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The origin and official history of the Thirteenth Battalion of Infantry and a description of the work of the early militia of the Niagara Peninsula in the War of 1812 and the Rebellion of 1837 / by Ernest A. Cruikshank.
THE WORK AND CHANGES OF RECENT YEARS, 1866-1899
HE HISTORY of the Thirteenth, since the Fenian Raid
of 1866, is mainly a record of conscientious, hard work at
local headquarters and the rifle ranges, which has
resulted in a long series of well-deserved triumphs with
the rifle and at inspection.
In the summer of 1866, the muzzle-loading Enfield
rifle, with which the Battalion had been armed since its
organization, was replaced with the Spencer repeating
rifle, but this was discarded in December, 1867, for the Snider
By a general order of the 23rd of May, 1867, the Dundas
Infantry Company, under Captain Wardell, and the Waterdown
Infantry Company, under Captain Glasgow, were attached to the
Thirteenth Battalion as Nos. 7 and 8. The annual drill for 1867
and 1868 was performed at local headquarters, and in the Adjutant
General's report for the latter year the Thirteenth is specially distinguished as
" a very good regiment, conduct good."
The ladies of Hamilton presented the Battalion, on March 4th, 1869, with
a very valuable and appropriate drum-major's baton. The annual drill was that
year once more performed at local headquarters, and the Adjutant General,
Colonel Robertson Ross, in his official report, referred to the Thirteenth in the
most gratifying terms.
" I afterwards inspected the Thirteenth Battalion, under the command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Skinner, numbering 24 officers and 388 men. The inspect•on in the drill shed at Hamilton, in the evening, was attended by a large number
of spectators. Lieutenant-Colonel Skinner is one of the most zealous officers in
the activd militia ; he has devoted much time and money for the good of the
service, and has succeeded in bringing his battalion to a very high state of
" The appearance of this battalion on parade bore a striking resemblance
to a regiment of the regular army, their arms, accoutrements, and clothing
being in an excellent and praiseworthy condition. They went through the
manual and platoon exercise, under the command of Major H. E. Irving, perfectly, and afterwards were exercised in battalion drill by Lieutenant-Colonel
Skinner in a most satisfactory manner."
On September 29th, the Battalion paraded to receive H. R. H. Prince
Arthur and the Governor-General, and furnished guards of honor for both
during their stay in the city.
In April, 1870, a general order was published, calling for volunteers for
special service in the Red River country, now forming the Province of Manitoba. The quota required from the Thirteenth was eight men, but the number
that offered was so great that it was subsequently increased to thirteen. The
following non-commissioned officers and men were finally selected :—Sergeants
James McArthur, John A. Murray and John Emslie ; Corporals John Faulkner and Nathaniel P. Bell ; Privates W. S. Nixon, S. Kilvington, Humphrey
Filheahault, James Ayr, Rodney Wetenhall, William Metcalfe, Charles Gilkison, and W. B. Balmer.
The battalion performed its annual drill in a regimental camp at Grimsby,
beginning on July 23rd, of which the Adjutant-General made the following
favorable report :—" The first instance, I believe, of a city battalion performing
its annual drill in camp was very successfully carried out by the i3th Battalion,
from Hamilton, under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Skinner. This corps
marched from Hamilton to Grimsby, a distance of twenty miles, in the latter
part of the month of July, moving into camp the same day, remaining under
canvas for ten days, and marching back to Hamilton on the tenth day without
any casualities, in a manner which reflected great credit on the commanding
officer and those under his command."
The Deputy Adjutant General, who inspected the battalion, described it in
his report as " a very fine, even-sized body of young men, very steady under
arms, move very soldierlike and well."
In 1871, Lieut.-Colonel Skinner organized and commanded the team of
Ontario riflemen which went to Wimbledon, on which the Thirteenth had no
less than six representatives, Lieut. Little, Color-Sergeant R. Omand, Sergeant
F. Sache and Privates George Murison and Joseph Mason. The battalion
went into a brigade camp at Niagara on June 6th, 1871, which was composed
of 4,795 officers and men. The Thirteenth was commanded by Major Irving,
in the absence of Lieut.-Colonel Skinner, who was at Wimbledon. Its strength
in camp was twenty-three officers and 389 non-commissioned officers and
privates. Lieut. (afterwards Major) J. J. Mason, who acted as supply officer,
was specially noticed for zeal and ability in the performance of his duties.
By a general order of May 23rd, 1872, the Dundas and Waterdown companies were detached, and became a part of the 77th Battalion, reducing the
strength of the Thirteenth once more to six companies.
A divisional camp for sixteen days was formed at Niagara on June 12th
of this year, which consisted of 435 officers and 5,438 non-commissioned officers
and privates, divided into three brigades, the second of which was commanded
by Lieut.-Colonel Skinner. Captain (afterwards Lieut.-Colonel) A. H. Moore,
acted as Brigade Major ; Dr. Ryall as Brigade Surgeon. Lieut. (afterwards
Major) J. J. Mason, as Supply Officer. Major Irving commanded the Thirteenth during this camp.
The battalion team won the Merchants' Challenge Trophy, and No 2
company the Tait-Brassey Company Cup at the Ontario Rifle Association
meeting in 1872, thus auspiciously beginning a long list of successes.
Lieutenant-Colonel Skinner commanded the brigade camp formed at
Niagara on June 23rd, 1874, at which Captain A. H. Moore was Brigade
Major, and Captain Boice was Supply Officer. The Thirteenth was once more
commanded by Major and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel H. E. Irving.
