Military Wiki
Royal 22e Régiment
Cap badge of The Royal 22nd Regiment
Active since 14 October 1914
Country Canada
Branch Canadian Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Mechanized Infantry (two battalions)
Light Role Infantry/Paratroop (one battalion)
Reserve (two battalions)
Size Five battalions
Part of Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Garrison/HQ Le quartier général - Quebec City
1st Bataillon - Valcartier
2nd Bataillon – Quebec City
3rd Bataillon – Valcartier
4th Bataillon – Laval
6th Bataillon – Saint-Hyacinthe
Nickname(s) The Van Doos
Motto(s) Je me souviens (I Remember)
March Quick: Vive la Canadienne
Slow: Marche lente du Royal 22e Régiment: La Prière en famille
Mascot(s) Goat named Batisse X
Colonel in Chief Queen Elizabeth II
Colonel of the Regiment Major-General Alain Forand, CMM, SC, MSC, CD
Plume Red
Left side of bearskin
Abbreviation R22eR

The Royal 22nd Regiment, in French and officially (in both French and English usage[1][2]) Royal 22e Régiment and colloquially The Van Doos (an anglicized pronunciation of the first two syllables of vingt-deuxième, "22nd" in French),[3] is an infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces. The mostly francophone regiment comprises three Regular Force battalions, two Primary Reserve battalions, and a band, making it the largest regiment in the Canadian Army. The ceremonial home of the regiment is La Citadelle in Quebec City, where the regimental museum is housed. The regimental headquarters is located in Quebec City, with all three of its regular battalions stationed at various bases in the province of Quebec. The regiment serves as the "local" infantry regiment for Quebec.


Arthur Mignault, founder of the Royal 22nd Regiment

A photograph of the Royal 22nd Regiment leaving Quebec in 1915.

The ancestor of the regiment was formed in the early days of the First World War as part of the British Army, when volunteers from all over Canada were being massed for training at Valcartier, Quebec, just outside of Quebec City. The first contingent of 30,000 volunteers, which became the 1st Canadian Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, were grouped into numbered battalions, regardless of origin. The existing reserve regiments were not mobilized, due to the belief of the Defence Minister, Sam Hughes, that a new "efficient" structure was required. In the process, the new structure failed to create French-speaking units, such as those that had existed in the reserves. Over 1000 French-Canadian volunteers were scattered into different English-speaking units. This was not an oversight. Ontario (Hughes's political base) was in the process of forbidding teaching in French, or of French, in the school system (Regulation 17), causing outrage in French Canada and a lack of support for the war of the "King and country" that was perceived as seeking to destroy the Francophone community in Canada.

The second contingent was based, more logically, on battalions raised and trained in the various military districts in which they had been recruited, but still on an impersonal numbered basis (with the exception of some with a Highland or Irish identity). Considerable political pressure in Quebec, along with public rallies, demanded the creation of French-speaking units to fight a war that many viewed as being right and necessary, despite Regulation 17 in Ontario.

File:Mignault-Borden 22e Regiment Letter.png

Mignault communicated with Prime Minister Robert Borden, leading to the creation of the Royal 22e Régiment

In September 1914, French Canadian pharmaceutical entrepreneur Arthur Mignault communicated with Prime Minister Robert Borden, to incite the formation of a solely French Canadian regiment. Mignault offered the government $50,000 to pursue this end.[4] Borden had recently committed his country into the providing of half a million soldiers to the Allied cause, and was just realising how demanding honouring this promise would show. Borden eagerly accepted Mignault's proposal[5] and accordingly, on 14 October 1914, the 22nd Infantry Battalion, ancestor of the Royal Regiment, was brought into existence. Mignault participated in the recruitment campaign, which resulted in a remarkable success; the ranks of the battalion were filled in less than a month. Arthur Mignault is as such considered the founder of the 22nd regiment.[6][7][8][9][10]

The 22nd went to France as part of the 5th Canadian Brigade and the 2nd Canadian Division in September 1915, and fought with distinction in every major Canadian engagement until the end of the war. While other French-speaking units were also created, they were all broken up upon arrival in France to provide reinforcements for the 22nd, which suffered close to 4000 wounded and killed in the course of the war. Two members of the 22nd were awarded the Victoria Cross in that war, Lieutenant Jean Brillant and Corporal Joseph Kaeble.

