The Unofficial Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) Site
|Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.)|
|In 1929 Battle Honours were awarded to the battalion for Great War Service. Having regard to the history of the 5th Bn. C.E.F. which it perpetuated, the ten colours shown in capital letters were selected by a regimental committee for emblazonment on the colour:
"YPRES, 1915-17" --"Gravenstafel" --"ST. JULIEN"
"FESTERBERT, 1915" -- "Mount Sorrel" -- "SOMME' 1916"
"Theipval" --"Anchor Heights" --"Arras 1917-18"
"VIMY, 1917" --"Arleux" --"HILL 70" -- "PASSCHENDAELE"
"AMIENS" --"Scarpe, 1918" --DROCOURT"
"QUEANT" -- "HINDENBERG LINE" --"Canal Du Nord"
"Pursuit to Mons" -- "France and Flanders, 1915-1918."
In 1936 an extensive reorganization of the Non Permanent Active Militia took place. At this time the Canadian Machine Gun Corps was disbanded and many infantry regiments including the Saskatoon Light Infantry became the Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) with headquarters and three companies in Saskatoon, and one company ("C" Company) in Melfort. This was the status of the regiment when the world war started in September 1939.
|DURING THE WAR
On September 1st, 1939, when Hitler's forces invaded Poland, The Saskatoon Light Infantry (M.G.) was mobilized and recruiting commenced under command of Lieut.-Colonel J. M. Cleland. On the third of September the battalion was designated as one of the units of the Canadian Active Service Force. Soon afterwards it was selected to be part of the First Canadian Division. On 25th of November Lt. Col. J. M. Cleland was succeeded by Colonel A. E. Potts, E. D. (Later Major General A. E. Potts, C.B.E., E.D., G.O.C. 6th Canadian Division) who, as commander of the 19th Infantry Brigade, reverted to the rank of Lt.Col. to take command of the battalion. On the 4th day of December 1939 the battalion entrained on two trains for Halifax. One half of the battalion embarked on board the "Duchess of Bedford" and the other half on board the "Aquitania". On the 10th December the convoy of five troop ships with protective craft sailed for England. On the 17th of December the "Duchess of Bedford" docked at Glasgow, Scotland and the "Aquitania" dropped anchor in Gourock Basin. The Battalion preceeded by train to North Camp Station, Hants., and took up their station in Tournai Barracks, Aldershot, which they shared with the Toronto Scottish Regiment (M.G.). Three days later the Battalion was visited by Rt. Hon. Hore-Belisha, Britain's Secretary of State for War.
During the ensuing five months very intensive training was the order of the day culminating in three weeks collective training at Netheravon and the successful contest with the Toronto Scottish Regiment (M.G.). During this period a number of interesting events occured. One happy contact with the affiliated regiment was made when the battalion was visited by General Sir Charles Deedes, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., Colonel of the King's Own Yorkshire Infantry. At this time he presented the battalion with a camp flag of the K.O.Y.L.I. and initiated action by which in March 1940, by kind permission of Her Majesty, the regimental buttons and the lanyard of the K.O.Y.L.I. were adopted as part of the dress regulations for the Battalion. On 24th of January there was an informal inspection by His Majesty the King. On the 8th of April the Battalion was inspected by Her Majesty, the Queen, after which both the King and Queen had lunch with officers of the Toronto Scottish Regiment (M.G.) at the combined Officer's Mess, Tournai Barracks.
Following the German invasion of Norway some members of the Battalion of Norwegian extraction were attatched to British units and proceeded to Norway. No casualties resulted from this brief engagement and all personnel returned to the Battalion.
Following the German invasion of Holland and Belguim the First Canadian Division was on orders for France. At this time "B" Company was detached and came under command of Second Canadian Infantry Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General G. R. Pearkes, V.C. The situation on the continent deteriorated so rapidly that the division remained in England and following Dunkirk moved to the area of Northampton and Kettering. It was during this period of frequent moves that the Battalion reached a high efficiency in road movement and quick deployment. At the end of June the Battalion was on orders for a move to France but its sudden collapse G.O.C. in chief, Home Forces appreciated that the most immediate danger was an attempt to cut off the industrial North from London by means of airborne troops in conjunction with landings along the Wash. At this time the only completely mobile, equipped and trained formation in England was the First Canadian Division. Consequently the Division was moved around the general area of Oxford and the Battalion continued its training in defence against Airborne landings.
In late July the Seventh Corps Home Forces ws formed under the command of Lt. General A.L.G. McNaughton, consisting of the First Canadian Division, the Second Canadian Division (still in training) and the First British Armoured Division.