This is the first Battle Honour earned by the Regiment and one of two that were awarded to The Royal Canadian Regiment in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. This Battle Honour is entitled to be borne on the Colours, which means it can be inscribed on the Regimental Colours. The Rebellion broke out due to conditions imposed by the government on the Metis, who were of either French/Indian or Scottish/Indian parentage. The Government decided to change from an old river system for land grants to a new system of rectangles, with which these people were not familiar. The river system allowed them long, narrow strips of land along river banks, which helped serve as a communications link to neighbours and communities. The new system took much of the river property away, thus isolating many families from food, communication and transport sources.
The Metis quickly declared themselves an independent nation and asked Louis Riel to be their leader. Riel served as their spiritual leader, while Gabriel Dumont was their battlefield commander. After an armed skirmish at Duck Lake on March 26, 1885, where a party of Northwest Mounted Police were attacked and 30 Casualties were sustained, C Coy of the Infantry School Corps (RCR) was called out. 5 officers and 85 men departed from Toronto.
Saskatchewan was the battle area, and the skirmishes fought there were at Fish Creek, Cut Knife, and Batoche. It was at Fish Creek that the first soldier of The RCR was killed in action. In total, 2 soldiers were killed and 7 wounded.
This was the second Battle Honour received by The Regiment and the second of two to be awarded in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. It is also entitled to be borne on the Colours. At the time of the Northwest Rebellion, the area the battle occurred in was called Northwest Canada. C Coy of the Infantry School Corps was called out on March 27, 1885, and on July 2, 1885 the Rebellion was reported over. The Infantry School Corps returned to Toronto in October of 1885 as they were no longer needed. Many of the actions for this Battle Honour were the same as for Saskatchewan, so it is suggested that both be read together.
This Battle Honour was the third awarded to The Regiment, and again it is entitled to be borne on the Colours. This battle commenced on February 18, 1900, when the Boers had been forced to withdraw across the Modder River at Paardeberg Drift. The Boers were in a commanding position and they would not give up easily.
The Regiment attempted a bayonet charge with the Cornwalls but could only get within 300 yards of the Boer position. In spite of suffering casualties, they managed to hold this position. The Boers withdrew to prepared positions and The RCR's moved back to Paardeberg Drift to bivouac. Eighteen men were lost, 3 more later died of injuries and 60 were wounded. However, undaunted, they carried on.
The next few days saw The Regiment engaged in minor skirmishes and support roles for the British. On February 24, 1900 they were relieved and went back to their bivouac site, where they watched the battle and to their horror, pulled animal and human remains from the Modder River. The saw more than 700 bodies in the river and the Boers were dumping their wastes in as well. To make things worse, the Modder River was their water supply. Later 350 men came down with enteric fever. On February 26, 1900 they were again called forward to the front line trenches, 600 yards from the Boer Positions. The plan was to attack the Boer positions on the dawn of February 27, 1900, which coincided with the anniversary of Majuba day, when a British force had been defeated.
At 2:15 a.m. The RCR's advanced towards the Boer positions moving 400 yards without opposition before the attack was swept by murderous rifle fire.
G and F Companies had successfully advanced to within 100 yards of the Boer positions, and then proceeded to dig in. (They advanced in two lines, the front line firing and the rear line digging in.) Six men were killed and 21 wounded when they were caught in the open.
H Company was in a sheltered area and received no casualties. The left of The RCR line withdrew when an authoritative command ordered them back, but no one knew who gave the command. At 5:15 a.m. the Boers saw the G and H Coys were very close to their positions and attempted surrender. The troops, accustomed to enemy ruses, didn't fall for this. At 0600 hrs a Boer with a white flag stood up and announced that all resistance was over. An officer went to see Cronje to get the surrender terms.
In total, 31 RCR soldiers were killed in action, 3 died of injuries, and 100 were wounded between February 18 and February 27, 1900.
Pte R.R. Thompson won the Queen's scarf of honour at Paardeberg, which is equal in rank to the British award, the Victoria Cross.
This Battle Honour, the second to be awarded from the Boer war, was the fourth Battle Honour received by the Regiment and is entitled to be borne on the Colours. It sums up The Regiment's sacrifice during the entire period of operations in South Africa.
The Boer war, or the 2nd Boer War, took place as a result of the Boer states imposing a unrealistic taxation act on the British settlers. Britain became fed up with this and began to prepare to protect their colonists. On October 9, 1899 the Boers delivered an ultimatum demanding that all British forces be withdrawn within 2 days. This was rejected, and the 2nd Boer War resulted.
On October 16, 1899 the Canadian offer for help was accepted and 8 companies, each 125 men strong, were recruited for overseas service in the battalion called the 2nd Special Service Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.
On October 30, 1899 The Regiment set sail for South Africa. They disembarked at Cape Town, South Africa on November 30, 1899, and remained in South Africa until October 1, 1900. After a victorious stop in England they arrived in Halifax on December 23, 1900.
The casualties from the South African War totaled 39 killed in action, over 100 wounded, and 29 died later as a result of illness.
This Battle Honour, the fifth Battle Honour entitled to be borne on the Colours was actually the 12th Battle Honour awarded to The Regiment. Originally this Battle Honour was called YPRES 1917, but when The London and Oxford Fusiliers were combined to form our Militia battalion, 1915 was added to recognize the service of the 1st Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, which was composed of The London and Oxford Fusiliers and Oxford Rifles. This Battle Honour can therefore be divided into 2 stages.
YPRES was a city in the Flanders region of Belgium. This part of Flanders was the last piece of Belgium that was still held by the Allies when the Germans launched a spring offensive to drive them out.
The offensive began on April 22, 1915. The Germans made some gains, but were unable to take YPRES. The Allies, though wavering, were able to hold back the attacks. This was the first encounter with the enemy for the 1st Canadian Division, and they were chiefly responsible for holding the line. It was during this battle that gas was used on the Allies for the first time.
The battle ended on May 31, 1915 with the Canadian loss of 2,000 killed and over 4,00 wounded.
This battle is a different case as this time the Canadians were on the offensive against the Germans. YPRES was the springboard for the attack on Passchendaele Ridge. The RCR arrived in YPRES on October 22, 1917, moving to bivouac positions at Wieltje, and leaving the YPRES area on November 18, 1917 to return to the Vimy front. 14 officers and 375 other ranks were wounded, including those at Passchendaele. Among the RCR casualties suffered, 50 were mortal wounds.
The Battle Honour, the sixth in order, is the first not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was added to the Regiment's Honours when the London and Oxford Rifles were represented at this battle by the 1st Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Gravenstafel was a Belgium village in the Flanders region, approximately 6 kilometers north east of YPRES. It was one of the German's objectives in the 2nd Battle of YPRES in 1915. The Germans attacked on April 25, 1915, and after desperate fighting the Canadians were driven our of Gravenstafel, subsequently consolidating their position around St. Julien. The Canadians suffered 5,200 casualties at Gravenstafel and St. Julien.
This is the seventh Battle Honour in order, and it is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. Once again, it was added to The Regiment at the time that the London and Oxford Fusiliers formed the Militia Battalion. The London Fusiliers and Oxford Rifles were represented at this battle by the 1st Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, which they comprised.
St. Julien was a town in the Flanders region of Belgium and it was part of the 2nd Battle of YPRES in 1915. Originally St. Julien was held by the Allies, but was taken by the Germans in their initial attack against the French Colonial Forces. On April 22, 1915, as part of this offensive, the Germans used chlorine gas for the first time on the Western Front.
The 1st Canadian Division was in line just South of St. Julien when the Germans attacked with gas on April 24, 1915. The Canadians, having no respirators, discovered that a urine-soaked rag placed over their mouths and noses helped stop the full effects. The gas cloud was about 15 feet in height and enveloped the trenches. The Canadians held the lines and poured a steady fire on the Germans, who suffered heavy losses and went to ground, unsuccessful in their attempt to overrun the Allied position. The Germans then turned West to attack the British at Kitcheners Wood, thinking that they would be easier to take than the Canadians had been.
The battle of St. Julien ended on May 2, 1915. The Canadians suffered 5,200 casualties at St. Julien and Gravenstafel.
The Battle Honour is the eighth in order and is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It, like Gravenstafel and St. Julien, is a Battle Honour added to The Regiment when the London and Oxford Fusiliers were designated the Militia Battalion (4 RCR). The Militia Battalion was represented at this battle by the 1st Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. Festubert was a French village and the German positions were on a ridge known as Aubers Ridge. The Battle was part of the 1915 British offensive and the Canadians were involved in this battle from May 20, 1915 to May 25, 1915. During this battle the Canadian line advanced a total of 600 yards at a cost of over 2,000 casualties.
This Battle Honour is the ninth in order and is entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was actually the 5th Battle Honour awarded to The Regiment, and the 1st Battle Honour of World War I.
The battle took place at the YPRES salient in the Flanders region of Belgium.
With the arrival of spring in April 1916 came new offensive attacks by the Germans. The RCR was involved in skirmishes throughout the Mount Sorrel area but was mostly involved in trench line duty. This carried over into May and on June 2, 1916 the Germans pounded the Canadian line with artillery which proved to be more intense than any that had been used in the war up to that time. The 3rd Divisional Commander (of which The RCR's were a part of) was killed while out on a reconnaissance of the lines, and one of the Brigade commanders was captured. Most of the artillery barrage was to The RCR's right, but The Regiment still received heavy shelling by the Germans.
After 3 mines were fired by the enemy at Mount sorrel, the German's attack commenced. The Germans had little opposition as the Allied front line trenches were obliterated, and the Germans readily overtook Mount Sorrel, opening a gap in the Allied lines. YPRES was open to the, but elated with their current success, they hesitated. They then decided that a subsidiary attack on the Hoagie sector, where The RCR was located, would complete the consolidation of the sector.
Their attack, made by the 22nd Reserve Regiment, was repulsed by The RCR and the Germans withdrew. They attacked a second time and were again beaten back, leaving their dead and wounded behind. After this the Germans shelled The RCR lines but did not commence a new attack. While the Germans were again hesitating, the Canadians closed the gap. On June 6, 1916 The Regiment was relieved by the 28th Battalion.