The Royal 22nd Regiment parading on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 1927

After the war, the 22nd Battalion was disbanded on 20 May 1919, sharing the fate of the other numbered battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. However, in the post-war reorganizations of the army, public pressure, such as resolutions by the Legislative Assembly of Quebec as well as the City Council of Quebec City, demanded that a permanent French-language unit be created in the peace-time Regular Force, and accordingly a new regiment was created, made up of veterans of the 22nd Battalion, on 1 April 1920. Initially the regiment, which was given the guard of the Citadelle of Quebec, was simply the 22nd Regiment, but in June 1921 King George V approved the renaming of it as The Royal 22nd Regiment. In 1928, the anomaly of a French-language unit with an English name was resolved, and the regiment became the Royal 22e Régiment.

In 1940, the regiment became the first Francophone Canadian unit to mount the King's Guard in London and was the first of the three current Regular Force regiments to do so.

Soldiers from the Royal 22nd Regiment exercising the Freedom of the City in front of Quebec City's City Hall, on July 3, 2006

In the Second World War, the regiment was part of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade and the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and was involved in intense combat in Italy, (where Captain Paul Triquet earned the Victoria Cross) and later in the Netherlands and northwest Germany.

During the Korean War, 1951–1953, the regiment expanded to three battalions, each serving in turn as part of the Canadian brigade in the 1st Commonwealth Division. Thus the "Van Doos" represented one-third of Canada's infantry contingent throughout the war.

During the Cold War the regular battalions of the regiment served, in turn, in West Germany as part of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, with the 1er Battalion serving permanently from 1967 until the withdrawal in 1993.

Batisse X, mascot of the regiment

The regiment also served during the Oka Crisis. During the life of the Canadian Airborne Regiment (1968–1995) the 1er Commando was manned as a French-speaking sub-unit by soldiers of the Royal 22nd Regiment.

In the 1950s, the Canadian Army promoted a scheme of administratively associating reserve infantry regiments with a regular one. Although this project did not make much progress in most of the army, three reserve regiments did join the Van Doos, becoming battalions of the Royal 22e Régiment:

3rd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment CFB Valcartier

Old regiment name Formed New battalion name Joined R22ndR
Le Régiment de Châteauguay 1869 4th Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment (Châteauguay) 1954
"Fusiliers du St. Laurent" and "Le Régiment de Montmagny" 1869 Les Fusiliers du St-Laurent (5th Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment) 1954 to 1968
Le Régiment de St.-Hyacinthe 1866 6th Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment 1956

In the case of Les Fusiliers du St-Laurent, the battalion designation was in a subsidiary title, but it became nevertheless, administratively, part of the Royal 22nd Regiment. However, in 1968, Les Fusiliers du St-Laurent dropped the subsidiary title, and ended their administrative association with the R22ndR.


Je me souviens (1989) Royal 22nd Regiment memorial by André Gauthier (sculptor) at Quebec City Armoury

Royal 22e Régiment memorial (1914-1964)

A stone shaft was erected on the grounds of Royal Military College Saint-Jean on 26 September 1964 to commemorate the founding of the Royal 22nd Regiment (French-Canadian); the regiment trained at Fort Saint-Jean in 1914. The monument lists the regiment's battle honours.[11]

Je me souviens (1989) by André Gauthier (sculptor), a 6-by-9-foot (1.8 m × 2.7 m) bronze haut-relief bronze and granite wall memorial, was erected at Place George V in front of the Grande Allée Armoury in Quebec City. Unveiled on November 11, 1989, the sculpture honours the memory of the soldiers from the Royal 22e Régiment who were killed during the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. The sculptor was inspired by A.T.C. Bastiens' painting L'Avance at the Canadian War Museum. The names of soldiers are inscribed in granite on the monument.[12]

There is a group of 28 gravestones of members of the Royal 22nd Regiment who died between 1929 and 1960 in the Notre Dame de Belmont Cemetery in Quebec City, Quebec. Four gravestones, dated 1929, 1935, 1938, 1938 feature a crown, beaver and regimental motto. Seven gravestones, dated 1939, 1941, 1941, 1942, 1942, 1942, 1947 feature the Maple Leaf and Canadian Forces cross. Seven gravestones feature the Canadian Forces cross dated 1954, 1954, 1955, 1955, 1955, 1954, 1960.[13]


The badge of the Royal 22nd Regiment above the entry to the Citadelle of Quebec

The 3rd Battalion, along with an attached mechanized company from the 1st, provided the basis for the Canadian ISAF contingent in Kabul, Afghanistan, from February to August 2004.

In August 2007 a battle group based on the 3rd Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment returned to Afghanistan, replacing the 2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment in Kandahar province. The battle group was made up of a company from each of the regiment's three regular battalions. It also included combat support and service support from all the units of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier, Quebec. There was a reconnaissance squadron from the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, a composite tank squadron from Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) (with troops from the other two armoured regiments), a battery from the 5th Regiment light artillery du Canada, an engineer squadron from 5 Combat Engineer Regiment. The battle group, awarded the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation, was "instrumental in dismantling improvised explosive device networks, re-capturing checkpoints and returning them to Afghan control, enhancing the capacity of Afghan forces and providing guidance on community building and local governance."[14]

Royal 22nd at the 400th Anniversary of Quebec City, their home base.

The Royal 22nd Regiment also provided about 150 trainers (OMLT) for the three Afghan "Kandaks" serving with them. As well it provided a protection company for the PRT in Kandahar.

The regiment distinguished itself in Kandahar through its determined and successful efforts to establish Afghan police sub-stations, protected by ANA and Canadian presence, in an ever-widening secure zone in the former Taliban home districts of Zhari and Panjawaii. Light infantry elements often fought toe-to-toe with the Taliban, relying heavily on sniper fire and man-portable grenade launchers to gain the edge over the militants. The battle group, and its associated OMLT and PRT elements, had 10 men killed in action during the six-month tour. The many wounded included Captain Simon Mailloux, a Van Doos platoon commander who returned two years later to Kandahar even though his leg had to be amputated.[15]

A second Van Doos battle group, this time based on the 2nd Battalion, deployed to Kandahar from March to November 2009 and was the vanguard of the much-vaunted "key villages" [16] program, wherein Canadian soldiers cleared urban areas of Taliban activity during sweeping combat operations and then installed sub-units permanently in those hamlets, guarding the approaches to Kandahar City. The composition of this battle group was nearly identical to previous incarnations, and it was able to rely heavily on the recently deployed CH-146 Griffon and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to perform a wide variety of airmobile operations, as well as traditional mechanized manoeuvres. The Griffon helicopters proved especially capable at spotting Taliban movements and directing accurate artillery fire on them, preventing Taliban groups from effectively re-infiltrating areas cleared.

Over the course of the seven-month Roto 7, ten soldiers from the battle group were killed in action ("Roto 7" denoting that this was the eighth consecutive Canadian battle group deployment in Kandahar since 2006, as rotations are numbered starting at "0"). An additional five Canadian soldiers, all belonging to the battle group's parent organization, Task Force Kandahar, also died during that period. The vast majority of these soldiers were killed by the Taliban's lethal employment of anti-vehicle or anti-personnel improvised explosive devices.

The final Canadian combat mission began in the fall of 2010 with the 1st Battalion Battle Group (BG) commanded by Lieutant-Colonel Henri St. Louis. One of the main operations taken on by the BG was Operation Baawar beginning in December 2010 featuring a major road project and a strongpoint construction project led by engineers, tanks, and infantry.


Battalion Home Brigade Notes
1st Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment CFB Valcartier 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Mechanized infantry
2nd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment Quebec City 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Mechanized infantry
3rd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment CFB Valcartier 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Light infantry, Includes a Parachute company
4th Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment (Châteauguay) Laval, Quebec 34 Canadian Brigade Group Reserve, Dismounted infantry
6th Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec 34 Canadian Brigade Group Reserve, Dismounted infantry
La Musique du Royal 22nd Regiment CFB Valcartier 2nd Canadian Division Regular Force professional band La Musique du Royal 22nd Regiment


Site Date(s) Designated Location Description Image
Saint-Hyacinthe Armoury 2155 Laframboise Blvd. 1905-6 Canada's Register of Historic Places;Recognized - 2005 Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec
  • Housing 6th Battalion of Royal 22e Régiment, this centrally-located brick and stone building is composed of a drill hall, a simple rectangular block with a gable roof, and the north block.

