Previous Index Next

 

318   DAYS OF PREPARATION

1st Royal Irish Rifles.

1st Cambridge (Territorials).

6th Cheshires.

From this it will be seen that General Snow had a magnificent fighting force under his command. The regular regiments of the line had only returned from foreign service in the Far East and as yet the European War had not touched them. The Empire had no finer body of men: English, Scotch, and Irish,—the highest traditions and records of the Army were here, and not a man but burned to wreak his personal vengeance on the brutal enemy who were then devastating Belgium and Northern France.

To every regimental mess in Winchester the Canadians of the Princess Patricia's were more than welcome. Soldiers of the Regular Army viewed with interest, respect, and curiosity a veteran regiment which could parade with a display of medals ranging from Afghanistan, 1878-79, to Bambaata's rebellion in Natal in 1906. While at Winchester, Colonel Farquhar's attention was drawn to the time-worn ribbons displayed on the tunics of the rank and file and orders were given to Quartermaster Wake to have a supply of new ribbon on hand ready for issue against the final review by King George and his Consort. A compilation from the attestation papers of the regiment revealed the extraordinary fact that, excluding French, Italian, and United States campaign honours, the regiment actually required thirty-three different ribbons. Eliminating from this list some half-dozen courtesy ribbons such as Jubilee, Coronation, Long Service, etc., it was found that there were twenty-seven fighting honours in the battalion, including the rainbow-hued ribbon for Lord Roberts' famous march from Kabul to Kandahar (Afghanistan, 1878-79), North-West Rebellion 1885, Egypt 1882-85-86-98, Matabeleland 1893, Rhodesia and Mashonaland 1906-07, Indian Frontier (Swat Valley, Tirah, etc.), Tibet 1903-04, Ashanti 1901, and China 1900. So much for "Britain's


Previous Index Next