Princess Louise Fusiliers


The Princess Louise Fusiliers is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces.

History

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this infantry regiment traces its local roots as a Halifax unit of Militia back to June 18, 1798 when Sir Edward Cornwalis formed a local Militia under his own command. Ten companies were formed at the Grand Parade in the city and were made a collective battalion.

As an officially constituted unit of Canada, The Princess Louise Fusiliers were authorized in 1867. During the unit’s history, it has undergone several name changes. On November 5, 1869, the regiment was named the 66th The Halifax Battalion of Infantry. Originally consisting of six companies, it later gained two more.

Ten years later, on November 14, 1879, the regiment was once again renamed, this time to the 66th Battalion ‘Princess Louise Fusiliers’, named for Princess Louise, wife of the Marquess of Lorne, Governor General at the time. It was shortly after this point in which the regiment received its first battle honour, when they helped suppress the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. Soldiers of the unit served in North West Canada with the Halifax Provisional Battalion. Fourteen years later, in 1899, the regiment provided some of its soldiers to a company raised in Nova Scotia for the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment, which was raised for service in South Africa during the Second Boer War. May 8, 1900 brought about another name change, this time to 66th Regiment ‘Princess Louise Fusiliers’.

During the First World War the 66th Regiment provided soldiers to the locally raised battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). At the end of the war, as a result of the Otter Commission headed by General William Otter, the regiment perpetuated the 64th Canadian Infantry Battalion of the CEF. As a result of the unit’s contributions of soldiers and this perpetuation, the regiment holds five battle honours of the First World War. In May 1915 the regiment was renamed to its current name, the Princess Louise Fusiliers. The onset of World War II saw more action for the Fusiliers, when they were sent to France to help defeat Germany and her allies. The regiment fielded two machine gun companies during the war, and afterwards reverted back to a light infantry unit. During the conflict, the regiment received nine more battle honours, bringing their total count to 16. Their most recent battle honour, received in 1999 following a lengthy struggle by unit officers to discover the necessary supporting documents, was for the unit’s actions at Arnhem in 1945.

In Afghanistan, on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007, Master Corporal Chris Stannix was killed along with five other Canadian soldiers when their vehicle was hit by an explosive device. Corporal Shaun Fevens was injured in the explosion and transported to a military hospital in Germany.

The PLF performed a ceremonial Trooping of the Colours at Citadel Hill in Halifax Nova Scotia Thursday evening 23 April 2009 at 1900 hrs (7 p.m.). Inspecting the parade was His Royal Highness Duke of York Prince Andrew, The Colonel in Chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers, with a large crowd in attendance.

Battle honours

The Princess Louise Fusiliers have received 16 battle honours since the unit’s inception in 1869. They are:

Early History

  • North-West Canada, 1885
  • South Africa, 1899-1900

World War One

  • Somme, 1916
  • Ypres, 1917
  • Amiens, 1917
  • Arras, 1917
  • Hill 70, 1917

World War Two

  • Liri Valley
  • Melfa Crossing, 1944
  • Italy, 1944-1945
  • Gothic Line, 1944
  • Coriano
  • Lamone Crossing
  • Delfzijl Pocket
  • North-West Europe, 1945
  • Arnhem 1945

 

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