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HISTORY OF WORK POINT BARRACKS

by Jack Bates

PART 2 — 1887 to 1893


1890

The year 1890 was memorable for Work Point. Lt.-Col Holmes instituted the 9 pdr gun, directed at the City of Victoria, to be fired at noon and 9 p.m. daily from the saluting battery, blank munitions of course! This practice had started when "C" Battery was at Beacon Hill.

See November 2, 1888; October 8, 1910; November 15, 1910; January 4, 1947; January 5, 1947; January 7, 1947; February 13, 1949; March 15, 1949 and May 1962 for more on the time gun.

In the Victoria Directory for 1890, "C" Battery is listed as barracks with tel 199; Lt.Col. J.G. Holmes, Commandant "C" Battery, Royal School of Artillery, residing in Work Point; Lt. George H. Ogilvie, "C" Battery, residing in barracks; Major James Peters C.O. "C" Battery residing on Cadboro Bay Rd; Capt. Thos R Benson, adjutant "C" Battery, residing at 39 Cook St; John A. Duncan, physician and surgeon "C" Battery RCA, residing at 89 Fort St, tel 163; Richard Proctor, band sgt "C" Battery, residing at 96 View St; Master Gunner John Charles Cornish, "C" Battery, residing at 28 Rithet St; no sign of s/sgt Reading, sgt's Hayward or Kains, or the men, in the directory.

Daily Colonist
January 10, 1890

"C" Battery only mustered about 20 men at roll call yesterday morning, all the rest of the company being laid up with bad colds.

"C" Battery band yesterday morning only mustered 3 men practice temporarily abandoned.

January 19, 1890

The Rifle

The Military League

The secretary of the Canadian Military Rifle League has received from Major Peters of "C" Battery, R.C.A., an interesting letter in reply to his invitation to the battery to take part. "I should like very much to enter a team", he says, "but being armed as we are with the short Snider the range makes it impossible for us to enter. As you are aware, at 600 yards the shorter Snider is useless. It is essential that the men should use only the rifle with which they are armed. If your object is to encourage young shots I should suggest 200, 300 and 400 yards, for hundreds of young men will enter and possibly make a good score for the shorter ranges who will not think of attempting the longer ranges. Besides, don't you think, it's a pity that 500 and 600 ranges are, of course, the favourite distances for older shots, and it seems impossible to get up a match without these ranges. But rifle shooting will never be as popular as it should, till someone cuts down the distances to those most useful on service. Many shots who are disgusted and discouraged by distances will readily compete when the range is reduced.

January 21, 1890

Col. Prior's Mission

In other respects, Col. Prior was well repaid for his long journey. To secure the awarding of the long delayed contract for "C" Battery officer's quarters; promise of an appropriation of $15,000 for a new drill shed, and permission to organize a new battery of artillery to take the place of the defunct rifles; all this in one week was pretty smart work considering the red tapeism which usually abounds round all government offices, and to which the departments at Ottawa are no exception in this respect.

January 22, 1890

La Grippe Claims Another Victim

On Monday night Staff Sergeant C. H. Hewlett, one of the best known and most popular non commissioned officer of "C" Battery, died at his home on Beechy Street, in this city, of pneumonia, following a severe attack of the prevalent malady, la grippe. The deceased was 41 years of age, and leaves a wife and four children He was a prominent member of the Orange order, and the funeral will be held under the auspices of the Loyal orange Order.

Tonight's dance cancelled due to the death of Staff Sergeant Hewlett.

Library and Archives Canada
February 3, 1890

Contract # 1659 was signed by contractors G.I. Woodward and H.B. Munday for the construction of buildings at "C" Battery Barracks, Victoria, B.C. Drawings at the LAC are Mikan 2171611 and 2171612. Also under this contract was construction of the Officer's Quarters. Drawing Mikan 2171614.

Daily Colonist
February 6, 1890

CAPITAL NOTES

Middleton Speaks for "C" Battery

General Middleton in his usual report to the department draws attention to the necessity for "C" Battery barracks being speedily completed. The old exhibition building is most unsuitable for barracks purposes in every way, and impossible to keep up proper discipline in such quarters. He also draws attention to the impossibility of the battery being able enlist recruits in the locality and impresses the necessity of sending recruits to British Columbia from other provinces. The reason of this difficulty, undoubtedly the high wages obtainable in the country, again urges the necessity of an extra allowance to "C" Battery on account of the increased cost of living in Victoria as compared with other stations in the Dominion.

February 9, 1890

MILITIA AND DEFENCE

Part of the report refers to "C" Battery specifically ....

Major General Sir Fred Middleton's report contains the following paragraph:

I found "C" Battery at Victoria B.C. labouring under very disadvantageous circumstances. Having as yet no regular barrack accommodation, they had been quartered in the Provincial Exhibition building, from which they had, just prior to my arrival, been turned out to make way for an exhibition. I found them encamped in a convenient spot near by, and the camp looked clean and neat. This school is altogether for the purpose of giving instruction in Garrison Artillery, and is formed as such, but as yet has no heavy guns, and I saw them on parade simply as an infantry company. They looked clean and soldier like; moved well on parade and seemed none the worst for their late trip to Skeena in aid of the civil power. Happily their services were not required in the field, but I am informed that the news of their being in the harbour with a man of war was quickly conveyed up the river to the Indians, which it had a remarkably quieting effect. I was also informed that the conduct of the troops during this time was very good. A separate report of this has already been sent in. I hope the barracks for the school will be finished next year, as they are at a great disadvantage at present. I still think that some additions should be granted to the allowances of this battery, as a special case, the general cost of living in Victoria being greater than in the rest of the Dominion, the addition being in the shape of an allowance to cover increased cost of messing and to be regulated by a sliding scale for the several ranks.

