The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada is a primary army reserve infantry regiment based in Toronto that was founded on April 26, 1860. It is the oldest continuously serving infantry regiment in Canada. The Regiment was called into service during the Fenian raids and participated in the Battle of Ridgeway on June 2, 1866. The Fenians were a group intent on securing Irish independence from England and believed this could be achieved by invading Canada. After crossing the Niagara River from the United States on June 1, 1866, the Fenians took control of Fort Erie and defeated the militia at Ridgeway on June 2, but subsequently withdrew. The Queen’s Own Rifles remains active and has been a part of every Canadian military campaign and served with distinction during World War I and World War II.

The 48th Highlanders of Canada is a reserve infantry regiment in Toronto that was founded in 1891. The regiment took part in the Boer War in South Africa as well as World War I and World War II.

There are six order books, four of these belong to the Queen’s Own Rifles (QOR). The remaining two belong to the 48th Highlanders of Canada. The Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Order Book 2 contains entries dated from January 1, 1866 to December 23, 1867. The entries dated from May 31, 1866 to June 4, 1866 provide some brief information on the activities and leadership of the QOR while they were stationed in Port Colborne and Fort Erie during the Fenian Raid. The Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Order Book 5 contains entries from January 4, 1881 to September 29, 1886. Several excerpts from the Canada Gazette concerning militia orders are pasted within the volume. The issues are dated May 7, 1881, June 30, 1882, May 12, 1883, and April 3, 1886, which contain information about War Medals awarded for service in the North West Rebellion. Men from the Queen’s Own Rifles were dispatched in March of 1885 in response to the North West Rebellion. An entry dated March 28, 1885 (page 276) contains a list of officers involved with the North West contingent.

View the finding aid for the Queen's Own Rifles and 48th Highlanders Order books here: https://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/15117/Queen%27s%20Own%20Rifles_RG707.pdf

Recent Submissions

  • 48th Highlanders "H" Company Order Book, 1891-1893

    Powell, Walker; Gray, John; MacDougall, J.C.; Macdonald, Walter; MacGillivray, D. (1891-1893)
    48th Highlanders “H” Company Order Book, 1891-1893. The entries are dated from October 16, 1891 to May 14, 1893 and are signed by Walker Powell, John Gray, J.C. MacDougall, Walter Macdonald, and D. MacGillivray. The entries contain General Orders, District Orders and Regimental Orders with most of the entries concerning appointments and promotions. Also contains an obituary for Alexander Munro dated March 28, 1959, who was the last surviving member of the original band of the 48th Highlanders of Canada.
  • Queen's Own Rifles Regimental Order Books 1-2

    Powell, Walker; MacDougall, P.L.; Otter, William Dillon (1860)
    Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Order Books 1-2. Books 1 and 2 are bound together in one volume. Book 1 contains entries from the Regiment’s founding on April 26, 1860 to December 4, 1865. The book contains administrative details of the Regiment including appointments, promotions, and orders. Some of the entries are signed by Walker Powell, P.L. MacDougall, and W.D. Otter. William Dillon Otter became an accomplished militia and army officer who fought with the Queen’s Own Rifles against the Fenians at the Battle of Ridgeway in 1866. Book 2 contains entries dated from January 1, 1866 to December 23, 1867. The entries are signed by W.D. Otter, Robert Denison, W.S. Durie, J.S. MacDougall, C.H. Cormon, and M. Campbell. The entries dated from May 31, 1866 to June 4, 1866 provide some brief information on the activities and leadership of the QOR while they were stationed in Port Colborne and Fort Erie during the Fenian Raid. The entry dated at Port Colborne on June 1, 1866 contains instructions for a guard, noting that “the orders of the Sentries will be the usual ones & in addition those of the one on the Pier will be to pay particular attention and give instant warning in the event of the entry into the Harbour of any vessel carrying armed men in connection with which there may be any suspicious circumstances”. The same entry states that a picquet will be mounted each evening “to patrol the Canal Side from the end of the pier to the east part of the village and upon the main road leading into the later from Fort Erie. The orders of the said picquet will be to report at once to the Commanding Officer the approach of any body of men advancing on the place or any other suspicious circumstances and to arrest and hand over to the Serg. of the guard as prisoners all Volunteers out of their Billets without pass from the Commanding Officer after the sounding of the last post which will be 10 p.m.”
  • Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Order Book 5, January 4, 1881 to September 29, 1886

    1881-1886
    Queen’s Own Rifles Regimental Order Book 5. This book contains entries from 4 January 1881 to 29 September 1886. The entries are signed by Robert Denison, Walker Powell, Lawrence Buchan, W.D. Otter, E.A. Nash, D.H. Allan, J.M. Delamere, T. Milsom, and W. Macdonald. The book contains Regimental Orders, General Orders (including promotions and discharges), district memos, and information on the issuing of badges and medals. Several excerpts from the Canada Gazette concerning militia orders are pasted within the volume. The issues are dated May 7, 1881, June 30, 1882, May 12, 1883, and April 3, 1886, which contains information about War Medals awarded for service in the North West Rebellion. Also pasted in the volume are the Queen’s Own Rifles Rules and Regulations for Rifle Practice for 1884, as well as five affidavits sworn before a Justice of the Peace concerning promotions. The names on the affidavits are Daniel Hugh Allan, Joseph Martin Delamere, William Campbell Macdonald, James Reid Foster, and Albert Augustus Miller. Men from the Queen’s Own Rifles were dispatched in March of 1885 in response to the North West Rebellion. An entry dated March 28, 1885 (p. 276) contains a list of officers involved with the North West contingent.