5th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF
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|5th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles|
Cap badge of the 5th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles
|Branch||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Part of||8th Infantry Brigade|
The 5th Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles were a mounted infantry unit of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during World War I. The unit was raised from volunteers of the 7th and XIth (Canadian) Hussars from the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
Formed in 1915, they were transported to England later that year. In 1916, they converted to an infantry battalion attached to the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division, CEF (later the Canadian Corps). The battalion saw action in France and Flanders between 1916 and 1918.
In 1929-31, well after World War I had ended, Canada assigned battle honours to those units involved in pivotal battles and campaigns during the war. The 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles were accorded the following battle honours:
During the Battle of Passchendale, the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles fighting strength was reduced by 60% in a single day.
Two members of the battalion were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration for bravery in the British Empire. These individuals were: George Pearkes, VC, and Charles Smith Rutherford, VC.
Following World War I, the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles were perpetuated by the Eastern Townships Mounted Rifles. Following the regiment's conversion to artillery in 1936 the battle honours and lineage was passed onto the 7/XI Hussars which were later merged with the Sherbrooke Regiment to form the Sherbrooke Hussars who perpetuate them today.
The memory of the original unit was also perpetuated by its original members in the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles Association. The association met annually from its formation in 1934 until it disbanded in 1969. The records of the association may be found at the Eastern Townships Research Centre at Bishop's University library, Lennoxville, Quebec.
Notes and references
- Regiments.org; 5th CMR
- Canadian Department of National Defence Archived 17 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles Association
- War diaries of the regiment for 29 July 1915 – 28 February 1917, 01 March 1917 – 31 March 1918, and 01 April 1918 – 17 March 1919 can be viewed on-line, courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.
- Eastern Townships Research Centre.
- Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth.
- Brief history of the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles Association.
- Photo of the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles on parade in Sherbrooke, 4 June 1915.