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Each Field Post Office looks after the incoming and outgoing correspondence for the formation to which it is attached, and also for any troops which may be temporarily administered by that Division.


There is an Assistant Director Chaplain Services, a Deputy Assistant Director Chaplain Services, four Senior Chaplains, one Corps Chaplain and 90 Chaplains in the Canadian Corps. They are distributed as shown in Appendix IV., g., and are of all denominations, being distributed to Units as far as possible according to the denomination of the personnel.

206 Overseas Military Forces of Canada


The Canadian Corps is commanded by a Lieutenant-General, under whose supervision it is both fought and administered.

In battle each fighting unit is led and fought by its own officers, but in order to co-ordinate the effort the plans are drawn up and worked out by the Staff in consultation with the commanders of the fighting formations and units. The branch of the Staff which deals with the actual plans for a battle or for defence is called the General Staff Branch.

There are of necessity other branches of the Staff which are responsible for the administration of the force, the principal being— (a) The Quartermaster-General Department.

(b) The Adjutant-General Department.

The former in close liaison with the General Staff, amongst other duties, deals with supplies of rations, ammunition, horses and equipment and the transportation of same, transportation of units from one part of the war zone to another billeting of troops and so forth ; the latter in close liaison with the Quartermaster-General Department, deals principally with supply of personnel, promotions and decorations, organisations of medical services, disposal of prisoners of war, and, generally speaking, all matters referring to personnel.

For fighting purposes the Corps is divided into very small units, commanded by junior officers ; thus there are 768 Infantry Platoons in the Corps, which parties are considered the largest that one man can be expected to direct in battle ; on the other hand, it is found that one officer can personally supervise the training and administration of 16 of these Platoons, which number constitutes a Battalion. Four Battalions are grouped to form a Brigade, and it is considered necessary to have a Staff to assist the Brigade Commander to fight and administer his Brigade ;

thus the Brigade is the smallest unit with a Staff ; and the Brigade Staff works in the three main branches as described above. The Divisional Staff co-ordinates the work of the three Brigade Staffs, and the Corps Staff of the four Divisional Staffs. In this manner the Staff work is eventually centralised at Corps Headquarters.

As regards the Auxiliary Arms, the Artillery, Machine Guns, and Engineers, they are administered by their own Staffs, working in very close liaison at Divisional and Corps Headquarters, many matters being merged together in the main branches of the Staff at Corps and Division.

Corps Administration. 207 Diagrams showing the liaison between Commanders and the Staffs are attached as Appendix IV. It must, however, be realised that the liaison cannot be completely shown, all the branches down to the lowest appointment being in the closest touch.

As this section is one on Administration, it is proposed, to deal with the various functions of the Staff under this heading. In saying that the Corps is administered by the Staff, it must be realised that it is administered down to the smallest Units which it is considered are able to administer themselves with the help of the Staff, such as the Cavalry Regiment, the Infantry Battalion, the Artillery Brigade, and the Engineer Battalion.

–  –  –

It is also the duty of the General Staff to study the situation constantly and to be prepared to suggest plans of operation to commanders.

The information required under (a) i. comprises everything that a commander may require to know to enable him to decide what it is possible for his own troops to undertake. For this purpose the General Staff must always be prepared to lay before him, in concise form, statements showing not only the position, strength, and movements of all parts of his forces, but also information regarding such important matters as the quantities 208 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.

of supplies, ammunition and stores available; the possibilities of renewing them ; the casualties that have been suffered; the fatigue and hardships that have been undergone, and the amount of " remaining energy " estimated to be still available.

It is the duty of the senior General Staff officer in each Command to arrange for the collection and recording of this information, relieving the commander of all concern on this account.

The information must be compiled partly by means of enquiry from other branches of the Staff; partly by arranging for necessary reports, verbal or otherwise, from subordinate commanders ; and partly by detailing officers for the special purpose of observation, and providing them with the means of transmitting the results.

When information reaches Corps Headquarters, the Brigadier General, General Staff, is primarily responsible that it is laid before the Corps Commander without loss of time, that all branches and sections are acquainted with it, and that, if necessary, it is transmitted to subordinate commands. Whenever information is " short circuited " by a subordinate member of the General Staff, the senior General Staff officer must be informed of the action taken.

After a plan has been decided it becomes the duty of the General Staff, as stated in (b) and (c), to provide for its successful execution, not merely by conveying to all concerned the necessary orders, instructions and information, but- by foreseeing and providing for difficulties that may arise, and generally by giving every possible assistance to those who have to carry the plan through. Constant touch must be kept with all parts of the forces in order that commanders may be quickly informed of any change in the situation; so that as a matter of fact the B.G.G.S. is the Chief Staff Officer at Corps Headquarters, and is the responsible adviser of the Corps Commander on all matters affecting military operations, training and staff duties, through whom he exercises his functions of command, and by whom all orders issued to field Units will be signed (except Corps Routine Orders).

–  –  –

Selection of lines of operations after the general idea has been issued by the Army Headquarters.

All plans for the concentration, distribution and movement of the Corps by rail or road in the theatre of operations.

General allotment of areas in which divisions and brigades are to be quartered.

Acquisition and distribution of information about the enemy, the country and its resources, secret service, ciphers, and the care and disposal of captured documents.

Provision and distribution of maps.

Preparation of reports, despatches and diaries relating to the above.

