The Algonquin Regiment

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The Algonquin Regiment
Algonquin Regiment cap badge.jpg
Badge of the Algonquin Regiment
Active 1 July 1900–present
Country Canada
Branch Canadian Army, Primary Reserves
Type Line infantry
Role Light role
Size Two companies
Part of 33 Canadian Brigade Group
Garrison/HQ Martin Leo Troy Armoury, North Bay, Ontario
Nickname The Algoons, Gonks
Motto Ne-kah-ne-tah (We lead others follow)
March "We Lead, Others Follow"
Commanders
Current
commander
Lieutenant-Colonel P.J. Bryden

The Algonquin Regiment is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army comprising two companies. A Company is located in North Bay, Ontario, and B Company is located in Timmins, Ontario. The regiment falls under the command of the 4th Canadian Division's 33 Canadian Brigade Group.

Lineage[edit]

The Algonquin Regiment[edit]

  • Originated 1 July 1900 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario as the 97th Regiment of Rifles
  • Redesignated 1 June 1903 as the 97th Regiment "Algonquin Rifles"
  • Redesignated 1 May 1920 as The Algonquin Rifles
  • Redesignated 15 February 1929 as The Algonquin Regiment
  • 15 December 1936, "B", "C" and "D" Companies amalgamated with The Northern Pioneers, retaining the same regimental designation.
  • Redesignated 7 November 1940 as the 2nd (Reserve) Battalion, The Algonquin Regiment
  • Redesignated 15 February 1946 as The Algonquin Regiment
  • 1 October 1954 converted to armour and redesignated as The Algonquin Regiment (26th Armoured Regiment)
  • Redesignated 19 May 1958 as The Algonquin Regiment(RCAC)
  • 19 March 1965, converted to infantry and redesignated The Algonquin Regiment

The Northern Pioneers[edit]

  • Originated 1 September 1903 in Parry Sound, Ontario as the 23rd Regiment "The Northern Fusiliers"
  • Redesignated 1 January 1904 as the 23rd Regiment "The Northern Pioneers"
  • Redesignated 1 May 1920 as The Northern Pioneers
  • Amalgamated 15 December 1936 with The Algonquin Regiment

Perpetuations[edit]

The Great War[edit]

Operational History[edit]

The camp flag of the Algonquin Regiment.

The Great War[edit]

Details of the 23rd Regiment "The Northern Pioneers" were called out on active service on 6 August 1914 for local protection duties.

The 122nd Battalion (Muskoka),CEF was authorized on 22 December 1915 and embarked for Great Britain on 2 June 1917. There, its personnel were absorbed by the Canadian Forestry Depot, CEF on 10 June 1917 to provide reinforcements. The battalion disbanded on 1 September 1917.

The 159th Battalion (1st_Algonquins), CEF was authorized on 22 December 1915 and embarked for Great Britain on 31 October 1916. There, its personnel were absorbed by the 8th Reserve Battalion, CEF on 20 January 1917 to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field. The battalion disbanded on 27 July 1917.

The 162nd Battalion (Parry Sound), CEF was authorized on 22 December 1915 and embarked for Great Britain on 31 October 1916. There, its personnel were absorbed by the 3rd Reserve Battalion, CEF and the 4th Reserve Battalion, CEF on 4 January 1917 to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field. The battalion disbanded on 15 September 1920.

The 228th Battalion (Northern Fusiliers), CEF was authorized on 15 July 1916 and embarked for Great Britain on 16 February 1917. There, it was redesignated as the 6th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, CEF on 8 March 1917. The battalion landed in France on 3 April 1917, where it provided railway construction support on the British sector of the Western Front until the end of the war. The battalion disbanded on 23 October 1920.

The 256th Battalion, CEF was authorized on 1 May 1917 as the 256th "Overseas" Railway Construction Battalion, CEF, and embarked for Great Britain on 28 March 1917. There, it was redesignated as the 10th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, CEF on 30 May 1917. It disembarked in France 19 June 1917, where it provided railway construction support on the British sector of the Western Front until the end of the war. The battalion disbanded on 23 October 1920.

The Second World War[edit]

The regiment mobilized as The Algonquin Regiment, CASF for active service on 24 May 1940. It was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, The Algonquin Regiment, CASF on 7 November 1940. The battalion initially served in Canada in a home defence role as part of the 20th Infantry Brigade, 7th Canadian Division and in Newfoundland from 7 February 1942 to 6 February 1943. It embarked for Great Britain on 11 June 1943 and landed in France on 25 July 1944, as part of the 10th Infantry Brigade, [[4th Canadian Armoured Division]], and continued to fight in North-West Europe until the end of the war. The overseas battalion disbanded on 15 February 1946.

