(Sarnia) — After twenty-seven years of operation, on January 18, 2022 a new name was adopted by the minor baseball teams representing Sarnia, previously known as the Braves. The organization will now be known as the Sarnia Brigade MBA (Minor Baseball Association). This aligns with the senior team which adopted the Brigade moniker last year.
The Brigade name was chosen to honour the 1st Hussars, the Southwestern Ontario Armoured Reconnaissance Unit of the Canadian Army. The unit started as a mounted cavalry regiment in the late 1800s and was renamed the 1st Hussars in 1892.
The 1st Hussars participated in the 1899-1902 Boer War, the first time Canada dispatched troops overseas to fight in war. The Boer War Memorial Fountain in Sarnia was erected in Victoria Park in 1908. Engraved on it are the names of sixteen men from Sarnia and Lambton County who participated in the Boer War. Daniel Crone was Sarnia’s first ever soldier to die overseas while in service to his country.
During WWI the 1st Hussars were part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force which fought in France and Flanders, seeing action at Vimy Ridge, Ypres and Passchendaele among others. During WWII the tanks of the 1st Hussars were amongst the allied forces to come ashore in Normandy, supporting the infantry landing on Juno Beach. The 1st Hussars have served with numerous peacekeeping operations – in Cyprus, the Golan Heights, Bosnia, the Congo, Somalia and Afghanistan.
The Sherman tank, in front of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 62 in Sarnia was donated by the 1st Hussars as a tribute to the fighting men of this glorious Canadian regiment and their valiant history.
George Stirrett of Petrolia was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for conspicuous gallantry during the Battle of the Somme in WWI. He was also awarded the Military Cross. Today the Sarnia headquarters of the 1st Hussars, the George Stirrett Armoury, stands at the corner of Confederation and Russell Streets, just south of Tecumseh Park and Errol Russell Park where our teams play.
It is our honour to wear the uniforms of the new Sarnia Brigade MBA. The uniform will retain the navy and red colours of the past, very similar to the senior Brigade team. A shoulder patch will commemorate the first Sarnia Braves team in 1956. A second shoulder patch will honour Stan Slack, player/coach on that first Braves team and founder of the minor Braves organization in 1995.
We are anxiously looking forward to getting back on the diamonds to represent the city and its military past.