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THE LORNE SCOTS

 

 


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



Lorne Scots Shoulder Title and Unit Patch of the 1st. Canadian Army Corps.

The Lorne Scots deployed a great number of units in the Second World War as headquarters defence and employment platoons.

The Lorne Scots were in action in Italy and later in North-West Europe with No. 1 Canadian Corps Protective Unit  [1 CPPU] Serial 503. Authorized 6 February 1941, G.O. 151 Redesignated 1st Canadian Corps Defence Company G.O. 266/43 Disbanded 31 December 1945, G.O. 85/46 [218]

Because the Lorne Scots did not have their pipe band in Holland, they did not take part in the Canadian Massed Pipes and Drums playing at the Victory Parades and no wartime photographs of their pipers in Italy and North-West Europe are known. So we will just have to be content here with some general knowledge on the WW2 history of this regiment and its uniform.


The Campbell Tartan as worn by the Lorne Scots Pipe Band

 

Training in Canada

No 1 Infantry Base Depot

As the outbreak of hostilities approached during the summer of 1939, the CO of the Lorne Scots, Lieutenant-Colonel Louis Keene, was offered the opportunity to mobilize an infantry battalion for the 3rd Canadian Division, if and when Canada decided to mobilize three divisions. Rather than wait for this remote possibility, he accepted the alternative of organizing a minor but immediately required unit, No. 1 Infantry Base Depot, C.A.S.F. (Canadian Active Service Force). While guards were being mounted on the armouries in Brampton, Georgetown, Port Credit, Milton, Oakville, Acton, Orangeville and Shelburne, the Lorne Scots set about forming the headquarters and two companies of the Depot, with two provost sections.

CASF units were distinct from the units of the N.P.A.M. (Non-Permanent Active Militia), even when they bore the same name. But they drew from the experience of those units, in the officers and N.C.O.'s who volunteered to serve in them.

For three and a half months the unit trained in Brampton, where it graduated 200 cooks. In mid-December it moved to the Automotive Building on the Toronto Exhibition Grounds for a month, before setting out to embark from Halifax for Britain. Here they were at first located at Farnborough, in Barossa barracks.

On the eve of the fall of France, the War Cabinet resolved to send every available division, including the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, to Brittany in a forlorn hope of stemming the German advance. An advance party from the Depot – Major W.H. Lent, C.S.M. E. Ching and Corporal Hiscock – went to establish a base depot at Isse near Chateaubriand. On their arrival, the expeditionary force heard of the surrender of Paris, and started to return. Major Lent's party, who had set foot on French soil on June 12, were back in Barossa Barracks by the 18th.

 


In training: Lorne Scots in 1942 at Niagara Camp.
Back row, far right: Bob Hughes. Second row – three sitting: Ray Daly; unknown (hidden); Pete Newton. Third row – standing bandsmen: Dave Jacobs; bandsman from Brampton.
Six bandsmen standing: Pipemajor George Duncan; unknown; Peter Moorehouse; Bill Adamson; Bill Irwin; Jimmy Windsor. Second row, two pipers seated: Jimmy Valentine, Georgetown; Pipe Sergeant Jimmy Nixon.

Front row – four sitting: Freddy Friend, bass drummer; George Hagey; Stuart Smith; Johnny Conn

To England

2 July 1941. 34 officers and 350 O.R.'s Lorne Scots reinforcements landed. They had trained at Standard Barracks, Hamilton. On June 15th they marched to the T.H. & B. station and entrained for Halifax, sailing on the 21st. on the Andes (the same ship the Seaforth Highlanders took to Britain), with the battleships Ramilles and Repulse as part of the escort to the convoy. The Andes shook from stem to stern, and when a destroyer dropped depth charges, it ‘scared the living daylights out of us.’


the H.M.T. Andes

Details on Her Majesty's Troopship Andes
Operating life: 1939 - 1971 - Tonnage: 25,689 - Passengers: 607
Constructed: Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Andes was launched 6 months before the outbreak of World War Two. She was immediately requisitioned as a troop carrier and spent the war on active duty. In 1947 she was released back to the Royal Mail Line and, after a major refit in Belfast, she commenced her commercial service on routes to South America. In 1959 she was refitted for cruising. In 1971 she made her last voyage to the breakers in Belgium.

