Cap Badge and Collar Badges of the
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders
(Credit for photographs of the badges goes to Clifford Weirmeir, with his splendid website about
regiment of Canada)
the shoulder title of the S.D.G.
The MacDonnell of Glengarry tartan of the S.D.G.
what the sporran of the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry
Highlanders' Pipe Band looked like.
DUNDAS and GLENGARRY HIGHLANDERS 1783 - 1951
The original S,D.G. Regimental History,
as written by Lt. Col. W. Boss in 1952
Glens" the New Edition of the Regimental History of the Glens,
by W.G. Boss, (Hard Cover) as published January 1, 1995
Quotes from the regimental history: ”Up the Glens”:
This is more than a Regimental History. It is
also a story, going back nearly two centuries, of families who
settled in, and animated, the Counties of Stormont, Dundas and
Glengarry. The original settlers were, largely, of military
background and of Highland stock. In these circumstances it was
inevitable that their descendants inherited characteristics
which produced successful citizens in peace and outstanding
soldiers in war.
From Chapter I of
:”Up the Glens”:
Upon the conclusion of the American Revolutionary
War in 1783 the officers and men of the 1st Battalion, King's
Royal Regiment of New York, together with many of the 1 st
Battalion, 84th Royal Highland Emigrant Regiment, settled with
their wives and families in the Counties of Stormont, Dundas and
Glengarry. The personnel of these regiments had been drawn from
two large groups of people who had emigrated to America under
dramatic circumstances from the Palatinate on the banks of the
German Rhine in 1710, and from the Highlands of Scotland in
Provincial Plaque in front of the Cornwall Armory
The original settlers had been joined by a party
of five hundred Highland emigrants who arrived under the
leadership of the Reverend Alexander Macdonell (Scotus), founder
of the Parish of St. Raphaels. (He died on the 24th of May 1803,
at Lachine, on his way to Montreal, where he was bound for
medical treatment, and the Reverend Fitzsimmons took over the pioneer
parish.) Other small detachments arrived in 1792 (Macdonell of
Greenfield) and in the spring of 1794. Then, in 1804, a large
body of Highlanders arrived, with their families, under the
guidance of the Reverend Alexander Macdonell who became the
first Roman Catholic Bishop of Upper Canada. These were
disbanded soldiers of the Glengarry Fencibles, a corps that had
been formed in Scotland in 1794, served through the Irish
Rebellion and had been disbanded in 1802. The spoons that were
used in the Officers' Mess of the Glengarry Fencibles are now
part of the silver of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
summer dress of the S.D.G. pipe band in
with the new
18 Jun 1940 - 29 Jul 1941
Battalion - Kingston - Ottawa - Debert - Departure from Canada.
On the 18th of June 1940, the Stormont, Dundas
and Glengarry Highlanders were ordered to mobilize as an
infantry unit of the 3rd Canadian Division, to be commanded by
Lieutenant-Colonel W.J. Franklin, MC, VD, with Major R.T.E.
HicksLyne, MC, as second-in-command. It was decided that other
Reserve Army regiments in Military District No.3 should share in
the organization of the battalion and companies were assigned as
H.Q. Company To be provided by the Prince of
Wales Rangers (Peterborough Regiment) (MG) and to mobilize at
No. I Company To be provided by The Princess of
Wales' Own Regiment, (MG) and to mobilize at Kingston.
No. 2 Company To be provided by The Brockville
Rifles and to mobilize at Brockville.
Nos. 3 and 4 Companies and Band. To be
provided by The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders and
to mobilize at Cornwall.
The Pipe Band
reported at Peterborough on the 12th of July and made such an
instantaneous hit in the community that a tag-day was held on
the 31 st of August to raise funds for the band. Companies
remained at their local headquarters until the 4th of September,
when the battalion concentrated at Kingston, going under canvas
at the Fair Grounds.
On the 6th of November the battalion left
Kingston for Ottawa, where it took up quarters at Lansdowne
Park, and commenced Bren gun training at Connaught Ranges, an
activity that continued throughout the cold months of December
On the 16th of January 1941, officers of the 1st
Battalion and 2nd Battalion met and approved a new badge for the
regiment, which symbolized in its design the military history of
the area, such as the ancient title of Glengarry Fencibles and
the Macdonell crest of the Raven on the Rock. In Europe, the Pipe Band
would keep wearing the previous version of the badge.
In Europe, the pipe band wore the “Foy pour Devoir”
badge on their Glengarry.