Battle honours

* Translated to French in 1958 from original English awards in 1957.

Victoria Cross recipients

Major Paul Triquet wearing Victoria Cross ribbon bar

  • Corporal Joseph Kaeble  – 22nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force – Neuville-Vitasse, France – 8 June 1918
  • Lieutenant Jean Brillant  – 22nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force – near Amiens, France – 8 August–9, 1918
  • Major Paul Triquet – Royal 22e Régiment – Casa Berardi, Italy – 14 December 1943

 – Awarded posthumously

Order of precedence

Regular Force:

Preceded by
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Royal 22e Régiment Succeeded by
Governor General's Foot Guards

Reserve Force:

Preceded by
Le Régiment de la Chaudière
4e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment (Chateauguay) Succeeded by
6e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
Preceded by
4e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment (Chateauguay)
6e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment Succeeded by
Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal


  •  United Kingdom – The Royal Welsh
  •  United Kingdom – 4th Battalion, Mercian Regiment

Freedom of the City (Military)

The Royal 22e Régiment exercises its Freedom of the City annually in Quebec City on July 3. Canadian cities which have granted Freedom of the City to the Royal 22e Régiment include: Quebec City, Quebec; Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec; Saint-Jérôme, Quebec; Farnham, Quebec; Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec; Drummondville, Quebec and Val-Bélair, Quebec. Foreign cities which have granted Freedom of the City to the Royal 22e Régiment include: Werl, Germany; Lahr, Germany and Ortona, Italy.[20]

Van Doos in popular culture

The Van Doos are the subject of a 2011 National Film Board of Canada documentary Le 22e Régiment en Afghanistan (English: The Van Doos in Afghanistan).[21] The documentary was filmed in Afghanistan in March 2011. On November 9, 2011, the film was previewed for the families of 26 soldiers who have died during their mission in Afghanistan, at a ceremony at the Valcartier base. A commemorative mural by Canadian artist Dave Sopha was also unveiled.[22]

Royal 22nd Regiment Music

The song L'immortel 22ème Canadien-français by Paul Ravennes (music), and Léon Chevalier (words) was published by J.E. Belair, Montreal. The first line is: Gloire au vailland 22ème, a lui la palme de vainqueur; Refrain: Vaillants soldats, vos noms dans notre histoire.[23]

  • Jean F. Pierret, conductor "La Citadelle; la musique du Royal 22e Régiment" (1975 Trans-Canada Musique Service Inc., 7033, route Transcanadienne, Saint-Laurent, Québec H4T 1S2)
  • Victor Falardeau & Jean Parent, conductor "La musique du Royal 22e Régiment : 50 ans d'histoire, 1922-1972" (Québec : Editions Garneau, c1976)
  • Capt. J.P. Armand Ferland, conductor "The Van Doos: the band of the Royal 22e Régiment" (RCA Victor Canada International, PCS-1007)
  • "Recueil de chants du Royal 22e Régiment" (Val-Cartier: s.n., 197-?)


Arms of R
Je me souviens; Meaning “I remember”.
The beaver represents service to Canada, and the Crown, service to the Sovereign. The shield is the coat of arms granted to the province of Quebec in 1868. The fleurs-de-lis emphasize the French origin of the population, the lion on a red background recalls Quebec’s ties to Great Britain and the sprig of three maple leaves is a symbol of Canada. The number “22” and the words “REGIMENT CANADIEN FRANCAIS” represent the 22nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force of the First World War. “JE ME SOUVIENS” is the motto of the regiment and of the province of Quebec.

