Origins of the Royal Canadian Dragoons
In 1883, the Canadian government passed a new Militia Act, which authorized a small regular force of cavalry and infantry. The cavalry component was established in Quebec City on 21 December 1883 as the Cavalry School Corps.
Formed on December 21, 1883 as the Cavalry School Corps, The Royal Canadian Dragoons is the senior cavalry regiment in the Canadian Army and was Canada’s first professional, full-time cavalry unit. It was originally organized as a troop (the then-company-sized British Army cavalry maneuver sub-unit, today regarded as a squadron) and was commanded by Captain (Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel) J.F. Turnbull of Quebec City’s Queen’s Own Canadian Hussars.
The first Regimental Sergeant-Major was Sergeant-Major George Baxter, recruited by Lt.-Col. Turnbull from the British Army’s 4th Dragoon Guards at Albershot along with two other British Army Sergeant-Instructors from the 7th Dragoon Guards and the 15th King’s Hussars.
Royal Canadian Dragoons Timeline
- Originated 21 December 1883 in Quebec City, Quebec as the Cavalry School Corps
- Redesignated 14 May 1892 as the Canadian Dragoons
- Amalgamated 27 June 1892 with the Canadian Mounted Rifle Corps in Winnipeg, Manitoba (lineage below): retaining its designation
- Redesignated 24 May 1893 as The Royal Canadian Dragoons