«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
These valuable components in the manufacture of ammunition have to be withdrawn from the gun positions under hostile fire, re-boxed, and returned to England through the same channels through which they were issued.
8. Movements.—The orders for the moves of Formations or Units are issued by " G," but the details of all moves are worked out by " Q," and all administrative arrangements are co-ordinated and effected by " Q."
Thus if a Unit is to move by rail the time of entraining and departure, rations and fuel for the journey change of supply arrangements to the new area, transport to and from the railway, etc., must all be considered and arranged by " Q." The arrival or departure of any Unit affects all branches of the staff, as new arrangements for supply, medical attendance, ordnance stores, leave, postal services, etc., must be brought into effect, and the early notification of such moves to all concerned is one of the most striking characteristics of an efficient " Q " Branch.
9. Quarters.—The discipline and the fighting efficiency of the troops depends principally upon the degree of comfort which they experience as regards housing, feeding, clothing, and bathing. If troops are well cared for in these respects and exercised, the rest is simply a matter of training and experience. All these administrative arrangements devolve upon the " Q " Branch of the Corps or Division concerned. The general area to be occupied by any Formation is laid down by " G," but the sub-allotment to Units and the distribution to billets, huts, Corps Administration. 323 or camps is carried out by " Q " as well as the provision of huts, tents, floor boards, palliasses, beds, blankets, stoves, etc. The huts or stoves are actually produced and erected by the Engineers ; the tents, palliasses, blankets, etc., by the Ordnance ; but the issue of all instructions which lead to their provision and the co-ordination of all services to ensure the maximum of comfort to the troops with the least possible annoyance is the function of " Q " Branch.
10. Road Control.—The control of traffic during and immediately prior to operations is a task quite as difficult as the control of traffic in a large city, apart from the hostile fire which is liable to upset all traffic at any minute. " Q " is responsible for the maintenance and construction of roads, for the allotment of roads to different natures of traffic, and for the control of the speed and direction of traffic as laid down. The construction and maintenance of roads is carried out through the D.A.D.
Roads, whose functions and duties are described more fully elsewhere.
The control of traffic is carried out by special " Traffic Control " personnel (under the A.P.M.), which provides traffic control posts at all important points and by mounted patrols on all important roads. During operations the traffic on some roads forms one continuous stream, sometimes for hours, and the slightest delay might have most serious results. To prevent this requires constant supervision by special personnel prepared to take immediate action to remedy any mishap.
11. Water Supply.—The supply of water for drinking and crooking and for watering horses is a big question in case of a large concentration of troops in an area not well supplied with water. It has generally been necessary to sink wells (bore-holes), and often to pipe water for considerable distances.
The engineers arrange and carry out all services regarding the supply and distribution of water.
The Corps Water Patrol Officer, under " Q " Branch, patrols all water systems and supervises the watering arrangements and chlorination.
12. Salvage.—The economies which can be effected in the salvage of abandoned material or material which is no longer required cannot be over-estimated.
The amount of stores, equipment, engineer material, wire, ammunition, brass cartridge cases, etc., which becomes scattered (642) Y2 324 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
about the country is enormous, and a special salvage organisation exists for the collection and shipment, or reissue of all such material.
The Corps Salvage Officer, under " Q " Branch, is in charge of all salvage personnel and operations.
The collection of dripping from unused fats, of solder from empty tins, of oils and greases from apparently empty containers, of waste paper, etc., has yielded immense returns, besides providing most necessary raw material for further manufacture.
The approximate cash value of the salvage effected by this Corps during 1918 was $8,737,775.
13. Gifts and Comforts.—The distribution of gifts and comforts sent from home to the troops is under the supervision of " Q " Branch.
The Canadian War Contingent Association has been most helpful in sending out seasonable gifts and the comforts and extra luxuries most appreciated by the troops.
14. Hire of Lands and Buildings.—There is a special branch of the British Army which deals with this question, but all correspondence passes through " Q " Branch, which also makes the necessary arrangements for the hirings when the case is too complicated for the Units themselves. All hirings of buildings are approved by " Q " on behalf of the Corps Commander before being achieved.
