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100th (Prince of Wales’s Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot

Last updated: 3 January 2014

Other ranks' glengarry badge, 100th (Prince of Wales’s Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot, c1874Other ranks' glengarry badge, 100th (Prince of Wales’s Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot, c1874
NAM. 1970-12-234-2

Introduction

One side effect of the Indian Mutiny in 1857 was a sudden surge in Canada’s loyalty to Britain - so much so that Canadians wanted to raise a unit to send to India. However, by the time the new regiment was ready to embark, the Mutiny had already been suppressed and the unit sailed for England instead.

Since Canada was still a colony, the regiment was a British Army unit right from the start, with the number 100 and the title ‘Prince of Wales’s’, after the future King Edward VII.

The 100th Foot served in Gibraltar from 1859 to 1863 and was then transferred to Malta. The regiment was posted back to Canada in 1866 and thus participated in the ceremonials inaugurating the Dominion of Canada on 1 July 1867. On that day the regiment decorated its headdress with maple leaves, the national symbol of Canada.

Although the number of Canadians serving in the regiment declined over the years, the 100th Foot maintained a great pride in its Canadian origins; it had a tradition of decorating its Colours with maple leaves and a cap badge which included a maple leaf.

Shako worn by Lieutenant W Richie in the 100th (Prince of Wales's Royal Canadian) Regiment, c1864Shako worn by Lieutenant W Richie in the 100th (Prince of Wales's Royal Canadian) Regiment, c1864
NAM. 1983-09-76-1

In 1875 the regiment was officially recognised as the successor to another 100th Regiment of Foot - that unit had been raised in Ireland in 1804, stationed in Canada for 13 years and finally disbanded in 1818. As its successor, the regiment also took on that regiment’s only battle honour, Niagara, won in Canada during the War of 1812.

The regiment left Canada in 1868 and served at various stations in Great Britain and Ireland until 1877 when it was sent to India. From 1877 to 1881 it was part of the garrison of the Punjab. It was still there in 1881, when it merged with the 109th Regiment of Foot to form The Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians).

Key facts

Motto:

  • 'Ich Dien' (meaning 'I Serve' - the Prince of Wales's motto)

Nicknames:

  • The Crusaders
  • The Centipedes (after its regimental number)
  • The Beavers (after its Canadian origins)
  • The Colonials (since it was the only British Army regiment with a colonial title)
  • The Old Hundredth
  • The Old Hundred
  • The Maple Leaves (after the Canadian national symbol)

Titles to date:

  • 100th (Prince of Wales’s Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot
  • 1st Battalion, The Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)
  The Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)
1881–1922
 
                   
         
100th (Prince of Wales’s Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot
1858-1881
  109th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Infantry)
1862-1881

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