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QSAMIKE

THE FOUNDING OF A REGIMENT - MODERATORS' AWARD CERTIFICATE

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Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen.....

At the request of the Moderators of this forum I will start listing the following........

The original start date is January 10th, 1900 and I will post on the date written or rec'd.....

Letters for the Founding of the Strathcona's Horse and The Weekly Reports

Between

Lt. Col. S. B. Steele

and

Lord Strathcona and Mt. Royal

Dear Reader:

The following pages will be letters etc. between Lord Strathcona the War Office and the Canadian Department of Militia, starting on January 10th 1900.

Also.....

The pages contain the Letters and Weekly Reports that were sent by Lt. Col. Steele to Lord Strathcona during the period 17th February 1900 to 12th February 1901. They have been transcribed from the original draft copies of the reports and letters which are on microfilm held at the Glenbow Museum Archives, Calgary, Alberta. These being draft copies, I have left the spelling mistakes and have shown the sections that have been crossed out by Col. Steele. For any Boer war Historian or Collector, I am sure they will prove to be fascinating reading.

Mike

If our moderator wishes to move this to another area it's OK with me.....

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To catch up here is the period January 10th through January 22nd 1900......

January 10th, 1900

 

53, Cadogan Square, S.W.

Januray 10th, 1900

Dear Mr. Chamberlain,

I beg to refer to our conversation of yesterday and to state that if the proposal should meet with the approval of H. M. Government I should like to provide and sent to South Africa at my own expense two squadrons of mounted men and officers, say, 400 men and horses.

My idea is that both men and horses should be largely drawn from the Canadian North West, the men to be unmarried, expert marksmen, at home in the saddle, and efficient as experienced rough riders or rangers.

I propose to pay the cost of equipment, similar to that of the Canadian Contingent, and the transportation of both men and horses to South Africa, where they would be taken over by the Imperial contingents. I presume on the same terms as the other colonial contingents. After the close of the campaign the men to have the option of returning to Canada the same way as those serving with the contingents sent by the Government of Canada, the horses and arms to be taken over by H. M. Government.

The suggestion has I may say, commended itself to the Dominion Government, and they are prepared to allow the use of their organization for recruiting and equipping purposes.

I shall be glad to hear from you at your earliest convenience if it is the opinion of yourself and your colleagues that the force proposed to be raised would be of substantial benefit in South Africa. If the proposal is in every way favorable regarded from that specific point of view, I will arrange to put the matter in train without delay.

Incidentally, I had just a word with the Marquis of Lansdowne a few days ago in regard to the project; and I need only add that for the present at any rate, I do not wish my name to be publicly mentioned in connection with it.

Believe me,

Yours sincerely

(Signed) Strathcona

P.S. Since the above was written I have received a further cable message from Sir Wilfred Laurier in the matter, and if you can quite conveniently let me have your answer today. I shall feel greatly obliged.

 

 

January 11th, 1900

Following tyelegram from Mr. Chamberalin:-

"Offer most gratefully accepted in principle. Details to be arranged later. No difficulty expected."

January 12th, 1900

Following letter from Mr. Chamberlain:-

 

Highbury,

Moor Green,

Birmingham,

January 12th, 1900

"My Dear Lord Strathcona.

I received your letter of the 10th, inst. at three o’clock yesterday, and after communication with the War Office I telegraphed to you that your offer war gratefully accepted in principle, leaving details to further discussion, and that no difficulty was expected.

I found Lord Lansdown most appreciative of your munificent offer, and desirious to avail himself of it do not imagine that anything will now arise to prevent its full realization. The provisio as to details is only an ordinary precaution, but I do not know any detail at present upon which questions arise.

In order to save time, I think it would be desirable that all further communications should take place directly between you and the War Office, to whom I have sent a copy of your letter. If, however, the slightest difficulty should occur, I beg you to use me to arrange it, and I shall always be at your service for this purpose.

I see that your offer has been made public in Canada, which will, of course, prevent the secrecy to which you attach importance. I cannot say that I am sorry, for I think it is right that honor should go where honor is due, and there is more probability of your example being followed when the facts are known. In any case, you will, I am sure, believe that I have endeavoured scrupulously to carry out your wishes, and have accordingly said nothing about your proposal to anyone outside the

War Office.

Believe me,

Yours very truly,

(Signed) J. Chamberlain"

 

January 12th. 1900

Mr. E. S. Clouston, the General Manager of the Bank of Montreal, empowered to act as Lord Strathcona's representative in Canada in connection with the matter. Mr. Clouston to work in conjunction with Sir Wilfred Laurier and the Department of Militia and Defence.

January 12th, 1900:

Lord Strathcona informed Sir Wilfred Laurier that the horses for the corps were to be purchased in the North West by Professor McEachran. That men and officers to be engaged on the same terms, and to be equipped in the same way as the Canadian Contingents. Matter to be entirely non-political only qualification being thorough fitness and suitability of officers and men for services required; and asking to have benefit of experience of the Department of Militia and Defence in selection of men, horses, arms and equipment. Names of all officers nominated to be submitted to Lord Strathcona for approval.

January 13th, 1900:

Following letter from Under Secretary of State for War to LordStrathcona dated:-

War Office

13th. January 1900

"My Lord,

I am desired by the Secretary of State for War to inform you that the Secretary of State for the Colonies has acquainted him with the offer made by your Lordship to provide and send to South Africa at your own expense two squadrons of mounted men and officers drawn principally from the North West of Canada.

Lord Lansdowne begs to convey to you the best thanks of H. M. Government for this most generous offer, which he is glad to be able to accept, and I am accordingly in communication with the Adjutant General of the Forces as to details, and with the Military Secretary as regards officers.

I am, my Lord,

Your Lordship's obedient servant,

(Signed) A. H. Knox

 

 

 

 

January 15th. 1900:

Following letter addressed by Lord Strathcona to Lord Lansdowne:-

53, Cadogan Square,

15th. January 1900

"Dear Lord Lansdowne,

As promised when I had the pleasure of seeing you on Saturday, I now send for your information a copy of the telegram I have since forwarded to Sir Wilfred Laurier, and which was read to you before being dispatched.

I was greatly concerned at the premature publication of the proposal, for, as I stated to you, I wished my name to be withheld. You will notice what I have said to Sir Wilfred Laurier about it. I am arranging for the immediate organization of the force (which may be increased in numbers, which I presume will not be unacceptable to you) and for its despatch to South Africa as early as possible. I only hope that it may prove to be of service to H.M. Government in connection with the war that has been forced upon us.

Believe me,

Yours very truly,

(Signed) Strathcona"

 

Copy of telegram to Sir Wilfred Laurier referred to:-

"Much concerned matter allowed to become public prematurely through medium of Ottawa press, as wished withhold name but secrecy no longer possible. H.M. Government now accept my proposition and it may be announced. Proposal is that 400 men should be recruited in Manitoba, the North West and British Columbia. Unmarried men, expert marksmen, at home in the saddle, and thoroughly efficient as rough riders and scouts. Horses preferred from North West, to be purchased by McEachran.

Men to be engaged on same terms as, and equipped like, Canadian Contingents. All officers and men to be passed medically under arrangements to be made by Dr. James Stewart of Montreal.

They will be armed, equipped, conveyed to South Africa at my expense and paid till arrival there, but I will accept no other responsibility.

Imperial Government takes over force on arrival, like Colonial Contingents, returning men to Canada after campaign, but retaining horses, arms and equipment, except clothing and necessaries.

Matter of course to be non-political, only qualification being thorough fitness and suitability of officers and men for service required.

Grateful to you for use organization Militia Department which will assure every economy compatible with fullest efficiency and thorough equipment of force.

Officers to be nominated by [him] Minister of Militia, and names and particulars submitted my approval.

All accounts connected with the force till its embarkation [endorsed-by-General-Htitton] will be paid by Mr. E. S. Clouston, General Manager, Bank of Montreal.

Any stores or equipment not obtainable in Canada will purchase here as done for other contingents. Am enquiring about transport and will cable further. Please telegraph meantime how soon likely to be ready to start."

 

 

January 15th. 1900:

53 Cadogan Square,

15 January 1900.

"Dear Mr. Chamberlain,

Many thanks for your letter of the 12th inst. I saw Lord Lansdowne on Saturday and read to him a telegram I propose to forward to Sir Wilfred Laurier. He approved of its terms and I now send a copy for your information. It was despatched, I may state, on Saturday.

I was very much concerned indeed that the matter was allowed to become public in Ottawa, as I wished my name withheld in the meantime, as I informed you on more than one occasion. However, secrecy is no longer possible, and you will see what I have stated to Sir Wilfred Laurier on the subject.

I have made all my arrangements as far as they can be done at present, for the immediate organization of the force (which may be increased in number), and I hope they will get away from Halifax without any unnecessary delay.

I can only trust now that my little force may be of some use to H. M. Government in the war that has been forced upon us, and upon the issue of which such matters of vital importance to the Empire depend.

Believe me,

Yours very truly,

(Signed) Strathcona

 

January 15th. 1900:

Letter from Lord Strathcona to the Under Secretary of State for War:-

53, Cadogan Square, S.W.

January 15th, 1900.

"Sir,

I beg to acknowledge your letter of the 13th. inst., in which you inform me that the Marquis of Lansdowne has been good enough to accept the offer made by me to provide and send to South Africa two Squadrons of mounted men from the North West of Canada.

I shall be glad to take advantage of the suggestion you have been good enough to make, and to place myself in communication with the Adjutant General of the Forces as to details, and with the Military Secretary as regards officers.

Believe me,

Yours very truly,

(Signed) Strathcona

 

 

January 16th. 1900:

Letter from Lord Lansdowne to Lord Strathcona:-

Dear Lord Strathcona,

Many thanks for your note of yesterday and enclosed copy of your telegram to sir Wilfred Laurier.

I trust your little army will be organised successfully and I wish it good luck.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed) Lansdowne.

 

 

January 17th, 1900:

Letter from Mr. Chamberlain to Lord Strathcona:

Highbury

Moor Green,

Birmingham,

17th. January 1900

'Dear Lord Strathcona,

Many thanks for your letter and enclosed copy of telegram to Sir Wilfred Laurier. The arrangements seem to me to be perfect, and there can be no doubt that the force which will be established by your generosity will do good service to the Empire in the present crisis.

I very much appreciate the patriotic feeling which has moved you in this matter.

Believe me,

Yours very truly,

(Signed) J. Chamberlain"

 

January 19th, 1900:

Following telegram sent by Lord Strathcona to Minister Militia and Defence:-

"Following suggestions by Adjutant General about my force begins:-

3 Squadrons mounted rifles, organization specify Militia Order No. 265, 20th December; each 162 men, 165 horses with necessary regimental staff, men armed with .303 rifle and bayonet. Should bring all personal equipment, including arms, accoutrements, clothing, 2 blankets, waterproof sheet. Each regimental transport, all camp equipment, as tents, saddlery, stabling equipment and picketting gear. Water carts and ammunition cart. One machine gun, detachment with 2 machine guns to be on tripod mountings.

Each man should have 500 rounds .303 ammunition mark 2 (no other mark permissible) and 50,000 rounds each machine gun Mark 2 rounds.

These are suggestions only for your guidance, and may be departed from both as to squadrons and men.

I am quite prepared to increase force to 450 or 500 men, but only _ if they, and the horses, can go on one ship."

 

January 19th. 1900:

Telegram from Sir Frederick Borden:

"Feel honored in being privileged to co-operate. Please command me fullest extent. Shall return Ottawa Tuesday noon."

 

January 22nd. 1900:

Following letter dated 22-01-00 from Mr. T. G. Rothwell, Law Clerk, Department of the Interior, to Lord Strathcona:-

"The lady employees of the Dominion Civil Service are very desirous of presenting the body of horsemen, whose formation your munificence has made possible, with a set of guidons, similar to those mentioned in the accompanying newspaper cuttings. The idea originated with my secretary, Miss Beatrice Barber, and it has been decided, before taking further action, to submit the intention to your Lordship for consent and approval.

For myself, I have the pleasure in stating that I am certain that Miss Barber, and those who will be associated with her in the proposed presentation, your Lordship's permission having been obtained, will carry it out to the satisfaction of all, and to their own credit."

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January 25th. 1900:

Telegram from F.Borden

Colonel S. B. Steele of the North West Mounted Police recommended by Sir Frederick Borden and General Button as best man to command the force.

Appointment approved by Lord Strathcona.

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Jannary 26th. 1900:

Telegram from F.Borden

"Strathcona's Horse" suggested as name for force, and adopted by Lord Strathcona.

 

January 28th. 1900:

Lord Strathcona arranged with Elder Dempster & Co. to charter the ship "Monterey" for the conveyance of the force from Halifax to South Africa, on the understanding that all the arrangements for fitting up the ship, for victualling and conveying the force must be carried out to the entire approval of the Minister of Militia.

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Mike - a great post with a depth of history that is so often forgotten in the Archives. Will you have enough

material to continue with these documents ? Mervyn

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Good Morning Mervyn......

I have enough to last for a year....... Between the letters of Lord Strathcona and the Weekly Reports sent by Sam Steele, the Strathcona's CO....... The Steele reports start on February 10th 1900 and go to February 12th 1901......

I also have the Daily Routine Orders for the regiment for the period from their founding till their disbandment.....

Mike

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January 29th, 1900:

Extract from a letter from Lord Strathcona to General Sir Evelyn Wood, G.C.B.:-

"The men and officers are of course volunteers, and they are not being raised under any Act of Parliament. The officers are nominated by the Militia authorities, and their names will be submitted to me for approval. I cannot, however, give them commissions, and I am a little doubtful what authority the officer will have over the men.

When the force arrives in South Africa they will be taken over as part of the Imperial Forces, and there will not be any difficulty, I presume, from that time. If you think there is anything that can be done to clothe the officers with some authority, and the men also with some responsibility before they arrive in South Africa, I should like to know. No doubt the officers will be given temporary commissions when they come under the supervision of the War Office.

January 29th. 1900:

Telegram from Lord Strathcona to Minister of Militia making it clear that the force to be recruited from British Columbia as well as Manitoba and the North West Territories.

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January 30th, 1900:

Minister of Militia telegraphed expected force to be fully assembled Ottawa by February 20th, and probably ready for embarkation Halifax 10 days later.

 

January 30th. 1900:

Telegraphed to Minister of Militia that War Office preferred no Chaplains or Nurses to accompany the force, all arrangements of that kind being made by them. War Office also suggests one Surgeon and one Veterinary Surgeon as sufficient.

War Office telegraphed for Christian and Surnames of Officers and Ranks for the force, it being the intention to give them acting commissions.

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Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen.......

There will be a bit of a gap here as the next set of existing documents do not start till February 10th with a letter from Lord Strathcona to Colonel Sam Steele........

On February 17th the first of the weekly reports from Steele to Strathcona on the events that have been happening with his regiment will be posted...... I will have a seperate thread for these reports.....

Mike

Here is a sample......

STRATHCONA'S HORSE

Ottawa, 17th February, 1900

From: Lt. Col. S. B. Steele, Commanding "Strathcona's Horse"

To: The Right Honorable Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, G.C.M.G.

17, Victoria Street,

London, S.W., England

My Lord,

As requested by your Lordship I have the honor to submit this my report upon all matters in connection with the organization of "Strathcona's Horse".

When I was in Halifax on my way to South Africa with the Second Contingent from Canada, I received a telegram from the Honorable the Minister of Militia offering me the command of your Corps, namely: "Strathcona's Horse". I accepted, and proceeded to Ottawa forthwith. At Ottawa the Minister, Major General Hutton, and I discussed the organization of the Corps and selected some officers from names presented, for your approval.

Personnel - Officers

Major Belcher:

2nd in Command, was 5 years in the 9th Lancers where he won prizes as the best swordsman and lancer the year he left. He joined the N. W. M. P. when the force was established and is still in the prime of life. He has great force of character and tact.

Major Snyder:

is 36 years of age. He has been an Inspector of the N. W. M. P. for fifteen years, passing through the schools of instruction, and is well qualified.

Major Jarvis:

is 36 years of age. He has been an Inspector of N. W. M. P. for 19 years, having risen from the ranks. He belongs to a well-known family in Toronto, and has had a very varied service in the Force.

These Officers stand high in the estimation of the N.W.M.P. Department.

Major Laurie

is 38 years of age. He is a graduate of the R.M. College, Kingston, from which he passed at the head of his class and was offered a commission in the Royal Engineers, which he did not accept. He took part in the suppression of the rebellion of 1885, and was engaged in the actions at Fish Creek and Batoche.

