Today, Canada Post is releasing a series of six commemorative envelopes to mark 150 years of service for six Canadian regiments.
42nd Field Artillery Regiment (Lanark and Renfrew Scottish), RCA
Located in Pembroke, Ont., the 42nd Field Regiment (Lanark and Renfrew Scottish), RCA, was formed Oct. 5, 1866 as the 42nd Brockville Battalion of Infantry with companies in Brockville, Perth, Fitzroy, Lansdowne, Smiths Falls and, later, Pembroke.
In 1900, the Regiment became the 42nd Lanark and Renfrew Regiment. During the First World War, the Regiment mobilized and travelled to Europe where members were assigned various roles. When the Second World War broke out, the Regiment took up home defence duties. In 1944, the Regiment adopted an anti-aircraft role and then, known as the Lanark and Renfrew Scottish Regiment, it took part in the Italian Campaign before arriving in France in 1945. After the war, the Regiment was given a number of successive roles, becoming a field artillery regiment in 2006.
56th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA
The 56th Field Artillery Regiment traces its lineage back to the 37th Haldimand Battalion of Rifles, which was founded Sept. 28, 1866.
During the First World War, members of the Regiment arrived in France in 1915, fighting as infantrymen and gunners in the 1st Canadian Division. Reinforcement drafts arrived later with additional members of the Regiment. During the Second World War, the batteries of the Regiment served in Italy and Northwest Europe in a variety of roles. Today, the Regiment is headquartered in Brantford with batteries in Brantford, St. Catharines and Simcoe. As members of the Canadian Army Reserve, the soldiers of the 56th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, mostly serve part-time. Evenings, weekends and summer months are spent training and preparing for deployment at home and abroad.
The Ontario Regiment (RCAC)
Though its lineage stems from some of Ontario’s earliest regiments, The Ontario Regiment recognizes its official foundation on Sept. 14, 1866, when the 34th (Ontario) Battalion of Infantry formed.
Members participated in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, the South African War and the First World War. In the 1930s, the Regiment became a tank battalion and, later, mobilized for the Second World War during which the Regiment earned battle honours in Italy and northwestern Europe. During the Cold War, the Regiment took on reconnaissance duties, giving many of its members unique experience with both armour and reconnaissance roles. Members have volunteered for service in many of Canada’s post-Second World War deployments, including peacekeeping missions and operations in Afghanistan.
The Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (RCAC)
This year marks 150 years of continuous service for The Queen’s York Rangers, but the Regiment’s history goes back even farther.
Founded by Robert Rogers, the Rangers fought in the Seven Years War in the 1750s and on the British side during the American Revolution. After this conflict, the Rangers were disbanded but were resurrected by their former commander Col. John Graves Simcoe and laid the foundations of Toronto, building Fort York, Yonge and Dundas streets. The Rangers also perpetuate the York Volunteers who helped turn the tide at Queenston Heights. In 1866, the Rangers were permanently added to the order of battle and now serve as a Reserve reconnaissance regiment headquartered in Fort York Armoury, at the heart of the city and nation they helped to build.
The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada
Soldiers from Waterloo Region have served Canada since the War of 1812.
In 1866, the 29th Waterloo Battalion of Infantry was formed. Volunteers from Waterloo County served in the 34th, 111th and 118th Battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. Soldiers from the region served in the Highland Light Infantry of Canada and the Scots Fusiliers during the Second World War. In 1965, these two regiments amalgamated to form the Highland Fusiliers of Canada. In 1998, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II granted the Regiment the right to the “Royal” designation in recognition of its long and distinguished service. The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada continue to serve Canada domestically and in conflicts around the world.
The Sherbrooke Hussars
The 53rd Sherbrooke Battalion of Infantry was formed in 1866 to fight the Fenians.
It became the 53rd Sherbrooke Regiment in 1900, while the 54th Richmond Battalion would later be redesignated the 7th/11th Hussars. The unit served during the Boer War and the First World War, as part of the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion. During the latter conflict, two members, Captain G.R. Pearkes and Lieutenant C.S. Rutherford, earned the Victoria Cross. In the Second World War, the Sherbrooke units were amalgamated as The Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment. Now an armoured regiment, it landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944, and took part in a number of famous battles. The 7th/11th Hussars reinforced the Royal Rifles of Canada, which played a significant role in Hong Kong. After the war, The Sherbrooke Regiment was amalgamated with the 7th/11th Hussars, Feb. 15, 1965, to become The Sherbrooke Hussars.