The Minute Book
Thursday, 1 September 2016

Presenting Colours to H.M. 81st Regiment (1826)
Topic: Battle Honours

Presenting Colours to H.M. 81st Regiment

Historical Record of the Eighty-first Regiment, or Loyal Lincoln Volunteers; containing an Account of the Formation of the Regiment in 1793, and of its Subsequent Services to 1872, by S. Rogers, Gibraltar, 1872

The Eighty-First Regiment or Lincoln Loyal Volunteers, bears on the Regimental Colour:

The word "MAIDA." in commemoration of its distinguished service at the Battale of Maida, in 1806.

The word "CORUNNA," in testimony of its "steady and gallant conduct" at the Battle of Corunna fought in 1809, where the regiment was one among the few on which "the brunt of the action fell."

The word "PENINSULA," in recognition of its intrepid and meritorious services in the Peninsula from 1808 to 1814.

On the fourteenth of June [1826] a new set of colours was presented to the Eighty-first by His Excellency Sir James Kempt, K.C.B., Lieutenant-Governor of Halifax, and Colonel of the regiment; upon which occasion the following ceremony took place:—

About noon the three Regiments (the Eighty-first, Seventy-fourth, and Rifle Brigade), were drawn up in line, and received His Excellency with a 'general salute'; they then formed three sides of a square, the area of which was occupied by His Excellency and Staff, Admiral Lake, &c.—The General's carriage, containing Mrs. Creagh whom he had been requested to present the Colours for him, was then drawn up in front of the Eighty-first; immediately afterwards the ceremony commenced by prayer, and, an appropriate address having being delivered by the Rev. T. Twining, chaplain to the forces, the Banners were placed in the hands of His Excellency, who immediately stepped up to the carriage and presented them to Mrs. Creagh, with the following words:—

"The Colours of the Eighty-first Regiment will come with peculiar propriety and grace from your hands; and I request you will do me the honour of presenting them."

Ensigns De Rottenburg and Creagh then stepped forward, and Mrs. Creagh delivered to them and to the Regiment, the handsome address which is given beneath:

"In having the flattering honour conferred on me of presenting Colours to a Regiment, in which my tenderest affections, and most friendly regards are centred, it is difficult for me to give expression to all the feelings, which a ceremony so imposing and so deeply interesting to my heart excites. I cannot pray for more than that, while serving under these new banners, you may display the same ardour and invincible bravery which so brightly shone forth under your old Colours at Maida, when the Eighty-first was so gloriously led to victory by its distinguished General. May Maida, Corunna, and the other glory commemorating inscriptions on your Colours, be always present to your minds, and, with the blessing of the Almighty, ever lead and preserve you in the path of honour and virtue."

"Into your hands, my young friend, I present your King's Colour; and into your charge, my beloved son, I give the Colour of your regiment" (at this part of the address Ensigns De Rottenburg and Creagh advanced, and each were presented with a banner). When your Country requires your defence, I, even as a Mother, can say they never should be abandoned, but in death. And may you, while fighting under them, and during your whole military lives, endeavour to pursue the splendid career of your illustrious General; and may you, like him, be distinguished with the well-merited rewards of a grateful Country."

The two Ensigns having retired to resume their usual station in front of the regiment, Lieut.-Colonel Creagh spoke in the following manner:—

"Those Colours, which, by the distinguished favour of His Excellency Sir James Kempt, have just been presented to the Eighty-first in a manner so truly gratifying to my feelings, shall, I can promise, never be sullied by the corps I have the honour and happiness to command. And in the day of battle, I trust, they will ever wave triumphantly as did our old colours, when the path of victory was pointed out to the Eighty-first, by the General under whom we now have the good fortune to be placed."

The Colours were then trooped, after which the various regiments marched past, and moved off to their respective barracks.

The Senior Subaltern


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Issue of Battle Lists (1956)
Topic: Battle Honours

The battle honours concern the colours, and the colours are important things.

War Honours Report

Issue of Battle Lists (1956)

The Glasgow Herald, 28 January 1956 From Our Military Correspondent

Ten years and more after fighting has ceased a War office Committee with the fine-sounding title of "Battle Nomenclature Committee" have presented their report and recommendations on the numbers and names if battles in the Second World War.

In old-time wars were easy to define; when war is global—and in the last war it stretched from East to West, from the Sea of Japan through Hong Kong, Burma, Mesopotamia, Ethiopia, North Africa, and Italy to Normandy and to the Elbe, not forgetting our own islands where the casualties exceeded those of many of our famous fights—it is not so easy.

Baffling Question

How to distinguish the phases of a long battle is a matter for grave discussion. There was a Battle of Normandy certainly; was there a Battle of Caen and a Battle of Faliase?

At the time it mattered little what once called them; they could not be mentioned then in any case because there was a censor who bore intense dislike of that very nomenclature which has occupied the committee. But it matters considerably now, for on exactitude in the matter depends the award of battle honours.

The battle honours concern the colours, and the colours are important things. Only the cavalry, now nearly all mechanised, carry colours, the guidons of the regiment, and the infantry. The other corps have no colours; to the gunners the gun itself is the colour, and as they would all say that, so far as the last war was concerned, there was not a single engagement at which at least one of their members failed to put in an honourable appearance, there would be no room in any colours they had for the emblazonment of all their battle honours.

First Award

A battle honour at the beginning did not necessarily concern the colours. It was awarded to a regiment for a particular feat, and the first was awarded as late as 1760 to the old 15th Hussars for their conduct at Elmsdorf; officers and men wore it on their headdress, very much as the Black Watch wear the red hackle.

Later, when battles had passed into history, there were general awards; and the names of earlier battles were emblazoned on the guidons of the cavalry and on the Queen's Colours of the infantry.

The earliest, borne only by the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards, by the Royal Scots and the Queen's, and by the 1st Royal Dragoons, was for "Tangier."

Staking Claims

With the publication of the Second World War list it is now the task of the regiments to make their claim to the right to be awarded a battle honour for this action or that. The claims are made through the Colonel of the Regiment; they will be examined, and those admitted will be promulgated in due course. No more than 10 "Honours" may be emblazoned.

The field of selection is extremely wide. The committee list 19 operations, or, as the older generations would have said, campaigns. When the list is extended to include campaigns in which Australian and New Zealand units were primarily concerned it will contain some 1100 names of "battle, actions, and engagements."

Thus the short Norwegian campaign lists no battle but nine separate engagements. The long campaign in North-West Europe in 1944-45 lists 11 battles, 8 separate actions, and 67 separate engagements. Famous names are sometimes included in a general battle title; thus Arnhem is an action included in the Lower Rhine Battle but El Alamein stands as a battle by itself.

Dunkirk Position

It is for the regiment to decide; to some a single action or even an engagement will be more important, more deserving of remembrance, than an inclusive battle title. That is true of Arnhem; it is certainly true also of Walcheren and of others besides.

The committee table nothing here except geographical and military historical particulars. They anticipate no regimental claims. They list no Battle of Dunkirk in 1940, but list the action at Dunkirk. It is not customary to grant a battle honour for a defeat, and some of our famous fights for that reason do not appear on the colours. Was Dunkirk a defeat or a victory? It will be interesting to see if "Dunkirk" is claimed; there are few names with greater entitlement to be honoured.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 18 June 2016

Battle Honours; Conditions of Awards (1922)
Topic: Battle Honours

Battle Honours — Conditions of Awards (1922)

The guiding principle in the selection and allotment of battle honours will be that headquarters and at least 50 per cent of the effective strength of a unit in a theatre of war must have been present at the engagement for which the honour is claimed.

The Glasgow Herald, 15 September 1922

His Majesty the King has approved of the award to regiments and corps of the battle honours won by them in the Great War. Regiments and corps will have awarded to them and recorded in the Army List, in addition to those already shown, the honours due to them for taking part in the battles enumerated in the report of the Battles Nomenclature Committee under the columns headed "operations" and "battles" ("name" and "tactical incidents" included).

Following the honours previously earned and at the head of the list of honours granted for the Great War to be recorded in the Army List will be placed "The Great War," and the number of battalions of the regiment taking part, thus—The Devonshire Regiment—"The Great War"—Mons, Marne, Aisne, etc. There will be only one honours list for a regiment or corps, and within the meaning of regiment and corps will be included cavalry and yeomanry regiments. An infantry regiment or corps will include the Regular, Militia (or Special Reserve), Territorial, and Service battalions of the regiments concerned.

Regiments of cavalry and yeomanry, battalions of infantry, Regular Militia (Special Reserve), and Territorial will have emblazoned on their standards, guidon and colours not more than 24 honours, of which not more than 10 will be "Great War" honours, to embrace the whole history of the regiment concerned from the date on which it was raised to the end of the Great War, such honours to be selected by regimental committees from the list of honours to be shown in the Army List. The honours emblazoned on the colours will be the same for all units comprising the regiment concerned and will be shown in the Army List in thicker type. The guiding principle in the selection and allotment of battle honours will be that headquarters and at least 50 per cent of the effective strength of a unit in a theatre of war (exclusive of drafts which, although in a theatre of war, had not actually joined the unit) must have been present at the engagement for which the honour is claimed.

