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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Laurence Strong

Canadian brass...well some of it is.

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Here's a view of some of my Canadian items. I hope you enjoy the show. I am in the procces of catalouging my items, it will be ongoing for a while to get through it all.

First are the hat badges l wore.

The Royal Canadian Regiment, Canadas oldest serving Regular Force line regiment, one of only three on the role at present.

It's battle honours include Saskatchewan, Northwest Canada 1885, Paardeburg South Africa 1899-1900 amongst them also Siberia 1918-19

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Next is the RCA, identical to the Uk and the rest fo the members of the "Royal Regiment of Artillery", the largest regiment in the world. This is a brass Queens crown I picked up at a surplus store, in place of the cheap plastic/alloy badge that is issue. Note the cotter pin I use as a retainer

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Current day issue "Large", worn on Bussby's and on forage cap when it was issue clothing. Stamped and made out of alloy, very similar to current day British hat badges.

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Here's a little bit of history on the next one. At the time it was a member of the British army, 29 div 88 Bde to be exact:

Almost immediately, the opening phase of the 29th Division?s attack began to falter under withering enemy fire. Confusion was compounded by poor communication. General de Lisle mistook German flares for a signal of success from the attacking 87th Brigade, and ordered the 88th Brigade to move, with the Essex and Newfoundland Regiments advancing ?as soon as possible.? But the Essex soldiers were unable to leave their trenches because of the large number of dead and wounded soldiers.

Thus it was that the Newfoundlanders moved off on their own at 9:15 a.m., their objective the first and second line of enemy trenches, some 650 to 900 metres away. In magnificent order, practiced many times before, they moved down the exposed slope towards No Man?s Land, the rear sections waiting until those forward reached the required 40-metre distance ahead. No friendly artillery fire covered the advance. A murderous cross-fire cut across the advancing columns and men began to drop, at first not many but then in large numbers as they approached the first gaps in their own wire. Private Anthony Stacey, who watched the carnage from a forward trench with Lieutenant-Colonel Hadow, stated that ?[m]en were mown down in waves,"? and the gaps cut the night before were ?a proper trap for our boys as the enemy just set the sights of the machine guns on the gaps in the barbed wire and fired? (Stacey 17A). Doggedly, the survivors continued on towards The Danger Tree. ?The only visible sign that the men knew they were under this terrific fire,? wrote one observer, ?was that they all instinctively tucked their chins into an advanced shoulder as they had so often done when fighting their way home against a blizzard in some little outport in far off Newfoundland? (Raley 37?40). Few advanced beyond it. Stacey recalled that from his vantage point he ?could see no moving, but lots of heaps of khaki slumped on the ground? (Stacey 19). The few who did get to the German lines were horrified to discover that the week-long artillery barrage that preceded the attack had not cut the German barbed wire. This fact was known by commanders the night before, thanks to a report by a Newfoundland reconnaissance team. The news was dismissed on the grounds that it was due to the ?nervousness of men who were facing battle for the first time? (Gilham). As a consequence, the majority of the soldiers who reached the enemy trenches were killed, tangled in the uncut wire.

In less than 30 minutes it was all over. At 9:45 a.m., Hadow, who had witnessed the annihilation of his regiment from a forward position, reported to Brigade Headquarters that the attack had failed. Incredibly, he was ordered to collect up any unwounded and resume the attack. Fortunately, wiser counsel prevailed and the order was countermanded. Throughout the day survivors attempted the long and dangerous journey back to their own lines, many being an easy target for enemy snipers and artillery fire. Ron Dunne lay wounded on the battlefield for several days. On the second day, convinced that he would soon die, his thoughts turned homeward to Bonavista Bay and his mother. ?I said me prayers,? he recalled, and then drifted off, unaware that rescue was on the way (Memorial).

