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THE CANADIAN SCOTTISH REGIMENT

 


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

 

In 1920 the Canadian Scottish Regiment was formed with headquarters in Victoria. In 1927 an alliance was created with The Royal Scots. From that alliance the Canadian Scottish adopted Hunting Stewart as the regimental tartan, with uniform patterned after "the Dandy 9th", the Territorial Army Highland Battalion of The Royal Scots.


Regimental tartan (left): Hunting Stewart and the WW2 Pipers tartan (right): Lennox

The 1st Battalion Canadian Scottish Pipes and Drums served with the regiment throughout the Second World War. Until 1949 that pipe band wore Lennox tartan, which was the band tartan of the old 16th Battalion in the First World War. Today one Lennox tartan ribbon is retained in the full dress uniform of Canadian Scottish pipers, with the Hunting Stewart kilt and plaid.


Wartime canvas printed shoulder title of the Canadian Scottish

 

Canadian Scottish Pipe Majors 1920 - 1945

  1st Battalion, The Canadian Scottish Regiment

Pipe Major J. Craigmyle 1921 to 1923
Pipe Major W. Wishart 1926 to 1930
Pipe Major A. Wallace 1930 to 1939
Pipe Major J. Marrs 1939 to 1942
Pipe Major A. Pollock 1942 to 1944
Pipe Major A. MacMillan 1944 to 1945

2nd Battalion, The Canadian Scottish Regiment


Pipe Major D. Cameron 1932 to 1939
Pipe Major D. Cameron 1939 to 1943
Pipe Major F. Knight 1943
 


Quotes on this page are given from "Ready for the Fray", The Regimental History of the Canadian Scottish.
1st. edition printed in Utrecht, Holland right after the war, and the 2nd. revised and enlarged edition which followed in 1958


The Saint Bernard "Wallace", CanScots' Pipe Band Mascot during WW2

During WWII, in June 1940, Wallace (a St. Bernard puppy), the Regimental Mascot ‘enlisted’. A year later, the 1st. Battalion boarded ship for England along them Wallace (who got smuggled on board by troops). The ship docked at Glasgow at the beginning of September when HRH Princess Mary inspected the Regiment on September 23, 1941. Friendships were struck up with The Royal Scots, who adopted and kept Wallace in Edinburgh Castle for the duration of the war. After the war ended Wallace was reunited with the remaining troops and returned home to Canada with them. Since then, it's been a unit tradition to have a St Bernard for the Regimental Mascot.


On the way to Training Camp Debert, Nova Scotia for training, Canadian Scottish are boarding the S.S. Princess Elaine,
with Pipes and Drums and their mascot Wallace (J. Marrs still as Pipe Major, the band wears khaki kilt aprons here)


S.S. Princess Elaine

Facts about PRINCESS ELAINE
1928, Built by John Brown & Co. Ltd. Clydebank, Scotland
Length: 291' Beam: 48' Draft: 13'  Tonnage: 2027
The most notable new construction of 1928 was the completion in England and arrival at Vancouver of two new steamships for the Canadian Pacific B. C. Coast Service. The Princess Elaine, latest of the handsome C. P. R. three -stackers, arrived from the John Brown yards on the Clyde in April, entering the Nanaimo-Vancouver service early in May. A triple-screw turbine steamer of 2,027 tons, with dimensions of 291.4 x 48. 1 x 13.4, her 4,600-horsepower turbines gave her a service speed of 19 1/2 knots. She was equipped to handle 60 automobiles in ferry service, had accommodations for 1,200 day passengers and was rifted with six staterooms. The Princess Elaine made two round trips daily with a running time of two hours and 15 minutes each day. She was commanded by Capt. R. N. Stuart, V. C. 5 Gordon Newell, "Maritime Events of 1927-28," H.W. McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest.. p. 384

"It was a moving and sombre scene (On October 4, 1940), despite the pipes and Drums of both battalions, and the recently disbanded brass band of the 1st. battalion Somehow such tunes as "Roll out the Barrel" did not catch on at this moment. Many friends of the battalion were there to wish it Godspeed ... Finally  the order was given, and the men boarded the S.S. Princess Elaine. As the ship pulled away from the dock, her decks crowded with khaki figures, the Pipes played "The Skye Boat Song". It was an unforgettable moment, both for those on the dock and those on the ship. It was to be five and a half long years before the battalion would come home. All too many would never make the return journey."
 

Ready for the Fray, p.92

The 3rd Canadian Infantry division was collected together in Debert, Nova Scotia on 4 Oct. 1940, where they underwent fairly severe training for the next year. Those that were lucky enough got home for leave shortly before the battalion got its orders to proceed overseas. They left on 25 Aug. 1941 on a beautiful new ship, the Stratheden, arriving at Glasgow and took up residence in Salamanca Barracks, Aldershot.