The battalion again went into camp at Niagara in 1875, as it proved for
the last time for many years.
Since 1875 the annual drill has been performed at headquarters, until the
summer of the present year, 1899, when the battalion went into camp for three
days (June 3oth to July 2nd), under command of Lieut.-Col. Henry McLaren.
Lieut.-Colonel Skinner commanded the Infantry Brigade at the review at
Toronto in 1879, when the Thirteenth mustered 273 of all ranks.
In 1880, Lieut.-Colonel Gibson had the well deserved honor of being
selected to command the Wimbledon team, on which the Thirteenth was represented by eight men. The team succeeded in winning that coveted trophy, the
On the 24th of May, 1884, the Battalion entertained the Royal Grenadiers
of Toronto, and both battalions were reviewed in Dundurn Park. The visit of
the Grenadiers was returned on Dominion Day, when a volunteer force of more
than 4,000 men paraded in Toronto, composed of the Governor-General's Body
Guards, the Hamilton, Toronto, and Welland Field Batteries, GovernorGeneral's Foot Guards, Queen's Own Rifles, 6th, 7th, loth, 12th, 13th, i4th,
34th, 36th and 77th Battalions.
By a general order, dated April 24th, 1885, when the excitement created
by the Northwest Rebellion was at its height, two companies were added to the
establishment of the battalion. When inspected on June 24th, 341 of all ranks
were present. The Battalion was very anxious for active service at the front,
but in this they were doomed to disappointment.
The Battalion sustained a serious loss by the burning of the old drill shed
on May 23rd, 1886, when the whole of its arms, stores, and band music was
consumed. The colors were saved, and many of the trophies of the battalion,
which were fortunately stored elsewhere. The loss to the battalion was estimated at $4,000, and that of the Government at $20,000.
On August 28th, 1885, Lieut.-Colonel Skinner retired from the battalion
after thirty-one years service, during twenty of which he held command.
During his connection with the force Lieutenant-Colonel Skinner had done
much to promote the volunteer movement, and especially to encourage rifle
practice. He was one of founders of the Ontario Rifle Association, and had
commanded the team sent by it to the first Dominion Rifle match at Laprairie.
The team from Ontario, that went to Wimbledon in 1872, was chiefly organized
by his exertions, and he was deservedly selected to command it. This was the
first team of riflemen that had represented any British colony at Wimbledon, ,
and thus the honor of making the Wimbledon meeting a genuinely Imperial
event may be said to be due, in the main, to him. He was succeeded by Lieut.Colonel the Hon. John Morison Gibson.
Lieutenant-Colonel Gibson had won deserved distinction in many ways in
civil life. When he graduated from Toronto University in 1863, he had carried
off the Prince's Prize, Silver Medals in Classics and Modern Languages and a
prize in Oriental Languages. After being called to the Bar in 1867, he entered
the law course of the University, and was granted the degree of L. L. B. in
1869, at the same time winning the gold medal. After commencing the practice
of law in Hamilton, he soon secured a leading position at the bar of the
Province. He had been a Senator of Toronto University since 1873. For five
years he had been President of the Hamilton School of Art, which he was
instrumental in founding. Since 1879 he had represented the city in the Provincial Legislature, and in 1889 entered the Cabinet as Provincial Secretary.
His connection with the volunteer force dated from 1860, and he had been
present with the battalion at Ridgeway in 1866. For three years he had been
President of the Ontario Rifle Association, and in 1893 he was elected President
of the Dominion Rifle Association, an office which he still worthily holds.
The new commanding officer, besides being himself a marksman of the
foremost rank, was endowed with almost unlimited zeal and energy. He threw
himself heartily into the work of command with the best results. The old
Canada Life Assurance Buildings were secured as a drill hall, and when the battalion was inspected on December 30th, 355 of all ranks answered to their names.
Twenty-five thousand dollars were placed in the estimates in 1887 for the
construction of a new drill shed, and work was begun upon it during the year.
It was finished during 1888 at a cost of nearly $50,000, was occupied on the
14th of September, and formally opened by a most successful concert on
October i7th, which was attended by over 1,500 persons. The battalion is
now housed in this modern armory, with comfortable quarters for the officers,
and rooms for the different companies and the band.
Lieut.-Colonel Gibson, ever anxious to encourage proficiency in the use of
the rifle, ordered a number of Morris tubes for the battalion in the autumn of
The adoption of a plan by which the whole of the drill-pay was funded for
the benefit of the battalion, early in 1889, produced the most beneficial results.
A considerable number of men took their discharge in consequence of the
change, but their places were immediately filled with the most desirable class
For the first time the Thirteenth took part in the Thanksgiving Day field
manoeuvres at Toronto on November 7th, 1889, mustering 393 of all ranks.
At the Thanksgiving manoeuvres at Toronto on November 6th, 1890, the
Thirteenth turned out 400 of all ranks, under Lieut.-Colonel Moore, forming
the attacking force in conjunction with C Company, Royal Regiment Canadian
Infantry and the Royal Grenadiers, under Lieut.-Colonel Gibson as Brigadier.
