N.B.: The Toronto Scottish Glengarry has a distinctive border with light blue, white and hodden grey dicing,
while the pipers wear a standard plain dark blue Piper's Glengarry.
This Toronto Scottish Regiment Helmet Flash Decal was worn on the left side of the MK II Helmet
The "Hodden Grey" Tartan as worn by the Toronto Scottish Regiment, and also by their parent Regiment: the London Scottish
This was what the sporran of the Toronto Scottish Regiment's Pipe Band looked like.
Left to Right: front of The Toronto Scottish Regimental History "Carry On", and the dustcover of this book.
Sources of the following text are: written texts by Pipe Sergeant Tim Stewart CD,
the Curator of the Toronto Scottish Regimental Museum, from Wikipedia,
and from the Regimental History Book "Carry On":
The Pipes and Drums have been a most important part of the Regiment from the early 1920's when they were formed under Pipe Major David Bell. One of the better known Pipe Majors was W.O. 2, Pipe Major Adam MacDonald E.M, who took charge of the band from 1934 to 1955. Pipe Major MacDonald was well respected in piping circles and a fine teacher to the young recruits.
W.O. 2, Pipe Major Adam MacDonald E.M in England, 1943
During the Second World War, the regiment was mobilized as a machine gun battalion for the 1st. Canadian Infantry Division. Its training took place in the Fort York Armoury Drill Hall in Toronto.
Fort York Armoury, Toronto.
When the Regiment went to war in 1939, the entire pipe band volunteered.
On 7 December 1939 the Toronto Scottish embarked on the Troopship Empress of Australia at Halifax, Nova Scotia to travel to England.
7 December 1939, the Toronto Scottish embarking on the Troopship Empress of Australia at Halifax, Nova Scotia to travel to England.
Source of this photograph: Library and Archives Canada
Troopship Empress of Australia
RMS Empress of Australia was an ocean liner built in 1913 –1919 by Vulcan AG shipyard in Stettin, Germany (now Szczecin, Poland) for the Hamburg America Line. She was refitted for Canadian Pacific Steamships; and the ship was renamed yet again in 1922 as Empress of Australia.
Second World War service
The Empress of Australia was sent to Southampton, where she was to be converted into a troopship; painted in grey, fitted with a three-inch (76 mm) gun and with a carrying capacity of 5,000. It was in this role that she would remain for the next 13 years. Empress of Australia left on her first wartime voyage to Ceylon and Bombay on 28 September 1939. Following this task, the ship then went across the Atlantic to Halifax, from where she joined a large convoy carrying Canadian soldiers to Europe.
Throughout the war Empress of Australia enjoyed very good luck. In 1941, it was widely reported that she had been torpedoed off the coast of Africa, but she survived that brush with disaster. She was only seriously damaged once, when she was holed by the Orient Line's 14,982 ton Ormonde during the North Africa campaign in January 1943. Her final wartime voyage was from Hong Kong and Singapore with ex-prisoners of war and internees.
The R.M.S. Empress of Australia in her prime
(Parts of the following are quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 1 page 6-7:)
On the 17th, the great convoy, minus its heavy escorts, slipped into harbour at Gourock, Scotland. The cheers and shouting that went on left little doubt in the minds of all the neighboring Scots that the Canadians had well and truly arrive.
The following morning the train pulled into Farnborough Station where a massed band of the 5th and 6th Gordon Highlanders welcomed them. These same sturdy fellows piped them through cheering throngs to their first English billets, in Tourney Barracks. The Canadians had arrived, and the Toronto Scottish had led the way.
On January 8th the first shipment of Canadian mail was received and many a stout heart felt the first pangs of homesickness that evening. A busy routine of training and a colourful parade of the four Gordon affiliates, 5th and 6th Gordons, the 48th Highlanders and the Tor Scots with their massed pipes, kept all ranks too busy to do any serious worrying.