Regimental committees, under the chairmanship of their regimental colonels or of representatives to be nominated by the regimental colonels, will be set up to select the particular honours for regimental colours. Detailed instructions have been issued to the colonels of regiments concerning the preparation and submission of claims for the award of battle honours.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 10 June 2016

"Battle Honours"---Source of Pride
Topic: Battle Honours

"Battle Honours"—Source of Pride

Ottawa Citizen, 19 January 1957

Displayed on ornamental shield plaques in suitably prominent positions on board many warships are "battle honours," otherwise known as battle scrolls. The record the engagements and battles in which ships have participated and are a source of pride to all those serving in the ship, recording as they do the deeds of those who have gone before. It is the Navy's practice to perpetuate in new construction the names of ships with a good record of service. Accordingly, some ships of the Royal Navy have battle honours going back for hundreds of years. The battle honours on board HMCS Magnificent (aircraft carrier) recall, for example, series of battles in which the first Magnificent, a 74-gun ship-of-the-line, took part. These include a series of fierce engagements between Admiral Rodney's British West Indies Fleet and a French fleet under Admiral de Gutchen in 1780 and the Battle of the Saintes, off Dominica, in the West Indies in 1782, between fleets under Admiral Rodney and Admiral DeGrasse. The battle honours of HMCS Crescent have an even longer listing and date back to the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588. But those of older ships of the Royal Canadian Navy are for the most part of comparatively recent origin, recording their exploits in the Second World War or off Korea.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 20 March 2016

New Battle Honours (1954)
Topic: Battle Honours

New Battle Honours (1954)

Back to Armada

The Glasgow Herald, 9 October 1954

Battle honours dating back to the engagement of British warships against the Spanish Armada are being awarded by the Admiralty to naval vessels, naval establishments, and naval squadrons.

The aircraft carrier H.M.S. Eagle (40,000 tons), the largest ship in the Navy, will carry battle honours and so will the Admiralty tug Bustler. Ships of the Royal Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Pakistan, and East African Navies, with ships of the South African and Indian navies share in the honours.

The Admiralty, in a fleet order, say that the awards are intended to foster esprit de corps among officers and ships' companies.

Among the 33 air squadrons qualifying for honours—which begin with the 1940 campaign in Norway and cover the period to the ending of the Japanese war in 1945—are four Royal Australian Navy squadrons, two Royal Canadian Navy squadrons, and seven R.N.V.R. squadrons.

The ships to be honoured include the Victory, Nelson's flagship now preserved in Portsmouth Dockyard, which is the oldest ship in the Navy.

The honours board of H.M.S. Diamond, a Daring class warship, will start with the battle with the Armada and lists 14 other engagements in which ships bearing her name have taken part.

Newest Carrier

H.M.S. Albion, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier will bear four honours—Algiers (1816), Navarino (1827), the Crimea (1854-5), and the Dardenelles (1915).

The ship with the longest list will be H.M.S. Orion, a cruiser of the Reserve Fleet, whose fighting career has covered 20 battles, beginning with the "Glorious First of June" (1794). Thirteen of her distinctions were gained in the Second World War, and she will carry the "Jutland" honour for her part in the 1916 battle.

The scheme of awards covers ships not yet in commission, although in building. Among these are H.M.S. Leopard, a frigate, and H.M.S. Tiger, a cruiser, whose 13 honours will range from the Armada to Jutland.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 28 January 2016

War Honours Report (1956)
Topic: Battle Honours

War Honours Report (1956)

Issue of Battle Lists

The Glasgow Herald, 28 January 1956
From our Military Correspondent

Ten years and more after fighting has ceased a War Office Committee with the fine-sounding title of "Battle Nomenclature Committee" have presented their report and recommendations on the numbers and names of battle in the Second World War.

In old-time wars these were easy to define; when war was global—and in the last war it stretched from East to West, from the Sea of Japan through Hong Kong, Burma, Mesopotamia, Ethiopia, North Africa, and Italy to Normandy and to the Elbe, not forgetting our own islands where the casualties exceeded those of many of our famous fights—it is not so easy.

Baffling Question

How to distinguish the phases of a long battle is a matter for grave discussion. There was a Battle of Normandy certainly; was there a Battle of Caen and a Battle of Falaise?

At the time it mattered little what one called them; they could not be mentioned then in any case because there was a censor who bore intense dislike of that very nomenclature which has occupied the committee. But is matters considerably now, for on exactitude in the matter depends the award of battle honours.

The battle honours concern the colours, and the colours are important things. Only the cavalry, now nearly all mechanised, carry colours, the guidons of the regiments, and the infantry. The other corps have no colours; to the gunners the gun itself is the colour, and as they would all say that, so far as the last war was concerned, there was not a single engagement at which at least one of their members failed to put in an honourable appearance, there would be no room in any colours they had for the emblazonment of all their battle honours.

First Award

A battle honour at the beginning did not necessarily concern the colours. It was awarded to a regiment for a particular feat, and the first was awarded as late as 1760 to the old 15th Hussars for their conduct at Elmsdorf; officers and men wore it on their headdress, very much as the Black watch wear the red hackle.

Later, when battles had passed into history, there were general awards; and the names of earlier battles were emblazoned on the guidons of the cavalry and on the Queen's Colours of the infantry.

The earliest, borne only by the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards, by the Royal Scots and the Queen's, and by the 1st Royal Dragoons, was for "Tangier."

Staking Claim

With the publication of the Second World War list it is now the task of the regiments to make their claim to the right to be awarded a battle honour for this action or that. The claims are made through the Colonel of the Regiment; they will be examined and those admitted will be promulgated in due course. No more than 10 "Honours" may be emblazoned.

The field of selection is extremely wide. The committee lists 19 operations, or, as the older generations would have said, campaigns. When the list is extended to include campaigns in which Australian and New Zealand units were primarily concerned it will contain some 1100 names of "battles, actions, and engagements."

Thus the short Norwegian campaign lists no battle but nine separate engagements. The long campaign in North-West Europe in 1944-45 lists 11 battles, 8 separate actions, and 67 separate engagements. Famous names are sometimes included in a general battle title; thus Arnhem is an action included in the Lower Rhine Battle but El Alamein stands as a battle by itself.

Dunkirk Position

It is for the regiment to decide; to some a single action or even an engagement will be more important, more deserving of remembrance, than an inclusive battle title. That is true of Arnhem; it is certainly true of Walcheren and of others besides.

The committee table nothing here except geographical and military historical particulars. They anticipate no regimental claims. They list no Battle of Dunkirk in 1940, but list the action of Dunkirk. It is not customary to grant a battle honour for a defeat, and some of our famous fights for that reason do not appear on the colours. Was Dunkirk a defeat or a victory? Does a great deliverance fulfil the conditions of an honour? It will be interesting to see if "Dunkirk" is claimed; there are few names with greater entitlement to be honoured.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Battle Honours; 1866 and 1885
Topic: Battle Honours

Battle Honours; 1866 and 1885

From the archived correspondence of the Governor-General of Canada, held by Library and Archives Canada.

In 1912, correspondence was exchanged between the office of the Governor-General of Canada and that of the Under Secretary of State, Colonial Office, regarding the possibility of awarding Battle Honours for the the Fenian Raid of 1866 and the North West Rebellion (Canada) 1885.

Initiated by a letter from the Deputy Minister for Militia and Defence on 11 June 1912, the following request was forwarded to the Military Secretary to H.R.H. The Governor-General:

Sir,

I have the honour, by direction, to state that, in connection with the Fenian Raid of 1866 and the North West Rebellion (Canada) 1885, certain regiments of the Canadian Militia furnished companies and detachments for service.

2.     It is understood that the Honours and Distinctions Committee at the War Office have had under considerations certain proposals in this connection.

3.     I have the honour, therefore, to request that His Royal Highness The Governor General may be moved to enquire of the Imperial Authorities what decision, if any, has been arrived at by the Army Council relative to the same, in order that it may be determined whether any of the units which furnished detachments for active service as above are entitled to have "Fenian Raid 1866" and "North West 1885" inserted in the Canadian Militia List after the name of the regiment.

This query was duly forwarded to the Imperial Authorities at Downing Street and on 8 August the reply of the War Office (itself dated 30 July) was returned to Canada.

Sir,

I am commanded by the Army Council to acknowledge receipt of your letter No. 19791, dated the 10th July 1912, on the subject of certain regiments of the Canadian Militia being entitled to "Fenian Raid 1866" and "North West 1885" as honorary distinctions. In reply I am to say with reference to the Fenian Raid of 1966 that the Council are of the opinion that the operations were not of such a character as to merit the distinction of being recorded in Army Lists, or on colors or appointments, as a battle honour; at least that would certainly be their view in the case of a unit of the Home Army.

