Thursday, June 7, 2012

Telegram To The 7th. Fusiliers August 1914

I have been spending some time researching the 7th. Fusiliers. In the next few posts I will outline some of what I have found about the men from this regiment. With an emphasis on those who volunteered to serve in the Great War.

This is the first time that I have actually seen the telegram (mentioned in most of the books on the Canadian Corps) sent out by Sir Sam Hughes to commanders of the regional militia regiments. Hughes consigned a controlled, planned mobilization schedule to the trash, and embraced chaos. As Tim Cook wrote: ‘Hughes sent out 226 telegrams to militia commanders across the country…It was, in his words, “a call to arms, like the fiery cross passing through the highlands of Scotland or the mountains of Ireland in Former days.”’ (1)

August 6/14 C.P. Night Lettergram

Lt. Col. H.C. Becher

Regulations to govern raising of a contingent for overseas service will be as follows. stop the force will be imperial and have the status of British regular troops. stop enrollment will be voluntary for all ranks stop physical qualifications will be as follows stop 5 feet 3 inches and stop chest not less than 33 ½ stop the age limit will be 18-45 years. stop in regard to musketry and general proficiency a high standard will be required stop the term of service will be for the duration of the war stop other considerations being equal applicants will be selected on the following order stop unmarried men stop married men without families stop married men with families stop officers on the reserve and others with military experience who although not belonging to the active militia fulfil the foregoing requirements are eligible stop the senior officers of units will through officers commanding companies etc. collect the names of volunteers officers non-commissioned officers and men who should be medically examined by an army medical officer where available stop when all the names have been received officers commanding units will submit direct to militia headquarters descriptive rolls of those who have passed the required medical examinations stop after rolls have been received the quota to be found by each unit will be determined and commanding officers will be given instructions as the numbers required from their respective units stop the individuality of each unit will be preserved as far as possible stop rolls to be prepared without delay so as to reach militia headquarters not later than Wednesday 12th instant stop the intention is to mobilize a contingent at Valcartier P.Q. where to secure the selection of the fittest stop more men will be assembled than in the first instance will be required to embark stop Acknowledge receipt by wire stop

Adjutant General

8 August 1914 (2)

(1) Tim Cook, “At The Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1914-1916”, Vol.1, Penguin Canada 2007, p.33

(2) J.J. Tallman Regional Collection at the University of Western Ontario Archives in London. 

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