15. Accounts and Allowances.—All questions of allowances are submitted to " Q " Branch, and all claims for allowances, or accounts for approval are submitted through ii Q " Branch, before they can be paid by the Field Cashier. Pay (as distinct from allowances), is dealt with by " A " Branch.
16. Claims.—Claims from inhabitants are received for many reasons and causes of damage. Some of these are:— (a) Damage to crops, fields, or pasture land.
(b) Damage to buildings, etc.
(c) Personal injuries.
(d) Occupation of buildings.
(e) Damage to civilian vehicles.
In each Division there is a Claims Officer, whose duty it is to investigate all the above-mentioned claims on behalf of " Q " Branch. If a claim is legitimate and does not exceed a certain sum of money, and, of course, providing no individual is to blame, the Claims Officer is empowered to adjust the Corps Administration. 325 claim on the spot. If, however, there is any doubt as to the responsibility, or if the amount exceeds the sum referred to, all available evidence for and against must be submitted to the " Claims Commission " for instructions or advice. Wilful damage, if the guilty individual or Unit can be located, must be paid for by the party causing the damage.
The total number and value of claims submitted by civilians to
Canadian Corps in 1917 was:
2,698 claims, amounting to 167,931.91 francs.
17. Cookery.—The rations have been consistently good and ample, but a good cook is essential. He will ensure variety in the methods of preparing the food, as a consequence of which, the men relish their meals, which they would not do were they to receive the same food prepared continually in the same way.
Schools of Cookery have, therefore, been established, where men are given instruction in cooking, the erection of improvised ovens, sanitation, and economy.
Dripping is collected by the cooks, without depleting the men's rations ; and after all required dripping is used, it is shipped to the Base.
For dripping, Units were paid 0.35 francs per pound, and for the first eight months of 1918 the Canadian Corps turned in 421,043 lbs., amounting to 147,366.05 francs.
18. Captured Stores and Equipment.—Captures may be either claimed as trophies of war, or, if not claimed, are used to the best advantage for the needs of the Army. During the advance in the autumn of 1918 great quantities of coal, wood, stone, straw, engineer material, etc., were captured. A guard was immediately placed on this, and it was then taken on charge and issued in lieu of British material by the branch most concerned.
Any trophy which a Unit desires to claim is marked in chalk at the time of the capture with the name of the Unit and marks of identification.
All claims are generally approved, unless the trophies are required for instructional or other purposes.
The principal trophies captured by the Canadian Corps between
August 1 and November 11, 1918, were:
326 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
19. Courts of Enquiry.—“Q“ Branch handles a great number of Courts of Enquiry, held to establish the facts of the case and to place the responsibility for loss. The principal subjects of Courts of Enquiry are— Fires.
Damage to Vehicles.
Accidents to Inhabitants.
Loss of Stores.
Loss of Vehicles.
Loss of Horses.
The Court must decide the responsibility and recommend as to whether the loss is to be borne by the public or by the individual or Unit concerned.
20. Baths and Laundries.—As soon as the Corps moves into a new area central baths and central laundries are established, this being necessary owing to the scarcity of water in many localities and the congestion of men. Normally, all laundry work is performed at Area Laundries, on the Lines of Communication.
Soiled garments, after being disinfected, are sent direct by Divisions or Corps Troops Laundry Officer to the Area Laundry.
All repair to damaged clothing, and the condemning of such articles as are beyond repair, is done at the Area Laundry. Every article has to be accounted for, and the accounting at bath-houses, storehouses, and Area Laundries is quite an item in the supply of clean clothing to the troops.
There are baths in every locality where troops are billeted. Troops are marched by Units to the bath-houses, but any man going on leave, etc., can present himself at any of the baths and secure a bath and clean change of underwear.
Baths are under the immediate control of " Q " Branch of the Division in whose area they are or the Area Commandant in an area not controlled by a Division, the whole being co-ordinated by Corps " Q " Branch.
Frequently, owing to congestion of traffic during operations, and also while advancing through territory recently occupied by the enemy, it was found advisable to use any available civilian laundries ; and also allow the civilians to wash and repair the garments at a normal price. Soap was supplied by Ordnance, as there was a great scarcity of this commodity among the civilians.