2.     With reference to the North West Rebellion in 1885, I am to invite your attention to the correspondence with this office in 1905, commencing with your No. 5994, dated the 15th March, in which it was agreed, as a very special case which was not to be quoted as a precedent, to award "North West Canada 1885" to the Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment. You will observe that in War Office letter No. 058/2889, dated the 25th September 1905 of the correspondence referred to, it was stated that according to custom a unit must have had its Headquarters and 50% of its strength present in order to qualify for the grant of an honorary distinction (for operations in its own country). In the case of the units referred to in your letter now under reply, it would appear that detachments only were present.

This exchange in 1912 was not the final resolution of the inquiry into new honorary distinctions and battle honours, as shown by this reply from the War Office, dated 30 April, 1913:

Sir,

I am commanded by the Army Council to acknowledge the receipt of your letter, No. 11583, dated the 14th April, 1913, forwarding an application by the Officer Commanding the 12th Regiment "York Rangers" for authority to have "Fenian Raid, 1866" and "North West Rebellion, 1885" inscribed on the Regimental colours of the Regiment.

2.     In reply I am to state with reference to the Fenian Raid of 1866, that the Council can see no reason for departing from the opinion that expressed in paragraph 1 of War Office letter No. 058/3553 (A.G.1.) dated 30th July 1912.

3.     The Army Council are at present considering an application from the 90th Regiment "Winnipeg Rifles" for recognition of their services at the actions of Batoche and Fish Creek, during the operations in the North West of Canada in 1885, and it would be desirable to consider the claims of all units engaged in these operations at the same time. I am, therefore, to suggest, for the consideration of Mr. Secretary Harcourt, that the Officer administering the Government of Canada should be requested to forward the claims of all units which, in his opinion, fulfilled the conditions qualifying for the grant of an honorary distinction by having had Headquarters and 50 per cent of the strength of the regiment present during the operations, so that the claims of all units may be considered by the Army Council at the same time.

4.     As it is necessary that full information be available to enable a decision to be arrived at, a statement is required for the 12th Regiment "York Rangers" and for any other unit considered to have a claim for an honour for the 1885 operations, showing:—

(a)     The part taken by it in operations.

(b)     Whether it served during the whole period of the campaign, or, if not, for what portion.

(c)     The casualties incurred.

(d)     The total strength of the regiment at the time of the operations, and the numbers actually engaged therein, showing Headquarters, Officers and other ranks separately.

(a) and (d) have already been supplied for the 90th Regiment "Winnipeg Rifles" with your letter No. 36993 dated 28th November, 1912.

5.     The honours already granted for the operation in question are "North West Canada, 1885" and "Saskatchewan", the former for the operations as a whole and the latter to cover the actions at Fish Creek, Cut Knife and Batoche, and unless there are strong reasons to the contrary, the Army Council think it would be inadvisable to introduce any additional honour for the campaign.

elipsis graphic

The approaches and inquiries regarding battle honours for the Fenian Raids gained no traction and no such awards were granted. It is apparent, however, that the requests for consideration of battle honours for the North West Rebellion in 1885 in 1912-13 were not supported and none were granted at that time.

But the matter did not end there. Inquiries into the possibility of awards of battle honours for 1885 were once again initiated in 1929. As a result, in 1929 and 1930, the battle honours "Fish Creek", "Batoche", "North West Canada, 1885" (singly or in combination) were awarded to nineteen regiments of the Canadian Militia.

BATTLE HONOURS - THE NORTH WEST CAMPAIGN, 1885

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 November 2015 12:02 AM EST
Friday, 9 October 2015

The Royal Canadian Artillery and "Ubique"
Topic: Battle Honours

The Royal Canadian Artillery and "Ubique" (1926)

The following letter was sent from the Governor General's office to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs:

Government House,
Ottawa,
27 April, 1926

Sir,

I have the honour to inform you that in considering the historical significance of the cap badge of the Canadian Artillery (Permanent and Non-Permanent), it is found that this would be greatly enhanced if this arm of the service could be granted the honour of bearing the motto "Ubique" in addition to the motto "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt".

It appears that the distinction of bearing these mottoes was bestowed upon the Artillery in June 1833, by King William IV, to take place of all past or future battle honours and distinctions gained in the field.

The cap badge of the Canadian Artillery (Permanent and Non-Permanent), consists of a gun with a scroll above inscribed "Canada", surmounted by a crown, and a scroll below the gun inscribed "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt". The Canadian Artillery (Permanent and Non-Permanent) would greatly appreciate the honour of being permitted the distinction of bearing the motto "Ubique", in addition to the motto "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt".

The above is concurred in by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Government will be grateful; if it may be brought to the attention of His Majesty's Government, having due regard to the services rendered by the Canadian Artillery in the Great War, 1914-18.

On the 5th of August, 1926, the reply came to the Governor General:

My Lord,

I have the honour … to request Your Excellency to inform your Ministers that His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the proposal that the cap badge of the Canadian Artillery (Permanent and Non-Permanent) should in future bear the motto "Ubique" in addition to the motto "Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt".

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 5 October 2015

Authority for the Saskatchewan Battle Honour
Topic: Battle Honours

Authority for the Saskatchewan Battle Honour

Exploring the files available on line from the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) can produce some interesting historical trivia. From the records of the office of the Governor General we can discover correspondence related to the criteria for and award of Battle Honours to Canadian regiments. Buried in the exchanges between Ottawa and London, England, is the matter of eligibility for the Battle Honour "Saskatchewan" awarded to The Royal Canadian Regiment.

In reply to a 1905 request for the design of Colours for The Royal Canadian Regiment (to be prepared before the Regiment concentrated its Headquarters and six new companies at Halifax), came this coded telegram:

Luckily for us, the decoded version, dated 3 May 1905, is also found in the LAC files:

In reference to earlier correspondence on preparation of the Royal Canadian Dragoons guidon and The Royal Canadian Regiment's regimental colour, clarification was being sought on whether the "headquarters and half the strength of unit [were] present in cases [of identified battle honours] other than South Africa."

This led to an admission of a serious oversight.

But first, the bureaucratic reply admitted nothing. On 15 May 1905, the Governor General replied. Based on a letter received from the Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence, which was enclosed, the reply stated that "in no case were less than two-thirds of the total strength of the units present in cases other than South Africa."

This prompted, as might be expected, the demand for further clarification (and the completion of the requested information). The next decoded telegram, dated 1 June 1905, read: "Referring to your despatch … whether headquarters were present in each case."

This time, the full text of the Deputy Minister's reply, dated 9 June 1905, and forwarded under the Governor General's signature to London on the 12th, provides the critical admission:

"I have the honour, by direction of the Minister in Militia Council, to request that His Excellency the Governor General may be moved to inform the Right Hon. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, in reply of his cable of the 1st instant, that the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Dragoons (Cavalry School Corps) were present in cases other than South Africa, but that the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Regiment were not present, only one company ("C") of the Infantry School Corps being engaged during the North West, Canada, 1885, Rebellion. Attention is, however, called to the fact that His Excellency the Governor General in Council was pleased, by General Order 49 of 1899, to authorize the word "Saskatchewan" being borne by the Royal Canadian Regiment."

Lyttleton's response exposes the error committed:

"Referring to your telegram of 12 June please report under what authority Governor General sanctioned word "Saskatchewan" in General Order No. 49 of 1899. No trace of correspondence with War Office bearing on the subject can be found."

We can only imagine the reactions throughout the establishment from the Governor General's office to the Militia Department and downward within regimental circles. The 20 June reply from the Department, again signed by the Deputy Minister, is a masterful piece of staff work which admits no overt intention to circumvent due process.

"In reference to the cable from the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated 20th instant, inquiring upon what authority His Excellency sanctioned the word "Saskatchewan" in General Order 49 of 1899, which has been referred to this department for report, I have the honour, by direction of the Minister in Militia Council, to say that upon the application of the Officer Commanding the Royal Canadian Regiment, the then General Officer Commanding Major-General E.T.H. Hutton, C.B., A,D,C., recommended that the distinction of "Saskatchewan" be given to the Royal Canadian Regiment in consideration of services rendered during the North-West 1885 Rebellion, and that the same was submitted by the Minister of Militia and Defence for the approval of His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, with other General Orders, bearing date 1st May, 1899, and received His Excellency's approval. His Majesty's sanction does not appear to have been obtained."

"The distinction applied for was granted to the Royal Canadian Regiment for service rendered to the Canadian Government within the Dominion of Canada, and the necessity for obtaining His Majesty's approval appears to have been overlooked."

"I am further directed to request that instructions may be obtained for the further guidance of this department in the matter of granting distinctions of this kind."

This reply was forwarded by the Governor General on 28 June 1905. In August the Militia Department pressed the Governor General to obtain an answer on the provision of Guidon and Colours, declaring there to be an "unreasonable delay" for which there was certainly no admission that the provenance of the "Saskatchewan" battle honour may be factor. This element of the matter was identified in detail by Lyttleton's reply of 27 October, 1905.

