The Court Martialed Subaltern

The Court Martialed Subaltern

It is perhaps not surprising that military history often focuses on great battles, inspiring leaders and victories that changed the course of history. Arguably as interesting, however, are the smaller human dramas which take place in the background to these “great” events.  Though they are often not recorded or remembered by other than those who were there, it is these stories which make the official history richer. One such story that has survived to present day is that of the court martial of Lieutenant Nathaniel Fitzpatrick of the Queen’s Rangers.

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Chapter 6 of the Ranger History

 Chapter 6 of the Ranger History

In summer 1914 Canada had been at peace for a century. Over the past hundred years, Britain’s colonies in North America had already gone well on the way to full sovereignty - without the fire and sword of rebellion against the Crown. They still maintained a close bond with the mother country. Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier had reminded the House of Commons four years earlier, “When Britain is at War, Canada is at war.”1 Therefore, when the assassination of the heir to the Habsburg throne in Sarajevo in late June ultimately led Great Britain to enter hostilities with Germany on August 4, Canada immediately entered the fight.2

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Visit to Vimy - April 9

Visit to Vimy - April 9

Hello Ranger Family

The day we have come thousands of km to participate in was here - April 9th.  We attended the Vimy Ridge memorial a couple of times during the Sunrise and Sunset ceremonies, however never had time to explore it.  Now, we would be witnessing the 100th anniversary event that all of Canada and beyond has been waiting for. The schedule for the day was very simple, attend the event and the reception, however it was very hectic. 

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Rangers Vimy Event in Aurora

Rangers Vimy Event in Aurora

To honour the sacrifice and victory of the 20th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Forces, in the Battle of Vimy Ridge the Regimental Council of The Queen’s York Rangers hosted a sold-out Centenary Evening.
The Queens York Rangers perpetuate the 20th Battalion, 37th Battalion, 127th Battalion and 220th Battalion, all of whom were part of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in WWI. Their combined service during the Great War earned the Rangers ten Battle Honours.

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Christmas in the Trenches

Christmas in the Trenches

The members of the 20th Battalion, CEF were amongst the earliest volunteers for the First World War, many of who enlisted in September of 1914. They spent the next five Christmas’ away from their families, either training in Valcartier, PQ (1914), in France (1915-1917) or in Germany on occupation duties (1918).

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Updated Regimental History

Updated Regimental History

Thanks to a generous grant from the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, the Regimental Council will publish a third edition of Stewart Bull’s history of the Regiment.  I am revising the text, both to bring the story into the 21st century as well as to incorporate new research.  For those of you who have the time and inclination, I thought it might be useful to post each chapter as I write it. If anyone does see any mistakes or want to make a comment, please contact me at dschimme@hotmail.com

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Captain Graeme Delamere Black DSO, MC - A Ranger in the Commandos

Captain Graeme Delamere Black DSO, MC - A Ranger in the Commandos

 

The role of the Queen’s York Rangers in the Second World War was limited to its necessary though dull duties on the home front, and the individual exploits of the many men who were trained by the Regiment and who joined other units overseas.  One of these individuals, who served with great distinction, is Captain Graeme Delamere Black.  On the seventy-fourth anniversary of his death, it is fitting that we remember him and his service.

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Rangers on the Somme - One Hundred Years Later

Rangers on the Somme - One Hundred Years Later

The British Army that started the great Somme Offensive of 1916 was enthusiastic, amateurish, and the disaster of the first day was --until the surrender of Singapore in 1942 -- the worst catastrophe in the history of the British Army.  With 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead, to the British 4th Army alone on July 1st, it was certainly the bloodiest day in the history of British arms.

While many people regard this -- rightly -- as a debacle, they forget that the Somme Offensive continued until early November; even then this is widely regarded as an exercise in bloody-minded futility by a set of out-dated Generals incapable of understanding modern war.  This opinion is dead wrong.  

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The Regiment's Commanding Officers - Between Rogers and Simcoe (Part Two)

The Regiment's Commanding Officers - Between Rogers and Simcoe (Part Two)

John Graves Simcoe’s deeds are well documented, and while he deserves much credit, it is doubtful that the Regiment he commanded would have been as successful as it was without the efforts of Christopher French and James Wemyss. It was Wemyss after all who commanded at Brandywine.

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