Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Galloper Jack and the Canadian Cavalry Brigade (Part 3)

In late 1914, Jack Seely found himself at loose ends. His political career had come off the rails, and in the meantime, wartime Britain was responding militarily without him. He had been involved in moving the British Expeditionary Force to the continent in 1914, but by January 1915 he was champing at the bit for some meaningful role.
His old friend Winston Churchill came to the rescue. He spoke to Lord Kitchener, who noted there were “two regular Canadian cavalry regiments which, with a yeomanry regiment added, would make a good cavalry brigade...”.
In his book “Galloper Jack”, Seely’s grandson notes “to the outsider they looked a displaced, half-trained, makeshift bunch of ranchers, clerks, cowboys, ex-pats, mounties and Red Indians, whose connection with Seely was about as distant as you could get. But they were made for each other.”
And so it was that the British army got rid of a thorn in their side, a former Secretary of War, no less. And the Canadian Cavalry Brigade got an English, aristocratic brigadier, whether that was what Sam Hughes and the Canadian government wanted or not.


Lamont said...

"ranchers, clerks, cowboys, ex-pats, mounties and Red Indians..." Sounds like a good bunch to me. I'd want them on my team!

Robert Mackay said...

I believe they struck terror into the hearts of some British subjects before going to France to do the same to the enemy.

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