Available reels: 1
|Creator||Canada. Dept. of Militia|
|Title||Department of Militia and Defence : Yukon Mortar Machine Gun Batteries|
RG 9 I C 1
|Document source||Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada|
The first Militia Act for the united Province of Canada, passed in 1846, altered little the existing structures and formations in the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. While there was a single Adjutant General of Militia, the Adjutant could call upon the assistance of the Deputy Adjutants General in Lower Canada and Upper Canada (the old provincial names were retained within the militia). The act gave them the power to issue Militia General Orders, to grant commissions, as well as the responsibility for the organization, training, management and discipline of the militia. They, and their small staffs, were the only full-time officers. The office was vacant for lengthy periods and the Deputy Adjutants General looked after matters in their respective halves of the Province. The Militia Act of 1855 permitted the formation of an Active Militia. The 5,000 volunteers were armed, equipped and paid 5 shillings a day for 10 days of training a year (20 days for those in the artillery). Captains were paid 10 shillings 6 pence a day. Initially set at 5,000 men, the Act's popularity forced the government to double its size to 10,000 men by 1856. Trained at the expense of taxpayers, the men had to provide their own uniforms.
The Department of Militia and Defence was the department responsible for Canadian military forces from 1906 to 1921, and the Minister of Militia and Defence was in charge of this department. Before this period, from 1855 to 1906, the Minister of Militia and Defence was responsible for Canadian militia units only, as the British Army was still stationed in Canada. When the British Army withdrew from Canada in 1906, the department became the overseer of all Canadian land forces. In 1921, the Royal Canadian Navy was transferred to this department, so it was renamed the Department of Militia and Defence and the Naval Service. In January 1923, the department name was changed to the Department of National Defence as a result of the prior amalgamation of Naval Services, Militia and Defence, as well as the merger of the Air Board into the department.
This collection consists of letterbooks containing correspondence relating to the Active Militia.