BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ROYAL REGIMENT OF CANADA
The Royal Regiment of Canada is an infantry unit, part of Canada’s Army Reserve. We were formed in 1936 as the result of the amalgamation of The Royal Grenadiers and The Toronto Regiment.
Located in Toronto, we are one of the oldest army regiments in the Canadian Forces, tracing our roots to December 1861, when after a few iterations of name, the most recognizable name became The 10th Battalion Royal Grenadiers.
In response to the threat of a Fenian invasion, the 10th or “Royal Regiment of Toronto Volunteers” was called out in June 1866, marching to Fort Erie to protect our sovereignty. The invaders withdrew after a brief skirmish with an advance column of Militia before the 10th engaged them.
The Regiment was again called out by the federal government to help quell Louis Riel’s vision of independence from Canada that resulted in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. After an arduous 1300 kilometre march West during a harsh winter, the Regiment arrived at Batoche, (Saskatchewan) where it led a bayonet charge that resulted in the capture of Louis Riel. The Rebellion ended and after a trial Riel was hanged for treason. Over a century later Riel is honoured as a Father of Confederation.
In 1899 the Canadian government offered soldiers to assist Britain with the South African War, of which 52 “Royal Grenadiers” answered the call.
During the First World War, The 10th Royal Grenadiers provided thousands of soldiers to the Canadian Expeditionary Force and in particular the 3rd Bn CEF, 58th Bn CEF, 123rd and 124th, 170th and 204th Bn’s, all of which are perpetuated by The Royal Regiment of Canada in honour of the sacrifices made by so many, fighting in the trenches of Europe.
The 3rd Bn CEF was raised in 1914 as part of the 1st Canadian Division and was soon designated the Toronto Regiment. They entered the trenches in early 1915 and fought in numerous major battles throughout the war. Two of its members; Cpl Barron V.C. and Lt Kerr V.C. were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for valour. Cpl Miner V.C. of the 58th Bn CEF, perpetuated by the Royals, also earned the Victoria Cross.
The Regiment was awarded 22 battle honours to recognize skill, bravery and sacrifice during the First World War.
We were again called to active service in the Second World War. After participating in the infamous Dieppe Raid of 1942, the Royals landed in France shortly after D-Day in 1944 and fought through France, Belgium, the Netherlands and into Germany, earning another 20 battle honours.
The Regiment reverted to its reserve status after the Second
World War. Since then our Reserve soldiers have served on missions throughout the world, including Cyprus, Congo, Eritrea, Haiti, Kosovo, Bosnia, Namibia, Golan Heights, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and South-Sudan. A “Theatre Honour” was awarded the Regiment for service in Afghanistan. Our soldiers continue to serve when called upon.
The Royals have a world class Regimental Band which promotes our esprit-de-corps and we have a Museum at our home station located at Fort York Armoury in Toronto.