The Algonquin Regiment was mobilized for active service on May 24, 1940. It was re-designated 1st Battalion, The Algonquin Regiment on November 7, 1940. The Regiment served in Canada in a home defence role as part of the 20th Infantry Brigade, 7th Canadian Division and in Newfoundland from February 7, 1942 to February 6, 1943.The Regiment embarked for Great Britain in June 1943 and landed in Normandy, France as part of the 10th Infantry Brigade, 4th Canadian Armoured Division. Soldiers of the Regiment fought as vanguard infantry through Falaise, fighting to secure many bridgeheads over canals in Holland and into Germany, earning the following battle honours: Falaise Falaise Road The Laison Chambois The Seine, 1944 Moerkerke The Scheldt Breskens Pocket The Lower Maas The Rhineland The Hochwald Veen Küsten Canal Bad Zwischenahn North-West Europe, 1944-1945The overseas Battalion was disbanded on February 15, 1946.
Algonquin RegimentPhoto Collection
The following photos are from a wartime collection of Sherry Garvin. Her father Private Gilbert Bell served in “D” Company of the Algonquin Regiment and the Bugle Band of the Regiment. The photos are for the most part from his training time in Port Arthur, Ontario and Shilo, Manitoba.
Remembering Private Gilbert James Bell (Service No. B55251)BorninBracebridge,OntarioAugust31,1917,PrivateGilbertJamesBellwasthesonofGilbert Archibald(Archie)andMarieMarie Carmel(Hubbard)Bell.EnlistinginTimmons,OntarioonAugust8, 1940,heservedwith“D”CompanyoftheAlgonquinRegimentand was a member of the Bugle Band. He played both drum and bugle. WhilestationedinShilo,Manitobain1941,hemetWinnBrown andtheyweremarriedshortlybeforeGilbert’sCompanywasmoved to Port Arthur, Ontario.JustastheCompanywastobeshippedoverseas,Gilbertwas inhospital.HiskitwentoverseaswiththeCompany,buthe remainedinCanada.HewastransferredtotheHomeGuardwhen he was released from hospital. Private Gilbert Bell was very proud of his time in the band.IntheyearsfollowingthewarGilbertworkedasaskilledcarpenter and building contractor.He died on September 9, 1991 in Brandon, Manitoba.
372 members of the Algonquin Regiment lost their lives in the Second World War.On the Parry Sound’s waterfront trail a monument now recognizes members of the Algonquin Regiment who lost their lives in the Second World War.Unveiled September 23, 2012“Stand easy boys, you are back home at last … Carved in stone are the names of 372 young Canadian boys who voluntarily stepped up to the plate and joined up to fight and destroy the insidious Nazi tyranny that threatened to destroy our motherland, our country and our freedom … Whatever their reason for enlisting underlying, was the thought that there could be a price to pay, a sacrifice to make and a determination to pay that price for a principle of ridding our world of evil, of protecting our country, family and friends.”Words spoken at the unveiling by Algonquin Veteran Jack Patterson of Parry Sound
Photo: Huntsville Forester
The Algonquin Regiment War MemorialAlgonquin Avenue, North Bay, Ontario.Unveiled on August 31, 1961
Plaque commemorating The Algonquin Regiment, Wierden, Netherlands, July 2, 1945. WierdenTo the Algonquin RegimentCommemoratingThe Liberation of Our Town9 April 1945