Chapter 1 Continued

The original badges of the 95th Regiment were of the conventional type employed by many of the militia Units of the era. The badges for Officers were in silver and those worn by other ranks in the came pattern but of dark metal. The figures '95' with a circle of leaves surmounted by the Crown were prominent on the Cap Badge. The motto 'Excitat' appeared at the base of a Demi-Lion Rampant on the Collar Badges. This was the Ford Family Crest and Motto. The larger crossbelt badge was shaped in the form of the Rifles' Cross surmounted by the Crown. In the centre was the Demi-Lion Rampant with the motto 'Excitat' underneath, the whole circled with the designation 'Saskatchewan Rifles' and with laurel and oak leaves. At the base was the word 'CANADA' and underneath in Roman Numerals the figures XCV. A complete set of these badges is retained in the archives of the perpetuating Unit the Regina Rifle Regiment at Headquarters in Regina.

In the years, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911 and 1912 the Regimental Companies were permitted to train at local headquarter for periods of twelve days. In addition, short summer camps were held for the purpose of qualifying Commissioned and non-commissioned officers. These outings were held at various points: Lumsden, Long Lake with the Camp Site at Regina Beach and at Fort Qu'Appelle. The chief event of the training session at Regina Beach was a small cyclone followed by a torrential rain. Tents were flattened, clothing, bedding and messing supplies soaked with rain and badly damaged.

The first summer camp at which formal training was carried out was held in the summer of 1908 at the Regina Exhibition Grounds. Although a camp with only one Regiment in training, the Officer Commanding, Major Ford, was gazetted "to be Acting Camp Commandant, without extra expense to the Public". This thus gave him the right to fly a Commandant's flag. In the meantime, an Officer and an N.C.O. of the Permanent Force a training Cadre were sent to Regina to conduct a provisional school for qualifying officers. Major Ford was given a special board and tested in equitation (horsemanship) for admission to promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. A Lieutenant Russell was the Camp Training Officer and a Doctor Young from Winnipeg appointed Camp Medical Officer. Major Ford received his appointment as Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment on October 7, 1909.

The decision to make the 95th Regiment a Saskatchewan Rifle Unit was made shortly before training began at this Camp, although the actual change of name did not appear in the Official Gazette until early in 1910. The Official 1909 pay sheets designate the Unit as the 95th S.R. Regiment of Infantry.

Lieutenant Colonel Ford had been a Rifles' Officer in Ontario and as his background and training were along those lines, this sequence of events followed the natural pattern which has persisted until the present - “Once a Rifleman, always a Rifleman". For a brief period after Lieutenant Colonel Ford relinquished command of the Unit, the title 'Saskatchewan Rifles' was dropped and also during the First World War when the Regiment emerged as one of the Expeditionary Forces Units as Battalions (Regiments of the line). Nevertheless, the idea of a 'Rifles' designation was never abandoned. Throughout its service in the Second World War, the Regiment retained its Rifle traditions.

The first Training Camp and the Regiment were inspected by General Sir Percy Lake, at that time Inspector General of the Canadian Army. It was his brother Sir Richard Lake who became the third Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Saskatchewan. On this occasion the Regiment made a fine showing. Sir Percy was tendered a Regimental Dinner which was followed by an elaborate concert and smoker.

At the laying of the corner stone of the Legislative Building in Regina on October 4, 1909, the 95th Regiment provided a Guard of Honour for the Governor-General Earl Grey. This was the first of a succession of Honour Guards provided for by the Unit on State Occasions, such as the visits of the Prince of Wales, now Duke of Windsor, the Earl of Bessborough, Lord Willingdon, Lord Tweedsmuir, Major-General Georges P. Vanier, the annual openings of the Sessions of the Provincial Legislature and culminating in the King's Guard provided for their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of their visit to Regina in 1939.

On the occasion of the first Guard of Honour, Captain Fife, a British Rifle Brigade Officer and Commissioner Perry of the R.N.W.M.P attended the Governor-General. Lord Lascelles (a retired Lieutenant of the Guards and afterwards Earl of Harewood) and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Ford of the 95th attended Her Excellency, Lady Grey and Madame Forget, wife of the Lieutenant Governor.

End of Chapter 1

D.G. Scott-Calder's
The History of the 28th (Northwest) Battalion, C.E.F. (October 1914 - June 1919)
is © Copyright The Royal Regina Rifles Trust Fund. All Rights Reserved