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Express Yourself

Royal Canadian Dragoons on patrol in South Africa, October 1900.
(Photo: Canadian War Museum)

Hi, I am Ellie the elephant. Canadian military cap badges often have animals on them that are from our country, like beavers, bison or moose.

However, animals that are not native to Canada—like lions and elephants—are also used. This is cool to me because, being an elephant whose family is from Asia, I can really relate to that!

The badge of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, for example, has a springbok on it which is type of antelope from Africa. Legend has it that, one night during the South African War, a soldier on guard noticed some springboks nearby were suddenly jumping, as if they were startled. The soldier warned the others just in time to drive off enemy soldiers who were trying to make a surprise attack.

After the war, the Dragoons decided to use the springbok on their regimental badge to remember the successful battle that was won with the antelopes’ help. Wearing the springbok is a way for the Dragoons to express themselves and show their pride in their unit’s history.

Did You Know?

People wear the red poppy around Remembrance Day on the left side of their coats and shirts, close to the heart. This is to show we remember and have respect for the Canadian men and women who served and died for peace and freedom all over the world.

Ellie the elephant
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