That night the search began for survivors. When the roll call was taken, only 68 responded. The full cost would not be known for several days. The final figures revealed that the regiment had been virtually wiped out: 710 killed, wounded or missing. Most were struck down before they reached beyond their own front line (Middlebrook 269).

Edited by Laurence Strong

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I got this from my Dad, I don't know the story behind it, but as he was from Nfld it must havve meant something to him, He was RNVR in the second war.

It depict's the head of the Cariboo, and is the hat badge of the succesors of the Newfoundland Regiment, when they joined confederation in 1949.

Edited by Laurence Strong

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Hello Laurence,

What does the VR1 on the first badge mean?

Tony

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Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the second of the three reg forces inf Regt's, thhe third being the "Van Doo's" "Le Royal 22e Regiment"

2nd Bn PPCLI earn a Presidential Unit Citatiion along with the 3rd Bn RAR at Kapyong, which held open an escape route for the allies from Chinese encirclement, at one point the Pat's called in a "Danger Close' which brough arty fire down on themselves to keep from being overrun.

I served with them as a Reserve Augmentee, when they went to croatia as Roto1 Op Harmony

"The initial Chinese attack at Kapyong engaged the Australians then switched to the Canadian front. Wave after wave of massed Chinese troops kept up the attack throughout the night of 23 April. The Chinese had managed to infiltrate the brigade position by the morning of the 23rd. This resulted in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry being completely surrounded. It had to be resupplied by air drops during this desperate time. By the evening of April 23 the Australian 27th and 29th Brigades were facing the Chinese 118th Division. Throughout April 24 the battle was unrelenting. It developed into hand-to-hand combat with bayonet charges. This was some of the bloodiest and most ferocious hand-to-hand fighting of the Korean War. The Australians were ordered to make an orderly fall back to new defensive positions late in the day of April 24. The Canadians held their position and defended stoutly until eventually the Chinese assault collapsed. By the afternoon of 25 April the road through to the Canadians had been cleared of Chinese at which time the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia?s Canadian Light Infantry was relieved by units of the United States Army. The actions by the Australian and Canadian forces prevented a massive breakthrough that would certainly have resulted in the fall of Seoul."

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Hi Tony

VRI

That's the Imperial cypher of Queen Victoria

"Victoria Regina Imperitious" (sp)

Yeah I should have noticed the crown. :speechless:

Here are a couple of pictures I took a while ago on the Somme, nothing to do with badges but a lot to do with Newfoundland so I thought you might like to see them.

Tony

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I was tempted to start collecting Canadian cap badges as there are some really beatiful ones around, but when you see the price of them, phew forget it. I though British badges were expensive but over $1000 for some CEF ones!! I love to see more WW1 examples posted though please.

Keith

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Sorry Keith I don't have a whole lot of WWl items, most of mine are more modern, and were aquired for the most part over 16+ years in the CF

That does it for badges with a personal connection to me. The next one's are from the Calgary Highlanders, a Reserve unit from Calgary of all places. :P

First the NCM badge

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A little trivia about the "Cal Highs"

"From the east end, the Black Watch had the job of leading off. They were driven to ground and had to dive into the mud on either side of the dyke.

Then it was the Calgary's turn, still night, Germans still firing everything they had. The Calgarys moved up, perhaps three to four hundred metres, losing men every step of the way, but advancing towards the objective which was Walcheren Island.

By five, say six o'clock in the morning, after a crazy, confused night, the Canadians finally had their toehold on Walcheren Island. To get there, they had to come up a narrow strip of land about one kilometre in length. Today it?s a major highway.

On the last day of October in 1944, it was another kind of road, a road that was littered with dead bodies. But a road also that has written a page of valour into the history of Canada. To move north from Antwerp about 10 kilometres and to turn east and capture the whole north of the Scheldt, we were looking at probably three days. But because of the decision to stop at Antwerp, it took nearly two months of some of the most intensive fighting in any land battle in World War II for the Canadians to get this far, to get to where they had a toehold across the Causeway on Walcheren, at a cost roughly estimated at 1,500 Canadian dead.

