During the war of 1812-14 between Great Britain and the United States of America, Captain George Platt raised No.1 Troop of the Montreal Cavalry as a Volunteer unit for the defence of Canada and to augment the regular forces. Sir George Prevost the British Commander-in-Chief was so pleased with the work and performance of the Montreal Cavalry that he authorized it to assume the title “Royal Montreal Cavalry”, which it continued to bear until absorbed into the newly formed Canadian Militia in 1855 as the “Montreal Squadron” of Cavalry.
The Regiment’s first Guidon (the oldest in Canada) was presented in 1828 by the Earl of Dalhousie and currently resides in the RCH Armoury. The Royal Montreal Cavalry saw service during the rebellion of 1837-38. In 1849 the passage of the Rebellion Losses Bill led to serious rioting in Montreal where Lord Elgin was pelted with stones while driving through the streets. Lord Elgin was saved from death or serious injury by a Volunteer troop of the Queen’s Light Dragoons, part of the Royal Montreal Cavalry. In 1849 the Montreal Cavalry was re-designated the “Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars” and No.1 Troop of the Montreal Cavalry became “No.1 Troop of the Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars”.
At the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854 the Canadian Government passed the Militia Act of 1855. Sixteen independent troops of cavalry were authorized including the Royal Montreal Cavalry which was re-designated the “Montreal Cavalry”. In 1866 the Montreal Squadron of Cavalry took part in an operation at Pigeon Hill against raiders from South of the U.S. border.
In 1867 after Confederation No.2 Troop and the Royal Guides Troop of the Montreal Squadron were disbanded leaving No.1 Troop of the Montreal Cavalry as the sole Militia cavalry unit in Montreal. In 1877 the Dominion Government grouped the independent troops positioned along the U.S. border. The 5th Dragoons (5th Provisional Regiment of Cavalry) was formed, the first Cavalry Regiment in Quebec.
In 1879 the Canadian Government decided to group together in regiments of cavalry the independent troops of cavalry localised along the U.S. border. The 6th Hussars was the Quebec regiment of cavalry formed in this manner with eight troops, which incorporated No.1 Troop of the Montreal Cavalry. In June 1897 No.1 Troop was detached from the regiment as an independent squadron to be known thereafter as the “Montreal Hussars”. In August 1898 the Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars were amalgamated with the 6th Hussars. The amalgamated regiment was designated the “6th Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars” and the Montreal Hussars were re-designated as the “Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars”.
The South African War of 1899-1902 Canada sent a large contingent consisting of several regiments to which both the 6th Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars and the Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars sent officers and other ranks. Volunteers from both the 6th Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars and the Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars formed the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles who win the first Battle honour for the Regiment before the war was over. The 6th Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars continued to function as a rural cavalry regiment. In 1904 the 6th Duke of Connaught’s Royal Canadian Hussars now part of the 4th Mounted Brigade were re-localised. In 1907 the Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars achieved regimental status as the “17th Duke of York’s Royal Canadian Hussars”.
Montréal, Qc, H3H-1X2