«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
Owing to the distance of Canada from the scene of active operations and the time involved in transporting her troops to England and France, the number of Canadians entitled to the Mons Star is largely confined to those who saw service with Imperial Units.
Amongst those entitled to the 1914-15 Star are those who crossed to France with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry the First and Second Divisions, the Cavalry Brigade and certain Lines of Communication and Artillery Units. A few members of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada are in possession of the Mons Star, having served in a theatre of war with a Medical Unit within the prescribed period.
Gold Wound Stripe.—The Gold Wound Stripe is issued to all ranks who have been wounded, gassed, or shell-shocked, in the presence of the enemy ; it is also being issued in the case of wounds, etc., resulting from enemy air raids in the British Isles. The condition for the award of this stripe is that the name and casualty are published in the Official Casualty List.
Chevrons for Overseas Service.—These Chevrons are issued to all ranks, and in the case of members of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada the date of leaving Canada is the date for the award of the first Chevron. An additional Chevron is issued 12 months from this date, and so on. All those members of the Overseas Military Fords of Canada who left Canada (642) D2 Adjutant-General's Branch, 39 coming within the scope permitted by the general policy, but it will be realised that in a matter of this kind it was absolutely essential to draw a distinct line and to adhere strictly to the policy which had been authorised.
The Canadian public, however, may rest assured that this question has always received the most earnest and sympathetic consideration, and that when applications have been rejected it has been, not on account of any lack of sympathy, but only by reason of the exigencies of the military situation. Each individual application was most carefully gone into and studied before a final decision was arrived at.
The only proper method of instituting proceedings under the policy laid down was for a relative or friend of the soldier whose return was desired to make application to the General Officer Commanding the Military District in Canada in which the soldier's family resided, or in which the circumstances on which the application was founded had arisen.
The case was then investigated by the local Military Authorities, and if it was considered by them to fall within the scope of the general policy, their recommendations to that effect were forwarded to the Military Authorities at Ottawa who, in turn, forwarded their recommendations to Canadian Headquarters, London.
The cessation of hostilities and the commencement of the return of Canadian troops to Canada have done much to mitigate the problem of Compassionate Leave, although where it has been conclusively proved that a soldier was most urgently required at home in order to avert a great financial or domestic hardship from himself or his dependants, Compassionate Leave has been granted. At the same time, while there has been every desire to assist genuine cases, the most scrupulous care has been taken to prevent any abuse of the privilege.
For the purpose of knowing each soldier's medical condition and availability as a reinforcement, a system of medical categorisation, somewhat on the lines in use in the Imperial Forces has been in force since 1917.
Medical categorisation may, shortly, be described as the sorting of soldiers into groups in accordance with their medical fitness for Service.
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prior to midnight, December 31, 1914, are entitled to a Red Chevron as the first Chevron, and a Blue' Chevron for each additional 12 months served out of Canada. Those who left Canada since December 31, 1914, do not receive the Red Chevron.
Good Conduct Badges.—Briefly, a Good Conduct Badge is awarded to a member of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada after having served two years in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and a second Good Conduct Badge after the completion of five years' service.
Former service in the Permanent Force or in the Imperial Forces is allowed to reckon towards these Badges, and men are also allowed to wear any Good Conduct Badges they may have earned by previous service in either of these Forces.
Silver War Badge.—Broadly speaking, the Badge is awarded to any member of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada on resignation or discharge from the Service on account of wounds or sickness caused by service, and on retirement or discharge as over age, the age limit being fixed at 45 years. In the case of surplus officers, it has not been possible to fix a definite age limit, and each case is treated on its merits. Service in a theatre of war is not necessary for the award of this Badge, it. having been approved that service outside Canada is equivalent to service Overseas from England, which is the qualifying factor in the case of the award of this Badge to Imperial soldiers. In Canada the Silver WarBadge is known as the " B " Badge.
Badges known as " A," " B," " C," and " D " Badges are issued in Canada, and the conditions for the award of these Badges are laid down by Order in Council P.C. 1296. The " B " Badge (Silver War Badge) is the only Badge issued in England.
The King's Certificate on Discharge. —This Certificate is awarded to officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men who have served since August 4, 1914, Overseas in a theatre of operations with an Expeditionary Force in the present war, and been discharged under para. 392 (XVI.) or (XVI.a) King's Regulations, and whose disablement has been certified to have been caused or aggravated by Military Service, provided disablement or ill-health was not due to misconduct. It is also awarded to all ranks, who, not being included in provisions as above, were discharged under para. 392 (XVI.) Adjutant-General's Branch. 37 or XVI.a) King's Regulations, whose disablement has been certified to be directly attributable to the action of the enemy in air or naval raids.
The discipline of the Overseas Military Forces of Canada for the year 1918 was distinctly satisfactory, and this was largely due to the efficient administration and discipline by Commanding Officers and to the esprit de corps which has been nourished and developed -among all ranks of the Canadian Forces Originally, the administration of Military Law affecting the Canadian Troops in this country was carried out solely by the Imperial Authorities acting through the Army Council and the General Officers commanding the different Imperial Commands. Since December, 1916, however, this position was carefully but steadily modified by the adoption of the principles of control of Canadian troops in England by the Canadian Government through the Minister, Overseas Military Forces of Canada and his Military Advisers.
