During the month, training carries on for the Other Ranks while Officers (and sometimes W.O.'s and Senior N.C.O.'s) attend Courses, Demonstrations and Lectures. On the 24th, the Unit is inspected by H.M. King George VI. The Dominion Soldier's Club is officially opened in Aldershot on the 25th, and a luncheon given by L'Alliance Français is attended by Colonel Potts at the Hyde Park Hotel, London, on the 28th.top
During the month more training is in store for the Other Ranks, and Lectures, etc. are to be given or attended by the Officers. The Unit participates in a War Office Exercise at Stockbridge, Hants., on the 5th. Gen. Sir Charles Deedes, Colonel-in-Chief of K.O.Y.L.I., and Lt. Gen. A. Beck (Former Commander of 2nd Battalion K.O.Y.L.I.) visit the Unit on the 17th. Maj. McKerron, Maj. Scott-Dudley, and Maj. Walker attend a Memorial Service for Lord Tweedsmuir at Westminster Abbey on the 22nd. Maj-Gen Wilcox, Inspector General from the War Office, accompanied by Major Lord Digby, inspects the Unit on the 29th.
On the social scene, all Officers of the Unit attend a dinner given by the Toronto Scottish Regiment Officers on the 2nd. On the 7th, a Regimental Concert is held in Marlborough Lines Theatre, all talent having been drawn from personnel of the Unit. It is very successful! A formal Mess Dinner is held by Officers of the Unit on the 9th, the same day that the O.C. represents the Unit at a Luncheon given by the Lord Mayor of London. On Valentine's Day, the Actress Miss Betty Stockfield visits the Unit and on the 23rd, the First Regimental Dance is held at the Marlborough Lines gymnasium.top
T.E.W.T.s (Training Exercises Without Troops) for N.C.O.'s and Officers this month, as well as regular training for the troops and more lectures and demonstrations for the Officers. Heavy rains at the end of the month prevents some Exercises in the Training Area from going forward.
A Board of Enquiry is set up to examine the circumstances surrounding a motorcycle accident on the 4th, in which a Despatch Rider suffered a broken leg. On the 10th, L1676 Cpl. Storey, A.E. and L1677 Pte. Lowe, C.D., are detailed for special AA duty in protection of merchant shipping.
Voting in the Dominion Election commences on March 14.
A Unit Inspection by the G.O.C. and Officers of Division Staff takes place on the 18th, and on the 24th, the Unit mounts the Guard on Government House.
The Unit is active in Recreation this month as an Inter-Company Softball League commences functioning, and a Team is entered by the Officers. A Sergeant's Dance is held on the 15th, and the Unit is joined by the Toronto Scottish Regiment on the 22nd for softball, soccer, and a tug-o-war. The Regiment Soccer Team plays R.A.M.C. on the 27--the English Team wins, 11-0!top
Training this month consists of Night Exercises (such as Platoon relief) as well as Map Reading and Anti-Gas Defence. A demonstration in Kapok bridging is carried out with the men actually building the bridge. Prior to Her Majesty the Queen's visit to inspect the Unit on the 8th, Squad and Arms drills are carried out. Various Officers are also busy taking courses in order to further instruct their men. Two more men, L1385 L/Cpl. J.E. Jordan and L1743 Pte. T. O'Donovan leave on the 4th for Special Duty in connection with AA protection of merchant shipping.
On April 8th, H.M. The Queen reviews the Unit. Soon after, H.M. The King arrives, and Luncheon is served at Tournai House where all Officers are presented to Their Majesties.
O.C. Lt. Col A.E. Potts makes a short statement over the wireless which is successfully transmitted and received in Saskatoon. The next day, Lt. Col. Potts holds an at-home celebration for Officers of the S.L.I. and Toronto Scottish Regiment in honour of Their Majesties' visit.
On the 10, L1556 Pte. A.G. Prentice is seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, and on the 18th, 15 personnel who speak Norwegian are transferred to 2 Infantry Brigade for Special Assignment. Preparations are made for a move to Bulford Field Camp, Wilts. on the 28th, and on the 29, the move is effected, leaving behind a Rear Guard in Aldershot.
