|51st (Soo Rifles) Regiment, RCA|
|Current Status||Active, II (CA) Corps, 9th Army, 21st Army Group|
|Engagements||Battle of Trieste, Battle of Klagenfurt, Danube Crossing, Battle of Iasi|
51st (Soo Rifles) Regiment, R.C.A. is a Canadian Army regiment based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The regiment is part of the Canadian Army 33rd Brigade Group. The regiment was granted the Freedom of the City of Sault Ste. Marie on 1 July 1967.
The beginnings of the regiment start in 1802 when a detachment of the 49th Regiment of Foot was stationed in the area at Fort St. Joseph. The numeric designation of today's unit is derived from the original Regiment of Foot. In 1879, the first active militia infantry company was divided with 21 men being formed into a half battery of mountain artillery armed with two 7 pound mountain guns.
In 1889, a half company of infantry was raised to company strength becoming No. 6 Company of the 96th District of Algoma Rifles. In 1892, the company of infantry became independent and at the end of 1892, the half battery of artillery was disbanded.
In 1900, a new Regiment called the 97th Regiment Algonquin Rifles was formed with RHQ in Sault Ste. Marie. The regiment sent volunteers to the South African War and also furnished aid to the civilian government by quelling a riot at a paper mill. The regiment had companies in Thessalon, Sudbury and Sturgeon Falls.
In 1913, the 51st Regiment known as the Soo Rifles was formed. In October 1914, one company, 125 all ranks, under Captain J. Johnston went to England with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Battalion. Later in 1915, a second company of 125 men went overseas with the 19th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Forces. This was followed in 1916 by a third detachment from Sault Ste. Marie of 150 men joining the 37th Battalion.
The Soo Rifles were reformed in 1940 and remained part of the army up to the modern day.