served as Paymaster during Fenian Raid. Retired retaining rank in August, 1869.

Jas. Bennett, Ensign, November 22nd, 1861; Captain, November 30th, 1866; Brevet-Major, November 30th, 1871. Retired with rank of Brevet-Major, April 24th, 1874. Served in United States Army during the Mexican War. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Also served with 2nd Administrative Battalion at Niagara in 1865.

Lewis W. Ord, Captain, December 6th, 1861. Appointed Captain on formation of No. 6 or “Victoria Rifles” Company and joined the battalion with it. Had previously served in H. M. army. Retired April 10th, 1863. Deceased.

E. M. Carruthers, Lieutenant, December 6th, 1861. Appointed Lieutenant of “Victoria Rifles” Company (No. 6 Company) on its formation and joined the battalion with it. Retired May 14th, 1864. Deceased.

F. C. Malloch, Ensign, December 6th, 1861. Appointed Ensign of “Victoria Rifles” Company on its formation, and joined the battalion with it. Retired April 10th, 1863. Deceased.

C. C. Day, Lieutenant, August 30th, 1861. Served as Quartermaster.

Hon. Robert Spence, Captain, March 14th, 1862. Retired May 21st, 1864. Appointed Captain of Civil Service Rifle Company (No. 7 Company) on its formation, and joined the battalion with it. Held the rank of Major in the militia. Deceased.

Jno. Kerr, Lieutenant, March 14th, 1862. Appointed Lieutenant of 2nd Merchant’s Company (No. 5 Company) on its formation and joined the battalion with it.

Jno. D. Hodgins, Lieutenant, March 14th, 1862. Retired retaining rank Nov. 10th, 1865. Appointed Lieutenant of Civil Service Company (No. 7 Company) on its formation and with it joined the battalion.

Arthur Coulson, Ensign, March 14th, 1862; Lieutenant, August 27th, 1862. Retired March 31st, 1865. Appointed Ensign of 2nd Merchant’s Company (No. 5 Company) on its formation and with it joined the battalion. Deceased.

Jno. Dewe, Ensign, March 14th, 1862. Retired April 10th, 1863. Appointed Ensign of Civil Service Company (No. 7 Company) on its formation and with it joined the battalion.

D. F. Bogart, Ensign, March 14th, 1862; Lieutenant, January 30th, 1863. Retired August 4th, 1865. Joined the battalion as Ensign of Trinity College Company (No. 8 Company).

Jno. Douglas, Ensign, April 17th, 1862; Lieutenant August 21st, 1862; Captain, June 1st, 1866. Retired retaining rank August 31st, 1866. Joined the battalion as Lieutenant of 1st Merchant’s Company (No. 4 Company). On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Henry Croft, Captain, May 8th, 1862; Brevet-Major, May 8th, 1867. Retired retaining rank of Captain, June 21st, 1867. Appointed Captain of University Company (No. 9 Company) and with it joined the battalion. Commanded the battalion during the absence of Lieut.-Col. Durie at Niagara in 1864-65. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Jno. Bradford Cherriman, Lieutenant, May 18th, 1862; Captain, June 21st, 1867; Brevet-Major, December 7th, 1871. Retired retaining rank of Brevet-Major November 3rd, 1873. Appointed Lieutenant of University Company (No. 9 Company) on its formation, and with it joined the battalion. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Adam Crooks, Ensign, May 8th, 1862, Retired July 14th, 1865. Appointed Ensign of the University Company on its formation, and with it joined the battalion. Subsequently Minister of Education of Province of Ontario. Deceased.

Alex. M. Munroe, Ensign, August 1st, 1862. Retired April 10th, 1863. Rejoined as Ensign June 7th, 1872. Retired May 23rd, 1874. Joined the battalion as Ensign 1st Merchants’ Company (No. 4 Company).

James Jackson, Ensign, August 27th, 1862; Lieutenant, March 31st, 1865; Captain, December 21st, 1865. Quartermaster, March 30th, 1866. Died March 13th, 1868. Joined the battalion as Ensign of 2nd Merchants’ Company (No. 5 Company). Served as Quartermaster during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Wm. E. O’Brien, Ensign, August 27th, 1862. Retired November 21st, 1862. Served as Ensign in Barrie Company and retired with it on reorganization in November, 1862.

Thos. H. Tuce, Captain, January 30th, 1863. Retired December 1st, 1865.

R. Henderson, Ensign, January 30th, 1863. Deceased.

F. C. Draper, Captain, April 10th, 1863. Retired March 23rd, 1866. Was in command of the Upper Canada College Company which was attached to the battalion in 1866. Deceased.

Geo. W. Musson, Ensign, April 10th, 1863. Transferred to the 10th Royals.

Henry M. Scott, Ensign. April 10th, 1863; Lieutenant, May 14th, 1864, Retired February 3rd, 1865.

Charles T. Gillmor, Ensign, April 10th, 1863; Captain, May 20th, 1864; Major, June 16th, 1865; Lieutenant-Colonel, June 1st, 1866. Retired retaining rank May 28th, 1875. Had previously served in the Irish Militia as Ensign. Commanded No. 2 Service Company 2nd Administrative Battalion at Niagara 1864-65. Commanded the battalion during Fenian Raid, 1866. Commanded Wimbledon Team in 1874. Deceased.

J. B. Boustead, Lieutenant, April 24th, 1863. Retired June 3rd, 1865. Appointed Captain of No. 3 Company March 30th, 1866. Retired retaining rank November 9th, 1866. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866, (wounded).