On May 24th, 1891, the battalion visited Berlin. This visit aroused much
enthusiasm among the officers and men, as it was the first time that the battalion had left the city on the Queen's Birthday for some years. On Saturday afternoon, the 22nd inst., the regiment, under command of Lieut.-Colonel Gibson,
paraded at the " Gore " 445 strong, proceeding from thence to the depot and
entraining for the trip. Upon arriving at Berlin the corps marched to the
Exhibition grounds, where ample accommodation was provided in one of the large
frame buildings. After depositing their arms and accoutrements the men were
marched to the hotels for dinner. A pleasing feature of the first evening in Berlin
was the concert given by the bands of the 13th and 29th Battalions. A splendid programme was rendered, giving much enjoyment to all present. The
church parade on 'the following Sunday was a most imposing ceremony. It
was what is termed a " field service." The battalion formed three sides of a
hollow square, with the band in the centre and the bugle band on the right flank
of the opening. The Rev. A. G. Forneret, using the regulation pulpit of
stacked drums, conducted the service. Monday's celebration was a "red letter"
day for Berlin. Every train brought crowds of visitors, and before the day
was far advanced the streets were thronged with the holiday makers. All along
the route of the procession the sidewalks and every possible point of vantage
were occupied, cheer after cheer greeting the boys as they marched past. On
arrival at the market place the "feu-de-joi" and royal salute were given. In
the afternoon the battalion proceeded to the Athletic grounds, where different
manoeuvres were gone through, followed by a programme of sports, confined to
the men of the battalions, under the direction of Lieut.-Colonel Gibson. The
band concert was again enthusiastically received. At the conclusion of the con58
cert the battalion paraded, embarking on the train for Hamilton, where they
arrived about 2 o'clock the next morning, and were dismissed at the drill hall.
Everyone concurred in the opinion that they had spent a most enjoyable time,
and could not have been better used by the people of Berlin.
On the Queen's Birthday, 1892, the Thirteenth mustering 417 of all ranks,
visited Toronto as the guests of the 48th Highlanders, and were reviewed by
the Governor-General, Lord Stanley. A most enthusiastic welcome was given
them by the people of Toronto, and one of the most pleasant of the Battalion's
trips was the result.
In the year 1889, Lieut.-Colonel (then Major) McLaren suggested that
company competitions should be started, and a shield and money prizes
be given to the three companies obtaining the highest marks during the
whole season's drill. At an earlier period a similar system had been applied by
Lieut.-Colonel Irwin, of the Canadian Artillery, to the field batteries under his
command. Major McLaren's suggestion was approved of, and with slight
variations as to conditions, was carried out until the close of 1895.
Marks were divided as follows :
0.* 1. Armouries, condition of arms, accoutrements, stores and books
2. Class Firing (a) attendance
(b) scoring company's average
3. Attendance at drills ..
4. Clothing and accoutrements ..
5. Drill competitions
6. Written examinations (a) officers
• • 75
(b) non-commissioned officers ..
7. Field day .
NOTE.-6o per cent. of marks must be obtained to entitle to a prize.
The first competition for general efficiency was won in 1889 by A Company, in 1890 by D Company, in 1891 by B Company, in 1892 by A Company,
in 1893 by A Company, in 1894 by A Company, and in 1895 by B Company.
There is no question but that this series of competitions did much to
increase the general efficiency of the corps, and perhaps. more especially of the
non-commissioned officers, who had more work assigned to them than previously,
and consequently took a keener interest in their companies, and more especially
in their own particular sections. The Battalion efficiency competitions having, in
the meantime, been introduced, it was thought better to drop the company competitions for the time being at least, and devote all available energy to the former.
To Lieut.-Colonel Otter belongs the credit of introducing this system into
the infantry battalions of No. 2 Military District. In the year 1891 he induced
the late Sir Casimir Growski, that great friend of the Canadian Militia, to offer
a challenge cup to be competed for by the city corps in No. 2 District. The
competition during the first year was based largely on a battalion figure of merit.
Major-General Herbert approved 'so highly of Lieut.-Colonel Otter's
idea that he introduced it into other districts, and ultimately applied it
to the whole militia force ; changing, however, the system of working, and
basing it entirely on a company figure of merit—his theory being that
too much attention had been paid to battalion and brigade drill, to the
neglect of squad and company drill. During the last few years, however,
marks have been added for battalion drill under the commanding officer,
and this, no doubt, is the happy medium, and takes all points into consideration.
Later on another " Growski cup " was given to be competed for by the
rural corps in No. 2 District. Prominent men in other districts also came forward and imitated Sir Casimir's example—so that now most districts have " an
efficiency cup " to compete for.
Major-General Hutton takes rather an opposite view of
matters from General Herbert, thinking that too much time is
devoted to squad and company drill, and that the Canadian
militia should push forward into brigade drill and field
manoeuvres. There is no doubt, however, that the last eight
years work, which has been principally squad and company
drill, now places the militia force in a better position to appreciate these higher and more extended movements than it
would otherwise have been. The general standard of efficiency
among non-commissioned officers has, without doubt, been
greatly elevated by these battalion competitions.
From lack of time, owing to more extended work, it was
found necessary to drop the efficiency competitions during the
present drill season, and it is doubtful whether they will be continued again in their present form.
During the eight years that efficiency competitions have
_ been held among the city corps of No. 2 District, the "Growski
Cup" has been won five times by the Thirteenth Battalion, and three times by
the Queen's Own Rifles. As the latter, however, won it in 1898, they now
have possession of the coveted prize. Whether there will be weeping or
rejoicing if these competitions are finally abolished, is a matter of opinion.
There is no doubt that all concerned have felt it a terrible grind at times,
and that an amount of polishing and cleaning has been done that could not
otherwise have been accomplished. There is also no doubt that these competitions have done a great deal towards bringing the regiment up to its
present standard, and have been particularly valuable in developing efficiency
and responsibility among the ranks of the non-commissioned officers, a most
desirable thing to accomplish.