The 3rd Canadian Division began concentrating at
Debert Military Camp, Nova Scotia, in January 1941, and on the
29th of January the battalion left Ottawa to join its sister
units of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade. These were the North
Nova Scotia Highlanders and the Highland Light Infantry of
Canada, the three thus making a Highland Brigade. A farewell
march through the streets of Ottawa, - Bank -Catherine -Elgin -
Wellington - Kent - Gladstone - Bank - Lansdowne Park, took
place in the morning; the pipe
band was silent for the cold weather had frozen the pipes.
Major Stanley Lewis took the salute, and in the afternoon the
troops entrained at Isabella Siding for their journey to the
Limbering-up exercises were held on the station
platform at Mont Joli and there was a route march through the
streets of Campbellton, N.B. The detraining point at Belmont, N.
S. was reached in a snowstorm at seven o'clock in the morning of
30th January. Trucks conveyed the men to within about a twenty
minute march of the battalion area, from where they marched into
The personnel of the first train marched to the
strains of the regimental pipe band; the second train was met by
the pipers of the Canadian Scottish Regiment.
The first anniversary of mobilization occurred on
the 18th June 1941, at Debert; it was celebrated on the 20th
with regimental sports. These included a pie-eating contest, won
by Private W.N. Gilroy (who later died of wounds received at
Caen) and the catching of a 200-lb. greased pig by Private R.W.C.
Hutt. In the evening a concert troupe from Halifax and
the battalion pipe band
entertained the men in the K. of C. Hut, after which they
returned to the Mess Halls for liquid refreshments and hot dogs.
The Sergeants held a stag party in their Mess and the Officers
were hosts at an informal dance. The Regimental Women's
Auxiliary at Cornwall sent a cheque for $75.00 to ensure that
the historic date was properly observed.
On the 16th of July the pipe band went to
Antigonish, N.S. to participate in the Highland Games and was
successful in winning first prize in the open competition for
pipe bands. Piper Wishart and Corporal Marshall
won the further distinction of being awarded first and second
prizes respectively for individual piping.
Both of these pipers later served as Pipe Major
of the battalion.
Then, in the early morning of the 19th of July,
the battalion left Debert Military Camp for Halifax, embarking
on H.M.T. (Her Majesty’s Troopship) E216 at half past nine
o'clock in the morning. This vessel was the R.M.S. Orion of the
famous P. & O. Line.
R.M.S. Orion (later
the SS Orion) is still considered to be one of the most famous
ships on the Australian immigrant run, as she introduced a new
standard in ocean travel.
Orion was the first British liner with air conditioning in all
her public rooms. Built by Vickers-Armstrong in Barrow, Furness,
England, she was launched on December 7,
1934 and completed in August 1935.
Tonnage: 23,371 GRT (gross registered tonnes)
Length: 665ft (202.7m)
Beam: 82ft (25.6m)
Draught: 30ft (9.1m)
Engines: Six Parsons SRG Steam Turbines (24,100 SHP)
Service speed: 21 knots.
Passenger Decks: Seven
Passengers: 708 Cabin Class, 700 Tourist Class. Later 1,691 One
Crew: 466, later 565
Orion was the first Orient liner to be painted in that much
loved Orient Line livery with a corn coloured hull. She was
acquired by the British government as a trooper seeing her sail
to Egypt and Wellington, New Zealand where she took on troops
In October 1942 she was one of many acquired liners which
participated in “Operation Torch” and made two trips to North
Africa carrying over 5,000 troops each time. In 1943 her troop
carrying capacity was increased to 7,000 which,
along with other vessels such as USS West Point (SS America)
played a huge role in the positioning of the Western Allied
Forces. Her role as a troop carrier tapered off in the Pacific
there after, but she continued moving troops some 5,000 per
When she was finally released from active duties, Orion had
carried over 175,000 soldiers and civilians and according to her
log, she steamed over 380,000 miles.
Other units in the vessel were Headquarters, 9th
Canadian Infantry Brigade, The North Nova Scotia Highlanders and
the 22nd Field Ambulance. The ship sailed from Halifax at noon
on the 21st of July, taking a northerly route just south of
Iceland, steering north of Ireland and then, the escorting
warships except for one Anti-Aircraft vessel having left the
convoy, making a quick run down the Irish Sea.
The vessel docked at Avonmouth on the 30th of
July and the troops were welcomed by the Lord Mayor. The
battalion proceeded from the ship to Aldershot, G.B. in two
groups and took up quarters in Barrosa Barracks. The General
Officer Commanding the 3rd Canadian Division took the salute at
the Government Siding at Aldershot.
