South Alberta Regiment

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Major David V. Currie (left, with pistol in hand) of the South Alberta Regiment accepting the surrender of German troops at Saint-Lambert-sur-Dives, France, 19 August 1944. This photo captures the very moment and actions that would lead to Major Currie being awarded the Victoria Cross. Battle Group Commander Major D.V. Currie at left supervises the round up of German prisoners. Reporting to him is trooper R. J. Lowe of "C" Squadron.

The South Alberta Regiment (SAR) was a Canadian regiment which served in the Second World War. The unit was created in 1924 as infantry and mobilized in 1940 as part of the 4th Canadian Infantry Division.[1] When the division was reorganized as an armoured formation to satisfy demand for a second Canadian armoured division, the South Alberta Regiment was named 29th Armoured Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment) and received Ram tanks in February 1942.[2] The unit was again renamed as 29th Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (The South Alberta Regiment) in January 1943.

The SAR was deployed to northern France in mid-June 1944 (Normandy landings, D-Day was 6 June 1944), replacing their Ram tanks to be equipped with Stuart and Sherman tanks. They participated in the later battles of the Invasion of Normandy, taking part in Operation Totalize and finally closing the Falaise pocket in Operation Tractable.[3] The South Albertas went on to participate in the liberation of the Netherlands and the Battle of the Scheldt. In January 1945, they took part in the Battle for the Kapelsche Veer. They spent the last weeks of the war fighting in northern Germany.[4]

Major David Vivian Currie of the SAR received the Victoria Cross for his actions near Saint-Lambert-sur-Dives, as the allies attempted to seal off the Falaise pocket. It was the only Victoria Cross awarded to a Canadian soldier during the Normandy campaign, and the only Victoria Cross ever awarded to a member of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps.

The Freedom of the City was exercised by the South Alberta Regiment in Nanaimo, British Columbia in April, 1941.[5]

The SAR is now incorporated by amalgamation in the reserve reconnaissance regiment the South Alberta Light Horse.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Graves, Donald E. (2004). South Albertas: A Canadian Regiment at War. Friesens, Altona, Manitoba: Robin Brass Studio Inc. p. 18. ISBN 1-896941-39-7. 
  2. ^ Graves, Donald E. (2004). South Albertas: A Canadian Regiment at War. Friesens, Altona, Manitoba: Robin Brass Studio Inc. pp. 57–58. ISBN 1-896941-39-7. 
  3. ^ Vogel, Robert., Copp, Terry, (1983). Maple Leaf Route: Falaise. Alma, Ontario: Maple Leaf Route. p. 111. ISBN 0-919907-02-4. 
  4. ^ Stacey, C.P. (1966). The Victory Campaign: The Operations in North-West Europe 1944-1945. Ottawa, Canada: Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationery. p. 428. 
  5. ^ Freedom of the City Archived 2012-12-22 at the Wayback Machine.