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Date > 1600

Subject > Soldiers, Warriors and Leaders > Roles and Professions

Soldiers' Daily Lives

Type: Document

It is difficult to reconstruct soldiers' day to day lives, because they would vary depending on where the soldier was stationed and also the time of year. Nevertheless, it can be said that days started early, would often be spent on guard duty, and less frequently doing drill.

Site: National Defence

The Staff of the Navy Troops

Type: Document

Although the Compagnies franches de la Marine were independent from each other, there was a small group of men responsible for them as a body within New France.

Site: National Defence

To the Sound of the Drummer's Beat

Type: Document

Fortified towns like Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Louisbourg were all governed by military staffs. The lives of French soldiers and Canadian civilians alike were regulated by the different drum beatings of the garrison, from La Diane at dawn to La Retraite at sunset.

Site: National Defence

Justice

Type: Document

Officers were subject to both military and civil courts, and could face the death penalty. Duelling, disobeying orders and flight in the face of the enemy were all strenuously punished.

Site: National Defence

The French And British Navies

Type: Document

Both Britain and France needed strong navies to protect their coasts, fishing fleets and colonies. The peak of French naval power was during the 1690s, when it dominated the coasts of England. Defeated in 1692, the French navy declined in quality and strength from that point on.

Site: National Defence

A Canadian Military Elite is Born

Type: Document

The officers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine became more and more Canadian in nature as time passed. Eventually, a majority of these men were born in the colony, and the French-born officers also established strong roots in Canada.

Site: National Defence

Recruiting Sergeants

Type: Document

Recruiters would entice potential volunteers with false tales of the easy, glorious life they would lead in the military, and told stories of riches to be won. Getting the men drunk also played an important part in recruiting practices.

Site: National Defence

Drummer, régiment de Carignan-Salières, 1665-1668

Type: Image

This reconstruction by Michel Pétard shows a drummer of the régiment de Carignan-Salières during the regiment's service in New France. He is wearing the livery of the princes of Carignan. The Carignan coat of arms is painted on his drum; the central shield of the arms shows a white cross on a red field. The drummer's role was to communicate the orders of his commander through patterns of drum beats. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

French soldiers of the early 17th century

Type: Image

These French soldiers wear a style of clothing common through much of Western Europe in the early seventeenth century. Note the musket rest carried by the man at left, and the pike carried by the man in the background. Mid-19th century engraving after a drawing by Alfred de Marbot.

Site: National Defence

The Medical Profession in New France

Type: Document

The French military medical services provided New France with its doctors. Physicians were very rare, while the lesser-qualified surgeons were more common. These medical professionals cared for civilian and soldier alike.

Site: National Defence