Thomas C. Fisher, Ensign, April 24th, 1863. Retired December 22nd, 1863.

Robert Reford, Ensign, April 24th, 1863; Captain, March 31st, 1865. Retired June 1st, 1866.

R. H. Ramsay, Ensign, September 4th, 1863; Lieutenant, January 13th, 1866; Captain, July 13th, 1866. Retired October 1st, 1868. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Retired with the Highland Company on its failing to re-enroll under the Militia Act of 1868.

Fred E. Dixon, Ensign, May 12th, 1864; Lieutenant and Adjutant, May 19th, 1865; Captain, July 28th, 1865; Major, June 1st, 1866. Retired retaining rank February 19th, 1869. Served as Adjutant to 2nd Administrative Battalion at Niagara, 1864-65. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. In January 1867 he published the “Volunteers’ Manual” with the sanction of the Militia Department.

Jas. Rowell, Lieutenant and Assistant Surgeon, March 17th, 1865. Retired January 19th, 1866. Deceased.

Wm. Dillon Otter, joined the Victoria Rifle Company (No. 6 Company) as a private. Became Staff-Sergeant and then Lieutenant in the 2nd Administrative Battalion at Niagara 1864-65. On return was appointed Lieutenant of No. 1 Company May 19th, 1865, and subsequently Adjutant August 19th, 1865. Served as Adjutant during Fenian Raid, 1866; Captain, March 8th, 1866; Major, June 4th, 1869; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, June 4th, 1874; Gazetted Lieutenant-Colonel in command May 29th, 1875: Transferred to Infantry School Corps December 21st, 1883, and appointed Commandant Royal School of Infantry at Toronto. Adjutant of Wimbledon Team of 1873 and Commandant of the team of 1883. Commanded at Pilgrimage Riots, October, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877. Commanded Battleford Column, Northwest Field Force, at relief of Battleford, and action of Cut Knife Creek April-July, 1885. Appointed to command of No. 2 Military District July 1st, 1886; Inspector of Infantry May 16th, 1896. Commanded Service Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment during South African War, 1900. Gazetted Colonel July 19th, 1900. Decorated by H. M. King Edward vii, as Companion of the Bath, 1901. Now District Officer commanding Military District No. 2.

C. A. O’Malley, Lieutenant, March 31st, 1865. Retired March 23rd, 1866.

Wm. Arthurs, Ensign, March 31st, 1865; Lieutenant, June 1st, 1860; Captain, August 31st, 1866; Major, March 24th, 1871; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, March 24th, 1876. Retired retaining rank of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel March 18th, 1881. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866, and Pilgrimage Riots, 1875. Deceased.

Alex. G. Lee, Ensign, March 31st, 1865; Lieutenant, December 16th, 1865; Captain and Paymaster, February 25th, 1870; Hon. Major, February 25th, 1876. Retired with honorary rank May 2nd, 1884. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866, and Pilgrimage Riots, 1875.

A. Macpherson, Ensign, March 31st, 1865; Lieutenant, November 10th, 1865. Retired August 31st, 1866. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Deceased.

Wm. D. Jarvis, Captain, June 16th, 1865. Retired November 30th, 1866. Had previously been a Lieutenant in H. M. 12th Foot during the Kaffir War. Lieutenant of the 2nd Administrative Battalion at Niagara in 1864-65. Appointed Captain of No. 7 Company on his return. Commanded service company at Sarnia, 1865-66, and subsequently appointed to the command of a Provisional Battalion at Sarnia in March 1866, and also at Windsor in June 1866. Retired on being gazetted to the command of the 12th Battalion “York Rangers.”

Wm. W. Smith, Lieutenant, June 3rd, 1865. Retired February 10th, 1866.

Wm. C. Campbell, Ensign, July 14th, 1865; Lieutenant, October 5th, 1866. Retired April 5th, 1867. Served as Ensign in service company at Sarnia, and as Adjutant to Provisional Battalion at the same place 1865-66.

J. G. R. Stinson, Ensign, November 10th, 1865: Lieutenant, August 21st, 1866; Captain, November 30th, 1866. Retired retaining rank December 18th, 1868. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Jno. O’Reilly, Ensign, December 16th, 1865. Retired November 22nd, 1867. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

L. P. Sherwood, Captain, December 21st, 1865. Retired April 19th, 1867. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Had previously served as Ensign and Lieutenant in the 10th Royals.

Samuel P. May, Lieutenant and Assistant-Surgeon, January 19th, 1866. Retired August 19th, 1877. Served as Assistant-Surgeon to the battalion during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Geo. Y. Whitney, Ensign, March 14th, 1866; Lieutenant, November 30th, 1866; Captain, June 12th, 1868. Retired retaining rank March 24th, 1871. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Deceased.

G. M. Adam, Captain, March 23rd, 1866. Retired June 3rd, 1870. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Wm. C. Campbell, March 23rd, 1866; Captain, December 18th, 1868. Retired retaining rank April 12th, 1872. Appointed Lieutenant of No. 6 Company on its re-organization and served with it during Fenian Raid (seriously wounded in the arm) in June 1866.

Jas. H. Beavan, Lieutenant, March 23rd, 1866. Retired retaining rank October 13th, 1871. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866 (slightly wounded). Deceased.

Jno. Edwards, Captain, March 30th, 1866. Retired retaining rank March 13th, 1868. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Malcolm McEachren, Ensign, March 30th, 1866. Killed at Ridgeway (during Fenian Raid) June 2nd, 1866.

