Vanishing ghosts and missing Lincs’ in 2013

Five of the six commemorative envelopes planned for 2013 have already been issued, while the fate of the sixth remains unknown along with the fate of the Haunted Canada stamps.

A total of six commemorative envelopes were announced when the program was finalized in 2012. All six were to honour Canadian anniversaries, with a permanent-rate domestic stamp and special cancel. Five were unveiled earlier this year. The first cover commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 49th (Sault Ste. Marie) Field Artillery Regiment. The unit was originally formed as infantry, and took its designation from the British army’s 49th Regiment of Foot, stationed in Fort St. Joseph in 1802. Over the years, the regiment served as part of the 96th Algoma Rifles.

In 1900, the 97th Algonquin Rifles was formed with headquarters in Sault Ste. Marie, sending volunteers to the Boer War. In 1913, a reorganization as the 51st Regiment, Soo Rifles, formed in Sault Ste. Marie. During the First World War, it contributed to a number of battalions of the CEF. It perpetuates the 119, 226, and 227 battalion of that force. A 1936 reorganization saw it amalgamated with part of the Algonquin Regiment and redesignated the reserve battalion, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment. During the Second World War it served in Canada in a home defence role. In 1946, it was converted into artillery as the 58th Field Regiment, regaining its 49th designation in 1947. Other new commemorative envelopes from Canada Post mark the 100th anniversary of 4-H Canada, and Olds College; the 300th anniversary of Louisbourg; the 150th anniversary of the Montreal Fire Department; and the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

The sixth cover was to have marked the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment, a Primary Reserve infantry regiment based in St. Catharines, Ontario. While the anniversary is based on a 1913 reorganizations, the regiment, which fought in every engagement in the Niagara and Detroit theatres during the War of 1812, dates back to the raising of Butler’s Rangers on Sept, 15, 1777. The rangers, composed of Loyalists, fought against the Americans. After the war it was disbanded. The colonel, John Butler, was appointed a commanding officer of the Nassau district, which included Niagara.

During the War of 1812, the Lincoln Militia comprised five battalions. Their service with Maj.-Gen. Isaac Brock is commemorated by the use of a scallop shell, a Brock family symbol, on the regimental cap badge. In addition to the five battalions of the Lincoln Militia, the regiment perpetuates the Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada, and the “Coloured Corps.” Among the battles it fought in were the capture of Detroit, Queenston Heights, and Lundy’s Lane. After that war the “Lincs,” as the regiment is nicknamed, served in the Rebellion of 1837 and the Fenian Raids of 1866. Although not mobilized, the regiment contributed troops to the North West Campaign, Boer War and First World War.

It perpetuated the 81, 98, and 176 battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). During the Second World War, the regiment was mobilized for active service. After serving in Newfoundland, it was sent to Britain in 1943, and landed in Europe shortly after D-Day, serving in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Since that time, the regiment has remained active, contributing soldiers to various peacekeeping forces, and most recently deploying members to Afghanistan. The Haunted Canada series was originally intended for this autumn, but did not appear on the final issues of details magazine, issued in September of 2013. Canada Post had not commented on the missing issues by press time.

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