A few days later the Barrack Engineers had still another problem on their hands. One of the cook houses caught fire, and accompanied by a lively reel played by Piper bowie, proceeded to burn to the ground. As the walls gave way and the roof crashed in, the adroit piper changed from a reel to a lament. This is believed to be the first occasion on which a portion of the Aldershot Barracks received its just deserts with full Highland Honours.
In April 1940, the 1st. Battalion mounted the King's Guard at Buckingham Palace. The 2nd Battalion served in the reserve army in Canada. The band played at many functions in England during those early war years, but each member of the band, in addition to being a piper/drummer, was a trained soldier.
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 1 page 12:)
On the day of the mounting ceremony the smart contingent were piped through the streets of London by the Regimental Band under the immortal Pipe Major: Adam McDonald.
Following a reorganization early in 1940, the battalion was reassigned to the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, where it operated as a support battalion, providing machine-gun detachments for the Operation Jubilee force at Dieppe in 1942, and then with an additional company of mortars, it operated in support of the rifle battalions of the 2nd. Division in northwest Europe from July 1944 to V.E. Day.
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 2 page 21:)
When the 2nd Brigade arrived to relieve the 1 st. Brigade, the SLI took over the Scottish positions and by December 10th, the Battalion was once more back in Chipstead. The opening of the ice rink at Purley presented an opportunity for some pleasant recreation. The pipe band along with the band of the Loyal Edmonton Regiment, provided music for the occasion.
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 2 page 23:)
On the 27th of the month a Royal Inspection was held and the King visited all newly arrived units. The War Diary entry for this occasion is reproduced in full on the next page.The Pipe Band was formed up opposite Battalion HQ transport and the DR's stood by their machines on the left.Her Majesty commented on the appearance and playing of the pipe band and chatted for some time with the Pipe Major.
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 2 page 26:)
MACCLESFIELD TRIP May 16th WAR DIARY, May 27, 1941
The Macclesfield contingent, consisting of 5 Officers, 100 OR's plus the 26 man pipe band, left barracks at 0500 hrs, Friday, May 16th Major Bolsby was O.C. contingent. The advance party under Lt O.M. Hertzberg, left for Macclesfield early Thursday a. m. Saturday afternoon was the time of the big War Weapons Parade. The pipe band and the Tor Scot contingent under Capt Northey put on an excellent show. Major Bolsby who was on the reviewing stand, was complimented on the show by the inspecting Officer.
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 2 page 27:)
On Thursday the Pipe Band put on a display in the Park at Prestbury and there was also a demonstration of MG work Sir Robert Burrows gave each man a pack of cigarettes and two pints of beer afterwards. A cocktail party was held for the Officers that evening at Old Birtles' Hall. It rained all day Friday and a farewell dance was held in the evening. Each night the Pipe Band supplied music for the "raising the indicator ceremony" and Monday night was the final ceremony.
(Part of the following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 2 page 34-63:)
The Pipe Band made a great hit playing at War Savings drives throughout the district, and everyone learned a great deal through the process of teaching others. It was a highly successful task and to make this small contribution to the training of Britain's Home Guard was an honour and a pleasure to the Regiment.
Although the troops didn't realize its significance, the long period of defense was drawing to a close and the main task of keeping the great defensive works in order was to be entrusted to the men they had just trained. The offensive might of the Allies was mounting steadily and only too soon were members of the Regiment destined to strike the Germans not in England but on the shores of France.
The Dieppe Landings did take place on August 19, 1942. At 35 past 10 the signal was given for the retreat and the last boat returned at half past one. DIEPPE was over ......... all except the shouting. The Regiment is proud (and justly so) to have played a part.
During the early days of March the large scale exercise "Spartan" (which only employed a few of the men) created the necessity of a special defence force to protect the southern coast in the event of an enemy landing. As a result each night one company" stood" to while the remainder engaged in field firing practices at Kingley Vale ranges a few miles away.