Donald Gibson, Ensign, March 30th, 1866. Lieutenant, July 13th, 1866. Retired October 1st, 1868. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Wm. Wharin, Ensign, March 30th, 1866. Retired July 6th, 1866. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

T. A. McLean, Ensign, April 6th, 1866. Retired November 30th, 1866. Appointed Ensign of No. 6 Company on its re-organization and served with it during Fenian Raid, 1866. Deceased.

Jno. H. Davis, Ensign, June 1st, 1866. Retired October 5th, 1866. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Jno. Beverley Robinson, jr., Ensign, July 6th, 1866; Lieutenant, February 19th, 1869. Retired April 3rd, 1869. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Henry Scott, Ensign, July 30th, 1866; Retired October 1st, 1868. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Richard Y. Ellis, Ensign, July 20th, 1866; Lieutenant, June 12th, 1868. Retired July 31st, 1868. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Subsequently Major in 22nd Regiment.

Christopher W. Lee, Ensign, October 5th, 1866. Retired April 5th, 1867. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Deceased.

Chas. E. Ryerson, Ensign, October 5th, 1866; Lieutenant, February 19th, 1869; Captain, August 4th, 1871. Retired retaining rank October 3rd, 1874.

Wm. Fahey, Lieutenant, November 30th, 1866. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866 (seriously wounded in the knee).

Salter M. Jarvis, Lieutenant, November 30th, 1866; Captain, April 19th, 1867; Adjutant, February 3rd, 1870; Brevet-Major, April 19th, 1872; Gazetted Major, May 28th, 1875; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, April 19th, 1877. Retired retaining rank of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, January 28th, 1881. On service during Fenian Raid. Present at Pilgrimage Riots October, 1875, and at Belleville Riots, 1877. Deceased.

W. G. Bligh, Ensign, November 30th, 1866. Retired January 18th, 1867. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Ed. Marion Chadwick, Ensign, November 30th, 1866; Lieutenant, June 2nd, 1868; Captain, June 3rd, 1870; Quartermaster, March 31st, 1872; Hon. Major, January 28th, 1876. Retired retaining rank August 10th, 1883. On service during the Pilgrimage Riots, 1875.

W. H. Ellis, Ensign, November 30th, 1866; Lieutenant, June 21st, 1867; Captain, March 22nd, 1872. Retired retaining rank January 28th, 1876. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. (Was taken prisoner by the Fenians). In 1872 he re-organized No. 10 Company.

S. Bruce Harman, Ensign, November 30th, 1866; Lieutenant, June 12th, 1868; Captain, February 3rd, 1870. Transferred to Provisional Battalion, Manitoba, March 27th, 1874. Served as private during Fenian Raid. Served as Lieutenant with Ontario “Red River” Rifles, during Riel Rebellion in 1870-71, and proceeded to Manitoba in September, 1872, as Orderly Officer to Lieutenant-Colonel O. Smith, D.A.G.

A. Hagarty, Ensign, November 30th, 1866. Retired June 12th, 1868. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Joined H. M. 16th Foot in 1869. Deceased.

Richard O’Donoghue, Lieutenant, April 5th, 1867. Retired June 12th, 1868.

Henry Keighly, Ensign, April 5th, 1867. Retired May 24th, 1867. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

R. B. Clarkson, Lieutenant, May 3rd, 1867. Retired June 21st, 1867. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Chas. Allen, Ensign, May 3rd, 1867; Lieutenant, June 12th, 1868. Retired February 19th, 1869. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Albert A. Miller, Lieutenant, June 12th, 1868; Captain, January 13th, 1871; Brevet-Major, January 13th, 1876. Gazetted Major, January 28th, 1881; Lieutenant-Colonel, February 29th, 1884. Retired retaining rank February 5th, 1887. On service during Pilgrimage Riots October, 1875, Belleville Riots 1877 (slightly wounded in the head). In command of Q.O.R. during Northwest Rebellion, 1885. Deceased.

Thos. D. Delamere, Ensign, June 21st, 1867; Lieutenant, April 29th, 1870; Captain, February 27th, 1874. Retired retaining rank of Lieutenant March 12th, 1875. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Fred. W. Otter, Ensign, September 13th, 1867. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866. Died January 21st, 1869.

Jno. Grassick, Lieutenant and Quartermaster, June 13th, 1868. Retired April 26th, 1872. Served as Corporal in No. 2 Service Company 2nd Administrative Battalion at Niagara in 1864-65, also during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Alex. Brown, Ensign, June 12th, 1868. Retired September 10th, 1869. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Duncan Shaw, Ensign, June 12th, 1868. Retired June 3rd, 1870.

Jno. Erskine, Ensign, July 3rd, 1868: Lieutenant, February 25th, 1870; Captain, March 24th, 1871. Retired retaining rank December 5th, 1873. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Daniel H. Allan, Ensign, March 27th, 1869; Lieutenant, January 13th, 1871; Captain, April 24th, 1874; Major, August 31st, 1883: Lieutenant-Colonel, February 5th, 1887. Retired retaining rank August 30th, 1889. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866; Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and served as Major during Northwest Rebellion, 1885. Deceased.

Sydney Crocker, Ensign, March 27th, 1869. Retired January 7th, 1871. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Angus G. Morrison, Ensign, March 27th, 1869. Retired March 24th, 1871. Served as an Ensign in the Depot Company at Kingston, and the Ontario “Red River” Rifles during Riel Rebellion, 1870-1871.