Following is a table showing the scores made by the different city battalions each year in competition for the " Growski Cup ' :
znd Queen's Own Rifles, Toronto .. *755 91+ *107+ 125
loth Royal Grenadiers, Toronto ...... 645 76
13th Battalion of Infantry, Hamilton 742 *984 105+ *125 25
38th Dufferin Rifles, Brantford ....... 593 55 • 55+
48th Highlanders, Toronto ................
143.45 33.97 *15o.o6
138.59 126.39+ 147.30
144.84 * 137.16
On May 24th, 1893, the Forty-Eighth Highlanders returned the visit of the
Thirteenth. Unusual good fortune in the matter of weather attended their visit to
Hamilton. It was neither too warm nor too cold, and although at times the sky
was somewhat overcast, no rain fell. The city presented a busy appearance as
thousands of people who, failing some special local attraction, would have probably have gone on some of the many excursions, stayed, with the knowledge
that they could have '" just as good a time " in Hamilton, on account of the
extensive programme furnished by the Thirteenth.
At 10.40 on the morning of the 24th, the visiting battalion arrived and
were escorted to the Drill Hall by the Thirteenth. The grand street parade of
the day commenced at 11.25, and all along the line vociferous cheers greeted
both regiments. The Highlanders were under command of Lieut.-Colonel
Davidson, with Majors Cosby and McDonald as field officers.
Dundurn park was not reached until a few minutes after noon. After
firing the " feu-de-joie," the two battalions partook of a substantial luncheon
served to them at the grounds.
Shortly after 2 o'clock the Brigade, under Lieut.-Colonel Gibson, entered
the ball grounds, and as each company passed the saluting point, where
the staff was assembled, cheer after cheer greeted them, on account of
the soldier-like appearance and steady bearing of every man. The trooping of
the colour, physical drill and bayonet exercise as presented by the Thirteenth
was beyond criticism. Some of the crack dancers of the Forty-Eighth, accompanied by the bag-pipes, furnished some excellent dancing.
The band concert and fireworks in the evening were witnessed by large
crowds who pronounced both items excellent in every respect. At I I. 10 the
Highlanders paraded at the depot, and, in taking their departure, expressed
themselves as more than satisfied with the good time they had and the treatment accorded them by the citizens.
At the Thanksgiving manceuvres at Toronto in this year, the Thirteenth
paraded 440 of all ranks, under Lieut.-Colonel Moore, and with the Royal
Grenadiers and Forty-Eighth Highlanders formed the attacking force in the
sham battle, under command of Lieut.-Colonel Gibson.
At the annual muster and inspection, 460 of all ranks were present, or
ninety-two in excess of the establishment.
On the Queen's Birthday, 1894, the Thirteenth, under command of Lieut.Colonel Moore, visited Galt. The morning was a fine one, and at about
eight o'clock on the morning of the 24th, the battalion paraded at the
drill hall 500 strong, in review order. The turnout, which is spoken of as
being the largest of that season, was most gratifying to all. To quote from a
newspaper report of the day, " Too much credit cannot be given to the Hamilton red-coats for their fine appearance, soldierly bearing, and large parade."
The journey by train was rather tedious owing to several delays on the road,
but the general good humor pervading all ranks was in nowise marred by this
cause. On the arrival at Galt the regiment was met by a deputation of the
Foresters, under whose auspices the celebration was held. The battalion formed
on Water Street, and marched to the Town Hall, where they were dismissed
for the purpose of partaking of dinner, which was served for the rank and file
in the Skating Rink, the officers being quartered at the different hotels. The
loth Royal Grenadiers, of Toronto, who were also taking part in the celebration,
had arrived some time before the Thirteenth. After dinner the parade formed
for the purpose of proceeding to the Fair grounds, where a very attractive programme of sports had been arranged for, but the weather, which had been
threatening for some time, now declared itself in a steady downpour of rain.
It was decided, in consequence, to curtail the proceedings by limiting them to the
different manoeuvres and exercises of the two regiments. The first item on the
programme was the " march past," to the music of the brigade bands. This was
splendidly done, and elicited vigorous applause from the spectators. Exhibitions
of physical drill and bayonet exercise by squads from the Thirteenth followed,
and as the rain showed no signs of abating, the remainder of the programme
was cancelled, and a return to the town ordered. A concert by the combined
bands of the Thirteenth and Grenadiers had been announced for the evening,
and great disappointment was felt when it was found necessary to cancel it on
account of several of the instruments having been rendered temporarily useless
by the rain. A kindly hospitality was extended on all sides to the members of
both corps, and, apart from the wetting received, reminiscences of the trip can
not be otherwise than pleasant. The regiment entrained for the return journey
at 10.30, arriving in Hamilton shortly before 12 o'clock. In dismissing the
men, Colonel Moore thanked them for the good conduct they had observed
throughout the day, and expressed his pleasure in having been able to assume
command of the battalion on the largest parade in its history.
On Nov. 22nd, the battalion again took part in the Thanksgiving manceuvres at Toronto, numbering 428, of all ranks, under Major Henry McLaren,
Lieut.-Colonel Gibson having leave of absence, and Lieut.-Col. Moore being ill.
The battalion, in 1894, was again awarded the Growski Cup for general
efficiency. The following extract from Major-General Herbert's report will
serve to indicate that this distinction was well earned :
" The Thirteenth Battalion was inspected by the Deputy Adjutant-General
on Oct.31st and Nov. 7th by companies. Drill, arms, etc., very good. Answers
to questions, excellent. Took part in a field-day at Toronto (paying its own
transport), at which advance-guards and the attack were practised, afterwards
inspected by the Major-General commanding. The battalion is in excellent
order and very enthusiastic ; complete in officers, and over strength in men.
