Keywords:
 
 Include images of partners







Victoria Rifles of Canada fonds (P190)

1840-1961. - 100 cm of textual records and photographic material.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

The Victoria Rifles Company was organized in Montréal in 1861 by members of the Beaver Lacrosse Club in response to the strain in Anglo-American relations brought on by the American Civil War. In 1862 the Rifles were officially recognized as a Canadian militia unit under the name, the Third Battalion Victoria Volunteer Rifles.

The first commanding officer was Major William Osborne Smith. The battalion participated in the defence against the Fenian raids of 1866 and 1870 and its members also served in the Boer War, mainly in the Second Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. In the First World War three overseas battalions were recruited from the Rifles, the 24th under Lt. Col. J.A. Gunn, the 60th under Lt. Col. F.A. Gascogne and the 244th under Lt. Col. F.M. McRobie. During the Second World War the 1st Battalion was broken up to supply reinforcements in England while the Second (Reserve) Battalion remained in Canada.

The battalion also acted as an aid to the civil power during the 1885 Montréal smallpox epidemic, a strike in Valleyfield, Québec in 1900 and at the 1903 dock labourers strike in Montréal. At the end of the Second World War the battalion was re-organized as a militia unit under the command of Lt Col. R.L. Grant and later, Lt. Col. George Ross Robertson.

(Source: Guide to Archival Resources at McGill University : Private Papers At McGill University. McGill University Archives. 1985. Vol.3, p.203.)

Scope and Content:

The Victoria Rifles of Canada fonds contains administrative records and scrapbooks which document the history of this militia.

The administrative records include attestation registers, with names and other personal information of the men who enlisted in the battalion, 1887-1954; officers' service records, 1940-1944; and officers' duty roster, 1933-1948 with a list of enlisted men. Scrapbooks deal with the military and social activities of the Rifles, 1866-1950, and its 100th Anniversary with photos and letters from political figures, newspaper clippings and historical notes (1961).

The fonds is divided into the following series:

  • Administration
  • Correspondence
  • Scrapbooks
  • Printed documents
  • Miscellaneous
  • Illuminated

(Source: Guide to Archival Resources at McGill University : Private Papers At McGill University. McGill University Archives. 1985. Vol.3, p.203.)