«LONDON PRINTED BY AUTHORITY OF THE MINISTRY, OVERSEAS MILITARY FORCES OF CANADA. REPORT of the MINISTRY Overseas Military Forces of Canada LONDON ...»
France.—The War had not been long in progress before it was realised that the care of soldiers' graves and the erection of suitable memorials for them would be a matter of vital interest to the whole Empire, and, in order to ensure that it would receive the careful consideration and attention it deserved, a National Committee was formed under the presidency of the Prince of Wales in 1916.
During the War, graves were under the control of the Directorate of Graves Registration and Enquiries (War Office). It was intended that this Committee should be responsible for these graves after the War.
In the early part of 1917 the Imperial War Conference decided that there ought to be some permanent Commission entrusted with the above duties, and recommended that application be made for a Royal Charter.
This was granted in May, 1917, to the Imperial War Graves Commission.
The function of the Commission is to take over graves from the Directorate when the graves are in proper condition, and to erect memorials and to arrange for their care. The (642) E 50 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
French Government acquired the land necessary for cemeteries, and have made a perpetual concession of such lands to the British Government.
The Commission went most thoroughly into the whole question, and appointed Sir Frederick Kenyon, the Director of the British Museum, as its adviser. In November, 1918, he submitted his report compiled after a most exhaustive enquiry and consultation with representatives of the principal interests involved, the Army, the relatives of the fallen, the religious denominations and the artists and others whose judgment might be of value in a work demanding imagination and tact. While it is not possible in this report to republish Sir Frederick Kenyon's report and recommendations, almost all of which were adopted by the Commission, it is possible to assure the Canadian public that the matter will be treated in a manner worthy of the subject.
Wherever possible, isolated graves of Canadian soldiers will be collected into the larger cemeteries. A uniform headstone of suitable material and appropriate design will be placed over each grave. Each headstone will have engraved on it the particulars of the soldier whom it commemorates, and a large cross will be erected in each cemetery to indicate the nature of the cemetery. The Commission has already laid down one principle of great interest, namely, that there will be an absolute equality of treatment, that is to say, that there will be no distinction between the headstones of officers and Other Ranks or of rich and poor.
There will be some cases in which bodies cannot be identified, and many bodies have never been found. These, however, will not be neglected, and some memorial will be erected to the unknown, but not forgotten, dead.
Photographs of graves in France and Belgium may be obtained free of cost by the next-of-kin on application to the Director-General Graves Registration and Enquiries, Winchester House, St. James's Square, London, S.W. 1.
United Kingdom.-Canadian soldiers who have died in the United Kingdom are buried either in military cemeteries or in churchyards or corporation cemeteries. Altogether there are 3,492 graves of Canadian soldiers in the United Kingdom distributed over 634 cemeteries. The large number of cemeteries is due to the fact that in many cases the relatives of the deceased have had the soldier buried in a cemetery chosen by themselves.
BLANK PAGEAdjutant-General's Branch. 51 The great majority of the graves, however, are situated in military cemeteries near the large camps, where special plots have been assigned to Canadian graves. In the case of civil cemeteries soldiers' graves are grouped together wherever possible. All graves, however, wherever situated, are under the care of the Canadian Military Authorities, who see to it that they are attended to, except where they are satisfied that the relatives may be trusted to undertake this duty.
As soon as a soldier is buried, an oak cross is erected over the grave.
While this is not intended to be the permanent memorial, it will endure until a more substantial one is erected. The question of the permanent memorial is receiving the attention of the Imperial War Graves Commission.
In the purely military cemeteries such as Brookwood, where a large number of Canadians are buried, the intention is that the headstones shall be uniform, as is intended in France. Photographs of graves are forwarded to relatives on request being made to Canadian Headquarters, London, the money for this purpose being furnished by the Canadian Red Cross Society.
Battlefields Memorial Committee.—This is an off-shoot of the Imperial War Graves Commission. Its duties are to erect memorials of battles, and to decide for which battles such memorials will be erected, and which Units will be mentioned on such memorials.
The Committee, which is representative of the various theatres of war, includes a member representing Canada.
(a) Headquarters Staffs employed in England
(b) Strength of Headquarters Units in England
(c) Reduction of Reserve Units in England
(d) Total number in each arm of the Service as at December 31, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918................ 57
TABLE 3.—(Reinforcements):— (a) Percentage of Reinforcements required to replace monthly wastage
(b) Distribution of Reinforcing Units at date of Armistice....... 59 (c) Reorganisation of, and increase in, existing Units in the field
(d) Complete new Units despatched to France
(e) Arrivals from Canada and despatched to France, 1918....... 66 (f ) Canadian Parties and Special Personnel Loaned to Imperial Authorities
(a)—Headquarters Staffs Employed in England.
The following' schedule shows the reductions which have been made in the strengths of the Headquarters, O.M.F.C., from December 1, 1916, to November 11, 1918:—
NOTE.—Strength of Headquarters Units as at November 11, 1918:— Officers, 150 O.R. and Civilians, 507.
56 Overseas Military Forces of Canada.
(c)—Reduction of Reserve Units in England.
The progressive reductions of Infantry Reserve Battalions, Infantry Reserve Brigade Headquarters, and Infantry Regimental Depots is shown by the following tables, which give the numbers of those Units as they stood on the accompanying given dates.
i. Infantry Reserve Battalions.
January 1, 1917................ 57 Battalions.
January 15, 1917.............. 26 Reserve Battalions.
January 15, 1918.............. 20 Reserve Battalions.
June 1, 1918
ii. Infantry Reserve Brigade Headquarters.
January 1, 1917................ 12 Brigade Headquarters.
January 15, 191................ 76 Brigade Headquarters.
January 15, 1918.............. 4 Brigade Headquarters.
June 1, 1918
1914............ — — — 20 — — — — — — 1915............ 142 2,832 14 258 21 1,030 39 1,271 367 8,597 1916............ 594 12,138 50 555 64 2,059 39 995 1,583 37,927 1917............ 929 19,021 9 947 139 3,220 42 296 2,015 49,326 1918............ 871 14,342 161 2,016 128 1,458 10 126 2,379 47,515
(a)—Percentage of Reinforcements Required to Replace Monthly Wastage.
The supply of reinforcements necessary to maintain the Forces in the Field up to war strength is based on the statistics of wastage per month for each arm of the Service.
This wastage from all causes has been found to be as follows:
Wastage per month.
Cavalry 5 Artillery (Field and Horse)
Artillery (Siege and Heavy Batteries)
Railway Troops (Construction)
Railway Troops (Operative)
Labour Group and Infantry Works Company
(b)—Distribution of Reinforcing Units at Date of Armistice.
The following schedule gives in detail the distribution of the Canadian Troops in England at the date of the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918, and presents a fair idea of the average of distribution of the various Reserve Units of the different Arms of the Service during the later stages of training.
Against each Reserve Unit in the Schedule are placed the names of the Units in the Field they reinforced.
Infantry (Reserve Unit), 1st Reserve Battalion, reinforcing:— 7th, 29th, and 72nd Infantry Battalions.
11th Reserve Battalion, reinforcing:— 16th, 27th, and 43rd Infantry Battalions.
18th Reserve Battalion, reinforcing:— 8th, 78th, and 52nd Infantry Battalions.
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Engineers (Reserve Unit), Permanent Canadian Engineers Training Centre and Canadian School of Military Engineering, reinforcing:— Headquarters, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Brigade Canadian Engineers; 1st Reserve Battalion (mounted), reinforcing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th C.E. ; 2nd Reserve Battalion (dismounted) reinforcing 10th, 11th, and 12th Battalions, C. E. ; 3rd Reserve Battalion (dismounted), reinforcing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Pontoon Bridging Transport Unit, C.E.
Canadian School of Signalling, reinforcing:— 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Army Troops Company, C.E. ; 3rd Tunnelling Company, C.E. ; No. 2 Construction Company (coloured), C.E. ; Canadian Permanent Base Engineer Units ;
Canadian Corps Survey Section, C. E. ; Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Company, C.E. ; 1st Tramway Company, C.E. ; 2nd Tramway Company, C.E. ; Reinorcing Pool, C. E.
