«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
All appointments and promotions are dealt with by the branch of the Assistant Military Secretary and submitted to the Minister, Overseas Military Forces of Canada in Council, for final approval.
All appointments and promotions of officers of. the Canadian Forces in England and France are promulgated in the "London Gazette."
STAFF APPOINTMENTS, ENGLAND.
A certain number of officers were attached to each Command Headquarters in England for training in Staff Duties. These officers were specially selected from among those with long service in the Field with a combatant Unit, and who had been well reported on by the various Commanding Officers under whom they had served.
These officers were known as Staff Learners, and those who did not possess the qualifications essential for staff work were returned to regimental duty. Those who showed-promise were sent on for their training for Staff Duties to take the Staff Officers' Course at Clare College, Cambridge. Candidates for these courses were almost invariably selected from among those who already held junior Staff Appointments.
Upon vacancies arising for staff appointments, the first consideration was given to those officers who had been most favourably reported on while learners and had satisfactorily passed the Staff Course at Cambridge.
A similar system generally was carried out as regards staff appointments in France.
Apart from officers who had been evacuated from France owing to wounds or sickness and who were subsequently passed as fit again for General Service, practically no exceptions were made to the general policy which provided that officer reinforcements for the Canadian Corps should be drawn from the rank and file serving in France. In the case of the latter it was required that candidates should be recommended for commissions by the officers commanding their respective Service Units in the field.
30 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
For the more technical Arms of the Service, such as the Artillery and Engineers, graduates of the Royal Military College of Canada and Undergraduates of Canadian Chartered Universities were accepted periodically from Canada. It was also for technical reasons that further exceptions to the general policy were made in respect to the Canadian Forestry Corps and the Canadian Railway Troops.
Organized on a territorial system, each Infantry Service Unit in France had its affiliated Reserve Battalion in England, and with each of these Reserve Units a small reinforcement pool of officers was maintained to meet the demands from France. For all Arms or Branches of the Service, other than the Infantry, it was only necessary to maintain one Central Reinforcement Pool of officers for each service or branch.
With a view to the conservation of personnel and other obvious economic reasons, these pools had to be kept as low in number as was consistent with safety. The pools, therefore, contained a five months' supply of officers, based on the carefully compiled statistics of the normal monthly demands for each Arm or Branch of the Service.
In addition to the Reinforcement Pools maintained in England, there was also a fixed number of fully trained officers for each Unit in the field available from the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp. When casualties occurred they were immediately replaced from the Reinforcement Camp, which in turn drew upon the Reinforcement Pools in England.
EXCHANGE OF OFFICERS.
It was decided that one means of securing a better coordination between all Formations of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada would be to arrange for an exchange of officers between Formations serving in England and in France, and a settled policy in this respect was finally
laid down as follows :
Brigadier-Generals.—It was decided that the Commands of First Class Canadian Training Areas should be open to Brigadier-Generals in the Canadian Corps, the normal tenure of such a command to be from four to six months, when they would be replaced by other Brigadiers from the Front. The qualifications for a good commander of a Brigade in the Field differ from those requisite in the commander of a training area. Provision was, therefore, made Adjutant-General's Branch. 31 that where a Brigadier returned from France proved unsuitable in the command of a training area, the question of his disposal should be made the subject of a Conference between the Chief of the General Staff and the Corps Commander, the object being to ascertain whether it were desirable in the best interests of the Service that the case of the Brigadier under discussion should be treated as exceptional.
Battalion Commanders.—The Command of all Second Class Training Areas and all Reserve Battalions in England was open to officers who had commanded Battalions in the Field and held appointments of a similar nature, and whose services had proved satisfactory. Normally the tenure of such a command was 'from four to six months, at the end of which time these officers again became available for return to France in exchange for further suitable officers from the Field.
The case of an officer who proved unsuitable for such commands in England was dealt with in the same manner as that of Brigadiers who were considered unsuitable for the Command of First Class Training Areas in England.
Administrative Appointments.—Where administrative and,staff appointments were open in England, the Chief of the General Staff conferred with the Corps Commander on the question of filling them, and every effort was made to come to an arrangement which was mutually satisfactory.
Provisions of Exchange.—It was obviously unlikely that efficient service would be rendered in England by an officer who felt that his appointment was merely a stepping stone to Canada ; and it was also recognised that an officer returned from the front, merely for reasons of health, should have the right, after a period of rest, to a position equal to that which he had left, provided that his stay in England had not been prolonged beyond reasonable limits.
It was, therefore, laid down that commands in England should be filled by officers whose services in France had not only been reported on as satisfactory but whom the Authorities in France declared to be acceptable for return there.
Still further to increase the co-ordination between all Formations, whether in France or in England, it was in addition decided, that all officers employed in the British Isles who were fit for General Service, but had not seen Service in France, were to be replaced at the earliest possible moment by those 32 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
who had. It was at the same time laid down that the term " Service in
France " signified:
(a) Service on the Establishment of a Unit in France for at least six months.
(b) Service as a supernumerary officer attached to a Unit in France for a similar period, where, through no fault of his own, the officer, though reported on as efficient by the Head of the Department to which he was attached, had not been absorbed in the Establishment.
