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Glossary

Select a letter to browse an alphabetical listing of terms and definitions.

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Lancer

Cavalryman armed with a lance. Especially popular with Polish cavalry, lancers became popular in western European armies during the Napoleonic Wars through Napoleonís use of Polish lancer regiments in his armies. The British army, however, waited until after the Napoleonic Wars to institute lancer regiments. No British lancer regiment was posted in Canada and this may be the reason there have been no lancer regiments in Canada apart from a few short-lived militia units mostly in the 1830s. Lances were issued to some troopers in Canadian cavalry regiments from the end of the 19th century but they were not formed into distinct units of lancers.

Lanyard

Braided cord in the unit colours, worn through the left shoulder strap of a Battle Dress blouse by all regiment ranks on dress occasions.

Lee-Enfield rifle

Standard service rifle of Canadian soldiers from 1915 until the early 1960s. It had a .303 calibre and came in several versions. Tens of thousands were made in Canada at the Long Branch arsenal.

Legion

Organizational army unit, famously of the Roman Army. In the 1500s, intellectual interest returned to the study of antiquities and rediscovered the intricate organization and tactics of imperial Rome. Tactical experiments were made in European armies, especially the French Army, to emulate the Roman legions. By the 1740s, legions were usually associated with light troops and denoted tactical units with a mixture of infantry, cavalry and/or artillery. The British forces adopted many of these tactical notions but usually did not use the term "legion" to denote such units. In Canada, the earliest and somewhat unique instance of the use of that term and its tactical concept occurred in Nova Scotia in 1793, when part of the militia in the Annapolis valley was organized as the "Nova Scotia Legion" consisting "of Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery, one thousand rank and file complete" distributed in the "different towns and provided with horses to carry them with celerity to any part of the province", according to Governor Wentworth. It was renamed with the more conventional title of "Annapolis County Regiment" in 1801. Parts of the Prince Edward Island Militia volunteer units were grouped into a "Prince Edward Island Legion" during 1814-1815 that vanished after the War of 1812.

Legion of Frontiersmen

British imperial organization of para-military volunteers organized in Canada in 1905. It provided scouts, guides and mounted riflemen as a sort of volunteer armed constabulary and became quickly affiliated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. During the First World War, the Legion of Frontiersmen helped form Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the 19th Alberta Dragoons, 49th CEF Battalion (today's Loyal Edmonton Regiment), and the 210th CEF (Frontiersmen Battalion). Many volunteered in the Second World War. The popularity of the organization has since waned but it is still active today in several countries. It was never part of the Canadian Armed Forces.