Ch.X ENGLAND (30 Jul 1941- 4 Jun 1944):
Aldershot - Camberly - Middleton - Selsey - Denne Park -West
Chiltington -Scotland - Angmering - Muntham Court - Rustington -
Wemyss Bay - Barton Stacey - Hursley Camp - Hilsea Barracks -
Roche Court - Rookesbury Camp - Inspection by H.M. The King -
Creech Walk - Stokes Bay.
The battalion stayed at Aldershot, G.B. less than
three months. The King and Queen inspected the 3rd Canadian
Division on 16th September. The event brought happy memories to
the Glens of the visit of Their Majesties to Canada in the
summer of 1939.
This photograph of the SDG Pipeband was taken at Aldershot in
1941 - 1st Battalion Pipe Band, Barrossa Barracks, Aldershot,
Back Row, left to right - Art Parnell, S.
McCappin, Bill Atterbury, Gordon (Spots) Bergeron, Doug Taylor,
Joe Sommerville, Gerry Dawson, Len (Big Spots) Bergeron, Don
Fowler, Scott Silmser, Tommy Marshall, Mac Cameron.
Front Row, - Bill Kennedy, Martin Heroy, Gordon Blair, Bob
Wishart , P/M. Lawrence McGillivary
(senior P/M, he would be replaced by Tommy
Marshall before the regiment went into action in
Normandy, until Bob Wishart was appointed),
Willie Munro, Fred MacDonald, Hugh Munro,
The Trophy was won at the Antigonish Highland Society pipe band
competition in Nova Scotia in 1941
It was about this time that, on a lovely
afternoon, in an equally lovely garden, before an even lovelier
Queen, two of the battalion Pipers played for Her Majesty's
pleasure. That they played marvellously - well goes without
saying, for Corporal Marshall and Piper Wishart were of
championship calibre. Queen Elizabeth was most gracious in her
remarks and her appreciation. She spoke to the pipers at length
and at one time, noticing the brass shoulder badge Glengarrians,
inquired, "That is short for what?" Corporal Marshall replied,
"It is short, Your Majesty, for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry."
"My, that is awfully long, isn't it," said the Queen. "I am glad
you use the word 'Glengarrians." Corporal Tommy Marshall
became Pipe Major of the battalion and later, Piper
Wishart was appointed Pipe Major.
Christmas Day, 1941 was spent in Middleton, a
long distance from Eastern Ontario, and for many of the younger
soldiers it was their first Christmas away from home. Divine
service was conducted by the Padre and the civil population
attended it with the troops. The usual Christmas dinner was
served to the men at twelve Messes by the officers and nco's. Each Mess had a piper and a drummer in
On the 14th of September 1942,LieutenantColonel
M.S. Dunn arrived to take command of the battalion, with Major
Christiansen as second in-command.
On the 2nd of October the unit supplied a large
working party to assist a neighbouring farmer harvest his potato
crops. "D" Company, busily tuning up to represent the battalion
in a Brigade Drill Competition, was excused from farm chores.
This competition was won by the North Novas, who did some tricky
arms drill to the music of their pipe band without words
of command. In the evening a Brigade Dance was held at Horsham
Drill Hall. Major-General R.F.L. Keller attended the event, one
of the features of which was a reel in which Brigadier Haldenby
and Colonel Rutherford took part, to the
music of the SD&G pipers.
Early in December 1942, the battalion went to
Southampton by train, where they boarded H.M.S. Prince Albert,
Prince Charles and Prince Leopold for exercises in landing
operations. Christmas and New Year celebrations passed quietly;
it was a "green" Christmas, but snow fell for the first time on
the night of 4th/5th January and some of the platoons who were
out on night training had a cold time.
In the middle of January the Highlanders left
Denne Park Camp for West Chiltington, near Steyning, a hutted
camp. They remained there but a few days and on 26th January
1943, proceeded from Pulborough Station for some advanced
training in Scotland. After having been in Scotland for about
two weeks, during which time it rained steadily or turned into
what is called a "Scotch Mist", a Glengarrian asked a local
inhabitant, "Does it rain here all the time?" The Scot replied,
"Weel, we'll no be seeing much sun till long aboot August." The
battalion left Scotland on the 16th of February, reaching West
Chiltington Camp on the following day. On the 28th of February
the battalion moved off to take part in Exercise Spartan, the
most ambitious of the many exercises carried out in Britain. The
troops returned to West Chiltington in the evening of the 13th
of March and settled down once more to camp routine.
Regimental funds showed a healthy credit balance,
so the surplus was devoted to providing new Glengarries for
every member of the unit. This had the nature of a birthday
gift for the third mobilization anniversary which occurred on
the 19th of June and which was crowded with activities all
members of the battalion will recall with joy.
