Where Sturdy Canadianism is Built on Military Training

A Review of the Work that is being done at the Royal Military College of Canada

C. J. MORRIS April 1 1914

Where Sturdy Canadianism is Built on Military Training

A Review of the Work that is being done at the Royal Military College of Canada

C. J. MORRIS April 1 1914

Where Sturdy Canadianism is Built on Military Training

A Review of the Work that is being done at the Royal Military College of Canada

The Royal Military College at Kingston is performing a service to Canada that is perhaps not fully appreciated and which is decidedly unique. In the public mind it ranks as a training school for the army and it will probably be a surprise to many to learn that the large majority of the R. M. C. graduates enter civil employment, only a comparatively small number following a military career. The course fits a young man for military service and turns him out strong and fit physically. But it does more than that. It instils into him the sense of responsibility, the “esprit de corps," the rugged manliness that fits him in after life to grapple with the problems that arise in a manly way. Military discipline is the best possible training for service in a civil capacity. This

IN days which have seen the establishment of The Hague Tribunal and the start of a world-wide peace propaganda, it may seem paradoxical to assert that a military training is the best foundation for a business career.

As proof of the statement, however, the remarkable record of the Royal Military College of Canada can be cited. This institution is perhaps unique in the purpose it serves. Its graduates are qualified to receive commissions in the British Army, but the great majority of them take up civil professions or enter business life.

The value of the training they have received is attested by the fact that the graduates of R.M.C. have been uniformly and often spectacularly successful in all walks of life. So large a percentage of them have won their way to positions of high trust and national responsibility that the question naturally arises: Is there not something in the training they have received which guarantees success?

There are several advantages to be derived from a military element in education. Perhaps the greatest is the moral training which comes from the observance of militarv discipline, and living under strictest rules. Obedience and duty are words with a broad interpretation in the vocabulary of the military man. He does not chafe at necessary restraint, and he has learned that greatest of lessons—to take orders and carry them out to the letter. Another advantage is a practical familiarity with the principles of organization, more especially as shown in the system of graduated responsibility and equitable

distribution of duties which is a feature of military life. A third advantage may be defined as a correct appreciation of the proper place of armed force in national life and more especially in international relations. Lastly, the young man leaves the College physically fit and as hard as nails. He has learned to take care of himself.

In the early part of the present year, Major R. W. Leonard, chairman of the National Transcontinental Railway Commission, announced his intention of making a gift which will introduce a new element into university life in Canada. Up to the present time no means have existed at the universities to give to the future professional men and leaders in business the advantages of a military training, and the plan that Major Leon-

ard contemplates is the establishment in a university of a contingent of one or more companies to be known as the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps. This plan he proposes to apply to Queen’s University at Kingston. He has bought a good site close to the university, and upon it he will erect a residence for the contingent which Queen’s is to furnish. To their studies of the older type the undergraduates, who desire to do so, will add a measure of military training, which it is expected the university authorities will recognize as conducing to their education. They will put in a specified number of drills; they will undergo instruction in musketry; they will receive certain theoretical teaching of the sort needed by regimental officers, and they will be taught how to train


fact is amply attested by the mark which the R. M. C. graduate makes for himself. It is a significant fact that few R. hi. C. men have failed to attain to the highest level in the lines they have chosen to follow.

The College has done a great deal toward the improvement of the standard of Canadian citizenship. Can not the scope of its influence be widenedt Should not the course be open to a larger number of studentsT With the growth of Canada, the number who seek to enroll themselves at the College becomes larger each year; but the accommodation at the College, and therefore the number of possible entrants, has remained a fixed quantity. In the accompanying article

be added to in order to make

the point is strongly made that the College a larger enrollment possible.

others. In time each member will have an opportunity of passing examinations which will qualify him to be an officer in any arm of the Canadian militia, and he will leave the university able to join on advantageous terms the local regiment of his future abode. The plan is that there shall be sufficient dormitory accommodation for four companies each fifty or sixty strong, and an administration building to contain a dining hall, offices, adjutant’s quarters, class rooms, and the other equipment necessary. The Militia Department will erect a drill hall on a part of the site. Those students who become members of the corps will live in these quarters, not free, but at rates substantially cheaper than those charged by the boarding houses of the town.

The reason for this munificent offer is not hard to find: Major Leonard is himself a graduate of the R.M.C., and as such he appreciates the important part his early training has played in his subsequent brilliant success.

The Royal Military College is acknowledged to be one of the best educational institutions in Canada. It gives a thorough education in addition to an admirable military training; it supplies a number of officers to the Imperial Army each year and a large proportion of militia officers are drawn from its graduates; it reinforces our engineering professions with a stream of well-qualified men. In fact, owing to the excellence of the type of men produced, its beneficent effect upon the national life of Canada must increase in direct ratio

with the number of men its limited accommodation and equipment enable it to turn out.

Kingston was selected for the position of the College for various reasons, chief of which were the possession by the Government of the site of the old naval yard on which there existed certain buildings which could be converted into barracks for the cadets; its proximity to Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto —and its exceptionally healthy location.

