|The Calgary Highlanders|
|Part of||41 Canadian Brigade Group|
|Motto(s)||Scottish Gaelic: Airaghardt, lit. 'Onward'|
|Colours||Scarlet with yellow facings (full dress and mess dress)|
|March||"The Highland Laddie" and "Blue Bonnets Over the Border"|
|Decorations||Canadian Forces' Unit Commendation|
|Colonel-in-Chief||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Honorary Colonel||Lauchlan Currie|
The Calgary Highlanders is a Canadian Army Primary Reserve infantry regiment, headquartered at Mewata Armouries in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The regiment is a part-time reserve unit, under the command of 41 Canadian Brigade Group, itself part of 3rd Canadian Division, one of four region-based Canadian Army divisions. The regiment is one of only two regiments in the Canadian Forces (with The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's)) to wear an honorary distinction on their uniform, commemorating the counterattack at Kitcheners' Wood. On 9 January 2015, the regiment was recognized with the Canadian Forces' Unit Commendation for outstanding contributions to the war in Afghanistan.
The badge is based on that worn by the 10th Battalion, CEF, which the regiment perpetuates. Significantly, a St. Andrew's Cross has been added to the design (this is not a representation of the Roman Numeral ten as is often erroneously reported).
The crown is of the reigning monarch; a Tudor Crown was used from the introduction of this badge until 1953, and the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II. The crown was then changed to a St. Edward's Crown. These are sometimes referred to as "King's" and "Queen's" Crowns. The beaver and maple leaves are representative of Canada and the scrolls bearing thistles are representative of Scotland. The City of Calgary grew out of Fort Calgary, established in 1875 and so named by Colonel James Macleod after Calgary, Scotland, a location near his sister's home.
The badge appears not only as a cap badge, but is also seen on the regiment's drums, as well as the drum major's sash and regimental pipe banners.
On 1 April 1910 the regiment was raised as the 103rd Regiment "Calgary Rifles". In 1914 the 103rd contributed men to several battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, most notably the 10th Battalion, CEF. The 103rd also officially perpetuates the 56th and 82nd Battalions, CEF. The 10th Battalion officially disbanded in 1920. The regiment was reorganized on 15 March 1920 as two separate regiments, The Alberta Regiment (now The South Alberta Light Horse) and The Calgary Regiment as part of the Otter Committee reorganizations. On 15 May 1924 The Calgary Regiment was again reorganized and split into two separate regiments, The Calgary Regiment (now The King's Own Calgary Regiment) and The Calgary Highlanders. On 15 September 1921 The Calgary Regiment divided into six battalions, the 1st Battalion became the 1st Battalion, Calgary Highlanders, The Calgary Regiment. The 2nd Battalion, The Calgary Regiment later became the King's Own Calgary Regiment. The 3rd, 4th and 5th battalions were paper units that were never formed; they disbanded in the 1936 reorganizations of the Militia. On 15 May 1924, The Calgary Regiment reorganized as separate regiments.
Details of the 103rd Regiment "Calgary Rifles" were called out on active service on 6 August 1914 for local protection duties.
The 10th Battalion (Canadians), CEF was authorized on 10 August 1914 and embarked for Britain on 29 September 1914. It disembarked in France on 14 February 1915, where it fought as part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. The battalion disbanded on 30 August 1920.
The *56th Battalion (Calgary), CEF was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Britain on 20 March 1916. There it provided reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field until 6 July 1916, when its personnel were absorbed by the 9th Reserve Battalion, CEF. The battalion disbanded on 15 September 1917.
The 82nd Battalion, CEF was authorized on 10 July 1915 and embarked for Britain on 20 May 1916. There it provided reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field until 18 July 1916, when its personnel were absorbed by the 9th Reserve Battalion, CEF. The battalion disbanded on 21 May 1917.
The regiment mobilized for active service as The Calgary Highlanders, Canadian Active Service Force (CASF) on 1 September 1939. It was re-designated as the 1st Battalion, The Calgary Highlanders, CASF on 7 November 1940. On 27 August 1940, it embarked for Britain. The battalion's mortar platoon took part in OPERATION JUBILEE, 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 disbanded on 15 December 1945.
