About The Regiment

The Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment is one of Canada’s most prestigious reserve infantry regiments. The current Commanding Officer is LCol Chris Comeau.

The Army Reserve (or Militia) has become a valued contributor to the Regular Force. Today Reservists are standing shoulder to shoulder with their Regular Force Peers, fighting the War on Terror. Farley Mowat captured it the best when he wrote, yet there was one hidden weapon; one ignored by most of those who calculated military strength, ignored by the government itself and yet a weapon infinitely more powerful, and ready than any in the official armoury It was called the Militia. No words have been spoken that are more true today. The Army Reserve is made up of citizen soldiers who train part-time at local armouries throughout the year and full-time (as their civilian employment permits) at military bases across Canada during the summer. Reserves also contribute to NATO deployments, and UN missions.

The Regiment forms part of 33 Canadian Brigade Group within Land Force Central Area/Joint Task Force Central. Regimental Headquarters is located inBelleville, Ontario with additional companies in Peterborough and Cobourg. . Training and Administration takes pace 1900-2200 on Tuesday nights and training 1900-2200 Thursday nights.

From it’s modest beginnings as several local militia units in 1800 to being awarded more Battle Honours during WWII than any other Canadian Infantry Regiment, the Hasty Ps have served well and selflessly when called upon, always living up to The Regimental motto: PARATUS…. meaning ‘ready’ in Latin. After WWII, two war time Commanding Officers, went on to Command the Canadian Forces, Lieutenant General H. Graham, went on to become the Chief of the General Staff, and General J. Dextrase, who commanding the 2nd Bn Hast&PER as it prepared for Pacific duty went on to become the Chief of Defense Staff, and Major General J. Richardson went on to be the Chief Reserves and Cadets. The Regiment continually boasts among the highest turnouts for area readiness exercises, scores top marks for annual inspections and places many soldiers on overseas operations. The Regiment has trained and continues to train soldiers that serve with pride and distinction.

The Regiment was made famous in Farley Mowat’s historical book, The Regiment. Captain Mowat served as a platoon commander and later as an intelligence officer for the regiment. Farley,put pen to paper, and the finish product, was the world acclaimed book, The Regiment. Since then, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment has been the subject of many books.

The Regiment stands ready to defend the citizens of Canada.

Regimental Armouries in 1911
Regimental Armouries in 2009

Commanding Officer

LCol Chris Comeau joined the military as an OCdt on 14 Dec 1987. His Employment history within his artillery career has been extensive, first cutting his teeth as a troop commander in H BATTERY, 3RCHA, from 1989-1991. Moving onwards and upwards he was then posted and employed as a FOO with the Airborne Regiment from 91-93. He was next employed for a short stint working for the Director of Individual Training at NDHQ from 93-94, purchasing training aids for the Army. He was subsequently posted to the Artillery School where he completed his IG course and instructed in that capacity from 94-96. He was sent back west to Shilo as the 1RCHA BK and Ops O from 1996-2000.

RSM

Chief Warrant Officer Ben Piché joined the Canadian Forces in January 1981.  On completion of his infantry basic training he was posted to the 3rd Battalion of Royal 22nd Regiment.  Following his dream of completing the basic parachutist course in the fall of 1982, he was immediately posted to the Canadian Airborne Regiment where he served for a period of six years.  Throughout this time he took part in various trade courses and deployed to Cyprus.

Past Commanding Officer

The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment has been under the leadership of many different commanding officers throughout its rich history – click the button below to view the full list of previous commanding officers.

Past RSMs

The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment has been under the leadership of many different commanding officers throughout its rich history – click the button below to view the full list of previous Regimental Sergeant Majors.

Past Honourary Colonels

The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment has been under the leadership of many different commanding officers throughout its rich history – click the button below to view the full list of previous honourary colonels.

History of The Regiment

The United Empire Loyalists who settled in the county of Hastings and Prince Edward organized the first local Militia units for self-defence. The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment is the modern descendant of those Militia units.

Pre World War I

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1800

Col. A Macdonnell forms the 1st Regiment of Prince Edward Militia.

1804

Col. J Ferguson forms the 1st Regiment of Hastings Militia.

1812

The Regiments provided units which served in the War of 1812

1837 - 1838

The Regiments provided units which served in the McKenzie Rebellion

1860

During the time of the Fenian threat, the Canadian Government authorized the formation of new independent infantry companies.

1863

The 15th Battalion Volunteer Militia (Infantry) Belleville is authorized.
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1866

The 15th Battalion Volunteer Militia (Infantry), Canada was called out on active serve on 8 March 1866. It was removed from active service on 27 March 1866.

1866

The 1st Hastings was re-designated the 49th Regiment (Hastings Rifles).

1867

The 16th Prince Edward Battalion of Infantry, was re-designated once again as the 16th Prince Edward Regiment.