Training of the Corps for Battle.

The General Staff are responsible that with due regard to secrecy, constant and accurate information as to the situation and probable requirements of the troops is furnished to the A.G.'s and Q.M.G.'s branches of the Staff in sufficient time to enable these requirements to be met. When the military situation demands, it becomes the duty of the General Staff to advise the Corps Commander or other commanders as to the position, movements, or disposal of all impedimenta, including supply columns and parks and other L. of C. Units. The General Staff must, therefore, keep themselves constantly informed as to the distribution of all administrative Units and the proposals of the other branches of the Staff with regard to them.

For the purpose of performing these duties, the General Staff, under the B.G.G.S., is divided into three distinct branches:— i. The Operations or " O " Branch.

ii. The Intelligence or " I " Branch.

iii. The Training or " T " Branch.

The Operations Branch, under the instructions of the G.S.O. 1st Grade, then becomes responsible— For the drafting of the necessary orders and instructions for the issue of which the General Staff is responsible ; drafts which should be compiled by other branches of the Staff, and by the representatives of the Artillery and Engineers, being obtained from those concerned. For the timely preparation of statements of information for circulation by " O " throughout all branches of the Staff and to subordinate commanders.

(642) P 210 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.

The Intelligence Branch classifies and collates all information regarding the enemy, however gained, especial importance being attached to the source from which it was obtained, and is responsible for its communication to the Operations Branch of the General Staff.

The Intelligence Branch is also charged with the duty of correcting and supplementing, during the campaign, all the information originally placed at the disposal of the Corps Commander.

In battle, the Intelligence Branch must consult with the Operations Branch as to measures to be taken to obtain information by the. action of troops and is responsible that systematic arrangements are made through Operations Branch for the continuous observation of the enemy's movements, and for obtaining and sifting information. The points to which attention should be specially directed are turning and enveloping movements, the position and strength of the enemy's reserves, concentration of force for attack, the approach of reinforcements, and signs indicating the exhaustion of ammunition, inclination to retire, or disinclination to advance.

Intelligence Branch should also arrange with Operations Branch for enterprises with a view to tapping the enemy's telegraphs, telephones and signals, and intercepting his dispatch riders.

It is the duty of the Intelligence Branch to prepare a summary of the intelligence received, with any deductions which it is possible to make therefrom, for the information of the head of the Intelligence Branch.

The latter is responsible for keeping the Operations Branch continually in possession of all information which is of value to the Commander in framing his plans.

The Intelligence Branch must also be prepared to record on the " maps of the situation," supplied by the Topographical Section, I., such information as is available regarding the enemy's forces and their movements, according to the latest data received or deduced, care being taken to discriminate between information that is believed to be accurate and what is presumed or inferred.

At the Headquarters of a Division the head of the Intelligence Branch is responsible for piecing together the items of information as they are received. He must deduce from information received the probable trend of events and should suggest the points which will repay further investigation. The senior General Staff Officer of a Division must rely on the head of his own Intelligence Branch for the latest information regarding the enemy.

Corps Administration. 211 The ultimate disposal of prisoners of war is a matter for the A.G.'s Branch of the Staff. It lies with the Intelligence Branch, working in conjunction with the section of the A.G.'s Branch concerned, to ensure that men captured from the enemy are not passed to the rear before they have been subjected to any interrogation which may be thought advisable.

Information obtained from prisoners and inhabitants is often of special importance, particularly as regards the enemy's order of battle. To obtain the best information from them, the interrogator must have a good knowledge of the language, and must be thoroughly acquainted with the organisation and routine of the enemy's army, and the names of its principal commanders ; for the more knowledge he displays the more ready will be the response. It is therefore desirable that the detailed examination of prisoners and inhabitants should be conducted as soon as possible by the General Staff.

The capture of important documents will at once be notified to Intelligence Branch at Corps Headquarters, so that instructions may be issued, if necessary, for their further examination and final disposal.

The Intelligence Branch is responsible, in consultation with the A.G.'s Branch of the Staff, that arrangements are made for the collection of printed matter or manuscripts found in places lately occupied by the enemy, for searching prisoners and the enemy's killed for concealed documents, such as orders, instructions and memoranda ; and with the co-operation of the medical authorities for doing the same to his sick and wounded.

The Intelligence Branch is further responsible for the issue of maps to all formations.

The Secret Service Sub-section has been inaugurated, which has for its object the prevention of espionage and communication amongst enemy agents, to deal with which it has certain powers. These are laid down in the Staff Manual, F.S.R., Part II., etc. One of them, however, is the control over all civilians in the Corps area.

–  –  –

The third duty of the General Staff, viz., Training, has during the war become more and more important, as at least 60 per cent. of the time, Units are " at rest " or in training. All this training has to be co-ordinated and further special arrangements have to be made to train officers and N.C.O.'s in their duties as such. To allow of this, schools for all arms have been organised, special establishments have been allowed, and very good work has been done. The schools which were in existence at the time of the Armistice were:—

–  –  –

The two latter being combined with the Engineer and Machine Gun Wings respectively of the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp.

Additional to these each Division had organised a school running concurrently with its Wing at the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp.

It is the special duty of the General Staff to keep " Q " Branch informed of the projected movement of troops in order that the necessary co-ordination of arrangements for maintenance may be made and decisions given as to the relative urgency with which supplies, stores, and war material are required.

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