 


The Stratheden

Facts on The Stratheden
Built 1937 by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow, as Stratheden for P&O SN Co.
23,722 grt. 2ST-20 knots.

Ready for the Fray, p.105-106:

Early on the morning of September 1 the men got their first glimpse of Scotland, and within a few hours the Stratheden, her railings lined with excited men and with the Pipes and Drums of the Canadian Scottish playing on the foredeck, sailed up the Clyde. In a way it was like coming home, a feeling made stronger by the shrill sound of the pipes and the obvious welcome of the Scotsmen ashore who, hearing the pipes and seeing the troop-lined decks of the ships, stopped their work to wave and shout their greeting. After anchoring off Greenock to await the tide and, at the same time, to receive greetings from various dignitaries, the ship sailed up the river to her berth at Glasgow. There were more greetings here, and none so welcome as that of Colonel MacKenzie and other representatives of The Royal Scots. The Depot Pipe Band of The Royal Scots was on the dock to play a welcome to the Canadian Scottish also, and the pipe bands combined to play together. It was a happy meeting, and the gesture on the part of our allied regiment was very much appreciated. On the following day, when the unit was being piped ashore, Wallace was taken to assume his rightful position with the band. Wallace was marvellous "copy" for the pressmen. A few days later Wallace and the band were publicized in Scottish and English newspapers. As a result the quarantine authorities picked up the battalion's mascot. Fame has its price, and for Wallace the price was six months "C.B." at Oxstead, after which he rejoined the unit at Denne Park. He was not too lonesome in the interval, for Piper McGeorge visited him periodically, bringing some tasty bones as a special treat.

"Ready for the Fray", p.112-113:

December 1 the battalion was on the move again, arriving at Paxhill Park in mid-afternoon. As the war diarist continues: Remainder of the day was spent in unloading trucks, bedding down in Nissen huts. The division's "Recce" regiment had been at Denne Park, on the outskirts of Horsham, and it was here, finally, that the Canadian Scottish moved five days after they had arrived at Paxhill Park. While the men were busy making the grounds of Denne Park, formerly the preserve of deer, livable for soldiers, they were also getting to know Horsham.

The residents of Horsham were also beginning to accept the Canadian Scottish, and the sight of the Pipe Band leading the battalion over the knoll on the north side of Denne Park towards the Horsham parish church became a familiar sight to them.


Pipes and Drums with "Wallace", Monk's Common, England, 1943.


Pipe Major A.J. MacMillan (seated on the far right) took over and reorganized the CanScots' Pipe Band in 1944


Still in Britain: Wallace would stay behind for safety, in care of the sister regiment: the Royal Scots, until the end of the war.

The Canadian Scottish would have to go ashore on D-day without their Mascot, but not without their Pipes and drums! For by orders of Lt.Col. R.G.L. Parker, already on 28th Sept. 1939, the task of pipers and drummers was outlined thus:

- The Staff Pipers will make themselves proficient in all Orderly and Band duties, being particularly responsible for the promotion of Battalion entertainment, a very important phase of a soldier’s life. They will assist in the promotion of suitable recreation and in every way be in the forefront in building up and maintaining the “Esprit de Corps” of the Battalion. Their conduct and that of the Company Pipers, both on and off the parade, will be that of Highland gentlemen, a pattern of smartness, sobriety and dignity.

- The Company Pipers and Drummers will make themselves proficient in their duties as stretcher-bearers, and assist the Staff Pipers in all matters of entertainment, and will parade as a band with the Staff Pipers at all times when the Battalion is on the march. When their respective Companies are at any time on detached duty they will assume the responsibilities to their Companies that the Staff Pipers have towards the Battalion as a whole.

 


This beautiful Castle "Nijenrode" became the new temporary 'home away from home' for the Canadian Scottish

Ready for the Fray, p.434:

About a week after the cease fire, word was received that the brigade was going to leave Germany and concentrate in an area north-west of Utrecht in Holland. After an inspection on May 14 by Lieutenant-General Simonds (the dawn of a new era of spit-and-polish was already visible through the rising mist of paper-work) the battalion left on the following day for its three-day, 300-mile journey to southern Holland.

When it arrived as its destination, the Canadian Scottish quickly found that, if it was free of Germany, it was certainly not free of Germans. The brigade's task was to take care of approximately 8,000 German troops, and of this number the Canadian Scottish was assigned about 2,700 who were encamped in the grounds of a castle, the "Huis te Nijenrode". These German troops, part of the 149th Division of the 88th Corps, had their own officers and headquarters staffs, the Canadians being responsible for their custody and ensuring that they conformed to the laws laid down for their behaviour by higher authority.

When this task was finished, the CanScots were moved to Ede for a special commemorative task.