Corps Administration. 327 Divisional bath-houses, which were erected by the Engineers, were capable of handling from 50 to 150 men per hour. Generally speaking, an Infantry Battalion of full strength could be bathed and issued with clean clothing in a day.
Before the advance, and when troops were in the back areas, civilian mine baths were used extensively. They were, generally, very large, and capable of taking 250 men per hour. Amicable arrangements could always be made with the mine owners.
21. Canteens.—The system of supplying extras to the troops is done through the medium of the Y.M.C.A., the Chaplain Services, and the Expeditionary Force Canteens.
The Y.M.C.A. and Chaplain Services work entirely within themselves; that is to say, they establish their own canteens at convenient places, both in and out of the Line. Both of these organisations always have canteens well forward, supplying hot coffee, etc., free to the troops.
They obtain, particularly the Y.M.C.A., Canadian made goods, which appeal especially to the men. A percentage of the profits is given to the Units, which is used to buy vegetables, etc., supplementary to the regular ration.
Each Division and Corps Troops have a Canteen Officer, and each have a large wholesale canteen. In the centre of the Army Area the E.F.C. establish a distributing house. Divisions and Corps Troops, on a proportionate basis according to their ration strength, draw once a week.
It is then arranged for lower formations to draw from the Divisional or Corps Troops Canteen, also according to strength. In this way everyone is fairly served.
The provision of canteen supplies is very good, and, unless prevented by traffic conditions, a good variety arrives regularly from the Base.
22. Year 1918.—The history of the work of " Q " Branch of the Corps cannot be separated from that of the other branches ; that is, of the Corps as a whole. " Q " Branch moved with Corps Headquarters, and was simply engaged upon the large and varied administrative arrangements necessitated by the operations in hand at the time. The history of the Corps for 1918 covers the accomplishments of " Q " Branch under the various headings and functions already enumerated and described.
328 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
The facts and records as to the supply of ammunition, the amounts expended, and the daily notes of interest are incorporated in the monthly war diary, which has been sent to the Record Office, and no further records or duplicates exist in " Q " Branch at present.
The only change in the staff of " Q " Branch during the year was in the appointment of D.A.Q.M.G. Major R. G. Thackery, M.C., was succeeded on September 21, 1918, by Major B. W. Browne, M.C.
The work of " Q " Branch seems too varied and dependent on the circumstances of the moment to attempt any full history here.
Corps Administration 329
COMMANDER:—Lt.-Gen. Sir A. W. Currie, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.
A.D.C. TO COMMANDER:—Major H Willis O'Connor, 2nd Canadian Battalion.
A.D.C. TO COMMANDER:—Capt. Hon. W. J. Shaughnessy, Quebec Regiment.
A.D.C. TO COMMANDER:—Lt. A. W. Gordon, M.C., 1st Auckland Battalion.
B.G.G.S.:—Bt. Lt.-Col. (Temp. Brig.-Gen.) R. J. F., Hayter, C.M.G., D.S.O., Cheshire Regiment.
G.S.O. 1:—Major (T/Lt.-Col.) M. C. Festing, D.S.O., R.M.L.I.
G.S.O. 2:—Lt.-Col. J. M. Prower, D.S.O., Manitoba Regiment.
G.S.O. 2:—Major H.R.H. Prince A. F. P. A. of Connaught, K.G., K.T., G.C.V.O., C.B., 2nd Dragoons.
G.S.O. 2:-Lt.-Col. A. A. Magee, 1st Quebec Regiment (Acting).
G.S.O. 3:—Temp. Lt. (T/Capt.) F. M. Bressey, M.C., 16th Canadian Battalion.
A. and Q. Branch.
D.A. and Q.M.G.:-Bt.-Col. (Temp. Brig.-Gen.) G. J.
Farmar, C.B., C.M.G., Worcester Regiment, p.s.c.
A.Q.M.G.:-Bt. Lt.-Col. W. B. Anderson, D.S.O., R.C.E., p.s.c.
D.A.A.G.:-Major W. Bovey, 42nd Canadian Battalion.