In this corps a most efficient system of target practice exists."
On the 26th of December, 1894, the late commanding officer, Lieut.-Colonel
Skinner was buried with military honors, the battalion assembling in strength.
The marked success which attended the trip to Galt, naturally elicited an
almost unanimous assent on the part of the officers, when invited to attend the
demonstrations to be held on the following Queen's Birthday at London. The
battalion, in command of Colonel Gibson, paraded at the Drill Hall at 5.45 on
the evening of the 23rd, and proceeded in heavy marching order to the T.
H. & B. Station. Large crowds gathered there, many with the desire of seeing
the first passenger train run on the new road, as well as getting a glimpse of the
regiment entraining. On arriving at London, the corps was received by the
assembled corps, consisting of No. 1 Company Royal Canadian Infantry,
Seventh Battalion of London, "A " Troops of the London Hussars, London
Field Battery, and the 38th Dufferin Rifles of Brantford.
The Thirteenth were apportioned most comfortable quarters in the main
Exhibition building. The proceedings opened with a review of the brigade,
which mustered, all told, 2000. Lieut.-Colonel the Hon. J. M. Gibson was the
Brigadier in command. It may be mentioned with a certain amount of pride
that out of the total of 2000 the Thirteenth contributed over a quarter, having
that day a parade state of 504 officers and men.
The firing of the " feu-de-joie " by the infantry and rifle battalions elicited
unbounded admiration and applause from the spectators, on account of the
regularity with which it was discharged.
In the march past the Thirteenth were awarded the decision on every point.
Seldom had the citizens of London or their visiting friends heard such music as
that furnished by the band, headed by Bandmaster Robinson, and as the regiment marched past with every company in perfect line, betraying careful training on the part of the officers, and equal attention on that of the men,
they presented an inspiring sight, and cheer after cheer greeted their efforts.
The trooping of the colour by the battalion was an event of the day.
The military tournament following was no the least important part of the
day's programme, and the members of the Thirteenth, who participated, acquit63
ted themselves most creditably, carrying off a good proportion of the events.
The band concert in the evening, followed by the spectacular representation of
the seige of " Tel-El-Kebir " afforded much pleasure to all, and brought the
celebration to a close.
A complimentary banquet was tendered by the citizens to the officers of the
visiting and the local military corps, and in replying to a toast Colonel Gibson
thanked Colonel Lindsay, the 7th Fusiliers, and the citizens generally for the
kindness shown to the Thirteenth during the day, and extended an invitation
to Colonel Lindsay and his battalion to visit Hamilton at an early date.
On November 8th, 1895, Lieut.-Colonel Gibson, having completed thirtyfive years service as a volunteer, and thirty-three in the Thirteenth, retired from
the command, but " in view of Lieut.-Colonel Gibson's long and faithful service
in the militia," the general order added, " and in recognition of his zealous
efforts in promoting and encouraging rifle shooting in the force, that officer
is permitted to retain his rank as honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of this battalion." By a subsequent general order of March 4th, 1899, Lieut.-Colonel
Gibson was appointed an honorary aide-de-camp to the Governor-General, the
Earl of Aberdeen.
He was succeeded in command by Lieut.-Colonel Alexander Huggins
Moore, a very able and energetic officer, to whose activity while acting as
Adjutant, and skilful management of its finances for many years, the battalion
owed much of its efficiency.
Lieut.-Colonel Moore had graduated from the Military School during
Colonel Peacocke's period of command, and had seen varied and arduous service
on the frontier in 1866. On several occasions, as already noticed, he had been
selected to act as Brigade Major at successive camps of instruction. In 1876 he
had been attached to the School of Gunnery, taking a first-class certificate in
gunnery, and in-the course of the same year was offered, and declined, an Inspectorship in the North West Mounted Police. He became Brevet Major in
1875, and had been a major in the battalion since 1883.
When one considers the fact that the winning of the " Queen's Prize "
at Bisley means that the successful competitor must prove himself the best
marksman from a picked 2,000 men, a fair realization of the skill required
for such a performance will be obtained. The honor of winning this much
coveted trophy for 1895 fell to Canada, and more particularly to Hamilton, Private Hayhurst, of the Thirteenth Battalion, outshooting all his
opponents and thereby winning everlasting fame for himself, his corps
and Canada. Hayhurst was born in Kendal, Westmoreland, England, in
1868, came out to this country, and eventually settled in Hamilton in 1893,
joining E Company of the Thirteenth Battalion on June 9th of the same
year. It is therefore but natural that Canada should claim the honor of his
achievement, as much of his experience, assisted by his ready ability, was
gained during his service with the Thirteenth Battalion.
Before coming to Canada he won the Prince of Wales' prize at Bisley. In
1894 he shot with the Ontario eight for the "London Merchants' Cup." He
was fourth in the grand aggregate at Ottawa and first of the Canadian Bisley
earn for the " Kolapore Cup " in both 1894 and 1895.
When the news of his victory reached Hamilton the joy of all classes, both
military and civilian, was unbounded, and preparations were immediately
ommenced to ensure him a fitting
eception on his arrival. The final
struggle for the prize was intensely
exciting, Boyd, of the Third Lanark
Rifle Volunteers, having tied Hayhurst's score of 279. The last round
for the decision then commenced.