After landing in Greenock, they went to New Martinique Barracks in Cove. The day after they arrived, Lord Haw-Haw came on the air, welcomed them to Britain, and told them to look at the clock by the parade square - it was stopped at 1200 hours. After a few weeks, some were sent to Headly Down atop Box Hill where they were part of 1 C.C.P.U. They did guard duty at the corps headquarters at Headley Court, which was later moved to Paddockhurst near Three Bridges. Most of the Lorne Scots went to Sheffield Park for training.
21 August 1941. Regimental shoulder titles would no longer be worn, until the full issue of Lorne Scot title badges are available; Canada patches would be worn instead.
 

Dieppe (19 August 1942)

At Dieppe, No. 6 Defence Platoon (6th Canadian Infantry Brigade) were brought by L.S.T. (Landing Ship Tank), touching down on White Beach at 1605 hours on the 19th. It was split into two parts. C.S.M. Irvine, with Privates Breault[?], Dubois, Rosenberger and Seed waded ashore with Brigadier Southern — all were reported missing. Lieutenant E.J. Norris, with Privates Hancock, Lane, Moor and Keith Spence accompanied the Brigade Major and signals. Their L.S.T. carried three Churchill tanks from the Calgary Regiment and a signal cart. The tanks were to lead off and clear an area to set up the headquarters. Spence was to engage enemy aircraft, but had no tracers so could not observe his fire, and ran out of ammunition since the craft carrying the stores had been hit. Most if his group were dead or wounded, and when a serviceable craft came along side, he helped Hancock, Moore and Lane on board. As they pulled away, the L.S.T. that had brought them in sank. The Germans concentrated their fire on the craft in the water, leaving those on the shore till later, and the group pulled many soldiers of the Fusiliers de Mont-Royal from the water. On the return to Newhaven, the platoon commander and Privates Lane and Hancock were sent to hospital.

Corporal Larry Guator, with Privates McDougall and Stephen Prus, were to act as bodyguard for Brigadier Leth (4th Brigade). They landed on Red Beach at 0550. Prus was beside the brigadier when the latter was wounded in the arm, and carried him on a stretcher to the evacuation craft. Ashore, they fought until 1300 hours, when they were ordered to retreat.

Unit becomes 1st Canadian Corps Defence Company, authorized 1 January, effective 15 February 1943.

 

Click on the photograph above to see a clip of the Pipe Band
1943 Lorne Scots unveil plaque in Thursley Church, England.
Click on the photograph above to see a clip of the Pipe Band playing to and from the church parade.

18 October 1943. Preparing for Operation Timberwolf.

24 August 1943. Arrived on the Alexander, at Gourock.


U.S.A.T. Edmund B. Alexander

Details on U.S.A.T. Edmund B. Alexander:

USS America (ID-3006) was a troop transport for the United States Navy during World War I. She was launched in 1905 as SS Amerika by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the Hamburg America Line of Germany. As a passenger liner, she sailed primarily between Hamburg and New York. On 14 April 1912, Amerika transmitted a wireless message about icebergs near the same area where R.M.S. Titanic struck one and sank less than three hours later. At the outset of World War I, Amerika was docked at Boston; rather than risk seizure by the British Royal Navy, she remained in port for the next three years.
Upon the entry of the United States into the war, Amerika was seized and placed under control of the United States Shipping Board (USSB). Later transferred to the U.S. Navy for use as a troop transport, she was initially commissioned as USS Amerika with Naval Registry Identification Number 3006 (ID-3006), but her name was soon Anglicized to America. As America she transported almost 40,000 troops to France. She sank at her mooring in New York in 1918, but was soon raised and reconditioned. After the Armistice, America transported over 51,000 troops back home from Europe. In 1919, she was handed over to the War Department for use by the United States Army as USAT America, under whose control she remained until 1920.