On June 7, 1916 four mines that had been underneath The RCR the previous day were blown and almost obliterated the entire 28th Battalion.
On June 13, 1916 the 1st Canadian Division counter-attacked and drove the Germans back to where their lines had been previously, and at this point the Battle of Mount Sorrel was essentially over.
The Regiment suffered casualties of 24 killed and 135 wounded. It was the Regiment's first major battle of WWI and history shows they acquitted themselves well.
This Battle Honour, the 10th in order, is entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was actually the 6th awarded to The Regiment.
The Battle of the Somme took place throughout the summer and fall of 1916 in France. It was planned by the British to relieve pressure on Vern, which was held by the French, as well as to keep the German Was Machine occupied in this sector and to wear it down by attrition. These objectives were obtained, but it was at great cost, and there was no decisive victory for either side.
The battle commenced over a 10 mile front between the Somme River and Ancre Heights on July 1, 1916. After a series of battles, none of which changed the situation significantly, the Canadians were pulled into the action.
On September 15, 1916 the British advance on the Somme was renewed, and The RCR was part of this assault. A brief rest from the battle took place on September 23, 1916, and up to this point the casualties for The Regiment were light compared to British units. However, the 7th Brigade (of which The RCR was a part) was then ordered to attack the well-defended Regina Trench. The attack had some success, but The Regiment was forced to withdraw, due to a very large number of casualties. The German counter-attack was intense, and The Regiment gallantly returned to their lines. On October 9, 1916 The Regiment was relieved by the 42nd Battalion.
After the Battle of the Somme The Regiment was reduced to 140 men, all ranks included. It was and still remains The Regiment's bloodiest battle to date.
The 11th in order for The Regiment, this Battle Honour is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was not awarded to The Regiment upon the completion of WWI. Rather, it was added after the amalgamation of the London Fusiliers and Oxford Rifles to form our Militia Battalion on October 1, 1954. The Battle Honour was earned by the 1st Battalion of The Canadian Expeditionary Force at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The RCR Headquarters was in position just North of Pozieres on September 16, 1916, but The RCR it self saw no action at Pozieres.
Pozieres was a small village in France and it was one of the British objectives for the opening offensive of the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 1916. A ridge line ran South East along Thiepval through Pozieres to Guillemont where some of the German positions were located. The ridge itself afforded a commanding view of the Ancre Valley. The British forces finally took it by end of July 1916 with support from the 1st Canadian Division.
This Battle Honour is the 12th in order for The Regiment, and it is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was originally the 7th Battle Honour awarded to The Regiment.
Courcelette was taken by the 5th Canadian Brigade on September 15, 1916 with support from the 7th Canadian Brigade of which The Regiment was a part. Later that same day the 7th Brigade was ordered to attack the German trenches. As the artillery barrage that was supposed to shatter the German strong points was feeble and ineffective, the men knew that the attack would be suicidal. Regardless of the dangerous circumstances they forged on gallantly.
They were able to move forward 75 yards before advancement was stopped by a German Machine Gun post. A bombing party from The Regiment was able to destroy the German post, but The Regiment was relieved before it had been called forward. The first experience of the Somme was bitter for The Regiment as 264 soldiers were killed, wounded, or went missing.
Although this is the 12th Battle Honour in order, it was originally the 8th Battle Honour to The Regiment. It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
The Battle of Ancre Heights was part of the Battle of Somme in 1916. The Ancre Heights are located on the North side of the Ancre Valley, approximately two kilometers North West of Courcelette in France.
After a brief rest in the latter part of September 1916, The Regiment was again placed in the lines. On the morning of October 8, 1916 the 7th Brigade, of which The Regiment was a part, was ordered to attack Regina Trench, a well-defended German trench line on the Ancre Heights.
A, C, and D Companies were to lead the assault. Although much uncut wire was encountered, they were able to drive swiftly to the trench were they proceeded to occupy the German lines. Unknown to them, was the fact that the rest of the attacking battalions had not reached the trenches, leaving The RCR alone in the German Trenches.
The Regiment, unaware of their current circumstance, attempted to begin consolidation of their position. Shortly the Germans began a counter-attack from three directions, and despite this, The Regiment continued to make gains in the trenches. as the Germans had a great advantage in numbers, they began pushing back The Regiment. The Regiment realized immediately that they had to withdraw promptly because of a high rate of casualties. A covering force of 81 men allowed the remainder of The Regiment to withdraw as well as possible in the daylight. As the covering force made their way back, they told horror stories of men buried in mud, and of several wounded men whom it had been impossible to rescue. At night three strong work parties went out and after working for hours reported that no wounded man from The Regiment remained on the battlefield.
The casualties for this battle were 80 dead and wounded, and 207 missing and presumed dead.
It was a high price to pay, and it was obvious to many that the Somme was an area of grief and suffering that would live on in their memories and those of their comrades.
This Battle Honour is the 14th in order, and it is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was originally the 8th Battle Honour awarded to The Regiment.
Arras is a city in France close to Vimy Ridge. It was held by the British and, despite German efforts, would not fall.
The Regiment was not far from Arras during the occupation of the Vimy front in 1917 and again in the spring of 1918. the RCR was involved in trench line duty and helped to repulse a German attack on the British at Arras on March 28, 1918. As part of the British counter-offensive, the Battle of Arras took place from August 26 to August 28 1918. The RCR had some success in taking German positions and were withdrawn on August 28, 1918. They retired to Arras where they were involved in tasks around the area until September 11, 1918. From the offensive and subsequent tasks, The Regiment Suffered 219 casualties, of which 37 were fatal. Because The Regiment was in close proximity to Arras in 1917 and 1918, the Battle Honour is called Arras 1917-1918.
This Battle Honour is the 15th in order and it is entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was the 10th original Battle Honour awarded to The Regiment.
After the Battle of the Somme ended, the Canadian Corps was moved to the Vimy Sector in France. This battle was Canada's finest of WWI. The reason for their success where other Allied attacks had failed was that the Canadians did something unusual. The Canadians trained for the attack and made sure that everyone from the Generals down to the Privates were well informed of the attack plan. This was a change from the usual "get up and run" tactic. One of the advantages was that if the commanding officers became casualties, the next in command would be able to complete the mission as they were completely aware of what was to be accomplished.
The Germans were not expecting the attack, and intense artillery barrages days before had softened their positions. On the morning of April 9, 1917 at 1530 hrs, another seemingly ordinary barrage was fired at the German lines. This barrage, however, was really the start of an attack. When the barrage started, the entire Canadian corps rolled behind it, sweeping towards the German lines.
The RCR was let by C and D Companies in the assault. They captured some dazed Germans and bayoneted another German who was attempting to set off a signal rocket. As the attack rolled forward they saw the effect of the barrages; a lot of the German front line trenches ceased to exist.
After attaining their first objective, a distance of 700 yards, without serious losses, A and B Companies carried on the advance at 0645 hrs. The RCR began to encounter stiffer resistance from the machine guns and snipers of the 2nd Battalion 262nd German Reserve Infantry Regiment. Despite taking casualties, A and B Companies surged forward and obtained their final objective. As Hill 145, a Canadian Division objective, had not yet been taken, the 7th Brigade was subjected to enfilade fire, causing casualties. This situation remained unchanged until the afternoon of April 10, 1917 when the 4th Division over-ran Hill 145.
The capture of Hill 145 and another hill called The Pimple on April 12, 1917 completed the seizure by the Canadian corps of all its Vimy objectives. On April 11, 1917 The RCR was relieved in place by the 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion and moved to tents at Villers Camp. The losses were 56 dead, 155 wounded, and 65 missing.
Vimy was the most significant Battle Honour of WWI for The Regiment. The Germans feared fighting the Canadian soldiers so much that when they launched their spring offensive of 1918 they chose to bypass Vimy instead of facing the Canadians again.
This is the 16th in order of Battle Honours of The Regiment. I is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
The Battle Honour was not originally awarded to The Regiment as it involved only the 1st Canadian Division. This Battle Honour was added to the Regimental Battle Honours when the London Fusiliers and Oxford Rifles were merged to form our Militia Battalion. The London Fusiliers and Oxford Rifles formed the 1st Battalion of the Expeditionary Force.
This battle took place on April 28, 1917. It was part of the second battle of the Scarpe. The Canadians attacked the Arleux loop, which was located just South of the Vimy Line in France. The battle was fought in an effort to exploit the success of Vimy and to help take pressure off the French as their previous disaster at the Aisne had gravely affected morale. It became obvious that the French were not prepared for an offensive, so the British Force Commander, Sir Douglas Haig, suspended the offensive which had had little effect on the Germans as they successfully counter-attacked and took back their line.
Casualties for this battle are not available, but by April 1917 Canadian casualties totaled 13,477.
This Battle Honour, the 17th in order for The Regiment, is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was originally the 15th Battle Honour awarded to The Regiment and was called Scarpe 1918. The "1917" was added to help distinguish this Honour from the Militia Battalions, which was formed by the London Fusiliers and Oxford Rifles on October 1, 1954. The London Fusiliers and Oxford Rifles formed the 1st Battalion of the Expeditionary Force, and they were in the 1st Division.
This Battle Honour can be divided into two parts.
The Canadian 1st Division took part in the 3rd Battle of the Scarpe, which took place just south of the Vimy Line in France from May 3, 1917 to May 8, 1917. This battle was part of a small series of battles designed to exploit the success of the Vimy attack.
The 1st Division captured the village of Fresnay but a
German Counter-attack on the 8th of May 1917 forced them back, and they were withdrawn
from the battle.
This area was part of the opening counter-offensive by the Allied Forces in the summer of 1918. the Scarpe was a river in France which was the Northern boundary for the attack. This battle was primarily the battle of Arras, which took place from August 26 to 28, 1918. The RCR had some success in taking German positions, and when they were relieved on August 28 they had suffered 196 casualties, of which 32 were fatal.
