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8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's)
Royal Canadian Armoured Corps
133rd Anniversary Parade

by Paul D. Handel

 

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Introduction   

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On Saturday, 4 April 1981, the 8th Canadian Hussars celebrated their 133rd birthday.  The Regiment celebrated this anniversary with numerous events, which culminated in a mounted parade of wheeled and tracked light armoured vehicles. 

The Regimentís origins can be traced to a horsed troop raised by Colonel John Saunders during the American Revolution.  The 8th Hussars were officially formed as a militia unit in New Brunswick on 4 April 1848.  The Regiment fought as a Hussar Squadron of the 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles in France during World War 1 and  in World War 2 in Italy from 1943 and later in Holland as an armoured regiment. The Regiment later provided soldiers to the Korean War.  On 1 April 1957 the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) became the third Regular Force armoured regiment.  Since that time, the Regiment has served in Gagetown, New Brunswick, Egypt, Cyprus and from 1963 to 1987 had been based in Petawawa, Ontario. 

The regiment paraded about thirty six-wheeled Grizzlys and Cougars, as well as sixteen Lynx and M113A1 vehicles on the mounted parade. Their Guidon was carried in a Lynx, with jeeps providing the escort. The Regiment drove past the saluting base twice, once in honour of the outgoing Honorary Colonel and once in honour of the incoming Honorary Colonel.  Following the drive past, the regiment formed up in line abreast, and then fired a Feu-de-joie. A Feu-de-joie is a salute fired on ceremonial parades, and is normally done as a ripple of fire along the ranks.  With armoured vehicles, the blast effect of the 76mm guns of the Cougars firing blanks would have been too much for several ranks, so just the one line was formed.  The tremendous smoke and flash effect can be seen from the photos, and it apparently shook many windows in the barracks that day. 

Special thanks are due to Cliff A. Logan, formerly of the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, who provided the original photographs taken by him on the day, as well as a contemporary report from the local newspaper, on which this article is based.

 

Images

 

A Grizzly of HQ Squadron, with Cougars behind it. The Commanding Officers Grizzly, Callsign 9, can be seen on the left of the photo behind the formed up crews.
The Regiment mounts its vehicles.  The first vehicle is the Grizzly (Callsign 9A), mounting a Cadillac Gage 1 metre turret, the remainder being the Cougar Variant. 
The Commanding Officerís Grizzly after passing the saluting base. Note the guns are raised and the rear troop compartment hatches are open.
The right hand side of a Grizzly, showing the prominent exhaust pipe cover and observation ports in the hull.  The six wheel configuration can be clearly seen.
Two Lynx tracked vehicles of the Reconnaissance Squadron.  These vehicles accompanied the Lynx carrying the Regimentís Guidon.  Note the Canadian flag identification mark, and the rearward facing crew member.
Cougars passing the saluting base, with their turrets traversed right. The barrel of the rear vehicle is dipped in salute.  The large size of the Scorpion turret on the six-wheeled chassis should be noted.
A Cougar making a turn.  The bridge classification sign, 12 in black on the yellow disc is displayed on the retractable trim vane on the lower front hull.
The Regiment firing the Feu-de-joie.  Note the 76 mm guns are at the high angle, and the large smoke cloud and flash produced by the ripple of fire along the line.
Another shot of the Feu-de-joie.  Only the Regimentís wheeled armoured vehicles are involved in this Feu-de-joie.
 
 

 

 

Article Text Copyright © 2001 by Paul D. Handel
Images Copyright © 2000 by Cliff A. Logan
Page Created 03 August, 2001
Last Updated 03 August, 2001

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