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



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On an eight pointed star Argent a hunting horn Or embellished Gules encircling a maple leaf Vert inscribed with the word CANADA in letters Or, the horn pendent from cords Sable enfiling a motto scroll Vert edged and inscribed CEDE NULLIS in letters Or below a like scroll inscribed THE HALIFAX RIFLES and ensigned by the Royal Crown proper.


The star is of a type favoured by Canadian regiments in Victorian times. The maple leaf represents service to Canada, and the Crown, service to the Sovereign. The regiment's rifle heritage and their regimental march, the "Huntsman's Chorus", is symbolized by the horn. Both green and black are important colours used in rifle regiment uniforms. "THE HALIFAX RIFLES" is a form of the regimental title and "CEDE NULLIS" is the motto of the regiment.

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CEDE NULLIS (Yield to None)

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Huntsman's Chorus


The War of 1812

Honorary Distinction

The non-emblazonable honorary distinction DEFENCE OF CANADA – 1812-1815 – DÉFENSE DU CANADA (awarded in commemoration of the Nova Scotia Fencible Infantry)

North West Rebellion


South African War

SOUTH AFRICA, 1899-1900

The First World War



This Reserve Force regiment originated in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 14 May 1860, when the 'Halifax Volunteer Battalion' was authorized to be formed.1 It was redesignated: 'Halifax Volunteer Battalion of Rifles' on 28 May 1869;2 '63rd The Halifax Volunteer Battalion of Rifles' on 5 November 1869;3 '63rd The Halifax Battalion of Rifles' on 13 May 1870;4 '63rd Regiment "Halifax Rifles"' on 8 May 1900;5 'The Halifax Rifles' on 15 May 1920;6 '2nd (Reserve) Battalion, The Halifax Rifles' on 1 January 1941;7 'The Halifax Rifles (Reserve)' on 15 September 1944;8 and 'The Halifax Rifles' on 30 November 1945.9 The regiment was converted to armour and redesignated: '23rd Armoured Regiment (Halifax Rifles), RCAC' on 1 April 1946;10 'The Halifax Rifles (23rd Armoured Regiment)' on 4 February 1949;11 and 'The Halifax Rifles (RCAC)' on 19 May 1958.12 It was reduced to nil strength and transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle on 31 January 1965.13 On 28 July 2009, it was removed from the Supplementary Order of Battle.14

Notes :

Upon redesignation as The Halifax Rifles on 15 May 1920 (see above), it was organized as a two battalion regiment with the 1st Battalion (40th Battalion, CEF) on the Non Permanent Active Militia order of battle, and the 2nd Battalion (no CEF designation) on the Reserve order of battle. The reserve unit was disbanded on 14 December 1936 (GO 3/37).

The Halifax Rifles were disbanded for the purpose of reorganization on 15 July 1920 and reorganized the same day (GO 157/20). This change was administrative and does not affect the lineage of the regiment.

On 22 December 1964, The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) and The Princess Louise Fusiliers were ordered to effect an amalgamation as an infantry battalion under a "to be determined" designation by 31 March 1965 (SD 1 Letter No. 64/68). This amalgamation was cancelled through Amendment 1 to SD Letter No. 64/68 (EASCOM Msg G 5631 of 22 Sep 65).


'40th "Overseas" Battalion, CEF'

Headquarters Location

Halifax, Nova Scotia


Fenian Raids

The Halifax Volunteer Battalion was called out on active service on 6 June 1866. The battalion, which served on guard duty at the Halifax Dockyard, was removed from active service on 31 July 1866.15

North West Rebellion

The 63rd The Halifax Battalion of Rifles mobilized three companies for active service on 10 April 1885.16 The companies served with the 'Halifax Provisional Battalion' in the Alberta Column of the North-West Field Force.17 The companies were removed from active service on 24 July 1885.18

South African War

The 63rd The Halifax Battalion of Rifles contributed volunteers for the Canadian Contingents during the South African War.19

The First World War

Details of the 63rd Regiment "Halifax Rifles" were placed on active service on 6 August 1914 for local protective duty.20

The 40th Battalion, which was authorized on 7 November 1914 as the '40th Battalion, CEF',21 embarked for Britain on 18 October 1915.22 The battalion provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field until 4 January 1917, when its personnel were absorbed by the '26th Reserve Battalion, CEF'.23 The battalion was disbanded on 17 July 1917.24

