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Regimental Museum and Archives - Virtual Tour Page 1 (Entry and 103rd Regiment)

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In 2005, a new entry way display was added to the regimental gallery.  Two mannequins have subsequently been added to the display here, showing the Regiment as it dressed in 1910, and as it appears today.  The artwork was from a poster originally commissioned by the Department of National Defence, to mark the 80th Anniversary of the birth of the Regiment.  The old exhibit is shown below.

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Early Beginnings

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The first commanding officer of the 103rd Calgary Rifles was from eastern Canada, where the militia tradition was strong. In his attempts to start a unit in Calgary, Lieutenant Colonel Armstrong raised over 800 men in 1902 and 1904, however, the government would not grant recognition until 1910. The newly designated 103rd Calgary Rifles trained in and around the young city, sometimes near the site of the museum, in the land belonging to the Sarcee Nation. High standards were set, both in training and the social graces. When the 10th Battalion C.E.F. was raised, 846 officers and men of the 103rd were ready.

Artifacts and photos from this era are something of a rarity, however, the Regimental Museum has been able to obtain many interesting  items for preservation and display.

The virtual tour of the Regimental Museum begins with a dramatic mural, shown at left, depicting regimental life in Calgary.  In the display cabinet at right is a rare mess dress jacket, in the dark "rifle green" colour adopted by Rifle Regiments in Britain and her colonies.  The display at centre rotates in its glass cabinet, and depicts ONE MAN - TWO ROLES.  (As mentioned above, this display is no longer part of the actual museum display as of 2005, having been replaced.)

ONE MAN-TWO ROLES

The soldier depicted in the case wears the uniform of a Captain Enoch Sales, who served with the 103rd Calgary Rifles during its brief existence as a militia unit from 1910 to 1914. Behind Captain Sales is the prairie surrounding this museum as it looked at that time. Summer camps were traditionally held around Reservoir Park on the property of Colonel Taylor, now Richmond Green Golf Course.

Captain Sales' "alter ego" is a young farm hand, so typical of the soldiers who manned the 103rd during the pre-war years. Whether for the excitement of serving in the Regiment, or the satisfaction of a Wednesday night meal and trolley fare, these men were the stock of Canada's army in 1914. The fields and steam threshing machine behind our young lad belonged to the Shaw farms in Midnapore.

Since the first of April 1910, many of Calgary's working men, whether farmers or lawyers, clerks or carpenters, have put down the tools of their trade at the end of a working day and taken up the uniform and rifle of a Canadian soldier.

In war and in peace, Calgarians have served in the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles), the Tenth Battalion and in the Calgary Highlanders with pride and distinction.

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