«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
This system was gradually extended to all other areas in order to provide whatever was urgently required and to assure the definite supply of necessaries at the least possible cost. Food commodities were sold on the War Office Authorised Scale to soldiers living out of barracks, and sales were made to dependants on the basis authorised by the Board of Food Control.
In all cases sales were conducted on a cash basis, the local representative of the Paymaster-General being responsible to the Pay Office, and the General-Auditor being subsequently responsible for the audit of all accounts.
In the autumn of 1917, this system was extended to include the sale of tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes. This step was not only rendered necessary by the growing shortage of local supplies, but was also desirable and advantageous to Canada, inasmuch as it provided a market for Canadian manufactured goods. It further conferred a boon on the Canadian soldier Quartermaster-General's Branch. 77 because not only was he enabled to purchase the brands of tobacco and cigarettes he preferred, but he was also enabled to effect personal economy because, after somewhat difficult negotiations, the Imperial Authorities finally consented to permit tobacco supplies for the use of the Canadian Troops to enter Britain duty free.
The appreciation of the Canadian soldier of this measure may be gathered from the fact that from the commencement of these sales up to December 31, 1918, the value of these goods sold for cash amounted to L171,635 12s. 31d. Further, as a reduction of from 50 per cent. to 75 per cent. was effected in the cost of the various brands of tobacco as compared with the prices which would have had to be paid for similar goods purchased locally, a total of $787,000 was saved to the Canadian Troops in England during the period specified. It must also be remembered that by this means four-fifths of the total trade in these commodities was transferred to Canadian manufacturers.
Personnel.—The providing and maintaining of trained personnel capable of rendering efficient service in every Branch, whether it is isolated or in touch with Supply Centres, are also part of the Canadian Army Service Corps' duties in the field, and this, to ensure capable and efficient service, entails not only the careful selection but the thorough training of picked personnel.
In addition to the training of personnel for France the Canadian Army Service Corps is also responsible for providing the efficient personnel required for Supply Transport and Barrack Services in England.
The strength of the Canadian Army Service Corps is approximately 9,500 of all ranks, including a percentage of casualties and " learners " employed in subsidiary Departments.
Personnel was supplied to the Canadian Formations in France in accordance with Authorised Establishments and in conformity with the physical standard fixed by the Imperial Authorities.
In addition, an approved number of officers and Other Ranks were detailed to the Lines of Communication, thereby coming under the Imperial Authorities for duty and discipline. There was also maintained in France a small Pool from which all Branches of the Canadian Army Service Corps is furnished with reinforcements or men required to take the place of casualties.
78 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
Reinforcements to the Canadian Army Service Corps itself have been obtained latterly from three sources—he Allocation Board in England, other Branches of the Service, and from other Units in France.
Details as to the numbers employed according to classification in December, 1918, are as follows:—
The personnel of the Horse Transport in France are all " A " Category men owing to the severe character of their duty, but as far as possible " B " men are employed in the Mechanical Transport, at the Base, and on the Lines of Communication. Surplus " A " men have been systematically drafted into Infantry Battalions and other Units.
The administration of the Canadian Army Service Corps personnel, which formerly was subdivided, came under the entire control of the Director of Supply and Transport in 1917, and a complete co-ordination of interests at once took place between the personnel in France and England.
The officers of all Units of the Canadian Army Service Corps were thus placed on one Seniority Roll and on an equal footing for appointments or promotion.
The following table will show the relation in numbers of the Canadian Army Service Corps to the total force of Canadian personnel with the Overseas Military Forces of Canada. These figures do not include personnel " on command " from the " Pool."
Of the Canadian Army Service Corps in England during the month of December, 1917, 37 officers and 967 other ranks had become ineffectives ; in June, 1918, 42 officers and 1,079 other ranks were ineffectives, and in November, 1918, 21 officers and 1,033 other ranks were also ineffectives, which, with 15 officers and 399 other ranks in training, left 97 officers and 1,711 other ranks to perform the Canadian Army Service Corps' duties in England Training of Personnel.—There was established at Shorncliffe a Canadian Army Service Corps Training Depot, the purpose of which was to fit Army Service personnel for service in the field. The officers, who were drawn from France, were selected on account of their experience and capacities. It had been found that the system of training in the Canadian Army Service Corps, both in regard to Horse Transport and Supply and Mechanical Transport, differed from that of England and France, and the Depot therefore drew up a syllabus and put into practical operation the training necessary to standardise Canadian Army Service Corps' work at the Front.
The training of the Horse Transport and Supply included riding, driving, drill, guards, musketry, gas, physical training, marching, march discipline, sick lines, map reading, field kitchens, sanitation duties, discipline, billets, encampments, supply in the field, care of supplies, care of horses, harness wagons, equipment, Quartermaster's work, barrack regulations, pack transport, shoeing, movements by rail, care of bicycles, the mule, administration.
The Mechanical Transport Section were trained in all branches of the care and handling of motor vehicles of all grades, shop repair work, etc.
This course was followed by a study of much of the training syllabus laid down for Horse Transport and Supply.
The cadre of Horse Transport and Supply consisted of five officers, 15 sergeant-instructors, and 14 other ranks. The Mechanical Transport cadre consisted of two officers, 16 instructors, and four other ranks.
There were about 300 Other Ranks in constant training in each section, making possible a reinforcement of 600 men to meet any emergency.
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Organisation.—Ordnance Services are necessary to any military organisation for the purpose of providing all arms of the service with clothing, rifles, equipment, guns and ammunition, and maintaining the supply in accordance with the scales laid down. Ordnance is also responsible for the supply of personnel to maintain the efficiency of this equipment in the Field, and the Ordnance personnel with the Canadian formations in the Field was in accordance with War Establishments laid down for the British Army. For instance, there was an Ordnance Armourer Sergeant with each Battalion, and an Ordnance Armament Artificer with each Artillery Brigade.
