OTD: The Hamilton Football Club plays first formal game against the 13th Battalion

On today’s date in 1869, The Hamilton Football Club (now Hamilton Tiger-Cats) played their first formal game against the 13th Battalion (now Royal Hamilton Light Infantry).

Very little is known about this first game, and it seems no one knew how important of an event it would become. The game was briefly advertised in the daily papers before the event but no follow-up information was provided after the game was complete.

The Hamilton Football Club went on to become the popular Tiger-Cats after amalgamating with the Hamilton Wildcats, joining the CFL in 1958. By 1872, the Hamilton Football Club was playing on the Hamilton AAA Grounds and was known as the Tigers by 1873.

Read more about the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the famed “Fog Bowl” here.


It is known that the first Hamilton Football Club game was comprised of non-volunteers vs. volunteers. However, the identities of both the Hamilton Football Club players and the 13th Battalion players remain unknown.

The 13th Battalion was formed on December 11th, 1862. Encountering their first battle in June 1866, The Battle of Ridgeway. In 1936, the 13th Battalion Volunteer Militia merged with the Wentworth Regiment to become The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment).

Far-right: Major J.P. Hoekstra who served in Afghanistan alongside over 65 other Royal Hamilton Light Infantry’s Wentworth regiment members.

As part of a celebration for 150 years of military service, Canada Post created a series of three stamps highlighting different regiments. Amongst those highlighted was the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment). Canada Post wanted to commemorate the active duty, peacekeeping efforts, and relief work the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry has provided.


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