This Reserve Force Infantry unit is based out of Ottawa, Ontario.Area: Land Force Central Area
The Civil Service Rifle Corps was formed as a volunteer company in Qubec City in 1861 from members of the civil service. When the civil service moved to Ottawa in 1865 the Corps came with it. The regiment was disbanded in 1868 but members carried on as the Civil Service of Canada Drill Association. They became the Civil Service Rifle Company in 1870 and a second company was added in 1871.
The Governor Generals Foot Guards were formed on 7 June, 1872. The two Civil Service Rifle Companies became Numbers 1 and 2 Companies of the regiment. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Ross made application to have the Guards created, "to add pomp and circumstance to the new capital". An official alliance with the Coldstream Guards of England was signed in 1929.
In 1885 the regiment sent a company to North West Canada to help quell the Riel Rebellion. All members of the company were selected because they were expert shots and became known at "The Sharpshooters". On 2 May members of the Regiment came under fire for the first time at the Battle of Cut Knife Hill. It was there that the Regiment suffered its first fatalities: Privates William Osgoode and John Rogers.
During the First World War, the regiment sent drafts of men to several units that were formed to serve overseas. The largest drafts being sent to the 2nd and 77th Battalions. The 2nd Battalion fought in all the major actions in France and Flanders including the first gas attack at Ypres, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele. They were known as the "Iron Second" for their toughness in action. The 77th Battalion was broken up to provide reinforcements to the Canadian Corps. The regiment perpetuates the honours and traditions of these battalions.
At the beginning of the Second World War, the regiment provided details for the security of vital points in Ottawa. It was mobilized as a regiment in May 1940. The battalion was converted to an armoured role in 1942 and assumed an additional prefix name to become the "21st Canadian Armoured Regiment (G.G.F.G.)". The regiment landed in France in 1944 and served with distinction throughout the North West European Campaign. The battalion reverted to its pre-war role in 1945.