This is the 18th Battle Honour in order, and originally the 11th Battle Honour awarded to The Regiment. It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
After the attack on Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, The RCR was involved in work parties for the rebuilding of roads, additional defences, and the salvage of equipment strewn around the Vimy area.
This period was marked by enemy shelling and daily casualties. Patrols were sent out May 14, 1917, and they clashed with the 93rd German Reserve Infantry Regiment. They killed an enemy NCO who was carrying an excellent sketch may of the Canadian line.
On June 8, 1917 the 7the Brigade planned a huge raid on the Avion area, and that night they advanced behind an artillery barrage. The Germans were caught in disarray, and The Regiment's objectives were quickly obtained. There was resistance from Machine Gun posts, and Milton F. Gregg managed to attack and destroyed one of these.
Ninety minutes later the order was given to evacuate, and this went smoothly. A dummy signaling station was set up to lead the Germans to believe that the trenches were still occupied by Canadians. This ruse worked, as the German artillery fired on their own troops, who were reoccupying the trenches. The raid proved to be a huge success.
Next the Canadian Corps captured Hill 70 on August 15, 1917, without the help of the 3rd Division (which included The RCR).
The RCR moved to the front line on August 21, 1917, when they relieved the 22nd and 25th Infantry Battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The next four days were more arduous than any that The RCR had experienced for quite some time, as the Germans, angry at having lost Hill 70, subjected the Canadian line to ceaseless bombardment. As a result, the Regiment's tasks were completed with great difficulty. On August 25, a party of one officer and 20 men from the RCR set up a trench block which helped to hold the Canadian line.
On August 26 The RCR was relieved by Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), and subsequently provided work parties. The Regiment stayed in this sector between August 2 and October 5, 1917, fighting minor skirmishes with the Germans and being subjected to artillery.
After October 5 The RCR was withdrawn from this sector around Vimy, France in order to participate in a major offensive in Flanders called Passchendaele.
Even though The RCR was not directly involved in the capture of Hill 70, they did in fact hold the position and fight many skirmishes in and around this sector, including the Avion Raid. It is for these actions that The Regiment was awarded the Battle Honour Hill 70.
The casualties for the period from April 10 to October 5, 1917 were 37 dead, 166 wounded, and two missing.
The 19th Battle Honour in order and originally the 12th to be awarded to The Regiment, this Battle Honour is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
In the spring of 1917 General Nivelle launched an offensive on the Aisne region with the intention of defeating the German Army within 24 to 48 hours. The attack was driven back, with heavy losses being suffered by the French Army. This affected them so greatly that many of their Divisions mutinied.
General Petain succeeded Nivelle as commander, and he decided that for the remainder of 1917 the French Army must not be in danger of any major attacks.
The British General Sir Douglas Haig abandoned his major efforts in the Arras area and decided to plan offensive in the Flanders region. The purpose of this was to clear the Belgian coast of German submarine bases and to cut the German communications link through the Liege gap. In addition, the offensive had to pin down the German Army in the Flanders region so that they would not attack the French.
During the summer of 1917 the British launched their attack in Flanders and their attacks quickly became bogged down. Long after hope of attaining the original objectives had disappeared, the autumns rain turned the low lying marshes into a sea of impassable mud. The Canadian Corps was summoned from Vimy Front to capture Passchendaele Ridge. It was ordered that Passchendaele be captured at all costs.
On October 26th, the 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions captured Bellevue Spur. They continued the offensive on October 31 and managed to drive forward 1,200 yards by November 6. On that date in 1917, the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions swept over the crest of Passchendaele Ridge and ended the Canadian involvement in attacks there on November 7.
On October 23rd, 1917 the RCR entrained for Ypres and went to Camp C at Wieltje. The Regiment sent 400 men, 300 of whom were employed as stretcher bearers, and 100 carrying bath mats to the front for the mud.
On October 30th, 1917 the 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions captured the ridge which guarded the approach to the village of Passchendaele and seized the ground that would contribute to the final capture of the entire ridge.
The RCR was in the 7th Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division. During the assault, The RCR was Brigade support and carrying battalion. C Company sent two platoons each to the PPCLI and the 49th battalion, both of whom were in the process of attacking. B Company supplied parties for water, rations, stretchers, ammunition, and supplies to the attacking battalions. A Company sent reinforcements to the attacking battalions later the same day, and B Company later reinforced the PPCLI. The next day, little changed. The enemy was only 200 yards away and despite harassing bombardments, tasks were being completed. The RCR moved back to the previous front line and sent C Company and half of A Company to relieve the 116th Canadian Battalion. For the next two days The Regiment stood fast in its position, and they were subjected to gas shelling.
On November 4, 1917 The Regiment was relieved by the 13th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Between October 30th and November 4th, 1917, The Regiment was mainly involved in support and carrying roles. On November 1w4th, 1917 The Regiment relieved the 58th Canadian Battalion. A party of 25 enemies appeared to the front of B Company, stating that they wanted to surrender. However, seeing that thy were armed and had a light machine gun, B Company swept the party with fire and annihilated them. Later that night four Germans made a genuine surrender, as they had been left behind by their Sergeant when their unit left.
On November 18, 1917 The Regiment was relieved by the British and pulled back to the Vimy sector. The RCR suffered 389 casualties, of which 43 were dead and 22 were missing and presumed dead. The Canadian Corps had 3,000 killed, 1,000 missing, and over 12,000 wounded between October 26th and November 7th, 1917.
This Battle Honour was originally the 14th to be awarded to The Regiment, but it is the 20th Battle Honour in order. It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
In the spring of 1918, Germany knew that they had one more chance to defeat the Allies before the Americans could join the war. Freed of having to maintain an army on the Eastern Front because of the Bolshevik Revolution, the Germans were able to use these reserves in their last great offensive. They knew that they would have to win soon as they were becoming worn down by attrition.
The Germans made great gains and had managed to bend, but not bread, the Allied front line. They attacked the British at Arras, but they stayed away from the Canadians at Vimy. The British had been pushed back to Amiens but prevented the German thrust from going further.
It was now time for the counter-attack. The Canadian Corps, spared the brunt of the German offensive, would be at the spearhead of the counter-offensive.
The objective of the Canadian Corps was to drive back and defeat the enemy East and South East of Amiens, and to free the main railroad between Amiens and Paris. An August 8, 1918 the Amiens offensive began. the 3rd Canadian Division decided to have the 8th and 9th Brigades lead the assault. After they reached their objectives, the 7th Brigade (which included The RCR) leap-frogged past them and advanced another 3,000 yards. The RCR was on the right on the attack.
At 0820 hrs, exactly on time, The RCR surged ahead. They were surprised to find how easily the advance moved forward. With tanks in support, they overcame the German Machine gun posts and strong points. The advance was not without incident, however. When the French were held up on the flank, The Regiment pushed on and enabled the assault to carry on. in one such incident, Sgt W.G. Hayes and his platoon rushed a German machine gun that was checking the French advancement, killing five of the enemy and forcing ten more to surrender. This was accomplished without losses to his platoon.
Lance Corporal H.C. Lank captured and enemy machine gun post and killed the four men there. He then took part in an assault on a German strong point which was holding up the French, and killed or wounded eight more Germans single-handedly.
At 1150 hrs, The Regiment informed the Brigade that all of their objectives had been obtained and that they had hundreds of prisoners.
In the second stage of the attack, The RCR moved to relieve the British 32nd Division and attempt to break through the Fouquescourt-Parvillers-Damery Line with their Brigade. The attack commenced on August 12, 1918. This time the Germans resisted fiercely. Only small gains were made initially, with the PPCLI and the 49th Canadian Infantry Battalion capturing the village of Parvillers, but a German Counter-attack later recaptured the village.
On August 15, 1918 The RCR was ordered to recapture Parvillers. From the start they were subject to gas attacks, but they forged ahead. The Germans, worn down by the previous attack of the PPCLI and the 49th Battalion, offered only token resistance, and the village was retaken. On the night of August 15th they were relieved by the 16th Canadian Infantry Battalion.
The Regiment's casualties were light compared to other big battles, with only two of the total 75 casualties having been killed in action.
The German General Ludendorff called August 18,1918 a black day for the German Army. This was the beginning of the end of the First World War. From then on warfare would become more open, instead of the constant stalemating that took place in the trenches.
This Battle Honour, the 21st in order for the Regiment, is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was added to The Regiment when the London and Oxford Fusiliers formed the Militia Battalion.
The London Fusiliers and Oxford Rifles were represented at this battle by the 1st Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. Drocourt-Queant was a German line of defence between the cities of Arras and Cambrai in France. The battle is often referred to as the Battle of the Drocourt-Queant Line.
The task of breaking up this line was given to the 1st and 4th Canadian Divisions. It was an exploitation battle after the success of the Amiens counter-offensive, designed to keep the Germans reeling.
The battle started on September 2, 1918, and the 1st and 4th Canadian Divisions captured DURY. The next day they covered 10 miles flanking Canel du Nord. They moved on to penetrate the Hindenburg line, outflanking the Germans.
The battle was a success and casualties were light compared to earlier operations. However, no figures are available.
This Battle Honour is the 22nd in order, and was originally the 16th Battle Honour awarded to The Regiment. It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
The Hindenburg Line was a German defensive system of trenches that the Allies wanted to break to permit open warfare. It was an elaborate system of defences, built by the Germans with forced labour from their Russian prisoners. In some cases the trenches had barbed wire hundreds of yards across. The line was 65 miles long and extended from Dovain to the north, to the south behind the Dorcourt-Queant Line in France.
The ultimate objectives for these attacks were to penetrate the Hindenburg Line and capture the French city of Cambrai. This battle was a continuation of the battle of Arras, which was the center for launching attacks in the German occupied zone.
It was actually the 1st Canadian Division that had penetrated the Hindenburg Line on September 3, 1918, but the Canadian Corps as a whole had forced the Germans to move back to their reserve positions at Canel du Nord, the result being that the Germans lost all of their gains from their Spring offensive.
Because The Regiment was in close proximity and the Canadian Corps forced the Germans from the line by their operations, The RCR was awarded the Battle Honour Hindenburg Line.
The casualties are included in the Arras totals.
