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«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»

-- [ Page 63 ] --

The change in military conditions brought about by the cessation of hostilities naturally involved a modification in the position of the areas attendant on the movement of troops. While, however, it was possible to continue the Battalion Schools-as the schools move with the Units-it was considered advisable to rearrange and further develop the work of the Area Colleges. Courses in the higher branches of Agriculture, Applied Science, Commerce, etc., were continued, but Matriculation work and First and Second Year work in Arts, Science, Theology, etc., were transferred to a Central College at Ripon. To this College have been drafted about 850 of the more advanced students, including those both in England and in France. Further arrangements have been made whereby nearly 300 students, undergraduates above the grade of second year or graduate students, have been distributed among the various Universities in Great Britain, including Oxford, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Members of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada, while at these Universities, retain the pay and allowance of their rank, together with a subsistence allowance, and will continue their studies up to June, 1919. It is not proposed that they shall take degrees at these British Universities, but that certificates shall be issued by the British Universities to the Canadian Universities indicating the nature of the work done, in order that those who wish to take degrees may have their cases considered on their return to Canada.

Khaki University. 479 Figures in France.—In France, of course, since Demobilization began, the work has been more complicated. None the less, most excellent results have been achieved. Exact figures as to the registration of students in the First Division are unfortunately not available, but a rough computation places the number at 2,000. The following figures, however, give the registrations in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions for the month of December, and afford a very fair idea of the nature and scope of the work which has been persevered in in the face of very considerable difficulty:— (1) FIRST DIVISION.

Estimated number of Registrations

(2) SECOND DIVISION.

Agriculture

Commercial Subjects

Elem. Prac. Science

Trades

Elementary Instruction

Total

(3) THIRD DIVISION.

Agriculture

Commercial Subjects

Elem. Prac. Science

Trades

Elem. Instruction

Total

–  –  –

These were registered at the eleven organised Colleges in England and in the Correspondence Department.

Grand Totals.—The grand total of the Registration of Students from July, 1918 to Dec. 31, 1918 is:—34,768.

The above figures do not include those of the Extension Lectures for the same period, which are as follows:— Total Extension Lectures from July, 1918 to December 31, 1918

Total Attendance for period

Expenditure.—The following are the two principal items of expenditure in relation to the work of the movement up to December, 1918:—

1. Total expenditure from private funds at disposal of Khaki University up to Dec. 31, 1918

2. Of the above total there has been spent approximately on books

Books and Libraries.—Up to December 31, 1918, over 100,000 books and 750,000 of educational booklets and pamphlets have been distributed and were in circulation in the Overseas Military Forces of Canada.

So great was the difficulty experienced in securing suitable books in England that it was necessary to arrange special facilities for bringing them from Canada. It was also necessary in respect of instruction in Agriculture and commercial subjects to print over 200,000 booklets illustrative of Canadian conditions.

The foregoing figures amply show that the Khaki University has met and is still meeting a deeply felt want among the men of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada. The period of Demobilisation has now become shorter than was anticipated, and as a consequence it has been a little more arduous to carry out the instructional programme which was originally designed. None the less, if the plan now in operation is compared with the suggestion made in the first Report, it will be seen that nearly every idea embodied in those recommendations is being carried out.

(642) II 482 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.

Information Bureau.—In addition, too, there has been created a new Department of great importance. This is the Information Bureau, to which every man of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada can apply for any information which will assist him to re-establish himself in civil life after Demobilisation. This Bureau is in fact the link between the Khaki University Overseas and all the various organisations in Canada, official and otherwise, which have been established to provide for the men's welfare on their return, and so close is the co-operation between the Authorities of the Khaki University and these various bodies, that the success of the movement as a whole is unquestionably assured. It is further interesting to record that the Information Bureau has already been so inundated with inquiries, and has already accomplished so much good work, that steps have been taken to establish branches of the Bureau in the different areas in order to handle the volume of business with the utmost expedition.





Distribution of Information Relating to Civil Re-establishment.

With the cessation of hostilities the necessity for making adequate provision for the re-establishment of the soldier in civil life became of paramount importance. In order to do this effectively a large amount of information had to be obtained from, and brought to the notice of the soldier himself, and in this respect the Overseas Department has been able to render valuable assistance to the other Departments of the Government immediately concerned with this matter. Wherever possible, the machinery of the Military organisation has been put at their disposal to assist them in carrying out their task.

On the arrival of the Overseas representative of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment arrangements were made by the Minister to carry out the distribution and completion of the questionnaires required by that Department. The necessary orders were issued for this purpose, and when the forms were completed they were handed back by the Military Authorities to the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment.

Arrangements were also made for the distribution of all literature which it was desired to bring to the attention of the troops. A pamphlet entitled "Canada and her Soldiers" was published, containing a compilation of the information relative to the various organisations interested.

For the better co-ordination of the work being done on both sides of the Atlantic by organisations interested in repatriation, and particularly in order that authoritative information on all subjects connected with the return to civil life should be available to the troops, a meeting was held at the Ministry on March 3, 1919. It was attended by representatives of the Khaki University, Canadian Y.M.C.A., the Department of Emigration, the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment, the Land Settlement Board, the Pensions Board, the Canadian Red Cross Society, and the Repatriation Committee.

The meeting agreed that a series of Information Bureaux were necessary, and decided to establish them throughout Britain and France. As the Khaki University already had an organisation for the purpose of distributing information to the troops it was (642) 112 484 Overseas Military Forties of Canada.

decided to use this organisation and to extend it according to requirements. The Minister was to be notified of additional personnel required for this purpose.