The third anniversary Church Parade was held on
the following day, when the Corps Senior Chaplain,
Lieutenant-Colonel C.G. Hepburn, MC, ED, preached the sermon.
Colonel Christiansen spoke to the troops before the service with
regard to the feelings of happiness, gratitude and comradeship
that should animate a service of thus nature. Colonel Hepburn
spoke of "Tradition and Remembrance". The service closed with
the National Anthem and the pipers playing Bonnie Dundee.
The anniversary celebration over, the battalion turned once more
to the task of fitting itself to beat the enemy. But the hope
may have been expressed that the 19th June will always be
observed by the Reserve Army units whose ties with The Stormont,
Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders have been cemented in blood.
At the end of the month orders were received for
the transfer of the Glens to Rustington. The battalion arrived
at Rustington on the 4th of August 1943, and Headquarters was
established in an evacuated Convalescent Home.
Toward the end of the month, information was
received that another trip to Scotland was in store for the
Highlanders; on the 3rd of September they entrained at Worthing
Central Station for Wemyss Bay to take part in combined
operations training. (Unknown to the men at that time, the 3rd
Canadian Division had been selected as an "attack" division to
strike at Fortress Europe). During a halt at Leicester the
civilians around the station called upon the pipers for martial
music and they willingly complied. Wemyss Bay was reached at
four o'clock in the morning, where hot tea and cookies were
served by the YMCA as soon as the men detrained. Embarking at
8:30am, the battalion landed at Rothesay at 10:30am and
proceeded to billets.
After a relatively quiet three weeks at Boscombe,
during which Exercise Pirate was commenced and cancelled, due to
rain, the battalion moved to Barton-Stacey, a sprawling camp
near Andover. The next day the unit shifted over from
Barton-Stacey to Hursley Camp in the same area. Part of the
battalion moved off on the 26th of November and embarked on
landing craft. Then bad weather set in and held up the operation
until the 2nd December; those already on board had a rough time
of it in Southampton Water. On the 8th of December the unit
moved to Hilsea Barracks, Portsmouth.
Preparations began for the Christmas season.
There was to be a dance in the gymnasium and a Christmas party
for the children of the community. The soldiers bought candy and
Canadian chocolate bars and contributed them for the Kiddies'
Party. The Children's Party was held on the following day.
Colonel Christiansen was present, the Pipe Band provided
the music and Santa Claus (Corporal Harwood) made a spectacular
entrance and distributed his packages to the children.
On 30th December the battalion left Hilsea
Barracks for Roche Court, Fareham, where the New Year - the year
of invasion - was quietly observed in glorious weather. On the
6th of January 1944, the battalion was reviewed for the first
time by the new Brigade Commander, Brigadier Cunningham, who was
destined to command the Brigade during the Normandy fighting.
On the 27th, 28th and 29th April 1944, exercise
Fabius tested the marshalling and loading of troops and vehicles
on the assault craft allotted to the battalion. It was the last
exercise before D-Day. On the 30th of May all troops except
those marked for "D plus 5" (vehicles and personnel) moved by
troop-carrying vehicles to the marshalling areas at Creech Walk
and thence in due course to Stokes Bay.
THE BAPTISM OF FIRE: 4 Jun 1944 - 14 Jul 1944
Southampton Roads -
Bernieres-sur-Mer - "Hell's Corners" - "Up the Glens" - Gruchy
and Chateau St. Louet - Caen - Reinforcements.
By Sunday, 4th June, the battalion was aboard the
seven landing craft that would convey them to the Normandy
beaches. The landing craft pulled out of Southampton Waters on
the 3rd of June, but together with the invasion fleet, they were
delayed until the evening of the 5th of June because of bad
weather. All ranks were issued leather jerkins, leather jump
boots instead of gaiters, canvas assault jackets with many
pockets which, for some, held two Bren gun magazines, two No. 36
grenades, a No.75 anti-tank grenade, and a No. 69 smoke grenade.
All wore special assault helmets and anti-vermin and anti-gas
treated battledress. All carried 1st field dressings and some
carried vials of morphine. Then there was camouflage and
emergency rations. All carried weapons including: rifles and
bayonets with three bandoliers of ammunition, PIATs (Projectors
Infantry AntiTank), 2-inch mortars, Bren light machine guns,
Stens, and commando or folding knives. Last but not least, all
ranks had Mae West life preservers, blankets, mess tins, mugs,
extra socks, and gas capes. In addition, some carried compasses,
map cases, binoculars, and portable radios. Nothing had been
overlooked in the months of planning and exercises. Private
Danny Darling of "A" Company weighed his equipment in England
and found it tipped the scales at seventy-eight pounds without
the steel helmet, bicycle or the ration packs.
