Volume 3, Part 2: Infantry Regiments
THE ROYAL WESTMINSTER REGIMENT
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Colonel-in-Chief: The Duke of Westminster KG OBE TD CD DL
A demi-sun in splendour Or overall a maple leaf Gules charged with a beaver couchant on a log between the Royal crown proper and a scroll Or inscribed with the Motto, all above a scroll Sable fimbriated and inscribed THE ROYAL WESTMINSTER REGIMENT in letters Or.
The maple leaf and beaver represent service to Canada, and the crown, service to the Sovereign. The demi-sun is from the Arms of the Province of British Columbia where the regiment is based. "THE ROYAL WESTMINSTER REGIMENT" is the regimental title and "PRO REGE ET PATRIA" is the motto of the regiment.
PRO REGE ET PATRIA (For king and country)
The Maple Leaf Forever
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
The First World War
MOUNT SORREL; SOMME, 1916; Ancre Heights; Ancre, 1916; ARRAS, 1917, '18; Vimy, 1917; HILL 70; YPRES, 1917; Passchendaele; AMIENS; Scarpe, 1918; Drocourt-Quéant; HINDENBURG LINE; Canal du Nord; VALENCIENNES; FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1916-18.
The Second World War
LIRI VALLEY; Melfa Crossing; GOTHIC LINE; CORIANO; LAMONE CROSSING; Misano Ridge; Casale; Naviglio Canal; ITALY, 1944-1945; Ijsselmeer; Delfzijl Pocket; NORTH-WEST EUROPE, 1945.
This Reserve Force regiment originated in New Westminster, British Columbia on 1 April 1910, when the '104th Regiment' was authorized to be formed.1 It was redesignated the '104th Regiment Westminster Fusiliers of Canada' on 15 December 1913.2 On 12 March 1920, it was amalgamated with the '6th Regiment "The Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles"' to form the '1st British Columbia Regiment'.3 It was redesignated the '1st British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own)' on 1 November 1920.4 On 15 May 1924, it was reorganized into three separate regiments, designated: '1st British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own)' (now the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own); 'The Vancouver Regiment' (now 'The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught's Own)'; and 'The Westminster Regiment'.5 On 15 December 1936, it was amalgamated with 'C Company' of the '11th Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC' and redesignated 'The Westminster Regiment (Machine Gun)'.6 It was redesignated: 'The Westminster Regiment (Motor)' on 1 April 1941;7 '2nd (Reserve) Battalion, The Westminster Regiment (Motor)' on 7 November 1941;8 'The Westminster Regiment (Motor)' on 31 January 1946;9 'The Westminster Regiment' on 6 October 1954;10 and 'The Royal Westminster Regiment' on 9 December 1966.11
Upon redesignation as the 1st British Columbia Regiment on 12 March 1920 (see above), it was organized as a six battalion regiment with the 1st Battalion (7th Battalion, CEF), 2nd Battalion (29th Battalion, CEF) and 3rd Battalion (47th Battalion, CEF) on the Non Permanent Active Militia order of battle and the 4th Battalion (62nd Battalion, CEF), 5th Battalion (131st Battalion, CEF), and 6th Battalion (158th Battalion, CEF) on the Reserve order of battle. The designation of the 5th Battalion was changed to '5th Battalion (158th Battalion, CEF)' and the 6th Battalion to '6th Battalion (131st Battalion, CEF)' on 1 September 1921 (GO 246/21).
Upon reorganization as The Westminster Regiment on 15 May 1924 (see above), it was organized as a two battalion regiment with the 1st Battalion (47th Battalion, CEF) on the Non Permanent Active Militia order of battle and the 2nd Battalion (131st Battalion, CEF) on the Reserve order of battle. The reserve unit was disbanded on 14 December 1936 (GO 3/37).
The 1st British Columbia Regiment was disbanded for the purpose of reorganization on 15 September 1920 and reorganized the same day (GO 232/20). This change was administrative and does not affect the lineage of the regiment.
The Westminster Regiment was disbanded for the purpose of amalgamation on 14 December 1936 and reorganized the next day (GO 178/36). This change was administrative and does not affect the lineage of the regiment.