As for Recreation, there is a dance in the Marlborough Lines Gymnasium, held by "A" and "B" Companies on the 2nd, and on the 11th there is a Regimental Concert at the Marlborough Lines Theatre. On the 14th, Unit members convoy to Littlehampton on the South Coast to spend 2-3 hours at the seaside--a second visit to the seaside takes place on the 21st. The Sergeants hold a dance on the 19th, which is a success, enjoyed by all who attend.top
Considerable training is carried out this month in the area of small arms, and vehicle training as motor transport continues to arrive towards the end of the month in anticipation of a move. Sir Bertie Fisher, GOC of Southern Command pays an official visit on the 7th, and is very interested and pleased with his observations. The Signal Platoon wins a signal competition against the Toronto Scottish Regiment, a Battle Scheme is carried out on the 11th, and on the 13 the Toronto Scottish Regiment is engaged in a shoot--the S.L.I. wins 15 out of 23 shoots, including the finals! The Story of Ptes. Johannson and Hansen, who have been on Active Duty in Norway as Interpreters, is attached in Appendix "E". A Tactical Scheme is carried out in Savernake Forest near Marlborough starting on the 16th, and the unit moves back to Aldershot on the 18th. Between the 23rd and 27th, a Warning Order is issued and cancelled several times, with an order being issued again on the 30th. As of the 29th, "B" Company is at Full War Strength.
Apart from the purely military aspects of the Unit's activities, on the 5th, the first open air Church Service in England is held, on a warm day in a beautiful setting. ATS Companies in Bulford Camp hold a dance for members of the S.L.I. and Toronto Scottish Regiment in the Garrison Gymnasium, and prior to the dance, the Officers are entertained by Officers of the ATS. On the 17, the C.O. and 8 Officers proceed to "Clarendon Estate" for tea with Mrs. Christie-Miller. The Officers remark upon the beauty of the estate and upon the hospitality shown them.top
This month everyone is on the move so much of the training involves Route Marching, Convoy Work (with new vehicles arriving daily), AAMG and Loading Exercises. For the most part, all the movement goes smoothly, except for injuries to two Despatch Riders, one on the 11th, and a second , seriously, on the 27th. An Advance Party for embarkation Overseas is called for on the 12th, and they leave for Plymouth via Exeter on the 14th. The Movement Order is then cancelled. By now, however, the Battalion is 100% equipped for duty Overseas. An aerial battle is observed at Midnight on the 19th, and a Warning Order to prepare to move North comes as the Battalion comes under the Canadian Reserve Group on the 20th. On the 23rd, "B" Company leaves to join the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade East of Bicester. From the 24th on, Air Raids are commonplace, with explosions heard nearby.
Before leaving Aldershot, a Joint Dinner with the Toronto Scottish Regiment is held on the 1st, and the S.L.I. C.O. is presented with a Regiment Buckle. On the 8th, "B" Company holds a dance in Broughton to show appreciation to the civilians for their kindness. Same day, a mail truck is sent to Aldershot--Canadian Mail arriving! On the 9th, a Service is attended in Brixworth Parish Church, stated to be one of the oldest Parish Churches in England. A Farewell Dinner is held by the Officers on the 13th with all but one in attendance, he being on duty.top
Another month of movement and activity. On the 1st a Warning Order is received to move to battle positions in an area South of London. An Advance Party leaves for Leatherhead. A Practice Exercise in the best procedure for engaging parachutists is carried out on the 9th, as the threat of invasion is becoming a very real concern, as are the German airmen bailing out of injured Aircraft. "A", "C" and "D" Companies go on AA duty for the rd Infantry Brigade on the 17th as they make a move toward the area of Tonbridge Wells for Exercises. A Movement Order comes on the 24th and an Advance Party leaves the same day--next day the Companies leave for Ockley area and are to be attached to 1 Support Group 1 Armoured Division (Imperial). Between the 24th and 31 there are visits, both formal and informal, from Major-General Evans, GOC Division, and Brigadier Morgan of 1 Support Group 1 Armoured Division (British). Both Officers are very complimentary in their evaluation and comments regarding the Unit. The only criticism is in noting the badly worn appearance of uniforms--Major-General Evans states that he will see to it that the Unit receives new issue of Battle Dress! With all the movement engaged in this month, the only accident reported involves a Cpl. Jordan near Dorking on the 28th.