Stormont Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders
debarking from landing craft at Bernières-sur-Mer.
By 06.00 hours on the morning of the 6th of June
the landing craft containing the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
Highlanders were about sixteen miles from the coast of France.
Touch down was made around noon. As the vessel containing
personnel of "D" Company touched the beach a mine blew a hole in
it, but no one was hurt. The skipper told the ship behind him
that he would not be able to get it afloat again. The 7th
Infantry Brigade had already landed and moved forward. The 8th
Brigade was still there when the Glens landed so both infantry
brigades were jammed in the village for some hours.
Villons-lesBuissons was reached by 10.00 hours. The Stormont,
Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders then became the spearhead of
the Brigade with the battle-scarred North Novas, while the 27th
Armoured Regiment continued gallantly to hold off the German
On the 10th of June there was a brief respite;
weapons and equipment were cleaned. The Commanding Officer's
carrier was a total wreck and the office truck had been struck
through the radiator by a piece of shrapnel. The Regimental
Sergeant-Major's 3-ton lorry with ammunition of all kinds,
explosives, anti-tank mines, etc., received a hit and caught
fire. RSM Lockhart fought the blaze almost single-handed and
unloaded and dispersed the dangerous cargo.
It was on this occasion that some of the pipers
lost their instruments.
Pipe major Bob Wishart, the C.O.’s Piper,
playing beside his slit trench to celebrate the 20 June,1944
On the 20th of June 1944, the battalion
celebrated its fourth mobilization anniversary at Les Buissons.
The men took turns and attended the festivities in groups.
At Vieux Cairon , Normandy, 20 June, 1944,
the fourth year of the mobilization of the regiment was
On the 11th of July, the 3rd Canadian
Division, with 2nd Canadian Division and 2nd Armoured Brigade
were organized to form the 2nd Canadian Corps under
Lieutenant-General Simonds. The tactical policy of the corps for
the moment was to hold Caen with the 3rd Canadian
Division in line, two Brigades forward; while holding to
continue active patrolling with patrols at fighting strength in
order to destroy any enemy patrols that might penetrate across
the River Orne.
Glengarrians of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders
in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division take a meal on the banks
of the Caen train station on July 19.
CH XII THE ADVANCE THROUGH NORMANDY: 15 Jul 1944
- 29 Sep 1944
Anisey - Benouville -
18th-19th July at Orne Crossing - Hubert Folie - Bouanville -
Urville - Bretteville - The fight against the tanks - Epancy -
Beaumais - Trun - "B" Company bares its fangs - The dash towards
Rouen - Blosseville - Eu, Abbeville and Montreuil -Acheux-en-Vimeau
- The reduction at Boulonge -A rest at Beuvrequen.
The battalion went to Anisey for a brief respite
on the 14th July. Shortly after midnight on the 18th of July the
battalion left Anisey for the assembly area at Benouville. The
Glens moved from Cormelles in the early morning of the 20th of
July and after passing Bras reached Hubert Folie the same day.
Lieutenant-Colonel Rowley inspected his new
battalion for the first time on the 6th of August. Instructions
were received to attack and occupy Urville, while the Highland
Light Infantry of Canada moved to Hautmesnil and the North Nova
Scotia Highlanders to Gouvix. It was then decided that the 9th
Canadian Infantry Brigade would relieve the 10th Canadian
Brigade for a brief period and the SD&G Highlanders took over
the line of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada in
the vicinity of MensilTouffrey (Hill 190), which was exposed to
enemy fire from three sides. It was in this area that Piper
Hughie Munro and Private Issie Elias were killed in action on
the 12th of August. Piper Munro had always been a part of the
Commanding Officer's command group. He was good with a Bren
gun and was never far from his Commanding Officer. He was in
fact following closely behind the CO's carrier when hit.
CH XIII THE CLEARING OF THE SCHELDT ESTUARY: 30
Sep 1944 - 8 Nov 1944
The problem of Supply - Clearing the Scheldt
Estuary - Hoogeweg and Roodenhoek - Nommer Een and Sasput -
Breskens - Knocke and Heydst - The Glens at Ghent.
A battalion church parade was held at
on the 1st of October, the Protestant service taking place in
the village square where the pipe band lent colour to the
occasion, while the Roman Catholics proceeded to the village
church. Later in the day "B" Company organized a
trip to Vimy Ridge to see the Canadian War
Private R.W. Sisson of the Stormont,
Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders talking with Belgian children,
Knokke, Belgium, 3 November 1944.