Canadian Scottish with some youthful Dutch fans, at the construction site of the Ede Memorial park

Before the battalion left Ede on November 9, there was a special parade to celebrate the opening of the Ede Memorial Park. This park had been a brigade work project for months. A plaque containing unit crests and dedicated to those in the Dutch Underground who gave their lives during the war was unveiled at the same time. Later in the day Stompekamp Park, transformed from a stump lot into a green playing field for children by the Canadian Scottish, was officially turned over to the citizens of Ede. It had been a pleasure, for a change, to work on such a project, and at the same time it served to show the appreciation of the battalion for the wonderful hospitality of their Dutch neighbours.

Canadian soldiers examining the Memorial Park Plaque, Ede, Netherlands
(L-R): Lance-Corporal L.H. Smith, 1st Battalion, The Canadian Scottish Regiment; Lance-Corporal J.T. Adams, The Royal Winnipeg Rifles; Lance-Corporal Peter Tarnowski, Regina Rifle Regiment.


And as it does look now, after all those years

 

The trip from Ede through Nijmegen to Calais, then to Aldershot took only four days. Two weeks' leave, which for some meant two weeks with their families, was followed by a short period of intense "square bashing" in preparation for the inspection by the Colonel-in-Chief on December 4.


Wallace, the mascot of the 1st Battalion, The Canadian Scottish Regiment, now still with the Royal Scots in Britain,
being fed at a ceremonial dinner at the Mansion House attended by H.R.H. the Princess Royal,
before being handed over back to the Canadian Scottish who would take him back to Canada. London, England, 6 December 1945

The highlight of the battalion's return to England, however, came on the following day when 100 officers and men, led by the Pipe Band with "Wallace" in the van, marched through London to the Mansion House.

The Canadian Scottish sailed from Southampton on board the Queen Elizabeth three days before Christmas


RMS Queen Elizabeth

Details on the R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth
Gross Tonnage - 83,673 tons - Dimensions - 300.94 x 36.14m (987.4 x 118.6ft)
Number of funnels - 2 - Number of masts - 2 - Construction - Steel
Propulsion - Quadruple screw - Engines - Single reduction steam turbines
Service speed - 29 knots - Builder - John Brown & Co Ltd, Glasgow
Launch date - 27 September 1938
Passenger accommodation - 823 1st class, 662 cabin class, 798 tourist class
In 1942 the Admiralty drew up plans to convert the two Queens into aircraft carriers but these were later abandoned as it was considered that their troop carrying role was too important.
In April 1942 the Queen Elizabeth relocated from Sydney to New York. Here the troop accommodation was altered to make its capacity 10,000. In June 1942 it began to make voyages from New York to Gourock and then to Suez, via Cape Town. In August it began a shuttle service between New York and Gourock. Despite the ever present threat of U-boats the ship continued its service unscathed, although the German press stated that a U-boat had hit the vessel with a torpedo on 11 November. By the end of the war in Europe the Queens had brought over a million troops to the war zone. The ship's next duty was to repatriate these troops and redeploy troops for the war against Japan. The repatriation of American troops continued until October 1945 when the Queen Elizabeth was released from US service and allocated to the repatriation of Canadian troops. On 6 March 1946 it arrived back in Southampton and was released from Government service as the need for troop movements had diminished. During the war it had carried over 750,000 troops and travelled 500,000 miles.


Going Home on board of The Queen Elisabeth, December 1945

 


Two pipers from the 4th battalion Pipe band
 

Those who stayed behind: THE 4th/1st BATTALION, CANADIAN ARMY OCCUPATION FORCE

When the Canadian Scottish sailed from Southampton on board the Queen Elizabeth three days before Christmas, there remained in Europe a battalion bearing the regimental name. This was the 4th/1st Battalion, The Canadian Scottish Regiment, Canadian Army Occupation Force. This battalion, although bearing the regimental title, contained but a small percentage of ex-members of the regiment.

The 4th Battalion Pipe Band was formed in the fall of 1945, while on occupational duty in NW Germany. There were 2 pipers, including Jim Stout, from the 1st Battalion C Scot R and another from the Canadian Highland Light Infantry. There was also a side drummer and a bass/tenor drummer.

Lt. Col. Larry Henderson wished to have a complete band to come home with. They obtained Henderson practice chanters, Logan’s tutors and drum sticks from ordnance and later Stark pipes and rope tension drums. By the time they were set to go home (8 or 9 months later) there were 12 pipers, 5 side drummers, 2 tenors and a bass. They expected to go to Victoria upon arrival home but got as far as Vancouver where they went their separate ways. They never played as a band on Canadian soil

The end of the occupational role for the Canadian Scottish came on April 21, 1946, when the 4th/1st Battalion boarded the T.S.S. Clan Lamont at Cuxhaven, Germany. On the following day the unit landed at London's Tilbury Docks and was taken to No. 4 Repatriation Depot at Witley Camp, a short distance from Farnborough. There the battalion was broken up into "wings", with the "wings" corresponding to the military districts in Canada where the men would be discharged.

 


T.S. Clan Lamont