Captain Hughes

is Lt. Colonel in Command of the 45th "Victoria" Battalion of Infantry and is on leave at the present time in South Africa. Captain Hughes will join the regiment at Cape Town. He holds R. S. Infantry certificates.

Captain Howard

is an Inspector in the N. W. M. P. of 10 years standing. He was engaged in the action at Batoche in 1885, serving with the 10th Royal Grenadiers.

Lieut. Cameron

is 35 years of age. Has been Major in the 5th Battalion, "Royal Scots of Canada" stationed at Montreal, since March 1897. He has a 1st class grade "A" certificate of the Royal School of Infantry, also equitation. He is at present Senior Major of his Battalion.

Lieut. Cartwright

is 27 years of age. Inspector of N. W. M. P., in which Corps he has served for four years. He was a Captain in the 14th Battalion Rifles, and has taken a first class long course certificate.

Lieut. Mackie

joined the 90th Battalion of Rifles in May, 1893, was gazetted in 1896, and was appointed Adjutant in 1898. He holds 1st and 2nd class grade "A" Infantry certificates and 1st and 2nd class grade "A" Cavalry certification.

Lieut. Parker

is an ex-Captain of the 15th Regt. of Foot. He retired on gratuity, and has resided for some years in British Columbia. He is a capital shot, and horseman, and has served on the staff of General Sir Charles Reid in India.

Lieut. Courtney

is a graduate of the R. M. College. He has served in the West and taken part in surveys in the Northern part of Canada. He was also attached to the 6th Fusiliers for upwards of 5 years.

Lieut. Leckie

is a graduate of the Royal Military College and has had experience in Western life. He is now a resident of British Columbia. He has served in the 72nd Battalion since 1895.

Lieut. Magee

is a graduate of the R. M. College and has served in the Imperial Army. For the past two years he has been attached to the 14th Battalion, Kingston. (Hythe Officers Extra -7th April, 1896).

Lieut. Christie

served with the Midland Battalion in the suppression of the Rebellion in 1885. He is at present a resident of Moosomin, Assa. This officer is late of the 38th Battalion and holds 2nd class "A" R. S. I. certificate.

Lieut. Falls

is a qualified officer in the Manitoba Dragoons and at present a resident of Oak Lake, Man. He served with the 75th Gordon Highlanders, the Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry Cavalry, and was also in the North West Rebellion of 1885. He holds a 2nd class grade "A" Royal School of Cavalry certificate.

Lieut. Pooley

is a qualified officer in the Garrison Artillery, Victoria, and was gazetted in 1897. He holds 1st and 2nd Class Infantry and Artillery certificates from the Royal School of Instruction, England. He has also won Public School Rifle Competition prizes.

Lieut. Strange

is a graduate of the School of Gunnery, Kingston, and is a son of Major General Strange. He has had experience in the Western Provinces, having resided on his Ranch, near Calgary, for a number of years. He also served in the suppression of the Rebellion of 1885.

Lieut. Parker. Quartermaster

is 46 years of age, and has served in the N. W. M. P. since 1874. He took part in the suppression of the rebellion of 1885 in General Strange's column, and was present at Frenchman's Butte.

Surgeon Keenan

is the medical officer selected by Dr. Stewart of Montreal, and he reported for duty on the 16th February.

The Captaincy of "C" Squadron is still vacant and Transport and Veterinary Officers are yet to be obtained.

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February l0th, 1900:

Lord Strathcona addressed the following letter to Colonel Steele:-

"I am writing a few lines to express my gratification that you have accepted the command of my little force, for I am sure that its control and its work will be safe in your hands. No doubt you are at the present time busy with matters of organization and equipment in consultation with the Minister of Militia. I feel sure that in the interests of the force and Canada, every care is being taken to insure that only the best and most suitable men for the services that are required will be selected, and that no regard will be paid to purely personal and other considerations. Naturally, the same remark will apply to the officers, who are being, and may be, nominated for the various positions.

While I wish the utmost economy to be exercised, compatible with efficiency, I desire that the equipment of the force shall be in every way suitable for its probable work, and the best of its kind; and the Hon. Mr. Borden has assured me that everything purchased will be subject to rigorous inspection.