It is greatly to be hoped that those strong recommendations will be attended to by the department and that next year's report will contain an account of the completion of the "C" Battery barracks at Point Macaulay.

The General is not, it appears, altogether satisfied with the condition of the militia. He sees in it some defects. He says: "I have no reason to alter my opinion expressed in former reports in the following points:"

"The advisability of reducing the number of the militia and the necessity of calling out every corps every year. The advisability of giving more encouragement to the engineer branch of the force."

"The necessity of more guns of position and new field battery guns."

"The question of rifle instruction for the force is general, including the necessity of more ammunition for rifle and use of Morris and other tubes for winter practice."

It is however, hardly to be expected that a militia force in a new country would in all points meet with the approbation of a general who would naturally judge it in drill, discipline and equipment by the high standard of the regular army. A poor man must have a poor wedding and on the same principle a new country must be content with a military force a good many degrees below perfection.

February 14, 1890

BRITISH COLUMBIA MILITARY

Annual Report of Lieut. Col. Holmes on the State of the
Active Militia of the Province

MILITARY DISTRICT NO. 11
Headquarters, Victoria, B.C.    8th November, 1889

Sir, I have the honor to submit, for the information of the Major General Commanding, the following report on the state of the active militia of this district for the current year:

Established Strength

  Officers and Men
Artillery, Garrison (4 batteries)  187  
Rifles (1 Company)   45  
Total  232  
     
Authorized to drill  230  
     
  Officers Men
Peformed Drill to Date - Batteries (3)  10  118

The officers commanding the artillery and rifles at New Westminster have applied for authority to carry out their annual drill during the coming winter.

The headquarters batteries, British Columbia brigade garrison artillery, have completed their drill, and were inspected by me on the afternoon of the 7th, inst., and their appearance on parade, and drill generally, was extremely creditable, considering the great disadvantage they labour under in not having a creditable drill shed etc. Those batteries have all performed their gun practice in accordance with orders for annual drill. Gun used, 64 pdr., R.M.L.; range, 1350 yards — no longer one available. Scores were very good. The score sheets have been forwarded to the Inspector of Artillery. Inspection report forwarded herewith:

These corps also furnished the guard of honor to his Excellency the Governor General on his arrival at Victoria, on the 31st October last, and his Excellency was pleased to express his approval of the smart appearance of officers and men.

Master Gunner Cornish, R.C.A., has acted as instructor to these batteries, and credit is due to him for the careful manner in which they have been drilled and turned out on parade.

I would again strongly recommend a supply of rifled guns for the battery at New Westminster. The artillery equipment of this battery is now complete, and in very good order. Still, as the oldest battery in the district and one of the best, I think it is due them that this change be made, the present equipment being handed over to one of the new corps recommended.

Drill Sheds

The drill sheds in the district are not at all suited for the requirements of the force, being too small, and in Victoria badly situated.

Batteries

Batteries are in fairly good condition, and until work is commenced on the new forts for the defence of Esquimalt, need only slight repairs from time to time, as may be necessary.

Magazines

Attention is again called to the absolute necessity of a new magazine for the storage of gunpowder and ammunition. The present one is badly situated and a new one should, and I hope it will, be built within the barracks enclosure.

Staff

Capt. Jones has given me all the assistance in his power in carrying out the various duties. I would respectfully urge that extra pay be given him for the great addition to his work caused by his having to act as paymaster to the "C" Battery Royal School of Artillery.

I have also to report that as far as possible, all orders in connection with the performance of annual drill have been carried out.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

J.G. Holmes, Lieut. Col.
Acting Deputy Adjutant General,
Military Disrict No. 11.

Annual Report on "C" Battery,
Regiment of Canadian Artillery and Royal School of Artillery.
Victoria, B.C., 8th November, 1889.

Sir, I have the honor to submit, for the information of the Major General Commanding, this my annual report on the state of "C" Battery, R.C.A., and Royal School of Artillery, under my command for the past year, and to again recommend for favourable consideration the various suggestions made by me in my last report, under the following heads:

Present strength,
Establishment,
Barracks,
Arms, accoutrements and clothing,
Hospital,
Divine service,
Status and disciplines,
Pay and allowances,
Forage allowance,
Artillery instruction.

Band

This is, considering the reduced numbers at present, owing to casualties from discharge and desertion, in a very fair state. It may, however, be expected that unless a considerable draft of men is sent to us before long it will be necessary to break up the band entirely, as it will be required to take up regular military duty, such as guards, etc, in regular turn, owing to the want of duty men.

Officers’ and Sergeants Messes

These are still kept up in a satisfactory state. The want of suitable mess premises for each is much felt, as the present quarters are poor in the extreme. The cost of messing is about one third higher than in eastern stations.

Forts and Armaments

These are now in want of certain small repairs, such as new platforms and partially new revetments.

Caretaker's quarters at Macauley Point and artillery and shell store and magazine on Brother's Island are required.

Magazine accommodation too small, and store and side arms incomplete.

Many articles destroyed last year at Brother's Island not yet replaced.

A boat is much needed, to enable visits to be made to Brother's Island.

The annual allowance of three rounds per gun was fired from7 inch guns; results not satisfactory; 8 inch guns not fired owing to want of sights.

Two carriages for 64 pdr guns are required. Naval slides for 7 inch and 8 inch guns should be replaced by traversing platforms.

Main Magazine

This is situated in the public park, Victoria, and the municipal authorities are excavating the ground close to it for a small pond. This will not tend to make it a suitable place for the storage of all of the gunpowder on charge.

