Chapter 3 Continued

During the months that followed the arrival of the First Contingent at Valcartier, the Second Contingent, of which the 28th (Northwest) Battalion was a part, was in the process of formation. On October 7, 1914 orders went out to all Military Districts throughout the Dominion authorizing the mobilization of the Second Overseas Contingent which was to be ready to proceed to England by the end of January, 1915. However, owing to the difficulties in providing transport, the move to Britain did not begin until late in February and early in April of 1915. By the end of that month, the entire contingent was in England. Included in this contingent was the 28th (Northwest) Battalion.

On November 1, 1914, on their arrival at the Old Horse Show Building in Winnipeg, all ranks of the 28th Bn. were welcomed by Colonel (later General) Sam B. Steele, C.B. C.V.O. A.D.C. who was then Acting Major General in charge of the 2nd Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Colonel H.N. Ruttan was at the time Commanding Military District #10 with Headquarters in Winnipeg. On this parade, General Steele stressed the necessity for discipline and strict attention to duty, as it was anticipated that the 2nd Contingent would shortly be on its way overseas. After the parade was dismissed, the Officer Commanding the 28th Bn. and his senior Major (E.R. Wayland) took up the question of Battalion organization for training purposes with the assistant Adjutant, General, Major (later Brigadier General) H.B.D. Ketchen. It was then decided to organize the Unit on an Eight Company basis as follows: 'A' and 'B' Companies (Moose Jaw), 'C' and 'D' Companies (Regina); 'E' and 'F' Companies (Ft. William and Port Arthur), 'G' and 'H' Companies (Saskatoon) and a base Company (Prince Albert). Almost immediately, the use of numerals in designating both companies and platoons came into vogue. Shortly afterwards finding this method unwieldy it was decided to form the Unit into four line companies with a base company, a machine gun section (Colt guns), a signalling section, a Regimental Band (to be trained as stretcher-bearers and a Headquarters Staff including sub-details an Pioneers, Officers? servants, quartermaster's storemen) and transport personnel. The entire transport of the Battalion consisted of horse-drawn vehicles necessitating the employment of personnel familiar with horses. At this stage in its existence, all of the Commissioned Officers still wore swords on parade, although by the time the Unit had moved to Britain this custom had entirely disappeared. Officers were then furnished with revolvers, although, in action, some officers preferred to carry rifles.

The following is a list of the Original Officers, obtained from the personal files of Lieutenant Colonel. J.F.L. Embury:

Lieutenant Colonel J.F.L. Embury 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina)
Major E.G. Wayland 96th Regiment. (Fort William)
Major Alex. Ross 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina)
Major C.R. Hill 105th Regiment (Fusiliers) (Saskatoon)
Major T. Dow
Major N. Gentles 60th Regiment of Canada (Moose Jaw)
Major R.H. Read 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina)
Major James Moira (Quartermaster) 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina)
Captain R.W. Bruce (Adjutant) a former British Officer ordered on July 22,
1915 to report to the Royal Flying Corps,
Port Grange in England.
Captain J.P. King 96th Regiment (Port Arthur)
Captain F.G.D. Quirk 60th Rifles of Canada (Moose Jaw)
Captain G.W. Anderson 52nd Regiment (Prince Albert Volunteers)
Captain L.M. Bidwell 105th Regiment, (Fusiliers) (Saskatoon)
Captain Walter H. McInnis 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina)
Captain J.C. Milne 96th Regiment (Port Arthur)
Captain F.G. Arnold 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina)
Lieutenant M.A. Germain 60th Rifles of Canada (Moose Jaw)
Lieutenant H.E. Hartney
Lieutenant Alfred H Styles 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina)
Lieutenant W. Allen Child 95th Saskatchewan Rifles (Regina)
Lieutenant D.E. Macintyre 60th Rifles of Canada (Moose Jaw)
Lieutenant A.L. McGovern 96th Regiment (Fort William)
Lieutenant F.W. Oliver 96th Regiment (Fort William)
Lieutenant K. Jarvis 96th Regiment (Fort William)
Lieutenant F.G.H. Manville 52nd Regiment (Prince Albert Volunteers)
Lieutenant A.L. Taylor 52nd Regiment (Prince Albert Volunteers)
Lieutenant F.G.E. Sutton 105th Regiment (Fusiliers) (Saskatoon)
Lieutenant R.W. Bell 105th Regiment (Fusiliers) (Saskatoon)
Lieutenant J.B.R. Graham
Lieutenant G.C. Dingwall 60th Rifles of Canada (Moose Jaw)
Lieutenant R.E.G. Harstone 96th Regiment (Port Arthur)
Lieutenant J.S. Williams 60th Rifles of Canada (Moose Jaw)
Lieutenant J.F. McKay 52nd Regiment (Prince Albert Volunteers)
Lieutenant A.B. Smith 105th Regiment (Fusiliers) (Saskatoon)

Subsequently, a senior Major was appointed in the person of Major J.L.R. (Rollie) Parsons who eventually began his overseas service as G.S.O.3, 2nd Canadian Division, England and France, on April 24, 1915. He continued throughout the War as a Staff Officer, finally with G.H.Q. in France. He came to the 28th Battalion from the Corps of Guides, but had served prior to that time in the ranks of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada (1898-1901). After World War I, he continued as an Officer of the Permanent Forces. During the First World War he was awarded the Legion of Honour (French), French War Cross, C.M.G., D.S.O., 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal and was mentioned in Dispatches four times.

Captain Maughan McCausland, who had been Honorary Paymaster of the 95th Saskatchewan Rifles, went overseas with the 28th Bn. in that capacity but was invalided from France and transferred to England November 23, 1915. He served as Paymaster of the South Saskatchewan Regiment and the Regina Rifle Regiment (1921 to 1933).

Honorary Captain Dr. J.A. Cullum of the R.C.A.M.C. and a practicing physician in Regina joined the Regiment as its permanent medical officer with the rank of Captain. He will be mentioned frequently in the subsequent narrative.

D.G. Scott-Calder's
The History of the 28th (Northwest) Battalion, C.E.F. (October 1914 - June 1919)
is © Copyright The Royal Regina Rifles Trust Fund. All Rights Reserved