July 1st is Dominion Day and Sports and Competitions are held. Back home in Saskatoon, the Story and Picture of Ptes. Johannson and Hanson is published in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on the 2nd.
The Officers are engaged in a number of social activities the second half of the month, beginning with Golf at Chipstead Golf Club on the 13th. On the 20th, they are guests at a Sherry Party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Parkhurst; that evening, they, and Senior NCO's, are guests at a dance at Chipstead Golf Club. Officers reciprocate by being "at home" to citizens of the neighbourhood who have shown hospitality in that they hold a Cocktail Party on the 21st. Another Sherry Party is attended by a number of Officers on the 29th at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Trotter, Leithvale. (Fortunately, the Other Ranks have not been completely forgotten as the ladies of Tadworth Village have held a dance for "A" and "HQ" Companies on the 18th!)top
This month is spent in Reconnaissance, and Weapons Practice, and Battle and Brigade Exercises are held on the 12th, 17th, 18th and 24th. Major-General Evans is as good as his word as a large shipment of Battle Uniforms arrives by Quartermaster Stores on the 2nd!
An historic Unit first firing of AA using Vickers Mark VII with tracer and Mark VIII ammunition takes place on the 5th at Furze Hill Ranges, Aldershot, and all are impressed with the Mark VIII range. A tour of inspection by Colonel Franklin, ADMS, 1 Armoured Division, takes place on the 8th and he is favourably impressed. Beginning on the 26th, there is considerable bombing and fighter activity day and night which culminates in a terrific air battle on the 30th. One British and two enemy aircraft are brought down and three Heinkle III crew members bail out just North of Ockley at 16 000 feet. All are captured--our first prisoners of War... Continued air activity all day.
Earlier in the month, a Cocktail Party at Standon Park Farm, home of Mr. and Mrs. Deucher, is attended by Five Officers who are invited to meet people of the district. The next day, the 4th, the Officers of Headquarters Company entertain at a Tea Party on the lawn of their quarters.
The men hold football and softball games during the month on the Village Green, while not engaged in the more weighty matter of training to go into battle... However, " life goes on" no matter what, as is evidenced by the Wedding of Captain T. De Faye on August 31st at St. Joseph's Church in Dorking amidst a great flurry of fighter and bomber activity in the area! (Without question, this is one Wedding Night upon which the Earth did, in fact, "move!")top
This month proves to be one of furious air activity and the total count of Aircraft losses in the area is 715 for the German Air Force and 193 for the Royal Air Force. Unfortunately, the total of Pilots determined to be "safe" is a mere 42... No doubt the fine weather and clear skies have something to do with the many bombing raids at the beginning of the month, but even after it becomes rainy later on, the barrage continues day and night. The first intensive raid on London takes place on the 7th, and the glow in the sky from fires can be seen from Ockley. The next night London is hit again and damage is heavy. On the 11th there is additional concentrated bombing of London and randomly over South East England. Due to the seriousness of the situation, all Leave is cancelled and the Battalion is put on 4 hour notice. The men are called out on tryout for a 4 hour notice and perform very efficiently, making the exercise a success. All concerned are practising great vigilance as warnings of German preparations for invasion continue.
On the 17th Lieut. Walsh, L/Sgt. Pickles, and Ptes. Travers and Bodiou are involved in a serious accident on the Dorking road, which results in a D.R. of the East Surrey Regiment being killed.
Exercises are carried out on the 7th by the Support Group on R. Rother, which prove to be very realistic. On the 20th another War Exercise is carried out on R. Rother with the Support Group and 20th Armed Brigade and it proceeds very nicely. On the 30th "A" Company is on scheme on R. Rother with "A" Squadron 1 Northlands Yeomanry.
An Inspection of the Unit takes place on the 18th by the Duke of Gloucester, along with Lieut.-General McNaughton, Major-General Norrie and Brigadier Morgan. The men of the Unit are highly commended upon their smart appearance and steadiness on parade. There is continued scattered bombing throughout the month, with several air battles fought over the Battalion area, resulting in three slight casualties.top
This month is one of training and demonstrations for both Officers and Other Ranks and includes aircraft dive-bombing and artillery firing. Companies "A", "B", "C" and "D" all go on scheme on line of R. Rother.
