Volume 3, Part 2: Infantry Regiments
THE ROYAL RIFLES OF CANADA
The following document is available for downloading or viewing:
For more information on accessing this file, please visit our help page.
On a Maltese cross Gules edged pommé and angled of lions passant Argent, a torteau charged with a bugle stringed Argent encircled by an annulus Gules edged and inscribed ROYAL RIFLES OF CANADA in letters Or, the whole within a wreath of laurel Vert issuant from a scroll Gules edged and inscribed with the Motto in letters Or, and ensigned by the crown of His Royal Highness the Prince Consort proper set on a tablet Argent.
The Maltese cross, which is based on the insignia of the Royal Guelphic Order, and the bugle, are common among badges of light infantry and rifle regiments. The laurel wreath, which symbolizes excellence and achievement, has its roots since Ancient Greece in competition or combat. The crown worn by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, of a style used by the Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, represents service to the Sovereign.
VOLENS ET VALENS (Willing and capable)
"I'm Ninety Five"
South African War
SOUTH AFRICA, 1899-1900.
The First World War
YPRES, 1915, '17; FESTUBERT, 1915; MOUNT SORREL; SOMME, 1916; ARRAS, 1917; HILL 70; AMIENS.
The Second World War
Hong Kong; SOUTH-EAST ASIA, 1941.
This Reserve Force regiment originated in Quebec City, Quebec on 28 February 1862, when 'The 8th Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles, Canada' was authorized to be formed.1 It was redesignated: '8th or Stadacona Volunteer Militia Rifles' on 28 March 1862;2 '8th Battalion "Royal Rifles"' on 6 April 1877;3 '8th Regiment "Royal Rifles"' on 8 May 1900;4 'The Royal Rifles of Canada' on 29 March 1920;5 '2nd (Reserve) Battalion, The Royal Rifles of Canada' on 7 November 1940;6 and 'The Royal Rifles of Canada' on 1 June 1945.7 On 22 February 1965, it was amalgamated with 'Les Voltigeurs de Québec'.8 On 1 November 1966, these two regiments ceased to be amalgamated and the regiment was reduced to nil strength and transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle.9
Upon redesignation as The Royal Rifles of Canada on 29 March 1920 (see above), it was organized as a two battalion regiment with the 1st Battalion (171st 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 Royal Rifles of Canada were disbanded for the purpose of reorganization on 1 October 1920 and reorganized the same day (GO 232/20). This change was administrative and does not affect the lineage of the regiment.
On 1 November 1929, the battalions were redesignated the 1st Battalion (12th Battalion, CEF) and 2nd Battalion (171st Battalion, CEF) (GO 138/29). The reserve unit was disbanded on 14 December 1936 (GO 3/37).
'12th' and '171st "Overseas" Battalion(s), CEF'
Quebec City, Quebec
The Fenian Raids
The 8th Volunteer Militia Rifles were called out on active service on 8 March 1866. The battalion, which served in Quebec City, was removed from active service on 31 March 1866.10
South African War
The regiment contributed volunteers for the Canadian contingents in the field, mainly the « 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry ».11
The First World War
Details of the regiment were placed on active service on 6 August 1914 for local protection duties.12
The 12th Battalion, which was authorized on 10 August 1914 as the '12th Battalion, CEF',13 embarked for Great Britain on 30 September 1914.14 It was redesignated '12th Reserve Infantry Battalion, CEF' on 29 April 1915, to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field.15 The battalion was disbanded on 15 September 1920.16
The 171st Battalion, which was authorized on 15 July 1916 as the '171st "Overseas" Battalion, CEF',17 embarked for Great Britain on 24 November 1916.18 Its personnel were absorbed by the '20th Reserve Battalion, CEF' on 8 January 1917 to provide reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field.19 The battalion was disbanded on 27 July 1917.20
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 Royal Rifles of Canada, CASF (Details)', for local protection duties.21 The details called out on active service were disbanded on 31 December 1940.22 Details of the regiment were again called out on service on 1 January 1941, under the designation 'Details of 2nd (Reserve) Battalion, The Royal Rifles of Canada'.23 The details were removed from active service on 30 September 1941.24 The regiment subsequently mobilized 'The Royal Rifles of Canada, CASF' for active service on 24 May 1940.25 It was redesignated '1st Battalion, The Royal Rifles of Canada, CASF' on 7 November 1940.26 The battalion served in Newfoundland on garrison duty from early November 1940 to August 1941.27 On 27 October 1941 it embarked for Hong Kong, where it was destroyed while fighting in defence of the colony.28 The unit was reconstituted on 10 January 1942.29 It served in Canada in a home defence role as part of the Vancouver Defences of Pacific Command.30 On 2 January 1945 it embarked for Great Britain,31 where it was disbanded on 10 January 1945 to provide reinforcements to the Canadian army in the field.32
Rifle regiments do not carry Colours. They may emblazon their battle honours on unit appointments such as cap badges.
No camp flag authorised.
1 MGO 28 Feb 62.. Formed from six independent rifle companies at Quebec authorized on the following dates: 'No. 1 Company' (2nd Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 30 August 1861), 'No. 2 Company' (The 4th Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 10 January 1862), 'No. 3 Company' (The 5th Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 10 January 1862), 'No. 4 Company' (The 6th Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 10 January 1862), 'No. 5 Company' (The 8th Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 10 January 1862), and 'No. 6 Company' (Volunteer Militia Rifle Company at Quebec, 22 January 1862) / Formé de six compagnies indépendantes de voltigeurs autorisées à Québec selon les dates suivantes : « No. 1 Company » (2nd Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 30 août 1861), « No. 2 Company » (The 4th Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 10 janvier 1862), « No. 3 Company » (The 5th Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 10 janvier 1862), « No. 4 Company » (The 6th Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 10 janvier 1862), « No. 5 Company » (The 8th Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Quebec, 10 janvier 1862), et « No. 6 Company » (One Volunteer Militia Rifle Company at Quebec, 22 janvier 1862).
2 MGO 28 Mar 62.
3 MGO 6 Apr 77.
4 MO 105/1900. GO 6/10 of 3 January 1910 provides His Majesty's approval for the use of the title "Royal" / Le GO de 3 janvier 1910 fournit les détails de l'approbation du titre « Royal » par sa Majesté..
5 MO 96/20.
6 GO 42/41.
7 GO 264/45.
8 SD 1 Letter No. 64/66; and/et Message, QUECOM G 3564, 221800Z SEP 65. GOC Quebec Command was to recommend a unit title, to CFHQ / L'OGC du Commandement du Québec devait recommander un titre d'unité au QGFC.
9 CFOO/OOFC 66/13.
10 MGO 8 Mar 66; and/et MGO 28 Mar 66.
11 GO 60/33.
12 GO 142/14.
13 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.
14 Ibid., pp. 112 and/et 116.
15 Edwin Pye Papers, Summary of History of C.E.F. Units - 12th Battalion, Document Collection/Collection de documents 74/672, Series/séries IV, Box/boîte 11, Folder/chemise 12; and/et Shorncliffe Camp Order 450/15.
16 GO 149/20.
17 GO 69/16.
18 CEF Sailing List, vol. IX.
19 CRO 235/17 and/et CRO 271/17.
20 GO 89/17.
21 GO 124/39; and/et GO 135/39.
22 GO 44/41.
23 GO 42/41; and/et GO 44/41.
24 GO 12/42.
25 GO 184/40; and/et GO 50/41.
26 GO 42/41.
27 Captain Grant S. Garneau, The Royal Rifles of Canada in Hong Kong, (Sherbrooke, 1970), pp. 8-10.
28 Ibid, passim.
29 Document Collection 92/252, (3-6-52)The Royal Rifles of Canada, Box/boîte 37, Folder/chemise 17.
30 Colonel C.P. Stacey, Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War, Volume 1, Six Years of War (Ottawa, 1955), p. 538.
31 Document Collection 92/252, (3-6-52) The Royal Rifles of Canada, Box/boîte 37, Folder/chemise 17.
32 GO 114/45.
Footnotes notice: This content is provided as it appears in the originating document and cannot be altered. Some notes reference annotation in only one of the official languages, and therefore numbers may not match in the content you are viewing. For clarification, we invite you to check the corresponding footnote in the French page.