Hayhurst scored with an outer ;
Boyd followed with an inner. Hayi urst was perfectly cool for his second
hot and taking a slightly longer aim
cored an inner. Boyd's next shot
v as a clear miss. The decision
ractically rested on Hayhurst's third
hot, and when he fired, scoring an
nner, a great shout arose from the
a ssembled Canadians, "Canada Forver." The match was over and the
rize came to Canada. Well done,
Hayhurst. Boyd's next shot found
he bulls-eye, but did not save him
STAFF-SERGT. T. H. HAYHURST, G. M.
Hayhurst was tendered a most
WINNER OF THE QUEEN'S PRIZE AT BISLEY, 1895.
nthusiastic reception on his arrival
t Montreal, and an equally hearty welcome at Toronto and other cities.
The ovation given to the returning team by the citizens of Hamilton was
ne that will never be forgotten, and is naturally so well known to all that a
escription is scarcely necessary. A grand procession was formed to escort
hem to the reception at Dundurn Park. The following corps took part:
hirteenth Battalion, under Lieut.-Colonel Gibson ; Hamilton Field Battery,
nder Lieut.-Colonel Van Wagner ; Queen's Own Regiment, Tenth Royal
g renadiers and many local societies. The Thirteenth has at all times been well
epresented at the Bisley meet, and the fact of the Queen's Prize having been
captured by one of its members should be an incentive to still stronger effort on
the part of its marksmen to repeat the performance.
The approach of the Queen's Birthday of 1896 was heralded by preparations of a somewhat different character, on the part of the battalion, than those
undertaken at that period for the two preceding years. This time they were
to be the hosts, where hitherto they had been the guests, and there were busy
ti mes for all in order that the visiting corps, the Forty-Eighth Highlanders,
of Toronto, the Seventh Fusiliers, of London, and the Thirty-Eighth Dufferin
Rifles, of Brantford, might be well and fittingly received, and carry away with
them a good impression of Hamilton and its citizens. A grand field day was
arranged for the holiday. The Highlanders arrived on Saturday evening, May
23rd, and took up camp at Dundurn Park. The Fusiliers reaching the city
the following evening, and the Dufferins, of Brantford, completed the contingent, arriving on the morning of the 24th. Sunday was the scene of one of
the largest church parades ever held in Hamilton. The Highlanders had a
total of all ranks of 412, exclusive of those on picket duty at the camp. The
Thirteenth mustered 424, and the Field Battery 39 of all ranks. Lieut.-Col.
Gibson was senior Brigade officer of the day. The total parade state of the
brigade, including staff, was 877. The chief feature of the field day, held on
the holiday, was the sham battle at the grounds of the Jockey Club. The
attacking force, termed the " Red Brigade," under Lieut.-Col. Moore, consisted the Thirteenth, under Major McLaren, the Seventh Fusiliers, under
Major Be ttie, with two guns of the Field Battery, under Lieut. Alexander
Duncan. e defence, under Lieut.-Col. Davidson, was composed of the
Highlanders and the Dufferin battalion, with two guns of the Field Battery,
under Major. Hendrie. Although the grounds were somewhat too small to
permit of any extensive manoeuvring, each move was performed to perfection, the
Red Brigade eventuallycarrying the day as arranged. In the subsequent proceedings the Highlanders came in for a large amount of praise, their marching and
general appearance leaving nothing to be desired. A combined concert by the
different bands was held in Dundurn Park in the evening, but, unfortunately,
before the programme was completed, the rain, which had been threatening for
some time, descended in torrents, calling a rather abrupt termination to the
entertainment. Speaking of the Highlanders' visit the Toronto Globe said :
" The officers and men are unanimous in saying that they were never made
more comfortable, and that they could not have spent the time more pleasantly."
The members of the other visiting corps were equally pleased with the trip and
reception to the city.
The battalion took part in the field day at Toronto on the 26th of November, 1896, (Thanksgiving), parading 405 of all ranks.
In 1897 Color-Sergeant W. H. Whateley, Sergeant D. V. Gardiner,
Corporal John Leith and Private W. Richmond, were selected to represent the
battalion on the Jubilee contingent which went to England on the occasion of
the celebration of the sixtieth year of Her Majesty's reign.
The trips taken by the battalion on the Queen's Birthdays of former years
had always been characterised by the fact that the corps was going somewhere
where they were, at least, not entire strangers, on account of the comparatively
short distances that separated the towns they had visited from Hamilton.
Kingston, however, being a considerable distance, and, at the same time, essentially a military town, extra preparations were made to have the
the battalion at its best in every
possible way on its trip to that city
in 1897. With a parade state of 51o,
the corps entrained at io o'clock
on the night of Saturday, the 22nd,
arriving in Kingston the following
Sunday morning about 5 o'clock.
One hour later the troops were all
detrained and proceeded to the fair
grounds, where, under the direction of Major Mason, seventy-five
large tents and three marquees had
been erected for their accommodation. That day probably the
largest church parade ever witnessed in Kingston took place.
