Boy Scouts Beyond The Seas
greatest hurry, never stopping till they were some twenty-five miles away from the place.
The gallant General Brock was killed in leading a charge on Queenston Heights, near Niagara, in which battle the Americans were beaten, after a severe tussle. His body was laid for a time in the house of a man named Secord.
This man’s wife, Laura Secord, shortly afterwards became one of the heroines of the war, for she overheard some American officers talking about their plan for surprising a British fort at Beaver Dam, twenty miles away.
So, as her husband was lying wounded and unable to get away, she herself made her way through the American outpost line by driving her cow before her as if taking her out to graze.
Then slipping into the woods – in spite of the Indians being everywhere – she cleverly made her way to the British post under command of Lieut. FitzGibbon, and gave him such timely warning that he was able to make an ambuscade with his forty-seven men and a band of Indians, and to catch the American force as it came along. He thus captured five hundred and forty of the enemy.
Finally, in the battle of Lundy’s Lane, fought near Niagara; by about 3,000 British and Canadian troops under Generals Riall and Drummond, 4,000 Americans under General Brown were defeated.
It was a desperate fight of seven hours during the night, at the end of which the Americans, having lost over 1,000 men, retreated, leaving the Canadians victorious with a loss of 84 killed and 559 wounded.
And that was the end of the war. Canada was served by the bravery of its men and by all working loyally together – French and English-speaking Canadians and British soldiers.
And since then there have been several occasions on which they have taken the field together: in the Red River Expedition in Manitoba, 1870, in the Nile Expedition in Egypt, 1882, and in the late South African War, 1899, in which the Canadian troops particularly distinguished themselves.
To Canada belongs the honour of being the largest Dominion of the British Empire. Canada is about ten times the size of the parent country, Great Britain; it is larger than Australia; one and a half times the size of India and Burma put together, twice the size of South Africa, and twice the size of East Africa, Uganda and the Sudan together.
So it is a pretty big country; and it contains about a quarter of the territory of the whole Empire.
At the same time, Great Britain has eight times the number of people in it. But Canada, as, indeed, the whole of the Empire, is going ahead fast, and, as the boys grow up to increase the number of men, the British Empire will be a still mightier one than it is now.
If the Canadian boys rise to be men worth their salt, Canada will have the place of honour in that Empire. To show you how Canada strikes an English boy arriving there I quote the following from diaries written by the Scouts who went with me to that country three years ago.
The party of fifteen Scouts selected to visit Canada embarked with me at Liverpool on board the Canadian Pacific Company’s mail steamer Empress of Ireland, on July 29th, 1910.
They were divided into two patrols, the “Beavers” and the “Wolves,” under command of Mr. Eric Walker and Captain Wade.
While on board the Scouts kept watches and learnt navigation for their Sea Scout badges, practised signalling, first-aid, and carried out drill with their trek cart, and played ‘boardship games, etc.