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

5TH (BRITISH COLUMBIA) FIELD ARTILLERY REGIMENT, RCA

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LINEAGE

This Reserve Force regiment originated on 12 October 1883 and incorporates the following regiments and operations room.

The 5th (British Columbia) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA originated in Victoria, British Columbia on 12 October 1883, when the 'British Columbia Provisional Regiment of Garrison Artillery' was authorized to be formed.1 It was redesignated: 'British Columbia Brigade of Garrison Artillery' on 7 May 1886;2 'British Columbia Battalion of Garrison Artillery' on 1 January 1893;3 '5th "British Columbia" Battalion of Garrison Artillery' on 1 January 1895;4 and '5th "British Columbia" Regiment of Garrison Artillery, CA' on 28 December 1895.5 The regiment was reorganized into two battalions on 1 July 1896, designated the '1st' and '2nd' battalions.6 The '2nd Battalion' was detached and converted to infantry and used to form the '6th Battalion Rifles' (now 'The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own) (RCAC)') on 1 August 1899, the '1st Battalion' designation being automatically discontinued.7 The regiment was redesignated: '5th (British Columbia) Regiment, CGA' on 2 February 1920;8 '5th (British Columbia) Coast Brigade, CA' on 1 July 1925;9 '5th (British Columbia) Coast Brigade, RCA' on 3 June 1935;10 '5th (Reserve) (British Columbia) Coast Brigade, RCA' on 7 November 1940;11 '5th (British Columbia) Coast Regiment, RCA' on 1 April 1946;12 '5th (British Columbia) Heavy Anti- Aircraft Regiment, RCA' on 5 February 1948;13 and '75th (British Columbia) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA' on 29 September 1949.14 On 17 October 1954, it was amalgamated with the '5th (British Columbia) Coast Regiment, RCA' (see below), the '120th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA' (redesignated '120th Harbour Defence Troop, RCA') and the '8th Anti-Aircraft Operations Room, RCA' (see below) and redesignated the '5th West Coast Harbour Defence Battery, RCA'.15 On 25 October 1956 the battery was redesignated the '5th Independent Medium Battery, RCA' with the '120th Harbour Defence Troop, RCA' ceasing its amalgamation.16 It was redesignated: '5th (British Columbia) Independent Medium Battery, RCA' on 25 April 1958;17 '5th (British Columbia) Independent Medium Artillery Battery, RCA' on 12 April 1960.18 and '5th (British Columbia) Field Battery, RCA' and allocated to the '15th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA', on 28 February 1965.19 The battery was detached from the 15th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, to operate as an independent artillery battery on 1 September 1967;20 and on 13 September 1991 the battery was reorganized as a regiment and redesignated the '5th (British Columbia) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA'.23

Notes :
Unlike the volunteer militia units of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, who were required to re-enrol under the Act 31 Vic.; Cap. 40, respecting the Militia Defence of the Dominion of Canada, the provinces which joined Confederation after 1867 were not covered by this provision. Therefore, there can be no legal continuity of a former British Columbia regiment - or ante-dating of authorization.

The 5th (British Columbia) Regiment, CGA was authorized a Reserve order of battle counterpart on 1 November 1920 (GO 186/20). It was redesignated the '2nd (Reserve) Anti-Aircraft Section, CA' on 1 July 1925 (GO 82/25). The reserve unit was disbanded on 14 December 1936 (GO 3/37).

The 5th (British Columbia) Regiment, CGA was disbanded for the purpose of reorganization on 15 February 1921 and reorganized the same day (GO 92/21). This change was administrative and does not affect the lineage of the regiment.

The 5th (British Columbia) Coast Regiment, RCA originated in Victoria, British Columbia on 28 October 1948, when the 'British Columbia Coast Regiment, RCA' was authorized to be formed.24 It was redesignated the '5th (British Columbia) Coast Regiment, RCA' on 29 September 1949.25 On 17 October 1954, it was amalgamated with the '75th (British Columbia) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA', the '120th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA' and the '8th Anti-Aircraft Operations Room, RCA', as above.