The 3rd of November was spent in cleaning up; the
barbers were busy, for it was twenty-five days since the men had
been able to have their hair trimmed. Also, news had been
received that the troops of the 3rd Canadian Division were to be
the guests of the citizens of Ghent, and the Stormont, Dundas
and Glengarry Highlanders were to move at ten o'clock on the
following morning, magnificently turned out in new uniforms for
the Belgian city. War, with all its horrors, was to be forgotten
for a while.
This Battle Flag was presented to the Regiment by the
town of Knokke
after the war, in 1946
XIV THE WINTER FIGHTING: 9 Nov 1944 - 23 Mar 1945
Nijmegen - Hotel Glen - Rindern and Cleve - Udem
- The Hochwald - Regrouping in the Reichswald.
Nijmegen, November 15, 1944: Pt.
Dewar of Glen Nevis, Ont., shows these Dutch kiddies
the working of a bagpipe.,
while Pte. J.A. MacKenzie
of Toronto demonstrates what happens when you blow
into the pipes
Piper W.D. Dewar playing, while the kids enjoy the candy they
just got from piper J.A. Mackenzie,
at Nijmegen, 15 November 1944.
In the middle of January the battalion had a
short rest at Driehuizen and then took over from the Queen's Own
Rifles of Canada; Battalion Headquarters was established at
Huize Rhatia, a large building in the Swiss chalet style. The
famous Hotel Glen was still being maintained as a 24-hour rest
centre. Comfortable, homelike, with a canteen, a nightly showing
of films, and a supply of periodicals, it was an invaluable
asset to the unit. A certain amount of 48-hour leaves were also
being granted to Brussels, Ghent and Paris.
Glengarrians aboard a Buffalo, Mehr,
Germany, 11 February 1945.
On the 11th of March the battalion moved on
troop-carrying vehicles to the Reichswald for regrouping. It was
not long before a large sign at the entrance to the camp bore
the legend "CAMP GLEN" in blue letters. The canteen moved into
the camp with its store of chocolates, cigarettes and toilet
articles. A recreational marquee was erected in the Brigade area
for the showing of movies; it became known as "Highland Hut". In
the SD&G lines a building of some pretention was erected under
the aegis of Corporal Walton for the Officers' Mess. The lumber
for this building was scrounged from a still undisclosed source.
Trucks took parties of men to Nijmegen where urban delights
relieved the monotony of rustic life in the Reichswald forest.
Canadian Infantry Division massed pipes & drums, on 17-03-1945
at Matterborn, Germany. Only the H.L.I. of Canada is missing.
Walking in front are, left to right: P/M. A. MacMillan
P/M. Ross Stone
and last but not
least: P/M. Sam Scott
Another photograph of the
3rd. Canadian Infantry Division massed pipes & drums
(taken half-way during
Pipe Majors facing the photographer, left to right:
P/M Sam Scott (Ottawa
Cams) a piper wearing CanScots tartan kilt can be seen walking
behind him, P/M
P/M. Ross Stone
CH XV ON TO VICTORY: 24 Mar 1945 -15 Jun 1945
Across the Rhine - Grietherbusch - Bienen -
Emmerich - Back into Holland - Zeddam - Zutphen - Lettele - The
dash for the Overijsselch Kanaal - Heine - Across the Kanaal -
Into Leeuwarden - Veenwouden - Winschoten - Into Germany again -
The crossing of the Ems at Leer - "Cease Fire" - Emden -
Apeldoorn - Hilversum - Homeward Bound.
Stretcherbearer-pipers carrying away a
casualty during the crossing of the Rhine
At 05.00 hours on the 24th of March the rifle
companies, Support Company and Command Post embussed for the
crossing of the German Rhine, and proceeded to the marshalling
area east of Calcar, the Rhine was crossed without incident on
Buffaloes (manned by British soldiers, imperturbable and
reassuring) at 11.00 hours. On the morning of the 25th of March
the Glens moved northwards to Grietherbusch to secure the left
flank of the Brigade after the crossing of the Rhine.
A couple of hours later the battalion crossed the
German boundary into Holland again and it was pleasant to be
once more back on friendly soil. In Germany the people were
naturally cold and apathetic, but in Holland the civilians were
vociferous in their welcome of the Canadians. The Glens passed
through S'Heerenberg at 11.00 hours on the morning of the 1 st
of April and went forward to Zeddam, where Tactical HQ was
On the 3rd of April troop-carrying vehicles
conveyed the men forward to concentrate in the area of
Laagkeppel, where they started the assault toward Zutphen. Some
stiff fighting was experienced as the battalion pressed forward
through Toldijk, Vieraller, and Leesten near Zutphen. By the 6th
of April the Glens were in front of Zutphen, but orders arrived
to move to the west and take up a position south of the town.