The Brigade consisted of exactly
I, 200 officers and men. The Brigade Review held on Monday, the
THIRTEENTH BATTALION REPRESENTATIVES TO HER
24th, Lieut.-Col. Cotton in comMAJESTY'S DIAMOND JUBILEE.
mand, was successful in every respect. The Brigade line was as follows : "A" Field Battery on the right, the
Thirteenth and Fifteenth Battalions in the centre, and the 14th Prince of Wales'
Own Rifles on the left. After the " feu-de-joie " and three cheers for Her
Majesty, column was formed for the march past, in which the Thirteenth
acquitted itself most creditably. The trooping of the colour by the Thirteenth
was a new feature to most of the Kingstonians, as only red-coated regiments
are privileged to perform this ceremony, and the local regiment is a blue-coated
one. The applause that followed it was deafening. After a parade through
the town the regiments were dismissed, the Thirteenth assembling at the station
at 9.45, all entraining for home in good order. Lieut.-Colonel Cotton, Brigade
officer of the day, said that he was proud of temporarily commanding a brigade
in which the Thirteenth formed a part. The officers and men of the battalion
received unbounded kindness during their visit, more especially from the
members of the Prince of Wales' Own Rifles, who were unremitting in their
endeavors to make it a pleasant one.
During 1897 an ambulance corps was formed, and the battalion was
re-armed with Lee-Enfield rifles.
Lieut.-Colonel Moore retired on November loth, 1897, and was succeeded
by Lieut.-Colonel Henry McLaren, who, during twenty-eight years connection
with the battalion, had served in every capacity, from ensign up. Before
joining the Thirteenth he had served as a private in the University company
of the Queen's Own Rifles, and was one of a detachment from that company
drafted into service in the Western Administrative Battalion, in the autumn of
1865. The company formed from the Queen's Own was stationed during the
winter of 1865-6 at Sarnia, in anticipation of a Fenian Raid. In 1866 Mr.
McLaren joined the home guard, in Hamilton, and three years later he was
gazetted an ensign in the Thirteenth. He immediately qualified by taking a
second-class certificate at the Military School, and obtained a first-class certificate the following year. In 1883 he performed the duties of Brigade Major at
the camp of instruction at Niagara. He obtained a first-class certificate from
the Toronto School of Infantry in 1887, and followed this up by taking a long
course at Kingston in 1889.
The Thirteenth Battalion, with a parade state of three hundred and sixtyfive'officers and men, participated in the Thanksgiving field day at Toronto,
on November 25th of this year.
Some dissatisfaction having been expressed by the people of Hamilton that
the Thirteenth should leave the city on the holiday, it was decided that for the
Queen's Birthday of 1898 the corps would remain in town, and contribute to the
public celebrations. The Royal Grenadiers, of Toronto, " A " Company of
the Seventy-Seventh Battalion, of Dundas, and the Royal Canadian Dragoons,
were the invited guests of the day. A grand review of the troops and a sham battle
was planned for the forenoon, to be followed in the afternoon with an exhibition
by the Dragoons and manoeuvres and exercises by the troops, all under the
auspices of the St. George's Society. The Thirteenth Battalion and the Fourth
Field Battery paraded at the Drill Hall at 9.15 on the morning of the Queen's
Birthday, where they were joined by the Dundas company of the SeventySeventh Battalion. On the arrival at the Jockey Club grounds the forces were
divided in the following manner : The Thirteenth and the right section of the
battery, under Lieut.-Colonel McLaren, formed the attacking force, and the
Grenadiers, assisted by the middle and left sections of the battery, the defending
force, under Lieut.-Colonel Mason. From a military standpoint the battle was
a perfect success, but some of the spectators expressed disappointment, as it did
not last long enough, and was perhaps not quite up to their expectations in the
way of noise and excitement. In the afternoon performance the hit of the day
was made by the Dragoons, who went through many interesting and entertaining tactics. Physical drill by the Grenadiers, the trooping of the colour by the
Thirteenth, and march past by the assembled troops, brought the day's proceedings to a close. In the evening the band concert and exhibition of drill by
the Dragoons at Dundurn Park was a most enjoyable feature. At 9.45 the
combined bands struck up the national anthem, winding up the celebrations at
an early hour, by the desire of the committee.
A number of Maxim guns were purchased by the Canadian Government in
1897, and were given to certain of the city corps. The corps receiving them were
required to qualify one
officer and one noncommissioned officer in
the use of the new gun.
The Thirteenth Battalion was the first
corps to receive a
Maxim, and now has
a very efficient detachment commanded by
Lieut. John D. Laidlaw.
The Maxim is the latest
type of machine gun
adopted by the British
Government, and is
THE MAXIM GUN AND THE GUN DETACHMENT,
doubtless the best and
THIRTEENTH BATTALION OF INFANTRY.
most accurate of these
death-dealing instruments. The gun fires, at its greatest speed, boo shots per
minute, through a single barrel. This barrel passes through a casing filled
with water to keep the barrel cool. The water in the casing boils in about one
and a half minutes, and the arrangements for the escape of steam and constant
supply of water are all provided for in the most complete manner. The work
of these guns during Lord Kitchener's recent campaign in the Soudan shows
their terrible effectiveness.
The Thanksgiving manoeuvres in Toronto were attended again in 1898 by
358 of all ranks.
A pressing invitation having been received from the officers of the Nineteenth Battalion of St. Catharines, it was decided to take the Thirteenth to that
town to assist in the local celebration of the Queen's Birthday of 1899. About
8.15 on the morning of the 24th, the Battalion paraded at the Drill Hall, showing
a parade state of 464 of all ranks. In honor of the day in Hamilton, the regiment was marched to the " Gore," for the purpose of firing a " feu-de-joie,"
giving a royal salute, and three cheers for the Queen. The entraining at the
Stuart St. depot was satisfactorily accomplished, all arriving at St. Catharines
in good order at about 11.45. The regiment was escorted by the Nineteenth
Battalion Band to " Montebello Park," where, after piling their arms, the
companies were marched to the different hotels to partake of dinner. At about
2 p. m., the Brigade, which consisted of the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Battalions, "A" Squadron, Second Dragoons, and two guns of the Welland Field
Battery formed up in Montebello Park, proceeding from there to the fair
grounds. A royal salute of twenty-one guns by the Battery, followed with a
feu-de-joie by the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Battalions, opened the days proceedings. The brigade " march
past " in column and quarter column
was exceedingly well done and loudly
applauded by the spectators. The
trooping of the colour and physical
drill, as performed by the Thirteenth,
were notable features of the day.
