Who We Are
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) is a regular force armoured unit based out of Edmonton, Alberta. The Strathcona’s are comprised of Regimental Headquarters, three tank squadrons, a reconnaissance squadron and Headquarters Squadron. The Strathcona’s use Leopard C2s, Leopard 2s and Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicles to fulfil their direct fire and surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance tasks.
Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) LdSH(RC) provides tank and reconnaissance forces to the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Western Canada.
LdSH(RC) supports ongoing training for personnel through the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre while supporting numerous national level courses and exercises throughout the year.
The Regiment serves Canada in keeping with its motto “Perseverance.”
Visit our Regimental Society website.
Please see the Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH) Page for more history.
In January 1900, Donald Smith (Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal) offered to raise and equip a mounted regiment at his own expense to serve in the South African or “Boer” War.
His Regiment was recruited largely from the cowboys and frontiersmen of western Canada to include members of the North West Mounted Police (N.W.M.P.). Command of “Strathcona’s Horse” was given to the now famous Superintendent of the N.W.M.P., Sir Sam Steele.
Lord Strathcona’s Horse arrived in Cape Town, South Africa on April 10, 1900 and quickly became essential to the British Army. Employed as scouts because of their Background as frontiersmen and cowboys, the Regiment was involved in numerous skirmishes and bloody battles against the Boer mounted riflemen. The bravery of the Strathconas was illustrated by the actions of Sgt Arthur Richardson during an ambush at Wolver Spruit. Upon seeing one of his soldiers fall wounded from his horse, Sgt Richardson rode back under a hail of Boer gunfire, retrieved the wounded man and brought him to safety. Sgt Richardson later received the Victoria Cross for his valour.
At the end of the war, in Queen Victoria’s memory, King Edward VII presented a King’s Colour to the Regiment, an honour normally reserved for infantry units. Unfortunately, soon after its return from the Boer War the Regiment was disbanded. In 1909 it was reformed and named Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), or LdSH(RC).
At the outbreak of World War I, the Regiment was mobilised and trained in England. In March 1917, the Regiment again saw action during the defence of the Somme front. It was during this fighting that Lt Frederick Harvey won the Victoria Cross for rushing a German machine gun post and capturing the gun position. During the last great German offensive in 1918 when the British and French armies were on the verge of being split, Lt Gordon Flowerdew won the Regiment’s third Victoria Cross. On March 30 1918 at Moreuil Wood, Lt Flowerdew led his 100 man squadron on a charge that defeated a superior German force of 300 men supported by machine guns.
In July 1940, LdSH(RC) along with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, were mobilised as the 1st Canadian Motorcycle Regiment. Later that year, the Strathcona’s became the 2nd Armoured Regiment, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians). The Regiment trained in England for two years with the Canadian built Ram tanks and saw its first action in an armoured role in Italy. One of the Regiment’s most noteworthy battles in Italy was the Melfa River Crossing. During this desperate battle a lone Strathcona Regimental Reconnaissance Troop commanded by Lt E.J. Perkins established a bridgehead on the Melfa River. The Troop managed to hold the position with nothing heavier than machine guns and hand-held anti-tank weapons against continuous German tank and infantry attacks until reinforcements arrived. For his exemplary leadership during the battle, Lt E.J. Perkins received the Distinguished Service Order.
During the Cold War, the Strathconas deployed to West Germany three times. The Regiment also served on various other missions and Peacekeeping operations to Egypt and Cyprus.
During the 1990s, the Regiment deployed twice to Bosnia.
In 2000, a mounted detachment of eighteen members from LdSH(RC) were invited to London, to commemorate the centenary of the Strathconas original foundation, where, in ceremonial full-dress, they mounted the Queen’s Life Guard at the Horse Guards on seven days. This was a great honour, as LdSH(RC) remain the only foreign unit ever to have mounted the Sovereign’s Life Guard at the Horse Guards.
Since Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, the Strathconas have deployed 10 squadrons to include eight consecutive tank squadrons that served there between 2006 and 2010.