Alex. Carmichael, Ensign, March 27th, 1869. Retired January 13th, 1871.

Geo. A. McKenzie, Ensign, March 27th, 1869; Lieutenant, February 3rd, 1870; Captain, August 4th, 1871. Retired retaining rank February 25th, 1876. On service in 13th Battalion, Hamilton, during Fenian Raid (wounded). Was Orderly Officer to Lieutenant Gillmor commanding 1st Brigade, 1872.

Ed. Burke, Ensign, February 3rd, 1870. Retired March 24th, 1871.

Jas. R. Foster, Ensign, February 25th, 1870; Lieutenant, March 24th, 1871; Captain, December 5th, 1873; Major, March 18th, 1881. Retired retaining rank August 31st, 1883. On service during the Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877. Deceased.

Hugh John Macdonald, Ensign, April 22nd, 1870. Retired April 26th, 1872. On service as an Ensign in the Ontario “Red River” Rifles during Riel Rebellion, 1870-71, and accompanied same to Manitoba. Served with them a year. Had previously served in the Q.O.R. as private and sergeant. Captain 90th Regiment, Northwest Rebellion, 1885, lately Premier of Manitoba.

Thomas Brown, Ensign, April 29th, 1870; Lieutenant, May 31st, 1872; Captain, April 9th, 1880. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, Belleville Riots, 1877, and Northwest Rebellion, 1885. Commanded Q. O. R. detachment at action of Cut-Knife Creek, 1885. Died December 21st, 1887.

Herbert Beaumont, Ensign, June 3rd, 1870; Lieutenant, May 31st, 1872. Retired February 13th, 1874.

Wm. J. S. Holwell, Lieutenant, January 13th, 1871; Captain, November 3rd, 1873. Retired retaining rank of Lieutenant April 24th, 1874. Had previously served as Lieutenant and Ensign of the 8th Battalion, Quebec, and Orderly Officer to Lieut.-Col. Durie commanding Niagara Camp, 1872. Deceased.

Jno. Burch, Ensign, January 13th, 1871. Retired April 12th, 1872.

Robt. B. Hamilton, Ensign, August 4th, 1871; Lieutenant, May 31st, 1872; Captain, January 28th, 1876; Major, February 29th, 1884: Lieutenant-Colonel, August 30th, 1889. Transferred to Reserve of Infantry Officers July 8th, 1897. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877.

Archibald R. McKinlay, Ensign, August 4th, 1871. Retired April 12th, 1872. Deceased.

Alex. A. F. Wood, Ensign, August 4th, 1871; Lieutenant, May 31st, 1872. Retired April 24th, 1874.

Rupert E. Kingsford, Ensign, August 4th, 1871. Retired November 3rd, 1873. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866, (wounded in leg).

Jno. Jackman, Ensign, August 4th, 1871. Retired February 13th, 1874. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866.

Wm. H. Vandersmissen, Lieutenant, March 22nd, 1872; Captain, January 28th, 1876. Retired retaining rank November 8th, 1878. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866, (wounded in groin).

Thomas Langton, Ensign, March 22nd, 1872; Lieutenant, May 28th, 1875. Retired retaining rank May 16th, 1879. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877.

Norman Bethune, Captain (Provisional), May 31st, 1872. Gazetted Captain, April 7th, 1876; Assistant-Surgeon, November 30th, 1877. Retired December 26th, 1879. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877. Had previously served as Captain in Edinburgh (Scotland) Rifles Brigade. Deceased.

Malcolm Morison, Captain, May 31st, 1872. Retired April 24th, 1874. Deceased.

Jno. H. Kane, Lieutenant, May 31st, 1872. Retired August 14th, 1874. Deceased.

Edward A. Nash, Ensign, May 31st, 1872; Lieutenant, May 23rd, 1874; Captain, January 28th, 1876. Retired retaining rank December 22nd, 1882. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875. Commanded “Battleford Rifles” during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Frank McDougall, Ensign, May 31st, 1872. Retired May 16th, 1873. Deceased.

Snelling R. Erickmore, Ensign, May 31st, 1872. Lieutenant, May 23rd, 1874. Retired November 8th, 1878. on service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877.

Lawrence Buchan, Ensign, June 7th, 1872; Captain, April 24th, 1874; Adjutant, January 19th, 1877. Retired retaining rank October 27th, 1882. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877. Captain 90th Regiment March 23rd, 1885, and served with that Regiment during Northwest Rebellion, 1885. Major (commanding) Mounted Infantry August 15th, 1885. Transferred to Infantry School Corps May 29th, 1891; Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel, March 9th, 1895. Commandant Royal School of Infantry, Toronto, July 1st, 1898; Lieutenant-Colonel (commanding) Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry September 29th, 1899. Served as Major, second in command, Service Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry during South African War, 1900. Gazetted Colonel. Decorated by H. M. Edward vii as Companion of St. Michael and St. George.

Geo. Leslie, jr., Ensign, June 7th, 1872. Retired August 14th, 1874.

Samuel E. Pettigrew, Ensign, September 12th, 1873; Lieutenant, May 23rd, 1874. Retired May 28th, 1875. Deceased.

Robt. H. Bowes, Ensign, May 23rd, 1874; Lieutenant, May 28th, 1875; Captain, November 30th, 1877. Retired retaining rank August 19th, 1881. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875.

