SPECIAL ORDER OF THE DAY
BY BRIGADIER GENERAL W. A. GRIESBACH
C. B., C. M. G., D. S. O.
COMMANDING 1st CANADIAN INF. BDE.
6th February 1919.
In severing my connection with the Brigade, I shall have little to say to you in addition to that which I said to you on parade this morning. I propose to urge upon the Government the very great importance of perpetuating as Units of the Canadian Army all units at present in the Canadian Corps. By this means you will preserve the records and traditions which you have built up and so splendidly maintained during four years of active warfare. There are, I am sure, many among you who would like to maintain your connection with your old Units, and undoubtedly in all cases your sons and their sons would like to serve in the same Unit.
You are about to return to Canada to be absorbed again into the national life. This is sometimes referred to as the "Returned Soldier Problem". To me there is no such problem. Men of the Canadian Corps will return to Canada with a wider vision and finer conception of Canada, its opportunities and destinies, than they ever had before. The national life of Canada will be enriched by your return and by our participation in the affairs of the country. You have seen war and the destruction which war brings, and you will determined to keep war far way from Canada. You have seen people of autocratically governed countries reduced to the utmost misery, and you will be quite clear in your minds that we want no autocracy in Canada. You have seen the squalor, poverty and vice of great European cities, and you will have none of that in the life of Canada if it can be avoided. You have heard and seen something of the attempts to rectify these conditions by violence, riot and disorder, and you will not tolerate in Canada the Revolutionist or the Bolshevist. In days to come you will realize that we have conditions and opportunities in Canada which do not exist elsewhere, and it will be your duty to safe-guard these conditions and exploit these opportunities to the common advantage of all these people of Canada. You have seen something of the might and power of the great Empire to which we belong, and you will return to Canada persuaded that this great Empire is an instrument of righteousness and a safe-guard of the life, property and liberties of the whole world. Bearing these facts in mind, and having adventured your lives in defence of the great principles which brought us into this conflict, I am certain that your absorption into the national life of Canada will result in great benefit to the Canadian nation.
For two years I have been privileged to command this Brigade. During that time we have fought the heaviest and bloodiest battles in the Great War and we have brought to triumphant conclusion the task to which we tuned our hands some four and a half years ago. I have always trusted you implicitly and have always known that there were no tasks which man could perform which you could not do. I have never ceased to marvel at your great patience in trials and difficulties and your wonderful courage under all circumstances. You have been, and are, the lst word in military efficiency, and Canada is very proud of you. I could not be otherwise than proud of you also.
Good luck to you and God bless you and bring you safely to you homes and people in Canada.
W. A. GRIESBACH
Commanding 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade.