Hussars was a regiment of the Militia that served
throughout the 20th Century, as both a cavalry regiment and
later as an armoured regiment.
31 May 1872: 1st
Regiment of Cavalry formed from regimentation of
five independent troops. Formed with HQ at London, Ont.,
by regimentation of five independent troops:
No. 1 Troop at St.
Thomas, raised 20 Mar. 1855 as The St. Thomas Troop
of Volunteer Militia Cavalry; redesignated 25 Jan.
1867 as 2nd Troop, The London and St. Thomas
Squadron of Cavalry.
No. 2 Troop at London,
raised 24 Jul 1866 as 1st Troop of Volunteer Militia
Cavalry of London; redesignated 25 Jan 1867 as 2nd
Troop, The London and St. Thomas Squadron of
No. 3 Troop at Mooretown,
formed 31 May 1872 by redesignation of Mooretown
Mounted Infantry Company of 27th Lambton Battalion
No. 4 Troop at
Kingsville, raised 12 Apr 1872 as The Kingsville
Troop of Cavalry.
No. 5 Troop at Bayfield,
raised 23 May 1872 as The Bayfield Troop of Cavalry.
No. 6 Troop at
Stratford, raised 7 June 1872 as The Stratford Troop
of Cavalry. Disbanded 2 Jun 1874.
1892: Redesignated 1st
1 Apr 1941: Redesignated
6th (Reserve) Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars)
4 Feb 1949: Redesignated
1st Hussars (6th Armoured Regiment)
19 May 1958: Redesignated 1st Hussars.1
Raised: 31 May 1872
Status 1 Jan 2000: Militia regiment
Field Force Contributions
The regiment contributed to several field forces. During the South
African War, volunteers from the regiment joined various Canadian
contingents overseas between 1899 and 1902.
The regiment contributed to many units that saw service on the
Western Front in the First World War. The 1st Hussars contributed
personnel (66 individuals) to the 1st Battalion, CEF. The unit also
raised "A" Squadron of the 7th Canadian Mounted Rifles. This
squadron was attached to the 2nd Canadian Division in Mar 1915 as
the divisional cavalry squadron. In Jun 1915, the 7th CMR embarked
for the UK, and in Jan 1916 "A" Squadron was redesignated "Special
Service Squadron, First (Canadian) Hussars)". In mid-May, the
squadron became a sub-unit of the Canadian Corps Cavalry Regiment,
later renamed Canadian Light Horse, and became designated as "B"
Squadron of that regiment.
During the Second World War, the "1st Hussars, Canadian Active
Service Force" was mobilized on 1 Sep 1939. The unit reorganized as
the "1st Canadian Cavalry Regiment (Mechanized)" on 1 Mar 1940, and
as the 6th Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars) on 11 Feb 1941. The unit
embarked for the UK on 13 Nov 1941, briefly served as part of the
3rd Canadian Armoured Brigade before that formation was reorganized,
and then served in North-West Europe with the 2nd Canadian Armoured
Brigade from D-Day to the end of the war. The active regiment
disbanded on 31 Jan 1946.
Despite having the designation "1st" in
the official title, the regiment was not the most senior cavalry or
armoured regiment in Order of Precedence. A Militia reorganization
of 1872 required that the senior or only cavalry regiment within a
Military District adopt the numerical designation of that district.
As the 1st Hussars were located in Military District No. 1, the
regiment became designated as the 1st Regiment of Cavalry. When the
unit was renamed "1st Hussars in 1892", it was felt unnecessary to
add "Canada" or "Canadian" to the designation as no British mounted
unit numbered "1" had ever existed.
Following the Second World War, the inclusion of many former
infantry regiments in the order of battle of the Royal Canadian
Armoured Corps let to a decision to decide seniority on date of
formation regardless of the Corps in which the unit was originally
raised, with Regular Force units taking seniority to Militia units.
In that scheme, the 1st Hussars found themselves lower on the
official order of precedence than their designation might suggest.
In the 1920s, the regiment was granted the Battle Honours earned by
the Special Service Squadron, First (Canadian) Hussars/Canadian
Light Horse and in the 1950s the Battle Honours earned by the 6th
Armoured Regiment (1st Hussars) were approved and authorized.
Battle Honours in bold were selected for
South Africa, 1900
Canal du Nord
Pursuit to Mons
Faubourg de Vaucelles
The Lower Maas
France and Flanders, 1915-18
In the period 1900-1920, the Hussars
served in Military District No. 1 and Divisional Area No. 1 as an
In the period 1900-1920, the unit had a
headquarters, "A" and "B" Squadrons in London, with "C" Squadron in
11th Hussars (Prince Albert's Own)
The cap badge is described as follows:
"Within a wreath of maple leaves, a plaque inscribed "FIRST", across
the centre a scroll inscribed "HUSSARS"; surmounting the plaque, a
coronet bearing a horse rampant; across the lower bend of the wreath
two scrolls the upper inscribed with the motto "HODIE NON CRAS", the
lower inscribed "CANADA."4 The motto translates as
"Today, Not Tomorrow."5
The Regiments and Corps of the Canadian Army (Queen's
Printer, Ottawa, ON, 1964)
Hampson, William C. A Catalogue of Twentieth-Century Canadian
Military and Metal Shoulder Titles 1900 to 1999 Part II: Royal
Canadian Armoured Corps (William C. Hampson Publishing, Calgary,
AB, 1999) ISBN 0-9685714-1-7 p.22
Regiments & Corps, Ibid