Wm. Roaf, Ensign, October 3rd, 1874; Lieutenant, May 28th, 1875; Captain, January 28th, 1876. Retired August 24th, 1877. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877.

Fred. W. Kerr, Ensign, October 3rd, 1874. Retired October 19th, 1877. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875.

Joseph M. Delamere, Lieutenant, January 28th, 1876; Captain, March 1st, 1878; Adjutant, October 27th, 1882; resigned Adjutancy, October 22nd, 1886; Major, March 12th, 1887; Lieutenant-Colonel, March 26th, 1896. Had previously served as private, corporal and sergeant. On service during Fenian Raid, 1866, Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, Belleville Riots, 1877, and as Captain and Adjutant of the Q. O. R. during Northwest Rebellion, 1885; as Musketry Instructor to Brigade Camp, Niagara, 1882-83. Appointed to command Bisley Team, June, 1900. Retired retaining rank March 26th, 1901. Transferred to the Reserve Officers on completion of tenure of command, March 26th, 1901. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ decoration.

Alfred Baker, Lieutenant, February 25th, 1876; Captain, November 8th, 1878. Retired retaining rank December 14th, 1883.

Jas. Pearson, Lieutenant, August 11th, 1876; Captain, January 19th, 1877. Retired retaining rank of Lieutenant February 1st, 1878. Had previously served in the 56th Battalion as Lieutenant. Was on service during the Belleville Riots, 1877.

Joseph R. Fullerton, Lieutenant, October 27th, 1876. Retired February 1st, 1878. Had previously served as Lieutenant in the 10th Royals. Deceased.

Frederick H. Wright, Lieutenant, June 4th, 1875; Captain, May 4th, 1877. Retired July 11th, 1879. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877. Organized a company from the students of the Toronto School of Medicine in 1877, and was appointed Captain of same. Deceased.

Alex. J. B. Close, Ensign, May 4th, 1877; Lieutenant, June 14th, 1878; Captain, January 28th, 1881. Retired with rank of Lieutenant, December 16th, 1881. On service during Belleville Riots, 1877.

Edward G. Ponton, Ensign, May 4th, 1877; Lieutenant, January 1st, 1879. Transferred to 49th Battalion November 28th, 1879. Deceased.

Frederick W. Strange, Captain (Prov.), August 24th, 1877; gazetted Captain, February 12th, 1878; Major and Surgeon, January 13th, 1881. Retired retaining combatant rank January 13th, 1881. December 21st, 1883, transferred to C Company Infantry School Corps. Formerly Captain in 12th Battalion. Served as Surgeon-Major Infantry School Corps, during Northwest Rebellion, 1885; Surgeon Lieutenant-Colonel of Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry. Deceased.

Wm. E. Hodgins, Lieutenant, October 12th, 1877; Captain, January 13th, 1881. Transferred to Governor-General’s Foot Guards as Adjutant, November 9th, 1883.

Henry E. Kersteman, Ensign, October 12th, 1877; Lieutenant, June 14th, 1878; Captain, March 18th, 1881. Retired retaining rank October 26th, 1886. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, and Belleville Riots, 1877, and Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Wm. H. Biggar, Ensign, October 12th, 1877; Lieutenant, June 14th. 1878; transferred to 49th Battalion, November 28th, 1879.

Bernard Jennings, Ensign, October 12th, 1877; Lieutenant, January 17th, 1879; Captain, August 19th, 1881. Retired retaining rank April 10th, 1885. Deceased.

Frederick F. Manley, Ensign, November 8th, 1878; Lieutenant, December 26th, 1879. Transferred to 10th Royals, December, 1880.

Russell Wilkinson, Ensign, November 8th, 1878; Lieutenant, December 26th, 1879; Captain, December 16th, 1881. Retired retaining rank April 10th, 1885.

Walter Barwick, 2nd Lieutenant (Prov.), November 8th, 1878. Retired April 29th, 1881.

Monserratte McLean Kertland, 2nd Lieutenant, November 8th, 1878; Lieutenant, December 26th, 1879. Retired April 9th, 1880.

Grandville P. Eliot, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), November 8th, 1878. Retired December 26th, 1879. Deceased.

Henry Mill Pellatt, 2nd Lieutenant (Prov.), May 16th, 1879. Gazetted Lieutenant, January 28th, 1880; Lieutenant, November 26th, 1880; Captain, September 14th, 1883: Brevet-Major, September 14th, 1893; gazetted Major, April 13th, 1895: Lieutenant-Colonel, March 30th, 1901. Accompanied Canadian Contingent to Great Britain as Major of Infantry on the occasion of the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, 1897. Jubilee Medal. Served on Staff at District Camp at Niagara, 1898 and 1899. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ decoration.

Villiers Sankey, 2nd Lieutenant, (Provisional), December 26th, 1879; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant January 28th, 1880; Lieutenant, November 26th, 1880; Captain, December 22nd, 1882; Major, September 27th, 1899. Retired April 13th, 1895.

Wm. R. D. Sutherland, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), January 23rd, 1880; confirmed February 7th, 1880; Lieutenant, January 13th, 1881. Transferred to Kildonan Infantry Company, Manitoba, February 11th, 1881.

Jno. A. Murray, 2nd Lieutenant, (Provisional), January 23rd 1880; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant February 20th, 1880; Lieutenant, January 13th, 1881; Captain, November 9th, 1883; Brevet-Major, November 9th, 1893. Gazetted Major July 31st, 1897. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ decoration.

