Last night, we welcomed Gary and Earl from Oshawa’s Ontario Regiment Museum who shared stories from the Regiment’s early history, particularly the Regiment’s involvement with the Fenian Raids and the Boer War.
In case background information is needed, the Fenian Raids were a series of conflicts between the Fenians, the old Irish National Militia, and Canadians which took place largely following the end of the American Civil War. The Fenian Brotherhood believed that capturing British territory in Canada would help lead to Ireland’s independence, and they executed a number of raids along the Canada-US border. The largest of these raids was in June of 1866 along the Niagara frontier at which the Fenians defeated a small Canadian force at Ridgeway, although they withdrew before stronger reinforcements were deployed.
The South African War, also known as the Boer War was fought between 1899-1902, and it was Canada’s first official dispatch of troops to an overseas war. It was a conflict waged between Great Britain and two small republics settled by the Dutch, in South Africa. Great Britain appealed to other countries in their Empire, and many in English Canada were eager to support.
(Thank you to the Canadian War Museum for making information on these conflicts available on your website: www.warmuseum.ca)
The Ontario Regiment, formed in the early to mid 1800s, participated in both of these conflicts, and the Ontario Regiment Museum gave background on these conflicts, who participated, what they would have worn, and what weapons they would have used.
More information on the Ontario Regiment and the Museum can be found at www.ontrmuseum.ca