Witley, April 14, 1917

Saturday       Were inspected by the Duke of Connaught Rained practically all day & a cold wind am feeling good

It is just over a year since Percy had first come under the eye of the Duke of Connaught, during manoeuvres in High Park in Toronto.  A couple of months later, HRH had inspected Percy and his mates at Petawawa.  This time the Duke spent two hours inspecting the Witley Camp, and then “witnessed evolutions on the parade ground, including gas drill.” (1)

Connaught Dodds.JPG

Inspected by H.R.H. The Duke of Connaught. The Duke shaking hands with Gen. Dodds

The artillery got 25 minutes of his attention:

“After walking through the Stables of the 13th Bde C.F.A. he inspected the 14th Bde C.F.A. at Battery Gun Drill & saw some subsections changing gun & limber wheels (in 20 seconds). In the mean time the whole 13th Bde turned out in F.S. [Field Service] Marching order (in 10 ½ minutes) & marched off past H.R.H. The party left by motor car at 12:45 pm. H.R.H. expressed himself very pleased with the turn out & training.” (2)

A “pleasing episode,” according to the Globe, took place when HRH (formerly the Governor General of Canada) recognized, “accosted and shook hands with” the son of his gardener at Government House in Ottawa.  (1) Russel Muhlig had just turned twenty; he would survive service in France with the 52nd Battery , 13th Brigade. (3)

(1) The Globe (1844-1936).  April 16, 1917. 7. Archive available from ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
(2) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery. Vol. 3 (April 1917): 3-4. Library and Archives of Canada.
(3) Muhlig’s service records are available from Library and Archives Canada.

The photographs are from the scrapbook of Brigadier General W.O.H. Dodds, (1867-1934), commanding officer of the Fifth Divisional Artillery. Brigadier General W.O.H. Dodds Fonds. University of Victoria Archives.

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

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