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The 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion, (known colloquially as the 2nd Battalion, CMR or simply 2 CMR) was authorized on 7 November 1914 as the 2nd Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF, and embarked for Great Britain on 12 June 1915. It disembarked in France on 22 September 1915 as part of the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Brigade.
On 1 January 1916 it was converted to infantry, amalgamated with ‘B Squadron’ and the headquarters staff of the 3rd Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF and redesignated the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion, CEF. It fought as part of the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battalion was disbanded on 6 November 1920.
The Battalion initially recruited in Victoria and Vernon, British Columbia and was mobilized in Victoria.
The Battalion had two Officers Commanding:
- Lt.-Col. J.C. Bott, 12 June 1915 – 27 November 1916
- Lt.-Col. C.C. Johnston, 27 November 1916-Demobilization
The Battalion was awarded the following battle honours:
- MOUNT SORREL
- SOMME, 1916
- Ancre Heights
- Arras, 1917, ’18
- VIMY 1917
- Hill 70
- Ypres, 1917
- Scarpe, 1918
- HINDENBURG LINE
- Canal du NORD
- CAMBRAI, 1918
- PURSUIT to MONS
- FRANCE and FLANDERS, 1915-18
The 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion is perpetuated by the The British Columbia Dragoons.
Cap badge from : CEFResearch.ca
- Organized in December 1914 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel C. L. Bott.
- Authorization published in General Order 36 of 15 March 1915.
- Mobilized at Willows Camp, Victoria.
- Recruited from 30th British Columbia Horse (Vernon) and Victoria Squadron of Horse.
- Left Montreal 12 June 1915 aboard MEGANTIC.
- Arrived in England 21 June 1915.
- Strength: 28 officers, 605 other ranks.
- Arrived in France 22 September 1915.
- 1st Brigade Canadian Mounted Rifles.
- Designation changed from regiment to battalion on formation of 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1 January 1916.
- Returned to Canada 24 March 1919.
- Demobilized on 2 April 1919.
- Disbanded by General Order 207 of 15 November 1920.
- Brass and bugle bands.
- Colours donated by Mrs. G.C. Johnston and presented at Bramshott in March 1919 by Brigadier-General D. C. Draper.
- Perpetuated by The British Columbia Dragoons.
- “A bear named Winnipeg?” See Ottawa Citizen, 13 June 1987.
The British Columbia Dragoons trace their origins to the formation of the Canadian Mounted Rifles, two independent squadrons of horse in Kamloops and Vernon in 1908. In 1910 two additional squadrons were raised and the regiment was renamed the British Columbia Horse. In 1912 the unit was renamed again as the 30th Regiment, British Columbia Horse. 1914 saw the formation of the Victoria Independent Squadron on Vancouver Island.
In the Great War the regiment was not mobilized, but in December 1914 many volunteers from the regiment joined the newly formed 2nd Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles. After some limited service in France as cavalry, the unit was re-roled to infantry as 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion on January 1, 1916. The battalion became part of the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, and fought with great luck and success on the Western Front. Despite being trained as cavalry but deployed as infantry, the regiment managed the war well. Captain “Jock” MacGregor was awarded the Victoria Cross for actions taken in the battle at Cambrai on September 29, 1918.
The actions and awards of the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles are perpetuated today by the British Columbia Dragoons, their direct descendants.