The Second World War

Details from the regiment were called out on service on 26 August 1939 and then placed on active service on 1 September 1939, under the designation 'The Halifax Rifles, CASF (Details)', for local protection duties.25 The details called out on active service were disbanded on 31 December 1940.26 The regiment mobilized the '1st Battalion, The Halifax Rifles, CASF' for active service on 1 January 1941.27 It was converted to armour and redesignated: '23rd Army Tank Battalion (The Halifax Rifles), CAC, CASF' on 26 January 1942;28 and '23rd Army Tank Regiment (The Halifax Rifles), CAC, CASF' on 15 May 1942.29 It embarked for Britain on 17 June 1943 as a unit of the 2nd Army Tank Brigade, 4th Armoured Division, where it provided reinforcements to units of the Canadian Corps in the field.30 The overseas regiment was disbanded on 1 November 1943.31


The Halifax Rifles (RCAC)


The Halifax Rifles (RCAC)

1. MGO of 16 May 1860, (Royal Gazette, Halifax, N.S., Wednesday 2 May 1860, Vol. LIX No. 19, p.134). Formed from six existing independent rifle companies authorized on the following dates: 'No. 1 Rifle Company' (Scottish Volunteer Rifle Company at Halifax, 13 December 1859), 'No. 2 Rifle Company' (Mayflower Rifles, 19 December 1859), 'No. 3 Rifle Company' (Irish Volunteer Rifles, 23 December 1859), 'No. 4 Rifle Company' (Dartmouth Rifles, early 1860), 'No. 5 Rifle Company' (Halifax Rifles, 23 December 1859), and 'No. 6 Rifle Company' (Chebucto Greys, 15 December 1859) / Formé de six compagnies indépendantes de voltigeurs autorisées selon les dates suivantes : « No. 1 Rifle Company » (Scottish Volunteer Rifle Company à Halifax, 13 décembre 1859), « No. 2 Rifle Company » (Mayflower Rifles, 19 décembre 1859), « No. 3 Rifle Company » (Irish Volunteer Rifles, 23 décembre 1859), « No. 4 Rifle Company » (Dartmouth Rifles, antérieur 1860), « No. 5 Rifle Company » (Halifax Rifles, 23 décembre 1859), et « No. 6 Rifle Company » (Chebucto Greys, 15 décembre 1859).

2. MGO of 28 May 1869.

3. MGO of 5 November 1869.

4. MGO 18/70.

5. MO 105/1900.

6. MO 97/20; and/et GO 77/20.

7. GO 42/41.

8. GO 402/44.

9. GO 400/45.

10. GO 115/46.

11. CAO 76-3, Supp Issue No. 114/49.

12. CAO 76-3, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 602/58.

13. Amendment No. 1 to SD 1 Letter No. 64/68; and/et Message - HQ Eastern Command to CANFOREHED, EASCOM G 5631 221300Z SEP 65).

14. MOO 2009008, 28 July 2009 / DMO 2009008, 28 juillet 2009.

15. Colonel A.J. Kerry and Major W.A. McDill, The History of the Corps Of Royal Canadian Engineers, Volume 1 (1749-1939), p. 26 (Ottawa: The Military Engineers Association of Canada, 1962); and/et John Gordon Quigley, The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) 1860-1960, p. 6 (Halifax: Wm. MacNab and Son Ltd., 1960).

16. MGO 8/85.

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

18. MGO 16/85.

19. GO 60/33.

20. GO 142/14.

21. GO 86/15.

22. CEF Sailing Lists, vol. II. The unit also sent two reinforcing drafts overseas to the '17th Reserve Battalion' [15 June 1915 and 9 October 1915] / L'unité envoya aussi deux services de renfort outre-mer au « 17th Reserve Battalion » [15 juin 1915 et 9 octobre 1915].

23. CRO 198/17; CRO 271/17; Edwin Pye Papers, Summary of History of C.E.F. Units - 40th Battalion, Document Collection/Collection de documents 74/672, Series/séries IV, Box/boîte 11, Folder/chemise 40. The battalion was absorbed along with the 'Royal Canadian Regiment Depot' and the '112th' and '211th "Overseas" Battalion(s)' to form the '26th Reserve Battalion' / Le bataillon fut fusionné avec le « Royal Canadian Regiment Depot » et les « 112th » et « 211th "Overseas" Battalion(s) » pour ainsi former le « 26th Reserve Battalion ».

24. GO 82/18.

25. GO 124/39; and/et GO 135/39.

26. GO 44/41.

27. GO 44/41; and/et GO 42/41.

28. GO 132/42.

29. GO 302/42.

30. J.K. Marteinson and M.R. McNorgan, The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps: An Illustrated History, p. 128 (Ottawa: The Royal Canadian Armoured Corps Association, 2000); and/et John Gordon Quigley, The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) 1860-1960, p.6 (Halifax: Wm. Macnab and Son Ltd., 1960). The 2nd Army Tank Brigade was redesignated the '2nd Armoured Brigade' on 22 July 1943 (GO 88/43) / La 2e brigade de chars d'armée fut rebaptisée 2e brigade blindée le 22 juillet 1943 (GO 88/43). 31. GO 89/44.

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