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National Defence and the Canadian Forces

4th Canadian Division

31 Canadian Brigade Group

Stan Overy, Curator

August 19th, 2002 marked the 60th anniversary of the deadly raid on Dieppe by the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry and many other famous regiments in World War II.

A special exhibit commemorating the ill-fated action ran from April to August, 2002, at the Hamilton Military Museum, part of the Dundurn Castle Museum complex in Hamilton. Special ceremonies and a display of today's Regiment marked the opening on April 27th.

Click to view full details and photos.

Museum Services

The RHLI Museum will assist families and researchers with historical inquiries concerning the RHLI only, on a case-by-case basis, as time and resources permit. As an all-volunteer institution, we regret that our ability to assist with inquiries is very limited. For more information or assistance, please contact our Curator at 905-573-2002, or by email at museumcurator@rhli.ca or in writing at:

The Administrator
The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Heritage Museum
The Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel John Weir Foote, VC, CD, Armoury
200 James Street North
Hamilton, ON, Canada L8R 2L1

You should try to obtain the following information:

  • The Service Number or Army Number of the person you are inquiring about. This number should resemble “A12345” – a letter at the beginning followed by a five-digit number. It may be found on enlistment or discharge papers, letters home, the back of old photos, written on uniforms, medical papers and so on;
  • The year the person joined or was released from the Army;
  • Where the person joined the army;
  • The person’s full name, correctly spelled, including the middle name or at least an initial, since many first and last names are the same;
  • Any battles they may have fought in, and;
  • Your relationship with the person.

Please Note: The initials of The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry are “RHLI”. If your family member served with the “HLI”, this refers to the “Highland Light Infantry” of Kitchener-Waterloo, which is now the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada (RHF of C). They may be contacted at: Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada (RHF of C)

You could also pursue your RHLI inquiry with Library and Archives Canada, now located at: Canadian Genealogy Centre

Here you will find resources relating to the:

Visiting the Museum

The Museum is open year around, however due to the limitations of our volunteers, entrance is by appointment only. To make an appointment please contact the Museum Administrator at 1-905-528-2945 during office hours or (905)573-2002 outside of office hours.

Office hours are Monday during the day, and Tuesday during the evening. For further information please phone the office at 1-905-528-2945. Admission is Free. We regret, the Museum is NOT wheelchair accessible.

How to get there?

The Museum is located at the The Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel John Weir Foote, VC, CD, Armoury, 200 James Street North. Free parking Sunday at Mulberry St. across from the Armouries.

Mission Statement - The purpose of the Museum

  • to acquire, appraise, catalog, restore, preserve, display and interpret a collection of civilian and military artifacts important to the history of the Regiment, the Community and the Canadian Forces.
  • to familiarize and inspire young men and women with a history of the Regiment, its role in peace and war and its diverse career opportunities.
  • to establish and publicize the ancient lineage of the Regiment as a unite of the Canadian Militia in its part in the development of Upper Canada.

The Museum Complex

The Buchanan Room

Displays depict, in chronological order, the uniforms and equipment of the Regiment through its history.

The Memorial Room

This display is a special memorial to those who gave their lives in the name of freedom and justice. The collection of medals include two Victoria Cross winners.

The Robinson Room

This display shows uniforms, instruments and trivia of the 19th and 20th centuries bandsman.

The Hayhurst Armoury

Display shows all the small arms of the Regiment through its history as well as enemy weapons captured as trophies of war.

The Regimental Gallery

A collection of photographs associated with the Regiment, is located in what was once the hallway to the guard drill of the old drill hall.

The Gibson Room

This display contains edged weapons, headdress and uniforms by the Regiment over the years.

The Armoury

The James Street Armoury was renamed the The Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel John Weir Foote, VC, CD, Armoury in memory of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel John Weir Foote VC, CD. On August 19th, 1942, Honorary Captain Foote, the Regiment's chaplain and clarinetist in its band, and non-combatant under the Articles of War, would win the Victoria Cross for valour on the beach at Dieppe. Time after time the burly padre scoured the beach for injured men, picked them up and carried them to safety. "On these occasions, with utter disregard for his personal safety, he exposed himself to an inferno of fire and saved many lives with his gallant efforts," read the citation in the London Gazette three and a half years later. He refused a final opportunity to leave the shore, choosing to stay with the wounded, and spend the remaining war years in a German POW camp.

click to view the CF Museum Directory

Of Interest ...