All equipment, etc., which becomes unfit for use in the Field is returned to the Ordnance Corps, and, as far as possible, repaired and again made serviceable. This necessitated skilled personnel at the Base or with the more advanced workshops, such as the Ordnance Mobile Workshops, which deal with minor and ordinary repairs to guns in the Field.
The personnel of the Ordnance Workshops at the Base consists of armourers, wheelwrights, technical instrument repairers, tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, etc. The Ordnance select these men from other Units and trains them for their special duties.
The Canadian Ordnance Corps, Overseas Military Forces of Canada, was inaugurated in the autumn of 1914, and then consisted of two officers and 30 other ranks of the Permanent Corps, who were despatched from Canada with the first Canadian Contingent, for the purpose of looking after the ordnance requirements of that Contingent, and its first operations were at Salisbury Plain. On the departure of the 1st Division for France in January, 1915, Ashford (Kent) was selected as the Canadian Ordnance Base, for the reason that the Canadian troops at that time were concentrated in the Shorncliffe area and Ashford was the nearest place offering the necessary facilities.
With the increase in the numbers of the Canadian troops in England, the Ordnance Corps grew until, in August, 1917, it consisted of 25 officers and 1,291 Other Ranks. This, the maximum strength at any time, was subsequently reduced. On December 31, 1918, it totalled 20 officers and 642 Other Ranks.
Quartermaster-General's Branch 81 On the Canadian troops taking over the Bramshott and Witley areas, it became necessary to open a second Ordnance Depot at Liphook to provide for the requirements of these two camps.
Under the system pertaining at that time, Units indented for stores direct on the Canadian Ordnance Depots either at Ashford or Liphook, which resulted in most cases in the accumulation of very large reserve stocks within the Unit. This continued until April, 1917, when it was decided to open a small Ordnance Depot to handle clothing, equipment and regimental necessaries in each area, and to withdraw the excessive stocks from individual Units. The advantages derived from this were:—
Ordnance. Inspection Department.—Numerous difficulties arose and considerable wastage was apparent as the result of lack of knowledge on the part of quartermasters of proper accounting, chiefly due to the fact that they had never had any proper military education or instruction in their duties. To overcome this state of affairs and establish a uniform system, the Ordnance Inspection Department was organised to keep a close supervision on all indents and quartermasters' accounts.
In the first year of the activities of this Department,,economies were effected to the extent of a reduction of approximately 60 per cent. on the issue of Ordnance to Units. Subsequently this Department was extended to cover all the services of the Quartermaster-General's Branch, including supplies and mechanical transport, and is now known as the Quartermaster-General's Inspection Department. A separate report on the work of this Department is given later.
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Surplus Stores.—For urgent reasons contingent on the speedy fitting out of troops for the Field it became necessary from time to time to draw equipment from the Imperial Authorities. These measures of Military expediency unavoidably resulted in the accumulation of stores of Canadian origin at the Ashford Depot. This accumulation was also in part the result of an agreement entered into between the Canadian and Imperial Governments whereby the Imperial Government became solely responsible for providing accommodation and equipment for the Canadian Hospitals and all Canadian Troops in England. The surplus of stores was also added to by a further arrangement whereby the Imperial Government agreed to maintain the clothing and equipment of the Canadian personnel in France at a per capita rate.
It was, therefore, recommended by the Quartermaster-General's Branch and approved by the Minister that all surplus equipment should be disposed of to the Imperial and Allied Forces, especially having regard to the fact that none of the surplus stores could be disposed of in Canada.
5th Divisional Equipment.—On the demobilisation of the 5th Canadian Division, negotiations were entered into with the Imperial Authorities with a view to their purchasing the vehicles and other mobilisation stores with which the Division had been equipped. At the outset the Imperial Authorities offered 95 per cent. of the cost price of Machine Guns and 75 per cent. of the cost price of other stores. This was not considered acceptable, and therefore it was arranged that the articles in question should be taken over at a price to be assessed according to the condition they were in. An Inspection was then carried out by the Chief Ordnance Officer and a Representative of the Army Ordnance Department, with the result that upwards of 50 per cent. of the articles were taken over at their full value, while the remainder were assessed at three-quarter value, with the exception of a very small percentage which were in bad condition and for which only a proportionate price was obtainable.
In view of the fact that these stores had been in use for training purposes in the 5th Division for over 12 months the terms obtained were considered most advantageous, particularly having regard to the fact that the stores were only useful for military purposes and of no general commercial value.
troops in England. This led to considerable difficulty as some hospitals had been taken over by the Canadian Authorities before the agreement was arrived at. These matters, however, have now all been settled by a claim being put in against the Imperial Authorities for the value of the stores issued by the Canadian Authorities to these Hospitals.
This refers to all Hospitals in England, with the exception of the Park Prewett Hospital at Basingstoke, which was taken over from the Imperials on March 17, 1917, on the authority of the Acting Minister at that time. It was equipped and is still maintained at Canadian expense.
Part Worn Clothing.—The Imperial Government laid down the policy that all part-worn woollen clothing should be turned into the Imperial Salvage Department, for the purpose of being again used by the Army instead of being sold to contractors and dealers as had hitherto been the case. While the disposal of part-worn clothing to contractors brought a larger financial return, it was, on the other hand, quite clear that the wool was being used for unauthorised purposes, and as the requirements of the Army as a whole were an Imperial necessity, the following agreement was entered into with the War Office:—