1885

The 15th Argyll formed ‘H’ Company in the Midland Battalion for service during the Northwest Rebellion. This service is the source of the Battle Honour which is part of the current day Regimental Battle Honours.

1885

In North-West Canada, a number of individuals served with the Royal Canadian Regiment during the Boer War.

1889-1902

Over a three year period seventy seven solders from The 15th Argyll Light Infantry, the 16th Price Edward Regiment, the 49th Regiment Hastings Rifles, and the 40th Northumberland Regiment provided volunteers for Canadian continents during the South African War, 1899-1902. Our heaviest troop involvement was in 1900.

World War I

Few Canadian Regiments served as such overseas in WWI. Men were enlisted in Battalions designated only as numbers. Militia from the Quinte region formed the 39th, 80th, 136th, 155th, and 254th Infantry Battalions as well as the 21st and 77th Infantry Battalions and the 1st Forestry Battalion. Their valor in action earned them the following Battle Honours:

1916 Battle of the SOMME

also known as the Somme Offensive
(1 July to 18 November 1916)

1917 Battle of ARRAS

(9 April to 16 May, 1917)

1917 Third Battle of YPRES

also known as the Battle of Passchendaele
(21 July to 6 November 1917)

1917 Battle of HILL 70

1918 Battle of AMIENS

1914-18 PURSUIT TO MONS

1916-18 HINDENBURG LINE

also known as the Siegfried Line

Between the Wars

1920
The 16th Prince Edward Regiment and The 49th Hastings Rifles were amalgamated to form The Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment.
1934
The Regiment received new Colours presented by LGen Sir Archibald McDonald. The Regiment also affiliated with the Royal Sussex Regiment and was granted the honour of using their colours of old gold and royal blue. The Royal Sussex Regiment was amalgamated with several other regiments to form The Queen’s Regiment in 1966. It in turn, was absorbed by the modern Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

The armorial elements of the 16th PER and the 49th Hastings Rifles cap badges,
seen above, were combined to create the cap badge of the new Regiment, shown below:

The cap badge has been worn to this day with the only change being to the crown after the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

World War II

The Regiment mobilized on September 2, 1939 and began training with the relics of WWI leftover uniforms and equipment. Some had to make do with sticks in place of rifles and supplied their own boots and clothing but by December 19, when they embarked on the HMT Ormonde they were a fully equipped trained unit.

1940-43

The Regiment trained in Great Britain with the exception of a brief foray into France where the fierce Blitzkrieg waged by the Germans cost them most of their vehicles and The Regimental mascot, Little Chief. A new mascot Chief Petawawa-Much was taken on strength on October 30, 1940 with the service number C.0001. (Little Chief’s number had been C.0000).

1943

July 10, the Hasty P’s, part of Canadian Army 1st Division, landed on Green Beach, Sicily and earned eight Battle Honours at the cost of many men, including a Commanding Officer.

1943

September 3, an unopposed landing was more than made up for by a vicious running battle with seasoned German Army troops up through the Italian Peninsula as part of the British 8th Army. The Regiment earned twenty more Battle Honours at fearful cost.

1945

The Regiment departed Italy and went to Northwest Europe and joined the 1st Canadian Army where they took active part in the liberation of Holland. Among The Regiments accomplishments was the capturing of the Dutch Summer Palace at Apeldoorn.

Farley Mowat published a history of The Regiment in WWII. “THE REGIMENT” is a worthy recounting of The Regiment’s accomplishments. Mowat himself was a platoon commander in The Regiment, and later in the war, an intelligence officer in England.

Post-War

1951

Two companies were raised for NATO service in West Germany as part of the 27th Brigade.

1954

Government cutbacks had The Regiment, now headquartered in Belleville, absorb the Midland Regiment, the 34th Battery, and the Argylls.

1957

In October, more than twelve years after the end of the war, Canadian Army Orders finally announced The Regiment had been awarded 31 Battle Honours, (more than any other Canadian regiment) ten of which were emblazoned onto The Regimental Colours.

1969

More cutbacks closed six more Regimental armouries. The armoury in Peterborough remained open, but the 50th Field Regiment and the 28th RCEME were struck off the Order of Battle and their personnel formed ‘B’ Company of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment. The regiment now occupied only two armouries.

1992

The Cobourg Armoury officially opened it’s doors in January and provided a home for ‘C’ Company of the Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment.

1992-2014

Hasty Ps continue to serve across the world in places such as the Sinai, the Golan Heights, Cypress, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzogovinia, Haiti and Afghanistan.

2012

The Regiment is granted the Honorary Distinction – Defence of Canada 1812-15

2013

The Regiments celebreates its 150th anniversary of service to Canada

2014

The Regiment is awarded Battle Honour “South Africa 1900”