The Royal Regiment of Canada - History

Our History

The Royal Regiment of Canada is an infantry unit, part of Canada’s Army Reserve. It was formed in 1936 as the result of the amalgamation of two famed reserve units, The Royal Grenadiers, and the Toronto Regiment. Located in Toronto Ontario, it is one of the oldest army regiments in the Canadian Forces and traces its roots to 1862 when a regiment of volunteers was formed and named the 10th Battalion of the Royal Grenadiers. In response to a perceived threat of an American invasion, the Regiment was first called out in June 1866. It marched to Fort Erie, Ontario to meet the Fenian-Americans who were threatening to invade Canada from the south. The Fenians withdrew before the Regiment arrived and the Regiment reverted to its part-time reserve status.

The Regiment was again called out by the Federal government to help quell the Métis insurgents during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. After an arduous and punishing 1300 kilometre westward march during a harsh winter, it arrived at Batoche, Saskatchewan where it led a bayonet charge that captured the Métis leader Louis Riel. The Rebellion ended, and after a trial, Riel was hanged for treason. Over a century later, Riel is now honoured as a Father of Confederation and Manitoba has declared a public holiday in his honour.

During the First World War, the Royal Grenadiers were re-named as the 58th and 123rd Battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The Regiment fought in the trenches of Europe from 1916 to the end of the war in 1918.

The Toronto Regiment was raised to fight in the First World War. Renamed the 3rd Battalion, it entered the trenches in 1914 and fought in many major battles until the end of the war. One of its members was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for valour.

The two regiments were awarded 22 battle honours to recognize their skill, bravery and sacrifice.

The Toronto Regiment and Royal Grenadiers were amalgamated and renamed The Royal Regiment of Canada in 1936. Three years later, the Regiment was again called to active duty for service in the Second World War. After participating in the disastrous Dieppe Raid in 1942, the unit was reconstituted and landed in France shortly after D-Day. It fought its way across France, Belgium, the Netherlands and into Germany earning another 20 battle honours.

The Regiment reverted to its reserve status after the war. Presently, it is composed of fully trained reserve soldiers who have served on missions throughout the world including Afghanistan, Cyprus, The Congo, Eritrea, Haiti, Kosovo, Bosnia, Namibia, the Golan Heights, the South Sudan, and Sierra Leone.

More history on The Royal Regiment of Canada can be found on the History and Heritage website.

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