While this was going on the officers found themselves "sweating it out" each afternoon to the strains of the Pipe Major, Adam MacDonald, and his two piece orchestra, during daily classes in Highland dancing. Word had been received that the Toronto Scottish Regiment (MG) would pass out of existance at midnight on the 30th of April and that in its stead the 2nd Canadian Divisional Support Battalion would come to life. The officers had decided to celebrate the occasion with a dance, the first they had had in over a year, and great preparations were being made.
In the early days of May, a great deal of time was spent rehearsing for a Royal Inspection by Her Majesty the Queen.
On the 7th of May the Battalion marched to Pitshill about three miles from Pheasant Copse and took up their positions awaiting Her Majesty's arrival. The clear blue sky was streaked with the feathery vapour trails of the protecting Spitfires overhead, and the pleasant greenness of the countryside was bathed in the rays of the warm sun. After several restless moments when last minute hitches were given to the equipment and hats were cocked at an even jauntier angle, the crisp order was given to bring the Battalion to attention. The long line of troops fairly quivered in its smartness. Rifles were sloped and motionless they waited. Soon from over a little hill came Her Majesty escorted by Lt. Ken Waite who acted as her aide on the occasion. Col. Johnson ordered the "Present Arms" and the pipes broke into the Royal Salute. Her Majesty's Royal Standard was broken from the masthead before the reviewing stand by CSM Bob Murray and it fluttered regally in the gentle breeze. As the salute ended the Battalion snapped back to the slope and the Commanding Officer went to greet the Royal Colonel-in-Chief. The Queen was traditionally requested to inspect the men and she accepted the invitation. Accompanied by the CO, and followed by Lt. Gen. A.G.L. McNaughton, GOC-in-C the First Canadian Army, and Lt. Gen. H.D.G. Crerar, the Corps Commander, Her Majesty passed slowly down the ranks while the pipe band played a medley of Scottish marches dear to Her heart. She stopped from time to time to chat with many of the men, winning their hearts with her gentle smile and gracious kindliness. The Royal Party then returned to the reviewing stand and the Battalion marched past in column of platoons. The entire ceremony was carried out to perfection and the three rousing cheers given Her Majesty by the men were echoed by the shrill voices of the local children who had also turned out in force to see and honour their beloved Queen.
Her Majesty was then entertained at tea by the officers, each of whom was presented to Her by the CO. At the conclusion of this event a photograph was taken and the Colonel-in-Chief departed to the lilting strains of "Will Ye No Come Back Again".
Royal inspection by Her Majesty the Queen, Pitshill England, May 7th. 1943
The Second Canadian Infantry Division, to which the Tor Scots belonged, did not take part in the D. Day invasion but was transported to France later on, switching from it's defensive role in England to the attack force with First Canadian Army in France.
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 3 page 73-74:)
In due course the various companies went aboard their transports; "B" Company travelling aboard the "William Carson", 4 Platoon on the M.T.S. "Ignatius Donelly", "C" Company on the "Houston City" and the remainder of the Battalion aboard the Canadian built Liberty ship "Fort Assiniboine". The "William Carson" arrived off Courselles-sur-mer at 1400 hours on the 6th of July but the balance of the flotilla were delayed in England and didn't arrive until the following night.
By the 9th of July the entire unit was safely quartered in an orchard at La Rossiere some ten kilometres east of Bayeux. The unbelievable congestion of the area resulted in such crowded conditions that all the rules of dispersal of troops and vehicles had to be forgotten. Anticipating a quick commitment on the part of the Division, the men fell to with a will and all vehicles and stores were readied for the pending battles.
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 4 page 93-94:)
On the morning of September 3rd. the Memorial Service was held in the well kept cemetery just outside the town (Dieppe). All 900 odd victims of the raid had been decently buried and the local populace had tended their graves with loving care. Despite the drizzling rain a large crowd of civilians turned out to press against the fences while the survivors of the ill-fated expedition formed up under the flag pole for the service. General Crerar and many other high ranking officers attended as the regular Army funeral service was held for the valiant Canadians.