Kenneth A. Miller, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), September 5th, 1879; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant January 28th, 1880; Lieutenant, November 26th, 1880; Captain, October 27th, 1882. Retired with rank of Lieutenant, January 25th, 1884.

James C. McGee, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 9th, 1880; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, February 25th, 1881; Lieutenant, December 16th, 1881; Captain, February 29th, 1884; Brevet-Major, February 28th, 1894. Transferred to Reserve of Officers, July 31st, 1897. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

W. A. Medland, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), July 16th, 1880; Lieutenant, August 19th, 1881; Captain, December 14th, 1883. Retired retaining rank March 19th, 1886.

Wm. Campbell Macdonald, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), February 25th, 1881; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant March 18th, 1881; Lieutenant, December 16th, 1881; Captain, February 29th, 1884; Adjutant, October 22nd, 1886. Transferred to 48th Highlanders, February 20th, 1892. On service during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, now Lieutenant-Colonel commanding 48th Highlanders.

Patrick D. Hughes, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), February 25th, 1881; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 30th, 1881; Lieutenant, April 14th, 1882; Captain, April 10th, 1885. On service during Northwest Rebellion.

Joseph W. Lesslie, M. D., Lieutenant and Assistant-Surgeon, April 29th, 1881; Captain and Surgeon, May 16th, 1884. Resigned April 13th, 1895. On service as Surgeon during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Wm. G. Mutton, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 29th, 1881; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 30th, 1881; Lieutenant, April 14th, 1882; Captain, April 10th, 1885; Brevet-Major, May 11th, 1895. On service as Brigade Quartermaster, Northwest Rebellion, 1885. D.A.A.G. District Camp at Niagara, 1897, 1898 and 1900. Brigade Major 4th Infantry Brigade, and subsequently 5th Infantry Brigade at Niagara, 1899. Died October 5th, 1900.

Geo. Acheson, 2nd Lieutenant, October 3rd, 1881; Lieutenant, December 22nd, 1882. Retired retaining rank March 12th, 1887, now Lieutenant-Colonel commanding 29th Regiment.

Jno. A. M. Alley, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), December 16th, 1881. Retired October 27th, 1882.

Joseph Boyce Thompson, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), December 16th, 1881; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, March 3rd, 1882; Lieutenant, September 1st, 1882; Captain, March 19th, 1886; Brevet-Major, March 19th, 1896. Transferred to Reserve Officers, August 22nd, 1901. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers decoration.

Wm. H. Blake, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 14th, 1882. Retired December 22nd, 1882.

Henry V. Green, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 14th, 1882; 2nd Lieutenant, October 3rd, 1882; Lieutenant, December 14th, 1883; Captain, March 9th, 1888. Retired retaining rank October 16th, 1891.

Chas. C. Bennett, 2nd Lieutenant, September 1st, 1882; Lieutenant, April 27th, 1883; Captain, March 12th, 1887. Appointed Paymaster, September 18th, 1891. Resigned appointment of Paymaster and gazetted Captain April 22nd, 1892. Transferred to 5th British Columbia Battalion of Garrison Artillery, December 21st, 1895. Now serving in South African Mounted Police.

Percival W. Mason, 2nd Lieutenant, September 1st, 1882; Lieutenant, December 14th, 1883; Captain, March 12th, 1887; Brevet-Major, March 11th, 1897: Major, August 22nd, 1901. Battalion Commander Staff Ride, 1899. Brigade Major, District Camp, Niagara, 1900 and 1901. Assistant Adjutant-General, 1st Division, at camp at Toronto preceding Royal Review, October, 1901. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ decoration.

Henry Brock, 2nd Lieutenant, October 3rd, 1882; Lieutenant, December 14th, 1883; Captain, November 16th, 1888. Retired retaining rank April 24th, 1891. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885, now Captain and Brevet-Major Royal Grenadiers.

Richard S. Cassels, 2nd Lieutenant, December 22nd, 1882; Lieutenant, May 2nd, 1884. Retired October 22nd, 1886. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Ernest F. Günther, 2nd Lieutenant, September 11th, 1883; Lieutenant, May 2nd, 1884; Captain, September 27th, 1889; Acting-Adjutant, April 21st, 1895; Adjutant, July 31st, 1897. Brevet-Major, September 27th, 1899. Resigned Adjutancy, February 6th, 1901. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885. D.A.A.G. of Niagara Camp, June, 1901. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ decoration.

Alexander Y. Scott, 2nd Lieutenant, September 11th, 1883; Lieutenant, April 24th, 1885. Retired March 19th, 1886. On service during the Northwest Rebellion, 1885. Now Major Commanding No. 4 Field Hospital.

Alfred H. Cheesebrough, 2nd Lieutenant, September 11th, 1883; Lieutenant, April 24, 1885. Retired March 19th, 1886. Deceased.

Arthur Burdette Lee, 2nd Lieutenant, September 11th, 1883; Lieutenant, March 19th, 1886; Captain, May 22nd, 1891; Paymaster, April 22nd, 1892; Honorary Major, May 22nd, 1901. On service during the Northwest Rebellion. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ decoration.

Edmond H. Walsh, 2nd Lieutenant, September 11th, 1883. Retired October 22nd, 1886.

Frederick C. Campbell, 2nd Lieutenant, September 11th, 1883. Retired September 18th, 1885. Transferred to 90th Battalion, Winnipeg.

