Military Wiki
The British Columbia Dragoons
Active 1908–present
Country Canada
Branch Primary Reserve (Militia)
Type Line Cavalry
Role Armoured reconnaissance
Size Two squadrons
Part of Royal Canadian Armoured Corps

RHQ: (Kelowna)
A Squadron: (Vernon)

B Squadron: (Kelowna)
Motto(s) Chinook Jargon: Quansem ilep (always first)
March Quick: "Fare Ye Well Inniskilling (5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards)"
Pipe bands: "Scotland the Brave"
Abbreviation BCD

The British Columbia Dragoons (BCD) is a Primary Reserve armoured reconnaissance regiment of the Canadian Forces. It is based in Kelowna and Vernon, British Columbia. The British Columbia Dragoons are part of 3rd Canadian Division's 39 Canadian Brigade Group.

The British Columbia Dragoons perpetuate the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles and the 11th Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.[1]


  • Regimental Headquarters (Kelowna)
  • A Squadron (Vernon)
  • B Squadron (Kelowna)
  • C Squadron (Penticton) (defunct as of 2010)


The British Columbia Dragoons trace their origins to the formation of the Canadian Mounted Rifles, two independent squadrons of horse in Kamloops and Vernon in 1908. In 1910 two additional squadrons were raised and the regiment was renamed the British Columbia Horse. In 1912 the unit was renamed again as the 30th Regiment, British Columbia Horse. 1914 saw the formation of the Victoria Independent Squadron on Vancouver Island.

In the First World War the regiment was not mobilized, but in December 1914 many volunteers from the regiment joined the newly formed 2nd Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles. After some limited service in France as cavalry, the unit was reroled to infantry as 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion on January 1, 1916.[2] The battalion became part of the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade, and fought with great luck and success on the Western Front. Despite being trained as cavalry but deployed as infantry, the regiment managed the war well. Captain "Jock" MacGregor was awarded the Victoria Cross for actions taken in the battle at Cambrai on September 29, 1918. The actions and awards of the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles are perpetuated today by the British Columbia Dragoons, their direct descendants.

In the post war reorganization, the regiment was renamed The British Columbia Mounted Rifles in 1920, and then to the name still carried today, The British Columbia Dragoons in 1929. Part of the reason for the change was to forever divorce the regiment from infantry duties. When the Second World War loomed, the regiment once again stepped forward.

The distinguishing patch of the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF, while serving as part of the 8th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division.

The regiment was designated the 5th Motorcycle Regiment (BCD), and later an armoured car unit. Finally made into an armoured regiment, the 9th Armoured Regiment (BCD), they were deployed to Italy as part of the 2nd Armoured Brigade, 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division. The regiment saw heavy action in the Liri Valley, were the first unit to break through the Gustav Line in Italy, 1944, and helped smash the Gothic Line, holding Point 204 right in the centre of the line. Part of the "Spaghetti League", a term used by soldiers fighting in Italy after D-Day, they continued to fight until orders were given to move the regiment to the northwest Europe area. They served with distinction until the end of the war, at which point the regiment was demobilized and returned to Militia service.

The regiment has since seen many ups and downs, with losses of manpower and funding, hostile popular attitudes, and the ever changing nature of Canada. The 1970s and 1980s saw the deployment of individual members to Cyprus as part of the UN operations there as part of larger Canadian formations. The 1990s and the new century has seen numerous members deploy to Bosnia as part of NATO operations with IFOR and SFOR. With the Global War on Terror, members are now serving overseas as part of NATO operations with ISAF in Afghanistan.

Lineage of the British Columbia Dragoons:[3]

Independent cav. sqns
1st Regt, "British Columbia Horse"
30th Regt, British Columbia Horse
2nd Regt, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF
11th Regt, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF
Victoria Independent Sqn
2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Bn, CEF
11th "Overseas" Canadian Mounted Rifles Bn, CEF
Absorbed by 24th Reserve Bn, CEF
The British Columbia Mounted Rifles
The British Columbia Dragoons
5th Canadian Motorcycle Regt, CASF (BCD)
The British Columbia Dragoons, CASF
2nd (Reserve) Regt, The British Columbia Dragoons
9th Armd Regt (The British Columbia Dragoons), CASF
9th (Reserve) Armd Regt, (The British Columbia Dragoons)
9th Armd Regt (The British Columbia Dragoons) CAC, CASF
9th Armd Regt (The British Columbia Dragoons) RCAC, CASF
9th Recce Regt (The British Columbia Dragoons), RCAC
The British Columbia Dragoons (9th Recce Regt)
The British Columbia Dragoons
Abbreviations used in the chart
Abbreviation Phrase
Armd Armoured
Bn Battalion
CAC Canadian Armoured Corps
CASF Canadian Active Service Force
Cav. Cavalry
CEF Canadian Expeditionary Force
RCAC Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
Recce Reconnaissance
Regt Regiment
Sqn Squadron

Battle honours


The Freedom of the City was exercised by The British Columbia Dragoons in Vernon, British Columbia on 10 May 2008.[4]

Cadet units

There are several Royal Canadian Army Cadets units spread across British Columbia which are affiliated to the British Columbia Dragoons. Cadets are not soldiers; they are part of an organization dedicated to developing citizenship and leadership among young men and women aged 12 to 18 years of age with a military flavour, and are not required to join the Canadian Forces.

Corps Location
788 RCACC Penticton
903 RCACC Kelowna
1705 RCACC Vernon

Cadet units affiliated to the British Columbia Dragoons receive support from the regiment and also are given permission to wear traditional regimental accoutrements on their uniforms.



  1. Canadian Forces Publication A-DH-267-003/AF-001 -- Part One: Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments
  2. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"2nd CMR". Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
  3. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"The British Columbia Dragoons". Official Lineages, Volume 3, Part 1: Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments – Armour Regiments. Directorate of History and Heritage. June 11, 2010. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  4. Freedom of the City

External links

Order of precedence

Preceded by
The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC)
The British Columbia Dragoons Succeeded by
The Fort Garry Horse

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