Details regarding Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry 100th anniversary events, Sept. 7, 2014 in Mississauga

The Autumn 2014 issue of Arms2Arts, the newsletter of the Small Arms Society in Lakeview (Mississauga) can be accessed here:

Arms2Arts Fall 2014 Newsletter

The newsletter shares the following text – to which I’ve added headings – regarding the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry 100th anniversary events, which take place Sept. 7, 2014 in Mississauga:

National Baton Relay Will Make a Stop in Mississauga to Honour Regiment’s First Canadian Commander

They’re called the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and they’re noted for being the first Canadian regiment to arrive in Europe in the early months of World War I. The PPCLI is also one of only three regiments of the Canadian Armed Forces made up of full- time, active duty soldiers. (Most other regiments in Canada are reserve battalions.)

To honour the centenary of the historic regiment, the “Princess Pats” began a relay on August 10, at Edmonton, to carry a baton across Canada, with the names of the 1,866 PPCLI soldiers who have died in action.

Edmonton is the headquarters of the PPCLI, and is also the HQ for the 1st and 3rd battalions. The baton will arrive in Ottawa on September 18. It was on that day 100 years ago that Canada’s historic regiment formed.

Adamson Estate

Lt.-Col. Agar Adamson, D.S.O., first Canadian PPCLI commander. Photo is from Autumn 2014 Arms2Arts newsletter

Along the way, the baton will make a stop in Mississauga, where the PPCLI will honour Agar Adamson, who was the first Canadian to command the regiment. Agar lead the PPCLI longer than any other officer, and was in command during this country’s first great military victory, at Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

The Princess Patricia’s will attend a service at Trinity Anglican Church, 26 Stavebank Road, Port Credit. After the service, a plaque will be unveiled at the Adamson family crypt by current colonel-in-chief of the PPCLI, Adrienne Clarkson. The right honourable commander was governor-general of Canada from 1999 to 2005, and was well known to Canadians before then as a newscaster for CBC.

Space in the church cemetery is limited

Space in the church cemetery is limited, but the public can see the unveiling from Memorial Park. The Adamson crypt is at the bottom of the hill at the church, facing the park.

From here, the baton will be run along Lakeshore Road to the Adamson Estate at 850 Enola Avenue.

Public reception at Small Arms building; everybody is welcome to attend

Then everyone is off to the Small Arms plant for a friendly reception.

The church service is by invitation only, but the celebration being hosted by Small Arms Society is open to the public. Come by to meet the Pats.

The PPCLI will bring along several items for the public to see up close, including an eight-metre armoured vehicle, a WWII Bren gun carrier, and a 15-metre tractor trailer mobile museum of the history of the PPCLI.

There will be fun for kids, too. The PPCLI is bringing along its Kiddie Commando Camp which includes an obstacle course and bouncy castle. There will also be camouflage face painting.

To honour the future men and women who will serve in Canada’s armed forces, the PPCLI has invited the cadets the #2824 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps: Cadet Organization Police School, which encourages youth, age 12 to 18, to participate in community events. COPS once drilled at the Small Arms plant.

Members of the Arms2Arts team will conduct tours of building.

Special thanks to Judy Tutty, People’s Warden at Trinity Anglican Church in Port Credit for her help in planning this historic event.

Please join us to celebrate the centenary of Canada’s first WWI regiment, and Mississauga’s connection to this historic regiment.

[End of text. For further texts from the Arms2Arts Autumn 2014 newsletter, click on the link at the start of this post.]

Comment

The text notes that Canada’s first military victory occurred at Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

That may indeed be the case with regard to the modern era.

However, I would say – speaking as a layperson and non-historian, with an interest in critical historical practices – that it can be argued that the British-led military victories that occurred in October 1813, at the Battle of Chateauguay, and at the November 1813 Battle of Crysler’s Farm, also qualify as Canada’s first military victories. In each battle, the British side was vastly outnumbered but better trained, and had the benefit of superior military leadership.

My rationale, for advancing such a claim, is that these two victories, of 201 years ago, led to the abandonment of the American project to conquer Canada. Had the American side prevailed in the two critical 1813 battles, it is unlikely that Canada would exist. An outcome of the War of 1812, as I understand, is that each side affirmed a strong sense of national identity as a consequence of it.

Update

An April 8, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Brockville-area soldier came home from Vimy honoured — but scarred: Thain Wendell MacDowell waged his own war against shell shock after the 1917 battle.”

 

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