Former Colonels of the Regiment
The tradition of honourary appointments such as Honourary Colonel and Colonel of the Regiment dates back to the formation of the British Regular Army in the 17th century. In those days the King appointed a person of high standing and wealth to be a Colonel in order to raise a Regiment for him, in return for which the Colonel would receive some royal consideration such as a title or lucrative position. The Colonel in turn chose an assistant, or Lieutenant Colonel, to recruit, train and administer the Regiment, and lead it in battle. The Regiment bore the Colonel's name and he maintained a proprietary interest in it, selecting its officers and distributing the equipment, pay and rations provided by the government.
Changing customs and laws have altered the Colonel's position over the years to the point that it is now primarily an honourary one. A Regiment asks a former officer or other high ranking individual to accept the appointment as a mark of their recognition and respect for him or her. The Colonel does not involve himself in the military operation of the Regiment, but is concerned with its ceremonial, social and "family" aspects, lending his or her prestige to the Regiment's activities.
The following have held honourary appointments in the Regiment since its formation:
FORMER HONOURARY COLONELS
Major-General Richard H. O'Grady-Haly CB DSO
13 August 1903 to 8 January 1911
MGen Sir Archibald C. MacDonnell KCB CMG DSO ED
19 August 1911 until his death on 21 January 1914.
Lieutenant-Colonel, The Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal
8 May 1922 until his death in January 1942.
FORMER COLONELS OF THE REGIMENT
Brigadier F. M. W. Harvey, VC, MC, C de G, CD
1 September 1958 to 3 June 1966
Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. McAvity, DSO, MBE
6 June 1966 to 26 March 1971
Lieutenant-General W. A. Milroy, DSO, CD
26 March 1971 to 11 November 1978
Major-General J. C. Gardner, CD
11 November 1978 to 11 November 1982
Major-General P. A. Neatby, CD
11 November 1982 to 11 November 1986
Lieutenant-General R. Gutknecht CMM, CD
11 November 1986 to 11 November 1992
Lieutenant-General J. A. Fox, CMM, CD
11 November 1992 to 18 July 2002
Colonel I.D.M. Egener, CD
18 July 2002 to 30 June 2006
Colonel J.E.N. Roderick, CD
30 June 2006 to 26 June 2010
Major-General H.C. Ross, CMM, CD
26 June 2010 -