We have purchased here at the request of the Minister, certain articles that are needed, and only a day or two ago three Maxim guns and ammunition were ordered and 50 binoculars for the Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers. The Maxims, ammunition and glasses will be addressed to the Chief Ordnance Officer Cape Town, to your order, and will be there on your arrival.

I shall be glad to hear from you as frequently as you find time to write before your departure as to the progress that is being made with the organization and equipment, and I hope you will not hesitate to cable me fully and freely, either directly, or through the Minister, if the necessity arises.

I had hoped to go out to Canada in order to be able to witness the departure of the force in the "Monterey". Lately, however, I have had one or two bad colds and by the advice of the Doctors I am postponing my visit for a couple of months, although it is a great disappointment to me.

With best wishes, and again assuring you of the pleasure with which I approve of your nomination to the command, and of my conviction that the force will be a credit in every way to the country from which it goes, believe me, etc."

Edited by QSAMIKE

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February 14th. 1900:

Following telegram from Minister of Militia dated 14th. February:-

"Whole force enrolled. Excellent men. First train 300 men arrive here Thursday morning. Next four days later. Remainder as soon as McEachran completes purchase horses, not later than 25th."

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Mike - it's been fascinating seeing how different people had their input with this new unit.

Well done for putting so much work into this post - I know Brian is impressed as well. Sometimes I think members can be a little

superficial and not want to go too deeply into history - this is a mistake and it's not often that we can read such a complete

archive.

For future researchers and history enthusiasts this is invaluable and over the years you will see a constant flow of readers.

Mervyn

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Thank You Mervyn......

Anything that you can save and learn from these documents makes it all worth while......

Mike

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February 16th. 1900:

Telegram from Minister of Militia:-

"First trainload 287 men your force arrived Ottawa yesterday morning, having made good trip and being well satisfied food and general treatment received Canadian Pacific. Very good lot of men. Second lot left Calgary 14th. inst., consisting of 143 men and about 150 horses. Remainder of men waiting behind to assist getting horses together."

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February 21st. 1900:

Letter from the War Office stating that the Commander in Chief had approved the appointment of the Officers of the Canadian Militia and other Gentlemen mentioned in Lord Strathcona's Letters that the necessary notifications have been made in an early Gazette and temporary commissions issued in due course.

(Note: All the officers appointed were given temporary rank in Her Majesty's army.)

Edited by QSAMIKE

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March 7th. 1900:

Arrangements made for the appointment of the officers of Strathcona's Horse to appear in the Official Gazette; and the temporary commissions granted to them will be in every way equivalent to those issued to the regular forces.

March 8th. 1900:

Telegram from Minister of Militia to Lord Strathcona:-

"Presentation of guidons to your force was made this morning by Mrs. Borden on behalf of Ladies of the Civil Service in Parliament Square, in presence of thousands of citizens and visitors. I also presented Steele with field glass on behalf of his many friends and admirers. Addresses were delivered by Governor General, Premier and Sir Charles Tupper. Force presented splendid appearance on parade. After presentation marched through principal streets to barracks amid great enthusiasm."

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March 9th. 1900:

Telegram from Mr. E. S. Clouston, General Manager, Bank of Montreal:-

"Your force passed splendid inspection yesterday by both Houses of Parliament. Were given addressees by His Excellency, the Premier, Dr. Borden, Sir Charles Tupper and others; and there wasan enormous and enthusiastic gathering to witness it. "

March 9th. 1900:

Following letter from Sir Arthur Bigge:-

Buckingham Palace

March 9th. 1900.

'Dear Lord Strathcona,

The Queen understands that the body of Scouts from the North West Territories of Canada which has been raised and equipped by your munificent liberality, is on the eve of departure for South Africa.

Her Majesty would be glad if, before they start you would convey to them the expression of her confidence that they will prove themselves worthy comrades of her Canadian soldiers who are now so gallantly fighting in the Empire's cause.

The Queen wishes them all success and safe return to their homes in the Dominion.

Yours very truly,

(Signed) Arthur Bigge"

Can you please ley me know if this is actually being read...... Mike

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March I0th. 1900:

Following telegram from Governor General to Lord Strathcona:-

"It has been greatest pleasure to me. Your corps magnificent body of men and horses very good. Everyone deeply regrets that you have not been able to see them."

