49th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA

49th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, is a Canadian Forces Primary Reserve regiment based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The regiment is part of 4th Canadian Division’s 33 Canadian Brigade Group.

It draws much of its history from the Sault Ste. Marie Regiment, an infantry regiment of the Non-Permanent Active Militia of the Canadian Militia (now the Canadian Army). First organized in 1913 as the 51st Soo Rifles, a rifle regiment, at Sault Ste. Marie, volunteers from the regiment fought in the First World War. It was renamed in 1920 as The Soo Rifles, and for the final time in 1923, as The Sault Ste. Marie Regiment. In 1936, the regiment was amalgamated with A Company of The Algonquin Regiment to form The Sault Ste Marie and Sudbury Regiment.

In 1946, the regiment was converted to artillery, and continues to exist today as the 49th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA.

The beginnings of the regiment start in 1802 when a detachment of the 49th Regiment of Foot was stationed in the area at Fort St. Joseph. The numeric designation of today’s unit is derived from the original regiment of foot. In 1879, the first active militia infantry company was divided with 21 men being formed into a half battery of mountain artillery armed with two seven-pounder mountain guns.

In 1889, a half company of infantry was raised to company strength becoming No. 6 Company of the 96th District of Algoma Battalion of Rifles. In 1892, the company of infantry became independent and at the end of 1892, the half battery of artillery was disbanded.

In 1900, a new regiment called the 97th Regiment Algonquin Rifles was formed with regimental headquarters in Sault Ste. Marie. The regiment sent volunteers to the Second Boer War and also furnished aid to the civilian government by quelling a riot at a paper mill. The regiment had companies in Thessalon, Sudbury and Sturgeon Falls.

In 1913, the 51st Regiment, known as the Soo Rifles, was formed. In October 1914, one company, 125 all ranks, under Captain J. Johnston went to England with the 2nd Battalion, CEF. Later in 1915, a second company of 125 men went overseas with the 19th Battalion, CEF. This was followed in 1916 by a third detachment from Sault Ste. Marie of 150 men joining the 37th Battalion, CEF.

Previously, in November 1915, the 119th Battalion, CEF, was organized and was followed in March 1916 by the organization of 227th Battalion, CEF. Upon arrival in England, these battalions were broken up and the men were sent as replacements to other units.

On 6 August 1914, Details from the 51st Regiment (Soo Rifles) were placed on active service for local protection duties.

On 22 December 1915, the 119th (Algoma) Battalion, CEF was authorized for service and on 8 August 1916, the battalion embarked for Great Britain. After its arrival in the UK, the battalion provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field. In February 1917, the battalion was allotted to the 15th Canadian Brigade, 5th Canadian Division in England. On 16 April 1918, the battalion’s personnel were absorbed by the 8th Reserve Battalion, CEF. On 29 November 1918, the 119th Battalion, CEF was disbanded.

On 15 July 1916, the 226th Battalion (Men of the North), CEF was authorized for service and on 16 December 1916, the battalion embarked for Great Britain. After its arrival in the UK, on 20 January 1917, the battalion’s personnel were absorbed by the 14th Reserve Battalion, CEF to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field. On 27 July 1917, the 226th Battalion, CEF was disbanded.

On 15 July 1916, the 227th (Sudbury-Manitoulin-Algoma) Battalion (Men o’ the North), CEF was authorized for service and on 11 April 1917, the battalion embarked for Great Britain. After its arrival in the UK, on 23 April 1917, the battalion’s personnel were absorbed by the 8th Reserve Battalion, CEF to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field. On 11 April 1918, the 227th Battalion, CEF was disbanded.

On 26 August 1939, Details from The Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment (MG) were called out for service and on 1 September 1939, were then placed on active service for local protection duties under the designation The Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment (MG), CASF. On 31 December 1940, the details called out on active service were disbanded.

On 29 July 1941, the regiment mobilized the 1st Battalion, The Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment, CASF for active service. The battalion served within Canada in a home defence role as part of the 18th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 6th Canadian Infantry Division. On 30 October 1945, the battalion was disbanded.

The 49th Field Regiment was authorized on 1 April 1946 first as the 58th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment), RCA, through the conversion of the 2nd (Reserve) Battalion, The Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury Regiment. In 1947 the regiment was renumbered as the 49th going through a number of name changes. From 1947 to 1952, it was designated the 49th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment (Sault Ste. Marie Regiment), RCA and consisted of three batteries: 30th, 148th and 153rd. The designation was then changed to the 49th (Sault Ste Marie) Medium Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RCA, then 49th (Sault Ste. Marie) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA in 1962, and re-designated 49th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA in January 1981.

As of 2022[update] the 49th Field Regiment was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Nadon. The regimental sergeant major was Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Predum.

In 1930, the Sault Ste. Marie Regiment was awarded these battle honours, which became dormant when the regiment converted to artillery in 1946, being subsumed under the RCA’s honorary distinction ubique (‘everywhere’).

The regiment was granted the Freedom of the City of Sault Ste. Marie on 1 July 1967 and on 26 May 2012.

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