There is some local air activity, but London is being hit hardest, the heaviest Air Raid of the War to date taking place the night of the 14th/15th. With this in mind, contributions begin to come in for the "Spitfire Fund", which is being sponsored by the Unit after an appeal by the Corps Commander.
Two accidental deaths occur this month, that of Pte. A. Gerlitz in a 2 - storey fall while putting up blackout, and that of Pte. W.E. Hewson, who was struck by a lorry while wheeling an unlighted bicycle. Fatalities within the Unit now number three since having arrived in England.
Visitors to the Unit this month include Lieutenant-Colonel Carpenter and Captain Farncombe on one occasion, Lieutenants Philpott and Lawson and 2/Lieutenant Nair on another, and an Inspection by Lieutenant-General McNaughton, accompanied by Hon J.G. Gardiner and Hon. Mr. Taggart, Minister of Agriculture for Saskatchewan. As usual, the men draw a great compliment from Lieut.-Gen. McNaughton on their fine turnout and general bearing on parade!top
This month is one of preparation for an upcoming Exercise in the Coastal area. Officers and Ordinary Ranks alike are occupied with a variety of Exercises and Training, such as the Administrative Exercise conducted on the 14th to practice Administrative Services, and the ill-fated night scheme early in the month which has to be called off at the last minute. Because a major move is in the offing, traffic and road discipline are important considerations, as are map and compass reading. Preparations for combat conditions require field engineering of gun emplacements, gas and respirator training, and drill in the care and firing of small arms as well as the machine guns. Occupation of positions at night, First Aid and use of anti-tank mines and concertina wire are also covered.
In the midst of all this furious activity, the general pulse of the Unit beats on in other ways, and Brigadier Valentine, Commander of 1 Support Group, manages to turn up on the 12th for an Inspection; as usual, the men are commended for their "smart turnout and appearance." A couple of Cocktail Parties materialize at Battalion H.Q. Mess this month--on the day of the second, 6 bombs fall within 400 yds of Battalion H.Q! Also, a Battalion Concert Party is held on the 22nd at the Odeon Theatre in Horsham and the boys put on a good show! It's been a fortunate month as far as casualties go; however, a Lieutenant is involved in an accident about 5 miles South of Dorking and finds himself under close arrest the next day as a result. Also in the area of "crime and punishment", a Court Martial Assembly has to be adjourned on the 28th because a witness for the prosecution is AWL...(!)
Visitors this month consist of a group of 7 Polish Officers and 5 NCO's who come to the Unit and are shown weapons and equipment. They are then entertained at Battalion H.Q. Mess where they no doubt forget everything they have seen...top
Except for a Rear Party left in the charge of Lieutenant D.P. May early this month, the Battalion makes a move to the Sussex Coast to relieve the Toronto Scottish Regiment (MG). Despite exceedingly dark and foggy conditions (which badly break up the convoy at times) and obscure orders (which lead to confusion) all Companies arrive safely and are in position by 11:15 hours on the 9th.
Apart from settling in, the Unit appears to suffer a surfeit of Official Visits and Inspections from such as Lieutenant-Colonel Stevenson, the Head and the Staff Captain of Canadian Auxiliary Services, Brigadiers Potts and Top, and Majors Ambary and Roy, as well as the C.O. (In the midst of all the "spit and polish" there is mention of some Machine Gun sighting being carried out...) Christmas Day proves to be festive and enjoyable, with the men being served dinner at table by the Officers and NCO's. The only grumbling comes from those who have overindulged!
This month is also the time when the idea arises and discussion begins concerning the S.L.I. receiving its own Colours.top
The move to Sussex having been made, the Unit assists the Home Guard with sighting their Machine Guns, as well as with reorganizing the gun positions on the Shoreham-Brighton-Rottingdean Coast. As well this month, there is a Senior Officers' Gas Course and preparations are being made to hand over the Old Brewery, Portslade, to the Essex Scottish Regiment. Meetings and discussions concerning discipline are also in the forefront.
The first reinforcements begin to arrive from 1 Cdn M.G. Holding Unit early in the month, but word arrives that the Unit will not be relieved and able to return to Chipstead until the 21st.