A Co-ordinating and Advisory Committee was appointed, which, it was agreed, should meet once a week, or more often if required, to direct the work of the Central Bureau and to maintain close touch between the various Departments and Organisations. It was decided that Bureaux should be opened at once in the following camps in England : Rhyl, Ripon, Buxton, Witley, Seaford, and Bramshott.

With regard to France it was decided to establish a Bureau at Le Havre, as all troops passed through this Camp en route to England, and usually spent at least a week there prior to sailing. It was felt that very little could be done otherwise in France, as the troops were constantly on the move, and even when Divisions were stationary in the field they were scattered over a wide. area. It was pointed out, however, that each Unit had an Educational Officer with it, and these officers together with all Canadian Y.M.C.A. representatives and Chaplains would be kept posted with. the latest infotmation, and would be able to pass it to the men.

Canadian Red Cross Society.

RECORD OF WORK DONE FOR CANADA'S

FIGHTING MEN OVERSEAS.

The Record of the Canadian Red Cross Society during four years and more of war is a tribute, not only to the activities of the staff but to the unselfishness, generosity, and perseverance of the Canadian people as a whole. Those who organised and directed the work in Canada, those who gave lavishly of time, of money, of supplies, and of labour, and those Canadians in England and in France who devoted themselves to the work of the Canadian Red Cross, all laboured with a single aim--that no need of the sick and wounded should go unheeded, or unsatisfied.

In the main, the object of the Canadian Red Cross Society, which acted as a voluntary auxiliary organisation to the Canadian Army Medical Corps, was to furnish the sick and wounded with comforts of all kinds over and above the necessary supplies issued by the Government to the Canadian Military Hospitals and other Units. Frequently, too, it was called on to co-operate with the Medical Service in times of emergency, when the organisation was required to hold itself in readiness to provide at a moment's notice any supplies which might be needed.

The organisation Overseas, which was under the direction of a Chief Commissioner, with an Assistant in England and one in France, was at first established on a very small scale. Limited funds and accommodation, and one warehouse with modest Headquarters in France, sufficed in November, 1914 ; and it was only necessary to supply the needs of one Canadian Hospital up to the first months of 1915.

Thereafter, however, the demands made upon the Canadian Red Cross Society rapidly increased, and in 1916 the Canadian Red Cross War Committee was appointed to advise and co-operate with the Chief Commissioner.

Work for the French.—The work done for the French and for the other Allies was typical of Canada's broad and sympathetic attitude, and the French were in a position to 486 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.

estimate Canadian sympathy as early as 1915, when money and hospital supplies were sent from the Dominions for the benefit of the sick and wounded soldiers of France.

It was in March of that year that a depot was opened in Paris for the reception and distribution of Canadian Red Cross supplies to French Hospitals, and during the first six months of the Society's work in France upwards of 28,000 cases were distributed to French Hospitals alone. The total number of cases of supplies given for the benefit of French sick and wounded up to the end of 1918 was 72,782, the value of these gifts amounting to £851,549 8s.

In addition, the Canadian Red Cross subscribed upwards of half a million francs for various French War Charities, and further made a gift to the French Republic of the Hospital which was opened in July, 1918, at Joinville-le-Pont, Vincennes. This Hospital, which was completely equipped with medical.appliances and staffed by Canadian surgeons and nurses cost £73,657. The Canadian Red Cross Society also provided in France an excellent service of motor lorries and motor ambulances for the benefit of French Hospitals.

Help for other Allies.—France, however, was by no means the only Ally to benefit. Money and supplies were bestowed on other Allied countries, the total of the grants of money made to the various Allies, including France, amounting to £104,601. In addition, 21,000 cases of supplies were distributed among the Belgian, Italian, Russian, Serbian, and Roumanian Red Cross Societies, and the Wounded Allies Relief Fund, up to the end of December, 1918.

Work for Canadian and Imperial Forces, etc.—The work done in France for the Canadian and Imperial Forces is the best evidence of how the splendid generosity and enthusiasm of the people of Canada kept pace with the glorious achievements of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada at the Front.

Only one Canadian Medical Unit was in France when the Canadian Red Cross Society began its work in January, 1915, and from that time the Canadian Red Cross Society never failed to support the Canadian Medical Services, no matter what the emergency, nor how exigent the demand. Hospitals, Dressing Stations, and Regimental Aid Posts knew that Red Cross supplies of every kind were not only waiting to be forwarded at the first call for help, but that they would often be offered before it was even realised that a need had arisen.

Red Cross. 487 At Canadian Corps Headquarters, the Canadian Red Cross Society maintained an advance supply store, and from this the Society's own special transport carried the extra supplies and comforts needed at Field Ambulances and Regimental Aid Posts. The requirements of the Field Ambulance and the Aid Posts varied, but articles for which there was always a constant demand when a severe action was in progress, included dressings, special foods, instruments, socks, scissors, chocolate, pyjamas, and even comfort bags into which wounded men put their small personal effects.

Before entering the trenches the Battalion Medical Officers always received a parcel of comforts from the Society's advance store. Thus, at every Regimental Aid Post the Canadian soldier received tangible evidence that the people at home were giving and working that he might have comfort in his need. So it was until he reached the Hospital at the Base and until he left Hospital in England to return to his Reserve Unit, or to take his discharge in Canada-throughout his progress the Canadian soldier was benefiting, consciously or unconsciously, by the work of the Canadian Red Cross Society.



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