On conclusion of the programme,
the brigade formed for the return
march, the Thirteenth depositing
their helmets and arms in the train
on the way. In the evening a combined concert of the Thirteenth and
Nineteenth bands took place. Nearly
600 YARDS FIRING POINT
2,000 people attended, and satisfacAT NEW RANGES.
tion was expressed on all sides at
the splendid renderings of both bands. The treatment accorded to the members
of the Thirteenth by their sister corps was hospitable in the extreme. The
battalion entrained for Hamilton shortly after 9 p. m., arriving without any
special incident, after having spent what has been termed •" one of the
pleasantest days in its history."
The want of a modernly equipped rifle range had been a long-felt one for
many years by the officers and men of the Thirteenth, and it was in consequence
with feelings of the utmost satisfaction that arrangements were finally concluded
for the construction of a new range on a site selected by Musketry Instructor
Lieutenant Pain and Assistant Instructor Sergt. Hayhurst. The site was approved of by Colonel Otter, and is, without doubt, one of the finest ranges in
the Dominion. The official opening took place on Saturday afternoon, Sept.
23rd, 1899. After the ground, ranges and targets had been inspected, and
several speeches made and replied to, Mrs. McLaren fired the first shot, scoring a
bulls-eye, and the official opening was declared. A very handsome and artistic
souvenir, in the shape of a certificate of the first shot fired at the 600 yard range,
the work of Captain Tidswell, was presented by that officer on behalf of the
range officials to Mrs. McLaren. An interesting exhibition of quick firing by
the Maxim gun detachment preceded the continuance of the Senior matches,
which had been started early in the morning. To conclude the day a very
pleasant " at home " was tendered by the officers to their guests in a large tent
erected upon the grounds.
On Thanksgiving day, October 19th, 1899, the Battalion, with a muster of
356, attended the manoeuvres held at Toronto. In the sham battle, which was
the principal event of the day, the Thirteenth, who formed part of the attacking
force, acquitted themselves most
creditably. The forces were divided
as follows : The attacking, or southern force, consisted of the Thirteenth
Battalion, G and K companies of the
Queen's Own Rifles, the Royal Canadian Dragoons, and one section of
the 9th Field Battery with two guns.
Lieut.-Colonel Henry McLaren was
in command of the attacking force.
The defending or northern force
consisted of the balance of the Toronto Field Battery, 1st Prince of
Wales Fusiliers of Montreal, Queen's
TARGETS AT NEW RANGES
Own Rifles, loth Royal Grenadiers
SHOWING SYSTEM OF MARKING.
and the Forty-Eighth Highlanders.
Lieut.-Colonel Delamere was in command of this force. Many interesting
tactics were performed, and the commanders of both forces expressed themselves as highly satisfied with the manner in which they had been carried out.
Canadians have ever been marked for their staunch loyalty to the Mother
country, and when, towards the close of this year, war was declared between
Great Britain and the Boers of the South African Republic, a wave of sympathy
and excitement swept this country from coast to coast. Canada's duty was
plain, and no time was lost in offering to Great Britain a contingent of her
best soldiers to assist the British forces. The offer was gladly accepted, and
in an incredibly short space of time a splendid regiment, representing all the
military districts, was gathered together, armed and equipped at the country's
expense, and despatched to South Africa. The quota from the Thirteenth
Battalion consisted of one officer and six men : Lieutenant W. R. Marshall,
Pte. K. Cassell, Pte. W. C. Warren, Pte. J. H. Sutton, Lance-Sergt. F. H.
Rutherford, Pte. A. Robson and Pte. W. Warrick. It was generally agreed
that no better choice could have been made in appointing Lieutenant Marshall
to represent the officers of the Thirteenth, as he was an officer of considerable
military experience, devoted to athletics, and a thorough favorite in the corps.
Colonel McLaren expressed his gratification at the spirit which had prompted
these men to volunteer for service in
so distant a part of the empire, and
said, " I feel sure that they will not
only uphold the honor of their own
regiment, but also that of the Canadian militia in general, and I am sure
that I echo the desire of every member of the corps in wishing them
The formation of Canada's contingent to assist the British troops
in the Transvaal has formed for this
country a precedent which all Canadians have just reason to be proud
of. In conjunction with the other
colonies who have sent troops to fight
for Her Majesty, this movement has
MRS. MCLAREN OFFICIALLY OPENING THE RANGES
furnished conclusive proof that ColBY FIRING THE FIRST SHOT AT 600 YARDS.
onials are as truly British as were
their forefathers, who left their homes to settle in the different portions of the
empire's vast possessions. Not alone has it proven our loyalty to Great Britain,
but, as an object lesson to the world at large, it is invaluable to the nation's
interest, showing to those who would plot against it that they have not alone
Great Britain to deal with, but also Greater Britain as constituted in her different
colonies. In every sense we are truly soldiers of the Queen, ready to fight for
her at all times, and proud of the privilege that enables us, as free-born subjects,
to do so.
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