British Columbia Dragoons February 11th, 1963
The British Columbia Dragoons were honoured for their long and distinguished service as a military regiment in the Okanagan.
First mention of an Okanagan military presence can be found in the Vernon News of 1898, official history begins in 1908 with the formation of “B” Squadron, Canadian Mounted Rifles, in Vernon. In 1910 permission was given to form a Calvary Regiment known as the 30th B.C. Horse. When war broke out in 1914 the 30th B.C. Horse amalgamated with the Victoria Independent Squadron to form the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles. In June 1915 the regiment joined the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Brigade in England; once in France the brigade was converted into infantry and fought through to the end of the war present at every major engagement in which the Canadian Corps took part.
The 2nd C.M.R.’s returned to Canada in 1919 and in 1920 the regiment once again became a mounted unit known as the First British Columbia Mounted Rifles. The name subsequently became the British Columbia Dragoons. The B.C. Dragoons trained as cavalry until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939; “B” Squadron was headquartered in Kelowna.
In 1940 a slate of officers from the B.C. Dragoons was used to form the 5th Canadian Motor Cycle Regiment, which then became the 9th Armoured Regiment (British Columbia Dragoons). Forming part of the 2nd Brigade of the 5th Armoured Division the regiment landed in Italy in 1943, fighting up Italy with the Canadian Corps. In 1945 the corps moved to France, then to the northwest Europe theatre of battle where the Dragoons played an important role. Upon their return to B.C. a welcome home ceremony was held in Kelowna (January 7th, 1946) at which time Lt. Col. Angle, DSO, ED, a resident of Okanagan Mission, was honoured with the Freedom of the City. He had been in command of the troops at the end of the war.