Heritage

From the early days of l’ancien regime and British North America, through two world wars, to current day peace and stability operations, Gunners have played an integral role in the development of our nation. Gunners were the first regular Canadian troops; they were pivotal in the battle for Vimy Ridge and they were leaders in technical gunnery throughout the 20thcentury. During both world wars, Gunners filled the ranks of the most senior Commanders and more Canadians served in the Artillery than any other Branch or Regiment of the Army. Indeed, more Canadian served as Gunners in the First World War than the number who served in the Air Force and Navy combined. But this heritage is far more than just the evolution of artillery, it is the story of those Canadians who contributed so much to making Canada the country it is today. Lieutenant-Colonel GA French, the first Officer Commanding the RCA, went on to become the first Commissioner of the NWMP. He, along with other Canadian gunners from the Artillery units in Kingston and in Quebec provided almost all of the initial leaders who formed the RCMP. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was serving as a Gunner Officer when he penned that masterpiece of remembrance In Flanders Fields. The distinguished Judge and Member of Parliament, John Matheson who played the key role in the adoption of the Maple leaf flag is a Gunner who, after being grievously wounded in Italy, went on to a long and distinguished career in the service of Canada. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Brian Dickson was a Gunner as is Chief Justice Antonio Lamer. Indeed at one time seven of the nine justices were Gunners. Canadian Senator, Lieutenant General the Honourable Romeo Dallaire, who commanded the UN Force in Rwanda, is also a gunner. These and many more influential Canadians have been proud to call themselves Gunners. Canadian history and heritage is the story of our country and is a vital part of our national character. The refinement of this story keeps the history relevant to modern society. The preservation of this story of people and their artefact’s ensures its continued presence as a link to our past. The telling of this story communicates the important lessons of history to future generations. The promotion of this story ensures the continued vitality of our nation, our people and their history. So too it is with The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery: for the story of Canada’s Gunners is very much the story of Canada itself.