Post-War: NATO and Korea[edit]

On 4 May 1951, the regiment mobilized two temporary Active Force companies, designated "E" and "F" Companies. "E" Company was reduced to nil strength when its personnel were absorbed into the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion (later the 3rd Battalion, The Canadian Guards) for service in Germany with NATO. It disbanded on 29 July 1953. "F" Company was initially used as a reinforcement pool for "E" Company. On 15 May 1952, it was reduced to nil strength when its personnel were absorbed by the newly-formed 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion (later the 4th Battalion, The Canadian Guards) for service in Korea with the United Nations. "F" Company disbanded on 29 July 1953.

War In Afghanistan[edit]

The regiment contributed an aggregate of more than 20% of its authorized strength to the various Task Forces which served in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014.[1]

History[edit]

The Great War[edit]

The 97th Regiment (Algonquin Rifles) recruited to its full active strength and supplied 12 officers and 251 other ranks to the 15th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Captain E.F. Armstrong began recruiting in Nipissing and Sudbury in late 1915 resulting in the formation of the 159th (First Algonquins) Battalion. The battalion was mobilized on 5 July 1916, trained at Camp Borden in Angus, Ontario, during that summer and fall of 1916, and embarked for England on 1 November 1916, with a strength of 1,004 men. The battalion remained intact until 20 January 1917, when it was absorbed into the 8th Reserve Battalion and used to reinforce units already in France and Flanders. As the result of not having enough men at any particular battle, the unit received only the general "Great War 1916–1917" battle honour.

Following the end of the war the 159th (First Algonquins), 228th (Northern Fusiliers) and 256th (Toronto) were perpetuated in the Algonquin Rifles. In 1929, the unit was renamed The Algonquin Regiment. The regiment decided to keep the bull moose symbol of the 97th Regiment (Algonquin Rifles) on a redesigned cap badge. In 1936, "A" Company in Sudbury was removed from the regiment and amalgamated with the Sault Ste. Marie Regiment to become the Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment (MG), and the Northern Pioneers were amalgamated into The Algonquin Regiment.[2]

Second World War[edit]

When war broke out the Algonquin Regiment was only 250 men strong. Recruitment and training soon became their primary concern.[3] The regiment recruited from an area extending from Bracebridge and Parry Sound to the south and Timmins and Cochrane to the north. It was not until 22 July 1940, that the regiment went into active service. On 4 September 1940, the first battalion loaded up, the Algonquin Regiment (Active Force), and arrived at Camp Borden three days later.[4] There was not enough space, however, for training exercises and they were moved to Current River Camp in Port Arthur, Ontario and again to Camp Shilo in Manitoba on 4 June 1941. The regiment was transferred to Niagara-on-the-Lake and assigned guard duty on the Niagara and Welland canals in November 1941, before finally being asked for their first draft for overseas enforcements on 14 January 1942. In February 1942, the regiment was transferred to Newfoundland and assigned protection duties at Torbay airport and Cape Spear. In January 1943, the regiment was chosen for operations overseas, was moved to Debert Camp in Nova Scotia and, for administration purposes, was assigned to the 20th Brigade of the Seventh Canadian Infantry Division. The regiment embarked on the RMS Empress of Scotland in Halifax on 10 June 1943, and sailed the following day for England with a complement of 4,500 troops. Upon arriving in Liverpool the regiment proceeded to Heathfield and was made part of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the Fourth Canadian (Armoured) Division.

On 16 July 1944, an advance party left for Normandy, France, with the regiment as a whole arriving a couple of days later. The morning of July 25, 1944, all four companies of the Algonquin Regiment landed on Juno Beach where, in the following days, learnt of their ensuing mission to support the 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division in closing the Falaise Gap.[5] August 9, 1944, the regiment, supporting BCR (British Columbia Regiment), jointly forming 'Worthington Force' were tasked with taking Hill 195, taking an unfortunate wrong turn at 02:00 hours they ended up four miles east of Hill 195, closer to Hill 140, deep in German territory.[6] The regiment suffered heavy losses with total casualties of 128 men and 47 tanks. The leader of the force, BCR commander Lt. Col Don Worthington, was killed and the Algonquins' commander, Lt. Col. Art Hay, was seriously wounded. R.S.M. A. J. Primeau was killed by the same mortar bomb that seriously wounded Hay .[7] Leading up to August 31, 1944, the Algonquin Regiment, moving within the Fourth CAD, were tasked with filling the gap to the south at Hill 240, fighting alongside the Polish Armoured Division.[8] The period from August 31 to September 8 was a period of rapid movement into Belgium, halted on the eighth at the Ghent - Brugge Canal. Fighting, all day and suffering multiple setbacks resulting in numerous casualties across all the regiments, ended September 10 with the Allies across the Ghent - Brugge Canal after holding back the German counterattacks.[9] A few days later the attempt of the regiment to cross the Leopold Canal was successfully repelled at Moerkerke by the German 245 Infantry Division. The Canadians pulled back after a tremendous covering artillery barrage. The regiment continued with the Fourth Division north out of Belgium into the Netherlands in a progression of battles for the north shore of the Sheldt area eventually leading to the liberation of Welberg and Steenbergen.[10] The operation to liberate Welberg was initiated on October 31, 1944, however with "D" Coy resting, all "A", "B" and "C" coys fell short of their objectives facing massive German counterattacks. Fighting continued on until November 1 when the regiment retreated back to a few km outside of Welberg. On November 2 they launched their second attack, this time along the right side of the town, fighting continued throughout the night.

