10 Sep 56

33-1 Battle Honours - The Second World War

The following regulations and orders have been approved and are promulgated and issued to the Canadian Army.

Adjutant General


1.     Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the following conditions governing the award of battle honours to regiments of the Canadian Army.


2.     The theatres, battles, actions and engagements of the Second World War for which regiments may be awarded honours are listed below.

3.     Each regiment will be provided with a draft list of the honours for which it is considered eligible.

4.     Regiments may submit claims for operations not included in the list hereunder, or in the draft regimental list referred to in paragraph 3, to which they consider they have entitlement. Such claims will have to 'be accompanied by strong evidence and will be considered on their merits.

5.     Battle honours are normally on a regimental basis and all such honours of a regiment are equally the property of all units of the regiment; however, Militia regiments which bear the designation of Regular Army regiments as a secondary title only, e.g., The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry), will be considered as separate regiments for the award and display of honours.

6.     The term "colours" in the subsequent paragraphs means standards, guidons or colours.

Eligibility for Awards

7.     Honours may be awarded in respect of service in either an armoured or an infantry role to:

(a)     regiments which are entitled by custom to carry colours. This category includes

(i)     The Governor General's Horse Guards and the 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards,

(ii)     former cavalry regiments designated or classified as dragoons,

(iii)     infantry regiments, including those converted to regiments of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps,

(iv)     parachute regiments;

(b)     regiments which are entitled to bear honours on their clothing or appointments. This category includes,

(i)     former cavalry regiments designated as hussars,

(ii)     rifle regiments.

8.     Regiments and units of other arms and of the services are not eligible for awards.

9.     Honours earned by wartime units will be awarded to the regiments which continue these units in the army today. In the case of an amalgamation, the reorganized regiment will be entitled to the honours earned by all component regiments.

10.     Where two Militia regiments, still active, contributed personnel to form a wartime regiment, not continued in the army today, which carried a designation identifying it with both Militia regiments, they will both be entitled to the honours earned by the wartime regiment.

11.     Where an otherwise eligible unit served in or has been converted to a non-honour bearing arm, e.g., artillery, it will not be awarded honours. How- ever, if such a unit is subsequently reconverted to honour bearing status in a colour bearing arm, it may claim any honours earned by its wartime unit as the result of services in an armoured or infantry role and the award of an honorary distinction such as a badge representative of the arm with which it served. Claims must fulfil the conditions of the qualifying rules for battle or theatre honours.

Participation in Operations

12.     A battle honour will not be awarded merely because a unit was present in an operation. To qualify, the unit must:

(a)     have been committed in the locality and within the time limits laid down for one of the individual operations defined below;

(b)     have been actively engaged with enemy ground troops;

(c)     have taken a creditable part in the" operations;

(d)     be proud of its part in the operation.

Percentage of Unit present in an Operation

13.     Normally, the rule that will be applied is that headquarters and at least fifty percent of the sub-units of a unit must have been present.

14.     Two particular extensions of this rule will be allowed for as follows:

(a)     where units such as armoured regiments, armoured car regiments, reconnaissance regiments or machine-gun battalions fought on a squadron or company basis, with squadrons or companies being attached to brigades or battalions for operations, honours may be awarded where fifty percent of the squadrons or companies were engaged without their regimental or battalion headquarters~. Where a unit had sub-units committed simultaneously to different operations only one award covering anyone period of time will be made;

(b)     where a regiment was represented in a theatre only by a squadron or a company operating independently, such as the independent machine gun company in an armoured division, honours may be awarded on the basis of fifty percent of the troops or platoons being present in battle. Where such troops or platoons were committed simultaneously to different operations, only one award will be made to cover anyone period of time.

15.     There may be exceptional cases where individual squadrons or companies took an important part in certain operations, and in such cases any claims submitted will be treated on their merits.

Theatre Honours

16.     A theatre honour will be awarded to all regiments which have qualified for one or more 'battle honours in the theatre. Regiments which arc ineligible for battle honours in the theatre may be awarded a theatre honour if the unit was represented by at least a squadron or company in the theatre and creditably performed an allotted task.

Limitation of Honours to be Emblazoned

17.     A maximum of ten Second World War honours, either battles, actions, engagements or theatres, may be emblazoned, on the colours or appointments.

Display of Honours

18.     Second World War honours will be added to tile honours already emblazoned on the regimental colours and, in the case of regiments of Foot Guards, on both the Queen’s and regimental colours. Modification in the size of lettering may be necessary in some cases to permit the honours to be arranged in the traditional manner.

19.     Honours awarded to regiments not carrying colours, are intended to be borne on their clothing or appointments, as may be authorized by Army Headquarters.

20.     The same honours will be displayed on the colours of all units of a regiment.

21.     Amalgamated regiments will bear the combined honours of the individual regiments and may select for emblazonment a maximum of ten honours for the Great War 1914-19 and ten for the Second World War.

Honorary Distinctions

22.     An honorary distinction such as a badge with year dates will, if awarded to a battalion of a regiment, be peculiar to that unit and not to the whole regiment and will be borne on the unit's colour or appointments.

Notification of Honours Awarded

23.     All honours awarded, including those to be emblazoned on tile colours or appointments, will be promulgated in Supplements to Canadian Army Orders. Those selected for emblazonment will be shown in heavy type.

24.     Honours awarded to disbanded regiments will be promulgated as a matter of record.

25.     Where an honorary distinction is awarded, its description will be printed in Supplements to Canadian Army Orders immediately below the regimental honours in a manner to indicate clearly to which unit tile distinction refers.

Selection of Honours

26.     Each armoured or infantry regiment concerned will form a regimental honours committee of not less than five members. Bearing in mind the practicability of conducting the business of tile committee, the chairman and members will be found by invitation from the following:

(a)     present and past commanding officers (it is particularly desirable to obtain the services of former commanding officers of all wartime active units concerned);

(b)     former commanding officers of amalgamated regiments;

(c)     other officers who served in or are still serving in the units concerned, including honorary colonels and lieutenant-colonels.

27.     The regimental committee will:

(a)     consider the draft regimental list of honours and claim the award of those considered appropriate;

(b)     initiate a claim for any honour not included in the list of operations below or in the draft regimental list to which the regiment considers it has an entitlement. Each claim thus submitted will have to be accompanied by strong supporting evidence;

(c)     select from the full list of honours claimed for award, up to ten honours to be emblazoned on the colours or appointments;

(d)     forward claims and selections through the usual channels to Army Headquarters (Attention: D Adm).

28.     'No reimbursement from public funds can be made for expenses incurred in connection with these committees.

List of Operations

29.     The list of operations set out in the table to this order is an extract from the Report of the Battles Nomenclature Committee on which all Commonwealth countries were represented. All the theatres, battles, actions and engagements in which Canadian regiments, entitled to battle honours, are known to have taken part have been listed under the official classifications as agreed by this committee.

30.     As defined by the Battles Nomenclature Committee the “Battle” is essentially an operation of some magnitude. Operations which are in the nature of battles, but of lesser importance or magnitude, are classified as “Actions”. “Engagements” are those particularly meritorious operations by units or small formations, sometimes representing independent contributions towards the general plan, and at other times, isolated incidents deserving of special mention.

31.     Under columns (d) and (e) are set out those “Actions” and “Engagements” which, although forming part of a battle, merit consideration for battle honours.

32.     Instances of more or less isolated fighting whether or not they formed part of a particular battle are shown in columns (f) and (g) as "Separate Actions" and “Engagements”.



ITALY 1943-45

Follow The Regimental Rogue on facebook.