Author Topic: "The Manchester Draft" (1907)  (Read 10420 times)

Offline harribobs

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"The Manchester Draft" (1907)
« on: December 08, 2007, 08:09:51 PM »
 ;D  I received a very interesting email today from the Regimental Adjutant of the Royal Canadian Regiment, Captain Michael O'Leary, with some information that I had never heard before :-

Good evening gentlemen,
I have a link that you may be interested in adding to your web page of links related to the Manchester Regiment.
In 1906/07, about 150 soldiers of the Manchesters, from the 2nd and 3rd Battalions on the disbandment of the 3rd, crossed the Atlantic to join The Royal Canadian Regiment.  The linked page reproduces the content of articles on the draft published in the regimental journal of The RCR.
I have been compiling the nominal roll of these soldiers from our own attestation ledgers and hope to add the roll soon to our regimental website.
Michael M. O'Leary
Regimental Adjutant
The Royal Canadian Regiment


One of the reasons i find this information fascinating is of course that 30 years later the move was reversed with the halifax one hundred coming over from Canada to Manchester!


« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 08:12:38 AM by timberman »
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Offline mack

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Re: "The Manchester Draft" (1907)
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2007, 08:42:18 PM »
it was very nice of capt o,leary to tell us about these men,i have never heard of this before.

Offline Dave1212

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Re: "The Manchester Draft" (1907)
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2007, 12:17:00 AM »
Sorry I missed this post as I've also mentioned it in the 'Halifax Hundred' section. I look forward to learning more about these men. I think it's a great story furthering ties between Manchester & Halifax.

Offline harribobs

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Re: "The Manchester Draft" (1907)
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 10:17:27 PM »
The Manchester Draft from the RCR site

The following three articles were published in the regimental journal The Connecting File in 1926 and 1937.  They describe how over 150 men and boys of the Manchester Regiment came to serve in The Royal Canadian Regiment.
Twenty Years Ago

The Connecting File, Volume V, No. 4; December 1926

On the 19th November, 1906, there landed at Southampton, from South Africa, about 500 officers, N.C.O.'s and men of the 3rd Bn. Manchester Regiment en route to the 2nd Bn. stationed at The Channel Isles. They were for disbandment under Lord Haldane's new army scheme.

About that time, Colonel Gwatkin, who was employed on the Staff at Ottawa, and was spending some time in England, thought that he would like to secure about 150 N.C.O.'s and men from his old battalion, the 3rd Manchesters whom he had commanded, to volunteer to go out to Canada, and reinforce The Royal Canadian Regiment stationed at Halifax.

Consequently after the usual formalities between the War Office and the Militia Council had been gone through, the Officer commanding the 2nd Bn. The Manchesters called for 150 volunteers.

About 180 responded, but that was too many and they were all assembled in the gymnasium at Fort George and an elimination contest took place which reduced the draft to about 160 all ranks.

They were given five weeks furlough, and were ordered to report at Ashton-under-Lyne barracks, on 7th January, 1907.

They left Liverpool on the S.S. Tunisian on 11th January, and arrived at Halifax, on 21st January, where they were met with the Band and a Guard of Honour from the Royal Canadian Regiment. The Officers accompanying them were Colonel Gwatkin and Lieut. Walkley.

The first impressions of Canada upon the minds of the draft were not very good as the streets of Halifax were covered with ice, and they had great difficulty climbing the hills to Wellington barracks, wearing ammunition boots with the usual hob-nails.

On arrival at Wellington they were soon made to feel as if they were at home and after being posted to their several companies, they were given a substantial meal, and were allowed to roam around barracks to get their bearings.

What a strange sight the Manchesters presented to The R. C. R. at that time with their "Broderick" caps and the broad twang of the Lancashire men.

About 21 men were posted to the band which brought the total to about 70 and many will remember their first parade on guard mounting when the whole battalion turned out to hear them. To-day there on only one man left in the band and he has been "beating it" for 20 years and that is Bandsman Gale. By the way how many of you remember the time when the band played One Officer and one man to church on Brunswick St. (Major Hemming and ex-Pte. Gade).

To the best of my recollections the following are still serving in the Regiment;

London, Ont., with "C" Company and Regt. Headquarters - Serjt. Pushman, Serjt. Stillwell, Cpl. Rigg and Bandsman Gale.

Halifax, N.S., with "A" Company and the Instructional Cadre, S.M.I. Irlam, C.S.M. Woodcock, C.S.M.I. O'Shea, Serjt. Instr. Forse, A/Sjt. O'Keefe. M. D. 7, with the Cadre, S.M.I. B. H. Hawkins.

Some of those in civil life residing in Halifax are Ex - C.S.M. Webb. (Buggy), Pte. Sole, Pte. O'Connors, Pte. Donnelly (the Biffer).

Congratulations to all those who will have completed 20 years' service with The Royal Canadian Regiment on 11th January, 1927.
“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply
  to serve as a warning to others."