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PRINCESS PATRICIA'S   315

provocation; it missed fire frequently; but its crowning defect was manifest during rapid-fire practice with fixed bayonets, when the jar of the bullet leaving the muzzle shook the bayonets off. Alterations were made and the rifles were tinkered with; a later mark was issued, but the regiment sailed for England with a deeply-rooted distrust of the weapon with which they were armed.

On Saturday, August 29th, the regiment left the Exhibition Grounds and marched through crowded streets to the C.P.R. depot. The population of Ottawa thronged the streets; bunting floated everywhere; and with the heartiest of good wishes the men entrained for Montreal. On the departure platform were H.R.H. the Governor-General and the Duchess of Connaught, with the Princess Patricia; the royal party included Sir Robert Borden and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, with Sir Sam Hughes and others of Cabinet rank. The entraining was a model of military efficiency, and no one present had ever witnessed a smarter performance. The train reached Montreal on schedule time, and the march to the docks was made the occasion of a sympathetic reception from the people of Montreal, which should live long in the memory of those who, having received it, have had the good luck to pass alive through the fires of war.

Embarkation on the Megantic took place without the vestige of a hitch, the men practically boarding the ship and marching straight to their own sleeping quarters where their kits and impedimenta were deposited. Early on Sunday morning Montreal was called from sleep by the shrieks of hundreds of whistles and sirens. The Megantic had sailed for Overseas!

On the way down the St. Lawrence, disquieting rumours developed to the effect that the Admiralty had found it impossible to furnish the necessary ships of war to pro-vide an escort across the Atlantic. This proved to be the truth and, on arrival at Quebec, much to the disappointment of every officer and man on board the Megantic, orders were at once given to disembark.


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