Lieutenant Colonel R.J.S. Langford
193rd (Nova Scotia Highlanders) Battalion
The Battalion, by means of its organization, is able to stand the shock of battle, to surmount confusion, to suffer casualties with the least injury to its efficiency. To abandon the organization is to destroy the fighting power and capacity for training.
(Langford, Corporal to Field Officer, 1940, 8)
Robert John Spinluff Langford was a professional soldier with the Royal Canadian Regiment. He was born in India on 9 July 1887. After Lieutenant Colonel John Stanfield, MP, temporarily assumed command of the Nova Scotia Highlander Brigade, Langford took over the 193rd, which he led to England in late 1916.
According to one account, “The high standard of efficiency to which the Battalion later attained was brought about by Major Langford’s enthusiastic and unremitting efforts.” When the Highlander Brigade was broken up, the 193rd was absorbed into the 17th Reserve Battalion. Langford transferred to the Headquarters staff of the 35th Division in the British Army.
Gassed in March 1918, he developed bronchitis and pleurisy, which forced his return to England. He commanded the military district at Kimmel Park before being struck off strength to Canada in September 1919.
Langford served as commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Regiment from 1929 to 1935. In 1925, he co-wrote, Corporal to Field Officer, a Canadian Army reference work and guide for officers and NCOs. He published a revised fourth edition after the outbreak of the Second World War in 1940. During the 1930s and 40s, Langford also wrote a large number of short stories including “How I Won the War.”
He died on 28 June 1954.