This Battle Honour is the 23rd in order for the Regiment, and it is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was originally the 17th Battle Honour awarded.
The Canel du Nord was a canal that the French had been constructing prior to the war. At the onset of the war, construction stopped on the southern part of the canal, therefore leaving the canal system incomplete. However, the portion that was facing the Canadians was flooded.
Behind this natural obstacle the Germans had built a defensive live which, appropriately, was called Canel du Nord. The French General Foch, the Allies' Supreme Commander, wanted a frontal attack on the canal by the Canadians. However, Arthur Currie, the Canadian Commander, knew that an attack like that on a well-defended position would be suicidal, so he did his own reconnaissance and came up with a plan to cross the canal on a narrow front where the canal bed was dry. The danger was that the Canadian Corps would be Vulnerable to intense artillery fire, but it was still better than a frontal assault. Currie's own plan was accepted, and on the morning of September 27th, 1918 the troops crossed the canal with only minimal casualties. the swept behind the Germans and attacked them from the rear. This was unique in that it created the illusion that the Canadians were attacking their own lines. The artillery barrage had to fall between the infantry and the guns, instead of past the infantry.
The 3rd Canadian Division (which included the RCR) was given the task of providing flank protection for the right side. Later that day, the RCR crossed the dry bed of the canal and moved to Quarry Wood. At 1800 hrs, September 27th, 1918, The Regiment moved to the front lines at Bourlon Wood and prepared for the coming battle of Cambrai.
The Canadian Corps attack was a success and it resulted in the breaking up the Canel du Nord's defensive line. The Casualties for this operation were light and are included in Cambrai's totals.
This is the 24th in Battle Honour order for The Regiment, and it is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. This Battle Honour was not awarded to The Regiment at the conclusion of World War I, but was added with the rest of the Battle Honours in 1959 when the World War II and Korea Battle Honours were added.
The attack on Cambrai, a small French city, was a follow-through attack following the success enjoyed by the Canadian Corps in smashing the Canel du Nord line.
The 3rd Canadian Division was tasked to take Cambrai. The Regiment, as part of the 3rd Division's 7th Brigade, was tasked to storm and take the Marcoing Line Southwest of Cambrai.
At 0530 hrs on September 28th, 1918, three attacking companies of The Regiment, supported by four tanks, jumped off from Bourlon Wood and headed straight for the Marcoing Line. The Regiment quickly disposed of a number of German Infantry, and captured 50 enemy troops and two field guns. Up to this point the attack went smoothly, as the rolling barrage had destroyed many German Machine gun posts. However, when the assault reached the crestline overlooking the Marcoing Line, the troops saw what lay before them: great belts of wire, well-defended machine gun posts, and many strong points. At this time the Germans opened up with artillery and machine gun fire, instantly halting the attack. Communications were cut and the battle developed into several skirmishes of platoons, sections, and detachments, who ere unable to keep contact with their own troops and there fore had to rely on their instincts.
Lt M.F. Gregg halted D Company, and then crawled forward to find a narrow gap in the wire. He found one in which one man at a time could get through. After leading his men through the wire, he tumbled into the Marcoing Line. Leaving one man to guard his left flank, he led his men to attacks on German strong points to the right. Attacking with a handful of men, they came to a dugout and ordered the occupants to surrender. To their amazement, 48 soldiers came out. When the Germans saw only a handful of Canadians they made a break for it, but they were turned back with stern measures. At this point the surviving Germans gave themselves up to the troops still in front of the wire.
Soon after that, another officer and a few more men of The RCR joined Lt Gregg, and together they took half the line on D Company's front. Next, enemy forces were moving up from the right flank, and one tank on the scene with D Company decided to retire from the battle, leaving the troops in a perilous situation. Lt Duplissie, with another man, used a German machine gun on the counter-attack, but was killed. D Company met the German advance with bombing parties, and when they ran out of their own bombs, they used German ones. Having beaten back the German attacks, they completed the capture of the line for their sector and set up a block on the right flank that beat back three German attacks.
A and C Companies were held up by the wire, but they attempted to advance. Twelve platoon of C Company went to a sunken road, which they thought would lead them to the line. When they got there they saw German troops emerging from six dugouts to oppose them. Twelve platoon swept the area with Lewis gun fire, inflicting high casualties.
B Company was called forward into the attack, and after a few hours The RCR Headquarters was hit with an enemy artillery shell which killed the Adjutant and wounded the Commanding Officer, LCol Willets. A visiting Major Topp had departed back to his own unit, the other battalions of the 7th Brigade passed through in the attack.
The surviving members of The Regiment were ordered to take part in the next phase of the attack. At 0530 hrs on September 30, 1918 they drove ahead, crossing the road to the east. The Regiment remained there until relieved at 0500 hrs on October 1, 1918 by elements of the 9th Brigade.
Lt M.F. Gregg was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour in the fighting from September 27 to October 1, 1918. The casualties for The Regiment were 37 killed, 53 missing, and 204 wounded.
This Battle Honour is the 25th in order for The Regiment and is entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was originally the 18th Battle Honour awarded.
After Cambrai had been liberated, The RCR went into a rest area to reorganize. After a period of about 3 weeks The Regiment took over the front line with the next task ahead to conduct mopping up operations in a 15 square mile area in the Foret de Raismes area in France close to the Belgium border. The operation commenced on October 22, 1918 and the advance was moving along rapidly, so fast in fact the supporting units could not keep up so the troops halted and listened to a German band playing in a town only 1 km away but unable to call Artillery fire on the target so they listened to the concert.
Later that night patrols confirmed the Germans had vacated the town. The next morning The RCR caught 2 prisoners and drove off a counter-attack to A Coy's front. Proceeding forward The Regiment reached a canal west of Conde and discovered all bridges were blown, and several streams had their flow diverted to form a small lake that lay in their path. A patrol later at night confirmed the enemy were still about as they came under fire that night and suffered 4 casualties.
The advance continued on November 9 and a number of escaped British prisoners provided the CO with information about the German dispositions.
The CO received new orders that instead of advancing East The RCR would carry out an encircling movement and enter Mons from the North and Northeast.
Before dawn on November 10, 1918 the men of The RCR had built a temporary bridge across the canal at Jemappes outside Mons and D Coy established outposts on the Mons-Ghlin road.
The RCR was then ordered to attack Mons and were approaching under cover of a heavy mist but when the sun dispelled the mist they found themselves in a awkward position, as directly to their front there were big slag heaps which from the top the Germans had Machine Guns and Artillery observers and any advance was driven back by well directed German shells. But The RCR advanced slowly under cover to silence the enemy machine guns.
An officer of B Coy believed that Mons could by entered by crossing a tangled steel work of a bridge blown up to the North. He would find no sign of the enemy, so he started to cross with a number of his men, but unknown to them a German machine gun was watching their crossing and when they were halfway across, the Germans opened up and killed the officer and 4 others and these 5 were the last RCR soldiers killed in WWI.
As they pushed into Mons it was a quiet deserted city but finally Lieutenant King encountered the Chief of Police who let him to the Hotel de Ville where a number of civil officials had gathered to welcome the Allied troops and had Lieutenant King sign the Golden book of Mons.
After A and B Coy were consolidating their positions in Mons, word came to Headquarters that the Armistice was to take place at 1100 hrs that very day, November 11, 1918.
Mons was where the British Army had fought its first engagement of the Great War and was where the last engagement of the British Empire fought.
Because the Canadian Corps were pursuing the Germans and finished at Mons, the Battle Honour is called Pursuit to Mons.
The RCR casualties during this action were 7 killed, 21 wounded and 1 missing.
This Battle Honour is the 26 the in order for The Regiment and is not entitled to be borne on the Colours. It was originally the 19th Battle Honour awarded.
This Battle Honour covers all the skirmishes and battles plus the time spent in the front lines that are not covered by previous Battle Honours. It is in effect a summary of their service in WWI with time divided between Northeast France and the Flanders region of Belgium.
The Regiment suffered its first battle casualty on November 24, 1915 and its last on the final day of the war on November 11, 1918.
Altogether there were 712 soldier killed, 2,354 wounded or injured, and 47 taken prisoner for a casualty total of 3,113 out of a unit strength of 36 officers and 1,006 other ranks or 3 times per person, but, of course, more than that served with The Regiment in WWI. Over 4,000 persons served in the field during WWI with The RCR.
This Battle Honour is the 27th in order for The Regiment and the first awarded for WWII. It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
This was the start of offensive operations by the Allies against the Axis forces on the European continent.
The RCR embarked at Gourock Scotland on June 28, 1943 and set sail for an unknown location. While at sea, they were informed that the Battalion's objective was to secure the Pachino airfield at Pachino, Southern Sicily.
At 0100 hrs July 10, 1943 loading commenced into a landing craft.
At 0530 hrs the first flight landed and inland operations began, the enemy withdrew after the barrage.
During the next few hours the Battalion moved to Pachino airfield destroying Coastal Defence Batteries along the way and clearing pockets of enemy resistance taking several prisoners.
While securing the airfield, A Coy came under fire and assaulted the building, removing the resistance and taking over 100 prisoner.
At 1300 hrs The RCR suffered their first casualties as they came under fire and despite superior enemy strength, A Coy successfully neutralized the enemy. Five members of The RCR struck terror in the hearts of the Italians by forcing their way over the wire and putting 2 machine gun posts out of action. Officer prisoners stated that security was good as they had no warnings of the Landing until they occurred.
At 1400 hrs while the Battalion was reorganizing, D Coy moved to high ground covering enemy approaches, but to get there they had to run the gauntlet of the fiercest machine gun fire of the day and despite suffering casualties they took their objective and 40 prisoners.
At 1700 hrs the troops were able to brew up and The RCR was the Allied unit to capture an enemy airfield in Sicily.
They took over 500 prisoners and the Landing was a major success. Because of their success The Regiment celebrates Pachino Day every July 10.
The casualties for this battle were 3 soldiers killed and approximately 12 wounded.
This Battle Honour is the 28th in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Following the success at Pachino the Allies pushed fast deep into Sicily and on July 18, 1943 the objective was the taking of the town of Valguarnera in Central Sicily.
The RCR moved off at 0245 hrs and found that the advance would have to be on foot as the terrain was impossible to vehicles.
They were constantly being sniped from the high features which gave good cover to the enemy. A report reached headquarters that a group of Hastings and Prince Edward men were pinned down, so Major Pope led a rescue to effect their extraction, and on his heels 2 coys attacked the high features overlooking the town which were successful. Major Pope reached the Hastings and Prince Edward men and noticed 3 Mark IV German tanks, and attacked, but the PIAT rounds didn't detonate and Panzers moved off to another hulled down position and caught the patrol in the open, killing Major Pope. Throughout the afternoon harassing fire continued and the RCR dug in on their forward positions and Padre Wilkes acted as the runner as the wireless would not work in the terrain.
At night the Germans withdrew from the town and the 1st Canadian Brigade consolidated their positions around the town while the 2nd Canadian Brigade continued the advance.
The casualties were 4 soldiers killed.
This Battle Honour is the 29th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Agira was a village that was on high ground affording a good lookout of the area close to Mount Etna in Sicily.
After Valguarnera was taken, the 1st Canadian Brigade was ordered to advance and captured the town of Nissoria which finally fell on July 25, 1943. Unfortunately, the Commanding Officer, LCol Crowe, was killed in this action, and RCR casualties were heavy, 15 killed and 30 wounded.
The 2nd Canadian Brigade actually attacked Agira and it fell on July 28, 1943 with the 1st Canadian Brigade providing flank protection.
Because our Regiment helped the advance move towards Agira and of the brave fighting, our Regiment was awarded the Battle Honour Agira.
The 30th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment an awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Adrano was a town on the base of Mount Etna on the Eastern part of Sicily.
The action at Adrano actually took place after Regalbuto fell. On the 5th of August 1943 The RCR moved to a position overlooking Adrano and protecting the left flank of the British 78th Division.
From their positions they observed and provided flank protection for the 78th British Division on their attack as Adrano.
For their support in the battle the Regiment was awarded the Battle Honour Adrano.
The casualties were minimal and are included with the casualties in Regalbuto.
The 31st Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the World War II and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Regalbuto was a town in Central Sicily which lay on the western edges of the terrain leading to Mount Etna.
On 1 August 1943 The RCR received orders for the attach on Regalbuto and at 1500 hrs a recce was conducted where it was determined no vehicle route cross country was possible. At 2345 hrs the Battalion moved off without vehicles.
At 0130 hrs 2 August 1943 the CO made contact with another patrol who were lost, and sent out a coy to feel out the enemy. The FUP was a deep gully and it was found to be impractical, so a new FUP was ordered at 0230 hrs and every half hour after a coy was sent forward to cross the gully. A Coy came under tank fire and sent a platoon to take it out. The platoon left a section behind for rear protection and when the platoon returned the section was gone. They had been surrounded and taken prisoner. The platoon then proceeded through Regalbuto which was occupied by 400 enemy troops.
Later that morning they found the other side of the gully was covered by tanks and machine gun posts, and it was impossible to get forward, so the troops were ordered to withdraw to the gully.
An anti-tank crew went to engage an enemy tank but were knocked out by the tank.
The 3 Coys of The RCR remained in position all day without food or water.
The RCR was then ordered to evacuate the gully under cover of darkness, this was completed by 2400 hrs that day.
The RCR despite a hazardous situation had conducted themselves well and they did contribute to the overall capture of Regalbuto.
There were 3 casualties and 12 men were taken prisoners.
The 32nd Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the World War II and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the colours.
Sicily was the first Axis controlled land in Europe to fall to the Western Allies in WWII. It was the start of the offensive against the Axis that then switched over the mainland at Italy where slowly but surely it too was wrested from the Germans.
Our Regiment being part of the 1st Canadian Division was involved in Sicily from 10 July 1943 to 3 September 1943, with the fighting taking place from July 10 to August 3 for our Regiment.
The Battle Honour Sicily, 1943 covers all the skirmishes not covered by distinct Battle Honours.
Sicily was an operation that involved the Army, Navy and Air Force. It was a joint Canadian/American operation that required a great deal of planning and coordinating.
Our Regiment lost 32 killed in action close to 100 wounded and 12 taken prisoner, during the Sicily campaign.
The 33rd Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the World War II and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Reggio was a small Italian city located on the toe of Italy just across from Sicily separated by waters of the Straits of Messina.
The 1st Canadian Division was tasked with landing and taking the area around Reggio. The 3rd Brigade was to secure the beachhead area by pushing south so that further operations could be launched elsewhere in Italy.
On September 3, 1943 at 1504 hrs A and B Coy were waterborne and by 1600 hrs the rest of the battalion was waterborne.
By 1800 hrs all the Rifle Coys had landed and moved off to their Assembly area, but at 1815 hrs the Battalion Headquarters and F echelon were attacked by enemy aircraft twice but no damage or casualties resulted.
The Battalion was in position by 2000 hrs and B echelon and F echelon cleared Reggio where it was discovered that Reggio had been deserted by the civilian population.
Because of the success of the landing The Regiment was awarded the Battle Honour Landing at Reggio and we suffered no casualties.
The 34th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when World War II and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment. It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Motta Montecorvino was a high feature located West of the city of Foggia in Southern Italy. It overlooked Route 17 which was on the axis of advance towards Campobasso. The Village of Motta was the centre of the objective which was held in force by the Germans.
At 1600 hrs on the 1st of October 1943 the first attack went in, led by 2 squadrons of tanks, followed by B Coy. This attacking force reached Motta but could not penetrate it due to the intolerable fire from the enemy.
A Coy entered the town and were engaged in fighting in the centre of Motta with both sides using grenades. Cpl Hinton killed 2 enemy sentries with machine gun fire and 2 more Germans were captured.
As night fell LCol Spry ordered A Coy to withdraw from Motta and await an intense Artillery barrage, then mount a 2 coy attack with A and B Coy.
One man was too badly wounded to be moved so a volunteer, Cpl Hinton, stayed with him during the barrage, both survived.
At 0300 hrs 2 October 1943 the attack commenced again, this time with less resistance. The Regiment took the village and pursued the Germans.
The Regiment consolidated around Motta, and at 0800 hrs that same day C Coy was ordered to move forward to gain some of the high ground. At 0930 hrs they came under mortar and machine gun fire and suffered several casualties. Six tanks supporting them were knocked out.
The CO ordered the rest of the battalion to attack Motta Ridge, and at 1730 hrs the attack commenced with D and A Coy forward and B Coy in reserve. The advance went well with one unusual incident. A half track vehicle and a car containing enemy troops sped past the battalion unaware of their presence, the battalion would have inflicted friendly casualties so they didn't fire on them.
As the leading coys neared the top of the ridge they were engaged by machine gun fire.
By midnight the ridge was captured and the enemy was pushed back.
Because of taking both objectives, Motta and the Motta Ridge, the Battle Honour Motta Montecorvino was added to The Regiment, and because of the nature of our success it is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
The casualties for The Regiment was 7 killed and 23 wounded.
The 35th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when WWII and Korea Battle Honours were added to our Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Campobasso was a town in Southern Italy approximately 30 miles west of the city of Foggia
It was on the 1st Canadian Brigade's axis of advance.
Hitler had decided on September 30, 1943 to establish a defensive line South of Rome on which the American and British/Canadian forces would be bogged down. To accomplish this a new strategy emerged for the Germans, that of fierce resistance to an unpredictable moment, then sudden withdrawal to another dominating feature. They hoped to outwit the Allies not outfight them.
35 miles North of the Canadian drive the British Special Service Brigade made a successful landing which weakened the Germans on their inner flank. This forced the Germans to divert some of their resources which made it easier to advance.
At 0530 hrs 14 October 1943 The Regiment advanced. They entered the town just after the Germans had pulled out, to find civilians cheering them. It had been a bloodless victory but the town was not free of enemy shelling, so they had to clear sufficient terrain beyond Campobasso to prevent this.
On the 20th of October 1943 B Coy attacked an enemy outpost at Busso, taking 11 prisoners and suffering 2 wounded. These were the only casualties at Campobasso for The Regiment.
The 36th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when world war II and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment. I it is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Torella was a small town in Southern Italy that the Germans had withdrawn to after leaving Campobasso.
From Torella they could still shell Campobasso so Torella was ordered to be taken after an air strike at 1430 hrs by 25 October 1943. The 48th Highlanders were going to attack Torella at 1500 hrs 25 October 1943 after moving through The RCR's position.
While in position our Regiment was taking Artillery fire from Torella.
We suffered 2 casualties as a result of this action.
Because of our support for this battle and our involvement in skirmishes leading up to the attack on Torella we were awarded the Battle Honour Torella.
The 36th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when World War II and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment. It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
After a successful advance in Southern Italy the axis of advance was shifted along the Adriatic coast (Eastern).
San Leonardo was a small town few miles South of Ortona.
The fighting along this front was more intensive than what they had encountered earlier.
The 1st Brigade intention was to capture San Leonardo with The RCR attacking from the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment's bridgehead.
At 1630 hrs 8 December 1943 A Coy crossed the start line, they came under fire immediately and suffered some casualties. Despite this the Germans were beaten back and several prisoners were taken. At 1900 hrs A Coy reached their objective and B Coy carried on. They had to shift their axis to avoid mortar fire so C Coy was ordered to advance as well. C Coy moved past A Coy and took 8 Germans prisoner. Then C Coy came under heavy fire and they were forced to fall back with heavy casualties.
B Coy put out patrol and D Coy moved 16 platoon ahead but the rest of D Coy could not advance due to heavy casualties suffered from heavy shell fire. 16 platoon was ordered to take up a defensive position around a house in their area.
The Germans were very active and were preparing a counter-attack but Artillery fire broke up their attack and because they were so close to The Regiment's position the safety area had to be ignored and 3 friendly casualties resulted from this fire.
The Regiment dug in their present positions after moving back to a better reverse slope position.
The next day C Coy sent out patrol to clear up the Germans that had been cut off by our attack and that of the 2nd Brigade. They immediately captured 2 prisoners.
But strong German forces infiltrated back and were counter-attacking. At 1430 hrs 9 December 1943 it was decided to move to the original objective of San Leonardo. Just after B and C Coy moved off an enemy battalion started encircling A Co and Headquarters. The CO, LCol Spry, decided to break out rather than be encircled, so A Coy fought on until it could be withdrawn by platoons after inflicting heavy casualties on the Germans. The last 2 platoons still in position were 8 platoon and 16 platoon which still occupied the house.
8 platoon was providing then with covering fire but was forced to withdraw when their ammunition ran low. 16 platoon stayed on and beat back a number of assaults on their position leaving piles of dead Germans, approximately 30 in all.
Lt Sterlin, OC of 16 platoon, collected his wounded in the night and moved back.
As soon as the troops were off the position an Artillery shoot was ordered and this was effective causing several German casualties.
The Regiment was ordered to take up a position past San Leonardo. They stayed in position for the next few days. Because all movements were minimized from enemy fire, ration parties were few and the men ate apples and German emergency rations. The opening phase of the battle for Ortona was over. Our casualties from 8 December to 10 December 1943 was 21 killed and 53 wounded or missing.
The 38th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when World War II and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be worn on the Colours.
After the Battle of San Leonardo the Germans were not given an respite. The advance towards Ortona continued.
The new attack was launched on December 10, 1943 by other units of the 1st Division and for some reason a gully in the earth a few hundred yards short of the objective was not considered at all.
The gully housed a garrison that could move about at will providing rear fire on the assaulting units.
It was necessary to clear the coastal area as quickly as possible and the 1st Brigade of which we were part of was ordered to thrust past Ortona and cut the coastal road to the North.
The Regiment was to attack to the East along a railway line.
At 0800 hrs 18 December 1943 the attack commenced and the 48 Battalion Highlanders pushed off. They reached their objective under good artillery support.
At 1145 hrs the Artillery barrage for The Regiment commenced, but something went wrong. The firing was so inaccurate that shells were falling all over the place including other friendly units.
For The Regiment this proved catastrophic as the Germans not bothered by the firing let the tanks bypass them and then from their position and from the east side of Gully they opened a murderous cross-fire on The Regiment.
The 2 leading coys were torn apart, all the officers were casualties. Never before in the war had the Regiment run into such a death trap.
The CO ordered a consolidation of his remaining troops. Cpl Forrest took over his platoon and led them to the cover of a small gully where they ousted the enemy, dug in and held off repeated counter-attacks.
That night The Regiment reorganized and then at 1415 hrs December 19, 1943 they advanced again this time with better covering fire and to the objective.
The casualties were high between 18 December to 20 December 1943 with 34 killed, 54 wounded and 24 missing.
The 39th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the World War II and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment.
Ortona was a town on the Adriatic sea coast that was well defended by the Germans.
The 1st Canadian Brigade was ordered to cut off Ortona to the North.
At 1400 hrs December 23, 1943 The Regiment moved to the forming up place, enroute they saw a grisly sight, about 30 soldiers from B and D Coy were laid out in 2 rows along the road with the graves already dug and the bodies awaiting final identification by the Padre.
After reaching their positions The Regiment awaited further orders which was to attack the coastal road North of Ortona.
At 0700 hrs 24 December, 1943 The Regiment was moving to the forming up place being led by guides from the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, enroute it was found that Germans had infiltrated the area and the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment was forced to deal with them delaying the advance.
A Coy was ordered to move to the 48th Highlander position and enroute took heavy mortar and shell fire, B Coy moved to the left of A coy and the remainder of The Regiment were being counter-attacked and were pushed back to their original position.
The Regiment decided to wait until dark to get forward to the 48th Highland position. The order was then changed to forming a link with the 48th Highlanders to enable them to obtain supplies and remove their casualties.
A Coy moved off Christmas morning and were heavily shelled but continued on, B Coy took up the left flank but could not carry out a flanking on the Germans. A Coy set fire to an ammunition vehicle concealed in a haystack.
Then A Coy contacted the 48th Highlanders and the link to the Highlanders was successful.
At first light the next day the Germans gave harassing fire from snipers and machine guns and several machine gun duels took place. At 1530 hrs a tank arrived and shot 2 houses the Germans were holding and by 1630 hrs the enemy was silenced in that sector.
On the next morning the 27th of December1943 plans were
laid to deal with enemy infiltration's and by 0800 hrs the sector was clear again with 6
Germans taken prisoner.
The battle had cost The Regiment over 100 casualties and the fighting in December 1943 had cost The Regiment 78 soldiers killed.
The 40th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the World War II and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment.
After Ortona was taken the 1st Canadian Division went into a holding pattern on the Adriatic coast for approximately 4 months.
During this time from January to April 1944 there had been numerous small skirmishes and The Regiment suffered some casualties.
The Battle of Cassino was call Cassino II because it was the 2nd battle to take the town of Cassino in Central Italy.
The Americans had tried earlier in 1944 but couldn't dislodge the Germans, Cassino was in high ground on a mountain and monastery dominated the position.
The battle was actually part of the battle for Rome and operations commenced on May 11, 1944.
The Poles had been tasked to oust the Germans from Mount Cassino with the Canadians tasked to exploit the battlefield.
On My 118, 1944 the Germans abandoned Mount Cassino and the Poles took the position.
Our Regiment was in close proximity and was in a support role for this operation initially. The casualties for this battle are included in the total for Cassino II, Gustav Line, Liri Valley and Hitler Line operations, which went concurrently.
The total casualties for this time frame from May 11, 1944 to May 24, 1933 was 25 killed and 60 wounded.
The 41st Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
The Gustave Line blocked the entry into the Liri Valley in Central Italy by the Allies. It was a German defensive line named by the German 1st Parachute Division.
The Canadian 1st Division was held in Reserve for the assault on the Gustave Line but some elements were called into this battle to breach the line on May 12, 1944. Our Regiment was not called into the main battle but was held in Reserve, waiting to move into the Liri valley and beyond to the Hitler Line.
Our casualties are included in the total of the battles of Cassino II, Gustav Line, Liri Valley and Hitler Line which was 25 killed and 60 wounded.
The 42nd Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
The Liri Valley in Central Italy ran beyond the Mountains of Aurunci and Auson for approximately 20 miles North from the Garigliano-Gari-Rapido river systems.
After the Gustav Line had been penetrated the Canadian 1st Division moved ahead with the objective of smashing the Hitler Line, the German main defensive line in the area which was actually called the Senger Line by them.
The Liri Valley had to be crossed to achieve this, so on May 17, 1944 at 0700 hrs, The RCR moved through the valley and advanced 3 miles with little opposition.
However they encountered an enemy position between the Pegnataro and the Liri River. After attempting to bypass this position, A Coy moved up and attacked it, with support of a tank.
7 Platoon took their objective and 12 prisoners. A self-propelled gun remaining in action was silenced by Cpl R.D. Deadman who attacked it with a 2 in. mortar fired from his shoulder.
8 platoon on the opposite side of the objective made its ground but lost their platoon commander to machine gun fire.
When A Coy started to consolidate their position C Coy moved up to support them, when a devastating Artillery shoot descended on them. Both coys were ordered to withdraw, and this was carried out in excellent fashion.
The night Sgt C.R. Palmer searched for 2 missing men reported as wounded, at dawn he found them in view of the enemy and under heavy fire. He brought them to safety and received the Military Medal for his courage.
On the next day the advance continued with heavy tank losses, but good gains for the infantry. By afternoon The RCR had seized positions 3 miles west of the town of Pignataro, and by last light the entire 1st Canadian Divisional front was secured.
That night enemy probes were driven off by C Coy and German
aircraft bombed they valley.
The casualties for the Liri Valley battle was 17 killed over 20 wounded.
The 43rd Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment.
It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
The Hitler Line was the name that most Military Historians called the main German defensive position in the Liri Valley. The Germans in fact called it The Senger-Reigel named after a German Corps Commander because Hitler refused his name to be allowed to be used.
The Hitler Line was the climax of the fighting in the Liri Valley in Central Italy.
The Canadian 1st Division was given the task of smashing the Hitler Line after breaking out of the Liri Valley.
The RCR task was to occupy the positions taken by the 48th Highlander in the Hitler Line and push forward to take the high feature.
On 22 May, 1944 the attack commenced and late night 23 May the objective was taken along with 4 German prisoners manning an anti-tank gun.
Immediately The RCR pushed forward and at 0630 hrs 24 May, 1944 Lt Rich climbed up the church tower in Pontecorvo and rang the bells to let everyone know the town was taken and the Hitler Line was breached.
During the day one soldier was killed by enemy shell fire.
The 2nd Canadian Brigade proceeded to clear the Line and Hitler Line had fallen.
The Liri Valley offensive was a success but it had cost The Regiment 25 killed and 60 wounded.
The 44th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korean Battle Honours were awarded to the Regiment.
It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
After the Liri Valley operations the Canadian's next task was the capture of the Gothic Line in Northern Italy.
The Gothic Line was built by Italian forced labour and the Allies had a good intelligence about its defences, but they knew it was formidable. It consisted of several machine gun posts, concrete gun positions, deep dugouts, steel shelters, panzer turrets, miles of barbed wire and thousands of mines.
The Canadian's task was to advance to the Metauro River, pass through the Poles and exploit beyond that.
This was still 10 miles south of the main enemy defences but it was hoped a rapid advance would deprive the Germans of their intermediate positions and maybe penetrate the main defences before they were inadequately manned.
Early on August 26, 1944 the advance began behind an Artillery shoot.
Within 45 minutes C Coy reached the ruins of Saltara and then the remainder of The Regiment passed through and took up defensive positions.
At noon the next day the advance continued against harassing fire with enemy outposts withdrawing after the initial contact.
At 1630 hrs that day the Tactical Headquarters of The RCR received a distinguished guest in Winston Chruchill who watched to see how the battle was going.
The advance continued until dark and the next day advance parties picked up 6 German prisoners.
On August 28, 1944 The RCR went into Brigade reserve to await the next phase of the battle.
On August 30, 1944 the next phase commenced with the 3rd and 11th Brigades assaulting German positions.
On the evening of September 2, 1944 The RCR moved again and established a bridgehead and forward elements picked up 10 prisoners.
At first light September 3, 1944 contact was made with the Germans and a scouting party was delayed until evening but another Coy took 3 prisoners.
A coy was ordered to attack a position and a German machine gun position was destroyed and 1 prisoner taken.
A platoon succeeded in clearing the enemy from a house and was using 2 German stretcher bearers when one asked permission to get band-aids, he returned with an armed paratrooper and took the Platoon Commander prisoner.
D Coy took over the assault supported by tanks and advanced 600 yards taking several prisoners, but the advance stopped due to an exposed flank.
The next day sniping duels took place and several small skirmishes added to the casualties.
On the morning of September 5, 1944 an attack was ordered on Domier but it was discovered it was evacuated, but the Germans had not gone far and B Coy found then and hand to hand fighting broke out, one officer was shot by a bazooka and C Coy closed up for the attack, but heavy losses forced them to dig in for the night. The next morning A Coy renewed the attack and suffered heavily losing all but 18 of their strength.
That night The RCR was relieved by The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment and stayed away from the main battle until a renewed assault on September 15, 1944. That evening The RCR commenced the advance but discovered their eastern flank was open so they had to provide a flank guard.
The next day they were tasked with clearing the built up area at Rimini airfield and to help take the pressure off the advancing Greeks.
That day heavy fighting took place everywhere and shining examples of individual leadership stood out. Cpl McMahon and his section assaulted an enemy post and killed 12 of the defenders, captured 2 and chased the others away. Then he took the Company objective. Sgt Hardingham attacked an enemy held house and disposed of the defenders.
The focus of the battle shifted and the Allies bombarded the German positions for 24 hours. After the bombardment The RCR inched forward and caused considerable casualties on the Germans.
On September 18, 1944 the Band even had a moment of glory charging and putting to flight a group of Germans preparing to fire at D Coy's rear.
September 19, 1944 the battle was over and the Germans had abandoned their position.
It was a costly battle costing 79 killed, 221 wounded and 12 missing but the battle itself was a success and because of this it is one of our most significant Battle Honours.
The 45th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were added to The Regiment.
It is entitled to be borne on the Colours.
With the Allies pressing in Northwest Europe the operation in Italy was scaled down, however the 8th Army was kept more or less intact.
The operations in Italy were to be in the form of sporadic assaults and by mid-November 1944 the plan emerged, the 8th Army was to advance 35 miles and storm 3 river lines.
The first of these rivers was the Lamone River, which flowed into the Adriatic in Northern Italy
On December 4, 1944 1st Brigade was ordered to effect a crossing on the Lamone River. Prior to this a scouting party went to the river and decided it was not capable of being forded and the officer in charge, in the river was seized by a cramp and was lost in the river.
In the early hours The Regiment crossed over by assault boats except a platoon of B Coy which went across a broken but passable bridge, they were caught in a murderous mortar fire and all but 3 became casualties.
The rest of the crossing went in roughly unopposed but an obstacle a railway embankment had not been planned for and a German counter offensive came in at 0700 hrs along the railway crest and was reinforced a half hour later. Within an hour B Coy was destroyed with the Coy headquarters overrun. A few men managed to escape to A Coy.
C Coy came under attack and scattered to reorganize but was broken up by an enemy self propelled gun, the Coy Commander ordered his men to go to A Coy sector but only 12 escaped.
Later in the day A Coy withdrew under cover of a smoke-screen and by mid afternoon the operation had ended.
On the night of December 5, 1944 The RCR was moved to the south to relieve The R22eR.
The failure to effect this crossing was due to unrealistic
planning by higher instead of faulty execution, the men had fought bravely against
The casualties for The Regiment was 29 killed, 46 wounded and 31 missing, presumed prisoners.
The 46th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment.
It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Misano Ridge is a ridge line in Northern Italy.
Misano Ridge was actually a smaller skirmish of the bigger battle for the Gothic Line.
The fighting for the ridge took place from September 3 to September 5, 1944 at which time another skirmish for a small group of cottages called Abissinia also took place by The Regiment.
At Misano Ridge Lt Burns led a bayonet charge and forced the enemy to withdraw.
On the whole it was confused fighting for the next 4 days, but the Germans had been driven from the ridge.
The casualties for this part of the battle and the other skirmishes were 31 killed, 16 missing, and 108 wounded but these figures are also included in the overall casualties from the Gothic Line.
The 47th Battle Honour for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWI and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment.
It is entitled to be borne on the Regimental Colours.
Like Misano Ridge the battle for Rimini was part of the bigger battle of the Gothic Line.
When the battle for the Gothic Line commenced on September 3, 1944 for our Regiment the motto was Rimini by noon, which proved to be impossible.
Due to heavy fighting the advance to Rimini could only begin in earnest on September 16, 1944, at which time The RCR was supposed to clear the Rimini airfield's left and then capture the town of Rimini. However, due to communication difficulties with a Greek Brigade on their right, our Regiment continued to the airfield because the Greeks halted their advance.
The airfield was crises-crossed with ditches to render it useless. the ditches were covered by automatic fire.
It was a death trap for The Regiment and for the Germans who suffered even worse casualties.
There was hand to hand fighting and after a few days the airfield fell to The Regiment.
Next Rimini lay open for The RCR and 48th Highlanders and the Germans defending Rimini were withdrawing as The RCR were advancing.
Before our Regiment would enter Rimini they were ordered back to the airfield and the Greek Brigade were allowed to enter Rimini unopposed. The headlines in papers irked the soldiers who had done most of the fighting when they stated "Heroic Greek Brigade Takes Rimini".
However, the Commander of the 8th Army sent a message to The Regiment stating "Your Regiment may well be proud of its part in a great and hard fought victory. Well done Canada!"
The noon to Rimini was noon 19 days later. The casualties for The Regiment were 90 all ranks on the airfield, but these are included with the Gothic Line casualties.
The 48th Battle Honour for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment.
It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
San Marino and San Lorenzo were small villages just South of Rimini and West of the Rimini airfield.
The battle for these villages was part of the bigger battle of the Gothic Line.
As our Regiment was beginning its advance towards the Rimini airfield, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade was tasked to take San Lorenzo and San Marino.
The 1st Brigade of which our Regiment was part provided flank protection and San Lorenzo was captured. San Martin was captured but a successful German counter-attack repulsed the 3rd Brigade. This left a German fortified position on high ground to fire at our Regiment as it advanced through the Rimini airfield causing casualties.
San Martin was still well defended and an attack by the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigades was stopped there.
The next day September 19, 1944 a British Armoured Division crossed behind San Martino and the 3rd Brigade outflanked San Martino.
As a patrol cautiously approached the fortress position they discovered the enemy was gone.
Even though our Regiment did not assault these villages, they nonetheless provided flank protection and were under fire from San Marino, so it is because of these considerations that we are awarded the Battle Honour San Martino-San Lorenzo.
Our casualties are included in the Gothic Line totals.
The 49th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment.
It is not entitled to be borne on the Colours.
Pisciatello is a river in Northern Italy North of Rimini on the edge of the Po Valley. It flows into the Adriatic Sea.
After the victory in the Gothic Line the Germans withdrew from the area and the British 8th Army lost contact with them.
The 1st Brigade was in the advance to make contact with the Germans and advance to the Pisciatello River.
The advance commenced on October 10, 1944, our Regiment started their advance 2 days later and on the night of 13 October they were shelled by German self propelled guns.
On October 14, 1944, D Coy reported they were at their objective but it was in a minefield, they suffered no casualties getting to the minefield but on deployment started stepping on mines casing casualties.
That night our pioneers cleared a path to D Coy.
The next day the Canadian front was widened with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade entering the line.
Our Regiment continued the advance and headed for the Pisciatello River. D Coy once again found itself in the middle of another minefield but luckily no harm came to anyone.
Dawn on October 16, the Germans unleashed a vicious shoot and our Regiment suffered casualties.
It was hard going as the ground was sown with mines and the ground swept by fire. Despite this small forward elements inched ahead and were in effective control of the Eastern bank of the river by afternoon.
There was considerable small skirmishes going on and an A Coy patrol crossed the river and seized a railway building which was promptly assaulted by the Germans, but the men inside beat back this assault, and when they ran out of ammunition, they were withdrawn back across the river under protective fire.
A bridgehead had been established by another Regiment beyond the Pisciatello River and a 0500 hrs October 18, 1944 The Regiment thrust on.
They met with heavy resistance and one building they seized was destroyed by close range fire which killed 4 of The Regiment's soldiers. A soldier, Pte MacDonald, single-handedly attacked an enemy held building and caused several German casualties.
Unfortunately, the gains could not be consolidated because the other coys were impeded by marshy ground and supporting armour could not traverse this terrain very well, so The Regiment was ordered back to their jump off positions and on the night of October 19 The Regiment was relieved in place by the Van Doos.
After being in continuous action for a week, The Regiment had acquitted itself well and because of the quality of fighting they effected we were awarded the Battle Honour Pisciatello.
The casualties for this battle were 11 killed, 45 wounded, and 2 missing
The 50th Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment. It is not borne on the Colours.
The Fosso Vecchio is a canal, part natural and mostly man made, running North East in the Po Valley in Northern Italy.
As a follow-up after the Lamone River The Regiment was ordered to establish a bridgehead across the Fosso Vecchio and the assault across the Vecchio commenced at 0200 hrs December 12, 1944. By early morning the objective was secure with little or no contact from the enemy.
The next day The Regiment was shelled and mortared and encountered light enemy pockets which they dispatched.
On the morning of December 14 The RCR was ordered to move to the left flank and relieve The West Nova Scotia Regiment and relief took place by 0230 hrs December 15 with only minor incidents. One Coy's "O" Group was disrupted by shelling killing the Coy Commander.
Over the next few days The Regiment was involved in small skirmishes with the Germans in a few buildings and took 8 Germans prisoner after inflicting several casualties.
On December 18, 1944 The RCR commenced to effect another bridgehead across the Vecchio and this time they faced stiffer opposition but they took 30 prisoners. One of the companies came under effective direct fire and some elements managed to cross, but no supporting arms came with them and at first light a strong German counter attack of Infantry and Tanks forced The Regiment to withdraw back across the Vecchio, but not before knocking out one of the tanks.
The next few days were fairly quiet with the Coys remaining in position dispatching patrols.
On the morning of December 21 it was reported the enemy had withdrawn and The RCR immediately crossed the Vecchio and advanced to the Naviglio Canal. The next day an operation to clear up some houses took place with support from flame-throwing tanks that were being used for the first time in the Italian Theatre of Operations.
On the 23rd of December The Regiment was relieved by the Seaforths and moved to a position South of the Lamone River remaining in the vicinity until Christmas Day when again they were ordered forward to a different part of the Fosso Vecchio where they again contacted the enemy.
On December 26 an attack by The RCR was successful in driving the enemy off causing them several casualties but later in a counter-attack drove them back from that position, however they took some prisoners and they came across a house with a white flag, but before they took the occupants prisoner they surrounded it and 2 sections then went towards the house where they immediately took machine gun fire from the house. A fierce fight ensued and several Germans were killed but 3 managed to get away. Before they could consolidate the position, a mortar shoot and a strong counter-attack forced them back.
The next morning December 27, 1944 The Regiment was relieved by The Carlton and York Regiment and moved out of the area.
From the start of the Lamone Crossing battle to the end of their
operations in the Fosso Vecchio area, The RCR had been in one form or another in combat
for 23 straight days.
We had 14 killed and over 50 wounded during the Fosso Vecchio encounters from 12 December to 27 December 1944.
The 51st Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment.
It is entitled to be borne on the Regiment Colours.
This Battle Honour covers all of the campaigning and skirmishes in Italy from the Landing at Reggio on September 3, 1943 until the embarkation for Marseilles France on Mach 7, 1945 that are not covered by other Battle Honours.
Including this Battle Honour, the Regiment earned 19 of its 54 Battle Honours, of which 8 are on the Regimental Colours in Italy.
The men had cleared enough Italian soil that every soldier could have been granted over 2- 1/2 acres of land. The Regiment had advanced more than 3/4 the length of Italy.
Italy was the country The Regiment fought primarily in WWII and as a result must of our casualties in the war were suffered there.
Our casualties included approximately 320 killed in Action and over 500 wounded or taken prisoner. Over 80% of all casualties suffered in WWII in our Regiment occurred in Italy.
Because of our sacrifices in Italy and our great performance in clearing the country, the Battle Honour Italy, 1943-1945 is proudly displayed on Regimental Colours today.
The 52nd Battle Honour in order for The Regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment. It is not entitled to be borne on the Regimental Colours.
The Battle for Apeldoorn came about as the Canadian Corps were clearing the Ijsselmer of the inland sea in Eastern Netherlands.
Apeldoorn at that time was Dutch city with over 70,000 inhabitants.
Apeldoorn was the objective of The Regiment as it advanced on April 9, 1945. After crossing the Ijssel River, B Coy was the first group to draw blood as it cleared an enemy force holding a house. They killed several Germans and took 12 prisoners. C Coy suffered the first casualty on April 12, 1945 after an attack on a crossroads in which they took a 105 mm German gun.
B and C Coys continued the advance into the night running into small pockets of resistance and by the time they stopped they had captured a colonel and 8 other prisoners. The Regiment was now halfway to Apeldoorn from the Ijssel River. The next day mopping up operations commenced and after more prisoners were captured, A and D Coys took the lead, heading towards the Zutphen-Alperdoorn Canal.
D Coy cleared the enemy in some houses and after a 2hr firefight came up with a yield of 5 Germans killed and 32 prisoners. A Coy liberated a hospital holding 789 Allied wounded soldiers.
On the morning of April 14, 1945 it was decided that the Tanks would rush a bridge before it was blown in Apeldoorn with C Coy in support.
2 tanks raced towards the canal and rushed one roadblock but were hit with anti-tank fire and while retreating hit a tank laden with C Coy personnel causing a number of casualties, the operation for taking the bridge was suspended.
Several Germans were still reported by Partisans to be in Apeldoorn, and one self propelled Gun crew spotted the RCR officers at an "O" Gp, and fired on them, killing a 1st Hussars officer and Capt Sims who was the first officer that landed in Sicily.
Brigade orders ordered The RCR to attack Apeldoorn at night and at 2300 hrs B and C Coys took the lead.
Sgt Stover and LCpl Fairfield led their sections into taking out German machine-gun positions and took out 44 Germans.
C Coy repulsed a counter-attack and A Coy with support of tanks put in an attack crumbling the resistance in their immediate area. D Coy closed up to the Canal but was under harassing fire from mortars, small arms, and even grenades from the edge of Apeldoorn.
At 0300 hrs April 17, 1945 the harassing fire ceased and Partisans reported the enemy had left and a patrol captured a German demolition party preparing to blow an approach into the city.
The Regiment occupied the city amid wild rejoicing from the populace and searched for hideouts rounding up almost 200 prisoners.
The morning of April 18 The Regiment moved to an area 5 miles to the west and the city was secure.
Because of their participation in the liberation of Apeldoorn, our Regiment has been awarded the Battle Honour Apeldoorn.
Our casualties for this battle were 9 killed in action and over 30 wounded.
The 53rd Battle Honour in order for the regiment and awarded as such when the WWII and Korea Battle Honours were awarded to The Regiment.
It is entitled to be borne on the Regimental Colours.
This battle Honour sums up the campaigning. The Regiment took part of the 1st Canadian Division of the Canadian Corps.
The RCR landed in Marseilles France on March 10, 1945 and this Battle Honour covers the period from March 10 to the German surrender in the Netherlands on May 5, 1945.
The RCR actually suffered some casualties on German soil in WWII in that on April 8, 1945 a tin of petrol exploded burning 2 officers to death while encamped in the Reichwald Forest area.
Besides the battle for Apeldoorn, The Regiment was involved in sweeping and mopping up operations and immediately after the German surrender were involved in dirarming the enemy.
Our total casualties for this time frame are 12 killed in action and 49 wounded.
For our part in the Allied victory in North-West Europe we were awarded the Battle Honour North-West Europe, 1945.
The 54th and final Battle Honour to date for our Regiment. It is entitled to be borne on the Regimental Colours.
Korea was occupied by the Japanese during WWII. When Japan surrendered they also relinquished control over Korea. For convenience it was decided to split control of the country in half with the Americans administering the South and the Soviets the North. Both sides wanted to unite the country but the Soviets wanted it to be done by conquest not democratically.
So on June 25, 1950 8 Divisions invaded the South and the South was overrun except for the Pusan perimeter which held firm until the Landing at Inchon by MacArthur in mid-September 1950.
The Allies then cleared South Korea and pursued the North Korean army well into North Korea until the Chinese intervened and drove back the Allies until the lines stabilized about 45 miles south of Seoul. Then the Allies inched forward in small attack until the lines were roughly where the border was anyway.
It was at this time around May of 1951 that our Regiment's 2nd
Battalion entered the fray as part of the 25th Canadian Brigade.
2 RCR arrived on May 5, 1951. They had their baptism of fire on May 25, 1951. 2 RCR participated in the battles of Chail-li, a village, and the Battle of Kokhul-Bang a high feature.
After these skirmishes the battlefield was pretty much stabilizing and a war of attrition began with no large scale battles as before taking place. However, one other encounter should be mentioned that on November 2, 1951 a strong enemy force was attacking A Coy. They were attacking in waves on 2 platoon but failed to overrun them. In the face of mounting casualties 2 platoon withdrew but brought back all of their wounded. The next day a patrol found several dead Chinese and found out that an entire battalion was attacking 2 platoon.
In April 1952 the 1st Battalion of The RR started arriving and 2
RCR embarked for Canada on May 4, 1952 suffering 31 killed and 134 wounded.
B and D Coys arrived on April 10, 1952 and by the end of April 1952 the entire Battalion was in place in Korea, relieving 2 RCR on April 25, 1952.
Once in place 1 RCR took part in several raiding patrols.
May 22, 1952 B Coy was dispatched to Koje Island to help restore order in guarding prisoners as they were going out of control being loosely guarded by Americans. the troops did a thorough professional job and not one mishap occurred.
At a place called Little Gibraltar on Hill 355 the Regimental banner was unfurled but the Chinese did not shell it even though this was a particular troubled spot.
One major encounter was the Battle of Kowang-San (Hill 355) in which the Chinese attacked in force after a fierce bombardment on October 22, 1952 followed by an Infantry attack. The line held despite some setbacks but by 0330 hrs October 24 the line was intact as the attack failed.
On March 25, 1953 1 RCR was relieved by 3 RCR. 1 RCR
suffered the most casualties of the 3 Battalions in the war and had 51 killed in Action,
204 wounded and 14 POWs.
This was the first time in our history that we had 3 Regular Force Battalions in action in the same conflict. During the Boer War we had 3 Battalions but only one was in action.
When in the line 3 RCR commenced improving their defences and their baptism of fire on May 2, 1953 which coincidentally was the last major encounter with the enemy in the war for our Regiment was very sever.
The enemy was launching a full scale assault on C Coy and were close to succeeding even when fire was called down on their own positions by themselves.
A counter-attack by D Coy forced them back. This was in fact the last major engagement of Canadian troops in the Korean War.
Towards the end of the conflict there was a casualty of a different type, one member suffering a snake bite in no-mans land. The last casualties were suffered on July 21, 1953 when a Cpl was killed by a Bouncing Betty mine.
On July 27, 1953 the Armistice was signed and the hostilities were over. 3 RCR remained in Korea until March 27, 1954. It was disbanded on July 21, 1954, but would be reactivated in 1970 as another Regular Force Battalion.
3 RCR casualties were 35 killed, 71 wounded and 7 POWs.