Volume 3, Part 1: Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments - ARMOUR REGIMENTS



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A springbok at speed on a grassy plain proper set upon a scroll Azure lined Gules, edged and inscribed ROYAL CANADIAN DRAGOONS in letters Or.


The bounding springbok commemorates the regiment's involvement in the South African War. "ROYAL CANADIAN DRAGOONS" is a form of the regimental title.




Mounted parades (Concerts and Mess)

Monsieur Beaucaire

Dismounted Parades

Light of Foot


British Army

The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons)


The Governor General's Horse Guards


North West Rebellion


South African War


The First World War

FESTUBERT, 1915; SOMME, 1916, '18; Bazentin; Pozières; Flers-Courcelette; CAMBRAI, 1917, '18; St. Quentin; AMIENS; HINDENBURG LINE; St. Quentin Canal; Beaurevoir; PURSUIT TO MONS; FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1915-18.

The Second World War

LIRI VALLEY; GOTHIC LINE; LAMONE CROSSING; Misano Ridge; Sant'Angelo in Salute; Fosso Vecchio; ITALY, 1944-1945; Groningen; Bad Zwischenahn; NORTH-WEST EUROPE, 1945.


This Regular Force regiment originated on 21 December 1883 and incorporates the following regiment and mounted rifle corps.

The Royal Canadian Dragoons originated in Quebec City, Quebec on 21 December 1883, when the 'Cavalry School Corps' was authorized to be formed.1 It was redesignated the 'Canadian Dragoons' on 14 May 1892.2 On 27 June 1892, it was amalgamated with the 'Canadian Mounted Rifle Corps' (see below) retaining its designation.3 It was redesignated: 'The Royal Canadian Dragoons' on 24 May 1893;4 '1st Armoured Regiment (Royal Canadian Dragoons), RCAC' on 16 October 1946;5 'Royal Canadian Dragoons (1st Armoured Regiment)' on 2 March 1949;6 'Royal Canadian Dragoons' on 19 May 1958;7 and 'The Royal Canadian Dragoons' on 12 January 1959.8

The Canadian Mounted Rifle Corps originated in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 20 July 1885, when the 'School of Mounted Infantry' was authorized to be formed.9 It was redesignated the 'Canadian Mounted Rifle Corps' on 7 August 1891.10 On 27 June 1892, it was amalgamated with the 'Canadian Dragoons', as above.

Headquarters Location

Petawawa, Ontario

Top of Page


North West Rebellion

The Cavalry School Corps mobilized its 'A Troop' for active service on 10 April 1885.11 It served with the Alberta Column of the North West Field Force.12 The troop was removed from active service on 18 September 1885.13

South African War

'The Canadian Mounted Rifles' were authorized to be formed for active service on 20 December 1899.14 On 28 December 1899 it was reorganized as two separate battalions, designated the '1st Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles' and the '2nd Battalion, The Canadian Mounted Rifles'.15 The 1st Battalion was redesignated 'The Royal Canadian Dragoons (Special Service Force)' on 1 August 1900.16 It embarked for South Africa on 21 February 1900,17 where it fought as part of the '1st Brigade, 1st Mounted Infantry Corps' and Major-General Smith-Dorrien's column until its departure on 13 December 1900.18 The overseas regiment was disbanded on 21 January 1901.19

The First World War

The regiment was placed on active service on 6 August 1914 for instructional and camp administration duties.20 On 14 September 1914 it mobilized 'The Royal Canadian Dragoons, CEF',21 which embarked for England on 3 October 1914.22 On 5 May 1915 it disembarked in France,23 where it fought in an infantry role as part of 'Seely's Detachment', 1st Canadian Division.24 On 24 January 1916, it resumed its cavalry role as part of the 1st Canadian Cavalry Brigade with whom it continued to fight in France and Flanders until the end of the war.25 The overseas regiment was disbanded on 6 November 1920.26