The first modification arose in connection with the applicability to Canadian Troops of the Royal Warrant for their pay, etc., and early in 1917 it was established that Canadian Orders in Council and Canadian Pay Regulations should govern this subject exclusively.
Since then the principle has been extended to all disciplinary regulations. King's Regulations (Imperial) are still, it is true, in general use, but this is for the most part a matter of convenience and it is recognised that they are only applicable where they are consistent with Canadian Regulations bearing on the same subject. Army Council Instructions and Routine Orders are only made applicable to the Canadian Forces when considered desirable by the Canadian Authorities.
No Imperial Order or Army Council Instruction is applicable to the Canadian Overseas Military Forces unless made so in Headquarters Canadian Routine Orders.
EMPLOYMENT OF CIVILIANS.
The policy of employing women on clerical work connected with the Overseas Military Forces of Canada was governed by the consideration that it released Low Category men employed on clerical work for return to Canada, and the replacement of these men by women clerks further resulted in a considerable financial saving by the Canadian Government.
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Women were also employed in Canadian Military Hospitals, Convalescent Homes, and Nursing Sister Homes in Great Britain, and a certain number were also employed in France. In the case of women employed as indicated above in the British Isles their administration was under the DirectorGeneral of Medical Services, Canadian ; in France their administration came under the Assistant Adjutant General, Canadian Section, British General Headquarters.
The Overseas Military Forces were, and are, called on to furnish Escorts, Detachments, Bands, etc., for notable events taking place in London, such as the Opening of Parliament, the Lord Mayor's Show, and the War Loan Campaign. In addition, Detachments, Guards of Honour, Bands, etc., are furnished for any Canadian Celebration which may take place in England such as the Annual Commemoration Service.
When the First Contingent left Canada in 1914 the majority of officers and men had made, what seemed at the time, adequate provision for the management of their affairs and the well-being of their families during their absence, but with the unexpected prolongation of the War many unforeseen difficulties arose. There were many cases in which an officer or a man urgently required to return home temporarily, and to meet these cases it became necessary to lay down a policy under which a soldier could be granted leave to Canada for the purpose of adjusting his affairs, this particular form of leave being known as "Compassionate Leave."
The administration of this policy has involved a very difficult and delicate task, because after several years of war there were few families left in Canada who had not suffered in some degree, through illness or death of a member of the family, or from some unexpected financial or other disaster. The number of applications received for the return of men to Canada on the grounds of distress at home made it quite impossible to grant them all without completely disorganising the Forces in the Field.
To meet this contingency, therefore, an additional policy was laid down giving the cases in which such leave could be granted. Many cases have from time to time come to the attention of the Overseas Authorities, who have reluctantly been compelled to refuse the applications as not 40 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
A 3 was jointly one of training and medical condition, and the responsibility for raising men from Category A 3 to Category A 1 rested with the Officer Commanding the Unit in which the soldier was in training, in conjunction with the Medical Officer of that Unit.
The differences in all other Categories were of a medical nature, and a soldier could only be raised from Category B or Category D to Category A by the Medical Authorities. For this purpose all soldiers who were placed in any of the subdivisions of Category B were medically reexamined every month after having been placed in a sub-division of Category B, with the exception of men who were employed in certain offices or with Administrative Units, who were medically re-examined every two months. The Medical Officer making this re-examination had power to raise any soldiers in the sub-grades of Category B or into Category A, but if, in his opinion, the soldier was not physically fit for the Category in which he had pre-viously been placed, arrangements were made for the soldier to appear before a Medical Board composed of three or more Medical Officers, and his Category was determined by that Board.
All Canadian casualties, except local casualties admitted to British hospitals and discharged in the same Category as they were when admitted, were discharged, through Canadian Hospitals, and on being discharged from Hospital were placed in one of the foregoing Categories.
The officer in charge of the hospital might place a casualty in Category A or in Category B, or might declare the casualty fit to be discharged in the same Category as that in which he was admitted to Hospital, but if the soldier could not be classified by the Officer Commanding the Hospital, he appeared before a Medical Board at the Hospital, and was placed in a Category by that Board.
RETURN OF PERSONNEL TO CANADA.
Discharge Depot: Invaliding.—As it became necessary, from time to time, to despatch to Canada parties of men, principally those being returned by the Allocation Board, i.e., men in a low category whose services were not required, as well as men who were being returned for special reasons, such as instructional purposes, it was essential that these men should be uniformly prepared and held for embarkation at short notice. A Unit was, therefore, organised and known as No. 1 Canadian Discharge Depot, and, in view of the fact that the majority of Adjutant-General's Branch. 43 sailings took place from Liverpool, it was located at Buxton. During the year ending December 31, 1918, the Buxton Discharge Depot handled 21,622 men returning to Canada, of which number 1,152 were proceeding on furlough.
In the early part of 1918 permanent Transatlantic Conducting Staffs were appointed by the Militia Authorities in Canada. These Conducting Staffs, who were in charge of reinforcements from Canada, reported at the Discharge Depot, Buxton, on arrival. They were then detailed by the Officer Commanding the Depot to take charge of whatever party was returning to Canada, and, in addition to this Staff, an officer was detailed by Headquarters, Overseas Military Forces of Canada, to take charge of each district party under the command of the Officer Commanding the permanent Conducting Staff.