It is time that steps were taken for the construction of a magazine in this new barracks, where the sentry at the main gate could overlook it. The present magazine is entirely without military protection.

Rifle Practice

This is being carried out under the supervision of Major Peters ( who is very enthusiastic with regard to it ), and with good results.

The practice last year was not completed, owing to the closing of the only available range, and it is only through the kindness of Mr. Henly, of Clover Point, that we are enabled to carry out the practice this year. If possible, a range should be purchased near the new barracks, in order that no stoppage of the important part of a soldier's training may occur.

Inspection by his Excellency the Governor General

The battery was honoured with an inspection at the temporary barracks by His Excellency the Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, on the 2nd of November last, who was good enough o express himself much pleased with the appearance of the battery on parade, as well as with the arrangements of the barrack room, guard room office, etc.

Hi Excellency also, on the 4th inst, visited the battery at MaCauley Point and the new barrack huts, at Work Point.

Conclusive Remarks

I deem it important, in conclusion, to point out at the end of October, next year, the period of engagement of 57 men out of a total present strength of 72 will be completed, and on enquiry, only three of them have expressed their willingness to re engage.

As it is clearly proved, after two year's trial that men cannot be got upon this coast to fill the ranks, something must be done towards sending drafts from the eastern provinces. It would be better, if it is intended to maintain the battery, to send a draft now of enough to fill vacancies — 28 in all — in order that they may be instructed and qualified to become non commissioned officers, the want of suitable men to fill these positions being, even now, much felt. Should nothing be done, I may safely say that on the 1st of November, next year, the strength of "C" Battery will be about 25 non commissioned officers and men, or only the fourth part of the authorized establishment.

I wish to express my satisfaction with the way that the officers and non commissioned officers, generally, have carried on the duties during the past year under circumstances most trying and discouraging.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant.

J.G. Holmes
Lt. Col., R.C.A., Commandant.
The Officer Commanding, Regiment,
Canadian Artillery, Ottawa.

“C” Battery at Macaulay Point Earthworks Battery    c 1890

March 18, 1890

The Caffire Children

The three little Caffire boys appeared in the city police court again yesterday morning, charged wit vagrancy. The little fellows, whose ages are 8, 12 and 14 respectively, looked really ill, and Chief Sheppard informed the Magistrate that they are likely to become consumptive, if that fatal disease has not already taken hold of them.

Caffire, the father of the little boys, was in court, and said that there was plenty to eat in the house, but that the boys would not stay home, and he was arranging to have them sent to the mission school at Cowichan. His Honor decided to let the boys go, but informed Caffire that if something was not done he would see if he could not do something to their father. Caffire has agreed to let his little girl be adopted by a neighbour.

March 20, 1890

Battery Offenders

Hall, the bandsman of "C" Battery, who was arrested several weeks ago charged with stealing instruments belonging to the band, has been tried by a military court and sentenced to forty two days imprisonment. Hindman, the other bandsman who is under arrest charged with desertion, is still awaiting the arrival the necessary papers from Ottawa in connection with his trial.

April 1, 1890

"C" BATTERY NOTES

To the editor: "C" Battery has received an astonishing order, presumably a point of discipline, which affected them in a most singular manner. Cleanliness, which everybody naturally delights in, has been restricted to certain periods of the day, in that the lavatory, the most useful spot in the temporary barracks, can now only be used during three hours of the day, and those extremely inconvenient, especially the afternoon hour. The consequence is that unless a member parades at these hours, he is obliged to either travel across the square to a pump and perform his ablutions "al fresco", or remain unwashed.

Truth     

April 29, 1890, as the Daily Colonist article to follow will indicate, only officers (specifically Lt.-Col Holmes and family who were in one of the three "huts" completed in 1888), were being arranged to occupy the new quarters.

Daily Colonist
April 29, 1890

"C" Battery Barracks

The Officer’s Quarters Being Constructed —
Other Necessary Buildings Required This Year

Since the fine weather set in the construction of the officer’s quarters at Work Point for “C” Battery is being rapidly pushed by the contractors Munday & Woodward. The stone foundations are nearly finished for the long building and the Commandant’s residence is well on the way. The plan of the building is not possessed of much architectural beauty, but the building is being erected in a most substantial manner, and the quarters will be much more comfortable than the average Victoria home. Double walls, two layers of building paper and plaster will make in all about one foot thickness, and the cold blasts of winter will have little chilling effect on the residents. A Colonist representative paid a visit to the barracks yesterday afternoon, and could not but remark the excellence of the site for the purpose intended and admire the beauty of its location.

To the south-east can be seen, the grand Olympian range, the waters of the straits and wooded shore lying in between. To the east, a splendid view of the business portion of Victoria, solid and substantial, and the residences on the high ground, is obtained, Dunsmuir Castle standing out in bold relief. The shore at the point is rocky, but at Rose Bay is a beautiful sandy beach, which will no doubt be taken full advantage of when the battery is definitely located in its new quarters. The Commandant, Lieut.-Col Holmes and his family are residing in one of the three “huts” erected for the men some two years ago. The reporter learned that only the officer’s quarters were arranged for this year.

The space for the parade ground has been slashed, but the stumps are still in the ground. This is immediately in front of the huts. On the south side of the parade a tennis court, on the north a recreation ground for all sorts of games will be made. However, this will all take undeterminable time.

