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Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry is one of the most decorated regiments in the Canadian Armed Forces. It currently consists of 4 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.
|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|
|4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (Loyal Edmonton Regiment)||Edmonton, Alberta||41 Canadian Brigade Group||Reserve, Dismounted infantry|
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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
List of battle honours
- World War I
- World War II
- Korea 1950-53
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