As Saint Patrick’s Day approaches this weekend, we celebrate Irish heritage and members within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) of Irish descent. Irish-descended Canadians have a rich history in service of the CAF and several regiments celebrate their Irish heritage today.

The 110th Irish Regiment was founded on 15 October 1918, through the efforts of the Irish Club and the Irish Rifle Club, two Toronto-based organizations, established to promote fellowship among Canadian citizens of Irish ancestry.

The 110th Irish Regiment originally raised battalions – the 110th Canadian Overseas Battalion, the 180th (Sportsmen’s) Battalion and the 208th (Canadian Irish) Battalion for the Canadian Expeditionary Force for the First World War. During the war, the 180th and 208th Battalions won nine battle honours; these honours were earned with blood and sweat as 60 per cent of the men incurred casualties.

 After the war, the 110th Irish Regiment underwent a series of name changes. In 1920, it was known as “The Irish Regiment” and in 1932, its current name as “The Irish Regiment of Canada” was taken. In 1932, the regiment adopted its current cap badge and became the only kilted Irish Regiment outside of Ireland.

 The storied history of the Irish Regiment of Canada is one of many that highlights the courage and honour of Irish Canadians, in service of the CAF and Canada.