Throughout its history, the Armoury has housed the XII Manitoba Dragoons, the 26th Field Artillery Regiment, and the 99th Manitoba Rangers.
The Armoury now houses the XII Manitoba Dragoons and 26th Field Regiment Museum, which is dedicated to the Southwestern Manitoba units that have served Canada.
The museum contains uniforms, badges, medals, historical guns and archives.
Construction of the three-storey Brandon Armoury began in 1907 and was completed in 1909.
The building was designed by national architect David Ewart. Construction was overseen by local architect Thomas Sinclair.
The designs entailed an armory on the ground floor, officers’ quarters on the second, and the caretaker’s rooms on the third. The rear portion was used as a drill hall.
The Late Gothic Revival structure is built almost entirely out of stone, brick, and metal.
The roof is accented by a tower, battlement, and ventilator.
Other decorative elements include a brick belt, a recessed entrance, and an inscription stone showing the date of construction.
12th Manitoba Dragoons
The 12th Manitoba Dragoons’ originated in Brandon, Manitoba on 1 July 1903, when the ’12th Manitoba Dragoons’ were authorized to be formed from five independent squadrons of Canadian Mounted Rifles.
North West Rebellion
North West Canada, 1885.
South African War
South Africa, 1900.
The First World War
Ypres, 1915; Festubert, 1915; Mount Sorrel; Somme, 1916, ’18; Cambrai, 1917; Amiens; Hindenburg Line; Pursuit To Mons.
The Second World War
Falaise; Falaise Road; The Laison; Chambois; The Rhineland; Bad Zwischenahn; North-West Europe, 1944-1945.
T-17E1 Staghound armoured car of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons crossing a Bailey bridge, Elbeuf, France, 28 August 1944.
Soldiers are offloading railway ties to reinforce or smooth out the road surface.
Source: Library and Archives Canada under the reproduction reference number PA-137296 and under the MIKAN ID number 3524437
26th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA
The 26th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA unit is part of 38 Canadian Brigade Group, which is part of the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve.
The Regiment currently draws people from Brandon and Portage la Prairie area.
Since Spring 2005, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, 26th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA and 116th Independent Field Battery, RCA have been grouped together as 38 Canadian Brigade Group’s Artillery Tactical Group.
This Reserve Force regiment originated in Brandon, Manitoba on April 1, 1908, when the 99th Regiment was authorized to be formed. It was redesignated: 99th Manitoba Rangers on May 1,1911; and The Manitoba Rangers on 12 March 1920.
The 2520 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps (RCACC) of Brandon parades out of the Brandon Armoury on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 p to 9:00 PM from early September to mid-June.
The RCACC) conducts a dynamic program where youth aged 12 to 18 can develop an increased level of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness through leadership, citizenship, physical activity and volunteerism.
The 26th Field Regiment RCA Pipes & Drums (P&D) operates and practices out of the Brandon Armouries (see Today’s Throwback).
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Brandon Boys Pipe Band, 1934
The 26th Field Regiment RCA Pipes & Drums (P&D) operates as an authorized “Canadian Forces (CF) Pipe Band”.
The Band performs at various military, Regimental and community events throughout the year.
It also performs at several cultural, community and public relations events throughout western Manitoba.
The P&D operate under the leadership of Pipe Major Jamie McFadden, Pipe Sergeant Brent Lowrie, Drum Sergeant Brent Chamberlain.and Band Officer WO Al Dunham.
The Band operates and practices out of the Brandon Armoury.
The origin of the Pipe Band goes back to 1947. In the early post-war years, the Commanding Officer, LCol S. C. McLennan appointed two officers to investigate the formation of a regimental band.
One of these officers, Captain William Manson had been a long time member of the ‘Brandon Boys Pipe Band.’
Captain Manson, like many of the band’s first members had long outgrown the nomenclature of “boy,” and knew that many former members would be eager to play in a senior pipe band.
Recruiting these ‘old boys’ proved to be an easy task.
Within days 26th Field RCA had a regimental band. On 21 March 1949, Ottawa officially granted permission for the band’s formation and 26th Field RCA became the first and only regiment in the British Commonwealth to have a Pipe & Drum Band.
Under the leadership of Pipe Major Bill McWilliams, the band soon acquired another distinction.
In 1950, the band was “kitted out” in the Gordon Tartan.
With the official permission of His Majesty King George VI, this was the first time that any band other than the Gordon Highlanders was granted the authority to wear this historic tartan.