To access the war diary transcriptions select the year & month in the right hand column marked ‘year of action.’
The recruits for the Victoria squadron of British Columbia Horse assembled to the number of 130, including several from Duncan, last night at the G. T. P. wharf to hear with satisfaction the news brought by Acting Major W. Bapty that he had received the official authorization of the Corps from the Minister of Militia.
A large crowd had assembled to see the first parade of the squadron and to hear the address which Sir Richard McBride was announced to give. Unfortunately the number of the men on parade and the scantiness of the floor space made it impossible to admit the public until the Premier had left.
Sir Richard McBride expressed himself as deeply sensible of the privilege which had been offered him, not only of addressing them but of contributing to some extent to bring about their authorization. “Never before have the records of our Empire made mention of such a warfare as at the present time confronts the British people,” said Sir Richard. “It is, therefore, of necessity a time when we, if we propose to live up to our principles and show ourselves worthy of the privileges with which our nationality has endowed us, must all feel that the, time has come, not for words, but for deeds, and from what we read In the Press, Canadians throughout the Dominion are not behind hand in being up and doing.
“This is a war to preserve liberties and privileges handed down to us by our fathers, and we enter on it with the satisfaction of knowing that we have not provoked It. No one can lay that to our charge. On the contrary, as the British Prime Minister has said, this war has been forced upon us in order to uphold the principles of honor and good faith which we rightly cherish as among our most valued possessions. Great Britain fights for what is fair, what is humane. In fact for treatment the very opposite of that which has been dealt out to Belgium by Germany.
“Major Bapty informs me that you are all ready and willing to volunteer for the front If called upon. It is possible that within the next few months you may have to go. If you do, remember that the eyes of Canada, and especially of Victoria, will follow your doings with the keenest interest, and the certain conviction that you will add to the lustre already acquired by Canadians when fighting for the Empire. We may not have conscription, but I will venture to say that if four or even five millions of men were to be demanded for the preservation of the Empire within a few months, she would supply them trained and equal to the best that could be brought against us, to bear the message to the German Emperor that other nations besides his own have a right to a place in the world.”
Sir Richard also promised that he would wire the squadron’s offer to volunteer to the authorities at Ottawa and communicate to the commanding officer the reply as soon as it should reach him. The conclusion of his speech was marked by a hearty round of cheering, after which Sir Richard himself led off three cheers for the King.
Today at 7 p.m. there will be riding tests for applicants at the Willows, and during next week dismounted drill for recruits every night.
Transcript: The Daily Colonist 8th Aug 1914 – Victoria BC
Toronto Civic Employees
TORONTO, Aug. 7.— All civic employees on the regular staff who are joining the Canadian military forces are to receive full pay while they are on active service. This has been decided on by the Boards of Works and agreed to by the Mayor, subject to the ratification of the Council.
Resigns as German Colonel
LONDON. Aug. 7. — King George has sent his resignation as honorary colonel of the First Prussian Dragoons. Up to the present time the Kaiser has not sent his resignation as honorary-colonel of the Dragoon Guards to the King.
OFFERS FROM INDIA
Maharajah of Nepal and Other Independent Princes Ready to Help Great Britain
LONDON, Aug 7th The War Office announces that the Maharajah of Nepal has offered the entire military resources of his independent kingdom to the British Government. Other independent kingdoms are making similar offers. The Maharajah of Nepal is a major in the British army. His regular army numbers 30,000 men, with an auxiliary force of 250 guns. The majority of his troops are of the Gurkha tribe, the most famous soldiers in India.
Transcript of : The Daily Colonist 8th Aug 1914 – Victoria BC
Victoria Squadron of B. C. Horse
By officer commanding Major W. Bapty.
Riding test for recruits will be held at the Willows Riding School tonight at 7 p.m. All men not already medically examined report at headquarters, Belmont House, basement entrance, Humboldt Street, between the hours of 10 and 12 a.m.
(Sgd.) N. W. F. Rant
50th Regiment Highlanders
Order No. 34, 1914, August 7, 1914.
Regimental Orders by Lieut-Colonel A. W. Currie, commanding.