The 11th Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC (1919-1936) was not perpetuated (GO 76/37).
'47th' and '131st "Overseas" Battalion, CEF'
New Westminster, British Columbia
The First World War
The 104th Regiment Westminster Fusiliers of Canada was placed on active service on 6 August 1914 for local protection duties.12
The 47th Battalion, which was authorized on 7 November 1914 as the '47th Battalion, CEF',13 embarked for Britain on 13 November 1915.14 It disembarked in France on 11 August 1916, where it fought as part of the 10th Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war.15 The battalion was disbanded on 30 August 1920.16
The 131st Battalion, which was authorized on 22 December 1915 as the '131st "Overseas" Battalion, CEF',17 embarked for Britain on 31 October 1916.18 Its personnel were absorbed by the '30th "Overseas" Battalion, CEF' on 14 November 1916, to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field.19 The battalion was disbanded on 17 July 1917.20
The Second World War
The regiment mobilized 'The Westminster Regiment (Machine Gun), CASF' for active service on 1 September 1939.21 It was redesignated: '1st Battalion, The Westminster Regiment (Machine Gun), CASF' on 7 November 1940;22 and '1st Battalion, The Westminster Regiment (Motor), CASF' on 25 November 1940.23 It embarked for Britain on 13 November 1941.24 On 1 December 1943, the battalion landed in Italy as part of the 5th Armoured Brigade, 5th Canadian Armoured Division.25 It moved to North-West Europe on 28 February 1945, where it fought until the end of the war.26 The overseas battalion was disbanded on 31 January 1946.27
1. GO 38/10. Formed from two rifle companies from the 6th Regiment, "Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles", authorized on the following dates: 'A Company' (Seymour Battery of Garrison Artillery, 10 July 1874), 'B Company' (B Company, 6th Battalion Rifles, 1 July 1899), and two newly authorized infantry companies / Formé de deux compagnies de voltigeurs du 6th Regiment, "Duke of Connaught's Own Rifles", autorisées selon les dates suivantes : « A Company » (Seymour Battery of Garrison Artillery, 10 juillet 1874), « B Company » (B Company, 6th Battalion Rifles, 1er juillet 1899), et deux compagnies d'infanterie nouvellement autorisées.
2. GO 198/13.
3. MO 61/20.
4. GO 189/20.
5. GO 66/24.
6. GO 178/36.
7. GO 122/41.
8. GO 42/41.
9. GO 400/45.
10. CAO 76-3, Pt 'B', Supp Issue No. 415/54.
11. CFOO 67/6.
12. GO 130/14.
13. GO 86/15.
14. CEF Sailing List, vol. III. The battalion also sent three reinforcement drafts to England; on 17 June, 24 June and 1 October 1915 / Le bataillon envoya également trois contingents de renforts en Angleterre les 17 juin, 24 juin et 1er octobre 1915.
15. War Diary/Journaux de guerre, 47th Canadian Infantry Battalion, LAC/BAC, RG/GE 9, Series III-D-3, Vol. 4940, File/dossier 438; and/et G.W.L. Nicholson, Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, (Ottawa, 1962), passim.
16. GO 149/20.
17. GO 151/15.
18. CEF Sailing List, vol. III.
19. Edwin Pye Papers, Summary of History of C.E.F. Units - 131st Battalion, Document Collection/Collection de documents 74/672, Series/séries IV, Box/boîte 12, Folder/chemise 131.
20. GO 82/18.
21. GO 135/39.
22. GO 42/41.
23. GO 62/41.
24. John Noble, The Royal Westminster Regiment, (n.p., 1988), p. 43.
25. Document Collection/Collection de documents 92/252, (3-6-62) The Westminster Regiment (MG), Box/boîte 38, Folder/chemise 7; and/et Major J.E. Oldfield, The Westminster's War Diary, (New Westminster, 1964), passim.. In August 1944, the unit formed part of the newly-organized 12th Infantry Brigade / En août 1944, l'unité forma une partie de la 12e brigade d'infanterie nouvellement mise sur pied.
27. GO 111/46.
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