~ St. Catharines' Wartime Neighbourhoods

The Lincoln and Welland Regiment

Clearing German snipers, Werlte, Germany, 11 April 1945

The Lincoln and Welland Regiment can trace its lineage back to the raising of Butler’s Rangers in 1777.  The Lincs and Winks, as they are known to many, has participated in almost every major conflict since that time and it was no different as World War II broke out.

The day before the Second World War began, the regiment was called out and posted to guard the Welland Ship Canal. It was demobilized in December 1939 and almost 500 men immediately volunteered with Toronto Units.  In June 1940, the 1st Battalion was mobilized for active service, while the 2nd Batallion remained in reserve. The 1st Battalion arrived in the United Kingdom in July of 1943.

Once the regiment arrived overseas in July of 1943, they helped form part of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division.  While they did not participate in the D-Day Invasion, they arrived in Normandy, France in July, 1944.  Their first battle took place at  Tilly-La-Campagne fighting its way through Belgium and the Netherlands into Germany. It was in the city of Werlte, Germany on 11 April 1945 that the regiment had one of its most difficult days, losing 46 men.  Between June 1944 and May 5, 1945, the regiment suffered 1,548 casualties with 348 being fatal.

Regimental Battle Honours include: FALAISE, Falaise Road, THE LAISON,  Chambois,  The Seine, 1944, MOERBRUGGE, THE SHELDT, Breskens Pocket, THE LOWER MAAS, KAPELSCHE VEER, THE RHINELAND, THE HOCKWALD, Veen, TWENTE CANAL, Friesoythe, Kütsten Canal, Bad Zwischenahan, NORTH WEST EUROPE, 1944-1945

The Regiment returned home in early 1946.  Of  the original men who enlisted in 1940, only 3 officers and 22 men were on parade in St. Catharines in 1946 when the 1st Battalion was dismissed.

Photo credit – St. Catharines – Canada’s Canal City –
reprinted April, 1993 – John N. Jackson/Sheila M. Wilson