Birth of a Regiment


Lt Col R.T. Pelly, DSO

Raymond Pelly was the third member of the Governor General’s staff to command the Patricia’s. Before the war he had served with the Royal North Lancashire Regiment. Appointed Major in August 1914, he assumed command in mid-May after the Battle of Frezenberg. Throughout the relatively quiet summer of 1915, Pelly was responsible for re-establishing the regiment and integrating the new arrivals from the University Companies with the old originals. He gave up command in December 1915, with the return of Buller, recovered from his injuries at St Eloi. Pelly was struck off strength to command 8th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment. In August 1916, when Buller was killed at Sanctuary Wood, Pelly returned to command of Patricia’s once again. He remained in command through the Somme battles of the fall of 1916 and was then detached as an instructor for the Commanding Officers course at Aldershot. Later in the war he was promoted Brigadier command the 91st Brigade on Western and Italian fronts. Decorations with PPCLI – DSO, Twice Mentioned in Despatches. Subsequent decorations – CB, CMG, Bar to DSO, Italian Croce di Guerra, five times Mentioned in Despatches.

(Adapted from Ralph Hodder-Williams, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Vol 2, 71


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