History of the Museum and Archives

The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum was authorized by the Regimental Executive Committee in 1956 and officially opened in Calgary, Currie Barracks on 1 May 1957. The first curator was Captain J.R. Schmitz (1957 – 1970). In 1970 the museum was transferred from Calgary to Casa Loma, Toronto. It now occupies a major part of the third floor of the Casa Loma. The original curator in Toronto was Lieutenant Colonel William T. Barnard ED, CD (Ret’d) (1970 – 1988) ably assisted by Captain Peter A. Simundson CD (Ret’d) (1988 to May 2012) who took over as curator when Colonel Barnard retired.

The museum is now operated by the Regimental Trust Fund and in June 2012 Major John M. Stephens, CD (Ret’d) took over as curator with the retirement of Captain Simundson.

There are also smaller displays in Calgary and Victoria.

6 thoughts on “History of the Museum and Archives”

  1. I have been doing some family history for my husband’s side, and have been researching his great-uncle, Charles Hamilton Baird who lived in Paris, Ontario, but had been a salesman in Toronto as a young man.. My husband remembers visits to Uncle Charlie in the 1940’s. Recently I found in the Paris Museum a document appointing great-uncle Charlie as “2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada” “from the 16th December 1885”. This document was dated 26th February 1886. Where would I go to find more information on this time period for the Queen’s Own Rifles, and maybe find out more on Uncle Charlie’s service? We live near Hamilton, Ontario, so a visit to your museum is convenient to us.


  2. My grandfather was (Ernest) Philip Jaques and he served with the Queen’s Own from the mid 1950s until the late 1960s or early 1970s. He was with the 2nd Battalion and was part the UN police force in Korea 1954-55, with UNEF in Egypt 1958-59, and with the ICC in Vietnam in 1968. He and his family were also stationed in Heimer, Germany 1960-64, Cape Gagetown in 1964-1968, before moving to Ottawa. I’m looking to find out more about his experience as a peacekeeper/soldier in the Cold War and the experiences of others who perhaps served in these conflicts too, as well as the experiences their families had at home during this time. Any help would be appreciated!!


  3. I am submitting this for my brother who was in the QOR. He joined in !958-59? Trained in Calgary and was shipped over to Germany on peacekeeping. Came back to can. and resigned in 1962-63? He has a picture of his outfit and the platoon was 69 he say’s but the platoon 69 on your web site does not match. His name is Kenneth N Shiels. If anyone out there can help us it would be much appreciated.I wonder if any of his fellow soliders are reading this. (306) 457 2271


  4. On Remembrance Day, I am remembering my father, William Grant Herbert (d. 1978) and my grandfather, William Shelley Herbert (d. 1974). Both my father and grandfather were members of the QORs (the first father/son members?) and both received the Military Cross for their contributions on the field of battle – my grandfather in WWI and my father in WWII. We have photos of my grandfather receiving the MC from the Prince of Wales and my father from Montgomery (copies available). I am not sure of the circumstances of my grandfather’s award but my father is cited in NO PRICE TOO HIGH (pg. 161) where the author states about “B” company’s landing on Juno Beach: “Three men, Lieutenant Herbert, Corporal Tessier and Rifleman Chicosky, were awarded medals for their work destroying the main pillbox.”

    I am very distressed to find no mention of either my father or grandfather on your site. Nor are they included in the Library and Archives section regarding QOR members who received medals.

    It is up to those of us who are still here to pass on the memories. It saddens me greatly that their own regiment seems to have forgotten them and their sacrifices (my grandfather’s left arm was amputated on the battlefield; my father was wounded on Juno Beach but still managed to cross the beach amid gunfire and take out the crucial pillbox with grenades of gunfire.)

    Please rectify these omissions – it means a great deal to our family and, I hope, to the QORs and fellow Canadians.

    Sincerely and in my father’s and grandfather’s honour,
    J. Shelley (Herbert) Asserson


    1. Shelley, Lieutenant W.G. Herbert is listed (as a Captain) in the 100-year-history of The QOR on p339 as being among six members of the regiment awarded the MC. The account of the presentation of the medal by Gen Montgomery to Lt Herbert and others who received gallantry medals is on p238 in the same book. A brief account of the action which earned him the MC is on p195. (Capt C.D.McGregor, QOR of C. mcc@sympatico.ca)


    2. Shelly – As Captain McGregor has pointed out, the regiment has not neglected your father’s contribution and valour as it is noted in the Regimental History.

      This museum website is a work in progress and was only started in February of this year. In that short time it would be impossible for us to have included information on all the members of the QOR who have contributed and sacrificed so much in the past 152 years.

      We do however, welcome any photos or other details on both your father and grandfather that you can supply to us and we will work on creating biography pages for them. I’d invite you to send any material to us at museum@qormuseum.org.

      Major (Ret) John M. Stpehens, CD


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