"With reference to your despatch No, 274 of 23rd August, I have the honour to inform you that His Majesty has signified his approval of the grant to the Royal Canadian Dragoons of the distinctions "North West Canada 1885" and "South Africa 1900", and to the Royal Canadian Regiment of the distinctions "North West Canada 1885 Saskatchewan" (sic), "South Africa 1899-1900" and "Paardeberg" but with regard to the Royal Canadian Dragoons I have to explain that they are entitled only to the distinction "South Africa 1900" and not to "South Africa 1900-1901", since the records at the War Office show that the headquarters of the regiment left South Africa in the "Roslin Castle" on 13th December 1900."

"Instructions are being given that the inscription of these honours on the guidon and colours of the corps and the addition of the Royal Cypher to the King's Colour of the Royal Canadian Regiment may be put in hand immediately."

"I observe the expressions "unreasonable delay" in the letter from the Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence to your Military Secretary of the 22nd August but I would point out that it was impossible to proceed with the matter until your despatch No. 233 of the 3rd July was received, and the further delay which has since arisen is due to the fact that the Royal Canadian Regiment are entitled strictly to neither "Saskatchewan" nor "North West Canada 1885". I would add that the waiving of the requirement for the presence of headquarters in this case must not be regarded as a precedent. I will forward to you later a complete statement of the conditions which must be fulfilled before recommendations for the grant of military distinctions can be submitted to His Majesty."

Through this series of exchanges we discover that the granting of battle honours to the Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1899 for the North West Rebellion had not followed proper protocols. Discovered during the process to acquire new guidon and colours in 1905, this resulted in the Secretary of State for the Colonies coordinating the necessary Royal assent for these awards including the grace of approving the award of "Saskatchewan" and "North West Canada 1885" to The Royal Canadian Regiment when they did not meet the established criteria.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Perpetuation
Topic: Battle Honours

Perpetuation — Work of Several Years

War Records of 600,000 Canadians Were Examined

Montreal Gazette, 30 September 1929
(By Canadian Press)

Ottawa, September 29.—Final approval has now been secured from His Majesty the King for the emblazoning on the regimental colour of Canadian permanent and non-permanent active militia units the honours won by those regiments during the World War. At present 68 regiments have been given definite sanction to embroider those honours on their colour, and in due course the remainder of the militia will receive authority according to the qualifications of the regiments concerned. Thus a question that has consumed several years, and that has involved little short of scanning the war records of every one of the 600,000 Canadians who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, is settled once and for all. Every one of the "fighting" battalions of the Canadian Corps—50 in number—is perpetuated in the non-active militia (exclusive of the three infantry regiments of the permanent force). The perpetuating unit, therefore, has been accorded the right to carry the honours won by its corresponding Canadian Corps battalion.

There were, however, 260 battalions raised for overseas, and practically every man of these saw active service in one or other of the "fighting" battalions. The problem of how to award honours to those militia regiments who perpetuate the 210 battalions that were broken up in England to reinforce the Corps was a thorny one. The solution was reached only after months of deliberation. It was finally decided that where it could be shown that a minimum of 250 men from a reinforcing battalion participated in any engagement for which a Battle Honour was awarded, the militia regiment which perpetuates that battalion would be entitled to carry the Honour on its colour. Inasmuch as the men from such battalions were not infrequently distributed in small drafts among a number of Canadian Corps battalions, the necessity of closely checking the movements of practically every man—or at least, every group of men—was obvious. It was also arduous and painstaking work.

Toronto and Ontario

Thirty-one Ontario militia regiments have been given authority to carry the Battle Honours in this, the first allotment made. These, together with the Canadian Expeditionary Force units they perpetuate, are:

The following Toronto units:

  • The Mississauga Horse (4th Canadian Mounted Rifles)
  • The Queen's Own Rifles (83rd, 95th, 166th, and 255th Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Royal Grenadiers (58th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The 48th Highlanders (15th, and 134th Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Queen's Rangers, 1st American Regiment (20th, and 35th Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Toronto Scottish (75th, 84th, and 170th Battalions, C.E.F.)

The following city and country regiments:

  • The Canadian Fusiliers, of London (1st, 33rd, and 142nd Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, of Hamilton (the 4th and 204th Battalions, C.E.F., and the 86th Machine Gun Battalion)
  • The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Hamilton (the 19th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Princess of Wales Own Regiment of Kingston (21st Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Dufferin Rifles of Canada, Brantford (the 4th Battalion, the 36th and 125th Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Peterborough Rangers, Peterborough (the 2nd Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Ottawa Highlanders, Ottawa (the 38th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Essex Scottish of Windsor, Ont. (the 18th, 99th and 241st Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Lake Superior Regiment of Port Arthur, Ont. (the 52nd, and 141st Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Ontario Regiment of Oshawa (the 1616th and the 182nd Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Halton Rifles of Georgetown (the 37th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Oxford Rifles of Woodstock (the 71st and 168th Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Elgin Regiment of St. Thomas (the 91st Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Sault Ste. Marie Regiment of Sault Ste. Marie (the 119th and the 227th Battalions, C.E.F.)
  • The Northern Pioneers of Huntsville (the 122nd Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Wentworth Regiment of Dundas (129th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Middlesex Light Infantry of Strathroy, Ont. (the 135th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Grey Regiment of Owen Sound (147th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Bruce Regiment of Walkerton (160th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Huron Regiment of Goderich (161st Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Lincoln Regiment of St. Catharines (176th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Simcoe Foresters of Barrie (177th Battalion, C.E.F.)
  • The Kent Regiment of Chatham (186th Battalion, C.E.F.)

Typical Honour List

Only ten battle honours of the War may be embroidered on the regimental colour, irrespective of how many the unit concerned may be entitled to. Regiments, however, are credited with all honours in the Militia List. Those which are borne on the colour appear in the Militia List in heavy type, while those not carried on the colour are printed in ordinary light-face type. An illustration of this is furnished in the Peterborough Rangers, for example, which perpetuates the 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion. The battle in capital letters will be carried on the colour, while those in small letters are credited only to the Militia List, as follows:

"YPRES, 1915, '17," "Gravenstafel," "ST. JULIEN," "FESTUBERT, 1915," "Mount Sorrel," "SOMME, 1916," "Pozieres," "Flers-Courcelette," "Ancre Heights," "ARRAS," "1917, '18," "VIMY, 1917," "Arleux," "Scarpe, 1917, '18," "HILL 70," "PASSCHENDAELE," "Amiens," "Drocourt-Queant," "HINDENBURG LINE," "Canal du Nord," "Pursuit to Mons," "FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1915-18"

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 11 August 2015 7:28 AM EDT
Monday, 13 April 2015

South Africa Battle Honours for the Canadian Militia
Topic: Battle Honours

26 Canadian Units to Participate in Boer War Honors

Battle Honor "South Africa" to be Embroidered in Regimental Color
King's Approval Given
Seven provinces of Dominion Represented in List—Five Quebec Regiments Are Included

The Montreal Gazette, 13 June 1933
(By the Canadian Press)

Ottawa, June 12. — Thirty-two years after the peace of Vereeniging, which brought the Boer War to a close, 26 units of the Canadian Militia have now been awarded with the battle honor, "South Africa," to be embroidered on their regimental color. Announcement to this effect was made from the headquarters of the Defence Department here today.

Approval of this honor by His Majesty has been sent to the department. The units whose color is thus enriched obtain the award under the same conditions as governed that of similar honors to the yeomanry and volunteer regiments of the British Army.

All of the seven provinces of Canada which were in existence at the time for the South African campaign are represented in the list. In Ontario 12 regiments secure the honor, in Quebec, five, in Nova Scotia, three, in New Brunswick and Manitoba, two each, and one each for British Columbia and Prince Edward Island.

One of the regiments, the Saint John Fusiliers, gets the honour for two periods—"South Africa, 1899-1900,' '1902'."

Sixteen secure the honor "South Africa, 1899-1900." These are the Queen's own Rifles, the Royal Grenadiers and the 48th Highlanders, of Toronto; the Governor General's Foot Guards and the Ottawa Highlanders, of Ottawa; the Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) and the Middlesex Light Infantry, of London, Ont.; the Canadian Grenadier Guards, the Victoria Rifles of Canada, the Black Watch (R.H.) of Canada, of Montreal; the Royal Rifles of Canada, of Quebec; the Halifax Rifles and the Princess Louise Fusiliers, of Halifax; the Cumberland Highlanders, of Amherst; the Winnipeg Rifles, of Winnipeg; and the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles) of Vancouver.

Nine regiments will carry the honor "South Africa, 1900." These are the Governor General's Body Guard, of Toronto; the Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, of Ottawa; the 1st Hussars, of London, Ont.; the 12th Manitoba Dragoons, of Winnipeg; the 17th Duke of York's Royal Canadian Hussars, of Montreal; the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, of Hamilton; the princess of Wales own Regiment, of Kingston; the York Regiment, of Fredericton, N.B.; and the Prince Edward island Highlanders, of Charlottetown, P.E.I.

elipsis graphic

The South African War broke out on October 11, 1899, and two days later the Earl of Minto, then Governor-General, cabled to London an offer of 1,000 men to serve as infantry. This was accepted, and the troops were mobilized at Quebec on October 28, sailing on the S.S. Sardinian for Cape Town on October 30. This—Canada's first overseas contingent—was named the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment.

