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WWII Little Black Devils Ring

In Military and Wartime > World War Two > Show & Tell and Fine Jewelry > Sterling Silver Jewelry > Show & Tell.
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    Posted 4 years ago

    (66 items)

    A very nice WWII period (or possibly earlier) ring to the Royal Winnipeg Rifles "Little Black Devils". The ring is sterling silver and is in great condition. To the front of the ring is a "Little Black Devil" the symbol and nickname of the regiment. Underneath the Devil is a scroll with the regimental motto in Latin, "Hosti acie nominati" - "Named by the enemy".

    There is a story behind the Little Black Devil, the symbol of the regiment.

    After the Battle of Fish Creek during the North-West Rebellion of 1885, a captured Métis asked, "The red coats we know, but who are those little black devils?", a reference to the fact that while infantry of the line wore red coats, the Winnipeg soldiers were clad in traditional rifle green, which would had a black appearance on the battle field. From that point on, the 90th Rifles (and later Royal Winnipeg Rifles) became informally nicknamed the "Little Black Devils", and hence the motto "Named by the enemy".

    My Great Grandfather served in the regiment in WWI (which I why I have an interest in this regiment), and I shall do a post on him in the future.

    The ring also has some engraving to the other side of the ring. It reads, "From Roger with best wishes," and then, "For a happy birthday."

    A little small for me to wear (except for on my pinky), but overall fantastic and rare regimental ring, probably given as a birthday present to a then serving or retired soldier or officer in the Royal Winnipeg Rifles.

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    1. Caperkid, 4 years ago
      Great piece of history. Your Grandfather's ring ?
    2. BlackWatch BlackWatch, 4 years ago
      Hi Caperkid,

      I agree, fantastic piece of history. Unfortunately not my great grandfather's ring, I don't know who this belonged too, but it's a quality piece.

      I do, however, have some very neat items that belonged to my great grandfather that I will do a post on when I get them out of storage at another family member's house, eventually they will find a permanent home at my place, as I am the family "collector". He served in the 8th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force (90th Winnipeg Rifles - "Little Black Devils" during WWI, I look forward to doing a write up on that. I will also do a post on my Grandfather (who served in the Royal Canadian Navy in WWII) shortly as well. Thank you for your nice comment once again!

      Best regards,


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