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Canadian Army - when did it start?

gordjenkins

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"THE CANADIAN ARMY"



Simple question really - when did "Canadian Army" start ??
Jack Granatstein in his book Canada's Army 2002 UTP 520pp  on page 27 states".. in 1883 when a new (Canadian ) Militia Act authorized the establishment of a regular troop of cavalry and three regular companies if infantry. .....Canada's little standing army not to exceed 750 officers and men was at last in existence.
Colonel Stacey states on page 75 of Military History -Canadian Forces HQ 6th edition 4th rev 1956 Queens Printer that the North West Campaign of 1885 ...was the first occasion when the Canadian Forces conducted a campaign without British assistance.

The Web page of the web encyclopedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Canadian_Army " The Canadian Army as such only existed under that name from November 1940 to February 1968."
 

3rd Herd

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A passage from Canadian Millitary Heritage, Volume 3, 1872-2000 by Serge Bernier states, " a system of defence based on British regular troops backed by 40,000 volunteers from the Active milita sigining up for a period of three to five years...the Active Militia would retain the basic responsibility for land defence until the 20th century."(16) Part of the BNA of 1867. I would guess this would be the start of the Canadian Army although the French had marine forces under the title "Canadiens" seventy years or so earlier.
 

George Wallace

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gordjenkins said:
"THE CANADIAN ARMY"
Simple question really - when did "Canadian Army" start ??-  
Jack Granatstein in his book Canada's Army 2002 UTP 520pp  on page 27 states".. in 1883 when a new (Canadian ) Militia Act authorized the establishment of a regular troop of cavalry and three regular companies if infantry. .....Canada's little standing army not to exceed 750 officers and men was at last in existence.
Colonel Stacey states on page 75 of Military History -Canadian Forces HQ 6th edition 4th rev 1956 Queens Printer that the North West Campaign of 1885 ...was the first occasion when the Canadian Forces conducted a campaign without British assistance.

The Web page of the web encyclopedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Canadian_Army " The Canadian Army as such only existed under that name from November 1940 to February 1968."

It would depend on your interpretation or view at the time.  Jack Granatstein is stating when the First Regular troops were raised by the Militia Act of 1883.  You could look at that as the start date for Canada's Regular Forces; all Arms, all Branches, all Services.

You quote Colonel Stacey, but it has no reference to the creation of the Army, but to the first occasion in which it conducted a campaign.  Thus it was created prior to 1885.

Your Wikipedia quote refers not to the Regular Armed Forces, but to the Arm of the Armed Forces that held the title of "The Canadian Army" from 1940 to 1968.  That is a title that has changed numerous times over the life the CF. 

Canada has had Regular Army troops since 1883.  They were created under the Militia Act and fell under the Dept of the Militia at that time.  Canada's Armed Forces have gone through numerous changes and name changes through the last 123 years.  Now, after "Unification", they are the Canadian Forces, under DND.

Terminology can be confusing if one doesn't take care to look at it from the correct perspective.  We could also say that today Canada does not have an "Army", as it does not have a Corps, nor even a Division.  It is the terminology that we must look at, and what exact terminology you may be looking at.  In one case we have an Army (as a Service), but in another we don't have an Army (in size).
 

vonGarvin

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That is a good point re: "Army", for it has many meanings.
For one, it is a fighting unit.  An "Army" is a formation composed of two or more "Corps", each of which is formed of two or more "Divisions", each of which is composed of two or more "Brigades", each of which.....and so on and so forth
It also means "the land element of an armed force", as it were.  So, Canada has an "Army", but it doesn't have any "Armies".  Confused?
 

observor 69

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gordjenkins said:
"THE CANADIAN ARMY"


Simple question really - when did "Canadian Army" start ??-   
Jack Granatstein in his book Canada's Army 2002 UTP 520pp  on page 27 states".. in 1883 when a new (Canadian ) Militia Act authorized the establishment of a regular troop of cavalry and three regular companies if infantry. .....Canada's little standing army not to exceed 750 officers and men was at last in existence.



Jacks the Man!!  ;) 
 

Old Sweat

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Actual Canadian units date back much farther that 1883, with militia acts having been passed in the various colonies of British North America well before confederation. In the United Provinces of Canada the first formed units date from the Militia Act of 1855, while the first full time active Canadian units (regular in all but legislation) were A and B Batteries formed at Kingston and Quebec in 1871.
 

WLSC

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My unit date back from 1869.  Les Voltigeurs de Québec have link with militia unit that were with de Salaberri against the Américain.  If you want, you can trace back to the french colony era.  Unless you want to talk about the regular part of the army witch was call the Militia till 1940... ;) :threat
 

George Wallace

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As FusMR and Old Sweat have pointed out, many Units of the current day can trace their linages back to dates preceeding the Militia Act of 1883.  The RCD trace theirs back to the Volunteer Cavalry of the French Regime in Quebec, as La Citadel is the first Home Station of the RCD.  This doesn't really mean that we had an 'official Army' prior to 1883.  In the majority of cases, all units prior to 1883 were volunteer as opposed to Regular, and nothing official had been declared or passed in Parliament. 
 

WLSC

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In that case, the question should have been about the regular army.  The militia of the time ''is about'' (don't panic...lol) base on the same system today.  We can debate over this but even do the personal admin was not like today and very fluid, the units for them self were real entities, approved by the militia department.  There was a hierarchy, a some what training schedule and a budget...
 