On November 2 a second contingent was offered by Canada, but not for six weeks did the War Office accept. In the meantime the British troops in South Africa had suffered the reverses of Stormberg, Magersfontein and Colenso. The British Government having on December 13 signified its approval, two battalions of mounted rifles were organized, the first of these becoming known as the Royal Canadian Dragoons, With them on February 22, 1900, went three batteries of field artillery.

Meanwhile, another regiment was mobilized to garrison the citadel at Halifax and thus relieve for active service the Imperial army troops stationed there.

A cavalry regiment, Lord Strathcona's Horse, was raised in Manitoba, British Columbia and the North West Territories by Lord Strathcona, who was then High Commissioner for Canada in London, and these also were despatched to South Africa.

As the war progressed Canada's effort increased, and four more regiments of mounted rifles were sent to the front. This force, however, was on the high seas when peace was proclaimed.

Altogether, this country raised 8,372 officers and other ranks for service, including the regiment stationed at Halifax. Towards the close of the war 1,200 men from the Canadian cavalry units were enlisted in the South African constabulary.

The Canadian troops operated under Colonel Smith Dorrien and Colonel E.A.H. Alderson, both of whom later commanded much larger forces of troops from this Dominion during the Great War. They were in action and distinguished themselves at Paardeberg and in the battles which punctuated the advance of Lord Roberts to Pretoria.

The Lord Strathcona's Horse operated for a while in Portuguese East Africa, then joined the Natal field force under Sir Redvers Buller. They saw considerable service in both Natal and the Transvaal.

Canadian casualties during the war were 224 killed and 252 wounded. Three Victoria Crosses were won.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Battle Honours May Be Given Soon (1954)
Topic: Battle Honours

Battle Honours May Be Given Soon

The Ottawa Citizen; 10 June 1954
By The Canadian Press

The army said today it hopes that battle honors for the Second World War will be announced soon.

Battle honors, which are inscribed on regimental colors, are awarded by an international group at the British war office on which Canada is represented.

A lot of research is required. Records of various operations and battles have to be studied in detail, classified, and named. Much history work has to be done before deciding what units are entitled to battle honors. It was 1929 before First World War battle honors were awarded.

Canada's regular infantry regiments are already rich in battle honors. On their colors are inscribed such names as "Northwest Canada, 1885," "Paardeberg," "Vimy, 1917," "Passchendaele," "Pursuit to Mons," "France and Flanders, 1915-1918."

Some of the new crop of battle honors may include names like Dieppe, Ortona, Melfa River, Caen, Boulogne and The Scheldt.

Restricted Honor

Only infantry and cavalry carry colors, cavalry now being armored units. Thus only these two arms can carry battle honors denoting participation in notable engagements. Other arms claim nonchalantly that they took part in every battle.

The first battle honor was granted in 1768 to the 15th British Hussars for an action at Emsdorff in 1760. But the earliest battle commemorated by an honor is "Guinegatte, 1513" though it was not awarded until 1937—424 years later—to the Corps of Gentlemen-At-Arms, one of the sovereign's bodyguards.

The earliest battle honor awarded to a Canadian unit is "Eccles Hill," granted to the Victoria Rifles to commemorate an action against the Fenians on the Vermont border in 1870.

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment possesses some battle honors carried by no other Canadian unit, among them "Gallipoli."

One battalion of Canadian infantry, the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, has a unique distinction. Attached to the pike of its regimental color is a streamer representing the United States presidential citation granted to the unit in recognition of its heroic stand at Kapyong, Korea, in April, 1951.

Have Queen's Colors

Though the navy and air force do not have colors for individual ships or squadrons, they do possess Queen's colors. The navy received its color from King George VI in 1939. The RCAF was granted the Queen's (then King's) color and the color of the RCAF in 1950 in a ceremony on Parliament Hill. The senior and junior services, however, do not receive battle honours.

Some police forces also carry colors. A notable case is the RCMP, presented a guidon at Regina in 1935 by Lord Bessborough, then governor-general. The guidon, carried on a lance, bears four campaign honours, "Northwest Canada, 1885," "South Africa, 1900-02," "France and Flanders, 1918," and "Siberia, 1918-19"

Originally, the main purpose of colors was to provide a rallying point for a unit on the battlefield. They were last carried into action in 1881 by the 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, at Laing's Nek in the Boer War.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Friday, 10 October 2014

New British Army Honours in 1882
Topic: Battle Honours

Awarded in 1882, these awards for Quebec and Louisburg were granted 123 and 124 years after the battles. Those for Marlborough's victories were awarded 173 to 178 years afterward.

Regimental Honours

"Louisburg" and "Quebec" Added to the Colours of various Regiments

The Quebec Daily Telegraph; 25 July 1882

In consequence of the report of a committee appointed last year [1881] to consider the claims of certain regiments to honorary distinctions arising out of the participation in some of the victories of the last century, a considerable number of these corps has been authorized to bear in their respective colours and appointments the names of Marlborough's battles.

The Battle of Louisburg, and Wolfe's Victory at Quebec

The Battle of Louisburg, and Wolfe's Victory at Quebec in 1759, the names of "Blenheim," "Ramillies," "Oudenarde," and "Malplaquet" will accordingly be done on the colors and appointments of the following regiments:—

  • Kings Dragoon Guards
  • 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th Dragoon Guards
  • The Scots Greys
  • The Fifth Lancers
  • The Grenadier Guards
  • The Royal Scots
  • The Buffs
  • Liverpool (8th) Regiment
  • Lincolnshire (10th) Regiment
  • East Yorkshire (15th) Regiment
  • Bedfordshire (16th) Regiment
  • Royal Irish (18th) Regiment
  • Royal Scots Fusiliers (21st)
  • Royal Welsh Fusiliers (23rd)
  • Second Warwickshire Regiment (24th)
  • Scotch Rifles (26th)
  • The Hampshire (37th) Regiment

The Coldstream Guards are to bear the names of "Oudenarde" and "Malplaquet" and the Gloucester (28th) Regiment, and the Worcestershire (29th) Regiment, are to bear that of "Ramillies" respectively.

"Louisburg" and "Quebec, 1759"

The following regiments are authorized to inscribe "Louisburg" and "Quebec, 1759" upon their colours:—

  • The East Yorkshire (15th)
  • The Gloucester (28th)
  • The Royal Sussex (35th)
  • The North Lancashire (47th)
  • The Northamptonshire (58th)
  • The King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th)

The King's Royal Scots, Lienstershire (17th), Cheshire (22nd), South Lancashire (40th), Sherwood Foresters (45th), Northamptonshire (48th) and Wiltshire (62nd) are to bear the name of "Louisburg." The Monmouthshite Light Infantry (43rd), bear the name of "Quebec, 1759."

Of the above regiments the 7th Dragoon Guards, 5th Lancers, and Bedfordshire had hitherto been without and decoration commemorative of active service, and the 21st Hussars will now be the only regiment without such distinction. Of the cavalry regiments, the 16th Lancers have the largest number of battles (thirteen) on their standards. Of the infantry regiments, the King's Rifles (60th) head the list with twenty-nine achievements, and the Rifle Brigade follow next with twenty-six. The Royal Scots, the Gloucester, and the Dublin Fusiliers have twenty five each; the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, South Staffordshire, South Lancashire, and Highland Light Infantry have twenty-three each; the Sherwood Foresters twenty-one, and the Gordon Highlanders twenty.


Note: This article required a few corrections based on what appeared to be typesetting errors on the Telegraph version. The reference Battle Honours of the British and Commonwealth Armies, by Anthony Baker (Ian Allen Ltd, 1986), was used as a reference.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 1 June 2014

Battle Honours; not a scoring system
Topic: Battle Honours


Retired Colours of The Royal Canadian Regiment, in the Quiet Room (chapel) of The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, London, Ontario.

Battle Honours; not a scoring system

"Battle Honours,", Major T.J. Edwards, M.B.E., F.R.Hist.S.
The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal, Volume LXXIII, January 1957

The publication of awards [i.e., Battle Honours] to regiments for the [Second World War] will inevitably cause those "enthusiasts" who make a hobby of totting up each regiment's list to declare that this or that regiment is the "best" on active service, whatever that might mean, because it has more "names" of actions than any other regiment. It is impossible to assess the value of regiments or corps on this basis, if only for the fact that not all are granted battle honours, and never have been, although practically all are represented in every expedition of any size. There are other reasons also. Some regiments have been awarded honours when their strength at some engagements was well below 50 per cent, a fact which applies to composite battalions particularly. One Regular Regiment bears an honour though it had less than 25 per cent and no headquarters in the campaign. As already shown, honours have not been granted under identical rules, e.g., for the three days' hard fighting 16th-18th June, 1815, the solitary honour "Waterloo" was awarded, yet some quite minor affairs of a few hours' duration in the Middle and far east have been commemorated by battle honours for each. For some campaigns an honour has been granted for each separate action, and, in addition, a campaign honour, e.g., "Peninsula" and "Afghanistan, 1878-79," whereas in other campaigns no campaign honour has been awarded, e.g., Marlborough's wars, the Crimea, Indian Mutiny, Mahratta war. The mention of Marlborough's wars reminds one that no honours at all have been awarded for the concurrent operations in Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession, except for the capture of Gibraltar. There are far too many variable features connected with this question to enable anything like an accurate assessment to be made.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 1 June 2014 12:06 AM EDT
Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Queen Approves Conditions for Battle Honour Awards (1956)
Topic: Battle Honours


Retired Colours of The Royal Canadian Regiment, in the Quiet Room (chapel) of The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, London, Ontario.