CF units were required to contribute an aggregate of more than 20% of authorized strength to the various Task Forces which served in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014 to qualify for a Battle Honour. The regiment contributed over 100% of its strength, and was awarded the Canadian Forces' Unit Commendation for this achievement.
Battle honours in bold type indicate honours emblazoned on the regimental colour.
On 30 June 1990, Queen Elizabeth II presented the unit with a new queen's colour at a Trooping the Colour ceremony held at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. The King's Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC), who share the queen with the Calgary Highlanders as colonel-in-chief, was also on parade and performed a mounted march-past with their vehicles. The combined bands of the Calgary Highlanders, the King's Own Calgary Regiment and Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry were also on parade.
Sergeant Clarence "Ken" Crockett, DCM of the 1st Battalion, Calgary Highlanders, was nominated for the Victoria Cross for actions in September 1944 and instead received the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
The Calgary Highlanders adopted many dress distinctions of the allied regiment in Scotland in the 1920s and continue to cherish those distinctions into the 21st century, including the red and white diced Glengarry worn by all ranks (except pipers), the badger head sporran worn by officers, warrant officers, and senior NCOs, the six-point horsehair sporran worn by junior NCOs (except pipers), and the striped necktie of the 2nd Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, also worn by officers, warrant officers, senior NCOs, pipers and drummers of The Calgary Highlanders. It is unclear if any of these dress distinctions will continue to be worn in Scotland now that The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) have been amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The largest peacetime deployment of the regiment occurred during the 2013 Alberta floods when over 100 Calgary Highlanders were mobilized to assist the Calgary Emergency Management Agency with flood relief efforts.
The regiment dates back to 1 April 1910 and the creation of the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles), under the command of Lieutenant Colonel WCG Armstrong. The regiment did not mobilize for the First World War; however, the 103rd Regiment contributed men to several overseas battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force beginning in 1914, including the 10th Battalion.
In 1921, the Canadian Militia was reorganized and the 103rd Regiment became simply "The Calgary Regiment". The 1st Battalion of this new unit became known as the Calgary Highlanders. The regiment was permitted to perpetuate the history of the 10th Battalion, CEF, and inherited that units battle honours (granted in 1929) as well as inheriting the memory of two Victoria Cross holders, Acting Sergeant Arthur George Knight and Private Harry Brown, both of whom were awarded the VC posthumously in the last year and a half of the Great War.
The process for awarding battle honours for the First World War took over a decade, and The Calgary Highlanders were first awarded battle honours for the actions of the 10th Battalion, CEF, on 15 September 1929.
Oddly, the official granting of battle honours to the 10th Battalion was not done until 15 October of the same year. There was also one minor change; while the Calgary Highlanders were granted "Arras, 1917, '18" as a battle honour, the 10th Battalion's honour read only "Arras, 1917."
While the overall battle of Saint-Julien was considered worthy of a battle honour, to the dismay of those regiments perpetuating the units involved, the counter-attack at Kitcheners' Wood was not. This counterattack, 22 April 1915, was thrown into the first German gas attack of the war. In recognition of this gallant effort and the persistence of the Winnipeg Light Infantry, the Calgary Highlanders and the Canadian Scottish, a special 'honorary distinction' was granted by Order in Council No. 10, 1934, of a special oak leaf shoulder badge now unique in the Canadian armed forces, and worn only by those three regiments at the time of adoption in 1938, and today by only two units, The Calgary Highlanders and The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's).
On 1 September 1939, the Calgary Highlanders were ordered to mobilize for the Second World War. The regiment trained in Calgary until the summer of 1940 when it departed for CFB Shilo, Manitoba. The Calgary Highlanders, CASF (Canadian Active Service Force) joined the Second Canadian Division there, and the 2nd Battalion was raised in Calgary for part-time service.
In September 1940, the 1st Battalion arrived in England.
During the Dieppe Raid of August 1942, the mortar platoon commanded by Lieutenant FJ Reynolds was attached to the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade but stayed offshore during the raid. Sergeants Lyster and Pittaway were decorated with a Mention in Despatches for their part in shooting down two German aircraft during the raid, and one officer of the regiment was killed while ashore with a brigade headquarters.