Other Ranks.—Subject to the necessity of re-training in England, non-commissioned officers and men who were medically unfit for Service in France, or whose special qualifications rendered their services more valuable in England, and their replacement especially difficult, the general policy as outlined in respect to officers was extended in a similar manner to Other Ranks.
The whole policy which was found to meet practically every contingency, worked with smoothness and achieved most satisfactory results.
RETURN OF STUDENTS TO CANADA.
After the War had been in progress for some time it became apparent from the number of University students who had enlisted in the middle of their courses, or as they were about to begin them, that the country was likely to suffer from scarcity in the Medical, Dental, and Veterinary professions unless some steps were taken to remedy the situation.
Accordingly it was decided to return to Canada, for the purpose of continuing their studies, students of the above professions who had at the time of enlistment completed one year of their courses at a recognised University or College. This step was taken, not with a view to benefiting the students in question, or giving these professions any preference, but with a view to meeting the needs of Canada. Such students as were qualified to be returned under the scheme were kept with their Units Overseas until it was time for them to return to resume their studies at the opening of the Fall term. Up to the end of November, 1918, the following had been returned:— Medical Students
Total Students returned
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The number of Canadian officers attached or seconded to the Imperial Troops or other Forces outside the Overseas Military Forces of Canada was 1,281, at the date of the Armistice. Of these 824 were seconded or attached to the Royal Air Force, of which number, 511 were Flying Officers, 57 were Administrative, Technical or Instructional Officers and 256 were under instruction in aviation.
Every facility has been granted to Canadian officers desiring to serve with the Royal Air Force as Flying Officers, but service on ground duties has not been encouraged except in the case of officers specially qualified, or in the case of Flying Officers unfit for further service in the air.
Also at the date of November 11, 1918, 384 officers were seconded to the War Office for Military duties. Of these 133 were seconded for duty on the Lines of Communication, 8 were employed with the Salvage Corps and 18 with the Labour Corps. Twenty officers were holding other appointments with Imperial Formations, 9 were employed as Instructors at Army Schools and 27 were with the Railway Transport Service. Fiftyseven officers were with the special Military Mission, including the British Military Mission to the United States of America, and the North Russian Mission. Fourteen were serving with the Royal Garrison Artillery, and 25 Medical Officers were on loan to the Royal Medical Corps. Seventy-three officers were employed on various other duties.
Eight officers were attached to the Admiralty and 67 officers, possessing special qualifications, were employed in various other Departments of the British Government.
The cost of pay and allowances to officers seconded or attached for purely Military purposes is, borne by the Canadian Military Funds ; but pay and allowances of officers seconded for semi-military or civil duties is refunded by the Imperial Government. The general question of the incidence of the cost of the pay and allowances of Canadian officers, seconded or attached to the War Office, is now the subject of negotiations between the Imperial and Canadian Governments In view of the cessation of hostilities, the War Office has been requested to return all Canadian officers seconded or attached to the Imperial Forces, other than those serving with the Royal Air Force, as soon as their services can be spared,
and no further attachments or seconding will be carried out.. The whole question of those officers who wish to remain in the Royal Air Force is receiving special consideration.
The "Record of Service" and all documents concerning each officer and Nursing Sister who leaves Canada for duty with the Overseas Military Forces of Canada is dealt with by the Assistant Military Secretary's Branch. The Assistant Military Secretary's Branch does not directly form part of the organisation of the Adjutant General's Branch, but as the section dealing with records is closely allied to Personal Services (Officers), it is considered desirable to include its activities in this section of the report.
For the sake of convenience this section is housed at the Canadian Record Office in London, and the "Record of Service" it maintains includes all entries affecting an officer's movements, promotions, honours and awards. His next-of-kin is on record and casualties are also entered.
In addition to maintaining a "Record of Service" for each officer, this department is charged with the compilation and maintenance of a Gradation List of officers of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada by Regiment or Corps.
This list shows the seniority of each officer, together with the Unit within the Regiment or Corps to which he is posted, and further gives particulars of any appointments which may be held by him. The Gradation List, which is further used for recording the Establishment of each Unit within the Regiment or Corps, is also employed for checking and maintaining the Canadian Section of the Army List in which all changes are recorded monthly.
The number of officers allotted to each Unit is laid down under War Establishments, and the promotion or appointment of an officer cannot be made unless there is a vacancy on the Establishment of the Unit in which the promotion or appointment is proposed.
The procedure in relation to the Record Section of the Assistant Military Secretary's Branch is similar to that followed in the records of Other Ranks, which is dealt with under the section relating to the Canadian Records Office in London.
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MEDALS, HONOURS AND AWARDS.
It is gratifying to record that since the Overseas Military Forces of Canada first went into action they have been awarded upwards of 17,000 Medals, Honours and Awards, including 53 Victoria Crosses, 1,885 Military Crosses, 19 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 1,204 Distinguished Conduct Medals and 6,610 Military Medals.
Medals.—At the present time the general question of Service Medals is under the consideration of the Authorities. Up to date, the services of soldiers who have, served in a theatre of war previous to certain dates mentioned below have received recognition by the grant of distinctive decorations known as the Mons Star and the 1914-15 Star respectively. All Canadians who served in a theatre of war previous to November 22-23, 1914, are entitled to the Mons Star, while those who served between that date and December 31, 1915, are entitled to the 1914-15 Star.