Sergeants’ Mess

This photograph of Sergeants’ Mess was probably taken in Quebec City, I came across it on a visit to my great Uncle Herbert Jordan who lived in Montreal. The photograph belonged to his grandfather William Jordan who was a Sergeant in the Canadian Artillery in the 1880s. He started out as a bugler during the Fenian Raids with the Eighth Royal Rifles and served in the Jesuit Barracks in 1870 when he was eighteen years old. He first joined the Eighth Royal Rifles in 1866 as a bugler and later in the Northwest Rebellion where he was promoted to Sergeant.

William had the distinction as being the first to sound call and act as sentry for the Royal Artillery when they took over the Citadel from the 60th Rifles of the Imperial Army in 1871.

He was in the Northwest campaign in 1885 and it was here that attained the rank of Sergeant but he also damaged his hearing due to his proximity to the guns. He also was a bugler and trumpet instructor and then later a gymnasium instructor at the Citadel.

I would dearly love to know in what building this photograph was taken. I haven’t been able to pick him out in the photograph and wonder if he is even in it…I also had to stitch it together the best I could as my scanner bed isn’t big enough for the picture.


William Jordan_1

William Jordan c.1880


Jordan, William older

William Jordan abt. 1935.

  2 comments for “Sergeants’ Mess

  1. June 28, 2016 at 12:34 am


    Definitely a collection of sergeants, probably a full regiment of them given their number, though I see there are lance sergeants among them, a rank unique to the artillery and really meaning senior corporal, or acting sergeant but paid as a corporal. You can tell because the full sergeants have a gun above their stripes. There are definitely artillery. Once the picture in enlarged you see the cap badges being of a pyramidal shape. I would say they were from 1914 to late 1920s. They were all wearing forage caps or policemens’ style caps, but no white lanyards which came in later. I checked the 8th Rifles, which turned out to be battalion number. It turned out they eventually became the Royal Rifles of Canada, who will the Winnipeg Grenadiers defended Hong Kong in World War II, and in my view acquitted themselves far better, after a bad start, than the Australians did in Singapore, where 80,000 men surrendered to 30,000 who were running out of ammunition. The 60th Rifles are also interesting as they were once when 13 colonies were part of Canada so to speak, they were then the Royal American Regiment, and thereafter used to induct American and Canadian into the British Army. They were also part of Rogers Rangers, or Rogers Rangers were one of their independent companies, who fought with the Mohawks and Algonquins against the French and the Huron.


    • July 5, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you for your very informative reply, you seem to know quite a bit about the military. I didn’t notice the gun above their stripes and the date you suggest makes me think that it isn’t William Jordan in the photograph but maybe one of his sons.


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