R.H. Roy Scholarship in Military History

Reginald R. H. Roy (b. 1922)

For 30 years Dr. Reginald Roy contributed a wealth of knowledge of life and history to students in Victoria. He joined the ranks of the teaching staff at Victoria College in 1959, following a long and varied career in the military, and stayed until his retirement as professor and former Acting Dean of Graduate Studies in 1988.

Reginald Roy was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. He enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1939 with the rank of "Boy". He served in Great Britain, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany with the Cape Breton Highlanders, and was commissioned as an officer in 1943. In 1945 he was placed on Supplementary Reserve, and shortly thereafter enrolled in the History Department of Victoria College and later the University of British Columbia (UBC). He obtained his BA in History in 1950, followed by an MA in History from UBC in 1951. For the next two years he served as a call-out officer with the Army Historical Section, General Staff, at Canadian Army Headquarters in Ottawa, working as a writer. He worked for a year as an archivist at the Public Archives of Canada. From 1954 to 1958 he served with the Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's), as an archivist at the Public Archives of British Columbia. He also taught History at Evening and Summer Sessions at Victoria College. Following this, he was an instructor in the Department of History and Economics at Canadian Services College, Royal Roads, Victoria. From 1959 he commanded the University of
Victoria Detachment of the UBC Contingent, Canadian Officers Training Corps for ten years. He then returned to Supplementary Reserve with the rank of Major. During these years he completed work for a Ph.D., which he received from the University of Washington in 1965. His thesis topic was Sinews of Steel (The British Columbia Dragoons and Its Predecessors).

In 1959 Dr. Roy joined the staff at Victoria College full time, as an instructor in the History Department. In 1961 he became an assistant professor with tenure, then in 1965 an associate professor with tenure. In 1970 he became a full professor, with tenure. He was Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in 1973-1974, and Acting Dean of Graduate Studies in 1974-75.

Dr. Roy's specialties have always been military history and Canadian history, and he has belonged to a multitude of associations and organizations in this realm. Some of these have included: the Canadian Historical Association, the B.C. Historical Association, Phi Delta Theta (an American Historical Scholars Association), the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Company of Military Historians, the United States Strategic Institute, and the Canadian Association for the Study of Intelligence and Security, to name only a few. As well, Dr. Roy has served on the executive committee of the Royal United Services Institute, the board of directors of the Maritime Museum of B.C., as chair of the Tri-Service Committee, and on the executive of the Victoria Branch of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. As well, he has belonged to numerous community and university organizations, such as the UBC and University of Victoria Alumni Associations, the B.C. Provincial Centennial Committee, and the Social Science Research Council of Canada. For ten years he was consulting editor of The Presidio Press, based in San Rafael, California.

Recognition has come to Dr. Roy from his peers and those in the communities in which he has been involved as well. Among these have been a Certificate of Merit from the Province of B.C. for work toward the B.C. Centennial Celebrations and another from the Canadian Confederation Centennial Committee of B.C. He was awarded a Professorship of Military History and Strategic Studies, one of only five professorships in Military History awarded by the Canadian Department of National Defence. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He received an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, and numerous research grants from the University of Victoria, the Canada Council and the Social Science Research Council of Canada. During his career Dr. Roy has lectured on military and defence topics in Canada, the United States, Australia and South Africa. When he retired in 1988, he had completed ten books and 40 articles on military topics, ranging from the Napoleon wars up to the present time.

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