The Governor General's Horse Guards

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The Governor General's Horse Guards
Cap badge insignia of the Governor General's Horse Guards (actual cap brass (badge) silver monotone, with red felt medallion in centre.
Active 1855–present
Country Canada
Branch Canadian Army
Type Household cavalry
Role Armoured reconnaissance
Size Regiment
Part of 32 Canadian Brigade Group
Garrison/HQ Denison Armoury, Toronto
Nickname(s) Gugga Huggas or Gee-Gees or 'Goo-Goo's'
Motto(s) Latin: Nulli secundus (second to none)
March March – Men of Harlech
Trot – Keel Row
Colonel-in-Chief Elizabeth II
Honorary colonel HCol Bill Graham
Commanding officer LCol Scott M. Duncan
Sergeant Major CWO David W. Munroe
Tactical recognition flash Gugga-flash.jpg

The Governor General's Horse Guards is an armoured reconnaissance regiment in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army, part of 4th Canadian Division's 32 Canadian Brigade Group. Based in Toronto, it is the most senior reserve regiment in Canada, and the only household cavalry regiment of Canada's three household units.[1]


The regiment maintains a traditional structure, with squadrons and units for deployment and active duty, training, ceremony, cadets, and administration.[2]

A Squadron[edit]

The Field Squadron ("A" Squadron) is the operational squadron and is manned by trained and deployable soldiers. It provides soldiers for Canadian Forces missions outside of Canada, and is expected to mobilize in national emergencies. The Field Squadron maintains no fewer than two armoured reconnaissance troops, using the military variant of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class Wagon, and also maintains a functional Squadron Headquarters and Administrative Echelon.

Training Support Squadron[edit]

The Training Support Squadron develops new soldiers skills to enable them to join the Field Squadron. This includes personal development through the completion of preliminary trade courses. Training Support Squadron staff also support operational planning and exercises by taking the role of an enemy unit against members of the Field Squadron in unit-level training.

As of January 1, 2014, the training squadron (or 'B' Squadron) was disbanded and folded into the regiment's HQ squadron.

Regimental Support Group[edit]

The Regimental Support Group is commanded by the Regular Force Cadre Operations Officer, and provides administrative facilities to the regiment.


The full brass and reed military band provides concerts and music for regimental functions, other military events, and civilian engagements. The band includes three specialized musical sub-units: the Fanfare Trumpeters, the Brass Quintet, and the Woodwind Quintet.

Cavalry Squadron[edit]

A mounted trooper of the Cavalry Squadron in ceremonial dress.

The Cavalry Squadron provides a horse-mounted ceremonial presence at public and regimental events, to perpetuate Canadian cavalry traditions. Although it is under the command and control of the regimental commanding officer, it is privately funded by the Governor General's Horse Guards Cavalry and Historical Society Inc, a charitable organization incorporated and registered in 2012 explicitly for the purposes of supporting and promoting the traditions of the GGHG.


The 748 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps and 2402 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps are affiliated to the regiment, and provides Canadian youth from 12 to 19 years of age with leadership training in a military setting.

Regimental Association[edit]

The Governor General's Horse Guards Association is open to all active and former members of the regiment. The association exists to keep former members informed and in touch with each other and the regiment. Throughout the year, the Association hosts a number of social events which are aimed at promoting camaraderie among all members of the regimental family past and present serving members in all five parts of the regimental family


The Governor General's Body Guard[edit]

Lineage goes back to 1810 when Buttons's Troop was formed.[3] On 27 December 1855 formed as the 1st and 2nd Troops of Volunteer Militia Cavalry of the County of York

  • 1st Troop redesignated 27 April 1866 as The Governor General's Body Guard for Upper Canada
  • Redesignated 1 July 1867 as The Governor General's Body Guard for Ontario
  • Reorganized 5 May 1876 as a two troop squadron
  • Amalgamated 17 May 1889 with the 1st Troop and 2nd Troops, 2nd Regiment of Cavalry
  • Redesignated 13 July 1895 as The Governor General's Body Guard
  • Amalgamated 15 December 1936 with The Mississauga Horse and redesignated as The Governor General's Horse Guards
  • Converted 11 February 1941 to armour and redesignated as the 2nd (Reserve) Regiment, The Governor General's Horse Guards
  • Redesignated 1 April 1941 as the 3rd (Reserve) Armoured Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards)
  • Redesignated 4 February 1949 as The Governor General's Horse Guards (3rd Armoured Regiment)
  • Redesignated 19 May 1958 as The Governor General's Horse Guards[4][5]

The Mississauga Horse[edit]

  • Originated 1 April 1903 in Toronto, Ontario as the Toronto Light Horse
  • Redesignated 22 December 1903 as the 9th Toronto Light Horse
  • Redesignated 1 May 1907 as the 9th Mississauga Horse
  • Redesignated 15 March 1920 as The Ontario Mounted Rifles
  • Redesignated 1 April 1924 as The Mississauga Horse
  • Amalgamated 15 December 1936 with The Governor General's Body Guard[5]


The Great War[edit]

Affiliated regiment[edit]


Operational History[edit]

North West Rebellion[edit]

The camp flag of The Governor General's Horse Guards.

