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History - The Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry

The recreated Canadian Fencibles started in 1986 with a meeting of a group of interested hobbyists, some of whom were already portraying a crown regiment from the American Revolutionary War period. They were interested in forming and portraying a Canadian regiment from the War of 1812-14. The Canadian Regiment of Fencible Infantry, more commonly know as the Canadian Fencibles, was a logical choice because they too had operated in eastern Ontario and Quebec and fought battles in the general area.

The first task was to further research the regiment's history, clothing, and equipment. The regiment was very fortunate to have amongst its members dedicated people with interests and backgrounds in Canadian history, military history, military articles collection, and other related areas.

Sources for many articles were found, patterns were developed for clothing, and, in a number of cases members were able to produce articles for the regiment. An ongoing goal was historical accuracy of uniforms and equipment and a high standard of drill and actions on the field.

The regiment grew in strength. In early January 1990, the Canadian Fencibles were represented at the Battle of New Orleans. Later in June 1990, about 25 members traveled to Belgium to take part in the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The event was popular in North America with many of these reenactors of the 1812 period coming along.

In preparation for the trip to Waterloo, the regiment attended the early June Battle of Stoney Creek in full strength and focused on drill, their equipment and appearance, and marching. There they did their final drill and preparations such as branding canteens with the British BO and broad arrow symbol using an iron heated in a campfire. Visitors and reeanctors observed this activity with great interest.

Today, after many years of service to the regiment and the King, almost all of the original members have retired from the regiment or have been absent from reenacting for several years. A new generation has resumed responsibilities.

We attend one or two events each year where all members strive to attend. For example, in mid-July of even numbered years, we march at Crysler's Farm Battlefield Memorial Park near Morrisburg, ON (http://www.cryslersfarm.com). With great interest in and dedication to portraying and interpreting Canadian history and events surrounding the War of 1812, members of the regiment also attend other events during the year. For example, most years we set up tents and operate a children's muster at the Bath, ON Canada Day festivities as well as march proudly in the parade. We have appeared at Upper Canada Village to assist with their Education Day helping explain and portray the life of soldiers of the 1812 time period. You'll see us at other events too.




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