Malcolm & Dan Joe (WW1)

"Dan-Joe & Malcolm (WW1)" -- TOC

Ch. 6 - "Valcartier & England"

Valcartier Tents

Valcartier Camp had been set up just after Canada declared war in August of 1914. Valcartier lies 18 miles north of Quebec City. A year later, when Dan-Joe and Malcolm were there, the camp had been reasonably well established. Better than 30,000, mostly those who made-up the First Contingent of The Canadian Expeditionary Force, had already gone through the place. The First Contingent had shipped out to England in convoy on October, 1913. By August of 1914 there had to be another large number of men (all volunteers) there, when Dan-Joe and Malcolm arrived.22 It spread out with the Jacques Cartier River in between. This raw land had been developed and "transformed into a bustling Military Camp complete with roads, water mains, railway sidings, stores, showers and movies for the troops, and three miles of rifle range besides training space for heavy artillery and cavalry."

From the military records it is determined that both boys arrived at England on October 28th, 1915.23 Not sure at what port they had landed and where they initially stayed, however, by January they were located at Camp Bramshott at Hampshire24. (From his military records, that January, Malcolm went "AWL." Ahem! Not just the once, but at least on two occasions; at one point his pay was docked $2.20 (two days pay!).25 In February they were at East Sandling26 where on the 7th he again was fined for being "AWL." The times, for which he was marked "AWL" were usually only for an hour in the early evening.

The records on Dan-Joe & Malcolm show that they both were in the "26th Infantry Battalion" which was part of this Second Contingent.27 It consisted of 15 Battalions from the 18th to the 32nd. Most of them represented regions of Canada, as for example the 26th was labeled, New Brunswick. Interestingly enough, our Dan-Joe & Malcolm were in the "26th" and not the one labelled for Nova Scotia, the "25th." Further, it would not appear that they were with that part of the 26th who first arrived in England and trained there during the summer of 1915, and who left for the front in September of that year. The records of Dan-Joe & Malcolm (identical to this point) disclose that they arrived in England on the 28th of October, 1915, and then left for France to arrive there on March 16th, 1916, and, "taken on strength," joining the rest of their unit ("26th Bn.").

So, Dan-Joe and Malcolm were in England between October, 1915, and March, 1916. From their military records we see that they were at Bramshott Common, Hampshire; then, in February, we read, "East-Sandling." On February 10th, 1916, Malcolm Morrison made his "military will": "Everything to mother, Hillside Avenue, Glace Bay C.B." On March 15th, he and his brother, Dan-Joe, both of them were on a ship crossing the channel to France.

NEXT [Chapter 7, "Arrival, France (March 1916)"]

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Peter Landry
2015