«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
Indents may also be submitted for certain articles of officers' clothing and equipment, on repayment ; but this is discouraged, as in each Army there is an Officers' Clothing Depot where officers can obtain direct almost anything they require.
When indents have been checked they are passed to the Base or to the Gun Park, as the case may be, for supply.
Demands for certain articles which come under the head of what is known as " bulk," such as clothing of all kinds, horseshoes, mess tins, steel helmets, anti-gas appliances, etc., are consolidated into one demand for each Division or Corps Troops and sent by the D.A.D.O.S. to the Base by wire. A fixed programme exists for the days of despatch from the Base of the different natures of " bulk," so that everybody knows exactly on what day of the week they will arrive at railheads. For instance, boots, uniforms, drawers, puttees, etc., are loaded at the Base on Mondays and arrive at railhead the following Wednesday ; shirts, socks, etc., are loaded on Wednesdays and arrive at railheads on the following Friday. Stores other than " bulk " are despatched from the Base as soon as the demands for them are received. It usually takes five days from the time a D.A.D.O.S. receives an indent till the articles demanded are ready for issue.
Stores from the Base are sent up to Divisions and Corps Troops daily in the Supply Pack Trains and are off-loaded at Division and Corps Troops Supply railheads.
Here they are collected by the lorries attached to each Divisional and Corps Troops Ordnance and taken to the different refilling points, where they are collected by the regimental transport of the Units for which destined.
THE SIGNAL SERVICE.
The Corps Signal Company is responsible for communication with Flanking Corps, Division, Heavy Artillery, R.A.F: Squadrons, Kite Balloons Sections and Survey Sections, AntiAircraft Sections attached to the Corps, as well as all Railheads Supply Depots, Ammunition Dumps, Labour Units, Special Companies R.E., M.T. Units, Area Commandants, Ordnance Workshops, Staging Camps, C.C.S., Field Ambulances, etc., in the Corps area.
Corps Administration. 265 It is responsible for the construction and maintenance of all airline routes in the Corps for the use of the Artillery Division, Royal Air Force, Balloon Sections, Anti-Aircraft, Tramways and Survey Sections.
Wireless Telegraphy.—There are 20 Spark, 34 Continuous Wave, and 32 Loop Set Wireless Stations ; also 24 Power Buzzer-Amplifier Stations and two Interception and Policing Sets on the Establishment of the Canadian Corps.
Continuous Wave Wireless is the latest and most up-to-date system of wireless communication, and has proved to be invaluable, especially during the last five months of the war. It has been used very extensively during the active operations for keeping in touch with Independent Forces, Observation Groups, and for communication between Infantry and Artillery Brigades and Divisions when telephone communication was impossible or temporarily interrupted.
The Interception and Policing Sets were used for the collection of information from messages and conversations passing over enemy telegraph and telephone systems, and for the policing and regulating of the traffic on our own systems in order to reduce to a minimum the amount of information intercepted by the enemy.
During the march to the Rhine, the existing routes did not always permit of even Corps and Divisions being connected by telephone, but constant touch was maintained between Brigades, Divisions, Corps, Army and Flanking Units by wireless.
Visual Signalling.—This form of communication is used mainly in emergencies when it is impossible to maintain telephone communication during an action. For use in France, the Lucas Lamp has been found to be the most efficient piece of Visual Signalling apparatus.
Pigeon Service.—During trench warfare 1,000 pigeons are required for the Corps Pigeon Service. Birds are delivered by two motor cyclist despatch riders and taken into the trenches from these points by Battalion and Battery Pigeoneers. In normal trench warfare about 100 pigeons are sent forward daily and released after 24 hours' tour of duty.
In order to maintain sufficient Battalion and Battery Pigeoneers. it was necessary to train 30 men per week as Pigeoneers.
266 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
Lines.—The open wire telegraph and telephone lines of the Corps are constructed and maintained by the Airline and Cable Sections.