Returned to the USSB in 1920, America was initially assigned to the United States Mail Steamship Company, and later, after that company’s demise, to United States Lines, for whom she plied the North Atlantic on Bremen to New York routes. In March 1926, due to a tragic oil leak from inside the ship, near the end of one of her periodic refits, America suffered a fire that raged for seven hours and burned nearly all of her passenger cabins. Despite almost $2,000,000 in damage, the ship was rebuilt and back in service by the following year. In April 1931, America ended her service for the United States Lines and was laid up for almost nine years.
In October 1940, America was reactivated for the U.S. Army and renamed USAT Edmund B. Alexander. After a stint as a barracks ship at St. John's, Newfoundland, the Alexander was refitted for use as a troopship for World War II duty.

 

to Sicily and Italy

28 August 1943. En route to Sicily.

6 November 1943. Low-flying aircraft attacked the convoy for half an hour; one ship was sunk and two badly damaged.

8 November 1943. Disembarked Augusta.

9 November 1943. Arrived at Taormina, where the Hotel Vittoria was made ready. Dinner bully beef, hard tack and jam.

16 November 1943. This unit is to supply three officers and fifty ORs for a guard of honour for Colonel Ralston within two days.

18 Novemer 1943. Routine Orders: ‘The Field Security Section will under no circumstances be referred to as the Gestapo. This gives a false impression to the civilians.’ 

29 November 1943. After the inspection Ralston complimented the Lorne Scots on the work they were doing.

In northern Italy, defence platoons were reorganized 24–5 February 1944 for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigades, in the last instance by posting the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade support group intact to the Lorne Scots. During April and May they faced the Hitler Line.

13 February 1944. Cold, cloudy, with about three inches of snow on the ground. All ranks are glad of the prospect of getting in to the front line--they were to relieve a company of Seaforth Highlanders. Forty shells were dropped on Ortona during the night.

15 February 1944. Cold and rainy. Guard change in the square in Rocco. At 1815 hours the Lornes moved into battle positions with Seaforths three miles north of Ortona. Unit occupied front line position overlooking Adriatic. After an hour of stand-to, two men of each section were left on, and the roster of two hours on and four hours off began.


The Lorne Scots did not bring their Pipe Band with them to Italy,
so the Canadian Seaforths did have to play for their changing of the Guard on this occasion.


February 1944 photo of the  Lorne Scots and Seaforth Highlanders
at a changing of the guard ceremony following the Lornes return from action.

29 February 1944. Guard change in the town square in Rocca, with the CAC band and the pipes of the Seaforths.

4 July 1944 Major Drennan visited each of Bde. Platoons, reports many Lorne Scots have no balmorals, cap badges, flashes or shoulder titles. Suggests concentration to fit them out.

10 July 1944. To San Angelo.

6 July 1944. Major Drennan obtained permission to hold a Lorne Scot Concentration.

16 July 1944. Concentration began.

23 July 1944. Church service at which Lt-General Burns, G.O.C. 1 Cdn. Corps, read the lesson, followed by a march past led by the pipe band of the Seaforth Highlanders, and complimentary words from Burns. The corps commander suggested that the Lorne Scots should organize its own pipe band.

29 July 1944. Order for move to Spoleto. The troops were to wear no cap badges or corps patches, and corps formation signs were removed from vehicles. The vehicles were then painted with the American five-pointed star surrounded by a white circle.

16 February 1945. Arrived at Lammie Camp to await embarkation.

With Italy secured, the Canadians began in February 1945, in great secrecy to move to north-western Europe. The 1st Canadian Corps moved to Marseille, then Antwerp, and on 15 March took over the Nijmegen area in Holland.

 

to France, then Holland

 

Details on the Esperance Bay:

built as Esperance Bay, 1936 renamed Arawa.
On 27 August 1939 the passenger ship Arawa of the Shaw, Savill & Albion Co Ltd, London was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 17 September 1939.
Displacement: 14462 BRT
Armament: 7x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 15 knots
Career:
November 39 - Sep 40: China Station
October 40: East Indies Station
November 40 - July 41: South Atlantic Station
On 25 July 1941 returned and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (M.o.W.T.), later as repatriation ship for prisoners. 1945 returned to owner.

22 February 1945. The Esperance Bay sailed for Marseilles unescorted.

3 March 1945. Belgium. The unit reached its destination and could now put up unit titles and badges, and talk to civilians.

4 March 1945. Seven day privilege leaves to the UK began.

13 March 1945. Wihohen, Holland.

19 March 1945. Roman Catholic and Jewish services.

31 March 1945. The organization will change to correspond to 2 Cdn. Corps; Major Beatty will become Deputy Camp Commandant; both AA platoons will be disbanded; the men will be used for fatigues as well as guard duties.

11 April 1945. NE of Doetinchem, Holland.


Private J.L. Davies of The Lorne Scots (centre) and Private W. Mahar, 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade Headquarters
(3rd. Can.Inf.Div.) signing autographs, Leeuwarden (Friesland), Netherlands, 16 April 1945.


Private J.L. Davies of The Lorne Scots served in the 3rd. Canadian Infantry division,
with 9 Canadian Infantry Brigade Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots).

3rd. Can.Inf.Div. had four Lorne Scots Ground Defence Platoons:

- No. 3 Defence and Employment Platoon (Lorne Scots)

- 7 Canadian Infantry Brigade Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)

- 8 Canadian Infantry Brigade Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)

- 9 Canadian Infantry Brigade Ground Defence Platoon (Lorne Scots)

17 April 1945. Castel Rozendaal.

18 April 1945. Five soldiers to escort prisoners to Nijmegen.

22 April 1945. North of Otterloo. The Germans left in a hurry without planting mines or booby traps.

26 April 1945. Field Marshall Montgomery visited Corps HQ to lunch.

29 April 1945. CSM Steen and Private Gibbs left on rotational leave to Canada; Sgt Thraves became CSM.

3 May 1945. Apeldoorn. Lt Bingeman discussed patrols with the commander of the local partisan force. They will from now on stay clear of the Corps area and endeavour to keep civilians out.

4 May 1945. Special rum ration to mark the unconditional surrender of Germans in NW Europe.

9 May 1945. Move to outskirts of Hilversum.

17 May 1945. 190 reinforcements arriving for the company.

21 May 1945. Lectures on Lorne Scot history and traditions for the new reinforcements.

24 May 1945. 23 ORs sent to Northern Holland to work under #3 Cdn Provost to guard, search and strip of weapons and valuables German prisoners being evacuated from Holland.

[Private Donald R. Gardham, B116322, 1st Corps Defence Coy (Lorne Scots), died on Sunday, 3rd June 1945. Age 20. Son of Robert and Myrtle Alice Gardham, of Galt. Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands]

9 July 1945. A large group of Lorne Scots attended at the cemetery near Rear, the funeral of RQMS Sass, our quartermaster, who was killed in a vehicle accident while working for the Recreational Increment. He was a very popular figure.

 


9 July 1945. Photo of Guard of Honour from the Lornes drawn up in front of the Hotel de Wereld, Wageningen,
where General Blaskowitz agreed to surrender terms offered by General Foulkes. Officer of the guard is Lt. J.E.R. Bingeman.
A plaque was unveiled and Prince Bernhard given a Royal Salute.

 

9 July 1945. Lieutenant J.E.R. Bingeman and a guard of honour consisting of infantrymen of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) were at a plaque unveiling ceremony outside the Hotel De Wereld, Wageningen, Netherlands, .

[Warrant Officer Class II Carl Edward Sass, A31336, R.Q.M.S. 1st Corps Defence Coy, (Lorne Scots), died on Sunday, 8th July 1945. Age 39. Son of Charles and Caroline Sass, of Kitchener; husband of Patricia Sarah Sass, of Kitchener. Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands.]

17 July 1945. HQ 1 Cdn. Corps closed.

5 August 1945. Began 3-week tour with C.F.N. Unit strength hovering around the 200 mark.

31 December 1945: Disbanded.