The Governor General's Body Guard for Ontario mobilized for active service on 10 April 1885 and served in the Alberta Column of the North West Field Force. The unit was removed from active service on 24 July 1885.

South African War[edit]

The Governor General's Body Guard contributed volunteers for the Canadian contingents in the field.

The Great War[edit]

The 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles CEF was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Britain on 18 July 1915. It disembarked in France on 24 October 1915. There it fought as part of the 2nd Brigade Canadian Mounted Rifles until 31 December 1915, when it converted to infantry and was allocated to the 8th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division. The regiment was redesignated as the 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF on 1 January 1916. The battalion disbanded on 6 November 1920.

The 7th Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles was authorized on 7 November 1914. The regiment was broken-up in Canada, and supplied the 2nd Canadian Divisional Cavalry Squadron (perpetuated by the 1st Hussars) and two squadrons formed the Canadian Mounted Rifles Depot in England. The regiment disbanded on 11 April 1918.

The 216th Battalion (Bantams), CEF was authorized on 15 July 1916 and embarked for Britain on 18 April 1917. There, its personnel were absorbed by the 3rd Reserve Battalion, CEF on 5 May 1917 to provide reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field. The battalion disbanded on 1 September 1917.29

World War II[edit]

Details from the regiment were called out on service on 26 August 1939 and on active service on 1 September 1939 as The Governor General's Horse Guards, CASF (Details), for local protection duties. Those details called out on active service disbanded on 31 December 1940. Subsequently, the regiment mobilized as the 2nd Canadian Motorcycle Regiment, CASF (GGHG) for active service on 24 May 1940. It converted to armour and was redesignated as The Governor General's Horse Guards, CASF on 9 February 1941; as the 3rd Armoured Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards), CASF on 11 February 1941; as the 3rd Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards), CAC, CASF on 1 January 1943; and as the 3rd Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The Governor General's Horse Guards), RCAC, CASF on 2 August 1945. It embarked for Britain on 9 October 1941 and landed in Italy on 19 December 1943 as part of the 5th Armoured Brigade, 5th Canadian Armoured Division. On 20 February 1945 the regiment moved with the 1st Canadian Corps to North-West Europe as part of OPERATION GOLDFLAKE, where it continued to fight until the end of the war. The overseas regiment disbanded on 31 January 1946.

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.[6]

Regimental Colours (Battle Honours)[edit]

The standard of The Governor General's Horse Guards.

In the list below, battle honours in small 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 standard.

North West Rebellion[edit]

The South African War[edit]

  • South Africa, 1899–1900

The Great War[edit]

World War II[edit]


  • Afghanistan[6]

Notable members[edit]


Site Date(s) Designated Location Description Image
Denison Armoury 1 Yukon Lane Canada's Register of Historic Places Toronto, Ontario

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nathan Tidridge (15 November 2011). Canada's Constitutional Monarchy: An Introduction to Our Form of Government. Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 89. ISBN 978-1-4597-0083-3. 
  2. ^ [GGHG Regiment structure], retrieved February 14, 2012
  3. ^
  4. ^ Canadian Soldiers Governor General's Horse Guards page
  5. ^ a b Canadian Forces Publication A-DH-267-003 Insignia and Lineages of the Canadian Forces. Volume 3: Combat Arms Regiments.
  6. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 


  • The Governor General's Horse Guards – Second to None, John Marteinson & Scott Duncan, 2002, Robin Brass Studio Books, ISBN 1-896941-28-1
  • Historical Record of the Governor General's Body Guard and its Standing Orders, Frederick Denison, 1876, Hunter, Rose, & Co
  • The Governor General's Horse Guards by John Marteinson, Scott Duncan and J. K. Marteinson (Apr 1 2003)
  • The Governor General's Horse Guards 1939-1945 by Lieutenant-Colonel R.P. Locke (1900)

External links[edit]

Order of precedence[edit]

Preceded by
First in Order of Precedence
The Governor General's
Horse Guards
Succeeded by
The Halifax Rifles (RCAC)

Note: The Governor General's Horse Guards is first in precedence of Reserve regiments. Regular regiments maintain a separate precedence list.