The Second World War

On 24 May 1940, the headquarters and one squadron were mobilized together with the headquarters and one squadron of the 'Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)' to form the '1st Canadian Motorcycle Regiment, CASF (RCD/LSH (RC))'.27 On 21 September 1940, this regiment was redesignated 'Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) CASF' (see the chart for this unit).28 Subsequently, the regiment mobilized 'The Royal Canadian Dragoons (Armoured Car Regiment), CASF' on 21 September 1940.29 It was redesignated: '1st Armoured Car Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons), CAC, CASF' on 11 February 1941;30 '1st Armoured Car Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons), CAC, CASF' on 15 October 1943;31 and '1st Armoured Car Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons), RCAC, CASF' on 2 August 1945.32 It embarked for Britain on 13 November 1941.33 The regiment landed in Sicily on 8 November 1943 and in Italy on 5 January 1944 as 1st Canadian Corps troops and eventually as a part of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division.34 In March 1945 the regiment moved with the 1st Canadian Corps to North-West Europe, where it fought until the end of the war.35 The overseas regiment was disbanded on 1 March 1946.36

On 1 September 1945 a second Active Force component of the regiment was mobilized for service in the Pacific theatre of operations under the designation '2nd-1st Armoured Car Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons), RCAC, CASF'.37 It was redesignated: '2nd-1st Armoured Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons), RCAC, CASF' on 15 November 1945;38 and '1st Armoured Regiment (The Royal Canadian Dragoons), RCAC, CASF' on 1 March 1946.39 On 27 June 1946 it was embodied in the Permanent Force.40


The Royal Canadian Dragoons


The Royal Canadian Dragoons

1. MGO 13/84. A 'School of Cavalry' was established within the Permanent Active Militia corps. On 15 July 1887 it was designated "Royal School of Cavalry" (MGO 13/87) / Une école d'instruction de cavalerie fut créée au sein du corps de la Milice active permanente. Le 15 juillet 1887, elle fut baptisée « Royal School of Cavalry » (MGO 13/87).

2. GO 16/92.

3. GO 29/92. It became 'B Troop, Canadian Dragoons' / Il devint la « B Troop, Canadian Dragoons ».

4. Special General Order 11 Aug 93.

5. GO 259/46.

6. CAO 76-2, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 118/49.

7. CAO 76-2, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 602/58.

8. CAO 76-2, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 637/59.

9. MGO 21/85. It was authorized with two companies, administratively organized as one company for administrative purposes, and a school of instruction. The school was redesignated : 'Royal School of Mounted Infantry' on 15 July 1887(MGO 13/87); and 'Royal School of Instruction' on 7 August 1891 (MGO 15/91) / Elle fut autorisée avec deux compagnies, organisées administrativement en une compagnie pour les besoins administratifs, et une école d'instruction. L'école fut rebaptisée : « Royal School of Mounted Infantry » le 15 juillet 1887 (MGO 13/87); et « Royal School of Instruction » le 7 août 1891 (MGO 15/91).

10. GO 15/91.

11. MGO 8/85.

12. General Sir Frederick Middleton, Suppression of the Rebellion in the North West Territories of Canada 1885, (Toronto, 1948), p. 42.

13. MGO 21/85.

14. MO No. 265/99, Part 1.

15. MO No. 271/99; and/et GO 9/1900 (Special GO dated 29 December 1899).

16. GO 71/1900. This change also resulted in the unit's squadrons being redesignated, starting with the letter 'B', so as to conform with the 'A' Squadron of the regiment which was in Canada. The 2nd Battalion now became an entirely different unit designated 'The Canadian Mounted Rifles' / Ce changement résulta également en une nouvelle appellation des escadrons de l'unité, commençant avec la lettre « B », afin de se conformer à l'escadron « A » du régiment, qui se trouvait au Canada. Le 2e bataillon devint donc une unité distincte désignée sous le nom de « The Canadian Mounted Rifles ».

17. MO No. 51/1900.

18. Brereton Greenhous, Dragoon, The Centennial History of The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 1883-1983, (Ottawa, 1983), passim.

