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Battle Honours

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  • whittakermp
    My letter to Peter MacKay, Canada s Minister of National Defence, followed by his reply. 7 November 2011 The Honourable Peter MacKay Minister of National
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 29, 2011
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      My letter to Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of National Defence, followed by "his" reply.

      7 November 2011

      The Honourable Peter MacKay
      Minister of National Defence
      National Defence Headquarters
      Major-General George R. Pearkes Building
      Ottawa, Ontario
      K1A 0K2

      Dear Minister MacKay;

      I am one of a number of Canadians wanting to have our 1812 history
      commemorated beyond the Bicentennial. Therefore, I am expressing my
      support for the granting of official permission to units of the Canadian Army to perpetuate those Canadian units which fought during that war and to award Battle Honours to modern units which perpetuate War of 1812
      units.

      The United States and the United Kingdom have thus honoured their
      heroes; our heroes deserve the same.

      Because the most recent Speech from the Throne expressed the
      government's intention to commemorate the War of 1812, I hope the
      Department Of National Defence and the Government of Canada will
      officially recognize the triumphs and sacrifices of Canadians in the War of 1812.

      I look forward to official announcements in 2012.

      Sincerely,

      Michael Whittaker
      Bishop's Mills, Ontario


      29 November 2011

      Dear Mr. Whittaker:

      Thank you for your email concerning the recognition of the War of 1812
      as part of the heritage of the Canadian Forces. I appreciate receiving
      your comments.

      Your interest in the Canadian Forces and in commemorating Canada's rich military history is very much appreciated. As announced in the Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada will be developing plans to commemorate the War of 1812, and part of these plans involves the Canadian Forces. You may rest assured that units that served in the War will be afforded appropriate tribute and recognition.

      I trust that this is helpful, and thank you for your interest in our
      Canadian heritage.


      Sincerely,
      Peter MacKay
      Minister of National Defence
    • cfri
      List: The following War of 1812 Battle Honours were bestowed on existing Canadian regiments in ceremonies held Fri., Sept. 124. Regards Robin Morris
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 16, 2012
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        List:

        The following War of 1812 Battle Honours were bestowed on existing Canadian regiments in ceremonies held Fri., Sept. 124.

        Regards

        Robin Morris

        BACKGROUNDER DOCUMENTATION

        BG–12.044 September 14, 2012

        WAR OF 1812 BATTLE HONOURS

        June 2012 marked 200 years since the start of the War of 1812 – a war that saw Aboriginal peoples, local and volunteer militias, and English- and French-speaking regiments fight together to save Canada from the American invasion.

        The War helped establish our path toward becoming an independent and free country, united under the Crown with a respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity. The heroic efforts of Canadians helped define who we are today, what side of the border we live on, and which flag we salute.

        Commemorating key milestones of our nation's history and rich military heritage, such as the War of 1812, serves to remind us of defining moments that made our country what it is today, and to honour those who fought valiantly to defend our values and freedom.

        To pay tribute to regiments and soldiers who successfully defended Canada in the War of 1812, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, on September 14, 2012, announced that battle honours will be awarded to select regiments that perpetuate 1812 units which participated in decisive battles for the defence of Canada in the War. The following Battle Honours commemorate the most significant victories of the War of 1812: "QUEENSTON", "MAUMEE", "CHÂTEAUGUAY", "CRYSLER'S FARM", "NIAGARA", and as previously announced. "DETROIT".

        Queenston

        On October 13, 1812, British, Canadian and First Nations Forces marched to Queenston to oppose an invasion by a numerically superior American army, forcing the surrender of nearly 1,000 soldiers. This victory early in the war was vital in bolstering the morale of Upper Canada as it showed that Canada could be successfully defended.