The reporter learned that only the officer’s quarters are arranged for this year. If this intention is adhered to the end of the summer the officers and men of the battery will be in about the same position as present. A parade ground of stumps and mud will prove but a sorry place for drill purposes. Without hospital, canteen, cook house, guard house and other necessary buildings, the good sleeping accommodations provided will scarcely warrant the term “comfortable quarters”. It struck the visitor as being most absurd and reprehensible that a sufficient appropriation for fully completing the buildings and parade ground was not made at one and the same time. The manner in which the contracts so far have been made is only calculated to greatly increase their total cost. Another $25,000 with the appropriation for the building of officer’s quarters would have erected all the smaller buildings and with the present system of constructing them piece meal, they will cost double that sum. The pay of the privates of “C” Battery is 50 cents per head per day.

A salary well calculated to instil habits of economy and morality among them. With this pittance at the present time they occupy most uncomfortable and unpleasant quarters, and it seems the determination of the minister of militia that at the new quarters they will still remain subject to discomfort and inconvenience. Surely comfortable and attractive quarters in every respect should be provided for men who receive such small compensation. The strength or standard of the battery can never be sustained if this life is not made attractive. No doubt the Militia Department is well and frequently informed of the necessities of Battery “C” and if the corps had been located at Victoria “P.Q.” instead of Victoria “B.C.”, its wants would have received the most careful attention. As an instance, of neglect the battery here, although a requisition has been sent in again and again, is not provided with a telephone, whereas batteries A and B of Kingston and Quebec have a couple of them paid for by the department. In the eyes of the department "C" Battery is a step child, and should be content with little.

In the course of events, perhaps, a change of ministers will require to be made, when al the necessary improvements for placing “C” Battery in possession of barracks equal to those furnished by in England to the regulars, will be completed. When such is a fact there can be no question that they will be in the most attractive military quarters to be found anywhere, for added to the good housing and conveniences of life, the site is most picturesque, and the barrack grounds will be one of the attractions of the beautiful city of Victoria.

The officer’s quarters will be finished by 1st August next, and it is to be hoped that the militia department will see the error of its ways and make the other needed improvements so that officers and men may at last move in and rejoice in having at last a permanent abiding place.

June 3, 1890

THE ATLANTIC SQUADRON

A Fleet of British War Ships at Halifax
A Regiment of the Line and Two Batteries of Artillery Coming From England

Halifax. N.S. June 2nd.

Two torpedo boats are expected to arrive from England this month. They will be accompanied out by H.M.S. Tyne. A fleet of war ships arrived today from Bermuda, including the “Partridge”, a comparatively new gunboat af the first class, and sister ship of the “Thrush”. She carries six guns. There is a rumor here that a regiment of the line and two batteries of artillery are about to start from England for Newfoundland.

OFFERS PAY FOR LOOTED FURS

Gen. Sir Frederick Middleton Does Not Wish to be Forced to Resign

An Ottawa despatch to the Boston Herald says: There is considerable speculation as to what is to become of Gen. Sir Frederick Middleton, who, for looting the furs of a half breed named Bremner to the value of $6,000 or $7,000 during the Northwest rebellion, by a vote of parliament, the government has been condemned to pay. The General had a lengthy interview with his minister of militia today, and offered to pay for the portion of the furs he appropriated to his own use if the government would give him the option of paying in part, and not force his resignation, which would be tantamount to a cancelation of the pension he draws as a retired officer of the British army from the imperial Government. The case was under consideration of the cabinet today, and from what your correspondent learns, the hero of Batoche will not only have to pay the full indemnity awarded Bremner, but will be called upon immediately to hand in his resignation. The minister of militia, Sir Adolphe Caron, has exerted every effort to save the general. The Middleton scandal is one of the sensations of the hour on this side of the line, and further developments compromising several prominent individuals will follow unless the general pays up and surrenders his commission as commander of the military forces in Canada.

June 6, 1890

“C” BATTERY

Preparations for Removal — Prospects for This Summer

Already preparations are going on for the proposed change in the quarters of “C” Battery, the present barracks being required for the purposes of the coming exhibition. At considerable expense the building has been laid out and fitted for its present objects, the ground floor being occupied by the men and the galleries for the officers. The arrangements for the latter were made at considerable individual expense, and there is a possibility that after the partitions, etc, have been torn down, they may be required to be renewed later on, since, so far, the new quarters at Macaulay’s Point are not sufficient to accommodate all the ranks and file, many of whom will, for the present, have to go under canvas. The strength of the force has been more or less reduced by the expiration of the term of enlistment of a number of the men. Nevertheless, the morale and effectiveness have been well maintained. It is reported that some new men will be sent out from the east, while, at times, recruits are being added from the Province. One of these was at the time of the visit of the writer, doing “the sentry go” at the direction of a “non com” and the way the way he pulled himself together at the word of command was in itself a study.

There is, it is true, some difficulty in obtaining recruits in the province, the battery pay being much below that which is possible for labouring men and artisans to earn.

June 10, 1890

Additional Accommodation

A few days since there appeared in THE COLONIST a reference to the early removal of “C” Battery from their present barracks, which were required for the purposes of the forthcoming agricultural society exhibition. It was pointed out at that time that the premises on Macaulay’s point were – as was previously well known – utterly inadequate for all the requirements of the battery, and that, in consequence, some of the men would be compelled to camp out, while it was possible that for the winter the barracks at Beacon Hill would require to be refitted and again occupied.

Yesterday, in response to a letter from the Provincial Government, presenting the necessities of the case, a message was received from Sir John A. Macdonald that the additional buildings, for which a vote was passed, during the last session of parliament, would be proceeded with at once, and completed as rapidly as possible.

June 13, 1890

Yesterday was occupied by the members of “C” Battery in moving into their new quarters at Macaulay’s Point. They are at present going under canvas, but the amount of “impedimenta” which they had to remove was very considerable.

