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The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment)

The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI) was originally formed on 11 December 1862, under the name of 13th Battalion Volunteer Militia (Infantry) Canada. The Regiment went through various name changes before the 1920s, when it became known as the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.

The Battle of Ridgeway in June of 1866 was the first battle action that the Infantry encountered. This battle was part of the Fenian Raids and the RHLI fought against invaders from the United States.

On 1 September 1939, the Regiment mobilized the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, C.A.S.F. It wasn't until 22 July 1940, however, that they set sail for the United Kingdom. On the legendary day of 19 August 1942, the Regiment saw action in the raid at Dieppe, where they were part of the main assault against the enemy. They landed at the west end of the promenade, and though greeted by the enemy with a hail of fire, the soldiers managed to make their way across the beach and into the town, where they engaged in heavy street battle. The RHLI succeeded in clearing the enemy, without any support, as the tanks had not arrived. Along with so many of their allies, the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry met tragedy on that summer day. They suffered 197 fatal casualties in total.

Honourary Captain John Weir Foote, a Regimental Chaplain with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, saved many lives through his heroic actions during the Second World War and for this he was awarded the Victoria Cross, making him only member of the Canadian Chaplain Services to be awarded this prestigious medal.

Over the next couple of years, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, as the RHLI was distinguished during the Second World War, made their way through the battlefields of northwestern Europe before being disbanded on 31 December 1945.

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