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THE CALGARY HIGHLANDERS

 

 


Cap Badge, Shoulder Titles and Collar Badges of the Calgary Highlanders
(Credit for photographs of the badges goes to Clifford Weirmeir, with his splendid website about the Irish regiment of Canada)

 

This photo of the Calhi pipe band was taken in England, 1942. The pipe major is Bob Stocker (minus beard) and the sergeant is Neil Sutherland.
The pipers are still wearing the Royal Stewart tartan.
 

Look at this link to read more on the tartans used by the Calgary Highlanders:
http://www.calgaryhighlanders.com/traditions/regimentaldress/tartans.htm

In 1923, Honorary Colonel R.B. Bennett provided new uniforms, as a result of his observations of Scottish Highland units during the Great War.  Royal Stewart was adopted for the entire pipes and drums. Kilts and plaids were in the new tartan, as well as bag covers and pipe ribbons.
In 1929, the Government tartan was introduced for the drummers, reflecting the alliance with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of the British Army.

When the First Battalion of the Regiment arrived in England in 1940 complete with Pipes and Drums, the Regiment was very quickly informed that Royal Stewart Tartan was the domain only of those regiments designated "Royal."  The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of the British Army supplied plaids and kilts of Government Tartan to the Calgary Highlanders' pipers, who continued to wear Royal Stewart bag covers.  It appears also that pipe ribbons in both Royal Stewart (on the upper side of the drones) and Government tartan (on the reverse) were worn. 

 

The two WW2 Calhi - Pipe Majors

At the start of World War Two, Robert (Bobbie) Robson Stoker (originally born in Newcastle on Tyne, England, 1914) joined the Calgary Highlanders where he was nicknamed "Wimpy." He was promoted from Lance Corporal to Pipe Major of the First Battalion in 1940, and led the Pipes and Drums during their stay in Shilo, Manitoba before the battalion sailed for England in the autumn. At that time Neil Sutherland, who was with the Winnipeg Police, joined the band of the Calhi’s and was made Pipe Sergeant (see the photo above).

 

Robert R. Stoker1940-42  Neil Sutherland 1942-45

The Pipes and Drums performed throughout the UK; in 1942 Stoker was transferred by Lieutenant Colonel MacLaughlan, the Commanding Officer of the battalion, to the Essex Scottish as sergeant, promoted to Pipe Major. Neil Sutherland then took over from Stoker as Pipe Major of the Calgary Highlanders till the end of the war.



Pipe-Major Neil Sutherland talks to former Prime Minister and Honourary Colonel R.B Bennett, in England on 12 February 1943.
The Pipe Band took their full ceremonial dress with them to the United Kingdom, and changed the previously worn Royal Stewart tartan
into Argyll & Sutherland for the whole pipe band.
 

Neil Sutherland did very well on the courses he took while in the UK; Willie Ross, Chief of Piping for the British Army in fact wanted Sutherland to stay in England after the war.
But Sutherland returned to the Winnipeg Police, where he was Pipe Major from 1945 to 1970.