The Halifax Rifles

Click on The Halifax Rifles Regimental Crest for further information


The Halifax Rifles began as one of six independent volunteer rifle companies that formed on 23 December 1859. On 14 May 1860, these companies formed The Halifax Volunteer Battalion. Throughout the next century, the battalion’s name went through 5 iterations before finally settling on The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) in 1958.

The Regiment has always possessed certain marked characteristics that make it unique. Notably, instead of a rigid adherence to accepted methods, the leaders have always encouraged an independence of thought which has enabled the regiment to tackle new problems, adopt new methods and to meet changing conditions.

The Halifax Rifles have a rich history of service, including seeing action in the Northwest Rebellion, the Boer War, WWI, WWII, the Korean War and various peacekeeping missions.

In 1941, additional armoured regiments were required for overseas service, so the Rifles were ordered to convert to armour and proceed to Camp Borden for necessary training. They landed overseas in June 1943, and remained in England until August of that year. Because at this time the need for reinforcements was much greater than the need of additional armoured regiments, the Rifles were broken up and its soldiers were dispersed to other regiments.

The Rifles took part in many battles during WWII and were awarded numerous decorations. Seventy nine soldiers were wounded and 48 soldiers are buried in European war cemeteries. Meanwhile the 2nd Battalion Halifax Rifles carried on their defence duties in and around Halifax from 1942 to 1946. Over 1200 all ranks served and, of these, some 550 joined the active force and proceeded overseas.

In 1965, as a result of government cut backs and the Suttie Commission, the Rifles were reduced to nil strength and moved to the Supplementary Order of Battle.

The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) was returned to service on 10 May 2009 as a Primary Reserve Armoured Reconnaissance Unit.