The tragedy of it all, is that nobody would listen to the Dutch Resistance. The Dutch Resistance had told the Canadians and the higher command right from the start; you don't have to go across that Causeway. They said, ?Look, you can forge across the Sloe.? And that?s, of course, exactly what the British did four days later."

Officers Hatbadge

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The "Loyal Edmonton Regiment" a reserve unit in Edmtn, this hat badge is worn with a piece of red cloth behind it, recieved after Ortona I think. Started out as the 49Bn in WWl, fought in Paaschendale, the Somme and Vimy Ridge in the 1st War, Gain it's most fame during the Battle of Ortona.

Was decreed the "LER" by Royal Charter around July 1943 by King George lV. Also known as 4Bn PPCLI.

The Battle of Ortona

On 5 December the Loyal Edmontons, with other units of 1st Division, pushed across the Moro River to break the line that Hitler had ordered held at all costs. This was the beginning of the bloodiest month in the history of the 1st Canadian Division, and by the end of the month more than 5,000 replacements had gone forward to units from the replacement depots. The Loyal Edmontons had suffered nearly 500 casualties, of whom 92 were killed. Battling against Hitler's crack 1st Paratroop Division, the Loyal Edmontons helped take Vino Ridge on the approach to Ortona after nine days of fighting under the worst possible conditions. Sleet and rain had turned the entire countryside into one great mudhole. Tanks became stuck. But in spite of the fanatical resistance put up by the enemy, the Canadians pushed on to take the ridge two days later, on 20 December, 1943, and the first elements of D Company, under the command of Major (later Lt. Col.) J.R. Stone, DSO, MC, and Lt. (later Maj.) J.A. Dougan, MC and bar, pushed into the outskirts of Ortona. Room by room, house by house, street by street, the bloody battle in Ortona continued for eight days. Finally Maj. W.G. Longhurst, commanding A Company, devised the scheme of using beehive explosive charges to blow through the walls of the houses, and advancing rapidly on the day of 27th almost completely cut the Germans off. On the morning of the 28th, the Loyal Edmonton Regiment were in command of the wrecked town.

For destroying the crew of an anti-tank gun that was holding up the advance in the town, Maj. Stone was awarded the Military Cross. For his direction of the fighting, Lt. Col. Jefferson was awarded the bar to his DSO and a few days later was promoted to Brigadier and left the unit for England. Before and after this time, well-deserved fighting soldiers' decorations -- Medals of Merit, Distinguished Conduct Medals, Military Crosses and DSOs -- came steadily to privates, non-commissioned officers, warrant officers and officers of the regiment. More important than the decorations was a fact that by now was solidly established: the skill, courage and never-failing cheerfulness with which the private soldiers of the regiment fought on. The unit established a reputation for dependability and was able to boast -- as had the 49th of the First World War -- that the Germans never forced the battalion to withdraw

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Next the "South Alberta Light Horse". Started life as the Rocky Mountain Rangers in 1885, in 1905 became the 15th Light Horse. Served in WW1 as the 31st Bn. Became the "South Alberta Regiment" in 1920. Fought thru WW2 as the29th Canadian Armoured Recce Regt, before becoming SALH in 1949, Commonly known as "Sally Horse"

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The Saskatchewan Dragoons

Reserve unit out of the province of Saskatchewan in the Cities of Moose Jaw and Saskatoon, formed as the 95th Regt of Canadian Militia in 1905, Served in WW1 as the 46th Bn, served in WW2 as the "Kings Own Rifle's of Canada" redesignated in 1946 as the "20th (Saskatchewan) Armoured Regiment, attaining it's current designation as the "Saskatchewan Dragoons (20th Armoured Regt) in 1954. That is the crest of the Province of Sask on the badge.

