The Regiment: A Brief History
Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was founded by an act of
philanthropy as a result of the acceptance of the offer of
Captain Andrew Hamilton Gault, a Montreal entrepreneur, on the 3rd of
August 1914 to provide $100,000 to raise and equip a battalion for
overseas service. PPCLI has served Canada and Canadians continuously
since its founding in Ottawa on 10 August 1914. Since then more
than 1,850 Patricia’s have fallen in the service of Canada, in her
wars, in peacekeeping and peace support operations in Canada and
elsewhere. In addition, many thousan ds of other members of the
Regiment have been wounded or injured through their service of Canada.
On 6th August 1914
Captain Gault’s offer was provisionally accepted by the Canadian
Government. Authority was formally granted on 10th August (by way
of a Report to the Privy Council of Canada (PC 2112)) to raise and
equip an infantry battalion, with the remainder of the cost being
defrayed by the Department of Militia and Defence.
On 10th August 1914
the Charter of the Regiment was signed and on the next day
mobilization began. Eight days later, it was completed, as old
soldiers flocked from every part of Canada to Lansdowne Park in
Ottawa, where the Regiment was assembled. Out of 1,098 all ranks
accepted into the new Regiment, 1,049 had seen previous service in
South Africa or in the regular forces of the British Empire. In
addition to personnel from the Royal Navy and Marines, almost
every unit in the British Army was represented.
Francis D. Farquhar, DSO, an officer of the Coldstream Guards who
was Military Secretary to His Royal Highness, the Duke of
Connaught and Strathearn, The Governor-General of Canada, was
selected to command the new battalion. Farquhar suggested the
Regiment bear the name of the Duke’s youngest daughter, Her
Royal Highness Princess Patricia of Connaught. The request was
made to the Princess, who graciously consented to the Regiment
bearing her name. The Light infantry came about because Captain
Gault, a veteran of the South African War, liked the “irregular
feel” it gave the Regiment.
The full title of
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was too long for
everyday use, and the new unit became known as “PPCLI”, with
“PP’s” or “Pip Pip’s”, the most common variants. The
Regiment was best known to the public as “Princess Pats” or
merely the “Pats”, but this partial abbreviation is
discouraged and the Regiment prefers to be known as the
The Edmonton City
Police Pipe Band had enlisted in Ottawa under a gallant old
Highlander, Pipe Major C. Colville. Reporting in full Highland Kit
with the Hunting Stewart tartan, they announced to the Colonel
that they had come “to pipe you to France and back again”.
Colonel Farquhar was able to take them into the Regiment and they
lightened many a march for the Regiment and proved stouthearted
stretcher bearers in action as well.
Being the first
Canadian arms unit into battle in World War I, the Regiment began
a history of service to the Nation that continues today. The PPCLI
have been in every major operation undertaken by Canada since
including Sicily, Italy and Western Europe in World War II, Korea,
Germany as a part of NATO, UN peacekeeping operations, Yugoslavia,
and Afghanistan. Domestically the Regiment has participated in
numerous operations including the Olympics of 1976, 1988 and 2010,
flood relief in the Red River Valley on several occasions, and the
ice storms of 1998. More than 1850 members of the Regiment have
given their lives and countless others have suffered wounds or
injury (in many cases resulting in permanent disability) from
their service to Canada.
mission today has not changed: to provide an excellent infantry
regiment for service to Canada. The serving component of the
Regiment is currently located in Edmonton Alberta (1 PPCLI, 3
PPCLI and Regimental Headquarters), Shilo Manitoba (2 PPCLI) and
several Patricia’s serving in various capacities throughout the
Canadian Forces. The retired component consists of members of the
PPCLI Association in 10 branches located across Canada.
The PPCLI has 39 Battle
Honours, including one for perpetuation, that were awarded for
specific distinguished actions and general actions on active service
in World War I, World War II and Korea. Twenty-two of these Battle
Honours are displayed on the Regiment's Colours.
The PPCLI was awarded
the Battle Honour, Siberia 1918-1919 in recognition of the deeds and
sacrifices of the 260th Battalion (Canadian Rifles), a unit that
served as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force sent to Siberia in
1918. This unit's history and accomplishments are perpetuated by the
PPCLI because many of the soldiers who served with this unit served
with the Regiment during World War I.