See also


  1. "Van Doos". Royal 22e Régiment. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  2. Department of National Defence. "Royal 22e Régiment". Queen's Printer for Canada. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  3. "Royal 22nd Regiment: Canada's Fighting 'Van Doos'". CBC Digital Archives. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 October 2011. "Known among anglophones as the "Van Doos" after their French battalion number (vingt-deuxième)" 
  4. "viewed on 22 April 2012)". Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  5. Desmond MORTIN, A Short History of Canada, Random House inc., page 237.
  7. Le Leadership militaire Canadien français: Continuité, efficacité et loyauté – Google Books. 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  8. "La fondation du 22e Bataillon (canadien-français) | Le Québec et les guerres mondiales". 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  9. [1]
  11. "Royal 22nd Regiment stone shaft". Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  12. Royal 22e Régiment monument
  13. Notre Dame de Belmont Cemetery Royal 22nd Regiment
  14. "Governor General Announces the Awarding of the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation". Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  15. [2][dead link]
  17. "The Creation of the Commemorative Theatre Honour and Honorary Distinction "DEFENCE OF CANADA – 1812–1815 – DÉFENSE DU CANADA"". Department of National Defence. September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  18. "War of 1812 Battle Honours". Department of National Defence. September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  19. "DHH – Volume 3: Combat Arms Regiments, Part 2: Infantry Regiments – Royal 22e Régiment". Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  20. Royal 22e Régiment Museum
  21. Poinlane, Pascal (9 November 2011). "Un documentaire sur le Royal 22e Régiment en Afghanistan" (in French). Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  22. "Un hommage aux militaires morts en Afghanistan" (in French). 9 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  23. "L'immortel 22ème Canadien-français". Retrieved 9 January 2012. 

Further reading

  • Ducimus, The Regiments of the Canadian Infantry. St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada: Mobile Command Headquarters, Canadian Armed Forces. 1992. p. 248p.. ISBN 0-9696421-0-5. 
  • Bernier, Serge "Le Royal 22e Régiment, 1914-1999" (Québec-Livres, 2185, autoroute des Laurentides, Laval, QC H7S 1Z5 Montréal : Art Global, c1999)
  • Bernier, Serge ; translated by Phillips, Charles "The Royal 22e Régiment, 1914-1999" (Montreal : Art Global, c2000)
  • Boissonnault, Charles-Marie; Lamontagne, Léopold, "Histoire du Royal 22e Régiment (Région du Royal 22e Régiment, La Citadelle, Québec: Éditions du Pélican, 1964)
  • Cantin, Robert "Le sacrifice du Royal 22e Régiment (de 1914 à 1999)" (Sainte-Foy, Québec: Société de généalogie de Québec, 2004)
  • Castonguay, Jacques "Les bataillons et le dépôt du Royal 22e Régiment : vingt ans d'histoire, 1945-1965" (La Citadelle, Québec : Régie du Royal 22e Régiment, 1974)
  • Carpentier, Pierre "6e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment, 1956-2006" (Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec: Corporation de l'arsenal inc., 2011) Canadiana: 20120088282
  • Chantal, Denise & Rasmüssen, Louis "Armand Hébert, le plus grand mutilé du Royal 22ième Régiment de la guerre 1939-1945" (La Baie Québec: Denise Chantal, c1995)
  • Chauveau, Charles "Soixante-cinq ans d'histoire : notes historiques sur le Royal 22e Régiment" (Québec : s.n. 1983).
  • Corriveau, Paul, "Le Royal 22e Régiment : 75 ans d'histoire, 1914-1989" (Québec : Régie du Royal 22e Régiment, 1989)

"Mess des officiers du 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment : statuts et réglements" (Québec : Le Régiment, 1975)

  • Madill, D.S. "Le 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment et la Batterie 'Q', 5e Régiment d'artillerie légère du Canada (Chypre: 1975 Presses Zavallis)
  • Poulin, J. G "696 heures d'enfer avec le Royal 22e Régiment: récit vécu et inspiré d'un journal tenu tant bien que mal au front" (Québec : Éditions A-B, c1946)
  • Poulin, J. G "Des héros connus, inconnus et méconnus du Royal 22e Régiment : 1939-1945 et la Corée" (Québec : s.n., c1946)

External links

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