June 15, 1890

CHANGES

Appearances around the old “C” Battery barracks, Beacon Hill, are very much changed. No longer are to be seen the brave defenders of the Province on the mimic warpath, doing their daily drill, parading for inspection or putting the hapless recruit through the mysteries of the goose step movement, no longer are the surrounding echoes awakened by the morning reveille or the evening “lights out”. All is changed, and yesterday the entire establishment was deserted save by what may be termed “the camp followers” and others, who were cleaning up and trying to turn to advantage anything that might have been left. Said a resident in the vicinity last night, “when they first came I did not like the idea of their establishment among us, but I am now very sorry that they are gone. They infused a certain amount of life in the neighbourhood and their uniform and military step reminded us of long ago, on the other side of the Atlantic”.

The date of “C” Battery formally relocating to Macaulay / Work Point and “going under canvas at the new barrack ground” was June 12th according to the article written by Ronald Green on “C” Battery and the Skeena incident. Also, the Daily Colonist article above dated June 15, 1890, mentions the Beacon Hill barracks site was abandoned by June 14th. A Colonist article dated June 13th, refers to yesterday as the move out date. The men and sergeants assumed to be in the huts prior to winter 1890, and not remaining “under canvas.” The Officer’s Quarters was intended for completion in August 1890.

June 19, 1890

Now that “C” Battery’s quarters have been removed from Beacon Hill it is probable that the objectionable magazine in the park will be torn down by the soldiers themselves.

Remarkable

In digging for a drain at the new officer’s quarters, “C” Battery, the labourers unearthed, about three feet from the surface, a skull, complete all but for a few teeth, apparently, from its size, that of a Chinaman, but no obliquity in the eye orbits; the leg and, probably, some arm bones, etc. Also, in close proximity with the remains an iron spoon eight inches long, several tin boxes of wax matches marked London, now empty, and a tin box of wooden matches still holding its contents, a small oval looking glass frame, and a small reel of cotton. It is not the usual way of burying Indians, and if a Chinaman, why are not his remains in the Flowery Land. The curios are lying on the bank.

June 29, 1890

“C” Battery Quarters

Since their arrival at Macaulay’s Point the men of “C” Battery have been busily at work putting their buildings and their surroundings in order. They have cleared a quantity of trees from off the ground on which they are encamped and which surrounds the barracks proper. They have now burned a quantity of underbrush and stumps, and are determined to have things in apple pie order as soon as possible. The site which has been selected is a beautiful one and commands a good view of the straits, and also, from a military point of view, commands the harbour of Victoria. The officer’s quarters are commodious, and when completed will be well appointed, they will shortly be out of the builder’s hands. While it will be possible to have the men on the regimental role placed in existing previously built quarters, there is nothing for the officers or for the married men. There is no hospital nor guardroom, deserving the name of such, and it will be well that the entire establishment be permanently completed without undue delay.

Insane

Several nights ago the wife of an ex member of “C” Battery, now in Nanaimo, was taken to the police station on a charge of being of unsound mind, and there she still remains. Her insanity was induced by heavy drinking during the absence of her husband, and it is thought will only be temporary.

July 1, 1890

THE CAFFEE BOYS IN COURT

His Honor Has a Word to Say to Parents
The Children Committed For Trial, The Little Burglars

Next in line came the three Caffee children – such little fellows that their heads could not be seen over the rail of the dock. They are remarkably handsome, with clear dark eyes, innocent faces and curly hair that looks as if it had never made the acquaintance of comb or brush. In all their rags their natural beauty seems to shine to better advantage, and they are always received with more of a fatherly than a judicial air by the magistrate.

He looked them over for a moment and hen called to their father to step forward.

Capt. Caffee did so, and pointing to the children, his honor continued, “You see your children ? Look at those rags on them ! I’d like to be able to strip the clothes off your back and put them on your children.”

“I got them all new clothes, nice new clothes, on the 24th of May,” interposed Caffee, “and they tore them up in two days.”

“You take no care of your children,” continued the magistrate, “and so you’re the one to blame for their growing up criminals. You should see that they do right, and you should do right by them. I’ll look into the law and if I can I am going to send you to jail yourself.”

Caffee again protested that he had made ample provision for his offspring, but whenever he went away they would run wild. He could take the youngest away and have him brought up properly, but the two others were incorrigible, and he wanted them sent to the Reformatory. The ages of the three boys were, he said, fourteen, eleven and none years respectively.

As he could only commit for a period of six months, the magistrate finally decided to send the boys for trial by the higher court, so that they might be given a needed term of years in the Reformatory. An application was made to Mr. Justice Drake to dispose of the case during the afternoon, and he will give it his consideration, until tomorrow.

July 5th, 1890

On the Victoria City Police Court calendar, a member of “C” Battery was the first offender to plead guilty to the stereotype charge of “drunk and disorderly.” In imposing the regulation fine with costs, Mr. Ward expressed regret that one wearing. Her majesty’s uniform should appear in court charged with a violation of the law which it should be his duty to enforce. It appeared that the offender had been particularly ugly, when his arrest was undertaken, and has caused considerable trouble to the police and public. The occupant of the dock said that he, too, was very sorry that he had misbehaved, and promised not to let it occur again. He was given one week in which to pay his fine.

Over the Fence and Away

Had the little Caffee boys reached manhood’s estate the city would have to fear in them three of the most desperate and dangerous of criminals. As it is, at the ages of 9, 11 and 14, they surpass in nerve and cunning many prison birds of mature years. Yesterday the two elder boys, who have taken up their quarters at the reformatory, were sweeping out the corridors, when the eldest saw a chance to skip over the garden wall. There was no one looking, the high fence was easy to scale, and in a minute he was off and away. His absence was soon noticed, and a search was instituted. The bird had flown. Then the searchers extended the field of their operations, and it was discovered that the jail breaker had visited his home and secured his little brother, with whom he took to the woods near “C” Battery. This piece of woods was beaten for the boys, but fruitlessly; and the officers are now waiting for them to get hungry and come out on the forage, when they will be recaptured.

