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THE CANADIAN ARMADA   f267

attack but to carry to a distant scene of conflict an army larger than the combined forces commanded by Wolfe and Montcalm in the great struggle that ended French rule in Canada. On the vessels now assembled in the waters about Quebec, a sturdy army composed of both British and French volunteers were to be transported to England to undergo training that was to fit them to aid in saving France, the ancient foe of England, from the rapacious grasp of Germany, England's ally of Waterloo days.

As the troops arrived from Valcartier they were hurried with all possible speed on board the transports, and as each was loaded it pulled out into the stream to await orders to proceed to the place of rendezvous, Gaspe Bay. The transporting of troops overseas was a new business for the Department of Militia and Defence, and the loading of the vessels was inefficiently performed. Someone blundered badly. At the last moment a radical change was made in the control of the work; carefully laid plans were cast aside, and the embarkation of troops and the loading of supplies were done in a most haphazard manner. It took a full month after the arrival of the Contingent in England to straighten out the tangles occasioned by ignorant and inexperienced officials at Quebec. In the case of the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders), to give only one instance, and it was not singular: "The horses were put on board one ship, the harness on another, the wagons on another, the wheels on another, etc. It took weeks to sort everything out, and all the work done at Valcartier had been wasted."`

The Duke of Connaught, during his whole term of office as Governor-General of Canada, took a deep personal interest in the country's affairs. The sending of a strong volunteer army to help the sorely-pressed forces of Great Britain was the crowning act in the history of the Dominion. To mark the occasion he sent

ICurrie, Col. J. A.: The Red Watch, p. 65.


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