Military Wiki
The Halifax Rifles (RCAC)
File:Halifax Rifles RCAC logo.jpg
Active 1860–1965, 2009–present
Country  Canada
Branch Canadian Forces Primary Reserve
Type Rifles
Role Armoured reconnaissance
Size Headquarters Company
Part of Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
Garrison/HQ Canadian Forces Base Willow Park, Halifax, NS
Motto(s) Cede nullis ("Yield To None")
March Dismounted: "Lutzon's Wild Hunt"

The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) is a Canadian Army regiment that served between the years of 1860 and 1965 before being reduced to nil strength and placed on the Supplementary Order of Battle. The regiment was reactivated on May 10, 2009,[1] as a reserve force unit performing the role of armoured reconnaissance. It is the first and so far only regiment to be reactivated from the Supplementary Order of Battle.


In the wake of the Crimean War and the rise of the Volunteer Force in Britain, the regiment was raised 14 May 1860 as the Halifax Volunteer Battalion and later became the Halifax Volunteer Battalion of Rifles on 28 May 1869. Later, on 5 November 1869, they were redesignated the 63rd The Halifax Battalion of Rifles. It was redesignated the 63rd Halifax Battalion of Rifles in December 1869 and authorized as the 63rd Regiment (Halifax Rifles) on 8 May 1900. The regiment joined the Halifax Provisional Battalion in the North West Rebellion.

During the First World War, the regiment contributed volunteers to the 14th Battalion (Royal Montreal Regiment), CEF, on its formation in September 1914 and then later raised the 40th (Nova Scotia) Battalion, CEF.

During the Second World War, 1939–1945, the regiment was placed on local protective duty in Canada. It was later sent to England, where the regiment was broken up to provide reinforcements for other regiments.

On 1 April 1946, the regiment was redesignated the 23rd Armoured Regiment (Halifax Rifles), then The Halifax Rifles (23rd Armoured Regiment) on 4 February 1949. It received its final designation on 19 May 1958. The regiment served in Halifax until reduced to nil establishment in on 31 March 1965.[2]

Supplementary Order of Battle

Part of a series on the
Military history of
Nova Scotia
Citadel hill.jpg
Battle of Port Royal 1690
Conquest of Acadia 1710
Battle of Jeddore Harbour 1722
Northeast Coast Campaign 1745
Battle of Grand Pré 1747
Dartmouth Massacre 1751
Bay of Fundy Campaign 1755
Fall of Louisbourg 1758
Headquarters established for Royal Navy's North American Station 1758
Burying the Hatchet ceremony 1761
Battle of Fort Cumberland 1776
Raid on Lunenburg 1782
Halifax Impressment Riot 1805
Establishment of New Ireland 1812
Capture of USS Chesapeake 1813
Battle at the Great Redan 1855
Siege of Lucknow 1857
CSS Tallahassee Escape 1861
Departing Halifax for Northwest Rebellion 1885
Departing Halifax for the Boer War 1899
Imprisonment of Leon Trotsky 1917
Jewish Legion formed 1917
Sinking of HMHS Llandovery Castle 1918
Battle of the St. Lawrence 1942–44
Sinking of SS Point Pleasant Park 1945
Halifax VE-Day Riot 1945
Walter Callow Wheelchair Bus established 1947
Notable military regiments
Mi'kmaq militias 1677-1779
Acadian militias 1689-1761
40th Regiment 1717-57
Troupes de la marine 1717-58
Gorham's Rangers 1744-62
Danks' Rangers 1756-62
84th Regiment of Foot 1775-84
Royal Fencible American 1775-83
Royal Nova Scotia Volunteers 1775-83
King's Orange Rangers 1776-83
1st Field Artillery 1791-present
Royal Nova Scotia 1793-1802
Nova Scotia Fencibles 1803-16
The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) 1860-present
The Princess Louise Fusiliers 1867-present
78th Highlanders 1869-71
Cape Breton Highlanders 1871-present
Nova Scotia Rifles 1914-19
No. 2 Construction Battalion 1916-19
West Nova Scotia 1916-present
The Nova Scotia Highlanders 1954-present

In 1964, Paul Hellyer, Minister of National Defence, announced sweeping changes to be carried out in the organization and establishments of the Canadian Army. The army itself would be integrated into a new entity called the Canadian Forces (CF). Overall the manpower would be reduced both because of the greater efficiency of the CF organization and in order to free up money needed for new capital projects. The Militia, likewise was to be reorganized and revitalized. As a first step, several regiments of the RCAC were converted to non-armoured roles and several more were reduced to nil establishment and placed on the Supplementary Order of Battle.

The revitalization of the Militia was not achieved, and the corps was left the poorer by the loss of these historic regiments.[citation needed]

In the late 1960s, the Regular component of the corps was subject to a restructuring and the end result was the loss to the Regular Force of The Fort Garry Horse. In the 1990s, a similar restructuring, again saw the loss of a Regular Force Armour unit, the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's). Both of these units still live on in their Reserve Force units.


  • 1860: Halifax Volunteer Battalion
  • 1869: Halifax Volunteer Battalion of Rifles
  • 1869: 63rd The Halifax Battalion of Rifles
  • 1869: 63rd Halifax Battalion of Rifles
  • 1900: 63rd Regiment (Halifax Rifles)
  • 1920: The Halifax Rifles
  • 1946: 23rd Armoured Regiment (Halifax Rifles)
  • 1949: The Halifax Rifles (23rd Armoured Regiment)
  • 1958: The Halifax Rifles (RCAC)
  • 1965: Placed on Supplementary Order of Battle
  • 2009: Returned to active status as The Halifax Rifles

See also

Order of precedence

Preceded by
The Governor General's Horse Guards
The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) Succeeded by
8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's)


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