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RCA in newfoundland

Old Sweat

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I think, and I have a pretty good memory for things like this, that there was a gunner militia presence in Newfoundland in the fifties and sixties. It may have been absorbed by or converted to engineers at some time, but that is just based on a gasp from the past.
 

Nfld Sapper

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Old Sweat said:
I think, and I have a pretty good memory for things like this, that there was a gunner militia presence in Newfoundland in the fifties and sixties. It may have been absorbed by or converted to engineers at some time, but that is just based on a gasp from the past.

Nope, 1 R NFLD R absorbed them IIRC
 

Nfld Sapper

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From http://www.infonet.st-johns.nf.ca/providers/166th_nfr/Home.html

The 166th Newfoundland Field Regiment, Royal Artillery was officially disbanded on 31 October, 1945
 

Old Sweat

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The regiment quoted above was an active unit of the British army that served in North Africa and Italy. I will check some of my more obscure sources when I return from a speaking engagement in Toronto.
 

Nfld Sapper

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Old Sweat said:
I think, and I have a pretty good memory for things like this, that there was a gunner militia presence in Newfoundland in the fifties and sixties. It may have been absorbed by or converted to engineers at some time, but that is just based on a gasp from the past.

The 56th Independent Field Engineer Squadron (now 56 ES) was................

formed on 24 October 1949 based at Buckmaster’s Field in St. John’s. The strength of the unit after the first year was three officers and forty-seven non-commissioned members. It was, with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, one of the first militia units formed in Newfoundland after Confederation.

We have no lineage (implied or not) with an artilery unit every stationed in St. John's
 

genesis98

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Blackadder1916 said:
There is a possiblity that an "RCA" unit did exist in Newfoundland after Confederation in 1949.  I haven't been able to find a link to a reference but I do recall seeing something a few years ago that suggested the possibilty.  It "may" have been on the regiments.org site which is no longer accessible. Therefore, don't hold the following as gospel.

Under the terms of the Newfoundland Act, one of the requirements for the Canadian government was to establish the Newfoundland Regiment as a reserve unit in the Canadian Army (thus making it the only CF unit that would need a constitutional amendment to be disbanded or made inactive).  As the majority of Newfoundlanders in the late 40s/early 50s with recent combat experience had served in the artillery, it made sense that some form of artillery unit be established to make use of that experience when the Canadian Militia was started in Nfld.  From what I recollect seeing (as noted above), there was formed an element called "166th Field Battery".  Whether this was a separate organization badged RCA or was a part of the (Royal) Newfoundland Regiment is unclear.  However, at one time (probably in the 50s and 'maybe' in the early 60s) some elements of the regiment did wear a "166th" flash in addition to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Canada shoulder badge on their battledress.  The designation 166th was to be in honour (continuation) of the 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment RA.  I have been told that a photo showing such a flash maybe in a book titled Better Than The Best, The Story of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment 1795 -1995,  Facey-Crowther, David ed.; I haven't had the opportunity to find this book yet to confirm.

One of the things said about the R NFLD R was that it was the only infantry unit with its own artillery so if this had been formed as an independant battery it was probably quickly incorporated into the R NFLD R.  My uncle once remarked to me after I joined the army (in the 70s) that he had been in the Militia as a gunner(?) for a couple of years around the time he was in his late teens or shortly after; that would make it around 1950.   Unfortunately he is no longer available for me to query but I do remember him being very specific that he had not been in the R NFLD R.

After Reading this I decided to use www.archive.org to check an older version of the site to look and see if it was listed there, and here is the result.

http://web.archive.org/web/20051227041630/regiments.org/regiments/na-canada/volmil/nf-arty/nf-166.htm

1941.11.15  166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment, RA [T.A.]
converted in England (D Bty disbanded)
   

    * A Battery
    * B Battery
    * C Battery

1942.03.11 batteries redesignated P Bty, Q Bty, R Bty
1943.01.01 batteries redesignated 135 Bty, 136 Bty, 137 Bty
1945.10.22 disbanded (completed 31 Oct. 1945)
1949.10.24 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment, RCA
re-formed in Canadian Militia
1960.05.19 166th (Newfoundland) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA
1961.03.01 absorbed by The Royal Newfoundland Regiment



I don't know if you can take regiments.org as gospel, but it does shed some proof to the "rumor" that an element of the RCA was in Newfoundland.
 

dapaterson

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As the fools of IT security have deemed it to great a risk to place on the internet, I'll have to wait to access a DWAN machine, but there is a CF publication listing the history and heritage of all Arty units in Canada, including those disbanded, amalgamated or transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle.  I'll take a gander and see what I can find.
 

dapaterson

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Reading through A-AD-267-000/AF-003, The Insignia and Lineages of the Canadian Forces, vol 3 part 1, Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments, the only unit of the RCA I can find with a history in Newfoundland is 6 (Reserve) AA Bty.  Perpetuated by 84 Ind Fd Bty in Yarmouth, NS, this Bty was mobilized 01 Sept 39, and disbanded 31 Dec 44.  It provided AA support as part of 23 AA Regiment, RCA, CASF in Sydney NS and Goose Bay, Newfoundland.

The document does not mention 166(Newfoundland) Fd Regt, RCA; however, if that unit was in fact amalgamated into the R Nfld R then it may appear in volume 3 part 2 of the publication above, which is on the DHH "Real Soon Now" publications list.
 

GUNS

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Picture of Royal NFLD Regiment firing gun salute after being given the " Keys to the City ".
 

Nfld Sapper

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GUNS said:
Picture of Royal NFLD Regiment firing gun salute after being given the " Keys to the City ".

Care to give us a magnifying glass to view that pic GUNS  ;D
 

GUNS

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Hard to provide a clear picture with only 200kb to play with. I'll play with it some more and try to for a better picture.
 

Nfld Sapper

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Yeah I noticed that GUNS, only ribbing you on it ;)

BTW what is time frame on the pic?
 

GUNS

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July 1963, I was at the ceremony. The picture is improved some.
 

geo

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Hmm.... sure looks like a Sgt wearing an infantry sash kneeling behind the gun's right trail arm
 

Blackadder1916

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GUNS said:
Picture of Royal NFLD Regiment firing gun salute after being given the " Keys to the City ".
GUNS said:
July 1963, I was at the ceremony. The picture is improved some.

Caption with picture "Members of the Regiment at gun drill during the summer camp held near Fort Pepperall in July 1963".

If it's the same ceremony that I recollect attending, that picture doesn't look like the stadium parking lot.
 

GUNS

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The ceremony for the Freedom of the City was in the stadium parking lot.

The training camp was set up in an open field where the softball park stands today, just pass the Legion.
 

Blackadder1916

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GUNS said:
. . . an open field where the softball park stands today, just pass the Legion.

Don't know what's there these days (been quite a while since I've been down home) but sounds like the area down toward the other end of the pond where we used to go and "watch the submarine races".
 

my72jeep

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we used to have a third to carry caskets back in the 80's.no gun just the carriage
 

Nfld Sapper

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my72jeep said:
we used to have a third to carry caskets back in the 80's.no gun just the carriage

Yeah we no longer have that one.
 

dogger1936

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My grandfather was with the 166th served overseas for 5 1/2 years. And if he heard anyone call it a Canadian unit he would be "disturbed" to say the least.

I just read a book a while ago IRT Newfoundland coastal and aircraft arty during ww2, the only Canadians mentioned in the book were a clown and entertainment show sent by a canadian unit.
 
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