The battalion went into Zutphen on the following day by three
footbridges, the original structures having been destroyed by
Private H.A. Woodruff of The Stormont,
Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders distributing candy to Dutch
Bathmen, Netherlands, 9 April 1945.
The Glens did not waste time in Zutphen. Leaving
on the 9th they passed through the Highland Light Infantry of
Canada at Bathmen, secured a bridge south of Lettele and took
possession of the town without opposition. Without a halt they
proceeded toward the Zijkanaal which was crossed near Zandbelter
at 18.00 hours on the 10th of April, and on the 11 th there was
a long move to the vicinity of Raalte. At 09.00 hours on the
12th of April the SD&G moved forward from Raalte as the Division
advance guard. The troops were mounted on the tanks of the 27th
Canadian Armoured Regiment (Sherbrooke Fusiliers). The task was
to seize and hold a bridgehead across the Overijsselsch Kanaal.
This also involved the liberation of Heino.
The battalion was on the move again on the 14th
of April, passing Dalfsen in the early morning. South of Meppel
the Highlanders were fascinated by groups of girls and women
wearing the native costume peculiar to the province of
Friesland. They, and the men dressed in blue jeans and jackets,
represented the attire the troops had expected to see in
Holland; nevertheless, in the wake of battle the sight seemed
One of the men remarked that it resembled
"groups of Hollywood extras relaxing from work in a period
Just past Steenwijk there was a good example of
the efficient work of the Holland Underground movement. Two
civilians turned up at Battalion Headquarters to speak with
Colonel Gemmell. They were representatives of local underground
and they had received a telephone call over a secret line from
the leader of the underground movement in Leeuwarden, who wished
to speak as soon as possible with the first British officer to
arrive in the area. Colonel Gemmell went in his jeep to a power
station, directly opposite "D" Company headquarters, where the
secret line was located. The Leeuwarden underground furnished
much valuable information regarding the condition of roads and
bridges and the disposition of German troops remaining in
Leeuwarden, that was extremely useful in connection with the
attack of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade on the city.
Crowd welcoming The Stormont, Dundas and
Glengarry Highlanders of Canada to Leeuwarden, Netherlands, 16
The battalion pushed toward Leeuwarden on the
15th of April but was delayed by blown-up bridges over the many
canals and streams, necessitating detours from time to time. The
city was entered on the 16th of April; the Holland Underground
had done highly commendable work in this area and the city was
free of enemy by the time the Highlanders arrived. Personnel of
the Mortar Platoon commandeered a boat and enjoyed a scenic tour
of the Leeuwarden canals that evening. As elsewhere, the Glens
received a remarkable welcome from the heroic Hollanders. The
efficiency of the Canadian Auxiliary Services may be gauged from
the fact that a moving picture show was held in Leeuwarden in
the evening of the day that the city was entered.
On the 18th of April the battalion advanced to
Veenwouden, where company areas were allotted around the
village. Church parade was held on Sunday (20th April) the
Protestants going to the village church and the Roman Catholics
holding an outdoor service. Then, on the 27th of April the Glens
once more moved into Germany for the last big operation of the
war, Tactical HQ being set up at Bingum, just across the River
Ems from the city of Leer which was strongly in German hands. On
the 6th of May the Glens moved into the city of Emden, where
they took over a very fine German barracks. There were German
guards with loaded rifles at the gates and they saluted smartly.
The enemy was soon moved from their sumptuous quarters and the
Glens acquired their lavish supply of champagne, liqueurs,
brandy and gin.
Church parades were held on Sunday, the 13th of
May, when the Commanding Officer spoke to the men at both
Protestant and Roman Catholic parades. At 13.30 hours there was
a battalion parade at which the salute was taken by Brigadier
Rockingham. He spoke to the troops and explained the different
projects then occupying their attention; the Canadian Far East
Force, The Canadian Occupation Force and Demobilization in
Canada. The Corps Commander, 2nd Canadian Corps, spoke in
similar terms at an inspection on the 14th of May.
In the City of Emden, May 1945 when the Glens
moved into the city. Outside the Command Post.
Top: Sergeant More (Brigade Signaller).
Center: Lieutenant Colonel N.M. Gemmell, Lieutenant J.C.Kirby,
Major J.G. Stothart. Front: M.D. Benton, E.A. Northcott, M.E.
