Peel and Dufferin Regiment

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The Peel and Dufferin Regiment
Active 1866–1936
Country Canada
Branch Militia
Type Line Infantry
Role Light Infantry
Size One battalion
Part of Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Garrison/HQ Brampton, Ontario
Motto(s) Pro Aris et Focis
Engagements South African War, First World War,

The Peel and Dufferin Regiment was a Canadian infantry regiment that existed from 1866 to 1936.

History[edit]

On 14 September 1866 the 36th Peel Battalion was authorized. During the Boer War the regiment, as a unit, did not go to war; however, many officers and men from the regiment served there. During the First World War, the regiment as such were not mobilized but drafts from various units were called up and formed into numbered battalions.

After the war, the 36th Peel Regiment was reorganized, becoming the Peel and Dufferin Regiment in 1923. The regimental badge adopted was the Demi Lion which was the personal crest of Sir Robert Peel.

On 15 December 1936, following a general reorganization of the Militia, the Lorne Rifles and the Peel and Dufferin Regiment were amalgamated to form the present regiment, The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment).[1]

Peel Regiment (1921–1923)[edit]

The county regiments, which had been by-passed during the First World War, were in dire need of revitalization. Lieutenant-Colonel McCausland, who had commanded the 74th Battalion, was appointed to command the 36th Peel Regiment in 1920, and the regiment was disbanded and reorganized as the Peel Regiment. Some of the officers felt they would have to recruit from beyond the bounds of the county in order to be viable, the Headquarters, A and B Companies were located in a large second story flat at the corner of Pacific and Dundas Streets in West Toronto; C Company was in Brampton and D Company in Port Credit. Some of the Toronto regiments had objected to this incursion, and in March 1922, the unit was directed that its officer personnel should reside within the recruiting area. McCausland, who lived in Toronto, resigned, as did numerous other officers. Major RV Conover, who had served with the Halton Rifles, but commanded the company in Brampton, where he now lived, was selected to succeed in command.

The regiment perpetuated the 74th, 126th and 234th Battalions, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). [69th Bn?] It could have been expected that it would also perpetuate the 20th, but some of its veterans could not come to an agreement on the project, so the regiment missed the opportunity to perpetuate a CEF battalion that had seen service in the field.

On Sunday, November 5, 1922 a memorial window was dedicated in the Church of the Epiphany on Queen Street, West Toronto to the 3,200 all ranks who had passed through the Peel Regiment from 1914–1918, and the five hundred who had given their lives.

The Peel and Dufferin Regiment (1923–1936)[edit]

The Peel Regiment had had a presence in Dufferin county, in Orangeville and Shelburne. Perhaps the insistence on officers coming from the recruiting area led to the formal inclusion of Dufferin in the regimental title. In 1923 The Peel and Dufferin Regiment was authorized, to draw from both counties. D Company was headquartered at Orangeville. Early that year the Regiment had received permission from Sir Robert Peel (after whose family the county had been named), to use part of his crest as a regimental badge. The crest is 'a demi-lion rampant, gorged and collared, charged with three bezants, between the paws a shuttle'. (A bezant in heraldry is a gold roundel, and takes its name from the gold coins 'of Byzantium' which circulated in England in medieval times). The demi-lion was quickly incorporated into the design of the buttons, and in 1925 into the cap badge and collar badges of the new unit.

Annual training in 1925 was conducted at local headquarters; because of fiscal restraints, in three sessions of three days each. Lieutenant-Colonel Conover, who was now on the district staff, arranged a three-day musketry camp at Long Branch Rifle Ranges over Labour Day, introducing the idea of district training. The three regiments of the 25th Infantry Brigade who attended, however, had to pay for their own transportation and ration expenses. The training exercises now went beyond the drill and rifle practice of earlier days, and during the inter-war years involved attack and defensive positions, inter-arm co-operation (the artillery came out to the farmlands west of Brampton and demonstrated a smoke screen), ground to air signalling, and even aerial bombardment.

The colours of the old 36th Regiment had been laid up in Christ Church, Brampton in 1924, and the following year the Peel Chapter, Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, presented a king's colour to The Peel and Dufferin Regiment. The county of Peel gave a grant in 1924 towards the purchase of a regimental colour, but its production was delayed pending a decision on the granting of battle honours to militia regiments. The battle honours assigned to The Peel and Dufferin Regiment in 1930 were:

  • Ypres, 1915 & '17, Festubert 1915, Somme 1916, Arras 1917, '18, Hill 70, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Pursuit to Mons.[citation needed]

The Department of National Defense approved the design for the regimental colour, incorporating these battle honours, and on 22 May 1930 the Governor General, Viscount Willingdon, presented the colour on behalf of the county council.

Major CM Corkett had served during the First World War as an officer with The Lancashire Fusiliers, and The Peel and Dufferin Regiment sought an alliance with that regiment. The negotiations went slowly because the 2nd Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, were serving in India, but eventually they signified their favour and in November 1929 the unit was informed that the king approved of the alliance. To symbolize the link, permission was received to adopt the white facings of the Fusiliers.

Names[edit]

  • 36th Peel Battalion of Infantry (1866–1900)
  • The 36th Peel Regiment (1900–1921)
  • The Peel Regiment (1921–1923)
  • The Peel and Dufferin Regiment (1923–1936)

Media[edit]

  • For Our Heritage: A History of the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) by Richard Ruggle (2008)
  • The Badges and Uniforms of the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) Over 2 Centuries: 1800-2000 by Colonel E. F. Conover (2000)

References[edit]