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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
Between the Wars
The 16th Prince Edward Regiment and The 49th Hastings Rifles were amalgamated to form The Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment.
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.
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.