Patriotic civilians formed
'home defence ' or 'home guard' units in several Okanagan Valley municipalities
early in the Second World War. These did not fall within Canadian law
and, lacking military co-operation, withered or ceased to exist.
the declaration of war with Japan in December 1941, Canadian military
authorities reorganized Pacific Coast defence in greater geographical
and organizational depth. Beginning in February 1942, they tapped into
civilian defence enthusiasm to create light, irregular units of Reserve
Militia, the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers (PCMR), which knew the lay
of the land and could act as scouts for the widely-dispersed army. Members
were drawn from among men ineligible for active or reserve army service.
Recruiting began in March 1942. Within a month there were 115 companies
and over 14,000 men enlisted, and both these numbers grew as enrolment
PCMR, Kelowna Detachment
Rangers received a rifle,
ammunition, and an armband as simple identification. Later, they received
a basic, unique uniform of slouch hat and khaki, water-resistant jacket
and trousers. Priority in organization, clothing and equipment went
to units west of the Cascade Mountains, closest to the perceived threat.
PCMR disbanded in the fall of 1945 after Japan's surrender. The current
Canadian Rangers of the Canadian Forces draw on the heritage of the
list of PCMR Companies in the Okanagan Valley follows, with the Valley
towns where they and their sub-units were once located: