32 Combat Engineer Regiment - History

Our History

Militia Order No. 1 dated 14 January 1876 authorized the formation of the Toronto Engineer Company. This name was changed in October of the same year to the 2nd Military District Engineer Company. The establishment of the Company called for 5 officers and seventy other ranks.

The company's first Commanding Officer was Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Clarkson Scoble. With no established engineer stores and no trained instructors, his problems were numerous. Lt Col Scoble located a retired Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Royal Engineers living in Toronto, persuaded him to become the Training NCO of the Engineer Company, and then paid from his own pocket for the supplies and equipment necessary to train his men as Sappers.

Members of the Regiment have long been innovators. In 1909 Lieutenants J.A.D. "Jack" McCurdy and Frederick W. "Casey" Baldwin made Canada's first powered flight in the 'Silver Dart' at Baddeck, Nova Scotia and conducted the first military aircraft demonstration at Petawawa, Ontario later that same year. The Regiment's current home beside the Downsview airfield, is an appropriate place for the heirs of those outstanding pioneers of army aviation as it was once home to legendary aircraft manufacturer A. V. Roe (AVRO) and now to Bombardier Canada.

32 Combat Engineer Regiment perpetuates the 2nd Divisional Engineers of the First World War's Canadian Corps. Sappers from the Regiment also went overseas in 1918 as a key part of the 4000 man Canadian Contingent sent to open a new front in Siberia.

Again deployed during World War II as the 2nd Divisional Engineers, they took part in the controversial and deadly Dieppe Raid in 1942. Thereafter the component companies of the Regiment distinguished themselves fighting throughout the European Campaign following the D-Day invasion in Normandy.

After the war, they were re-designated 2 Field Engineer Regiment (M), and under that name were called out in 1954 to provide disaster relief and aid to the Greater Toronto Area in the aftermath of Hurricane Hazel. Thirty years later, 2 FER became the one and only unit to ever receive the Freedoms of all six Cities and the Borough that now form Metropolitan Toronto.

On November 23 2006 by order of the Honourable Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defense 2 Field Engineer Regiment became 32 Combat Engineer Regiment.

More history on 32 Combat Engineer Regiment can be found on the History and Heritage website.

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