Battalions also carry a Wreath of Laurel affixed to the head of the
pike of the Regimental Colour. This decoration was presented by Her
Royal Highness Princess Patricia of Connaught on 21 February 1919 at
St. Leger, Belgium. The Wreath bears the inscription "TO THE PPCLI FROM
THEIR COLONEL-IN-CHIEF PATRICIA
IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR HEROIC SERVICE IN THE GREAT WAR,
1914-1918." The PPCLI is the only Canadian unit to have a
Standard, Colour or Guidon so decorated.
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (1PPCLI)
is located at Lancaster Park on CFB Edmonton in Alberta. 1PPCLI is a
mechanized infantry battalion of the Regular Force and uses the LAV
III (light armoured vehicle) as its primary fighting vehicle. The
battalion is made of four rifle companies, one support company and
one command and support company.
Athena Canadians were one of the leading combatants and the first
fighting when the Battle of Panjwaii, Afhanistan, took place.
Complex mud-walled compounds made the rural Panjwaii district take
on an almost urban style of fighting in some places. Daily
firefights, artillery bombardments, and allied airstrikes turned the
tides of the battle in favour of the Canadians. For their actions,
1PPCLI and Task Force 1-06 were given the Commander-in-Chief Unit
Commendation from the Governor-General of Canada
The 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
(2PPCLI) is based at Kapyong Barracks on CFB Shilo, Manitoba. The
battalion is a mechanized infantry unit of the Regular Force and is
part of the 1CMBG. The battalion is composed of three rifle
companies (Alpha, Bravo and Charlie), one fire support company, and
one command and support company.
The Second Battalion
(2 PPCLI) was awarded the United States Distinguished Unit Citation
for its actions at Kapyong, Korea on the night of April 24-25, 1950.
This award is recognized with a blue streamer
embroidered"Kapyong, Korea," which is fastened to the top
of the pike of 2 PPCLI's Regimental Colour. It is also recognized
with a blue ribbon that is worn on both shoulders of the dress
uniforms worn by 2 PPCLI soldiers.
2 PPCLI was awarded
the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation for its courageous
execution of duty during the Medak Pocket Operation, The Former
Yugoslavia during the period September 15-16, 1993. This award was
presented to the Battalion by the Governor General at Winnipeg on
December 1, 2002. The award is represented by the Vice-Regal Lion
that is affixed to the top of the staff carrying the Regimental
Colour. The insignia of this award is worn by all of the soldiers
who took part in the operation.
The 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
(3PPCLI) is based at Lancaster Park on CFB Edmonton, alongside the
1st Battalion. The battalion is a light infantry unit of the Regular
Force, and the only one in Western Canada. The battalion is composed
of two rifle companies (airborne and mountain), a fire support
company, and a command and support company.
The Third Battalion
(3 PPCLI) was awarded the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation for
its service in Afghanistan on Operation APOLLO from February 4 to
July 30, 2002. This award was presented by the Governor General on
parade in Edmonton on December 8, 2003.
(The Loyal Edmonton Regiment)
4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (4PPCLI),
also known as the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, is the only Primary
Reserve battalion of the PPCLI. The unit, part of the 41 Canadian
Brigade Group, is located at the Brigadier James Curry Jefferson
Armoury, in Edmonton, Alberta.
deployed to support United Nations and North Atlantic Treaty
Organization operations in Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia-Hercegovina,
Croatia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Patricias have also served with the
United Nations missions in Israel, the Golan Heights, Egypt, Lebanon,
Kuwait, Iraq, the Congo, Vietnam, Central America, Angola, Somalia,
Rwanda, Korea, Croatia and Bosnia.
In addition to the
awards above, the PPCLI was awarded Freedom of the City in Calgary
(1952), Esquimalt (1963), Victoria (1963), Ypres, Belgium (1964),
Edmonton (1966), Winnipeg (1972), Ottawa (1985) and St. Albert (2001).
The PPCLI also
responded to numerous emergencies in Canada, most notably: Operation
ASSISTANCE (Canadian Forces emergency assistance during the 1997
Red River Flood); Operation RECUPERATION (the Canadian Forces
emergency response to the Quebec Ice Storm in 1998); Operation
MOLLUSK (Canadian Forces emergency assistance to fight BC forest
fires in 1998); Operation GRIZZLY (the Canadian Forces
operation to provide security for the G8 summit at Kannanaskis,
Alberta in 2002); and Operation PEREGRINE (Canadian Forces
assistance to fight the British Columbia forest fires in 2004).
Mechanized Brigade Group
Mechanized Brigade Group
Mechanized Brigade Group
Kingdom - The
Royal Australian Regiment
Zealand - The