General Middleton Bids Farewell To His Career As A
Commander of Canada's Soldiers

Ottawa, Ont. June 30 — General Middleton terminated his career as Commandant of the Canadian Militia today. He will devote himself hereafter to writing on military topics. His Imperial pension will be 700 lbs. last session several members spoke in favour of appointing a Canadian to his position, but the Government holds that so long as the Dominion is a part of the Empire, and Canada relying upon her for land defence purposes, she had better have the judgement of an experienced Imperial officer.

Under Arrest

Private C. Gutrow, of “C” Battery, has been under arrest for several days past on a charge of stealing from Private Short. This case has been remanded for investigation, and the prisoner will probably be handed over to the civil authorities.

July 6, 1890

EXPLANATION, NOT EXCUSE

To the Editor: In reply to your report of the Victoria Trades Assembly in your issue of the 4th July, I beg to offer a few facts as to the Musical Union of this city ... con’t.

July 25th, 1890

All Well

One of the first actions of Col. Holmes on his arrival in Victoria was to select the present quarters of “C” Battery as a desirable site for the location of the force. Subsequent events show the wisdom of his choice. The ground is well situated in every respect, the buildings erected and now building answer every requirement, and when the work of improvement now under way is completed, the place will be one of the prettiest in the province. The ninety men of the battery are now under canvas, and all enjoying good health with the exception of two, who are confined to the hospital by chronic ailments.

Esquimalt Gossip

The tramway is engrossing the attention of all living or doing business along the line, at present. There are, of course, the usual expressions of mossbackism heard from those who apparently expected to see the road magically become an accomplished fact without the disagreeable incidents inseparable from construction. The great majority, however, are filed with gladness.

The work on the Esquimalt road is progressing more rapidly even than the company promised it would. Last evening the work of grading the way for the tracks, had reached almost up to Half Way House, and the lines are being quickly put down. It is more likely that the cars will be running into Esquimalt far sooner than anticipated.

July 26th, 1890

It is announced that semi officially that on Monday next, the men of “C” Battery will commence the work of conveying the contents of the powder magazine at Beacon Hill park to the new barracks. As soon as the objectionable magazine is emptied the civic authorities will commence its demolition.

The annual inspection; At 1:30 this afternoon the three headquarters batteries of the B.C.B.G.A. will parade at the drill shed in field day order, with rolled haversacks, and march to Beacon Hill, there to be inspected by Lt. Col. Holmes, acting D.A.G., and commandant of the school of gunnery.

July 27th, 1890

The track laying on the Esquimalt Road is proceeding apace, the grading is some distance past the Halfway House and the tracks have reached the railroad crossing at Victoria West. It is only fair to state, in reply to the complaints that the builders monopolize the major portion of the thoroughfare, that it seems as though they had exercised the greatest economy in taking up space. The roads leading out of the city might easily be wider and be none the less pleasant in drivers and pedestrians. The Esquimalt Road is not the widest of the city exits, so that it is not difficult to block the way.

July 30th, 1890

Tempting Accident — The announcement that the contents of the magazine would be removed at once to “C” Battery’s new quarters over the harbour, was a little premature. The officers of the battery while they would be only too glad to do as suggested have no other place at present in which to store the six tons or more of powder which the magazine contains. It will, therefore, have to remain in use until a new magazine is built. As it is, the magazine is a source of danger to that end of the city in which it is situated, there being no sentry anywhere in the vicinity.

July 31, 1890

Today the regular monthly muster parade of “C” Battery will take place.

Aid to civil power detachments from “C” Battery and the Garrison Artillery were sent to Wellington to enforce the law at the coal mines dispute in August, 1890. They returned after two weeks.

Also in August, Lt.-Col Holmes proceeded to Nanaimo to take preliminary steps in organizing a volunteer company of infantry.

Daily Colonist
August 6, 1890

AFFAIRS AT WELLINGTON

Detachments From “C” Battery and Garrison Artillery Sent to the Mines

In order to anticipate the possibility of riot and bloodshed at Nanaimo, a requisition, signed by three magistrates, was off Monday evening presented to the senior officer in command of the militia, asking that a detachment of military be sent to Wellington to supplement the efforts of the special police in preserving order and protecting property. In answer to the requisition, Lt. Col. Holmes D.A.G., ordered thirty men of “C” Battery R.C.A., to hold themselves in readiness to go to Wellington, and requested Major Nicholls to parade an equal number from the three headquarters batteries of the B.C.B.G.A. at the drill shed in full marching order, at noon. Ten men were accordingly drawn from each battery, and under the command of Capt. Quinlan, the detachment, thirty strong, took their departures by special train at 1:30 p.m. They were joined by the “C” Battery contingent at Russell station, and the entire force reached Nanaimo safely last evening. They were supplied with ball cartridges, 60 rounds being supplied each man. During the day the telegraph company had orders from headquarters not to transmit any messages to the strikers notifying them that the military were going up.

August 20, 1890

The Protest and Reply

The following is the protest sent by the Nanaimo members elect to the Premier and Mr. Robson’s reply:

Nanaimo, Aug. 14th, 1890
The Hon. John Robson, Premier of the Government of B.C., Provincial Secretary, Minister of Mines, etc, etc.