The College has not always enjoyed its present popularity, in fact, at one time the desirability of closing it was seriously considered, but of late years, the number of graduates has been limited by the accommodation available, and the examination for admission has consequently become competitive. In 1913 the number of candidates for admission who possessed the necessary qualifications was 115, of whom only 40 could be admitted owing to lack of accommodation. The interest which H. R. II. the Duke of Connaught, the present Governor-General, has taken in the College has undoubtedly done much to bring it prominently before the eyes of the public and to add to its general popularity. This lack of accommodation, therefore, resulting in the turning away of two-thirds of those who wish, and are fully qualified, to enter is a matter which is worthy of the immediate attention on the part of the military authorities.

It is a matter of national importance that as far as possible every young Canadian, who is prepared to equip himself with a training, which, while beneficial to himself, provides one more unit to the

sum of our national assets, should be enabled and encouraged to do so.

The machinery being already in good working order, the extra cost of its carrying an increased load would be comparatively small. The erection of another dormitory and increased class and mess room accommodation would be insignificant in comparison with the benefit to the nation of an annual influx into its business life of an additional eighty or more men of the class and standing turned out by the college.

A Description of the College

The buildings consist of what is known as the Educational Building, in which are the offices, class rooms, dining, billiard, and recreation rooms; the original Dormitory Building (known as the “Stone Frigate,” which existed when it was a naval yard, and derives its name from the fact that the cost of its erection was defrayed from money sent out from England in 1812 to build a man-ofwar) a gymnasium, gun shed, model shed, stable, hospital, and quarters for a limited number of the staff and College servants A new dormitory building which is now on the point o f completion, will provide for an increase in the number of cadets as far as sleeping quarters are concerned, but further class room accommodation will be required before full advantage can be taken of this addition.

There is a rifle range in the grounds and welllighted miniature ranges for use in the winter months. In the summer there is good boating and bathing, and in the winter a certain amount of ice-boating. There is at present no covered riding school. This is a pressing need of the institution, not only for riding instruction, but for use in the winter season as a drill-hall. From December till April, that is for the greater part of the college year the instruction in riding is carried out under great difficulties on frozen ground or ice with the thermometer frequently below zero, and the course must necessarily be delayed in consequence.

A drafting room, a laboratory, a library and reading room, and a general lecture room are also urgently required to put the college in condition to meet the increased and ever-increasing demands upon it.

The course of studies comprises civil and military engineering, reconnaissance, topography, survey, military history,

tactics, physics, riding, etc. Swimming and gymnastics also form part of the daily routine. From this it will be seen that physical training occupies a prominent place in the curriculum of the College. The result of this was seen in the excellent gymnastic display given by the whole body of cadets, which was pronounced to be much above the average both by H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, and Sir John French, both of whom have inspected the College during the past two years.

On the whole, the cadet’s life may be described as strenuous. He is well-developed physically, and puts his back into everything he does. The cadets have as a rule had a certain amount of camping experience and are very “handy.”

During the summer leave, the greater number are attached to the staff or units at one of the training camps, for which they receive good pay, and a number will subsequently go out on some survey or

☺railway job, from which they earn quite a comfortable little sum, in addition to gaining valuable experience.

The staff of the College consists of the commandant and adjutant, assisted by several professors and instructors.

The cadets are ranged in four classes or divisions, at the head of each of which is a sergeant-major selected from among the cadets themselves. At the head of these four sergeants-major is the battalion sergeant-major, also a senior cadet, and he occupies the position of intermediary between the cadets and the staff.

The length of the College course is three years, and the fees for the whole course amount to $800, which includes the cost of uniform and educational material, and which for an institution possessing such educational advantages, can only be regarded as nominal. Probably at no other institution in the British Empire can such excellent instruction and

training be obtained for so small a sum.

It is true that owing to the large increase in the number of cadets, the instructional staff is at present somewhat small when compared with that of similar institutions elsewhere, but this will, no doubt, soon be remedied.

The Cadet after Graduation As stated above a certain number of the graduates take up soldiering: as a profession. Seven commissions in the Imperial service are offered annually, but there are not always condidates for these. Possibly the young Canadian has an objection to accepting an allowance from his parents, which would be necessitated, owing to the British officer’s pay being insufficient to enable him to keep up his position. Another reason may be that many of the graduates do not like the idea of spending their lives out of Canada. The commissions in the Canadian Permanent Force are, of course, open to graduates of the College. The Canadian artillery and engineers are officered almost entirely by excadets, the cavalry and infantry have four or five commissions each, and the Army Service Corps and Ordnance Corps have five between them. The Canadian, however, as a general rule does not appear to be attracted by military life, though when there has been any call for their services the excadets have responded promptly. During the North-West Rebellion in 1885 there were thirty-three employed, including seven on the staff. In the South African War there were eighty-two ex-cadets serving, of whom five lost their lives in their country’s service, as is testified by five memorial tablets erected to their memory in the entrance hall of the Educational Building. Within the last three years the regulations provide that every cadet not entering the regular forces shall be gazetted to the active militia for three years. Prior to that time there was no compulsion except that the ex-cadet had to join the reserve of officers.