The Calgary Highlanders pioneered battle drill for the Canadian Army, which was a realistic system of training infantry for the hardships of modern war. They themselves learned battle drill from the British 47th Division.
On 6 July 1944, one month after the Normandy landings, the regiment landed in France. In Operation Spring, the Calgary Highlanders were part of the Battle of Verrières Ridge, along with the Black Watch, in which the regiment took heavy casualties. The unit saw extensive action in Normandy, marched through Dieppe with the 2nd Division in September 1944 as liberators, then moved on to the fighting for the Channel Ports. By the end of September the regiment was in Belgium and forced a crossing of the Albert Canal, northeast of Antwerp.
The regiment saw extensive fighting in the Netherlands in October 1944, opening the way to South Beveland, and then west to the Walcheren Island Causeway where the brigade fought an extended battle beginning on Hallowe'en night.
From November to February 1945 the regiment wintered in the Nijmegen Salient, then was back in action in the Rhineland fighting, clearing the last approaches to the River Rhine itself. Fighting resumed on the far bank in March, and city fighting in Doetinchem and Groningen followed. The regiment ended the war on VE Day on German soil.
The Victory Campaign had cost The Calgary Highlanders over 400 men killed, from a war establishment of just over 800 men. Several times that many were wounded in action.
|Distinguished Service Order||5|
|Distinguished Conduct Medal||7|
|Mentioned in Dispatches||13|
The Calgary Highlanders continued to train infantry soldiers in the late 1940s and into the 1950s. In the 1960s, as nuclear détente between the United States and the Soviet Union mounted, Militia units in Canada moved away from warfighting roles into national disaster training, a role not very well liked. By the 1970s, the Militia had once again focussed its training activities on war fighting.
In the 1980s, the regiment trained as mechanized infantry using the Grizzly Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Militiamen and even army cadets were routinely flown to NATO exercises in Germany, Norway and Alaska to participate in realistic training, as the perceived threat of Warsaw Pact military aggression was felt to be high. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the emphasis on training throughout Force Mobile Command moved away from large-scale armoured formations fighting Soviet tank formations in central Europe. The Grizzlies were withdrawn by the mid 1990s and the regiment resumed training in a light infantry role.
Most significantly, The Calgary Highlanders have contributed hundreds of soldiers to peacekeeping missions in the years since 1945, including peacekeeping, peace enforcing, and observation missions in Cambodia, the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, the former Yugoslavia, and Sudan. Recently, they have contributed soldiers to the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, including the deployment in early 2008 of 55 soldiers.
The regiment observed its centennial in 2010, an anniversary shared with its sister unit, The King's Own Calgary Regiment, as well as fellow unit in the Calgary garrison, 14 (Calgary) Service Battalion, as well as the Canadian Navy (represented in Calgary by HMCS Tecumseh). The centennial was marked by several unique events, including the last ever military parade at Currie Barracks in Calgary, and an overseas pilgrimage to battlefield sites and places of regimental significance which included the dedication of plaques at Hill 67 and Clair Tison. Also originally part of the centennial events was the announcement of a Calgary Soldiers' Memorial, which was later dedicated on the anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge in 2011. In May 2014, the regiment was awarded the Battle Honour "Afghanistan." As part of Canada's role in the Afghanistan War, the regiment deployed over 100 soldiers to the theatre as individual augmentees and on other assignments with the Regular Force, to a total of 126 separate tours of duty. One officer of the regiment was Mentioned in Despatches and others were recognized by commendations. The Regiment was awarded the Battle Honour "Afghanistan" on 9 May 2014. The unit received the Canadian Forces' Unit Commendation on 9 January 2015.
In addition to the cap badge and oak leaf shoulder titles mentioned above, the regiment wears several other notable distinctions of dress.
The red and white diced glengarry of the Argylls is worn by all ranks (except pipers, who wear black). In combat dress, the khaki tam o'shanter is worn by junior NCMs with the balmoral worn by senior NCMs and officers. A cap badge in yellow metal is worn by trained privates who are not yet infantry qualified. Infantry qualified junior NCMs wear a bronze cap badge, and senior NCMs, officers, and pipe band musicians all wear a nickel-plated cap badge. Tradesmen wear the badge of their branch, as appropriate.