As if to add insult to injury, the weather is quite awful all month--rainy and snowy--which in turn makes driving very hard on the already bad roads.
Finally, on the 20th, an Advance Party sets off for Chipstead while the rest of the chaps are being wished a fond farewell by no less than Brigadier Topps, Major Roy and Captain Wright. Next day, the 21st, the rest of the Unit returns to Chipstead and all are welcomed back by Lieutenant-Colonel Keller, Lieutenant-Colonel Vokes, and Major-General Pearkes. Unfortunately, the day after this is marked as that upon which a Junior Officer is placed under close arrest...
At the end of the month instructions are drawn up for moving a Rear Party to a new area North of Bletchingly, and the assigned billets are inspected before the move. They turn out to be a filthy mess and it is decided that new accommodation must be found. Until a satisfactory alternative can be arranged, the men will be housed in temporary quarters.
One can only hope that holding a Concert Party on the 30th helped to ease the sting of the many irritations endured this month!top
This month starts off badly with the death of Pte. W.D. Hillert on the 4th, from what is believed at first to be acute suppurative meningitis. All his roommates are put on observation, but a report comes back the next day to the effect that he did not die of contagious disease. His funeral is held on the 6th, with the No. 13 Platoon providing the Firing Party.
It's a busy month with a complete change over of the filing system, Officers on Machine Gun Course, and Major Croll (R.C.A.M.C.) on Study Leave to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, Scotland. The Unit also practises action to be taken on "Momentum 4 Hours." The main Exercise "Fox", scheduled for the 11th, is called off on the 12th as it is characterized by traffic jams, lack of information, units and subunits becoming lost, and a complete breakdown of administrative arrangements. After this debacle, it is probably more than a coincidence that the C.O. finds himself in attendance at a conference on Transport Suggestions...
More "Good News"-- the Unit will be held responsible for damage to a troop train which left Saskatoon in December 1939, and a nominal roll of all personnel is being sought! (And they thought they could get away with it, under the circumstances and all...)
Hockey games seem to be the unit's strong point as they win 3 games against such noble adversaries as the 1 Cdn Carrying Coy, the 1 A. Tk Regiment, and the 4 Fd. Ambulance. However, the 1 Fd Regiment RCHA trounces them 9 to 1!
One final note--on the 17th three bombs dropped in the area damage the former Orderly Room and some billets--fortunately, there are no casualties.top
This proves to be a cold, wet month with the odd short period of clear weather, and even a day described as "warm" on the 16th! There is also considerable bombing and air activity at regular intervals, some of it very heavy. In fact, the raid on the 19th is described as the worst since the Unit has come to the area.
The only visitor this month is Captain Farncombe, Commander of S.L.I. Company at M.G. Holding Unit, and he stays from the 4th to the 6th. He is on hand during the Interplatoon Competition, which sees No. 4 Platoon, "A" Coy as the winner.
"Business" this month consists of men going off on a Clerk's Course, and Signal Officers Courses are attended, as well. Officers hold "T.E.W.T.'s" (Training Exercises Without Troops) in the Ashford area and "Beagle Exercise" is conducted this month as the main scheme.Of human interest there are the following matters to note:
This month starts out cold and wet but warms a bit toward the end although showers continue to prevail. The main "business" this month is Exercise "HARE" which is considered a success with "enemy" resistance ending in good time. Signal Exercises are also in the forefront and meet with mixed success, but all are confident that the "bugs" will get worked out in time. In addition, old vehicles are exchanged for 4 - wheel drive trucks this month, much to the delight of all!
On a more sombre note, there is heavy air activity mid month and it is apparent that London is being hit very hard. Another traffic accident claims the life of one of the men, as L1522 Pte. John Dubets is struck by a lorry and killed on the 21.
To round out the month, Maj.-Gen. Pearkes pays an inspection visit and is "highly pleased with the turnout and orderliness of unit."top
Another month of "typically" English weather; rainy, cool and dull with the occasional glimpse of the sun and a bit of warmth... Considering that a week was spent washing blankets for the unit, it can only be hoped that an alternate supply was available to the men huddled in their bunks!