Sir, We, the members elect for the electoral districts of Nanaimo City and Nanaimo, hereby protest against the presence of “C” Battery and Militia of the Province at Wellington and urge their immediate withdrawal. We hold that the sending of n armed force into a peaceful and orderly community, is of a partisan character, unwarranted by the circumstances of the situation, an insult to the people of this district and as tending to promote the very disorders for the prevention of which they were ostensibly sent.

We further protest against the President of the Executive Council or any other member of the Government acting as counsel or in any other private capacity in the trials about to be held before the stipendiary magistrates.

We pledge ourselves to hold the Government to a strict accountability in the premises.

Your obedient servants,
Thos. Keith
Thos. Foster
C.C, McKenzie

REPLY

Victoria, B.C., Aug.15th, 1890
To Messrs. Thos. Keith, Thos. Foster, and C.C. McKenzie:

The Government have no control over the Militia; neither have they over the professional engagements of Mr. Pooley, the President of the Council. The Government are always responsible for their actions, and your threat to hold them “to a strict accountability” is therefore superfluous.

Jno Robson

September 2, 1890

John C. Macdonald has forsaken his former barrack life with the “C” Battery to engage with the city police in the work of raising fallen humanity to a higher and better level. He took the oath of allegiance as a member of the city police force yesterday.

THE “OLD BASTION” NANAIMO

September 4, 1890

To the editor: I was a resident of Nanaimo in the first six years of its existence, and am astonished to read in a copy of the Nanaimo Free Press the following anent the Old Bastion:

“There are only a few old pioneers left in this city who can remember the number of lives that this old relic has been the means of saving, and how they were compelled to remain inside for weeks on certain occasions, when the Indians were surrounding the town in the early days. The Old Bastion has quite a history which the pioneers are so well able to relate, with heaving breast, when they remember what they have endured therein”.

As to the Bastion ever being used as above described, it is an infamous falsehood, and the Nanaimo paper in saying so is offering greater insult to the peaceable Indians of that district than the sending of “C” Battery is to the whites, which the truthful editor harps so much about.

Pioneer, 1852

September 24, 1890

The Department Will at Once Invite Tenders for Victoria’s New Drill Hall

Col. Prior Busily at Work at Ottawa Pushing Forward the Battery Buildings

Ottawa, Sept. 23, Col. Prior had an interview with Sir Adolphe Caron today, and ascertained that instructions had been given to proceed with the erection of the “C” Battery buildings some weeks ago. Col. Prior followed the matter up and ascertained that the delay was caused by the Public Works Department. Work will at once be commenced and tenders will be asked for the erection of the new drill hall.

____________________

With regards to the occupancy of the Officer’s quarters, the following are letters written to request that the quarters may be handed over without delay.

Victoria, 18th inst Sept., 1890.

Dear Sir Adolphe,

As the Officer’s Quarters, here, will be completed by the end of the month, will you arrange to have them handed over to me without delay.

It is very desirable to have the building before the weather gets too bad and we may expect the autumn rains to commence very shortly, and as we are all under canvas it will be very uncomfortable.

It will save the Department the lodging allowance now paid.

Please have authority telegraphed as mail will not reach us in time.

Yours faithfully
[snd] J.G. Holmes

____________________

25th September, 1890

Sir,

It is reported that the Officer’s Quarters at Victoria, B.C., will be ready for occupation at the end of the present month. As our battery is now under canvas, would you kindly telegraph the Officials of your department in British Columbia, to have the building handed over to Lt. Col. J. G. Holmes, Deputy Adjutant General with the least possible delay, in order to provide the Officers with lodgings before the rainy season sets in.

I have the honor to be
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
(Sgd) C. Eng.
Colonel

Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence

The Secretary,
Department of Public Works, Ottawa

____________________

Department of Public Works
Ottawa, 30th Sept, 1890.

Sir,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication dated the 25th, inst, asking that when completed the Officer’s Quarters at Victoria, B.C., be handed over to Lt Col Holmes by Adjutant General at that place.

I have the honor to be
Your obedient servant,
………………….Secretary

Colonel …………
D……of Militia

____________________

Daily Colonist
October 2, 1890

Tender issued by the Department of Militia and Defence, Ottawa 22nd September 22, 1890 for “supplies, coal, fuel wood and services for “C” Battery, Royal School of Artillery, Victoria.

October 8, 1890

“C” Battery to be Raised to its Full Strength by Volunteer Drafts
from “B” Battery

It is definitely understood that the government will raise “C” Battery to its full strength by volunteer drafts from “B” Battery. The formal authorization will, probably pass tomorrow, when volunteers will at once be asked for.

Corporal Short, of “C” Battery, obtained his discharge yesterday and left for Plymouth, England, by the Islander this morning.

October 16, 1890

A tender for construction of a Guard House, Canteen, Cook House, and Married Men’s Quarters at Artillery barracks was issued, by the Dept. of Public Works, Ottawa.

The Militia department is waiting for information from Col. Holmes respecting the number of men required for “C” Battery before communicating with “B” and “A” Batteries.

Work Point, Private C. Gutrow, of “C” Battery, has been under arrest for several days past on a charge of stealing from Private Short. The case has been remanded for investigation, and the prisoner will probably be handed over to the civil authorities.

Original Work Point Barracks 1890
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October 18, 1890

Thirty Nine Men From “B” Battery Volunteer for Service in British Columbia

Thirty nine men have volunteered from “B” Battery for service in British Columbia. “A” Battery has yet to be heard from. A hitch, however, has occurred relative to the sending out of the full quota of men, the adjutant general not caring to dispatch 60 men when the quarters cannot accommodate that number.