The theoretical full dress uniform for the regiment would be a scarlet jacket and feather bonnet; this uniform has never been worn in actuality. The regiment did adopt a green coatee in the 1950s, and has retained it as the standard ceremonial uniform; they are worn only by the regimental colour party or by small parties for special occasions (such as weddings, etc.). The Pipes and Drums have always retained full ceremonial band dress, consisting of green doublets for pipers and scarlet doublets with crown lace for drummers. Pipers wear a black cock feather in their glengarries in full dress, with drummers wearing the feather bonnet.
The Government tartan kilt is worn, with pleats arranged in box style according to the pattern worn by the Argylls. Several types of sporran are worn. All ranks wear a brown leather purse when in walking-out dress (i.e. with green Lovat hose); NCMs wear a simpler version with brass stud closure, officers wear a separate pattern with hidden snap fastener. For dress parades (commanding officer's parade dress), corporals and master corporals wear the six-point horsehair sporran while senior NCMs and officers wear a badger head sporran. Pipers wear three-point horsehair sporrans while the pipe major and drum major wear a separate pattern of three-point sporran. Hose tops and diced hose are in red/white dice, with pipers wearing Rob Roy tartan (red/black dice).
Honorary Colonel R.B. Bennett originally outfitted the Pipes and Drums with Royal Stewart tartan kilts and plaids in the 1920s; when the band of the 1st Battalion arrived in England in 1940 they were very quickly informed that Royal Stewart was the prerogative of royal regiments only, and they were to cease wear of that tartan at once. Pipers in the 2nd Battalion (Calgary) continued to wear Royal Stewart tartan until 1947.
Mess dress for officers and senior NCMs is based closely on that worn by the Argylls; Honorary Colonel Mannix approved a new distinctive pattern officers' mess jacket in the 1980s, which featured buttons on a turn-back cuff, which differed from the Argylls pattern.
Other than regimental headdress (when not wearing the CADPAT field cap or helmet), the only distinction a Calgary Highlander has in combat dress are the CALG HIGHRS titles on his slip-ons.
The Regimental Birthday is April 1. It was on 1 April 1910 that the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) was officially founded. The regiment toasts the occasion with Black Velvet and raw oysters, homage to the original toasts offered by the founder, Lieutenant-Colonel W.C.G. Armstrong and his officers in 1910. The weekend closest to April 22 is when St. Julien's Day is formally recognized, commemorating the role of the 10th Battalion in the Battle of St. Julien in 1915. The parade day closest to October 31 commemorates the role of The Calgary Highlanders in the Battle of Walcheren Causeway.
The 10th Battalion Association was merged with The Calgary Highlanders Association in 1956 to become the 10th Battalion Calgary Highlanders Association.
During the Second World War, The Glen was the regimental newspaper of the overseas battalion beginning in September 1939, and The Glen continues to be the regimental journal of the 10th Battalion Calgary Highlanders Association. The Glen is published semi-regularly.
As part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of VE Day, a special celebrations committee in Doetinchem, Netherlands, recommended that the city park be renamed in honour of Lieutenant Colonel Mark Tennant and that a monument for the Calgary Highlanders who were killed in the fighting there be established. Tennant distinguished himself during the battle for Doetinchem where the Highlanders fought to clear the city between 1 and 3 April 1945.
As a measure of thanks on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, the City of Doetinchem named the park "Mark Tennantplantsoen - Een Canadese bevrijder" - "Mark Tennant Park, A Canadian Liberator." Trees in the park still contained shrapnel; mute evidence of the fighting that raged there in April 1945.
Regimental plaques can be found at various sites, including Mewata Armouries, Hill 67, Clair Tizon and Loon Plage in Normandy. A plaque to the predecessor unit, the 10th Battalion, can be found at Villers-lès-Cagnicourt, commemorating the Victoria Cross action of Sergeant Arthur Knight, VC.
In the mid 1920s, the regiment formed an official alliance with The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) of the British Army. In 2006, that affiliation officially ended as the Imperial Argylls were absorbed into the Royal Regiment of Scotland. It is unclear if previous affiliations will be permissible between single battalions of the new regiment, or if any future affiliations will be with the regiment as a whole. In either event, all Canadian regiments now affiliated with British regiments scheduled for amalgamation will need to be renewed separately.