TWENTIETH CENTURY IMPRESSIONS
field day operations against the Burma Railways volunteers, who defended Insein. The corps left Rangoon by special train, detrained at Thamaing and moved up to the attack, throwing out advanced guards. General Fenton was present at the operatious and expressed himself as pleased at the manner in which the attack was delivered, but pointed out that cover should have been made more use of in advancing.
Major Redmond during this term of office as officiating commandant brought to the notice of the authorities the serious disabilities the corps suffered under from the want of a permanent and increased staff of instructors, and from the want of sufficient range accommodation. The large increase in the number of the men gave barely sufficient
mandant of the corps, and took over charge from Major Redmond on October 19, 1908. The addition of a miniature range at headquarters has done much to improve the musketry of the corps, but until such time as a separate range is allotted to the corps the shooting efficiency of the corps must suffer. The corps still suffers from the want of an increased staff of permanent instructors. The corps, now 1,100 strong, has fewer instructors than when it was 400 strong. These instructors, being of the second class, are liable to transfer on promotion to first class, and thus there is a constant change of instructors, from which the corps suffers. Colonel Finlay has added his voice to those of his predecessors in calling the attention of the authorities to these
of Volunteers, inspected the corps and expressed himself as pleased with what he saw, although in his opinion the shooting was capable of much improvement. In December, 1905, a camp of exercise was held at headquarters. On August 14, 1907, Major William Redmond, V.D., was appointed Officiating Commandant. For the first time in the history of the corps, the rule entailing the payment of non-efficient volunteers of the capitation grant, lost to the corps through their non-efficiency was enforced, and a pleasing feature in the matter was the willingness with which the non-efficients met the fines imposed upon them. The headquarters building was painted and put into a thorough state of repair, a menas club was started, the officersa mess was revived, vacancies in the ranks of officers filled, and great efforts made to increase the corps in numbers and efficiency. A band, consisting of retired pensioners of the Native Army, was enrolled, and the services of Bandmaster Cox, of the Devons Regiment, through the courtesy of Colonel Walters, commanding, enlisted to put the band on a sound basis. The efforts made to increase the corps in members and efficiency met with success, and the numbers soon increased from 500 men to 640 on March 31, 1908. The corps furnished a guard of honour of three officers and one hundred men at the Reception Pandal, on the occasion of the visit of Lord Minto, in November,
1907, the mounted company formed the escort to His Excellency to Government House, while the remainder of the Corps with the troops in garrison lined the streets. The Viceroy expressed himself as well pleased with the smart appearance and equipment of the guard and escort, and the Lieut.-Governor, Sir Herbert White, through Brigadier-General Fenton, commanding the Rangoon Brigade, conveyed his obligations to the officers and troops in Ragoon for helping to make the reception and entertainment of the Viceroy so conspicuous a success.
A combined inspection of the corps by Major-General Pearson, Inspector General of Volunteers, and Brigadier-General Fenton, commanding Rangoon, was held during the season, at which 235 officers and men were present, this forming a record for the past three years. General Pearson made a searching inspection of the corps and found the adult companies were capable of improvement. He realised the difficulties business men laboured under to find time to attend parades. The fire discipline and control were good, and the cadetsa physical drill also good. The corps took part in
time, in a drill season extending over only six months in a year, and on a two-section range shared with the Burma Railways volunteers, to put the men through their usual musketry course, much less allow for team and match shooting, while the constant change of instructors precluded that continuity of instruction and supervision so necessary in a volunteer corps. In January,
1908, a very successful sports meeting, extending over two days, was held, at which a large number of the friends of the corps were present. Mrs. Fenton very kindly distributed the prizes. A dance or concert is held once a month, and weekly practice dances, which are much appreciated by the men.
On July 22, 1908, the Hon. Mr. C. Kirkman Finlay was appointed Lieut.-Colonel Com-
tvvo very important points. Unless something is done in both directions to help the corps, the officers cannot be justly held responsible for the efficiency of the rank and file,
BURMA RAILWAY VOLUNTEERS.
In case of an outbreak of hostilities, the special work of the Burma Railway Volunteers would be to ensure that the railway communications were undisturbed, and to hold the stations. The corps was established in 1879, and one of the regulations of the Burma Railway Company is that all their European and Eurasian employees shall undergo the necessary military training to make themselves efficient members of it. The difficulties in the way of successful organisation, however, are exceedingly great.In case of an outbreak of hostilities, the special work of the Burma Railway Volunteers would be to ensure that the railway communications were undisturbed, and to hold the stations. The corps was established in 1879, and one of the regulations of the Burma Railway Company is that all their European and Eurasian employees shall undergo the necessary military training to make themselves efficient members of it. The difficulties in the way of successful organisation, however, are exceedingly great.