James George, 2nd Lieutenant, October 4th, 1884. On service during the Northwest Rebellion, 1885. Retired March 19th, 1886. Re-appointed 2nd Lieutenant, August 14th, 1897. Lieutenant, May 3rd, 1899; Adjutant, February 6th, 1901. Orderly Officer Niagara Camp, 1901.

Wm. Nattress, Lieutenant and Assistant Surgeon, May 16th, 1884; Surgeon, April 13th, 1895; Surgeon-Major, 1896. Transferred to R.R.C.I., July 8th, 1897. Now Major Militia Army Medical Service.

Jas. R. Heakes, Quartermaster, April 10th, 1885; Honorary Major, May 11th, 1895. Retired March 22nd, 1898. On service during Pilgrimage Riots, 1875, Belleville Riots, 1877, and Northwest Rebellion, 1885. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers’ decoration.

Henry W. Mickle, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 24th, 1885; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 14th, 1886; Lieutenant, April 7th, 1887. Retired June 15th, 1888. On service during the Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Chas. H. Baird, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 24th, 1885; Lieutenant, March 19th, 1886. Retired retaining rank, March 20th, 1891. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Hugh Blain, Paymaster, with Honorary rank of Captain, November 14th, 1884. Retired March 1st, 1889.

Harry O. Morphy, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 24, 1885; Lieutenant, October 22nd, 1886. Retired June 15th, 1888. Deceased.

Malcolm S. Mercer, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 25th, 1885; confirmed October 27th, 1886. Lieutenant, April 7th, 1887; Captain, October 16th, 1891; Adjutant, February 19th, 1892. Resigned Adjutancy, July 31st, 1897.

Edward W. H. Blake, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 24th, 1885. Retired October 22nd, 1886. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Jas. F. W. Ross, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 24th, 1885; Paymaster and Honorary Captain, March 1st, 1889. Retired, retaining rank, August 28th, 1891.

Jno. Knifton, 2nd Lieutenant, March 19th, 1886; Lieutenant, October 22nd, 1886; Captain, October 16th, 1891. Transferred to and now Captain and Brevet-Major 36th Regiment.

Wellington Wallace, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 19th, 1886. Retired April 7th, 1887. Had previously served in Irish Constabulary and in Northwest Field Force, 1885. Now Major in 36th Regiment.

Robert D. Johnston, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 19th, 1886; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, June 3rd, 1887; Lieutenant, June 8th, 1887. Retired November 16th, 1888. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Wm. J. Nelson, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 19th, 1886; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 13th, 1887; Lieutenant, June 15th, 1888. Retired November 2nd, 1889. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Jas. Ince, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), October 22nd, 1886; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, April 16th, 1887; Lieutenant, March 9th, 1888. Retired, retaining rank, February 20th, 1892.

Norman Macleod, 2nd Lieutenant, August 13th, 1887; Lieutenant, June 15th, 1888. Retired Nov. 23rd, 1888.

Rev. Geo. E. Lloyd, appointed Honorary Chaplain. On service as private during Northwest Rebellion, 1885. Wounded at the action of Cut-Knife Creek.

Robt. Rennie, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 7th, 1887; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 13th, 1887; Lieutenant, November 16th, 1888. Captain, April 22nd, 1892. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal.

Arthur G. Peuchen, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 29th, 1887; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 15th, 1888; Lieutenant, November 16th, 1888; Captain, April 20th, 1894.

Thos. C. Robinette, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 9th, 1888; retired March 31st, 1889.

Theobald Coleman, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 9th, 1888; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 15th, 1888; Lieutenant, January 4th, 1889. Retired April 20th, 1894.

Thos. D. Lloyd, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 20th, 1888; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 12th, 1888; Lieutenant, September 27th, 1889; Captain, April 13th, 1895. Retired October 15th, 1897.

Thos. M. Harrison, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 20th, 1888; 2nd Lieutenant, August 16th, 1889. Retired December 13th, 1889.

Harry F. Wyatt, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), November 17th, 1888; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 16th, 1889; Lieutenant, October 16th, 1891; Captain, September 21st, 1896; appointed Honorary A.D.C. to His Excellency the Governor-General, Earl of Aberdeen, 1897; Orderly Officer at Niagara, 1900; Brigade Major at Niagara Camp, 1901.

Jno. F. Crean, 2nd Lieutenant, March 1st, 1889; Lieutenant, April 18th, 1890; Captain, February 8th, 1896. Transferred to 9th Toronto Field Battery, June 13th, 1896. Now serving in His Majesty’s Army in West Africa.

Geo. A. Badgerow, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 1st, 1889; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 15th, 1890. Died February 20th, 1891.

Herbert M. Mowat, 2nd Lieutenant, May 17th, 1889; Lieutenant, October 16th, 1891; reverted to retired list of Captains, February 20th, 1892. Had previously served in the 14th Regiment Princess of Wales’ Own Rifles; was for several months in Barracks at Kingston during the Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Robert C. LeVesconte, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), May 17th, 1889; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 16th, 1889; Lieutenant, October 16th, 1891; Captain, July 31st, 1897. Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal.

Edward L. Morton, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 18th, 1890; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 15th, 1890; Lieutenant, October 16th, 1891. Retired December 16th, 1892.

Allan F. Matheson, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 18th, 1890; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, June 30th, 1891; Lieutenant, April 22nd, 1892; transferred to Governor-General’s Foot Guards, December 21st, 1895. Now serving in the 15th Regiment.

Jas. G. Burnham, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 18th, 1890; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, June 30th, 1891; Lieutenant, April 22nd, 1892. Retired June 1st, 1895. Now Captain Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry.