The battalion moved from Emden on the 16th of May
for Apeldoorn, by way of Groningen and Deventer. Another move on
the 19th took the Glens to Hilversum, where, with the pipe Band
leading, the battalion marched into the town led by
Lieutenant-Colonel Gemmell. A victory parade at The Hague,
voting for the Federal Elections, presentation of medals at
Maple Leaf Stadium, and lectures on rehabilitation relieved the
routine duties. The Salvation Army had moving picture shows
frequently and a good E.N.S.A. show played at the Grand Theatre.
On the 27th of May the Roman Catholics attended mass at the St.
Clemens Kerk while the Protestants went to the Diependaalse Kerk
(see post card pictures below here).
Captain J.P. Donihee was chosen for the important appointment of
Unit Sports Officer.
The 3rd Canadian Division Victory Parade Utrecht,
Netherlands, 6 June 1945, one year after D Day.
General H.D.G. Crerar takes the salute as the Stormont, Dundas
and Glengarry Highlanders march by.
Early in June the battalion paraded to Maple Leaf
Stadium where a group picture was taken. On the 6th, the
anniversary of D-Day, when Hilversum was en fete and a flag was
on every house, the Glens marched in the parade at Utrecht. Many
members of the battalion volunteered for service with the
Canadian Far East Force and for the Canadian Occupation Force.
There was no training syllabus for the companies and training
now consisted mainly of sports, lectures and route marching. On
the 14th of June the unit moved to a camp at Elspeet, between
Apeldoorn and Utrecht, and the men were genuinely sorry to leave
the friendly town of Hilversum.
Before the Glens left, this group photograph was made of them in
front of the “Ruysdaalschool”
(Ruysdaallaan 6, Hilversum) in the area where most of them had
photograph of S.D. & G. Highlanders, ''B Coy''. Hilversum
Holland, June 6th, 1945.
S D & G Highlanders Pipe
Band at the “Maple Leaf Stadium” (Gemeentelijk Sportpark,
Soestdijkerstraatweg 33) on June 3rd 1945.
At Elspeet the men were cross-posted for
repatriation. The officers will remember the mess dinner at
Elspeet when there was a bottle of champagne at every plate.
This was the day when "Curly" Walton traded a German trailer for
a pig. After being billeted at Zeist and Nijmegen they finally
left for Calais, France on the 7th of November, arriving in the
United Kingdom on the 10th of November.
They were billeted at No.9 Repatriation Depot
between Portsmouth and Southampton while in England and sailed
for Canada on the SS Queen Elizabeth, on the 22nd of December,
arriving at New York, USA, on the 28th and in Cornwall the
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 -
Propulsion - Quadruple screw - Engines - Single reduction
Service speed - 29 knots - Builder - John Brown & Co Ltd,
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
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
The Queen Elizabeth arrived at New York in the
evening of the 28th of December, following a rough voyage caused
by violent storms that swept the Atlantic and delayed the
crossing by two days. A welcoming party from Cornwall greeted
the troops at New York; it included the Honourable Lionel
Chevrier, KC, MP, Mayor Horovitz of Cornwall, Colonel M. S. Dunn
and LieutenantColonel D.R. Dick, Commanding Officer of the 2nd
On the 29th of December, the soldiers arrived in
Cornwall to receive the acclaim of the citizens, who lined the
streets to applaud the Highlanders who had fought so ably on the
battlefields of Europe.
They were met at the station by the 2nd (Reserve)
Battalion and a detachment of men of the 1st Battalion who had
returned due to wounds in the preceding years. Veterans of
Legion Branches of the United Counties and the pipe band of No.9
District Depot also turned out with the troops.
Cornwall Armoury on Fourth
Street East. The cornerstone for this building was laid on Sept.
15, 1939 by local M.P. Lionel Chevrier and Lt.-Col. G.D. Gillie.
In 1940, a 35-acre basic training camp opened to the north of
the armoury, and in the next four years, roughly 15,000 soldiers
went through a basic military training course at the site.
The armoury is home to the Stormont,Dundas and Glengarry
Highlanders, one of the most distinguished and historic military
units in the country.
The Armoury was decked out as never before; the
vast hall was a mass of flags and bunting. Thrilled with
anticipation, many of the relatives and friends of the returning
soldiers sought places of vantage and waited impatiently for the
unit's arrival. When the first skirl of the pipes and the
shouted orders of the officers were heard, the crowd swept to
its feet and as the first man came through the doors they were
greeted with continuous storms of applause. "The Counties' Own"
had come home at last!
The new S.D.G. regimental badge, that was
approved on the 16th of January 1941
as depicted since then on the frontispiece of the Cornwall