Saturday, July 20, 2013

Uniforms of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) 1886 - 1965

Although the Canadian Army has never been exceptionally large (except when greatly expanded in WWI and WWII), it has always more than compensated with a fierce esprit-de-corps within its individual regiments. One such regiment of significant renown is Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). One of the last Canadian Army regiments raised at an individual’s personal expense, it first fought in the South African, or Boer, War as a cavalry regiment.

Its original ranks were comprised of cowboys and frontiersmen from Western Canada, as well as members drawn from the then North West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.), and was first commanded by a Superintendent from that force, Sir Sam B Steele.

They fought with distinction in that conflict, one of their ranks, Sgt Arthur Richardson, earning the Victoria Cross. Still a cavalry regiment, it gained both significant battle honors as well as two more Victoria Crosses, in the First World War. Those decorations being awarded to Lieut Frederick Harvey VC and Lieut Gordon Flowerdew VC. Subsequently the regiment were initially designated the 1st Canadian Motorcycle Regiment in 1940 at the outset of World War II, and re-designated within less than a year as the 2nd Armoured Regiment, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). In addition to other engagements in Italy, the regiment saw particularly heavy action at the Melfa River Crossing, earning a battle honor. Three squadrons of the regiment served during the Korean War. The regiment continues on to this day, providing tank and reconnaissance elements to the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. Its most recent action having been in 1994 as part of a United Nations force in Bosnia.

Established in 1974 the Regiment maintains a Ceremonial Mounted Horse Troop, which compliments the famed Musical Ride of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and performs across the western provinces of Canada. There is a video of the troop presented below for those who might be interested.

The following are a series of plates commissioned by the regiment in the mid 1970s, and executed by the military artist, R. Marriou. They depict a range of various uniforms wore by the “Straths” from their inception to the modern day, and are provided herein with both acknowledgement and gratitude to both the artist and the regiment.

Warrant Officer Musketry Instructor
School of Mounted Infantry 1886

Winter Dress Royal School of Mounted Infantry 1887

Warrant Officer Canadian Mounted Rifle Corps 1891

Private Serge Dress
Lord Strathcona's Horse 1900

Officer Undress and Private Review Order
The Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles 1909

Sergeant and Trooper 1915
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

Cadet Corps Sergeant 1927
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

Trooper and Officer Summer Service Dress 1932
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

Officer's Full Dress 1939
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

Tank Crew Italy 1944
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

Officer Winter Service Dress and Lance
Corporal Battledress 1965
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

Officer's Mess Dress and No. 1 Dress 1965
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

The following is a video of one of the more recent performances of the Mounted Horse Troop of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians). Viewers may have to adjust the volume of the sound track.

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