BLACK WATCH (R.H.R.) OF CANADA
Cap Badge, Shoulder Titles and Collar badges
of the Black Watch of Canada
(Credit for photographs of the badges goes to Clifford Weirmeir, with his splendid website about
regiment of Canada)
the Black Watch could also wear this
instead of the metal Cap Badge
worn by the Black Watch
Left: 42nd. tartan as worn
by all Black Watch soldiers and the drummers of the Pipe band,
and Right: The Royal Stewart as worn by the Pipers
Pipers of the Black Watch (R.H.R.) of Canada Pipe Band
during the 1925 St. Patrick's Day parade in Montreal.
The Queen Mother inspecting the Black Watch (R.H.R.) of Canada, in
England, August 1940.
and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4232587
Source of the following
Harold A. Skaarup
The Second World War
The 2nd Battalion was called out on service on 26 August
1939 and details of the battalion were placed on active service on 1
September 1939, as the 2nd Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highland
Regiment) of Canada, C.A.S.F. (Details), for local protection duties.
These details were disbanded on 31 December 1940.
The regiment mobilized as the 1st Battalion, The Black
Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, C.A.S.F, on 1 September
1939. This unit, which served in Newfoundland from 22 June to 11 August
1940, embarked for Great Britain on 25 August 1940. Three platoons took
part on the raid on Dieppe on 19 August 1942. On 6 July 1944, the
battalion landed in France as part of the 5th Infantry Brigade, 2nd
Canadian Infantry Division, and it continued to fight in North West
Europe until the end of the war.
The overseas battalion was disbanded on 30 November 1945.
The regiment subsequently mobilized as the 2nd Battalion,
The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, C.A.S.F., on 18
March 1942. This unit served in Canada in a home defence role as part of
Atlantic Command until it was disbanded on 15 August 1943.
The 1st. Battalion Black Watch,
Bill Magennis was the Pipe Major, was brigaded with Le Régiment de Maisonneuve and Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal of the 2nd Canadian
Division, however the Fusiliers Mont Royal were replaced by The Calgary
Highlanders in the 5th Brigade in 1940.
The 1st. Battalion suffered more casualties than any
other Canadian infantry battalion in Northwest Europe according to
figures published in The
Long Left Flank by Jeffrey Williams. Disaster seemed to
follow the unit;
On the voyage to France on the day of the Dieppe Raid,
casualties were suffered by the unit during a grenade priming accident
onboard their ship, the H.M.S. Duke
During the Battle of Verrières Ridge on 25 July 1944, 325
men left the start line and only 15 made it back to friendly lines, the
others being killed or wounded by well entrenched Waffen S.S. soldiers
On 13 October 1944 - known as Black Friday by the Black
Watch - the regiment put in an assault near Hoogerheide during
the Battle of the Schelde in which all four company commanders were
killed, and one company of 90 men was reduced to just four survivors.
Private E. Eastle of The Black Watch
(Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada wearing the Red hackle on his khaki
at the grave of his brother, who was a member of The Royal Hamilton
Light Infantry of Canada.
Ossendrecht, Netherlands, 26 October 1944.
Burial of 55
infantrymen of "A" Company, The Black Watch
Canada, Ossendrecht, Netherlands, 26 October 1944
Photograph 1: H/Captain Father B.W. Kenny officiating at the
burial of 55 infantrymen of "A" Company, The Black Watch (Royal
Highland Regiment) of Canada, Ossendrecht, Netherlands, 26
October 1944. Bell, Ken., Photographer
Photograph 2: Pipe Major Hector McDonald, Piper Duncan (Picket) W.
MacDonald* and Piper Willie .J.
Hannah at the burial of 55 infantrymen of "A" Company, The Black
Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, Ossendrecht,
Netherlands, 26 October 1944.following the fighting at the
Battle of Antwerp in October of 1944.
Photograph 3: Dutch civilians attending the burial of 55
infantrymen of "A" Company, The Black Watch (Royal Highland
Regiment) of Canada, Ossendrecht, Netherlands, 26 October 1944.
Duncan (Picket) W. MacDonald:
World War II
began and Duncan went overseas to serve his country. He enlisted
as a foot soldier, but when it was discovered that he could play
the bagpipes, Duncan was assigned to the band of the 1st
Battalion of the Black Watch Regiment. While there, he had the
honour of playing for the Queen Mother and, along with two other
pipers (Hector MacDonald and Willie Hannah), the distinction of
playing a lament at the burial of 55 members of the Black Watch
following the fighting at the Battle of Antwerp in October of
Duncan returned to Canada five days before V-E Day and marched
in the Victory Parade.
He continued his piping and belonged to the
S.D.&G. Pipe Band and the Royal Canadian Legion Pipe Band. As a
member of these bands, he took part in many parades held
throughout the counties and with the S.D.& G., played at the
Glengarry Highland Games. In addition, he piped for weddings,
funerals, fairs and dancing competitions. Unfortunately, in the
early sixties, he was forced to give up playing the pipes when
he contracted emphysema.
A Black Watch, 2nd.Canadian Infantry Division. Bren
team at Holten, Holland, 08Apr1945.
Infantry of the Black Watch
of Canada (Royal Highland Regiment) crossing the river Regge
south of Ommen, The Netherlands, on 10 April 1945.