In the forward area, during trench warfare, cables are buried to a depth of over 6 feet for protection against shell-fire. The minimum number of pairs-25; maximum-50 in a trench. This work is usually superintended by the Officer Commanding Divisional Signals in whose area cables are being buried, assisted by officers and men from the Corps Cable Sections. The test point and routes are manned and maintained by Area Signal Officers and Corps Signal Company personnel.
Despatch Riders.—The work of a Despatch Rider, especially in the winter or in the forward area, is extremely difficult and hazardous on account of bad roads and shell-fire.
When an advance is made over a well-developed system of trenches where roads have been obliterated, it becomes necessary to attach Mounted Troops to the Signal Companies to assist in the delivery of despatches.
Portable Electric Lighting and Accumulator Charging.—The Corps Signal Company has three portable 3 K. W. Electric Lighting sets on its charge. Each Divisional Signal Company has one for the lighting of the Headquarters Offices, and the charging of accumulators for the wireless sets. In addition, each Divisional Signal Company is provided with a small 1 K. W. set for charging accumulators in the forward area.
Stores.—All Telephone, Telegraph, Wireless, Visual Signalling Equipment, Cable, Airline and expendable stores required for use of the Signal Companies, Artillery, Infantry, Machine Gun, Engineer Signal Sections of the Canadian Corps, as well as all attached formations, are drawn and issued by the A.D. Signals' Stores, the personnel for this work being supplied by the Corps Signal Company.
Canadian Corps Signal School.—The Corps Signal School was organised to train Signallers of other branches of the Service. It was found that Signallers were arriving in France as reinforcements without any knowledge of the latest equipment in use in the field, as sufficient technical equipment had not' been provided in England for the Canadian Signal Training Depots. Under present arrangements, all Signallers arriving as reinforcements from the various wings are sent immediately to the Signal School for training until demanded by their Units. They are Corps Administration. 267 given instruction in Station Work, Fuller Phones, Loop Sets, Power Buzzer-Amplifier Sets, Pigeons, Splicing, Testing and Jointing of Cables. Only Signallers who are passed as qualified in the use of all equipment are permitted to be sent as reinforcements to their Units.
Functions.—The Gas Services, Canadian Corps, is essentially an advisory and defensive organisation, existing for the prevention as far as possible of casualties from enemy gas.
In addition, the Chemical Adviser co-operates with the Corps Artillery, in particular with the Counter Battery Staff Officer, in arranging our gas shell attacks on enemy targets.
The Unit is executive in so far as the issue of Box Respirators, Alarms, and other gas defensive equipment is concerned.
Its functions may be summarised as follows:— The training of all troops in Gas Defensive Measures as regards use of equipment and action to be taken under varied conditions of enemy attack by gas.
The transmission to all concerned of the latest information concerning the enemy's methods of gas warfare and our own.
The collection and distribution of all intelligence obtainable on the Corps frontage, and of specimens of all gas warfare material captured from the enemy. In particular the examination of captured or " blind " enemy gas shells, with a view to the early discovery of the use of any new gas.
Gas officers act in an advisory capacity to the headquarters staff to which they are attached in all technical matters.
Constant study and research for the improvement of our own gas appliances and methods of warfare.
The issue and maintenance to all troops of an efficient Box Respirator, individually fitted to each man and properly tested in gas atthe time of fitting. In this connection the Unit has salvaged, repaired, andre-issued nearly half of the total number issued within the Corps, representing a total saving up to the -present of several million dollars.
This work is confined to the Canadian Corps so far as the B.E.F. is concerned, and has not en adopted as a general measure outside.
The upkeep of alarm systems, the gas-proofing of dug-outs, etc., within the Corps area.
So far as possible, the collection and maintenance for Canada of all available information, technical and otherwise, regarding Gas Warfare.
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While the primary aim of the Veterinary Services is the reduction to the lowest possible degree of preventable animal wastage, these Services have activities that ramify in many directions from this central idea.
These activities can best be defined in a survey of the duties and responsibilities that devolve on the administrative officers.