Lots of activity this month with Fire Range Practice, Mortar Demonstrations, work on a Grenade Range and Exercise "BRENDA." Exercise "Brenda" was greeted by an Air Raid in Dickley Wood, and was also notable in that a Signal Despatch Rider attached to "B" Coy was shot in the leg, and Lieut. Winters (somewhat less dramatically) suffered a broken finger...
Also of interest this month is the fact that all leave to Eire and Northern Ireland has been cancelled, and that a large shipment of mail from Central Canada has been destroyed by enemy action. Not good for morale! Lieut-Colonel McKerron's Diphtheria scare has turned out happily, however, and he is back with the unit by the end of the month.
There is considerable Air Activity this month, though nothing in the immediate vicinity. However, the Air Raid Sirens wail away regularly and the War can be heard being fought in earnest not very far off. This month the practice of Mounting a Quarter Guard is instituted at Battalion Headquarters.
In spite of all this, Softball Season "opens" on the 7th, and Concert Parties from London are held on the 2nd and 14th. Not to be outdone, the Officers hold a dance on the 24th at the Red Lion Inn, Coulsdon. All entertainments for all ranks is very much appreciated.
Not to "pork" fun at the unit, but on the 21st they take on two hogs, who are named and given designations: HELL2020 Pte. Hogg, A., and HELL2021 Pte. Hogg, C!top
This month begins with the tragic death of L2379 Pte. Cameron, H.J. who is found dead on the Lion Green Road. His injuries suggest that he was run down by a vehicle and the Police and Provost Corps are investigating. His Funeral is held on the 10 with "A" Company sending a firing party and mourners.
The weather is mostly warm to hot this month so the men are getting a taste of what awaits them on their arrival in Sicily. Things are busy, with a Unit Guard Mounting Competition on the 11th, which prompts Colonel Vokes to remark that he has "never witnessed a better military spectacle." Two days before the competition there is a demonstration flight of a new type of "Tomahawk" aircraft which is of interest to all. Beginning the 14th, Exercise WATERLOO is underway and occupies the time and attention of all ranks until the 19th. This is followed by smaller exercises known as BULLDOG and MAPLE. The summing up for Waterloo is good and the whole exercise has gone off with only two casualties: broken bones from a motorcycle crash, and a badly burned hand from the blast of a tommy gun blank.
Two social events are held, a concert at Kane Hill Hospital and a Regimental Dance at Kane Hall. Additional recreation is offered in a Sports Day on the 13th.
In a lighter(?) vein, the two hogs, (Hogg and Hogg) are to be "emasculated" and much is made of deciding what sort of instrument to use. When a decision is finally reached, it is discovered that the vendor of said hogs has already taken care of the chore, much to the chagrin of the novice surgeon and the assembled gallery!top
This month begins on a high note with the S.L.I. providing Anti-Aircraft Protection to His Majesty the King at Colour Presentation Ceremonies for the Carleton & York Regiment and Edmonton Regiment. The King also attends 1 Canadian Division Sports at Redhill where "D" Company tug-of-war team wins from the 48th Highlanders! The S.L.I. is of continued importance in providing a Guard for British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. However, a Private in "D" Company carelessly discharges a Bren gun in the Prime Minister's presence and this is looked upon very dimly by all assembled. Disciplinary action is taken...
To round out the roster of visits by "important" people, the Unit is inspected by Hon Major G.C. Power, Canadian Minister of Air, accompanied by Major-General G.R. Pearkes.
A live Paratroop landing takes place at Walton Heath, and a demonstration of Infantry and Tank actual fire proves very interesting and valuable. Exercise ALBERT goes well and Secret plans are afoot for the future Exercise HEATHER. July 4th is "American Day," and those Yanks who are in the unit are off to special functions in London. On the 5th a CBC recording van records messages home from 150 all ranks--the men are congratulated on their clear, concise speaking. A Radio Broadcast from London on the 8th features Capt. C.C. DesRosiers and Pte. A.J. Baker. On the 9th, the Softball Team is trounced by the Medical Team, 19 to 3!
A final note concerning the noble intentions of the Padre. Realizing that there are many illiterates among the ranks, the Padre decides to hold reading classes and has a number of men chitted. When the time for the class arrives, no one shows up because the men have been unable to read the chits!top