95th Regiment

In 1904 the Canadian government implemented a new Militia Act, which reorganized the command structure of the militia into five districts, one of which extended across western Canada. As part of the restructuring, authority was given to create a militia unit for the Assiniboia and Saskatchewan districts of the North-West Territories. The new unit, the 95th Regiment, was brought into being on July 3, 1905. The regiment took two years to organize. Initially, eight companies (A–H) were raised. Lieutenant Colonel Frank Ford was appointed the first commanding officer of the regiment on October 7, 1908; he was at the time Deputy Attorney General for the province of Saskatchewan. The first medical officer was Captain E.E. Meek, the city health inspector for Regina; and the first chaplain was Canon G.C. Hill, of St. Paul’s Church, Regina—the regiment’s spiritual home. On August 1, 1911, the regimental headquarters were moved to Saskatoon. On April 1, 1912, the regiment was again reorganized, this time into two regiments: all the companies in the south of the province remained in the 95th Regiment, while all the northern companies were organized into a new unit, the 105th Regiment (later 105th Fusiliers).

On June 30, 1912, the regiment was called to active duty under the provisions of the Militia Act, in aid of the civil power. On that day, part of Regina was devastated by a cyclone; the regiment was recalled from its summer training at Camp Sewell in Manitoba to patrol the streets of the city in order to guard against looting and the outbreak of fires. The 95th Regiment was redesignated the 95th Saskatchewan Rifles in September 1913. On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the 95th Saskatchewan Rifles were mobilized for home service. Drafts from the regiment were sent to units of the First Canadian Contingent, Canadian Expeditionary Force, then mobilizing at Camp Valcartier in Quebec. The Rifles also contributed to units of the second contingent, principally the 28th (Northwest) Battalion, CEF; this unit is perpetuated by the Royal Regina Rifles, the current successor to the 95th Rifles. With the general reorganization of the Canadian militia that took place in 1920, the 95th Rifles amalgamated with the 60th Rifles of Moose Jaw to become the South Saskatchewan Regiment.

Daria Coneghan