19. MO No. 17/01.

20. GO 142/14; and/et Colonel A. Fortescue Duguid, Official History of the Canadian Forces in The Great War 1914-1919, General Series Vol. 1, August 1914-September 1915, (Ottawa, 1938), p. 47. The regiment was called out to provide utilitarian services at Camp Valcartier. Initially, it was not part of the Expeditionary Force, though many of its personnel joined CEF units / Le régiment fut appelé à fournir des services utilitaires au Camp Valcartier. Initialement, il ne faisait pas parti du Corps expéditionnaire, bien que plusieurs des ses membres se joignirent aux unités du Corps expéditionnaire canadien.

21. Colonel G.W.L. Nicholson, Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, (Ottawa, 1962), p. 23.

22. Edwin Pye Papers, Summary of History of C.E.F. Units - Royal Can. Dragoons, Document Collection/Collection de documents 74/672, Series/séries VI, Box/boîte 17, Folder/chemise 6.

23. War Diary, Royal Canadian Dragoon, 5 May 1915/5 mai 1915, NAC/AN, RG9/GE 9, Series III-D-3, Vol. 4955, File/dossier 495.

24. 1st Division RO 785; Major-General J.E.B. Seely, Adventure, (London, 1930), p. 221; and/et Colonel A. Fortescue Duguid, Official History of the Canadian Forces in The Great War 1914-1919, General Series Vol. 1, August 1914-September 1915 (Ottawa, 1938), pp. 158; and/et 445. The Canadian Cavalry Brigade was formed in England on 30 January 1915 however, as cavalry was not required at the front the brigade's commander, Brigadier-General Seely, agreed that his formation could serve in a dismounted role / La brigade de cavalerie canadienne fut formée en Angleterre le 30 janvier 1915. Toutefois, comme la cavalerie n'était pas requise au front, le commandant de la brigade, le brigadier-général Seely, fut d'accord pour que cette formation serve dans un rôle démonté.

25. War Diary, 1st Division RO 785; Royal Canadian Dragoons, 24 January 1916/24 janvier 1916, NAC/AN, RG9/GE9, Series 11-D-3, Vol. 4955, File/dossier 495; and/et Brereton Greenhous, Dragoon, The Centennial History of The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 1883-1983, (Ottawa, 1983), passim.

26. GO 207/20. The regiment was embodied in the Permanent Active Militia on 1 April 1919 (GO 27/19; and GO 90/19) / Le régiment fut incorporé au sein de la Milice active permanente le 1er avril 1919 (GO 27/19; et GO 90/19).

27. GO 184/40 and/et GO 50/41. On 1 September 1939, all corps, units and detachments of the Permanent Force were embodied in the Canadian Active Service Force (GO 135/39) / Le 1er septembre 1939, tous les corps, unités et détachements furent incorporés dans la Force canadienne pour le service actif (GO 135/39).

28. GO 256/40.

29. GO 252/40. On 15 November 1940, the regiment was allocated to the 'Canadian Armoured Corps' (GO 96/40) / Le 15 novembre 1940, le régiment fut alloué au « Canadian Armoured Corps » (GO 296/40).

30. GO 79/41.

31. GO 476/43.

32. GO 275/45. The Canadian Armoured Corps was redesignated 'Royal Canadian Armoured Corps' on this date / Le « Canadian Armoured Corps » fut rebaptisé « Royal Canadian Armoured Corps » à cette date.

33. Document Collection/Collection de documents 92/252, folder/chemise 65, file/dossier 2.

34. War Diary, 1st Armoured Car Regiment (Royal Canadian Dragoons), 5 January 1944/5 janvier 1944, NAC/AN, RG24/GE24; Series C-3, vol. 14188; and/et Brereton Greenhous, Dragoon, The Centennial History of The Royal Canadian Dragoons, 1883-1983, (Ottawa, 1983), passim. The regiment often served in a dismounted role / Le régiment servit souvent dans un rôle démonté.

35. Ibid.

36. GO 139/46.

37. GO 344/45.

38. GO 404/45.

39. GO 138/46.

40. GO 158/46.

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