The following men, having been attested, are taken on to the strength and posted as follows:
D Company, F. A. Crussidiers, C. Fletcher, J. B. Wairn, W. B. Shrewsbury, Pte, J. Law;
E Company, A. E. Ward;
F Company, W. C. Pemberton, W. E. Sandy;
G Company, D. J. Waters; H Company. A. Uden;
pipe band. Drummer J. B. Wilson
The following men are transferred as under:
To C Company, Lce.-Cpl, D. Weir, K Company;
to D Company, Pte. M. McPhaill. H Company, and Pte. D. Fyvie, G Company;
to E Company, Pte. J McKenzie, H Company;
to H Company, Act.-Cpl. J. Dewar.
The following members were granted their discharge and are struck off the strength:
F Company, Pte. C. J. Ashop;
pipe band. Piper L West: bugle band.
Bugler V. McKinnon.
The following promotions are granted:
to be acting-corporal Pte. D. Fyvie;
to be sergeant, Lce.-Sgt Sheriff;
to be Lce.-Sgt. Cpl, T. Wood;
to be corporal. Lce.-Cpl. G. McDonald;
to be acting-corporal, Ptes, T. Mutch and E. Cadgers
to be Lance-corporal, Pte. D. Ogllvy.
R. T. Townsend. Lieut.
Transcript of: The Daily Colonist 8th Aug 1914 – Victoria BC
“D” squadron Orders
30th Regiment B.C. Horse
The following orders have been issued from the headquarters, Kelowna, yesterday.
The squadron will parade in Dr Boyce’s field opposite the exhibition grounds, on Thursday and Saturday evenings next, the 6th and 8th inst., at 7pm. The attendance of every officer NCO and man is compulsory.
Any person having saddle horses suitable for military work, weight not under 950 pounds will please notify Capt. Temple immediately.
All officers, NCOs and men will hold themselves in readiness for mobilisation at a moment’s notice in the event of mobilisation orders being received. Warning is now being given that each man must hold in readiness the following articles of kit securely packed labelled with his name rank, squadron and regiment: 1 pair boots, 3 pair socks, 2 shirts, 1 pair underpants, razor, brush and soap, hair brush and comb, plate knife fork, spoon mug.
Orders have been received that the squadron be brought up to full war strength immediately, i.e. of all ranks. Men willing to join between the ages of 18 and 45 years, height not under 5ft 4in., chest measurement 34 in. will apply to Capt Temple or Lieut. Pyman
Antony D. Temple
Captain “D” Squadron
30th Regiment B.C. Horse.
Kelowna Record – 6th August 1914 *
Canadian Coast defences to be strengthened
Dispatches from great Britain to the Canadian government have been received urging that steps be taken at once to place the coast defences of Canada on a war basis. On the Atlantic the two strategic points are Halifax and Quebec. Halifax is heavily fortified and is a British naval station. Its fortification and splendid harbour make it an excellent naval base for British cruisers. The harbour defences are now garrisoned by the Royal Canadian Garrison Artillery and the citadel by the Royal Canadian Regiment. The garrison will be brought up to full strength and other precautions taken to ensure the defence of this port.
GERMAN AGGRESSION HAS SET EUROPE ABLAZE WITH WAR
Great Britain, France, Russia, Belgium and Servia arrayed against Germany and Austria.
German Land forces making for France and invading Russia.
The only topic of conversion just now is the war and every available source of information is eagerly besieged for new. Telegram continue to pour in at intervals but for the most part these are mere guesses to the real state of affairs. The telegraph and telephone services of Europe are practically all in the hands of the various powers, and the censorship exercised is so strict that little information is allowed to leak out as to movements of the armies and navies involved in the conflict.
From the mass of contradictory material which is being passed around it is difficult to sift out much which bears the stamp of truth.
The ultimatum sent to Germany by the British government to respect the neutrality of Belgium expired at midnight Tuesday, and on Wednesday definite news was received that both Germany and England had declared war
In a statement made in the House of Commons Tuesday Premier Asquith stated that Sir Edward Grey had sent to the British Ambassador in Berlin a telegram informing him of the appeal of King Albert of Belgium for diplomacy intervention. He proceeded to state that Belgium has categorically refused to sanction the flagrant violation of the “Law of Nations” and announced that the German government had been asked to give satisfactory reply by midnight on the question of Belgium neutrality.
