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Unit Listings by Corps/Branch

Armoured Units 1940-1945

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Infantry Battalions 1939-1945

RCOC 1939-1945

2nd Canadian Corps

2nd Canadian Corps
Authorized: 14 January 1943 (G.O. 281/43)
Disbanded: 25 June 1945 (G.O. 321/45)

2nd Canadian Corps (also seen rendered as 2nd Canadian Corps) was a corps sized formation created in 1943 in England.


The headquarters of 2nd Canadian Corps (Serial 1701) was authorized to mobilize under General Order 281/1943, effective 14 Jan 1943.

Corps Headquarters moved to Normandy on 1 Jul 1944, with the 2nd Canadian Division coming under command upon their arrival at the end of the first week of July in the Carpiquet area, with 3rd Canadian Division also coming under command after the crossing of the Orne River. 2nd Canadian Corps in turn came under command of the 2nd British Army.

Royal Canadian Artillery Headquarters

The artillery headquarters (Headquarters RCA 2nd Canadian Corps) stood up near Cobham, Surrey the same month. In Feb 1943, with 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division under command the HQ began training schemes. Exercise SPARTAN saw the RCA headquarters exercising in Mar 1943 with 2nd Counter Battery Officers Staff, 6th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (RCA), 6th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment (British), 99th Anti-Tank Regiment (British) and 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division under command. In Mar and Apr other schemes followed with units of the 4th and 5th divisional artilleries under command at Alfriston, Westdown and Sennybridge. Another exercise in April in the northern UK involved 2nd Canadian Army Group, Royal Artillery (AGRA), 2nd Counter Battery Officers, 6th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment and 1st Canadian Survey Regiment.

In Jun 1943, the 4th and 5th Canadian (Armoured) Divisions carried out firing practice at Alfriston and anti-tank firing at the Lydd ranges. The 6th LAA visited St. Agnes, Cornwall practice camp.

In Jul 1943, 11th Field Regiment fired at the Larkhill ranges while 6th LAA Regiment attended the battle school at Penny Bont, Wales. Two self-propelled regiments (the 19th and 23rd Field) arrived from Canada and also came under command of 2nd Canadian Corps.

Oct 1943 saw the artillery headquarters move to the Three Bridges area; 6th Anti-Tank Regiment came under command on the 1st after arrival from Canada. On 14 Oct 1943, 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division passed to the control of 1st Canadian Corps in preparation for the move to the Mediterranean. They were replaced in the corps artillery by the artillery of 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. The 19th Field went under command of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. The 5th and 4th divisional artilleries exercised under command of 2nd Canadian Corps artillery headquarters, along with 5th Medium Regiment, RCA and 11th Army Field Regiment, RCA.

In Nov 1943, sub-units of 6th LAA Regiment assumed duty on Air Defence of Great Britain (ADGB) sites. 660 Air Observation Post Squadron of the RAF came under command, 19th Army Field Regiment returned under command temporarily, and 23rd Field Regiment (Self Propelled) came under command of 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division. The 2nd and 4th divisional artilleries continued to train with corps artillery units and in December, 2nd Canadian Survey Regiment came under command of the corps artillery.

In Apr 1944, headquarters moved to Eastling Wood, Kent, north of Dover, to wait during May and Jun for the chance to move to Normandy. The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade were temporarily assigned to I British Corps for the assault and lodgement phase of Operation OVERLORD. On 29 Jun, headquarters was moved from Dover to a marshalling area in northeast London, and on 30 Jun the first personnel boarded Liberty ships. On 1 Jul a convoy carrying personnel of II Canadian Corps artillery headquarters sailed for France, deploying to the village of Camilly on arrival. Corps troops and the 2nd Canadian AGRA were located nearby.

The headquarters moved near Lasson with 2nd Canadian AGRA deployed in support of the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions, and flights of 660 AOP Sqn RAF began to arrive. A towed battery of 6th Anti-Tank Regiment was placed under each division and 2nd Canadian Survey Regiment also deployed under the control of the Corps Commander, Royal Artillery of 2nd Canadian Corps.

Corps Troops

Various units were assigned as corps troops at various times; these included:

  • Headquarters 2nd Canadian Corps

  • 18th Armoured Car Regiment (12th Manitoba Dragoons)

  • Prince Edward Island Light Horse (2 Corps Defence)

  • 660 Air Observation Post Squadron, Royal Canadian Artillery

  • 2nd Canadian Corps Signals, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS)

  • 6th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery

  • 2nd Survey Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery

  • 6th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery

  • Headquarters, 2nd Canadian Corps Troops, Royal Canadian Engineers

    • 8th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers

    • 29th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers

    • 30th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers

    • 31st Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers

  • Headquarters, 2nd Canadian Corps Troops, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

    • 33rd Corps Troops Composite Company, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

    • 34th Corps Troops Composite Company, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

  • Headquarters, II Corps Transport Column, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

    • 46 General Transport Company, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

  • Ambulance Convoy, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

  • 6 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment Platoon, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

  • 6 Anti-Tank Regiment Platoon, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps

  • Headquarters, II Corps Ordnance Field Park, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps

    • II Corps and Army Troops Sub-park, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps

  • 8 Mobile Laundry and Bath Unit, Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps

  • Headquarters, Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 2nd Canadian Corps Troops

    • 2nd Canadian Corps Troops Workshop, Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

  • 6 Field Dressing Station, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps

  • 8 Field Hygiene Section, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps

  • 2 Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps

  • 3 Casualty Clearing Station, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps

  • 10 Field Cash Office, Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps

  • 13 Provost Company, Canadian Provost Corps

  • 2nd Canadian Corps Postal Unit, Canadian Postal Corps

  • 15 Field Security Section, Canadian Intelligence Corps

  • II Corps Reinforcement Camp

General Officer Commanding

Name Dates in Command Bio and Destination on Leaving Appointment
Lieutenant General E.W. Sansom, CB, DSO 15 Jan 1943 - 29 Jan 1944 Lieutenant General Ernest W. Sansom was a member of General McNaugton's staff when in March 1940, he took over a brigade from Brigadier Pearkes, who became ill with meningitis. He was lucky to impress General Montgomery at a TEWT (Tactical Exercise Without Troops). He then commanded two battalions that embarked for Norway to attack Trondheim, an attack that was called off. Sansom resumed his duties at divisional headquarters. In July, he went to Canadian Military Headquarters in London as a brigadier, and then in October 1940 promoted Major General and given command of the 3rd Canadian Division. Sansom left the 3rd Division to take command of the 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division in 1941, where he stayed until 1943 when appointed commander of 2nd Canadian Corps.
Lieutenant General G.G. Simonds, CB, CBE, DSO 30 Jan 1944 - 25 Jun 1945

Lieutenant General Guy Granville Simonds was born to a Major of the Royal Artillery in 1903, and upon graduation from Royal Military College elected to join the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. After he left the 2nd Division, he served in Italy and returned to command 2nd Canadian Corps in Normandy, the formation to which the 2nd Division belonged. Simonds would be regarded, by British officers, Canadian officers, and historians alike, as the greatest commander Canada produced in the Second World War.

Chief of Staff II Canadian Corps

Brigadier N.E. Rodger (22 Feb 1944 - )

Commander Corps Royal Artillery

  • Brigadier A.E.D. Tremain, ED

  • Brigadier A.B. Matthews, DSO, ED

  • Brigadier P.A.S. Todd, DSO, OBE, ED

General Staff Officer II, Royal Artillery

  • Major J.S. Darling

  • Major R.B. Dale-Harris

  • Major P.H. Riordon

  • Major D.R. McMaster, MBE

  • Major W.B. MacDonald

Uniform Insignia

At the start of the Second World War, it was felt that colourful unit and formation insignia would be too easily seen, and a very austere set of insignia was designed for the new Battle Dress uniform, consisting solely of rank badges and drab worsted Slip-on Shoulder Titles. In 1941, however, the trend was reversed, and a new system of Formation Patches, based on the battle patches of the First World War, was introduced. However, the use of lettered unit titles (at first won as Slip-on Shoulder Titles and later, as more colourful designs worn directly above the divisional patches) was also introduced - a privilege previously extended only to the Brigade of Guards in England, and in the Canadian Army to just four units: Governor General's Foot Guards, Canadian Grenadier Guards, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and the Canadian Provost Corps.

The new formation patches were made from three materials mainly; felt and wool being most common, and canvas patches were adopted in the late war period as an economy measure.

Members of various corps serving in support units originally wore formation patches with letters added directly to the patch (or in some cases a plain coloured shape, such as the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC))

The hexagonal patch of the Canadian Army Pacific Force applied overtop of the formation patch indicated a volunteer for the CAPF.

Badge examples below courtesy of Bill Alexander, last two images courtesy Dwayne Hordij. 1999-present