Category: The Royal Canadian Regiment

Categories: Permanent Active Militia | Canada, The South African War (The Boer War), 1899-1902 | Canadian Army | Canadian Army, World War II | Eighth Army | 1st Canadian Infantry Division, Canadian Army, World War II | 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade

The RCR was originally authorized as the Infantry School Corps on 21 December 1883, and established its first three company stations at Fredericton, New Brunswick; St Jean, Quebec; and Toronto, Ontario. In 1887 a fourth company was authorized and the next year was established at London, Ontario. Wolseley Barracks in London has been continuously occupied by some element of the regiment since construction of Wolseley Hall was completed in 1888.

The regiment's name was changed to The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry in 1893. William Dillon Otter, formerly of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, was the first Commanding Officer. He would later become the first Canadian-born Chief of the General Staff, the head of the Canadian Army.

South African War (Second Boer War)

During the South African War (Second Boer War), the Toronto company of the 2RCRI fought Canada's first overseas battle at Sunnyside, Cape Colony, on January 1, 1900, defeating a Boer commando in an action led by Australia's Queensland Mounted Infantry. The unit played an instrumental role in the victory at the Battle of Paardeberg Drift (18–27 February 1900), removing the commando blocking the way to the first Boer capital, Bloemfontein, Orange Free State. This date has since been celebrated by the Regiment as Paardeberg Day. The Regiment also distinguished itself on the march north, arriving first at the gates of Pretoria.

During the South African War Private Richard Rowland Thompson was awarded a Queen's scarf, one of the four presented to soldiers of the Dominions. A small statuette (1999) by André Gauthier (sculptor) commemorates the centennial of the Royal Canadian Regiment’s Battle of Paardeberg during the Boer War.

The Second World War; 1939–1945

The regiment received 28 battle honours for its participation in the Second World War. On 1 September 1939 the regiment was mobilized as part of the Canadian Active Service Force as Canada prepared for participation in the Second World War. When war was declared on September 10, the RCR had already been allocated to the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, a formation made up entirely of Ontario units. Moving to the United Kingdom in December 1939 as a component of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, the RCR saw hard training for almost four years.

On 10 July 1943, the RCR landed with Allied invasion of Sicily. The regiment and its sister units in the 1st Brigade, The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment and the 48th Highlanders of Canada fought in several battles in the 38-day campaign on the island. The came the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland in September, the RCR fought in several battles of the Italian campaign, including at the Moro River valley near Ortona in December 1943, in 1944, the Battle of Monte Cassino, attacks on the Hitler Line and the Gothic Line. In northwest Europe in February 1945 the regiment to part of the liberation of Holland. The regiment returned home to Canada in 1945.


The Royal Canadian Regiment is today an infantry regiment of the Canadian Army.It is ranked 9th in the order of precedence amongst Canadian Army regiments, but is the most senior infantry regiment that has regular force battalions. The RCR maintains a Regimental Headquarters (RHQ) in Petawawa, Ontario. The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum is located within historic Wolseley Hall in London, Ontario.


People or pages in The Royal Canadian Regiment

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