The Royal Regina Rifles Regimental History Lecture #3
The Regina Home Guard
Regimental Lineage and Battle Honours
The Royal Regina Rifles Association
The Regina Home Guard - Spring 1885Photo taken from Up The Johns – Mein, S.A.G., p. xvi Patrolling the CPR line east of Regina looking for signs of sabotage.
The North West Rebellion - Resistance March 26th – May 12th,1885 -Uprising of the Métis Nation under Louis Riel against the Dominion of Canada. -The Dominion of Canada was expanding westward. -The Métis felt that Canada had not addressed their rights as a distinct people/nation and that their perspectives on land and government differed from Canada’s. -The Métis felt that their very survival as a culture was at stake.
The North West Rebellion - Resistance March 26th – May 12th,1885 -The Rebellion consisted of several smaller conflicts including: 1) Battle of Duck Lake 2) Looting of Battleford 3) Frog Lake Massacre 4) Battle of Fort Pitt 5) Battle of Fish Creek 6) Battle of Cut Knife 7) Battle of Batoche 8) Battle of Frenchman's Butte 9) Battle of Loon Lake
The first battle - Battle of Duck Lake - March 26, 1885 - 150 to 200 Métis and First Nation warriors commanded by Gabriel Dumont defeated a combined group of 90 Prince Albert Volunteers and North West Mounted Police, outside of Batoche. In response, the federal government sent Major General Frederick Middleton to deal with the rebellion.
Battle of Fish CreekApril 24, 1885 - 200 Métis achieved a victory over a well-equipped and larger government force of 900 soldiers who were sent to quell the rebellion. This victory did not alter the outcome of the war, however it temporarily halted Major General Frederick Middleton's column's advance on Batoche, where the Métis would eventually make their final stand.
The Battle of Batoche - May 9, 1885 - Middleton attacked Batoche itself. The outnumbered Métis ran out of ammunition after three days of battle and siege. Eventually the Métis were forced to retreat when Middleton's soldiers advanced in force. Gabriel Dumont and other members of the resistance escaped across the border to the Montana region of the United States.
The North West Rebellion - Resistance March 26th – May 12th,1885 -May 15th, 1885 Riel surrenders. -By June of 1885, the Resistance was over. -Riel is hanged for treason at the Mounted Police Barracks in Regina on Nov. 16th, 1885. Métis and First Nations prisoners following the Rebellion – August, 1885
The Regina Home Guard – The Regina Volunteer Corps -Raised in March of 1885 as the citizens of Regina saw the need to defend themselves as the NWMP were located 2 miles away. -Commanded by Major N.L. James. -Between 60-70 men were enrolled and patrolled nightly to guard the railway tracks north of town. -The Home Guard became the Regina Volunteer Corps , nicknamed the Regina Blazers , the town’s first official militia organization. -Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel David Lynch who was also the Mayor of Regina. -Each man who signed the muster role agreed to volunteer for service for 3 years. -April 21, 1885, the Regina Blazers are called out for Active Service. -Daily Drill instruction occurred from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm and 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm. -A guard was mounted on Broad Street every evening.
The Regina Blazers were part of the 91st Battalion, organized as Home Guard during the 1885 Resistance. They were made up of companies from Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Moosomin, and Regina. The Regina Blazers were relieved from Active Duty on October 1st, 1885. The men of the unit were eligible for land scrip for which they were not given entitlement to until 1891.
Lineage of the Royal Regina Rifles
The 28th (Northwest) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) Battle Honours earned by the 28th (Northwest) battalion CEF. The honours inredmay be emblazoned on the Regimental Colours. Since Rifle regiments do not carry colours, the battle honours are inscribed on the regimental badge and drums. -Mount Sorrel– Somme,1916,'18 – Flers-Courcelette– Thiepval Ridge – Ancre Heights – Arras, 1917,'18 – Vimy, 1917–Scarpe,1917,'18 – Hill 70 – Ypres, 1917 – Passchendaele– Amiens– Drocourt-Queant Line – Hindenburg Line – Canal du Nord – Cambrai,1918 - Pursuit to Mons – FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1915-18
In 1926, the 28th Battalion Association built its own memorial statue on the Legislative Grounds.
The 28th was officially disbanded on June 1st, 1919.
During it’s brief 5 year history, the Battalion sustained 6,000 casualties, of which 922 were fatal.
The Regina Rifle Regiment Battle Honours – World War II Battle Honours earned by 1st Battalion, Regina Rifle Regiment (Canadian Active Service Force)-458 KIA. The honours in redmay be emblazoned on the Regimental Colours. Since Rifle regiments do not carry colours, the battle honours are inscribed on the regimental badge and drums. Normandy Landing - The Scheldt - Bretteville-L'Orgevulleuse- Leopold Canal - Caen - BreskensPocket - The Orne - The Rhineland - Bourguebus Ridge - Waal Flats - Fauboug de Vaucelles – Moyland Wood - Falaise - The Rhine - The Laison - Emmerich-Hoch Elten - The Seine, 1944 - Deventer – Calais, 1944 – North-West Europe, 1944-1945 The 1st Battalion, The Regina Rifle Regiment, Assault Landing at Courseulles, France, June 1944. Painting by O.N. Fisher, 1950
The Royal Regina Rifles Association -During World War II, over 7,000 men passed through the ranks of the 3 Battalions of the Regiment. -The Association was formed so that these members could keep in touch and support each other after having gone through so much together. -Preliminary organization of the Association began in 1944.
The Royal Regina Rifles Association -Representatives from all 3 wartime battalions participated in the formation of the Association. -Some of the officers that had returned from Europe held the first reunion as a dinner at the Assiniboia Club during the winter of 1944-45 while the 1st Battalion was preparing for the final assault into Germany.
The Royal Regina Rifles Association -1946 – Colonel Matheson elected as the first president of the Association -Branches were formed in Regina, Prince Albert, Saskatoon and North Battleford and Vancouver. -Today Chapters of the Association can be found in Regina, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, the Battlefords, BC, Ontario and Calgary. -Members of the Association can be found in Canada, US, the UK and throughout continental Europe.
Objectives of a Regimental Association 1. continuing comradeship which developed while serving with the regiment 2. to promote and assist in the well being of it’s members and their families 3. to provide it’s membership the opportunity to attend regimental functions which occur such as regimental celebrations, dinners, etc. 4. to issue an Association newsletter, which includes information on the various events the members may attend, articles associated with the Regiment and correspondence from former members.
The Regimental Association today -The Association continues to organize the annual reunion and maintain communications with as many veterans as possible. -The association will continue to live on through new generations of RRR veterans. -More information to follow regarding changes in the Association and how past and serving members can be involved.