The outbreak of World War II found The Queen’s York Rangers training as a machine gun battalion. When Canada joined Great Britain in declaring war on the Third Reich in September 1939, the Regiment was immediately mobilised for guard duty on the Welland Canal. Hopes for the order overseas, however, never materialised. Its primary role instead became to train troops for service in other units that did fight the Axis aggressors.
In all, the Regiment supplied 124 officers and nearly 2,000 other ranks to the war effort. Two of the more distinguished Rangers who served the Allied cause in Europe rose to command The Queen’s Own Rifles and The Royal Winnipeg Regiment, while another was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his duties on Field Marshal Montgomery’s staff.