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Basic training and the Ross rifle

Heroes Remember - The First World War

Basic training and the Ross rifle

I had to walk down Assiniboine to Sydenham, and we drilled in the city hall in Sydenham then we, later we went to Kingston and drilled in the armory and then we went to Valcartier; the Frenchmen call it Valcartier! We had the old Ross rifle. Well it was clumsy. It would shoot alright but you pull the bolt straight back and at a certain point as you pull it back, the head of the bolt twisted about 90 degrees and when you pulled the bolt, went straight back and straight forward, it was a clumsy rifle but the Lee Enfield was a nice rifle.

Mr. Babcock retraces his training in Sydenham, Kingston and Val Cartier, and compares the Ross and Lee Infield rifles.

John Babcock

John Babcock was born on July 23, 1900 in Kingston, Ontario. He had twelve brothers and sisters. His father died in a lumbering accident when he was six years old, leaving his mother to run the family farm. Mr. Babcock enlisted in Sydenham, Ontario at the age of fifteen, joining the 146th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. He joined the 26th Reserve, Royal Canadian Regiment on his arrival in England, but because of his youth was placed in the Young Soldiers Battalion. The war ended before he had to be deployed to France. Because of this, Mr. Babcock never considered himself a true veteran. His death on February 18, 2010 marked the passing of the last surviving member of Canada's First World War Expeditionary Force.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Babcock
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War

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