Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

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Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry is one of the most decorated regiments in the Canadian Armed Forces. It currently consists of four battalions, three in the regular army and one in the reserve force (militia). The PPCLI is ranked second in the order of precedence for the regular infantry, and 38th in the infantry militia.

Battalion Home Brigade Notes
1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Edmonton, Alberta 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Mechanized infantry
2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry CFB Shilo (Manitoba) 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Mechanized infantry
3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Edmonton, Alberta 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Light infantry. Includes a parachute company
The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry) Edmonton, Alberta 41 Canadian Brigade Group Reserve, Dismounted infantry
Headquarters
Edmonton, Alberta CFB Shilo (Manitoba)
Facings
French grey
Official abbreviation
PPCLI
Colours
Motto
Regimental march
"Has Anyone Seen the Colonel / Tipperary / Mademoiselle from Armentières" (medley)
Regimental charge
Order of precedence
2nd (regular), 38th (militia)
Unofficial Nicknames
Princess Pats, Patricias
Contents

Armourial description of badge

The cipher of Princess Patricia of Connaught (VP) enfiling a coronet or within an annulus gules inscribed PRINCESS PATRICIA'S CANADIAN LIGHT INFANTRY also or ensigned by the royal crown proper.

Regimental names

1914: Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

Battle honours

Victoria Cross recipients

Sergeant Robert Spall, VC

Basic facts

History

History 1914-1938

A new regiment

At the outbreak of World War I the regular military forces in Canada were pitifully small. To help rectify this situation the Patricias, the brain child of Captain Andrew Hamilton Gault, were created almost overnight. Hamilton Gault personally offered $100,000 to finance and equip a battalion as a contribution to Canada's war effort. The government provisionally accepted his offer on August 6, 1914. Official authorization was granted on August 10. The Canadian Department of Militia and Defence undertook the ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the regiment.

Farquhar and Gault

Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Farquhar was instrumental in assisting Hamilton Gault in founding the regiment. Colonel Farquhar, Military Secretary to Canada's Governor General, the Duke of Connaught, asked the Duke of Connaught for permission to name the regiment after his daughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught. She was pleased to accept this honour and thus the Princess Pat’s were established.

Mobilization

Farquhar and Gault moved expeditiously to mobilize the unit. The day after authority was granted, August 11, 1914, they began an aggressive recruitment campaign. Due to the patriotic outpouring following the August 4 declaration of war, 3000 applicants were recruited within eight days. On August 19 the complement was complete and the regiment's first formal parade was scheduled for August 23.

Victoria Cross

During the battles around Passchendaele on the 30th of October, 1917 two members of the Regiment won the Victoria Cross for gallantry. Another Victoria Cross was won at Parvillers in August, 1918.

Princess Patricia

Princess Patricia designed and made by hand the regimental colours to be presented on that occasion. It is a crimson flag with a circular blue centre. In the circle are gold initials V P which stand for Victoria Patricia. The regimental colours became known as the "Ric-A-Dam-Doo". This colour was carried in every regimental action during World War I.

Princess Pat and the Ric-A-Dam-Doo

Public Domain – Patricias' soldiers song from 1916

Chorus:

The Ric-A-Dam-Doo, now what is that?
It's something made by the Princess Pat.
It's red and gold, and purple-blue,
And that's why it's called - the Ric-A-Dam-Doo.

1st Verse

The Princess Pat, Light Infantry
They sailed across the seven seas
They sailed across the channel too
And they took with them - the Ric-A-Dam-Doo.

2nd Verse

Now Captain Jack, had a mighty fine crew,
They sailed across the channel too.
But his ship it sank, and yours will too,
If you don't take - the Ric-A-Dam-Doo.

3rd Verse

The Princess Pat, saw Captain Jack.
She reeled him in, and brought him back.
She saved his life, and his crew's too,
And do y’ know how?- with the Ric-A-Dam-Doo!

History 1939-1945

World War 2 began in Europe on 1 September 1939. The Patricia's were mobilized for active service on the 1st of September, 1939. The Regiment sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 21st of December, 1939 arriving in Scotland, the Regiment moved to Aldershot Command and spent New Year's Eve in Cove, England. The Regiment spent three years in the United Kingdom, most of which was spent in coastal defence and training in various parts of the country.

On 10 July, 1943 the PPCLI, forming part of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 8th Army, landed in Sicily. After the short Sicilian campaign, the Regiment landed and fought in Italy from September, 1943 to March, 1945.

In March 1945, the Regiment was transferred to North West Europe where they participated in the liberation of the Netherlands. On the 7th of May, 1945 the Regiment was the first Allied force to enter Amsterdam.

On the 1st of June, 1945 a new battalion of the Regiment was authorized to form part the Canadian Pacific Force in the campaign against Japan. After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs and Japan's subsequent surrender on the 15th of August, 1945 the Pacific Force was disbanded. In the meantime, the Regiment's serving battalion in Europe, very much understrength, returned to Winnipeg in October, 1945 and was demobilized.

History post-1945

Kapyong

The 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry received the Distinguished Unit Citation (now Presidential Unit Citation) from the President of the United States to recognize its stand at Kapyong during the Korean War in April 1951. The Patricia's together with the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, which received the same honour, held up the Chinese forces for three days while United Nations forces withdrew to a new defensive line. This citation is the American equivalent of a battle honour. The citation is represented by a blue streamer bearing the name of the action. The streamer is attached to the pike of the regimental colour. The use of this streamer was authorized by King George VI. In addition to the streamer, the Presidential Citation is also worn on the uniform. It is a small royal blue bar with gold trim. Although battle honours are awarded on a regimental basis, and the whole of the PPCLI carries Kapyong on its colours, the distinction of bearing this streamer belongs to the 2nd Battalion PPCLI alone and is carried on the battalion's regimental colour.

Following the Korean War, the PPCLI was reduced to two battalions, with the 3rd Battalion being redesignated as 2nd Battalion, Canadian Guards.

Recent activities

In 1998, the 3rd Battalion became one of the few Commonwealth units to mount the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Afghanistan and the ‘War on Terrorism’

The Regiment deployed approximately 700 troops to Afghanistan as part of the Canadian contribution (Operation Apollo) to Operation Enduring Freedom in February 2002. On April 18, 2002 4 Canadians soldiers died when an American pilot drops a bomb on them as they take part in a night time training exercise near Kandahar. The Regiment also deployed troops as part of the International Security Assistance Force.

Regimental Association

Other links

See also

External links

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