UBIQUE 150 Medallion

Excerpt from the April 2021 Barrage Newsletter (The RCA Museum)

Big things often have humble beginnings. In July 2019, I noticed a 50th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Artillery medallion for sale on Ebay. I managed to win the auction for $14.98. I would have gone higher. They produced the medallion to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Artillery in 1921. The medallion is in good shape and there are no obvious scratches, chips, nicks or dents. It’s probably composed of copper or bronze. The surface has some discoloration, but that’s expected after one hundred years. The initials of the last three British monarchs are included on the medallion. While our museum has no documentation on the 50th Anniversary, we do have this small medallion that connects nicely with the UBIQUE 150 celebration this year.

In 1871, Britain withdrew all Imperial troops from Canada, except for a garrison in Halifax. The Canadian Government responded by issuing General Order 24, which authorized raising A and B Batteries of Garrison Artillery. A Battery formed at Fort Henry in Kingston, Ontario and B Battery at La Citadelle in Quebec City. Both were to serve as Schools of Gunnery. British officers commanded the batteries, including LCol G. A. French and LCol T. B. Strange. Both batteries were manned by officers and men coming from local active military batteries. From these small beginnings, the RCA took shape; grew, prospered and became what it is today.

B Battery, RCA, Officers, 1890s

A and B Batteries are the original components of 1RCHA. From these initial steps came something immeasurable, including 150 years of regimental history. The origins mark the founding element of the full-time and regular army and the first Canadian Schools of Gunnery. They foster pride in our regimental roots in Kingston and Quebec City. It advances the esprit de corps in 33 communities across Canada with an RCA presence.

At the RCA Museum we are proud to celebrate UBIQUE 150. We will promote awareness through our UBIQUE 150 temporary exhibit. The RCA produced a new 150th Anniversary medallion, shown below, that we will save for posterity. Maybe in a hundred years museum staff will rediscover it, and reflect upon these humble beginnings.