By the end of November 3 all four coys had reached their target objectives and succeeded in the liberation of Welberg.[11] From November 5 to 8 the Algonquin Regiment rested in the Steenbergen area, the period proceeding became known as the "winter war" (November 1944-February 1945). Leading into Operation Blockbuster, this dislodgment of the German hinge in Hochwald on February 27, fighting to close the Hochwald gap began by mid day of March 3, 1945, the allies had completed their objectives. Over the next couple month the Algonquin Regiment continued to fight, as they had been the entire war, under the Cnd Fourth Division crossing the Rhine with the last round up (April 16-May 4) and cease fire called just past Rastede Germany.[12] As of January 1946, the Algonquin Regiment's final death toll was 65 officers and 1235 other soldiers.[13]

Battle Honours[edit]

The regimental colour of The Algonquin Regiment.

In the list below, battle honours in capitals were awarded for participation in large operations and campaigns, while those in lowercase indicate honours granted for more specific battles. Those battle honours followed by a "+" are emblazoned on the regimental colour.[14]

The Great War[edit]

The Second World War[edit]

War in Afghanistan[edit]

Alliances[edit]

Recognition[edit]

The Freedom of the City was exercised by The Algonquin Regiment in Timmins, Ontario on Sept 22, 2012, and on Sept 22, 1977.[16]

Media[edit]

  • Warpath : The Story of the Algonquin Regiment 1939-1945 by G. L. Cassidy, Highway Book Shop (1990)

Music[edit]

"Molly" by Honorary Chaplain Edward H. Capp, published in Ottawa by Orme & Son, circa 1906 was dedicated to the 97th Regiment, Canada (Algonquin rifles). First line: "Hear the tramp of soldiers marching" Chorus: "One kiss, Molly e'er I go" [17]

Order of precedence[edit]

Preceded by
The Cape Breton Highlanders
The Algonquin Regiment Succeeded by
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise's)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2014/05/09/south-west-asia-theatre-honours
  2. ^ "The Algonquin Regiment". Official Lineages Volume 3, Part 2: Infantry Regiments. Directorate of History and Heritage. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Angus and Griffen (1997). We Lived a life and Then Some: The Life, death, and Life of A Mining Town. Toronto: Between The Lines. 
  4. ^ Angus and Griffen (1997). We Lived a Life and Then Some: The Life, Death, and Life of A Mining Town. Toronto: Between The Lines. 
  5. ^ O'neil, Henrietta T. Finding Bill. 
  6. ^ Copp, D. Whitaker and S. Whitaker (2004). Normandy: The Real Story: How Ordinary Allied Soldiers Defeated Hitler. Toronto: The random House Publishing Group. 
  7. ^ Copp, D. Whitaker and S. Whitaker (2004). Normandy: The Real Story: How Ordinary Allied Soldiers Defeated Hitler. Toronto: The random House Publishing Group. 
  8. ^ Cassidy (1948). Warpath: The Story of The Algonquin Regiment. Toronto: Ryerson. pp. 110, 111. 
  9. ^ Cassidy (1948). Warpath: The Story of The Algonquin Regiment. Toronto: Ryerson. pp. 141–154. 
  10. ^ Cassidy (1948). Warpath: The Story of The Algonquin Regiment. Toronto: Ryerson. p. 169. 
  11. ^ Catsburg (2010). Five Days In November. 
  12. ^ Cassidy (1948). Warpath: The Story of The Algonquin Regiment. Toronto: Ryerson. p. 320. 
  13. ^ Cassidy (1948). Warpath: The Story of The Algonquin Regiment. Toronto: Ryerson. p. 337. 
  14. ^ Canadian Forces Publication A-DH-267-003 Insignia and Lineages of the Canadian Forces. Volume 3: Combat Arms Regiments.
  15. ^ "South-West Asia Theatre Honours". Office of the Prime Minister of Canada. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Freedom of the City
  17. ^ "L'immortel 22ème Canadien-français". Retrieved 9 January 2012. 

External links[edit]

[1]

  • [1]| The Algonquin Regiment History