        On September 14, 2012, the following regiments, linked to this pivotal engagement, were presented with Battle Honour "QUEENSTON":

        • The Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) (perpetuating unit of the 1st and 3rd Regiments of York Militia (1812-15));
        • 56th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) (perpetuating unit of the Provincial Royal Artillery Drivers (The Car Brigade));
        • The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment) (perpetuating unit of the 2nd Regiment of York Militia (1812-15)); and
        • The Lincoln and Welland Regiment (perpetuating unit of the The Coloured Corps (Captain Runchey's Company of Coloured Men) and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Regiments of Lincoln Militia (1812-15)).

        Maumee

        The Battle of Maumee took place on May 5, 1813, on the Maumee (or Miami) River in Ohio, USA. This battle occurred during the first siege of the American installation Fort Meigs, which was built in the aftermath of their loss of Detroit and the defeat at the battle of Frenchtown in January 1813. In an effort to forestall an American offensive against British-held Detroit, a small force consisting of British regulars, including the Royal Newfoundland Fencibles, Canadian militia and First Nations allies attempted to capture the fort.

        At the battle of Maumee during that siege, American forces suffered significant casualties and while the siege of Fort Meigs ultimately proved unsuccessful, the victory at Maumee bought the defenders of Upper Canada (Ontario) preciously needed time. Ultimately the American forces in the western theatre of the war were never able to combine with American troops in Niagara that year.

        On September 14, 2012, the following regiments were presented with Battle Honour "MAUMEE":

        • The Essex and Kent Scottish (perpetuating unit of The Western Rangers (Caldwell's Rangers), the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Essex Militia (1812-15) and the 1st Regiment of Kent Militia (1812-15); and
        • The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (to commemorate the service of the Royal Newfoundland Fencible Infantry).

        Châteauguay

        Fought on October 26, 1813, along the shores of the Châteauguay River near Montréal, the famous Battle of the Châteauguay proved to one of the most significant battles in Canadian history. Facing an American force almost ten times their size, a small band of only Canadian troops stopped the invading army from attacking Montreal. "Les héros de Chateauguay" became instantly famous throughout the province.

        In late October 1813, two American armies were preparing to move on Montreal. The taking of Montreal would cut the supply line to the defenders of Upper Canada (Ontario) and position American forces to strike Quebec City the following spring. One American army of nearly four thousand troops, under Major General Wade Hampton, advanced on Montreal and took up position at Four Corners, New York, near the Chateauguay River. To counter Hampton's army, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles-Michel d'Irumberry de Salaberry was summoned to the Châteauguay River. Accompanying De Salaberry and his Canadians was a force of Seven Nations warriors.

        Defensive positions were quickly established along on the west side of the river. On October 26, Hampton chose to strike. Aware of Canadian entrenchments, the American General divided his army in two. The plan was one half of his army would attack de Salaberry on the west side of the river. Meanwhile the other half of his army would cross the river and outflank or bypass de Salaberry's men. Outnumbered, de Salaberry encouraged his buglers to play indiscriminately in order to make the enemy think his force was larger than it actually was.

        Soon a force of almost two thousand American troops attacked de Salaberry and his four hundred defenders. Safe behind his abattis, de Salaberry's stopped the American advance with a brisk and accurate fire. Meanwhile, to challenge the Americans moving forward on the east side of the river, Lieutenant-Colonel "Red George" Macdonell positioned to the rear sent two light companies from the 1er and 3e Select Embodied Militia. "In gallantry cannot be surpassed" is how de Salaberry described the bravery of these two companies who fought against the American troops in the thick woods on the east bank. After about four hours of fighting, the American general ordered his troops to retreat.

        Expecting another attack, the Canadians stayed in their entrenchments for weeks, exposed continually to the rain and cold. Many suffered significantly from the foul weather and fell ill daily while they continued to defend their province. However the Americans had abandoned his plans and Montreal would never again be threatened so closely by an invading army.