The Queen Approves Conditions for Battle Honour Awards (1956)

A Report by the Directorate of Public Relations (National Defence), Ottawa

Canadian Army Journal, Vol 10, No 4, Oct 1956

Her Majesty the Queen has approved conditions for the award of battle honours to units of the Canadian Army which fought in the Second World War, Army Headquarters has announced. Her Majesty's approval of the conditions now leaves the way open for Regular and Militia armoured and infantry regiments to claim the awards to which they are entitled. The conditions were prepared during the past year by a Battle Honours Committee under the chairmanship of Maj.-Gen. A. Bruce Matthews, CBE, DSO, ED, of Toronto. The Battle Honours list for Commonwealth armies in the Second World War compiled by a special Committee, on which Canada was represented, in London, England, includes more than 160 battles, actions, engagements and theatres for which honours may be awarded to Canadian regiments. The list includes Dieppe and Hong Kong in addition to the battles fought by Canadians in Sicily, Italy, NorthWest Europe and Southern France. The honours may be awarded for service in either an armoured or an infantry role to regiments which are entitled by custom to carry colours. They will be awarded only when units were "actively engaged with enemy ground troops", having "taken a creditable part in an operation" and when the unit is "proud of its part in the operation". Some regiments will be eligible for 30 or more of these honours; however, as with the Great War 1914-18, only 10 Second World War honours may be emblazoned on the regiment's colours, standards, guidons or appointments. The custom of awarding battle honours originated in the British Army in the 18th Century. The honours take the form of inscriptions — showing the place and date of the engagement honoured — on unit standards, guidons and colours. Some regiments, notably Rifle Regiments, display honours on their drums, clothing or badges. The earliest battle honour awarded to a Canadian unit is "Eccles Hill", commemorating an action fought against the Fenians on the Vermont border in 1870. It is borne by the Victoria Rifles of Canada, a Montreal Militia unit. Some Canadian regiments possess battle honours for the North- West Rebellion of 1885 and the South African War. Most units have honours from the war of 1914-18. An Army Order is being prepared which gives the conditions of award, the qualifications required and the list of recognized honours for the Second World War. It will require each regiment concerned to appoint a committee of not less than five members comprised of former and serving commanding officers, officers who served with the regiment in action and honorary colonels and lieutenant-colonels. This committee will determine the honours to be applied for and those to be emblazoned. Following are some points covered by the conditions as drawn up by Maj.-Gen. Matthews' committee and approved by Her Majesty:

1.     Honours not included in the official list of more than 160 operations may be applied for by regiments. Such applications must be backed up by conclusive supporting evidence.

2.     Pre-war infantry units which fought as armoured regiments during the war may claim honours.

3.     To qualify for an honour, unit headquarters and 50 per cent of subunits of a unit must have been engaged. However, there are provisions for units which were represented in a theatre only by squadrons or companies operating independently.

4.     Honours normally are awarded on a regimental basis and are equally the property of all units of the regiment. Within the regiment the same honours will normally be displayed on the colours of battalions of the regiment. Amalgamated regiments normally will adopt the combined honours of the individual units.

5.     Honours awarded to disbanded regiments will be announced as a matter of record.

6.     A theatre honour will be awarded to all regiments which have qualified for one or more battle honours in that theatre. Some regiments ineligible for battle honours may be awarded a theatre honour if a unit was represented and performed creditably in the theatre concerned.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 26 May 2014 3:52 PM EDT
Monday, 22 April 2013

Battle Honours for Afghanistan
Topic: Battle Honours

What will it take to award Battle Honours for Afghanistan?

While I do not know where the Canadian Forces currently stands on the possibility of Battle Honours being awarded for Canadian battle groups in combat in Afghanistan, I expect that the confirmation of eligibility requirements, etc., will not be made until we are finally (completely) out of theatre and then the stage will be prepared for regiments to identify which honours they believe the should receive and can justify. Some, like Theatre Honours (e.g., "ITALY 1943-45") have historically been straightforward, the year dates indicating continuous service in the theatre, but we didn't deploy like that. Battle honours for specific battles have traditionally required the unit's headquarters plus a minimum of 50% of that unit's troops to be involved … but we didn't always build battle groups for Afghanistan that would meet that type of criteria (mixed groupings of sub-units don't qualify under the old terms). The bottom line is that the old rules don't apply very effectively. To overcome this deficiency in the older regulations, it is likely that the Canadian Armed Forces Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH) has been working on building new criteria from the ground up to align with the way we force generate and deploy battle groups in the modern era.

This subject is one of recurring discussion topic in the online forum "Army.ca." The recent, and ongoing, award of Battle Honours to modern units designated as perpetuating units of the War of 1812 has also served to bring this topic to the fore with regularity. While some correspondents have readily commented on which units and which actions they feel are deserving of honours, the question usually runs aground when it is explained that the existing terms and conditions for the award of Battle Honours don't match the way the Canadian Army fought in Afghanistan. Because of this, there a lot of groundwork to be laid before individual actions can be debated. That is also why we need re-engineered guidelines before regiments can start to look at what actions may or may not fit the new criteria (or where they may have to make a special case to support nominating an action that falls "outside" the boundaries).

The existing regulations for Battle Honours show a consistency between the First and Second World Wars, with the latter as the basis for awards for the Korean War. For review, these can be found at the following links, note also the time period between cessation of hostilities and the promulgation of the conditions:

To prepare the ground for regiments to identify the Battle Honours they want to receive, the essential introductory steps will be, in some form:

a.     Review and confirmation of the conditions for selection and award of honours,

b.     Creation of an approved list of operations (see reference to the Battles Nomenclature Committee in the First World War terms and conditions), and

c.     Standing up of the applicable Regimental Committees to draft proposed regimental lists of honours.

The greatest departure from the "old" regulations will be in addressing the modern approach to building Battle Groups which may have seen a deployed organization employinng sub-units from three different parent units (not to mention the broad possibilities for other augmentation). If the engaged subunits in a given combat action did not all come from the unit providing the headquarters, then which regiment is entitled to receive a Battle Honour? One could argue that the battle honour go to the deployed Battle Group as a unique unit, but that brings us full circle to the problem faced at the end of the First World War. In early 1918, it was realized that the disbandment of the Canadian Expeditionary Force would result in almost all honours that might be awarded for the service of CEF units would be shelved with the records of the disbanded units. To avoid this fate, the concept of perpetuation was created, by which CEF units were linked to existing units of the Canadian Militia for the purpose of carrying forward with active units the history, heritage, and honours of those CEF units. Without perpetuation, few units in the Canadian Army would carry Great War honours today. Similarly, awarding Battle Honours to Afghanistan battle groups which were dissolved as unique units on redeployment would mean that the honours would belong to units that no longer exist.

So, would such Battle Honours then be perpetuated by the regiment that provided the headquarters? Or would a different solution be desirable?

An alternative solution can be found in the old regulations with the conditions recognizing "exceptional cases where individual squadrons or companies took an important part in certain operations, and in such cases any claims submitted will be treated on their merits" or "where a regiment was represented in a theatre only by a squadron or a company operating independently". This condition did not apply in the First World War, and so the Machine Gun battalions of the CEF only received battle honours dated after the formation of Battalions from the Machine Gun Companies in each Division. We see the effects of this change with the Second World War where, for example, parent regiments received battle honours for the actions of the Support Companies to the Brigades (such as the Princess Louise Fusiliers) and in Korea with the Lord Strathcona's Horse for the actions of its deployed squadrons over three years.

The award of Battle Honours based on the actions of individual sub-units is a valuable precedent for the Afghanistan problem, but the conditions would need to reflect had become a approach to building battle groups for Afghanistan, and was no longer the "exceptional case." The complementary requirement that would need to be considered is that nominations for battle honours may need to examine the locations and participation of each sub-unit level within a battle group.

"What about the Reserves?" will likely be an attendant question to discussions of Afghanistan battle honours. In this too there are precedents to be considered.

For the South African War (1899-1902), 26 Militia regiments received theatre honours for the numbers of soldiers they provided to the deployed field units that formed the Canadian Contingents. Similarly, for the First World War, honours to some Militia regiments which, while not perpetuating combat units of the CEF, proved that at least 250 men (see paras 10 to 13 here) from their perpetuated battalion(s), or that they directly sent overseas as a Draft, were present with eligible combat units at specific battles. The key, in both cases, is the requirement that the numbers of soldiers being examined were in front line units and in action. To apply this concept for Canadian Reservists in Afghanistan would also require identifying those soldiers from each unit that were with the deployed battle groups, i.e., the "units" that were determined to have earned Battle Honours.

