|The Canadian Grenadier Guards (22CAR) received the largest number, one hundred and seventy-six (176).
Brigadier-General Ned Amy, then a Squadron Commander and later the Commanding Officer of the Guards,
had this to say.
"When I joined the Guards in June 1944, I was unaware of the influx which occurred in 1943. As a Nova Scotian, I
was surprised to find so many Maritimers in a Quebec Regiment, the gunner in my tank was one of them. They were
excellent soldiers and truly a credit to their old Regiment. Eleven (11) were killed in action,
many more wounded, others decorated for bravery, some promoted and some filled such key positions in the
Regiment as squadron commander, adjutant, technical-adjutant, quarter-master, troop leaders and crew
commanders. A strong bond continues between our Regiments and after the war, two of our officers joined the
Halifax Rifles (23rd Armoured Regiment) both of whom eventually commanded it.
In 1990 our Regiment presented a scroll to the Army Museum in Halifax commemorating our war-time association
with the Halifax Rifles. Above the text in the scroll is displayed the crests of both Regiments and below it the
Canadian Flag flanked by the Provincial Flags of Nova Scotia and Quebec".
The 2nd Battalion Halifax Rifles was formed in 1942 and by 1946 some 1200 soldiers served in its ranks of which
approximately 550 eventually served overseas. On 1 April 1946, it was re-designated the 23rd Armoured Regiment
(Halifax Rifles) and it attracted eager young soldiers as well as war veterans to its ranks. Among the
former was Alton Lomas who in 1950 graduated top student in Canada on the Armoured Corps Officer's qualifying
course. Among the latter were; E.C.Wheeler MM and A.L. Barnaby each of whom served as the Regimental
Sergeant Major (RSM) and, two Grenadier Guards Officers (G.F. Snair and J.C. Oland MC)
and an RCAF Officer (R.F. Hubley DFC) each of whom commanded the Regiment.
The Flawed Decision
In 1965 the Commission, appointed by the Government to examine the restructuring of the militia, recommended that
the Halifax Rifles remain as a major unit. Notwithstanding and contrary to the recommendations of the Commission's
advisor for Atlantic Region (Brigadier Victor Oland), the Regiment was removed from the Militia Order of Battle
because of an egregious error in judgment. It completely ignored: the Regiment's 1749 historical connection to the
City; its seniority as the Province's oldest Regiment and Canada's third oldest; its service during the Riel Rebellion,
the South African War and both World Wars I and II; its distinction as the only Regiment ever to bear the name of
the historical city of Halifax; the fact that it was the last remaining "city named Regiment" in the four Atlantic
Provinces while sixteen such regiments remained in the other provinces (annex A); the fact that Nova Scotia was the
lone province to lose its only armoured unit while eighteen such regiments remained in the other provinces; the
strategic importance of Nova Scotia with its vulnerable 4000 kilometer coast line on the Atlantic.
These facts were available to Defence Minister Hellyer when he made the decision to retire the Regiment to
the Supplementary Order of Battle. It was on record that in the year leading up to this decision, it had fewer officers
but a greater total strength than the other regiments in the Halifax Garrison, the best recruit retention rate and an
excellent relationship with the community.
In May 1998 Lieutenant-General Giles Turcot, General Officer Commanding Eastern Command at the time,
offered this comment on the purpose of the Commission "I do remember the Suttie Commission but I cannot
remember ever seeing either Suttie or other members of the Commission in Halifax. If my memory serves me right its
purpose was to reduce the size of the Militia at a time when there was talk of doing away with it completely. I was
always against doing away with Units but rather have their strength reduced if necessary but keep a nucleus on
which to build in an emergency. I still feel the same way".