Volume 3, Part 2: Infantry Regiments
GOVERNOR GENERAL'S FOOT GUARDS
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Colonel-in-Chief: Her Majesty The Queen
Upon a six-pointed star rayonné Argent an annulus Gules edged and inscribed CIVITAS ET PRINCEPS CURA NOSTRA in letters Or and enclosing a cross Azure fimbriated Argent.
The badge is based on the star of the Order of the Garter, which is used a the cap star of the Coldstream Guards, an allied regiment whose uniform, with minor differences, the regiment wears. "CIVITAS ET PRINCEPS CURA NOSTRA" is the motto of the regiment.
CIVITAS ET PRINCEPS CURA NOSTRA (Our country and ruler are our concern)
North West Rebellion
NORTH WEST CANADA, 1885.
South African War
SOUTH AFRICA, 1899-1900.
The First World War
YPRES, 1915, '17; Gravenstafel; St. Julien; FESTUBERT, 1915; MOUNT SORREL; SOMME, 1916; Pozières; Flers-Courcelette; Ancre Heights; ARRAS, 1917, '18; Vimy, 1917; Arleux; Scarpe, 1917, '18; HILL 70; Passchendaele; AMIENS; Drocourt- Quéant; HINDENBURG LINE; Canal du Nord; PURSUIT TO MONS; FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1915-18.
The Second World War
FALAISE; Falaise Road; The Laison; Chambois; THE SCHELDT; The Lower Maas; THE RHINELAND; The Hochwald; Veen; Bad Zwischenahn; NORTH-WEST EUROPE, 1944-1945.
This Reserve Force regiment originated in Ottawa, Ontario on 7 June 1872, when the '1st Battalion Governor General's Foot Guards' was authorized to be formed.1 It was redesignated: 'Governor General's Foot Guards' on 16 September 1887;2 'The Governor General's Foot Guards' on 1 April 1896;3 '2nd (Reserve) Battalion, The Governor General's Foot Guards' on 7 November 1941;4 'The Governor General's Foot Guards' on 31 January 1946;5 'The Governor General's Foot Guards (5th Battalion, The Canadian Guards)' on 1 September 1954;6 'Governor General's Foot Guards (5th Battalion, The Canadian Guards)' on 25 April 1958;7 and 'Governor General's Foot Guards' on 1 September 1976.8
On 12 March 1920, the Governor General's Foot Guards were organized as a two battalion regiment with the 1st Battalion (no CEF designation) on the Non Permanent Active Militia order of battle, and the 2nd Battalion (77th Battalion, CEF) on the Reserve order of battle (MO 59/20). The reserve unit was disbanded on 14 December 1936 (GO 3/37).
On 15 December 1931, the 1st Battalion was redesignated the 1st Battalion (2nd Battalion, CEF) (GO 152/31).
The Governor General's Foot Guards were disbanded for the purpose of reorganization on 15 December 1920 and reorganized the same day (GO 30/21). This change was administrative and does not affect the lineage of the regiment.
'2nd' and '77th "Overseas" Battalion(s), CEF'
North West Rebellion
The 1st Battalion Governor General's Foot Guards mobilized one company for active service on 10 April 1885.9 It served in the Battleford Column of the North West Field Force.10 The company was removed from active service on 24 July 1885.11
South African War
The regiment contributed volunteers for the Canadian Contingents, mainly the '2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry'.12
The First World War
Details of the Governor General's Foot Guards were placed on active service on 6 August 1914 for local protection duties.13
The 2nd Battalion, which was authorized on 10 August 1914 as the '2nd Battalion, CEF',14 embarked for Great Britain on 26 September 1914.15 It disembarked in France on 11 February 1915,16 where it fought as part of the 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war.17 The battalion was disbanded on 15 September 1920.18
The 77th Battalion, which was authorized on 10 July 1915 as the '77th "Overseas" Battalion', CEF,19 embarked for Great Britain on 19 June 1916.20 It provided reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field until 22 September 1916, when its personnel were absorbed by the '47th' and '73rd "Overseas" Battalion, CEF' and the battalion was disbanded.21
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 Governor General's Foot Guards, CASF (Details)', for local protection duties.22 The details called out on active service were disbanded on 31 December 1940.23
The regiment subsequently mobilized 'The Governor General's Foot Guards, CASF' for active service on 24 May 1940.24 It was redesignated '1st Battalion, The Governor General's Foot Guards, CASF' on 7 November 1940.25 On 26 January 1942, it was converted to armour and redesignated: '21st Armoured Regiment (The Governor General's Foot Guards), CAC, CASF';26 and '21st Armoured Regiment (The Governor General's Foot Guards), RCAC, CASF' on 2 August 1945.27 It embarked for Great Britain on 23 September 1942.28 On 24 July 1944, it landed in France as part of the 4th Armoured Brigade, 4th Canadian Armoured Division, and it continued to fight in North-West Europe until the end of the war.29 The overseas regiment was disbanded on 31 January 1946.30
Each company of the regiment have their own Company Badge which is borne in rotation in the centre of the Regimental Colour.