Sergeant Hugh Cairns, who had come to the 46th Battalion from the 65th Battalion, was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his actions at Valenciennes on 1 November 1918. He was the last Canadian to win the Victoria Cross in World War I. The armoury in Saskatoon is named in his memory, as is a street in Valenciennes - the only street in France named after a non-commissioned soldier of a foreign army.

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Next

The "Royal Canadian Dragoons". It is the most Senior Cavalry regiment in Canada formed in 1883 as the "Cavalry School Corps"., in1887 renamed the "Royal School of Cavalry", before becoming the "RCD's" in 1893.

Battle Honours:

North West Canada 1885, South Africa 1900

The Great War: Festubert 1915, Somme 1916 '18, Bazentin, Pozi?res, Flers-Courcelette, Cambrai 1917 '18, St. Quentin, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, St. Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders 1915-18

The Second World War: Liri Valley, Gothic Line, Lamone Crossing, Misano Ridge, Sant' Angelo-in-Salute, Fosso Vecchio, Italy 1944-45, Groningen, Bad Zwischenahn, North-West Europe 1945

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Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

The regiment was one of the last in the British Empire to be created and raised by a private individual. During the Boer War, Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, recruited and equipped the cavalry regiment at his own expense for service in South Africa. Many skilled horsemen (cowboys and North West Mounted Police members) enlisted, allowing for a short training period and rapid deployment to Africa. The 537 officers and men, as well as 599 horses, of the new regiment sailed from Halifax on 18 March 1900 and arrived in Cape Town on 10 April.

On 5 July 1900 at Wolwespruit, Standerton, South Africa, a party of Lord Strathcona's Horse (38 in number) came into contact and was engaged at close quarters with a force of 80 of the enemy. When the order was given to retire Sergeant Richardson rode back under very heavy cross-fire, picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was badly wounded and rode with him out of fire. This act of gallantry was performed within 300 yards of the enemy and Sergeant Richardson was himself riding a wounded horse. He earned the Regiments 1st of 3 VC's

After the war, the regiment boarded ship at Cape Town on 20 January 1901 and arrived in London on 14 February. Here they met Lord Strathcona for the first time and were presented their medals by King Edward VII personally. On its return to Canada on 9 March 1901, the Regiment was disbanded. The regiment was recreated as regiment of the Permanent Force in 1909.

In the First World War, the regiment served dismounted during the long static portion of the war, but when the front lines began to move back and forth in 1918, it fought as cavalry again and was one of key units involved in halting Germany's Operation Michael in late March.

Volunteers from the regiment form the Mounted Troop, a ceremonial cavalry troop equipped with scarlet tunics, brass helmets, lances, and sabres. The regiment has the honour of being the only unit other than the Household Cavalry, the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to mount the Queen's Life Guard at Horse Guards in London

The first badge is an older brass on, and the second is current issue

Edited by Laurence Strong

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My Last combat arms hat badge belongs to the now disbanded "Canadian Airborne Regt" Formed on Canada Day in 1942 as the 1st Canadian Parachute Bn, served in WW2 as part of 6th Airborne Div as a unit of the 3rd Para Bde. It was disbanded after WW2, reformed in 1968 ad the "CAR". The battalion was perpetuated in the infantry commandos of The Canadian Airborne Regiment, whose colours carried the battle honours: Normandy Landing, Dives Crossing, The Rhine, and North-west Europe 1944 - 1945.

It was once again disbanded in an attempt by the PC mandarins in Ottawa, as a means of "getting rid of the fleas by shooting the horse", There was an incident in Somalia, and numerous releases of "hazing" videos that resulted in the end happening.

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I hope I am not boring you with my timbit's (Canadian humor) of Canadian Military history

Here's the modern Medic Badge

Edited by Laurence Strong

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This is the Admin hat badge, but it and the logisitc's trade (next one) were amalgamatted into one trade shortly after I retired, and I do not know what they are using at the momment.

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