Awards

Since 1883, members of The RCR have received a number of awards for heroic actions and their stories are now available on The RCR Museum website.

The Queen’s Scarf

One of them is unique to the Canadian Forces - the award of the Queen’s Scarf to Private Richard Rowland Thompson of D Company, 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry. According to a well-research article written by Brian A. Reid, LCol (Ret’d) (RCA), the instructions to the senior Canadian officer, Lt-Col Otter to nominate a soldier (as the recipient) stated

Her Majesty the Queen has forwarded four woollen scarves, worked by herself, to be distributed to the most distinguished soldier of the Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and Cape Colony Forces under Lord Roberts’s Command.

His Lordship desires me to ask you to nominate the private soldier whom you consider has performed the most distinguished service in the Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry”

The particular acts under which Thompson were selected were reported as

First, having on the night of the Eighteenth-Nineteenth February 1900, kept Private Bradshaw, who was left dangerously wounded at Paardeberg, alive by the care and attention bestowed upon him, until he could be properly attended to.

Second, having twice left the trenches on the morning of the capture of the Boer Laager at Paardeberg, the Twenty-Seventh February, 1900, at the imminent risk of his own life, for the purpose of assisting wounded comrades, lying some distance in front of the trenches.”

Pte R.R. Thompson died on 6 April in 1908 and is buried in the Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery.

The Victoria Cross

Lieutenant Milton Fowler Gregg, VC MC

Lieutenant Gregg was born in Mountain Dale, New Brunswick on 10 April 1892. In September 1914, he enlisted in the 13th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Gregg eventually received a commission in the field as an officer, and was decorated with the Military Cross and later a Bar to that medal for his conduct in action at Lens and Arras in France in 1917 and 1918 respectively.

Lieutenant Gregg earned the Victoria Cross for his actions from 27 September to 1 October 1918 while serving with The Royal Canadian Regiment near Cambrai in France. Gregg led his men in an advance under intense fire through uncut enemy barbed wire. When the Germans mounted a strong counterattack and his supply of grenades was exhausted, Lieutenant Gregg secured more grenades and rejoined his men. Despite suffering two wounds, he continued to lead his men against the enemy trenches, which they cleared.

Gregg died in Fredericton, New Brunswick on 13 March 1978.

Lieutenant Milton Fowler Gregg, VC MC

Captain Frederick William Campbell

Frederick William Campbell was born in Mount Forest, Ontario on 15 June 1869.

As a young man, he joined a unit of the Canadian Militia, and later served in during the South African War with a machine gun section of the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry.

At the beginning of the First World War he was commissioned as an officer in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). Lieutenant Campbell was serving with the 1st Battalion, CEF when he earned the Victoria Cross in an action near Givenchy in France on 15 June 1915, and his 48th birthday.

Employing two Colt machine guns, Campbell led an assault on a German trench line considered to be nearly impregnable. Arriving at the German line, Campbell maintained his lodgement for some time under heavy fire despite the fact that nearly all of his men became casualties.

In order to cover the withdrawal of those of his men who were still capable of escaping, Campbell and another soldier advanced to an exposed position and succeeded in holding back an enemy counterattack.

It was as he withdrew that Captain Campbell received the mortal wound from which he died on 19 June 1915.

Captain Frederick William Campbell

Other Awards

List of awards and the recipients from The RCR can be found at the search site https://www.gg.ca/honours.aspx.