By far the greater number of graduates, however, enter civil life, and the Canadian Government offers annually a certain number of appointments in the Public Works and Survey.

The “ esprit-de-corps” which exists among the graduates is particularly strong. There is an R.M.C. Club, to which practically all the ex-cadets be-

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Royal Military College of Canada

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long. Every year it publishes a volume in which is recorded any item of interest regarding the members all over the world. Dinners are held annually at one or other of the big cities in Canada, and in London, England, where there is also a branch.

Some of the Graduates

To hark back to the starting point, it may safely be asserted that the value of the R.M.C. training is most forcibly demonstrated in the class of men who have been turned out. In every profession and in the highest business circles, there is a large representation of excadets. The number of those who have failed to raise themselves above the ranks of mediocrity is so small as to be almost negligible.

The stamp of the R.M.C. is not shown in the matter of ability alone. Fairness, a broad vision, a strict moral viewpoint are distinguishing attributes of the man who has spent his years of early manhood in the disciplinary atmosphere of the old college.

That the career of the ex-cadet is, so to speak, assured in Canada is not surprising when we consider the number of ex-cadets holding prominent positions throughout the country. Among these may be mentioned : Sir Edouard Percy Girouard, K.C.M.G., D.S.O., former

president of the Egyptian Railway Board, commissioner Transvaal and Orange River Colony railways, High Commissioner of Nigeria, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the East Africa Protectorate; Major R. W. Leonard, present chairman of the National Transcontinental Railway, for sixteen years, engineer for the C.P.R. and its N.Y.C. connections, engineer in charge of the construction of the first Canadian HydroElectric power plant at Niagara Falls; a governor of Toronto University; formerly chief engineer of the Cumberland Rail and Coal Co., Montreal and Ottawa Railway, St. Lawrence and Adirondack Railway, Cape Breton Railway, etc.; Col. H. S. Greenwood, chief of engineering department of the Canadian Northern Railway, who served through the South African War on the staff of the Imperial Military Railways of the Transvaal.

Other well-known graduates are: Col.

E. F. Wurtele, chartered accountant, Quebec; Mr. A. T. Kelly-Evans, Ontario Fish and Game Commissioner; Mr.

F. P. Jones, general manager of the Canadian Cement Co.; Major J. L. Weller, engineer in charge of the Welland Ship Canal; Mr. John Wroodman, of Woodman & Carey, Winnipeg; Mr. F. L. Crawford, manager of Victoria branch of the Bank of Commerce; Mr. Basil Hall Fraser, assistant chief engineer, Department of Marine and Fisheries; Mr. W. F. MacLaren, of the Canadian Westinghouse Co.; Mr. Gordon Osier,

president of the Toronto. Stock Exchange; Colonel Sanders, D.S.O., police magistrate, Calgary; General W. T. Bridges, commandant of the Royal Military College, Australia; Mr. James Spelman, president of J. L. Metcalf & Co., Ltd., Montreal; Mr. Walter Douglas, general manager of Phelps Dodge & Co., and so we might go on indefinitely. In fact, so lengthy is the list that it is perhaps invidious to have made special mention of any when there are so many equally worthy of notice.

A perusal, however, of these names, taken at random, will serve as an explanation of the good reputation the excadet has throughout the country. The admirable moral training he has received, the result of military discipline, and the military code of honor, has given him a peculiar and most enviable standing in the community. He leaves the College fitted not only to become a leader in civil society, as a professional or business man, but also capable of training and leading his fellow-countrymen in the event of emergency, having had the advantage of becoming acquainted with the point of view and habits of thought of the soldiers upon whom in times of stress the preservation of the country’ would to a great extent depend.

A New Study in Anabiosis

’ I ' HE state in which all vital funcA tions of an organism are suspended without actual death, known as anabiosis, has been recognized for two centuries past, at least as concerns the lower orders of life, and such specimens can be dried and then recalled to life even after a considerable time by the sole action of moisture. A Russian scientist, Bachmetief, takes up the question as regards higher animals. He observes the organism of insects at decreasing temperatures down to 10 deg. below zero Cent, at which point death ensues. He thought at first that death was due to congelation of the liquids of the animal, but afterward saw that these congealed at -—¡j degrees and all the vital functions then became impossible. At temperatures intermediate between this and the death-producing point there occurs a strange state of anabiosis where the organism appears between life and death. In many cases lie could bring the specimens back to life even after a long time, by gradually raising the temperature. He compares this state of latent life to a clock whose pendulum is stopped, but whose mechanism can be put in movement by a slight impulse given to the pendulum. M. Bachmetief extended his researches to small mammifers such as white mice and hats, and using artificial respiration, these animals can he brought to a state of lethargy at low temperatures such as zero Cent, or below. He now intends to experiment upon rabbits, monkeys and even human beings.