The King's Own
Calgary Regiment (RCAC) are a Canadian Forces Reserve armoured
regiment, who parade regularly at Mewata Armouries (where their
headquarters are located) as well as training at the Area Support
Centre in Calgary as well as at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright.
The Regiment has contributed many men to overseas Peacekeeping
missions in recent years, as well as providing instructors and
resources for training courses for units throughout the Calgary
Garrison and 41 Canadian Brigade Group.
On 15 May 1924,when
the First Battalion of the Calgary Regiment was redesignated
simply "Calgary Highlanders" and formed into its own regiment, the
Second Battalion of The Calgary Regiment was likewise redesignated
to become simply The Calgary Regiment. Thus were born two
equally proud units, both direct descendants of the 103rd Regiment
(Calgary Rifles) that had been created on 1 April 1910.
The new Calgary Regiment
inherited the history of several CEF battalions that had fought in
the Great War, including the Battle Honours of the 50th (Calgary)
Battalion, and now proudly lay claim also to the memory of John
George Pattison (shown at right) who was awarded the Victoria
Cross for actions on 10 April 1917 at Vimy Ridge. He was killed
in action less than two months later. Seventeen hard earned
Battle Honours were granted the 50th for service with the 4th
Canadian Division in France and Flanders.
after extensive reorganization of the Militia, the Regiment was
briefly retitled as a Machine Gun Regiment, and then later in the
year redesignated Calgary Regiment (Tank) becoming one of just six
Infantry regiments in Canada so designated. In 1939, the unit was
not mobilized, and some officers and men enlisted in other units
mobilizing for war, including the Calgary Highlanders.
Mobilization came in February 1941, as 14th Army Tank
Battalion (The Calgary Regiment (Tank))
service component of the Calgary Regiment (Tank) was redesignated
in April 1941 as the 14th (Reserve) Army Tank Battalion
(The Calgary Regiment(Tank)), and in 1942 the designation
"Regiment" was subsituted for "Battalion." The former infantry
(Tank) regiments, along with the former horse cavalry units, were
mechanized and formed the new Canadian Armoured Corps (which would
be granted the Royal prefix in 1945).
While this unit
trained in Canada as part of the reserve army, the overseas
battalion trained on a variety of equipment in England, and on 19
August 1942 provided the armour support component of the Dieppe
Raid. While the tanks of the Calgary Regiment were for the most
part unable to get off the landing beaches, the crews resolutely
stayed at their posts, finding the armour of their Churchill tanks
impervious to the German anti-tank weaponry found defending the
beach. Many crews stayed in their tanks until every round of
their ammunition was expended, covering the landing and eventual
withdrawal of the infantry and foot-borne soldiers. Many tank
crews thus went into captivity having sacrificed their freedom for
the lives of the withdrawing soldiers.
was rebuilt in England, becoming the 14th Canadian Armoured Regiment and
re-equipping with Sherman tanks. As part of the 1st Canadian Armoured
Brigade, the unit landed in Sicily in July 1943 and onto the mainland of
Italy in September. The brigade fought independently and in support of
many different formations during the long campaign in Italy. With the
rest of the Canadians in that theatre, they repatriated to First
Canadian Army in Holland in the spring of 1945, where they ended the
war. Eventually, sixteen more Battle Honours were granted, to join
those of the 50th Battalion CEF on the Regimental Guidon.
changes in designation occurred postwar.
Armoured Regiment (King's Own Calgary Regiment)
Own Calgary Regiment (14th Armoured Regiment)
Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC)
between the Calgary Highlanders and the KOCR have been steady since the
inception of both units. Both units have shared Mewata Armoury for
decades; when the units had full war service battalions serving overseas
in World War Two, there still remained reserve components in Calgary
representing both Regiments.
for training together post-1945 were at their height during the Cold
War, when the King's Own trained as an Armoured Regiment with the
Calgary Highlanders serving as Mechanized Infantry. Both units trained
according to the doctrines they would have used on the North German
Plain in the event of a Third World War on European soil.
The bands of
both regiments are equally renowned, and the Regimental Band of the
King's Own Calgary Regiment has performed with The Regimental Pipes and
Drums of the Calgary Highlanders often over the years.
Highlanders were presented a new Queen's Colour by Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II in June 1990, the KOCR were also full participants on
parade, being inspected by Her Majesty as well as performing a very
impressive roll past with their Cougars and Iltis vehicles.
With the end
of the Cold War, and the shift away from heavily armoured units,
contacts have been fewer though the Regiments do train together when
schedules permit, notably on Brigade level exercises.
is always actively recruiting prospective soldiers interested in the
challenges and experiences they will find in a Reserve Armoured
March of the King's Own Calgary Regiment is "Colonel Bogey", the same
tune that gained popularity in the motion picture The Bridge On The
River Kwai. Coincidentally, "Colonel Bogey" was the march adopted by
the Tenth Battalion, CEF, forerunners of the Calgary Highlanders.
The motto of
the KOCR (as well as the Calgary Highlanders) is ONWARD, also the motto
of the City of Calgary.
The first cap
badge of the Calgary Regiment (shown above) was inspired by the Coat of
Arms of the City of Calgary. The sunburst violates custom, however, in
that the sunburst is above the Crown. When the Regiment was
redesignated as King's Own after the Second World War, the offending
sunburst was removed. The current badge is still very heavily
influenced by the City's coat of arms.
has an alliance with the King's Own Royal Border Regiment of the British
War on Terror
Hornburg of Nanton, Alberta was killed on 24 September 2007 by
enemy fire during a mortar attack after he dismounted to repair
the track on a Leopard tank. Broken tracks are "something that we
see on a regular basis, unfortunately" said the commander of
Canadian forces in Afghanistan, Brigadier General Guy Laroche.
Three other soldiers were wounded in an ensuing firefight.
Corporal Hornburg was taking part in Operation SADIQ SARBAAAZ
(Honest Soldier) in the Panjwaii district, in conjunction with
Afghan National Security forces, in terrain familiar to the
Canadians who saw action there in the fall of 2006 during