The Grey and Simcoe Foresters, a Canadian Army Reserve unit, received their new Regimental Colours in a ceremony during the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Regiment. The colours were presented by the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada.
“Every soldier enlists eager to fulfill their duty with the Canadian Armed Forces. Their devotion is an example to us all. And so it is with great pride and confidence that I present these colours to the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Regiment. May they long be a symbol of the depth of Canada’s commitment to the common good,” said Johnston.
According to a DND press release, Regimental Colours “are the embodiment and the visual symbol of loyalty to the Crown, to the nation, and to the military unit in which one serves. Displayed on the colours are the battle honours of the unit, which represent its most glorious achievements.”
Every line infantry unit of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has two colours: a Queen’s Colour based on the Canadian flag and a Regimental Colour that features the unit cap badge and the battle honours the Regiment has earned over the years.
“Colours have been described as the soul of a regiment, and the presentation of new Colours confirms a sacred trust between a regiment, the nation, and the Crown. My own pride in The Grey and Simcoe Foresters on this day can only reflect that which must be felt by every serving and past member of that proud regiment as they receive new Colours,” said Col. Kevin Bertoia, Commander 31 Canadian Brigade Group.
The Grey and Simcoe Foresters’ new Regimental Colour is Lincoln green, considered highly appropriate given the Foresters’ name and heritage. It bears two new battle honours: “Hill 70” from the First World War and “Afghanistan” to represent those that took part in this conflict.
The Simcoe Foresters and Grey Regiment were formed from existing militia companies in these two counties 150 years ago. During the First World War four battalions were established in Grey and Simcoe counties for military service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. These battalions are perpetuated by The Grey and Simcoe Foresters.
The soldiers of this Regiment are reserve members of the CAF and train at armouries in Owen Sound and Barrie.
“This is, for most of us, a once-in-a-lifetime event. A regiment’s Colours are usually replaced only every 25 to 35 years. For us they represent our heritage, our traditions, and our loyalty to Canada,” said LCol. Shane McArthur, Commanding Officer, The Grey and Simcoe Foresters.
Featured image: “The foresters, in fact, can trace a link back to a mythic folk hero, Robin Hood, and his band of Merry Men in Sherwood Forest—your badge is even styled on that of British allied regiment, the Sherwood Foresters.You don’t rob from the rich and give to the poor, but you do have a strong sense of right and wrong. It’s your moral compass that guides you throughout your careers.” Date: May 20, 2016 Photographer: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall