CANADA IN THE WAR AT SEA 167
and about 100 chief motor-boatmen and motor-boatmen. The men going forward are entering the Imperial Service and will serve under the Admiralty.
At the beginning of the war the Admiralty called out the Royal Navy Reservists, composed of men engaged in the mercantile marine, but with some previous experience in the Royal Navy. The response to the call was such that the authorities found themselves with a surplus of trained seamen after manning the ships ready to put to sea. In order to utilize the services of these men a Naval Brigade was organized, and instructions were received in Canada that only men specially needed by the Admiralty should be sent forward. This naval brigade, while formed of reserve seamen, was partly officered by naval officers and partly by army officers. The men were trained as a military unit, given the uniform of the land force, were armed and equipped in exactly the same way as the infantry regiments, and took their places in the trenches alongside the latter. The only hold retained on them by the Admiralty was that these men, having received preliminary training as seamen, should be suitable for service on shipboard when required.
It was considered that there was no reason for Canada organizing two different systems of forces. There is not in this country a sufficient number of naval officers to undertake the training of naval regiments, and it seemed far wiser to enlist all the willing men under the military organization instead of duplicating the machinery. The Canadian Government therefore decided that no possible advantage could be gained by dividing their organization, and advised the few men who wished to enlist in naval brigades to enlist in overseas forces. The men who went over from Newfoundland were men belonging to the Royal Naval Reserve who had been already trained in the Royal Naval Reserve, which maintains a training station at St. John's. Shortly after the outbreak of war some 120 men and officers of the