High praise – and high expectations

The Globe reporter echoed the Governor-General in both praise and pressure:

‘The right of the line has always maintained its high traditions,’ declared the Duke of Connaught to them. And with these men these traditions will be in safe keeping. (1)

“The right of the line” is a term that goes back in the history of warfare at least to the days of The Black Prince at the Battle of Crecy in 1346, where his father, King Edward III put his 16-year-old son in the vanguard on the right – traditionally the more vulnerable position for a soldier with sword in his right hand and his shield on his left.(2)

“It is from those distant times that ‘the right of the line’ has come to mean, in battle, ‘the place of greatest danger’ – ‘the vanguard’ – and in ceremony, ‘the place of honour.’ Thus, when the Army is on parade, it is the Cavalry (whose traditions go back to the age of chivalry) which forms on the right – unless the Royal Horse Artillery is present, in which case the horse Gunners claim the post of honour.” (2)

19 Eighteen pounder Drill Petawawa

“Eighteen-pounder Drill, Petawawa” from Percy’s small album

(1) The Globe (1844-1936). July 1, 1916. 12. Archive available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
(2) Terraine, John. The Right of the Line. The Role of the RAF in World War Two. Barnsley, Yorks: Pen and Sword. 2010. xi

Copyright 2016. See “More about this project.”

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