The 8th Anti-Aircraft Operations Room, RCA originated in Esquimalt, British Columbia on 15 December 1936, when the '17th Fortress Company, RCE' was authorized to be formed.26 On 1 March 1939 it was converted to artillery and redesignated the '17th Searchlight Battery, RCA (CD)'.27 It was redesignated: '17th (Reserve) Searchlight Battery, RCA (CD)' on 7 November 1940;28 '8th Anti-Aircraft Gun Operations Room, RCA' on 1 April 1946;29 and '8th Anti-Aircraft Operations Room, RCA' on 30 June 1951.30 On 17 October 1954 it was amalgamated with the '5th (British Columbia) Coast Regiment, RCA', the '75th (British Columbia) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA' and the '120th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery, RCA', as above.

Note:
The 17th Fortress Company, RCE was disbanded for the purpose of conversion to artillery on 28 February 1939 and reorganized the next day (GO 60/39 and GO 61/39). This change was administrative and does not affect the lineage of the company.

Perpetuations

'58th "Overseas" Field Battery, CFA, CEF'

Headquarters Location

Victoria, British Columbia

Allocated Batteries

55th Field Battery, RCA
56th Field Battery, RCA

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OPERATIONAL HISTORY

The First World War

The 5th "British Columbia" Regiment was placed on active service on 10 August 1914 for local protection duties.31

The 58th Field Battery was authorized on 15 July 1916 as the '58th Overseas Depot Battery, CEF'.32 It was redesignated: '58th (Howitzer) Battery, CEF' on 22 January 1917;33 and '58th (Howitzer) Battery, CFA, CEF' on 25 September 1918.34 It embarked for Britain on 22 September 1916.35 The battery disembarked in France on 22 August 1917,36 where it provided field artillery support as part of the 14th Brigade, CFA, CEF in France and Flanders until the end of the war.37 The battery was disbanded on 23 October 1920.38

The Second World War

The 5th (British Columbia) Coast Brigade, RCA was called out on service for local protection duties on 26 August 1939.39 Details from the brigade were also mobilized for active service under the designation '5th (British Columbia) Coast Brigade, RCA, CASF (Details)' on 1 September 1939.40 The details called out on active service were disbanded on 31 December 1940 and the brigade mobilized an active service unit designated '5th (British Columbia) Coast Brigade, RCA, CASF' on 1 January 1941.41 It was redesignated '5th (British Columbia) Coast Regiment, RCA, CASF' on 1 May 1942.42 The regiment provided coastal artillery support as part of the defences of Victoria- Esquimalt, British Columbia.43 The regiment was disbanded on 31 October 1945.44

The 17th Searchlight Battery, RCA (CD) was called out on service for local protection duties on 26 August 1939.45 Details from the battery were also mobilized for active service under the designation '17th Searchlight Battery, RCA (CD) CASF (Details)' on 1 September 1939.46 The details called out on active service were disbanded on 31 December 1940 and the battery mobilized an active service unit designated '17th Searchlight Battery, RCA (CD) CASF' on 1 January 1941.47 The battery provided searchlight support as part of the defences in Victoria-Esquimalt, British Columbia.48 The battery was disbanded on 1 May 1942.49

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1. MGO 22/83. Formed from two existing independent garrison batteries and one rifle company authorized on the following dates: 'No. 1 Battery' at New Westminster (Seymour Battery of Garrison Artillery, 11 July 1874), 'No. 2 Battery' at Victoria (half of the Victoria Battery of Garrison Artillery, 19 July 1878), 'No. 3 Battery' at Victoria (half of the Victoria Battery of Garrison Artillery, 19 July 1878), and 'No. 4 Battery' at Victoria (No. 1 Company of Rifles, Victoria, 13 February 1874) / Formé de deux batteries de garnison indépendantes et d'une compagnie de fusils autorisée selon les dates suivantes : « No. 1 Battery » à New Westminster (Seymour Battery of Garrison Artillery, 11 juillet 1874), « No. 2 Battery » à Victoria (la moitié de la Victoria Battery of Garrison Artillery, 19 juillet 1878), « No. 3 Battery » à Victoria (la moitié de la Victoria Battery of Garrison Artillery, 19 juillet 1878), et « 'No. 4 Battery » à Victoria (No. 1 Company of Rifles, Victoria, 13 février 1874).