        On September 14, 2012, the following regiments were presented with Battle Honour "CHÂTEAUGUAY" to honour the defenders that fought there in 1813:

        • Royal 22e Régiment (perpetuating unit of Les Chasseurs, Beauharnois Division (1812-15) and Boucherville Division (1812-15) and to commemorate the service of the Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry ;
        • The Canadian Grenadier Guards (perpetuating unit of the 2nd Battalion, Select Embodied Militia and the 1st Militia Light Infantry Battalion);
        • The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada (perpetuating unit of the 5th Battalion, Select Embodied Militia);
        • Les Voltigeurs de Québec (perpetuating unit of the Provincial Corps of Light Infantry (Canadian Voltigeurs)).
        • Les Fusiliers du St-Laurent (perpetuating unit of the 4th Battalion, Select Embodied Militia); and
        • Le Régiment de la Chaudière (perpetuating unit of the 1st Battalion, Select Embodied Militia).




        Crysler's Farm

        On November 11, 1813, as part of the same two-pronged thrust at Montreal that led to the battle of Chateauguay, a second American army landed near present-day Morrisburg, Ontario. In the Battle of Crysler's Farm, the outnumbered British (including the Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry), reinforced by three companies of Quebec's Canadian Voltigeurs, a troop of the Provincial Light Dragoons and thirty First Nations allies, staved off several American attacks, inflicting heavy casualties and forced the Americans to retreat from the field. As a result of the combined successes at Châteauguay and Crysler's Farm, neither Montreal nor Kingston would be seriously threatened for the rest of the War.

        On September 14, 2012, the following regiments were presented with Battle Honour "CRYSLER'S FARM":

        • Royal 22e Régiment (to commemorate the service of the Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry);
        • Les Voltigeurs de Québec (perpetuating unit of the Provincial Corps of Light Infantry (Canadian Voltigeurs));
        • Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders (perpetuating unit of the 1st Regiment of Dundas Militia (1812-15)).

        Niagara

        Fought on the Niagara peninsula between December 1813 and September 1814, the Niagara campaign, which includes the Battle of Lundy's Lane, was the last determined effort by the invading American army to gain exclusive possession of Upper Canada. Had the Americans succeeded in their invasion of the Niagara Peninsula, it could have led to their dominance of Lake Ontario and of Upper Canada. This also would have led to the isolation of Lower Canada and possibly to complete victory. Only through the determined efforts of allied forces was this offensive defeated.

        After the War of 1812, the "NIAGARA" battle honour was originally awarded by the British Government to three units from Ontario and New Brunswick, specifically: The 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot, the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles and the Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada.

        On May 22, 2012, the following regiments were presented with Battle Honour "NIAGARA" through their collective perpetuation of the Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada:

        • The Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (RCAC);
        • The Princess of Wales' Own Regiment;
        • The Lincoln and Welland Regiment; and
        • The Brockville Rifles.

        In addition, to commemorate the service of the 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot, the Battle Honour "NIAGARA" will also be awarded to The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment stationed in Bathurst, N.B. and to the 1st Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment, stationed in Fredericton, N.B. Likewise, to commemorate the service of the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles, the Battle Honour "NIAGARA" will be awarded to the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders stationed at Cornwall, Ont.

        On September 14, 2012, it was announced that the following regiments will also receive the Battle Honour "NIAGARA" to fully recognize the service of militia units during the Niagara campaign. These are:

        • 56th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA (perpetuating unit of the Provincial Royal Artillery Drivers (The Car Brigade) and the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Norfolk Militia (1812-15));
        • The Essex and Kent Scottish (perpetuating unit of The Loyal Kent Volunteers (Kent Rangers), The Western Rangers (Caldwell's Rangers) and the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Essex Militia (1812-15));
        • The Royal Canadian Regiment (perpetuating unit of the 1st Regiment of Middlesex Militia (1812-15));
        • The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment) (perpetuating unit of the 2nd Regiment of York Militia (1812-15)); and
        • The Lincoln and Welland Regiment (perpetuating unit of the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Regiments of Lincoln Militia (1812-15)).


