Select a letter to browse an alphabetical listing of terms and definitions.
Long cloak or overcoat, often with an attached hood; also called a "blanket coat". Widely worn in French Canada until the 20th century, it was not strictly a military garment, but was commonly worn on service in the frontiers of New France instead of the European-style uniform. Ideal winter coats because of their heavy cloth or blanket material, capotes were worn by British regiments in Canada from the 1760s to the early 1800s and much later by Canadian militia and volunteer units.
Person wounded, killed, missing or taken prisoner during combat. Often men reported missing would subsequently be declared dead if they were not found to be have been taken prisoner. The bodies of thousands of Canadian servicemen killed overseas have never been recovered and remain "missing" to this day.
Suppression of whole or parts of news and correspondence from battle zones on the grounds of security, as the contents may lower morale in one's forces or provide information to the enemy. As newspapers became increasing widespread in the 17th century, governments often took steps to control information through an official approval system and publication bans.
During the Peninsular War (1808-1814), Henry Crabb Robinson of the London Times was notably critical of the British army's operations, enraging the Duke of Wellington. Napoleon, pleased, remarked that a critical press was worth 100,000 men, and closed down so many papers in France that by 1812, only four remained. During the Crimean War (1854-1856), the fall of the British government was largely blamed on war correspondent, notable W.H. Russell. As a result, a censorship law was passed in 1856 regarding communications from the front.
The second half of the 19th century saw vast technological improvements in the field of communications. By the Boer War (1899-1902), the British were disturbed to find detailed newspaper reports on military operations appearing in Europe and America within a few hours of the events. In 1910, the British government brought measures, encompassing the British Empire, to be taken in case of war, including the control of telegraph cables and self-censorship guidelines to newspapers. These measures came into effect on August 14, 1914 with the beginning of the First World War. The German trans-Atlantic cables were cut by the Royal Navy and European communications remained in British hands until the end of the war. British correspondents were not allowed near the front until May 1915.
In Canada, the War Measures Act of 1914 provided for censorship, but this was difficult to control the country's nearly 1,500 periodicals. There was the added problem that the American press remained fully free, as the US was neutral until 1917. A Canadian censorship organization was created in July 1915, that worked to avoid negative news and comments that might affect the public's morale by controlling the content of newspapers, cable and telegrams, telephone conversations, cinema, theatre, recordings and photos.
Censorship was abolished at the end of the First World War, but was brought in again for the Second World War and during certain operations and conflicts since that time.
See also: War correspondent
Clergyman appointed to a unit, often a regiment or a ship, to fulfill the religious needs of military men and women. During the French Regime, the priests of the Recollets Order were appointed in 1692 to be chaplains of the colonial troops in Canada. After 1760, the British method was used, appointing clergymen from the units area as chaplain. A Canadian Chaplain Service provided full-time service chaplains from 1914 to 1919 and became a permanent militia component in 1921. The Royal Canadian Chaplain Corps of the regular forces and its successors dates from March 1948, and chaplains continue to accompany Canadian troops on peacekeeping missions around the world.
Term used to describe light troops in the French Army during the 18th century; derived from the French word for "hunter". The first Canadian chasseur troops appear to be Sedentary Militia units at the Battle of Châteauguay in October 1813; the Chasseurs de l'Acadie, Chasseurs de Saint-Philippe and Chasseurs de Saint-Constant. In 1814, the 5th Battalion of Lower Canada Select Embodied Militia was renamed "Chasseurs Canadiens" and deployed as a light infantry unit until disbanded in March 1815. Other Canadian Militia units have borne the title "Canadian Chasseurs", notably the 4th Battalion of Volunteer Militia formed in 1862.