Category: Governor-General's Body Guard, Canada

Categories: Canadian Army | Canadian Militia | Toronto, Military | North West Rebellion

The Governor General's Body Guard was a Canadian Army, militia, Household Cavalry regiment.

The regiment dates as far back as 1822 in York, Upper Canada (now Toronto). For the remainder of the 19th century this troop was recognized as the cavalry of the city of Toronto. It has links to the 1st York Light Dragoons formed in 1810 by Captain (later Major) John Button or Button's Troop (commanded until 1831). Also known as 'Denison's Troop', it began as the York Dragoons under the command of Captain George Taylor Denison I.

The special designation of Governor-General's Body Guard had first been bestowed upon the Royal Guides of Montreal. The York troop in 1866 made special claim to the title as being the oldest troop continuously maintained in Canada, with the request admitted on 27 Apr 1866, where the Montreal troop designation amended to "The Governor General's Body Guard for Lower Canada," and the 1st Troop of York Cavalry would bear the title of "Governor General's Body Guard of Upper Canada."

The GGBG was mobilized as a full squadron and participated in the Northwest Rebellion in 1885 as rear area security for General Middleton's force. The squadron's task was to protect the main supply route for the force in place with routine patrols from the rail line to Batoche and to secure the only supply depot and telegraph station at Humboldt. A fort was built, consisting of an earthen berm, around the telegraph station and named "Fort Denison". Middelton's force defeated the Metis at Batoche.

The GGBG, as a regiment, supplied some 50 men as augmenties to the small Canadian Regular Army for service in South Africa in 1900. Lt HZ Cockburn earned the Victoria Cross while serving as a volunteer with the Royal Canadian Dragoons during this conflict.

The GGBG, like all of the militia during the First World War, was not activated for duty, but rather assisted in raising numbered battalions for the Canadian Expeditionary Force and recruiting to fill the CEF ranks. Thousands of Toronto's citizens were recruited through the GGBG for service in the trenches. The GGBG supplied soldiers for the 3rd Bn, 2nd Bn, 4th CMR, 216th Bn, 124th Bn to name a few.

In 1936 the regiment was amalgamated with The Mississauga Horse to become The Governor General's Horse Guards.


Subcategories (2)

Person Profiles (16)


abt 14 Jul 1839 Toronto, York, Upper Canada - abt 30 May 1897


19 Nov 1867 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - 12 Jul 1913 photo


09 Apr 1851 Canada West - 24 Jun 1932
13 Aug 1879 Toronto, Ontario - 23 Apr 1915 photo
22 Nov 1846 Toronto, Canada West - 15 Apr 1896 photo
05 Jul 1875 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - abt 24 Feb 1951 photo

D cont.

12 Nov 1869 Welland, Wentforth, Ontario, Canada - 08 May 1917 photo
29 Dec 1783 Harwich, Essex, England - 18 Dec 1853
27 Aug 1880 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - 1944


1915 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - 1942 photo


abt 1840 Upper Canada - 23 Jan 1918


abt 25 Apr 1860 Toronto, York, Canada West - 19 Dec 1940 photo


abt 12 Aug 1811 Achadunan, Argyllshire, Scotland - 13 Nov 1885
abt 1839 Scotland, United Kingdom - 21 Feb 1894
08 Jun 1855 St. Catharines, Lincoln, Canada West - 26 Oct 1918 photo


19 Oct 1884 Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada - 24 Jan 1954 photo

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