Cadets honour the Patricias
In honour of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry’s centennial, Vermilion Cadets received and raised the PPCLI flag last week.
“Certainly to connect on a more personal level is our goal,” said Major Loic Darrus, deputy commanding officer for the Third Canadian Division Training Centre in Wainwright, Alberta. “And today is our opportunity to start doing that with the local cadet corps. [The cadets] have graciously offered to receive a Patricia flag and will be flying it here.”
“Every cadet that comes through these halls in the coming years can look on it and see a symbol of that long history of that regiment and the partnership with this group,” said Darrus. “They will be affiliated with us and we’re happy to work with them.”
“Our hope as a regiment is to connect with Canadians,” said Major Loic Darrus, “We’re already fairly well-known within Canada.”
The PPCLI, or the Patricia’s, is one of the last regular force infantry regiments to have been privately raised.
“A businessman for Montreal, Andrew Hamilton Gault, decided to raise a regiment so that it could be sent to fight in the First World War,” said Darrus. “It was the first and only regiment to have landed in France in 1914, and from then on it’s served in every major operation from World War 1 to Afghanistan. It’s a long-lasting unit of which we are very proud.”
The Patricia’s consists of three regular force battalion, two in Edmonton and one in Shilo, Manitoba. Each battalion has about 800 soldiers and officers. The Patricia family, however, is much larger than that, said Darrus. There are NCOs and officers all over Canada in various capacities and the extended family of the association and it’s family members spread from coast to coast.
The Vermilion Cadets are associated with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, the LER has had a close history of fighting alongside the PPCLI. Darrus said the regiment is considered the fourth battalion of the Patricias.
Darrus, who was born in France and grew up in Surrey, British Colombia, said joining the military was something he’d wanted to do from a young age.
“I came up always wanting to be in the military,” said Darrus. “And I don’t come from a military family, but there was never any doubt in my mind and I’ve never looked back.”
“We presented a PPCLI flag to this cadet squadron in commemoration of our 100 year anniversary so they could fly it as long as they want,” said Darrus. “Hopefully forever.”