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March 12th. 1900:

Following letter from Lord Strathcona to Sir Arthur Bigge:-

"Dear Sir Arthur Bigge,

I am in receipt of your letter of the 9th. inst., and beg that you will convey to the Queen my respectful acknowledgments of her most gracious message.

This significant mark of Her Majesty's consideration will be communicated to the members of the corps by whom it is certain to be received with affection and gratitude.

Both officers and men consider it a privilege to have the opportunity of serving their Sovereign and the Empire, and may be relied upon to do their duty as Canadians and as loyal British subjects; and to justify the confidence in them to which Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to give expression.

Believe me to be,

Yours very truly,

(Signed) Strathcona & Mount Royal

March 12th. 1900:

Telegram from Mr. E. S. Clouston:-

Force expected to arrive Montreal 13th. March at three o'clock in afternoon, and to leave at seven o'clock the same evening.

Dr. Borden, Minister of Militia & Defence to represent Lord Strathcona at embarkation of the force at Halifax. Pressure of Parliamentary duties did not permit of Sir Wilfred Laurier being present on this occasion.

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March 13th. 1900:

Extract from letter from War Office;-

"The new commissions for the officers of your corps will be prepared and submitted in due course to Her Majesty and the Secretary of State for War. When completed they will be forwarded to your Lordship for transmission to the officers in question.

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Michael

This is proving to be a fascinating thread. I particularly liked the pen portraits of the officers. It was noticeable that some took a drop in rank to be part of what must have seemed like the start of a great adventure. Thank you for taking the trouble to make these posts. I, for one, am greatly looking forward to the subsequent ones.

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James - welcome to GMIC. Mike is an expert in his field and I think a lot of our members' are

enjoying his history of this Unit.

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Thankyou Gentlemen for your kind comments......

Mike

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March 15th. 1900:

Following telegram sent by Lord Strathcona to Colonel Steele:-

"Very sorry cannot see my force embark. Have transmitted to Dr. Borden gracious message I have received from Her Majesty which he will publicly convey to you and the men under your command. Have also asked him express my best wishes to all of you that you may have a pleasant voyage, every success and safe return. Appointments of all officers gazetted and they will receive their acting commissions from the Queen. Hope to forward them so as to reach you arrival South Africa where in any case you will find a letter. Immediately on arrival report yourself to the General Officer Commanding Cape Town."

March 15th. 1900:

Following telegram to Minister of Militia, Halifax from Lord Strathcona:-

"Please express to Colonel Steele, Officers and Men my great disappointment not being able to witness their departure. I looked forward with keen pleasure to opportunity of personally wishing them Godspeed and safe return. Am quite sure they will acquit themselves bravely and gallantly in any service entrusted to them, and that they will do credit to themselves, to the Dominion and to our beloved Queen.

"Please read to my force following gracious message received by me through Her Majesty's Private Secretary, and after reading kindly see it has proper publicity. Begins - Her Majesty will be glad if before they start you will convey to them an expression of her confidence that they will prove themselves worthy comrades of her Canadian soldiers who are now so gallantly fighting for the Empire's cause. The Queen wishes them all success and safe return to their homes in the Dominions. - Ends. In my reply I stated that both officers and men consider it privilege to have honor of serving their Sovereign and the Empire, and may be relied upon to do their duty as Canadians and as Loyal British Subjects, and to justify confidence in them to which Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to give expression."

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March 16th. 1900:

Following telegram from Dr. Borden, Minister of Militia, to Lord Strathcona:-

"Your splendid force embarked to-day amid the cheers of thousands of citizens of Halifax and Nova Scotia, and representatives of all the Provinces and Territories of Canada. Lord William Seymore and Governor Daly addressed them in the presence of thousands of your fellow Canadians. I also had the honor of addressing them and reading the message of Her Gracious Majesty and your own - both of which were warmly applauded by your force and by the people. The enthusiasm was unbounded. Representatives of the Dominion Parliament, the Provincial Legislature, the City Council and the local Militia participated in the imposing parade through the streets of Halifax. Officers and men in the best of health and spirits and eager to reach the field to assist in the defence of the Empire."

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