Monday, February 15, 2010

More Backgound - (part 2)

“To be or not to be”. That is the regimental question?

The term “regiment” is often confusing to the non-military reader when he or she tries to understand the workings of the Canadian Corps. The regiment is a left over from the days of Empire. Before 1915 the militia were organized into regiments. Sir Sam Hughes decided to amalgamate the regiments into numbered Battalions with at first eight, and later it was changed to four battalions to a Division. For Southwestern Ontario, units of a local regiment were fed into the 1st  Battalion, and later other units from the same regiment were fed into the 18th  Battalion. That was true for all other Battalions formed after 1915. To confuse things further later Battalions like the 91st  (St. Thomas & Elgin County) were broken up as re-enforcements to bring existing Battalions up to strength. This just for the infantry. When you start to look at the supporting units (medical, artillery, cavalry, engineers, etc.) , some are designated Regiments, some Battalions.  The Division is the main tactical unit; but the infantry fight as Battalions.

Nevertheless, the regimental spirit remained strong. This along with a strong reaction to Sir Sam’s ways partially explains the reason for the Canadian Army in 1939-1945 returning to the regiment as its tactical unit.

So, if we look at the  1st. Battalion, for example,  recruitment was funneled through the following regiments:
1st Hussars , 7th Regiment (Fusiliers) , 21st Regiment (Essex Fusiliers) , 22nd Regiment (The Oxford Rifles) , 23rd Regiment (The Northern Fusiliers), 24th Kent Regiment, 25th Regiment , 28th Perth Regiment , 29th Regiment (Highland Light Infantry of Canada) , 77th Wentworth Regiment.

Of course, there are some exceptions, just to confuse the newbe  I bet. Over all, from what I can gather there was an effort to keep as many local men in the same Battalion, in order to foster an identity and pride in each Battalion.

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