This year, 2021 is the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Canadian Artillery.
In 1871 the British Military were handing over the reins of guarding Canada to its own people. It was not as prestigious as it may sound, in 1905 the reminisces of William Jordan were given to the Kingston newspaper The Daily Whig that his “first sentry duty performed … [was] without uniform and with only a rusty ramrod for a musket.” Sounds a little lacking in the display we see from soldiers today on sentry duty.
The RCA has a website https://rca-arc.org/ is a wonderful site with a lot to explore. On their site you can read old issues of The Gunner covering the dates 1965-2020. As well they are selling commemorative items such as whiskey glasses, stickers, badges, pins and more. The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery has an active Facebook page and has been posting videos and commemorative messages. Also I would like to point you to the RCA Museum website for more information on the history and to view the various guns in their collection.
Canada Post will be joining in the celebration by selling a Commemorative envelope, that hopefully will be available soon for purchase.
If you suspect your relative was an RCA member you may want to check the old newspapers in the area of their service, A & B Battery were stationed in Quebec City or Kingston. The newspapers in those cities did a great job mentioning the activities of the Batteries. The clipping below is from 1877 and mentions Military promotions/changes including B Battery soldiers.
You can search newspapers at the BAnQ website (Quebec Archives) or Kingston newspapers on Digital Kingston.
The 150 commemoration has special meaning to me as my ancestor William R. Jordan (1852-1938) had many firsts upon the formation of Canada’s new military. A quote from a portion of his obituary, he “…enlisted in the Royal Artillery at the age of 16 years and 7 months when the corps, then in the process of formation, took over the Citadel from the 60th Rifles of the Imperial Army. This was in 1871, the year in which the Canadian Army as such was organized. Mr. Jordan had the distinction of having been the first Canadian soldier to pass the medical inspection of recruits for military service, the first to sound the call for parade and the first to act as sentry on the Citadel as a member of the Canadian Army.”
William Jordan mentioned in the RCA Reunion book, 1930
I am proud of my military ancestors who gave so much to our County and I thank them for their service.
Congratulations to the Royal Canadian Artillery on their 150 years of protecting Canada.
And a huge thank you to all the service men and women who have and continue to serve Canada.
Quite a long and dedicated service! His mustache didn’t change much, did it?
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I was told it turned yellow in his later years from chewing tobacco!
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