1. MGO 16/72; and/et MGO 17/72. Formed from two independent rifle companies: 'No. 1 Company (Civil Service Rifle Company, 23 April 1869)and 'No. 2 Company' (No. 2 Company, Civil Service Rifles, 12 April 1872); and four new infantry companies at Ottawa, designated: 'No. 3 Company'; 'No. 4 Company'; 'No. 5 Company'; and 'No. 6 Company' / Formé de deux compagnies de voltigeurs indépendantes : « No. 1 Company » (Civil Service Rifle Company, 23 April 1869) et 'No. 2 Company' (No. 2 Company, Civil Service Rifles, 12 April 1872); et de quatre nouvelles compagnies d'infanterie à Ottawa, baptisées : « No. 2 Company »; « No. 3 Company »; « No. 4 Company »; « No. 5 Company »; et « No. 6 Company ».
2. GO 15/87.
3. GO 23/96.
4. GO 42/41.
5. GO 400/45; and/et GO 111/46.
6. CAO 76-3, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 414/54.
7. CAO 76-3, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 604/58.
8. Message, NDHQ DOE 373, 121405Z AUG 76.
9. MGO 8/85.
10. General Sir Frederick Middleton, Suppression of the Rebellion in the North West Territories of Canada 1885, (Toronto, 1948), p. 22.
11. MGO 16/85.
12. GO 60/33.
13. GO 165/14.
14. PC 2067, 6 August 1914, and/et memorandum Preliminary Instructions for Mobn. War 1914, BGen V.A.S. Williams, Adjutant-General, Canadian Militia to O.Cs. Divisions and Districts, 10 August 1914, reprinted in Colonel A.F. Duguid, Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War, 1914-1919, vol. 1 - Appendices (Ottawa, 1938), pp. 37-39.
15. Ibid., pp. 111 and/et 116.
16. War Diary/Journaux de guerre, 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion, LAC/BAC, RG 9/GE 9, Series III-D-3, vol. 4913, File/dossier 353.
17. Colonel W. W. Murray, The History of the 2nd Canadian Battalion, (Ottawa, 1947), passim.
18. GO 149/20.
19. GO 103a/15.
20. CEF Sailing List, vol. IV. The unit also sent two reinforcing drafts overseas on 23 October and 3 December 1915 / L'unité envoya également deux contingents de renforts outre-mer les 23 octobre et 23 décembre 1915.
21. Edwin Pye Papers, Summary of History of C.E.F. Units - 77th Battalion, Document Collection/Collection de documents 74/672, Series/séries IV, Box/boîte 12, Folder/chemise 77. Neither a Privy Council Order nor a General Order was issued officially disbanding the unit / Ni décret du Conseil privé ni Ordonnance générale ne furent officiellement émis pour de l'unité la dissolution.
22. GO 124/39; and/et GO 135/39.
23. GO 44/41.
24. GO 184/40; and/et GO 50/41.
25. GO 42/41.
26. GO 132/42.
27. 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.
28. Captain Robert M. Foster, et. al., Steady the Buttons Two by Two: Regimental History of the Governor General's Foot Guards, (Ottawa, 1996), p. 160.
29. Ibid., passim.
30. GO 111/46.
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