1860-1864 Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps

By the spring of 1860, 40 to 50 Black men had enrolled in the Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps and in July 1861 were officially sworn in. The Royal Navy supplied drill sergeants and the Corps financed and built a drill house. The Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps is considered the first British or Canadian military unit formed west of Ontario.

Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps standing in ranks with band members
About 20 members of the Victoria Pioneer Rifles Corps stand in their ranks with the British flag in the background. A brass band formed part of the unit: a few musicians can be seen on the left. Written in the bottom border “Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps. Also known as Sir James Douglas Colored Regiment” Image F-00641. Courtesy of Royal BC Museum and Archives

Read more