Stephen Y. Baldwin, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 20, 1891; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, June 30th, 1891; Lieutenant, April 22nd, 1892. Retired, April 20th, 1894.

Rybert K. Barker, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 24th, 1891; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 24th, 1891; Lieutenant, January 20th, 1893; Captain, July 31st, 1897. Appointed to command C. (Toronto) Co. of 2nd Special Service Battalion R.C.R.I. for active service in South African War, October 20th, 1899, to November 5th, 1900. South African Medal with clasps.

Sydney A. C. Greene, 2nd Lieutenant, (Provisional), October 16th, 1891; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, May 28th, 1892; Lieutenant, April 20th, 1894. Retired, May 3rd, 1899. Deceased.

Douglas W. Cameron, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), November 20th, 1891; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, November 29th, 1892. Retired July 28th, 1893. Now Captain in 43rd Regiment.

Alexander D. Crooks, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), February 20th, 1892; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 13th, 1892; Lieutenant, April 13th, 1895. Retired, retaining rank of Lieutenant, August 22, 1901. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Wm. G. Mitchell, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), February 20th, 1892; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, September 30th, 1892; Lieutenant, February 8th, 1896; Captain, August 22nd, 1901.

John B. Miller, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 26th, 1892; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, March 31st, 1892; Lieutenant, April 20th, 1894; Captain, October 15th, 1897. Retired, retaining rank, August 24th, 1901.

Lester L. Palmer, M.D., 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 22nd, 1892; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 13th, 1892; Lieutenant, September 21st, 1895; Assistant Surgeon, February 8th, 1896; Surgeon-Major, July 31st, 1897.

John M. Davison, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 22nd, 1892; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, May 28th, 1892; Lieutenant, April 20th, 1894; Captain, August 22nd, 1901.

Peter White, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 22nd, 1892; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 15th, 1892; Assistant Adjutant, February 26th, 1894. Lieutenant, February 8th, 1896; Retired, retaining rank, March 3rd, 1897.

Edward P. McNeil, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), August 19th, 1892; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 16th, 1893; Lieutenant, September 21st, 1896. Retired September 20th, 1899.

W. A. Gilmour, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), January 20th, 1893; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 16th, 1893; Lieutenant, September 21st, 1896. Retired August 23rd, 1897.

Geo. C. Royce, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), July 20th, 1893; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 16th, 1893; Lieutenant, July 15th, 1897; Captain, August 22nd, 1901; Orderly Officer at Niagara, 1901.

Geo. M. Higinbotham, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 20th, 1894; confirmed August 12th, 1894; Lieutenant, July 15th, 1897. On service during Northwest Rebellion, 1885.

Chas. Wadsworth, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 20th, 1894. Retired February 25th, 1897.

Frank D. Benjamin, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), January 12th, 1895; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, July 20th, 1895; Lieutenant, August 23rd, 1897.

Arthur T. Kirkpatrick, 2nd Lieutenant (in Q.O.R.), May 11th, 1895; Lieutenant, July 15th, 1897. Had previously been Captain in 14th Princess of Wales’ Rifles. Orderly Officer, Royal Review, Toronto, 1901.

Jno. A. Cooper, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), February 8th, 1896; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, June 16th, 1896; Lieutenant, October 16th, 1897. Retired, retaining rank, April 3rd, 1900.

Duncan S. Storey, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), March 21st, 1896; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, September 28th, 1897; Lieutenant, September 20th, 1899.

Jno. T. Fotheringham, Surgeon-Lieutenant, July 15th, 1897; transferred from 12th Battalion York Rangers, in which he held same rank. Now Major No. 4 Bearer Company.

Arthur J. E. Kirkpatrick, 2nd Lieutenant, September 30th, 1897; Lieutenant, April 3rd, 1900.

Sydney W. Band, 2nd Lieutenant, September 30th, 1897; Lieutenant, February 6th, 1901.

Thos. H. Plummer, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 11th, 1898; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 13th, 1898; appointed to Imperial Garrison Artillery, October, 1901.

Jno. A. Gunn, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 11th, 1898; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, August 13th, 1898; Lieutenant, August 22nd, 1901.

Jno. O. Thorn, Quartermaster and Hon. Captain, March 22nd, 1898.

Ewart B. Walker, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 18th, 1898; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, September 30th, 1898.

James C. Allan, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), July 4th, 1898; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, February 4th, 1899.

Edward C. Complin, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), May 3rd, 1899; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, May 8th, 1901. Retired September 12th, 1901.

Wm. A. H. Findlay, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), May 3rd, 1899; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, November 30th, 1899; Lieutenant, August 22nd, 1901.

Wm. R. Kingsford, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), December 6th, 1899; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, May 31st, 1900.

Fitzallen M. Ellis, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), April 3rd, 1900; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, May 31st, 1900.

Leslie M. Beers, 2nd Lieutenant, February 6th, 1901. Served in South Africa in Royal Canadian Dragoons.

Wm. D. Allen, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), June 5th, 1901; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, July 30th, 1901.

W. C. Michell, 2nd Lieutenant (Provisional), June 5th, 1901; gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, July 30th, 1901.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

Illustrations have been relocated due to using a non-page layout.

Some photographs have been enhanced to be more legible.

Quoted letters and orders have been indented in this edition, however in many cases it was not obvious where a given quotation actually ended, there being no separation at all from following text.

[The end of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada by Ernest J. (John) Chambers]