In the afternoon the entire Division marched through the streets of the City of Dieppe while the populace lined the streets, cheering each Regiment in turn. Pipe Major Adam MacDonald led the massed Divisional Pipe Band on this occasion.
Even in war, the pipers must practice (Fleury - sur - Orne)
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 4 page 114-116:)
Another interesting incident, with a Toronto Scottish piper, took place later - on New Year's Eve 1944 near Middelaar (Holland, near Cuyk):
SUPPLEMENTARY RATIONS XMAS 1944
On New Year's Eve the Germans put on a magnificent pyrotechnic display on the stroke of midnight and very uncomplimentary greetings were shouted back and forth across the river accompanied by bursts of fire. The Canadian artillery seemed somewhat lacking in a sense of humor when they shelled a group of celebrating Germans near Middelaar. This same evening marked one of Piper Alec Duguid's most noble efforts. Major Gil Rich, who had returned to take command of Charlie Company, requested the attachment of a piper for the occasion and the worthy Duguid appeared with skirling pipes and kilts a 'bla'. He attached himself to the officer's mess jointly shared by "C" Company and the 8th Recce HQ, presumably (and quite rightly) believing it to be the surest source of supply of piper's fuel. During the course of the evening Alec paraded through the icy streets of Haps piping merrily in the frosty air. As the evening wore on he exhausted his legitimate repertoire of traditional airs and soon broke into such classic numbers as "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze", the "International" and the Recce's Regimental March as well as the "Marsaillaise". As the celebration continued and Duguid developed more and more of a list to port, he unfortunately slipped on the ice and broke his chanter. The dying wail of the mortally stricken pipes accompanied by the unearthly cries of the prostrate piper struck terror into the hearts of the local populace who had locked themselves in their basements when the celebration began. One Recce officer remarked (and most unkindly) that it was the first sweet note he had heard all evening. Piper Duguid was discouraged from further attempts to entertain the group and reluctantly limped off to the cook house for coffee.
At a most distasteful hour the following morning all concerned were awakened by a version of "Johnny Cope" that would have roused even that notorious slumberer from the depths of hell. Duguid promenaded proudly through the town piping tremendously, the shattered chanter almost completely swathed in tape and bandages from the local first aid post. The fact that this rough dressing blocked the majority of the finger holes failed to deter him in the least and he piped frantically on the three notes available until every mother's son for miles around was up and on his toes.
Toronto Scottish en route from Beveland to North Beveland, The Netherlands, 1 November 1944
In the Regiment's fight to liberate Holland, Pipe Major MacDonald was awarded the Dutch Meritorious Cross for gallant service. Forty years later, in 1985, Grigor Murdoch E.M. C.D, a wartime piper and 1950's Pipe Major of the Scottish, accompanied the band on its return to Holland for the 40th anniversary of the liberation. Other wartime pipers who made the trip in 1985 were: Garfield Foster, Alex Howie and James Revie.
(The following is quoted From the Regimental History "Carry On", Part 5 page 155-156:)
In 1945, after a long voyage on the R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth, shortly after midnight the Toronto Scottish boarded a west bound train and after an excited trip arrived in Toronto on Sunday, October 28th. The Battalion formed up in Companies headed by the Pipe Band and marched through the Station. Pipers from the 2nd Battalion and others who had preceded the Regiment, augmented Adam McDonald's charges, and the skirl of the pipes and the echoing thunder of the drums was a triumphant climax to the challenging overture commenced by this same band almost six years before, when the Regiment started off on its long journey. Painfully the Battalion fought its way through the deep and echoing chasm that is Bay Street ... and finally to a halt before the Armouries. There Col. Ellis, his words barely audible in spite of the loud speakers provided, shouted the final command of the war...........
"Toronto Scottish ...... DIS...MISS. "
Post-war photograph of the Toronto Scottish Regiment Pipe Band in full Highland Dress