Assistant Director of Veterinary Services.—The designation of " A.D.V.S." as applied to the position of this officer within the Canadian Corps, while not a misnomer, is still not fully indicative of his duties.
The A.D.V.S., Canadian Corps, apart from his regular veterinary duties, carries out the duties of Assistant Director of Remounts. Thus the position is a dual one, and embodies the direction of two Services, which in the Imperial Forces are conducted as separate departments. Also the position of A.D.V.S., Canadian Corps, by virtue of the unique situation of the Corps in comparison with like formations in the B.E.F., is a complex one. As Assistant Director of Veterinary Services this officer is responsible in a professional way to the Director of Veterinary Services through the D.D.V.S. of the Army to which the Corps may be attached ;
while in all matters relative to administration and operations he is directly responsible to the Canadian Corps Command. The same applies in the matter of remounting of troops, the A.D.V.S., as chief Canadian Remount Officer in the Field, dealing directly with Army Remounts in a general way on the one hand, and being responsible to the Quartermaster General's Branch for administration and correct accounting on the other.
In short, the duties of the A.D.V.S., Canadian Corps, may be explained as involving responsibilities in the prevention, in so far as possible, of animal wastage, and the repair of such wastage when it does occur.
Deputy Assistant Directors of Veterinary Services.—The duties and responsibilities of these officers may be taken as largely an epitome of the duties and responsibilities of the A.D.V.S., Canadian Corps. In them is vested the conduct and administration of the Veterinary and Remount Services of the Divisions, they being responsible to the Divisional Command and to the A.D.V.S. Obviously the duties of the D.A.Ds. V.S. are of a more active nature than those of the A.D.V.S. The D.A.Ds. V.S. are in closer relation with the practical work of the Services, personally supervising the daily professional activities of their veterinary officers and ensuring that animal management Corps Administration. 269 within their respective formations is maintained at the highest possible standard. They must be constantly alive to the general condition of all animals under their charge, with a view to determining causes of wastage ; they must scrupulously guard against possible outbreaks of contagious and infectious diseases ; and must ensure that feeding, watering, grooming, shoeing, etc., are given the most careful attention. Sanitary horse and wagon lines must be maintained under any and all conditions of weather and active operations, and regulations and orders to this end must be rigidly enforced. Inspections of the condition of the animals of Units are carried out at a moment's notice by the D.A.Ds. V.S., while general inspections by the A.D.V.S. are carried out in like manner.
Veterinary Officers.—All Veterinary officers of the Divisions are responsible to the A.D.V.S. through the D.A.Ds. V.S. and to their immediate officers commanding. Their duties call for sound judgment and often for quick decisions. All matters pertaining to the direct veterinary care of the animals of their Brigades and Units come under their supervision; while it is on the veterinary officer that the Commanding Officer relies for advice in general affairs of horse management. In the case of Corps Troops (Units not forming part of the Divisions) and all Units and formations attached from time to time to the Corps for administration, the A.D.V.S. carries out administration direct and personally supervises the care of the animals and the details of horse management.
Mobile Veterinary Section.—There are four Mobile Veterinary Sections of Canadian Corps, one as a Unit of each full Division. These sections, as the designation indicates, are of a mobile nature, and act as the first channel of evacuation in the field. Sick and wounded animals are received into these sections, given " First Aid " treatment where necessary, and passed on down the line on their way to Base Hospitals.
The personnel of a Mobile Veterinary Section consists of one officer and 19 other ranks ; and particularly during active operations, this officer and his N.C.O.'s and men have arduous duties. During operations, advanced collecting posts are thrown out into which severely wounded animals are received and conveyed by ambulance to the Mobile Veterinary Sections.
Veterinary Evacuating Station.—The Veterinary Evacuating Station of Canadian Corps is a Unit with an establishment of one officer and 38 other ranks. The function of this Unit is that of a casualty clearing station for the Mobile Veterinary 270 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
Sections. All animals passing through the Mobile Veterinary Sections are evacuated to the Veterinary Evacuating Station, and through the V.E.S.