2. MGO 9/86.

3. No authority for a change of designation of artillery brigades in 1892 is contained within the applicable Militia General Orders or Annual Militia Report sessional papers. However, the date of 1 January 1893 is consistent with the nomenclature used in the aforementioned sources of 1893 and the Department of Militia and Defence, The Militia List of the Dominion of Canada, 1893. (GO 21/93 - Establishment Lists of the Active Militia of the Dominion of Canada for the Financial Year 1893-94) / Les Ordres Généraux de la Milice ou les textes de séances du rapport Annuel de la Milice, ne comportent aucune autorité quant au changement d'appellation des brigades d'artillerie en 1892. La date du 1er janvier 1893 correspond toutefois à la nomenclature utilisée dans les sources de 1893 mentionnées précédemment ainsi que par le Ministère de la Milice et de la défense, The Militia List of the Dominion of Canada, 1893. (GO 21/93 - Establishment Lists of the Active Militia of the Dominion of Canada for the Financial Year 1893-94).

4. MGO 9/95; and/et The Militia List of the Dominion of Canada corrected to 1st January 1895.

5. MGO 58/95.

6. GO 69/96.

7. GO 83/99; and/et MGO 144/99.

8. GO 13/20.

9. GO 82/25.

10. GO 58/35.

11. GO 273/40.

12. GO 161/46. GO 116/46 redesignated the regiment '5th Coast Regiment, RCA' and GO 161/46 redesignated the regiment '5th (British Columbia) Coast Regiment, RCA, with the same effective date / Le GO 116/46 rebaptisa le régiment « 5th Coast Regiment, RCA » et GO161/146 rebaptisa le régiment « 5th (British Columbia) Coast Regiment, RCA » avec la même date de mise en vigueur.

13. CAO 76-3, Supp Issue No. 62/48.

14. CAO 76-3, Supp Issue No. 148/49.

15. CAO 76-3, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 415/54.

16. CAO 76-3, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 528/57. The 120th Harbour Defence Troop was redesignated by this order as '120th Independent Field Battery, RCA'. This battery was subsequently amalgamated with the '65th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Irish Fusiliers), RCA' to form 'The Irish Fusiliers of Canada (The Vancouver Regiment)' / Le « 120th Harbour Defence Troop » fut rebaptisé par cet ordre le « 120th Independent Field Battery, RCA ». Cette batterie fut subséquemment amalgamée avec le « 65th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Irish Fusiliers), RCA » afin de former « The Irish Fusiliers of Canada (The Vancouver Regiment) ».

17. CAO 76-3, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 604/58.

18. CAO 76-3, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 670/60.

19. Letter, HQ Western Command to D Org, 18 Oct 65, file ref: WC 2001-3/1 (G).

20. CFOO 67/8.

21. CFOO 3.310, 3 May 79 / OOFC 3.310, 3 mai 79.

22. MOO 359/85, 7 Oct 85 / DMO 359/85, 7 oct 85.

23. Message, D Force S 072, Organization Message, 131933Z Sep 91, in CFOO 6142 file.

24. CAO 110-3, Supp Issue No. 99/48.

25. CAO 76-3, Supp Issue No. 148/49.

26. GO 215/36.

27. GO 60/39; and/et GO 61/39.

28. GO 273/40.

29. GO 115/46.

30. CAO 76-3, Supp Issue No. 240/51.

31. GO 130/14.

32. GO 69/16.

33. War Diary, 5th Canadian Divisional Artillery, January 1917/janvier 1917, Appendix 2/Appendice 2 (WO Letter 121/Overseas/2820 (S.D.2.) d/18.1.17), NAC/AN, RG9/GE9, Series III-D-3, Vol. 4963, File/dossier 523.

34. Official History of the CEF 1914-1919, Formations and Units Ledger, Document Collection/Collection de documents, 87/252 LG.

35. CRO 1230/18.

36. War Diary, 14th Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, 22 August 1917/22 août 1917, NAC/AN, RG9/GE9, Series III-D-3, Vol. 4972, File/dossier 555.

37. G.W.L. Nicholson, The Gunners of Canada. The History of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, vol. 1 (Toronto, 1967), passim.

38. GO 191/20.

39. GO 124/39.

40. GO 135/39.

41. GO 44/41.

42. GO 37/43.

43. G.W.L. Nicholson, The Gunners of Canada. The History of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, vol. 2 (Toronto, 1972), passim.

44. GO 18/46.

45. GO 124/39.

46. GO 135/39.

47. GO 44/41.

48. G.W.L. Nicholson, The Gunners of Canada. The History of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, vol. 2 (Ottawa, 1972), p.470.

49. GO 276/42.

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