        Battle Honour previously announced for the War of 1812:

        Detroit

        The Battle of Detroit was fought in the territory bordering the Detroit River on August 15-16, 1812. After a failed attempt by the Americans to invade Canadian soil, a small force of regulars, including the Royal Newfoundland Fencible infantry, Canadian militia and First Nations allies set up cannon positions in Upper Canada and crossed the Detroit River to lay siege. With only a few shots from the cannon and a display of force, the Americans were bluffed into surrendering Fort Detroit, some 2,500 troops, and the entire territory of Michigan. From their new base at Fort Detroit, the British were able to support Tecumseh and his First Nations warriors in a joint offensive against the Americans in north-western Ohio early in 1813.

        On August 15, 2012, the following regiments were presented with Battle Honour "DETROIT":

        • The Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (RCAC) (perpetuating unit of the 1st and 3rd Regiments of York Militia (1812-15));
        • 56th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA (perpetuating unit of the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Norfolk Militia (1812-15));
        • The Royal Canadian Regiment (perpetuating unit of the 1st Regiment of Middlesex Militia (1812-15) and the 1st Regiment of Oxford Militia (1812-15)); and
        • The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment) (perpetuating unit of the 2nd Regiment of York Militia (1812-15));
        • The Lincoln and Welland Regiment (perpetuating unit of the 5th Regiment of Lincoln Militia (1812-15));
        • The Essex and Kent Scottish (perpetuating unit of the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Essex Militia (1812-15) and the 1st Regiment of Kent Militia (1812-15)); and
        • The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (to commemorate the service of the Royal Newfoundland Fencible Infantry).


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      • tom4141fournier
        Exciting news! Also please note an additional new Honour: The Creation of the Commemorative Theatre Honour and Honorary Distinction DEFENCE OF CANADA –
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 16, 2012
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          Exciting news!

          Also please note an additional new Honour:

          The Creation of the Commemorative Theatre Honour and Honorary Distinction "DEFENCE OF CANADA – 1812-1815 – DÉFENSE DU CANADA"
          BG–12.045 - September 14, 2012

          As part of the Government of Canada's commemoration of the War of 1812, on September 14, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the creation of an emblazonable Theatre Honour and a non-emblazonable Honorary Distinction, both entitled "DEFENCE OF CANADA – 1812-1815 – DÉFENSE DU CANADA". These new unit honours will be awarded to historical Canadian colonial units which saw active service during the War of 1812. In turn, these units will be perpetuated by current serving Canadian Forces (CF) units.

          The Theatre Honour and the Honorary Distinction "DEFENCE OF CANADA – 1812-1815 – DÉFENSE DU CANADA" were created to recognize the contribution of historical units to the success of the War of 1812. They also serve to recognize their contribution to the foundation of Canada and the modern military forces in this country. The Theatre Honour is awarded to units who participated in a successful engagement against an armed enemy, whereas the Honorary Distinction is awarded to units who participated in other active service, such as garrison duties, or being held in reserve but have not been successfully engaged with the enemy.

          For the purpose of the War of 1812 commemoration, the newly created Theatre Honour can be emblazoned or embroidered onto perpetuating unit Colours, Guidons, or Standards in the traditional battle honour scroll format. The Honorary Distinction is non-emblazonable and cannot be embroidered onto perpetuating unit Colors, Guidons, or Standards. It may, however, be placed on unit accoutrements such as letterhead, drum major's sashes, drums and websites. In the latter case, there is no associated symbol or image to the Honorary Distinction and will be displayed in full, italicized text, as "DEFENCE OF CANADA – 1812-1815 – DÉFENSE DU CANADA".

          In accordance with CF traditions and unit honours policy, historical Canadian militia units which are awarded these new honours can be perpetuated by current CF units. Other current units have been awarded the new honours directly to commemorate the service of Fencible regiments of the British Army that were recruited in North America. As such, to date the Chief of the Defence Staff has approved awards and the perpetuations listed below:

          (A very extensive list follows, best to check through the link: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4378 )
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