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Gone but not Forgotten

October 17, 2020

A drawing of the banner was circulated as part of the attempt to retrieve the missing banner. It is believed to be in private hands.

This article was first published in the print version of Military Artifact, No.2 Mk III, published by Service Publications.

Shortly after the end of the Second World War, HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught presented a Regimental Banner to The Royal Canadian Regiment. The Princess Arthur was the daughter of the Duke of Connaught, then Colonel-in-Chief of The Regiment.

Late in 1945 an officer of the RCR was despatched to London to collect the banner preparatory to bringing it to Canada. Unfortunately, the banner was subsequently mislaid while in transit to Canada.

The loss of the regimental banner occasioned considerable embarrassment to the regiment and put into action extensive investigations by both Scotland Yard and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Canadian Army Headquarters questioned Movement Control officers, and others who might have been concerned with the banner.[1] Four years later the Adjutant General issued a circular letter which outlined the disappearance of the banner. The letter suggested that “the banner is at present in the possession of some person or unit in Canada”[2] and provided a description of the banner as well as a sketch. The banner was described as being 36” X 46”, with a red field and blue and hold diagonal bars. The ‘VRI’  was worked in green and the entire banner was trimmed in a red and green fringe. The letter was given the widest possible distribution and was forwarded to all Command Headquarters, Area Headquarters, Active Force units, Reserve Force Headquarters and units.

After over 50 years the fate of the banner is still unknown. (Editor’s note – the statement rings true over 75 years).

In conversation with staff of the Regimental Museum of The Royal Canadian Regiment, it appears that there have been several regimental banners over the years, nonetheless there is a strong desire to see this piece of regimental history returned to its rightful home.

[1] ADM Circular Letter 1/1949

[2] DND, DHH. Letter HQ1-101-6 Vol. 3

Thanks to MCpl Johnson, RCR Museum for his help.

From → Flags & Pennants

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