Headquarters; Canadian Corps Signal Company; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Divisional Signal Companies ; 5th Divisional Signal Company (Artillery Detachment) ; Canadian Cavalry Brigade Signal Troops ; Canadian Signal Pool.
Canadian Machine Gun Depot (Reserve Unit), reinforcing:— 1st and 2nd Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigades.
Canadian Machine Gun School (Reserve Unit), reinforcing:— 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Battalions Canadian Machine Gun Corps ;
Canadian Cavalry Brigade Machine Gun Squadron; Reinforcing Pool.
Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company, reinforcing:— Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion.
8th Reserve Battalion (2nd Central Ontario Regiment), reinforcing:— 54th, 58th, 102nd, and 116th Battalions.
12th Reserve Battalion (1st Central Ontario Regiment), reinforcing:— 3rd, 15th, 20th, and 75th Battalions.
13th Reserve Battalion (New Brunswick Regiment), reinforcing:— 26th and 44th Battalions.
10th Reserve Battalion (Quebec Regiment), reinforcing:— 22nd Battalion.
20th Reserve Battalion (Quebec Regiment), reinforcing:— 13th and 42nd Royal Highlanders, Canada.
23rd Reserve Battalion (Quebec Regiment), reinforcing:— 14th, 24th, and 87th Battalions and 5th C.M.R.'s.
15th Reserve Battalion (Saskatchewan Regiment), reinforcing:— 5th, 28th, and 46th Battalions and 1st C.M.R.'s.
21st Reserve Battalion (Alta. Regiment), reinforcing:— 10th, 31st, 49th, and 50th Battalions.
17th Reserve Battalion (Nova Scotia Regiment), reinforcing:— 25th and 85th Battalions and Royal Canadian Regiment.
Canadian Reserve Cavalry Regiment, reinforcing:— Canadian Cavalry Brigade (Canadian Light Horse, Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona's Horse, Fort Garry Horse, Royal North West Mounted Police Squadron).
Canadian Reserve Artillery (comprising Reserve Brigade and Composite Brigade and Canadian School of Gunnery), reinforcing:— 1st Canadian Division-1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Howitzer Batteries) ; 2nd Brigade Canadian Reserve Artillery (5th, 6th, 7th, and 48th Howitzer Batteries).
2nd Canadian Division-5th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (17th, 18th, 20th, and 23rd Howitzer Batteries) ; 6th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (15th, 16th, 25th, and 22nd Howitzer Batteries).
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3rd Canadian Division—9th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (31st, 33rd, 45th, and 36th Howitzer Batteries) ; 10th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (38th, 39th, 40th, and 35th Howitzer Batteries).
4th Canadian Division—3rd Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (10th, 11th, 12th, and 9th Howitzer Batteries) ; 4th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (13th, 19th, 27th, and 21st Howitzer Batteries).
5th Canadian Division—13th. Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (52nd, 53rd, 55th, and 51st Howitzer Batteries) ; 14th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery (60th, 61st, 65th, and 58th Howitzer Batteries).
Royal Canadian Horse Artillery—Headquarters 1st Brigade Canadian Garrison Artillery (1st, 3rd, 7th, and 9th Siege Batteries); Headquarters 2nd Brigade Canadian Garrison Artillery (2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Siege Batteries) ; Headquarters 3rd Brigade Canadian Garrison Artillery (8th; 10th, 11th, and 12th Siege Batteries).
Trench Mortar Batteries—1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Divisional Trench Mortar Groups.
Anti-Aircraft— Canadian Anti-Aircraft " E " Battery.
Headquarters, Canadian Railway Troops Services (Reserve Unit), reinforcing:— 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th. 12th, and 13th Battalions Canadian Railway Troops ; 1st Bridging Company Canadian Railway Troops ; 85th Engine Crew Company ; No. 69, Canadian Wagon Erecting Company.
Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps-58th Broad Gauge Railway Operating Company, 13th Light Railway Operating Company.