The other precedent for battle honours to Reserve units has its own flaws. The awarding of Battle Honours for the War of 1812 to units of the Canadian Militia which served in that war is an ongoing project of the Government of Canada. These honours are being perpetuated by existing units of the Reserves (and the Regular Force) based on geographical connections to the towns and counties in which the War of 1812 units were raised. The method by which eligible units were identified leaned heavily on lists of units recorded as having soldiers present at the various actions, although apparently without detailed consideration of force structure, level of participation, or battlefield actions of individual units. To show what result this an lead to, the extreme example was the award of a battle honour to the Middlesex Regiment of Militia for the presence of a single officer at the battle of Detroit.

The Canadian Armed Forces have a daunting challenge to overcome in order to develop a modern set of terms and conditions for the award of Battle Honours to meet the operational context and force generation methods for Afghanistan. Whatever is developed then becomes the baseline for discussions between regiments and any formed committees for considering battle honours to determine what honours should be awarded, either based directly on the guidelines or defended as special cases. The question of Afghanistan Battle Honours is too important for this work to be rushed, or over-ridden by political manoeuvring seeking solutions without due care for detail. The best thing we can do is stand back and let the staff do their work to lay the foundation for Battle Honours that any eligible regiment will be proud to carry and to share the history of their participation in Afghanistan to earn them. It will, at the least, establish a baseline from which the negotiations can begin. (Like the issue of medals, no plan is going to make everyone happy, and rushing forward with a plan that "looks good" at first glance can cause years of bitterness afterwards.) If for no other reason than the importance of getting this right, it may take longer than people think to complete the necessary administration and review processes.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Battle Honours: two Battle Honours, same dates, 650 miles apart
Topic: Battle Honours

How one Canadian Army regiment celebrates two battle honours that happened on the same dates 650 miles apart.

A regiment's list of battle honours is often colloquially described as "the major battles our regiment fought in." Often the speaker hasn't examine the list closely, other than as a simple list of place names and so they pass on what they have heard without deepening their understanding through personal study. With the evolution of Canadian Army regiments over past decades, it is possible for a regiment's list of honours to present apparent conflicts when two honours overlap in time, but were widely separated geographically. A careful study of a regiment's past, especially of the diverse regimental origins that lad to subsequent amalgamations to form the modern regiment is needed to unravel the conflict. In such cases, the battle honours were won by two separate regiments which, later joined to form the current regiment with its combined list of battle honours. One such example is found with the Royal New Brunswick Regiment.

The Carleton and York Regiment

Themselves a result of the 1937 amalgamation of the York Regiment and the Carleton Light Infantry, The Carleton and York Regiment was mobilized for the Second World War in 1939. After landing at Pachino, Sicily, on 10 July 1943, as a battalion of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade (1st Canadian Infantry Division), the regiment fought throughout the Sicily and Italy campaigns.

Among the Battle Honours awarded to the Carleton and York Regiment for actions in Italy was the honour "GOTHIC LINE." The defining dates for eligibility for this battle honour are 25 August to 22 September 1944.

The North Shore Regiment

In 1922, the Northumberland (New Brunswick) Regiment was redesignated as the North Shore (N.B.) Regiment. The regiment was mobilized in 1940 and, after training in England, landed at Normandy on 6 June, 1944, as a battalion of the 8th Infantry Brigade (3rd Canadian Infantry Division).

Among the Battle Honours awarded to the North Shore (N.B.) Regiment for actions in Northwest Europe was the honour "THE SEINE, 1944." The defining dates for eligibility for this battle honour are 25 to 28 Aug 44.

The Royal New Brunswick Regiment

In 1954, these two proud Canadian regiments were amalgamated again, with one another and also with the New Brunswick Scottish and the 28th Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery. This resulted in the two battalions of The New Brunswick Regiment being formed; the 1st Battalion, NBR (Carleton and York) with HQ at Saint John, and the 2nd Battalion, NBR (North Shore) with HQ at Newcastle (later Bathurst), NB. In 1956, the regiment would be granted the Royal honorific, becoming The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (RNBR).

With the pace of administration of Battle Honours lagging behind the speed of reorganization of the Militia, the RNBR would be granted the following Battle Honours in 1957, combining those earned by both the Carleton and York Regiment and the North Shore (N.B.) Regiment:

1st Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Carleton and York) and 2nd Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (North Shore) - "LANDING IN SICILY, Valguarnera, SICILY 1943, Landing at Reggio, Gambatesa, The Sangro, The Gully, Point 59, CASSINO II, Gustav Line, LIRI VALLEY, Hitler Line, Melfa Crossing, GOTHIC LINE, LAMONE CROSSING, RIMINI LINE, San Fortunato, Naviglio Canal, ITALY 1943-45, NORMANDY LANDING, CAEN, Carpiquet, BOURGUEBUS RIDGE, Faubourg de Vaucelles, FALAISE, Falaise Road, Quesnay Wood, The Laison, Chambois, The Seine, 1944, Moerkerke, THE SCHELDT, Breskens Pocket, The Lower Maas, Kapelsche Veer, THE RHINELAND, Waal Flats, The Hochwald, THE RHINE, Emmerich - Hoch Elten, Zutphen, Apeldoorn, Kusten Canal, Bad Zwischenahn, NORTH-WEST EUROPE 1944-45" (Cdn Army Orders, Issue No. 573, 9 December 1957)

It is through this series of amalgamations and changes of name that one regiment can today celebrate two battlefield actions which took place on the same day, though over 600 miles apart.


Renaming the 2nd Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (North Shore)

In 2011, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced that the name of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (North Shore) will be changed back to the North Shore Regiment. It is yet to be confirmed if this constitutes a reversal of the 1956 amalgamation of regiments that formed the two battalions of The Royal New Brunswick Regiment, which the renaming would appear to indicate. If this reversal is confirmed then the two remaining units, "The Royal New Brunswick Regiment" and the "North Shore Regiment," should revert back to their pre-amalgamation lists of battle honours.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 17 March 2013 4:11 PM EDT
Saturday, 16 March 2013

Battle Honours; DETROIT (16 August 1812)
Topic: Battle Honours

On 16 August 1812, a force comprised mainly of British Regulars and Canadian Militiamen totaling 1360 crossed the Detroit River under the command of Major General Isaac Brock to attack Fort Detroit. Defended by Brigadier General William Hull and a force of approximately 2500, it was by a series of ruses and feints that Brock led his opponent to believe that the besieging force as much stronger that it actually was. As a result, Fort Detroit was surrendered to Brock with few losses on either side. The strength of 1360 for Brock's force does not include the First Nations warriors that were present, and the number is taken from the published Prize Money list for those eligible for reward for being present at the action (see the list below).

Following the War of 1812, the 41st (The Welch) Regiment of Foot was awarded the Battle Honour "DETROIT" for its role in the action.

In 2012, the Canadian Government decided to award Battle Honours to War of 1812 units and to link these honours to perpetuating modern Canadian Army units. Eleven separate Battle Honours were awarded to units of the Canadian Militia at Detroit. These eleven honours are perpetuated today by five infantry regiments, one armoured reconnaissance regiment and one artillery regiment of the Canadian Army.

Out of Brock's force of 1360 officers, non-commissioned officers and men, 1076 belonged to line infantry units which might be eligible for battle honours. Of these, 302 were on the roll of the 41st Regiment and 774 belonged to the Canadian Militia regiments at Detroit.

540 of those present (70% of 774) belonged to the regiments of Militia that are now perpetuated by the Essex & Kent Scottish Regiment. These are the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Essex Militia and the 1st Regiment of Kent Militia. The remaining 30%, or 234, share eight awarded Battle Honours and are now held by five perpetuating regiments:

  • The Queen's York Rangers perpetuate the 1st and 3rd Regiments York Militia which, combined, had 87 officers, NCOs and men present.
  • The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry perpetuates the 2nd Regiment York Militia which, combined with the 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia had 65, all ranks, present.
  • The Lincoln and Welland Regiment perpetuates the 5th Regiment Lincoln Militia which, combined with the 2nd Regiment York Militia had 65, all ranks, present.
  • The 56th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, perpetuate the 1st and 2nd Regiments Norfolk Militia which, combined, had 68, all ranks, present.
  • The Royal Canadian Regiment perpetuates the 1st Regiment of Oxford Militia and the 1st Regiment of Middlesex Militia which, combined, had one officer and 13 NCOs and men present at Detroit.

The largest single regimental presence by the Canadian Militia at Detroit for which a Battle Honour was awarded was the 1st Regiment Essex Militia which paraded 312 all ranks. The smallest single regimental presence by the Canadian Militia at Detroit for which a Battle Honour was awarded was the lone officer of the 1st Regiment of Middlesex Militia, followed by the 13 NCOs and soldiers of the 1st Regiment of Oxford Militia.


The force structure and unit strengths shown in the following table has been extracted from The Publications of the Champlain Society; Select British Documents of the Canadian War of 1812, Volume 1 (Toronto, The Champlain Society, 1920)

British Forces Listed as Eligible to claim Prize Money from their Involvement in the Surrender at Detroit 16 August 1812.