October 19, 1890

Friendly Farewell

Staff Sergeant Mellon obtained his discharge from “C” Battery on Friday evening, having completed his sixteenth year in the active militia. In Canada, he was one of the force called to the Northwest at the time of the last rebellion, and he was present at the principle engagements. His officers and brother non commissioned officers have celebrated the occasion of his retirement from their circle by presenting him with an appropriate address, expressing the high opinion entertained for him by all in the battery, which will long miss his cheerful presence.

October 25th, 1890

Ex “C” Batterymen - Kingston, Ont. Oct 21 - Several of the men discharged from “C” Battery, British Columbia, have arrived in Kingston. Some of them will probably join “A” Battery.

“Tender for Guard House, Canteen, Cook House, and Married Men’s Quarters at Artillery Barracks, Victoria, B.C.” was issued by the Department of Public Works, Ottawa, on October 16th, 1890.

November 12, 1890

The “C” Battery Matter at a Standstill

Ottawa, Nov. 11. The “C” Battery matter is at a standstill just now until the minister decides whether the buildings are to go up.

November 28, 1890

STRANGE SEPULCHRES

Was Macaulay Point once the Burying Ground of a Prehistoric People?

Two gentlemen, of a scientific turn of mind, have recently made a discovery that will interest all who take an interest in the early history of the land we live in. The field of their researches is in the neighbourhood of Macaulay Point, and they claim to now be able to read in a number of rude graves, which they are at present investigating, the story of a prehistoric race.

These strange places of burial are constructed of stone, some two feet long by 18 inches in width, built up, without cement, of broken rocks. Each grave is covered securely with a heavy flat stone, which, on being removed, displays the last traces of the crumbling skeleton, which passes into dust at the touch. Only a few bones have been secured that will bear handling, but the scientists have arrived at one conclusion, that the race of people thus buried were placed in their graves in a sitting posture, the knees being doubled up to the chin. They were, evidently, predecessors of the present race of Indians, found on the North Pacific Coast – possibly the ancient Esquimaux of the pre glacial age.

Colonist
November 30, 1890

RELICS OF AN EXTINCT RACE

An Interesting Study for Victoria’s Scientists and Antiquarians

Victoria’s antiquarians are at present brimful of enthusiasm over the subject of graves, - the ancient sepulchres long known to exist on Macaulay Point having recently been made the subject of special investigation. Mr. James Deans has, for some time, been studying the peculiarities of this past race, as told in their method of disposing of their dead. Mr. O.C. Hastings is also very much interested in the subject, and has been fortunate enough to secure one perfect skeleton, preserved by the particularly dry ground in which it was found. Two other intelligent investigators are Mr. Cowlie and Mr. Smith.

The graves are very numerous about Macaulay Point, but they are also to be found at Cadboro Bay, while there are perhaps half a dozen on Beacon Hill itself. On digging into the little mounds a big flat stone will invariably be found covering the roughly constructed little box-grave of stones. The body in each case is found placed in the same position, doubled up, chin and knees together, and laid on the right side with the head to the south. The method of doubling up the body for burial is adopted by all the Indians of the Coast today, but they were never known to place their dead under the ground; they even prefer to place them in a tree top.

The skeleton now in the possession to Mr. Hastings is that of a very small human being, having some of the peculiarities of the Siwash or the Chinese. It is also argued by those who claim that the Mongolian tribes of north China and the Indian races of the Coast are the same family, that in the existence of these graves is found another proof of their theory. To this day the Hamas of Manchuria and Mongolia continue the custom of burying their dead in a kneeling posture, often cross-legged, after the Buddhistic style. The moment life has fled the body is made to take this position, and in this posture is committed to the earth.

It is thought that the stone graves in and about this city bear the heavy slab covering they do to protect the bodies placed therein from the wold beasts. The grave themselves are in good preservation, and in a few have been found arrow-heads, but no other implements or utensils. The race thus buried were evidently a race of dwarfs; but the skull is of better shape than that of the present generation of coast Indians. Signs of rude intrenchments or fortifications, supposed to have been thrown up by the same race, have also been discovered near this city, and a paper upon them and the supposed builders will very shortly be published.

December 4, 1890

Major Peters calling attention in a serious accident to a horse owned by “C” Battery, in consequence of a hole in Johnson street having been left unprotected. Twenty dollars would be accepted as payment in full for the injury done. Referred to the street and water committees, with power to act.

December 21, 1890

But Where Is His Band

Prof. E. Pferdner still holds the position and wears the uniform of master of “C” Battery band. The band, however, hasn’t an existence. Since the last detachment of men were paid off the band has been given up temporarily, and may not be reorganized until spring, when the new men arrive from the east.

December 28, 1890

Rumors and Bad Roads

Three of the men of “C” Battery amused themselves the day before Christmas by rolling a Chinese vegetable pedlar in the mud. The ill used celestial complained to the Colonel, who ascertained who the ringleader in the mischief was, and ordered him into barracks, the guard room not yet being into existence. He was to be tried the next day, but during the night he bade barracks a silent goodbye. On Friday he came back of his own accord, saying he was sorry for his misconduct and ready to be punished. The Chinaman did not care to appear against him for the original offence, so he was sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment for the second. These are the facts of a case which has been greatly magnified, and which took a Colonist man to the barracks, last night, for the purpose of investigating. The trip was made in comparative tranquility until the gates of the barracks were reached, then the trouble commenced. The sensation of driving through that barrack grounds closely resembles that of being dragged by the heels over a ploughed field, on which the rain has been falling steadily for two weeks, with occasional passages over the Rockies by way of variety. As a sample of bad roads, those around the battery buildings would take a first prize at a world’s exposition.


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