EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Friday, November 28, 2014

A bit of late 19thC Canadian military trivia

I knew I had a bit more info  about those elusive Canadian Pacific militia. Finally I remembered where. In 2001  I toured some Ontario battlefields and forts, the Windmill, Ft Henry, Ridgeway, Queenston Heights,  so on. In one of the gift shops I found a book, Tangled Web, Canadian Infantry Accoutrements 1855-1985, Canadian War Museum Historical Publications No. 26, by Jack Summers.

Like many War Museum publications from the last century it is tightly focussed on a obscure subject and a gold mine of information that is hard to find elsewhere. Highly recommended for modellers. Of course none of the museum books published before the current government took power are available unless you stumble across one in the corner of some museum or used bookstore. Could be a coincidence.

Photo from Tangled Web.

This photo is obviously the  inspiration for the Blandford illustration. The proposed equipment was never adopted but the 5 independent companies eventually formed the Rocky Mountain Rangers.

Another picture from Tangled Web, this time from the Boer War. Its not the official uniform with pith helmet but it is reminiscent of the one above.

One last photo.  This is the Yukon Field Force which was a temporary force drawn from the Royal Canadian Regiment, Royal Canadian Dragoons, and the Royal Canadian Artillery.

Any of these pictures could be Faraway troops on campaign in the North.

Again from Tangled Web. Note the 2 styles of hats and footwear. Based on the wide trouser stripes I suspect the squad on the right  are dragoons while the left squad are RCRs.

12 comments:

  1. Ross Mac,

    I think that these would make ideal Faraway colonial/foreign service troops.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  2. Yes familiar but a bit different than the usual.

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  3. Ross Mac,

    I seem to remember that after the Boer War the British Army experimented with using a slouch hat rather than a foreign service helmet and peaked cap. If I can find an image or link, I will let you know.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bob. It makes sense. Not only did the CIV and some of thr yeomanry wear them in SA but apparently some regulars wore them regardless of authorization. I have seen 1 photo of highlanders in kilts with wide brimmed hats. Now That is different!

      I have read that the new Wolseley helmet with wider brim beat it out for tropical wear.

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  4. I was in the RMR in Kamloops, and I do recall a hat like that in a glass case in the mess.

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  5. a clearer picture can be found here:

    http://www.truewestmagazine.com/jcontent/images/stories/Feb-2013/feb13_rocky-mountain-rangers_slideshow/rocky-mountain-ranger_winchester_smith-and-wesson.jpg

    more practical than a uniform really

    http://www.truewestmagazine.com/jcontent/images/stories/Feb-2013/feb13_rocky-mountain-rangers_slideshow/henry-boyle_fort-macleod_george-anderton_alberta-ranche_rocky-mountain-ranger.jpg

    and Officer Commanding:

    http://www.truewestmagazine.com/jcontent/images/stories/Feb-2013/feb13_rocky-mountain-rangers_slideshow/rocky-mountain-rangers_major_john-stewart_princess-louise-dragoon-guards_smith-and-wesson.jpg

    or a book:

    http://www.hgdistribution.com/cover_images/9781926936024.jpg

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    1. These guys look more like what I picture the Riel Rebellion version of Rocky Mountain Rangers to be than the early 20th C unit but hey its cowboy country. I will keep these guys in mind. Thanks.

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  6. I had some thoughts here, not sure if Blogger ate them or not.

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    1. Apparently. I've checked spam and pending. Nada. Happens to me now and then.

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  7. OK, thoughts round two. First, I loved this post and this glimpses of Canda's military past, thanks so much. The uniforms match the mental picture I have of your Faraway/Oberhilse world, of an alt Canada in the Laurier era staving off vile Yankee aggression. The mention of the Yukon Field Force and the Rocky Mountain Rangers evokes visions of Canadian troops and militia, perhaps supported by Sam Steele's Mounted Police, fending off Yankee trappers, gold diggers, agents provocateurs and even some disguised or blatant regular army types, hoping to push north into western Canada before the railroad can be completed. Well, that's my vision anyway. As Wayne and Shuster used to say, you like it? It's yours.
    My older brother was a member of the Rocky Mountain Rifles in the 1970s when my family lived in Revelstoke, BC. They are still on the books of the Canadian Army Reserve, as far as I know.
    Cheers, Michael

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    Replies
    1. Oh dear, now I can picture a mountie stopping a train seeking a famous fugitive and being buried by an avelanche of brown pumpernickel loaves or investigating the Riel rebellion and a metis woman whining "and I told him, Louis, don't go..."

      But yes, your vision is a good one and not far off the mark not to mention a touch of Metis Nation meets Boer War, but I see by the clock on the wall...

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