Previous Index Next




new contingent would be carefully considered and communicated to Ottawa.

There were difficulties in regard to the composition and organization of this Second Contingent which had not existed in the formation of the First. There was no lack of volunteers. From Victoria and from New Brunswick, from the Kootenays and from Winnipeg came fervent appeals to be allowed to add to their quotas or to raise new quotas,—there was a congestion of volunteers which must be relieved or serious discontent would follow. But the provision of artillery, rifles, and equipment generally was a serious problem, and the British Government was not yet in a position to supply the necessary training quarters and instructional officers.

The general plan of enlistment already in operation could easily be adjusted, and there was no question about the officers and men available. Sir Robert Borden summed up the situation in an official statement. The first concern of the Canadian Government was, naturally, the defence of our own territory, including ports and harbours. For this purpose there were about 8,000 men under arms, and serving on outpost and garrison duty in mid-October, 1914. In addition to these it was determined that, so long as the War Office should deem it advisable, Canada would keep continuously in training and under arms, 50,000 men.

A first instalment of a second Expeditionary Force, numbering 10,000 men, would be despatched to England as soon as arms, guns, and equipment could be provided. Thereupon additional men would be enlisted, so as to keep the requisite number continuously under training. This process to be continued from time to time.

It was anticipated that the first force of 10,000 men would be despatched in December. At the end of the month of October the Army Council cabled suggesting that the Second Canadian Contingent should be organized so as to form with the balance of Canadian troops then in England a second Canadian Division, complete with

Previous Index Next