  Offrs / NCO / Men British Army BHs Awarded Canadian BHs Awarded (2012) Currently held by
General and Staff Offrs9 / -/ -   
Field Train Department1 / 1 / -   
Commissariat1 / 2 / -   
Militia Staff Officers4 / - / -   
Royal Artillery1 / 5 / 24   
41st Regiment of Foot13 / 26 / 26341st (The Welch) Regiment of Foot The Royal Welsh
Royal Newfoundland Fencible Regiment4 / 8 / 41   
Provincial Marine Department5 / 9 / 119   
1st/3rd Regts York Militia4 / 6 / 77 1st Regt York Militia
3rd Regt York Militia
Queen's York Rangers
2nd York/5th Lincoln Militia3 / 3 / 59 2nd Regt York Militia
5th Regt Lincoln Militia
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry
Lincoln and Welland Regt
1st Regt York Militia2 / 3 / 19   
2nd Regt Norfolk Milita6 / 3 / 59 1st Regt Norfolk Militia
2nd Regt Norfolk Militia
56th Fd Arty Regt, RCA
1st Middlesex (attd to Norfolk)1 / - / - 1st Regt Middlesex MilitiaThe Royal Canadian Regiment
Oxford Militia- / 2 / 11 1st Regt Oxford MilitiaThe Royal Canadian Regiment
1st Essex Militia22 / 32 / 258 1st Regt Essex MilitiaE&K Scot
2nd Essex Militia23 / 11 / 131 2nd Regt Essex MilitiaE&K Scot
1st Kent Militia9 / 8 / 46 1st Regt Kent MilitiaE&K Scot
Troop of Essex Militia Cavalry1 / 1 / 4   
Indian Department5 / 11   
49th Regiment- / - / 1   
Officers (regts not mentioned)3 / - / -   
Total117 / 131 / 11121115 Inf + 1 Armd Recce + 1 Arty unit

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 March 2013 3:40 PM EDT
Sunday, 3 March 2013

Battle Honours - Theatre, Battle, Action, Engagement
Topic: Battle Honours

Not all Battle Honours are equal in terms of the scale of action for which they were awarded. Some cover vast expanses of terrain and months or years of warfare, while others are defined by single dates and very restrictive geographical boundaries. When we look at the list of honours awarded to a regiment we may find Battle Honours that range from Theatre Honours to Separate Actions or Engagements.

The Conditions of Award of Battle Honours for The Great War 1914-1919 present Battle Honours with the following hierarchy:

  • Theatre (e.g., FRANCE AND FLANDERS)
  • Then, with each theatre there are Operations, consisting of:
  • Battles (e.g., BATTLE OF HILL 70)
  • Tactical Incidents Included (within named battles) (e.g., CAPTURE OF REGINA TRENCH)
  • Actions (e.g., CAPTURE OF MONS)

The Conditions governing the award of Battle Honours to regiments of the Canadian Army for Second World War Battle Honours sets out Battle Honours by the following system:

  • Theatre (e.g., NORTHWEST EUROPE)
  • Battle (e.g., LANDING IN SICILY)
    • Included Action (e.g., FALAISE ROAD)
    • Included Engagement (e.g., CARPIQUET)
  • Separate Action (e.g., ORTONA)
  • Separate Engagement (e.g., APELDOORN)

Both Theatre and Battle Honours may include year dates. In the case of theatre honours, these will be the year or years during which the unit fought within that theatre, these dates will be hyphenated to indicate a continuous period of operations. In the case of Battle Honours, where the Battle Honour name recurs on different years, the year dates will indicate each year the unit received that named Battle Honour, these dates will be separated by commas, indicating multiple awards. For example, the Battle Honours of The Royal Canadian Regiment are:

"Detroit, Niagara, Defence of Canada – 1812-1815, Saskatchewan, North West Canada 1885, Paardeberg, South Africa 1899-1900, Ypres, 1915, '17, Gravenstafel, St Julien, Festubert, 1915, Mount Sorrel, Somme, 1916, Pozieres, Flers-Courcelette, Ancre Heights, Arras, 1917, '18, Vimy, 1917, Arleux, Scarpe, 1917, '18, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Drocourt-Queant, Hindenburg Line, Canal Du Nord, Cambrai 1918, Pursuit To Mons, France and Flanders, 1915-18, Landing In Sicily, Valguarnera, Agira, Adrano, Regalbuto, Sicily, 1943, Landing at Reggio, Motta Montecorvino, Campobasso, Torella, San Leonardo, The Gully, Ortona, Cassino II, Gustav Line, Liri Valley, Hitler Line, Gothic Line, Lamone Crossing, Misano Ridge, Rimini Line, San Martino - San Lorenzo, Pisciatello, Fosso Vecchio, Italy 1943-45, Apeldoorn, North-West Europe, 1945, Korea, 1951-1953"

This regimental list of Battle Honours includes:

  • 9 Theatre Honours
  • 33 Battles
  • 3 Included Actions
  • 1 Included Engagements
  • 8 Separate Actions
  • 6 Separate Engagements

The majority of the Actions and Engagements (both Separate and Included) come from the Regiment's Second World War Honours, a trend which reflects the more open battlefields of that war and the higher potential for limited engagements compared to the First World War.

Examples of the multi-year theatre Battle Honours shown are:

  • SOUTH AFRICA, 1899-1900; for continuous operations in the theatre from 1899 to 1900.
  • FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1915-18; for continuous operations in the theatre from 1915 to 1918.
  • ITALY, 1943-45; for continuous operations in the theatre from 1943 to 1945.

Examples of multiple awards of Battle Honours with the same location name are:

  • YPRES. 1915, '17; for award of the two Battle Honours, YPRES, 1915, and YPRES, 1917.
  • ARRAS, 1917, '18; for award of the two Battle Honours, ARRAS, 1917, and ARRAS, 1918.
  • SCARPE, 1917, '18; for award of the two Battle Honours, SCARPE, 1917, and SCARPE, 1918.

When we consider that Battles, Actions, and Engagements are inclusive to the applicable Theatre Honours, and that a regiment may have received honours for both a Battle as well as included Actions and/or Engagements, we start to see that a list of regimental honours is not a simple chronology of places and dates for combat actions. Within that seemingly simplistic list, there is a layering of periods of combat, some with their own designations for honours and many without, that still need to be unraveled to fully understand the roles and contributions of that regiment and its soldiers.

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2013 2:09 PM EST
Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Battle Honours; Geographical and Chronological Limits
Topic: Battle Honours

Anyone who has spent time studying Canadian military history, or any of Canada's Army regiments has heard of Battle Honours. Defining and understanding Battle Honours, however, often takes a deeper examination than reading the many popular histories that are available, or even individual regimental histories. The general descriptions of Battle Honours as battle actions for which a regiment has been formally recognized and rewarded by receipt of the honour more often than not falls short of full understanding. Often named for a region (e.g., NORTHWEST EUROPE), an area of that region (e.g., THE RHINELAND), a specific location (e.g., ORTONA), or a tactical operation (e.g., BATTLE OF VIMY RIDGE), we may have a general idea of the context of the battle based on readings and popular media but that popular conception doesn't always define the parameters for the awarded honours.

The greatest confusion may come about when a Battle Honour is named for a location, and this is particularly so for the First World War. For example, many units fought in and around the town of Cambrai in Northern France near the end of the First World War. From this, you might be able to assume that any such actions might contribute to eligibility for the Battle Honour "CAMBRAI, 1918." But this is not the case.

The Battle Honour "CAMBRAI, 1918," like many other such honours, has very specific restrictions on the dates during which a unit had to be engaged with the enemy, and specific geographical bounds within which that action had to take place for eligibility. These chronological and geographical bounds for the Battle Honour "CAMBRAI, 1918," encompass two days and about 580 square kilometres in a region approximately 15 by 40 Kms, and are as follows:

CAMBRAI, 1918

  • 8-9 Oct 1918
  • Road Fresnoy - Sequehart - Bellinglise - Bellicourt -Vendhuille - Villers-Guislain - Villers-Plouich - Graincourt - Bourlon - Oisy-le-Verger: thence the river Sensee

Using Google maps, we are able to plot these locations on a modern map images and capture it for a simple display of the geographical boundary.

Only if a unit was engaged with the enemy within this boundary, during the dates 8-9 October, 1918, and meeting the other terms of reference for Battle Honours, could it request the for the Battle Honour "CAMBRAI, 1918," after the War. To place this area in a different perspective, the operational area for the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division at Cambrai on 8/9 Oct 1918 spanned an area of only 10 square kilometers within this boundary. Within those 10 square kilometers, all twelve infantry battalions and the Machine Gun Battalion of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division earned the Battle Honour "CAMBRAI, 1918."

See the geographical and chronological limits for other Battle Honours of the First World War at The Regimental Rogue: Canadian Army Battle Honours

Canadian Army Battle Honours


Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 20 February 2013 9:18 PM EST

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