McG

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http://army.ca/wiki/index.php/Pre_%22Unification%22_Canadian_Military
 

gordjenkins

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From Author :Gord Jenkins

in response to reply below
by
DND
D.Boily
Officier aux renseignements
Inquiries Officer
MDN/MND
613-995-2534

WELL I GUESS THAT SETTLES THAT QUESTION !!! :)
Gord J
gordjenkins@sympatico.ca


Good day Mr. Jenkins,



The Canadian Army was started by a volunteer militia, created by the
Militia Act of 1855.


Canada had her first permanent force created
by a new Militia Act in 1883.  At that point, the militia was
comprised of a troop of regular cavalry and three companies of
regular infantry.  The Boer War (1899-1900) sparked a reorgnization
of the militia, which resulted in permanent engineer, army service
and ordnance crops.  During the First World War, 619,636 served
under the Canadian Expeditionay Force.  After this period, Canada
had a small permanent force of about 10,000, nonetheless, the
Canadian Militia mobilized quickly for the Second World War, a
conflict that saw 730,625 men and women serve in the Canadian Army.
After the war, Canada kept a larger permanent force than pre-WWII
times, needed for commitments to the United Nations and NATO.

With the passage by the Canadian Parliament of the Canadian Forces
Reorganization Act, on May 8, 1967, the era of the three armed
services, as separate entities, drew to a close.  The Royal Canadian
Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force ceased to
exist as legal entities after the amendments to the National Defence
Act was proclaimed on February 1, 1968 and they became known as the
Canadian Forces.

For more information I suggest you visit the Canadian Military History
Gateway at: http://www.cmhg.gc.ca/

Kind regards,




-----Original Message-----
From: forceswebsite@dnd.ca [mailto:forceswebsite@dnd.ca]
Sent: Saturday, 30 December, 2006 11:57
To: +ADM(PA) Info@ADM(PA)@Ottawa-Hull
Subject: Message from: Gord Jenkins


Message from: Gord  Jenkins
Email address: gordjenkins@sympatico.ca
Sent on: 12/30/2006 11:57:20 AM
Message Follows:
-------------------------
Simple question
When did the "Canadian Army" start?
-------------------------
 

Old Sweat

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The information officer has got it wrong as the permanent force also included two batteries of artillery that had previously been in existence as full time units, but without regular status. However there is no truth to the rumour that Edward Campbell and I were the first members of the permanent force to be enlisted.
 

retiredgrunt45

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(Pre confederation)
The first company of Artillery to be formed in Canada was organized in Quebec in 1750. The Militia Act of 1855 authorized the The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery of 5,000 men in 1855, Its is the oldest Canadian regiment in Canada.

(Post confederation)
The Royal Canadian Regiment was raised on 21 December 1883 and was Canada's first Regular Force infantry regiment and is the oldest Canadian infantry regiment.

The Royal Canadian Dragoons (Cavalry) Regiment that has seen continuous service since its inception on 21 December 1883 as a Cavalry Regiment. It is the senior regiment within the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps.
 

2 Cdo

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retiredgrunt45 said:
(Post confederation)
The Royal Canadian Regiment was raised on 21 December 1883 and was Canada's first Regular Force infantry regiment and is the oldest Canadian infantry regiment.

Not to pick a fight or nothing but are there not reserve units that are older? I think the RCR is the oldest Reg force infantry regiment. Anybody else
have any hard info?

 

211RadOp

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The Royal Newfoundland Regiment, though for most of it's history was not a Canadian unit, traces it's roots back to Sept 1780.

The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada was formed on 18 Mar 1863.
 

George Wallace

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2 Cdo said:
Not to pick a fight or nothing but are there not reserve units that are older? I think the RCR is the oldest Reg force infantry regiment. Anybody else
have any hard info?

The link you quoted, is accurate.  The RCR is the 'Oldest Regular Force Infantry Regiment' and The Royal Canadian Dragoons are the oldest Regular Force Armour Regiment as stated.  Both have been Regular Force since their inception in 1883.  Other Units have not.

Both Regiments do trace their lineages back further than 21 December 1883. 

Yes there are also Reserve Regiments that can trace their lineages back before 1883, also, but they were never Pemanent Regular Force for their whole existance. 

Also, Canada was not a nation prior to 1867, so any lineage traced back prior to that date doesn't qualify as being "Canadian". 
 

Old Sweat

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Also, Canada was not a nation prior to 1867, so any lineage traced back prior to that date doesn't qualify as being "Canadian".  [/color

While the Dominion of Canada dates from 1 July 1867, the United Provinces of Canada were created circa 1840-1841 after the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada. What had been the colonies of Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) became Canada West and Canada East respectively. Therefore a case can be made that Canada existed as a political entity prior to Confederation.
 

George Wallace

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I suppose the semantics can be argued to death and no resolution will ever be found....  ;D
 

retiredgrunt45

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A yes Old Sweat, but before confederation we were "just another British Colony" After 1867 we could now call ourselves a true Sovereign nation. Big difference, especially now that Canadian military units formed after 1867 were "truly Canadian" and no longer just another British miitary unit. Thus the names state "Royal Canadian Dragoons, Royal Canadian regiment". Not Royal Dragoons and not Royal regiment. The key title is "Canadian". I'm sure Sir John A McDonald made that distiction known in one of his speaches to the crown.

Before confederation, units did exist, but they weren't Canadian, they were still under the old British colonial rule. After 1867, Canadian parliment had direct control of Canada's "Own" military units and any unit formed after was deemed "Canadian".

Isn't history grand!
 
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