“The British government,” said Premier Asquith, “had requested that the neutrality of Belgium be respected by Germany and has asked an immediate reply. The German ministry has notified Belgium that as that country had declined the well-intended offer of Germany it is necessary to carry it out by the force of arms.”
Continuing, the Premier said that Germany had assured Belgium that it would compensate her for any damage that it might suffer by march of troops across Belgian territory.
“The British government can not regard this as in any way satisfactory. We must protect Belgium’s neutrality to prevent what means to her a question of life or death, the advance of troops through Belgium” said the Premier.
Germany had declared war on Russia some days ago after an ultimatum regarding the latter’s intentions regarding her troops.
As soon as war between Great Britain and Germany was announced the flood of telegrams was suddenly stopped and only the most meagre reports are allowed to pass.
The intensest excitement prevails as to the whereabouts of the British fleet which sailed out under sealed orders and which has not been heard of since except in vague telegrams which throw very little light upon it. Reports were received earlier in the week of a great naval engagement in the North Sea in which seven German vessels were supposed to have sunk and two British.
Two German forces are converging from the east in the direction of the French capital. German troops crossed the frontier into France near the village of Cirey between Nancy and Straasburg and are reported repulsed with heavy loss.
Military observers believe the German plan is to attempt to vanquish France in the interval before Russia will be able to create serious trouble on her northern frontier. It is supposed complete Russian mobilisation will take three weeks.
A report at Liege, France, says that 20,000 German troops crossed the French frontier near Nancy and were repulsed with heavy loss.
There are 14,000,000 bushels of wheat in Canadian granaries and the crop that is being harvested is estimated at 175,000,000 bushels. The number of horses suitable for military work is not large. The Canadian contingent probably would use up the available supply.
* Transcript of article (Images added)
Kelowna Record 6th August 1914*
Summary of the news to date
- France is invading Germany with two corps numbering 55000 men with heavy artillery.
- Hurrying through with ammunition and military supplies for the arsenal at Esquimalt, six trains were made up in Quebec and hurried West, stopping only where necessary.
- A squad of German cavalry that had invaded France to destroy telegraphic lines early Tuesday, north of Nancy, was completely annihilated fifty being killed and seventy-five being taken prisoners. The Germans stood the French off for an hour but there ammunition was finally exhausted and those who were left had to surrender. The German commander blew his brains out rather than yield his sword. At Velleticot, the Germans crossed the border three times but were repulsed.
- The British Parliament has voted $525,000,000 for war purposes which is expected to last six weeks.
- Germany is reported to have seized all islands off Finland and defeated the Russian fleet in those waters.
- Canada is raising 20,000 for service abroad and these will proceed across the Atlantic at the earliest possible date.
- A bill was introduced into the German Imperial parliament this week providing the appropriation of $1,250,000,000 to meet the expenses of the war.
- President Wilson has issued a proclamation of neutrality.
- Marshall Law has been proclaimed throughout
- The Canadian Militia frustrated an attempt on the part of German sympathisers to blow up the Welland(?) Canal.
- Premier Asquith yesterday announced that the British Government would ask for another credit of $500,000,000. It was officially stated that Viscount Morley and John Burns had resigned from the cabinet.
- Reginald McKenna, the Home Secretary, has announced that twenty-one spies had been arrested in the British Isles during the past twenty-four hours, chiefly in important naval centres.
- Diplomatic despatches indicate Sweden will join Great Britain, France and Russia, if she finds herself unable to remain neutral.
- An order has been issued giving the government control of all the rail roads in Great Britain.
- An Ottawa dispatch states that German warships are shelling Glace Bay in an endeavour to get control of communication between Canada and Great Britain.
- Lord Kitchener has been recalled from Egypt to take command of the British land forces, with General French as his Chief of Staff.
- The German army is reported to have been repulsed with heavy losses at Liege by the Belgians.
- Italy has refused Germany’s request to go to her aid and has repeated her determination to remain neutral.
- Vague rumours have repeatedly come to hand of a great naval engagement in the North sea off the coasts of England and Scotland.
Although this particular battalion did not have war diaries until September 1915, there are some very interesting newspapers archived at http://historicalnewspapers.library.ubc.ca . Occasional transcripts from British Columbian news articles will appear here from August.
Shocking advertisement found on 6th August: