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The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment)
The cap badge of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment).
Active 14 September 1866–
Country Canada
Branch Militia
Type Line Infantry
Role Light Infantry
Size One battalion
Part of Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Garrison/HQ RHQ - Brampton, Ontario
Admin Company - Brampton
A Coy - Oakville, Ontario
B Coy - Brampton
C Coy Georgetown, Ontario
Pipes & Drums Band - Georgetown
Motto(s) Air son ar duthchais (For our heritage) (Scottish Gaelic)
March Quick: The Campbells are Coming
Quick: John Peel
Mascot(s) Wild Boar
Anniversaries September 14, Regimental Birthday
Engagements South African War
First World War
Second World War
UN Peacekeeping Operations
NATO Operations
War on Terror
LCol. Duane E Hickson, CD
Colonel-in-Chief HRH The Duke of Kent
Tartan Ancient Ordinary Campbell
Facings White
Hackle Primerose
Colours Blue, Grey, and Green

The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army. It is part of the 4th Canadian Division's 32 Canadian Brigade Group.


The sub-units of the Lorne Scots are situated in the following armouries:

  • Regimental Headquarters (RHQ): Brampton, Ontario
  • Administration Company (Admin Coy): Brampton
  • "A" Company (A Coy): Oakville, Ontario
  • "B" Company (B Coy): Brampton
  • "C" Company (C Coy): Georgetown, Ontario
  • Pipes and Drums: Georgetown

The Regiment is commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Duane Hickson, CD. The Regimental Sergeant Major is Master warrant officer Alex McKelvey, CD.

The Lorne Scots deployed a great number of units in the Second World War as headquarters defence and employment platoons, and since 1945 and have had many soldiers deploy as individual augmentees to overseas missions tasked with peacemaking operations in the Middle East, Golan Heights, Namibia, Cambodia, Cyprus, the Former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.


The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) originated in Brampton, Ontario on 14 September 1866, as the 36th "Peel Battalion of Infantry". It was redesignated as the 36th Peel Regiment on 8 May 1900, as The Peel Regiment on 1 May 1920 and The Peel and Dufferin Regiment on 15 April 1923. On 15 December 1936, it was amalgamated with The Lorne Rifles (Scottish) and redesignated The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment).[1]

The Lorne Rifles (Scottish) originated in Milton, Ontario on 28 September 1866, as the 20th "Halton Battalion of Infantry". It was redesignated the 20th "Halton" Battalion of Rifles on 12 January 1872, as the 20th Halton Battalion "Lorne Rifles" on 11 November 1881, as the 20th Halton Regiment "Lorne Rifles" on 8 May 1900, as the 20th Regiment, Halton Rifles on 1 December 1909, as The Halton Rifles on 1 May 1920 and The Lorne Rifles (Scottish) on 1 November 1931. On 15 December 1936, it was amalgamated with The Peel and Dufferin Regiment.[1]


The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) perpetuate the 37th Battalion (Northern Ontario), CEF, the 74th Battalion, CEF, the 76th Battalion, CEF, 126th Battalion (Peel), CEF, 164th Battalion (Halton and Dufferin), CEF, and 234th Battalion (Peel), CEF.[1]


Cap badge

In the centre of a wreath of thistle and maple leaves, the crest of Viscount Peel (on a wreath of the colours argent and azure, a demi lion rampant argent, gorged with a collar azure charged with three bezants, and holding between the paws a shuttle or) resting on a scroll bearing the motto AIR SON AR DUTHCHAIS and ensigned by the Crown; below the wreath, a scroll inscribed with the designation THE LORNE SCOTS (PEEL DUFFERIN AND HALTON REGT).

Collar badge

The Chief of the Clan Campbell, the Duke of Argyll granted The Lorne Rifles (Scottish), permission to wear his crest in 1931. This crest is blazoned "a Boar's head erased". The boar's head is worn on the coatie collar on the Number 1 Regimental Uniform. It is worn mid way down the jacket on the number two mess dress. It is also worn on the jacket collar on the Number Three Service Dress.


The War of 1812

As tension increased between Britain and the United States, the commander-in-chief in Upper Canada, Major General Isaac Brock, and the Lieutenant-Governor, Prevost, had little confidence in the militia. Although they numbered 11,000 on paper, Prevost thought 'it might not be prudent to arm more than 4000.' Brock wanted to secure the best men from the militia and give them special training, and his proposals were embodied in the Militia Act of 1812. That provided for two flank companies to be drawn from each militia regiment, not more than one third of the strength of the parent regiment; the remainder would form battalion companies. The flank companies were to be volunteers, who were to provide for themselves 'a good and sufficient musket, fusil, rifle or gun, with at least six rounds of powder and ball'; and their captains were to call them out to train at least six times a month. They would be the first to be mobilized, and during the war they played a major role in the defence of the country.

When President Madison did declare war, on 18 June 1812, it took three weeks for the news to reach Upper Canada. To defend a thousand miles of border, Brock had one regiment of British regulars, the 41st, some gunners and the militia. Amongst the flank companies that were mobilized was Captain John Chisholm's Flank Company, 2nd Regiment of York Militia, which drew its men from the lower parts of what was to become Peel and Halton.

The Americans planned a three-pronged attack, against Kingston, Niagara and Amherstburg. The first two evaporated under General Dearborn's indecisiveness; at Detroit, a large force commanded by General William Hull could easily have taken the small British fort on the other side of the river, where the militia from the western parts of the province slipped away to work on their farms, and to avoid Hull's threat of no quarter for fighting alongside their Indian allies. But while Hull hesitated, Brock brought reinforcements from Niagara—... regulars and ... volunteers. At Detroit, he clothed 300 militia in cast-off tunics of the 41st to make it appear that his force of regulars was double its actual size. And he had Tecumseh's warriors perform a ruse that made them appear to be three times their numbers. Hull felt he could not withstand, and to avoid loss of life, capitulated. William Chisholm, who was an ensign in Captain Samuel Hatt's first Flank Company, Lincoln Militia at Detroit, and one of the first to enter the fortress when the Americans abandoned it.

At Queenston Heights, William Chisholm had transferred to a flank company of the 2nd York Militia, and his gallantry drew special mention in the dispatches of General Schaeffe. He and his fellow soldiers would have been amongst those who were urged on by the dying words of Brock at Queenston, 'Push on the brave York volunteers.'

The Fenian Raids

When many British troops in Canada were withdrawn in the mid-1850s, to serve in the Crimea or India, there was a need to reinforce the ability of the militias of the two Canadas to defend themselves. So Volunteer Companies were authorized, in addition to the sedentary militia. Between 1856 and 1863, Volunteer Companies of Infantry or Rifles were organized in Brampton, Georgetown and Oakville (where the Lorne Scots currently have armouries), in Orangeville and a dozen other towns in the three counties now served by the regiment.

Despite the threat, these were still times of fiscal restraint: soldiers were not adequately uniformed, armed and drilled, and musters were often abandoned. The need for a strong militia intensified in the early sixties, during the tense times when it appeared that Canada might be drawn into the conflict between the Union and Confederate States. The unstable condition in the United States at the end of the Civil War put the militia to the test.

From Peel, the Derry West and Grahamsville Volunteer Infantry Companies had been called to arms in March 1866, in anticipation of a Fenian raid expected on St Patrick's Day. When the attack failed to materialize, they were dismissed within a few weeks. Finally the Fenians crossed the border, on June 1. Again the volunteers entrained for the frontier, to protect the Welland canal and the suspension bridge at Niagara Falls. One Peel veteran recalled that the greatest hardship during the 46 days of active duty was on the occasion when sixty men were quartered in a little hotel with only three beds.

The experience of mobilization had pointed to a serious weakness. The individual companies, from Peel, and from Stewarttown, Norval and Oakville in Halton, were quick to respond, to move to the front and to do creditable service. But they were only companies, and much of the battalion structure had to be created on the spot, commanded by officers newly appointed to battalion positions, who were to learn their job in what could very well have been battle conditions.

So to provide a structure where these larger roles could be learned and practiced, new county battalions were authorized. Amongst the first, in September 1866, were the 36th Peel Battalion and the 20th Halton Battalion. Marksmanship has always been important in the regiment, and the Halton battalion quickly resolved to become a Rifle rather than an Infantry Battalion—the change was authorized in 1872. Silver shooting trophies from the last century still adorn the mess, and the unit sent many successful competitors to the Bisley matches.

The Regiment

A Proud Past

On 14 September 1866 the 36th Peel Battalion was authorized and on 28 September the 20th Halton Battalion of Infantry was formed. These Regiments were two of the Early Canadian Militia Regiments. These two regiments, some 70 years later, were to be reorganized to form The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment).

The first Scottish connection was made on 27 September 1879 when the Halton Rifles were reviewed by His Excellency The Marquis of Lorne and permission was received in 1881 to redesignate the 20th Halton Rifles as the 20th Halton Battalion Lorne Rifles. In addition, the wearing of tartan trews and the diced Glengarry were authorized and a Pipe Band was formed.

During the Boer War the regiment, as a unit, did not go to war; however, many officers and men from both regiments served there. During the First World War, regiments as such were not mobilized but drafts from various units were called up and formed into numbered battalions.

The Great War

The 37th Battalion (Northern Ontario), CEF, was authorized on 7 November 1914 and embarked for Great Britain on 27 November 1915, where it provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field until 9 July 1916, when its personnel were absorbed by the 39th Battalion, CEF. The battalion was disbanded on 21 May 1917.[1]

The 74th Battalion, CEF, was authorized on 10 July 1915 and embarked for Great Britain on 29 March 1916, where it provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field until 30 September 1916, when its personnel were absorbed by the 50th Battalion (Calgary), CEF, 52nd Battalion (New Ontario), CEF, and the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles, CEF. The battalion was disbanded on 15 September 1917.[1]

The Commanding Officer of the 36th Peel Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Windeyer, was disappointed that the county regiments would not serve as units. When the 74th Battalion was authorized in June 1915, however, he agreed to raise it, assisted by the company commander from Orangeville, Major A.J. McAusland. It drew mainly from Peel county, which contributed 26 officers and 346 other ranks, but also from the 48th Highlanders, the Queen's Own Rifles and the 10th Royal Grenadiers of Toronto. The battalion trained at Niagara Camp before moving to winter quarters at the Toronto Exhibition. Before leaving Canada, reinforcement drafts were drawn from it. Windeyer was seconded to headquarters staff, and MacAusland promoted to command. At the end of March 1916, the unit embarked on the Empress of Britain. It was broken up to reinforce existing units of the Canadian Corps in France. McCausland served with the 75th Battalion of the 4th Canadian Division, and though he commanded it for a period, ill health prevented him from succeeding when the Commanding Officer was killed in action. In 1924 the colours of the 74th Battalion were deposited in Christ Church, Brampton.

The 76th Battalion, CEF, was authorized on 10 July 1915 and embarked for Great Britain on 23 April 1916, where it provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field until 6 July 1916, when its personnel were absorbed by the 36th Battalion, CEF. The battalion was disbanded on 17 July 1917.[1]

The 76th Battalion, with an establishment of 1,153, was raised from fifteen militia units of the second divisional area, outside of Toronto, including the Halton Rifles and the Dufferin Rifles of Canada. A former officer of the Halton Rifles, Major J. Ballantine, was chosen to command. Ballantine had been awarded the DSO while serving with the 4th Battalion, CEF, and was home on sick leave. The Halton Rifles contributed one officer and 98 other ranks to the 76th Battalion. The 76th mobilized in Camp Niagara on 30 July 1915. On November 5 the Battalion moved into winter quarters at Barrie, with A Company in Collingwood and B Company in Orillia. A draft of 255 all ranks left for overseas 30 September 1915, and other drafts followed. Route marches and other intensive training were carried out during the winter months. The Battalion moved overseas only to be broken up to supply reinforcements for other units in the field.

The 126th Battalion (Peel), CEF was authorized on 22 December 1915 and embarked for Great Britain on 14 August 1916, where, on 13 October 1916, its personnel were absorbed by the 109th Battalion (Victoria $ Haliburton), CEF and the 116th Battalion (Ontario County), CEF, to provide reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field. The battalion was disbanded on 21 May 1917.[1]

On 12 November 1915, the 36th Peel Regiment was authorized to recruit the 126th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Major FJ Hamilton of Port Credit was made temporary Lieutenant-Colonel, and oversaw an intensive recruiting campaign throughout the winter. By spring the Battalion was up to strength––over a thousand men, with 32 officers.

The new two company Armoury in Brampton, built in 1912, was utilized as quarters, as was an old school in the west end of Toronto. Early in the summer of 1916 this unit was concentrated at Niagara Camp, later moving to Camp Borden, the large new camp, just completed in Simcoe County. On the 16th of August it embarked for overseas. This Battalion had expected to go to the front as a unit, but the severe casualties suffered by the Canadians during the battle of the Somme made it necessary to break up the unit for reinforcements. 450 men transferred to the 109th Battalion; the band and 350 men joined the 116th Battalion.

The regimental march of the 126th, 'John Peel', was later adopted by the Peel and Dufferin Regiment.

The 164th Battalion (Halton and Dufferin), CEF was authorized on 22 December 1915 and embarked for Great Britain on 11 April 1917, where it provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field until 16 April 1918, when its personnel were absorbed by the 8th Reserve Battalion, CEF. The battalion was disbanded on 29 November 1918.[1]

The 164th Battalion commenced recruiting on January 1, 1916, in the counties of Halton and Dufferin, with its Headquarters in Milton, the county town of Halton. Brisk recruiting had brought the Battalion up to a strength of about 800 men by the end of March, but it never reached full strength. The Battalion was split up into small detachments scattered through the recruiting area until the June 5th, when it was mobilized at Orangeville, remaining there under canvas until the July 2nd, when it was moved to Camp Borden. On October 29 the Battalion commenced a route march from Camp Borden to Hamilton, a distance of about 150 miles (240 km), to take up winter quarters in the Westinghouse Barracks. In February 1917 it was augmented by a draft of 250 men from the 205th Tiger Battalion, although transfers and discharges brought its strength down to about 750 by the time it arrive in England. It became part of the 5th Canadian Division. Eventually the 164th was broken up as reinforcements for Canadian units already in France.

During the stay in Hamilton, the ladies of Halton and Dufferin counties presented the Battalion with a set of Colours, presented by Sir John Hendrie in the Armoury in Hamilton. These colours were subsequently deposited in Saint Jude's Church, Oakville for safekeeping.

The 234th Battalion (Peel), CEF was authorized on 15 July 1916 and embarked for Great Britain on 18 April 1917, where, on 30 April 1917, its personnel were absorbed by the 12th Reserve Battalion, CEF to provide reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field. The battalion was disbanded on 1 September 1917.[1]

Lieutenant-Colonel Wellington Wallace was brought out of retirement to raise another Peel battalion, the 234th, authorized in April 1916. The Peel recruiting ground was being depleted, after raising so many drafts and the entire 126th, and special efforts were needed to attract men. In December, a ministerial Patriotic Association urged sermons in every church in the county to plead the need for additional recruits. They also discussed what influence the attitude of the Russelites (Jehovah's Witnesses) might have, because of their refusal to enlist. In March, when 490 men had been raised, one newspaper remarked:

One of the officers closely connected with recruiting declares that the sons of farmers in Peel are not doing their fair share, as he knows fully 150 who can be spared from the farms to work in munitions plants, but do not show any disposition to enlist. He states further that there are several instances where four or five unmarried sons are living on large pasture farms of from two to 300 acres (1.2 km2) and who are not needed at home.

The unit also issued a 28-page illustrated pamphlet, 'setting forth the work, the experiences, the adventures and aspirations of the Battalion', sold at ten cents a copy by the officers and through the schools. The unit trained at Niagara Camp, and sent off reinforcement drafts. Wallace was too old for active service, and Major WO Morris took the Battalion overseas. It embarked from Halifax on the steamship Scandinavian with 15 officers and 279 other ranks. In England, the 234th was absorbed by the 12th Reserve Battalion.

In addition to the CEF units that the Lorne Scots perpetuate, the 36th Peel Regiment and the 20th Halton Rifles provided 16 officers and 404 other ranks to the 4th Battalion of the 1st Canadian Division, the detachment from the 36th Peel Regiment were incorporated in B Company, and other members of the regiment served in various battalion appointments. Subsequently many more men from the two regiments were allotted to the 20th Battalion (Central Ontario), CEF (three officers and 100 other ranks), 36th Battalion, CEF (four officers and 237 other ranks ), 58th Battalion, CEF, and 81st Battalion, CEF.

The inter-war years

The Peel and Dufferin Regiment

Peel Regiment (1921–1923)

The county regiments, which had been by-passed during the first world war, were in dire need of revitalization. Lieutenant-Colonel McCausland, who had commanded the 74th Battalion, was appointed to command the 36th Peel Regiment in 1920, and the regiment was disbanded and reorganized as the Peel Regiment. Some of the officers felt they would have to recruit from beyond the bounds of the county in order to be viable, and the Headquarters, A and B companies were located in a large second story flat at the corner of Pacific and Dundas Streets in West Toronto; C Company was in Brampton and D Company in Port Credit. Some of the Toronto regiments had objected to this incursion, and in March 1922, the unit was directed that its officer personnel should reside within the recruiting area. McCausland, who lived in Toronto, resigned, as did numerous other officers. Major RV Conover, who had served with the Halton Rifles, but commanded the company in Brampton, where he now lived, was selected to succeed in command.

The Regiment perpetuated the 74th, 126th and 234th Battalions, CEF. [69th Bn?] It could have been expected that it would also perpetuate the 20th, but some of its veterans could not come to an agreement on the project, so the regiment missed the opportunity to perpetuate a CEF battalion that had seen service in the field.

On Sunday, November 5, 1922, a memorial window was dedicated in the Church of the Epiphany on Queen Street, West Toronto to the 3200 all ranks who had passed through the Peel Regiment from 1914–1918, and the five hundred who had given their lives.

The Peel and Dufferin Regiment (1923–1936)

The Peel Regiment had had a presence in Dufferin county, in Orangeville and Shelburne. Perhaps the insistence on officers coming from the recruiting area led to the formal inclusion of Dufferin in the regimental title. In 1923 The Peel and Dufferin Regiment was authorized, to draw from both counties. D Company was headquartered at Orangeville. Early that year the Regiment had received permission from Sir Robert Peel (after whose family the county had been named) to use part of his crest as a regimental badge. The crest is 'a demi-lion rampant, gorged and collared, charged with three bezants, between the paws a shuttle' (a bezant in heraldry is a gold roundel, and takes its name from the gold coins 'of Byzantium' which circulated in England in medieval times). The demi-lion was quickly incorporated into the design of the buttons, and in 1925 of the cap badge and collar badges of the new unit.

Annual training in 1925 was conducted at local headquarters, because of fiscal restraints, in three sessions of three days each. Lieutenant-Colonel Conover, who was now on district staff, arranged a three-day musketry camp at Long Branch Rifle Ranges over Labour Day, introducing the idea of district training. The three regiments of the 25th Infantry Brigade who attended, however, had to pay for their own transportation and ration expenses. The training exercises now went beyond the drill and rifle practice of earlier days, and during the inter-war years involved attack and defensive positions, inter-arm co-operation (the artillery came out to the farmlands west of Brampton and demonstrated a smoke screen), ground to air signalling, and even ariel bombardment.

The colours of the old 36th Regiment had been laid up in Christ Church, Brampton in 1924, and the following year the Peel Chapter, Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire, presented a king's colour to The Peel and Dufferin Regiment. The county of Peel gave a grant in 1924 towards the purchase of a regimental colour, but its production was delayed pending a decision on the granting of battle honours to militia regiments. The Department of National Defense approved the design for the regimental colour, incorporating these battle honours, and on 22 May 1930 the Governor-General, Viscount Willingdon, presented the colour on behalf of the county council.

Major CM Corkett had served during the first world war as an officer with The Lancashire Fusiliers, and The Peel and Dufferin Regiment sought an alliance with that regiment. The negotiations went slowly because the 2nd Battalion of The Lancashire Fusiliers were serving in India, but eventually they signified their favour and in November 1929 the unit was informed that the king approved of the alliance. To symbolize the link, permission was received to adopt the white facings of the Fusiliers.

The Lorne Rifles Scottish

The Halton Rifles was reorganized as The Lorne Rifles (Scottish) in 1931 and permission was received from His Grace the Duke of Argyll, the senior Duke of Scotland, to use his personal crest, the Boar's Head and his personal tartan, the Ordinary Campbell. On 15 December 1936, following a general reorganization of the Militia, the Lorne Rifles and the Peel and Dufferin Regiment were amalgamated to form the present regiment, The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment).

The Second World War

Delivery of 500,000 free cigarettes from the Overseas Tobacco League to the 5th Canadian Armoured Division, Groningen, Netherlands; (L-R): Captain J.F. Yeddeay, Lorne Scots; Senior Supervisor W.R. Blythman and Supervisor R.R. Jacks, both of Canadian Legion Auxiliary Services

No 1 Canadian Base Depot, CASF

The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) mobilized the No. 1 Infantry Base Depot, CASF, for active service on 1 September 1939. This unit was disbanded in England on 11 July 1940, following the formation of the No. 1 Canadian Base Depot on 1 May 1940 as the No. 1 Canadian General Base Depot, CASF. It was redesignated No. 1 Canadian Base Depot, CASF, the same day. It was stationed in Liverpool, England for the convenience of disembarkation and embarkation of Canadian soldiers. The depot was disbanded on 18 July 1944.[1]

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, CASF (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 NPAM (Non-Permanent Active Militia), even when they bore the same name. But they drew from the experience of those units, in the officers and NCOs 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, CSM 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 mid-March 1941 the unit moved to Liverpool, to be near the principal embarkation and disembarkation ports used by Canadians. They were housed at Seaforth Barracks, about four miles (6 km) from the centre of the city, and a few hundred yards from the waterfront. Just as they were arriving in their new quarters, the air raid sirens sounded. Liverpool and the other towns along the Mersey River would suffer the heaviest raids in Britain, outside of London. Things were then relatively quiet for a month, and the broken glass of the barracks was replaced by tar paper. In mid-April incendiaries landed on the barracks building, but were extinguished before any harm was done. Then in one week in May, over 2,000 bombs were dropped and 1,500 people killed. Many of the soldiers at the depot were men of low medical category awaiting return to Canada, but they volunteered to work throughout the night, night after night. Fires raged through the docks and warehouses; the sky was full of bursting ack-ack shells; flares dropped by enemy planes were floating slowly toward the earth, lighting up everything in the vicinity; bright red tracer bullets streaked across the sky, aimed at the flares in an attempt to extinguish them; the city seemed ablaze. Planes droned continuously overhead; bombs screeched on their way to the targets, and exploded as they landed; guns roared; and workers shouted hoarsely as they tried to communicate with each other. To the sights and sounds were added the smells of explosive and burning wood.

Captain D.C. Heggie, RCAMC, the depot's Medical Officer, spent the night of 3/4 May under fire amid bombs and falling masonry, binding up wounds and relieving suffering. He forced his way into demolished buildings, directed rescue operations and at times crawled into cellars to administer hypodermics to trapped and wounded civilians. Once he was lowered head-first into the basement of a wrecked dwelling to give morphine to a badly-crushed civilian pinned in the ruins. For his 'conspicuous gallantry' on that night, he was awarded the George Medal. Early on the 7th, a land mine was dropped near the First Aid Post, injuring Captain Heggie in the head. Although bleeding profusely, he dragged himself to the injured Nursing Sisters and pulled them clear of the wreckage, and helped bandage their wounds. Then loss of blood forced him to give in, and the following day he was evacuated to a Canadian military hospital.

The soldiers helped civil defence workers remove dead and injured from ruined houses, comforted wounded civilians, helped to extinguish fires, drove supply trucks and acted as guards and traffic guides.

Defence and employment

The regiment subsequently mobilized the 1st Battalion, The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment), CASF for active service on 6 February 1941, to "provide personnel and reinforcements for all 'Defence and Employment' requirements of The Canadian Army. As a result, numerous Lorne Scots defence and employment units served in the Mediterranean, North-West Europe and Canada. The overseas battalion was disbanded on 21 February 1947, when its last unit, No. 1 Non- Effective Transit Depot, CASF was disbanded.[1]


At Dieppe, No. 6 Defence Platoon (6th Canadian Infantry Brigade) were brought by LST (Landing Ship Tank), touching down on White Beach at 1605 hours on the 19th. It was split into two parts. CSM 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 LST 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 alongside, he helped Hancock, Moore and Lane on board. As they pulled away, the LST 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.

Headquarters First Canadian Army, Defence Company (Lorne Scots)

By 1942, the Canadian military presence in Britain had grown; in that year a 4th Division and second armoured division would arrive. Crerar felt there were too many to be a single corps, and proposed a Canadian Army divided into two corps, each of two divisions and an armoured division. The Army Headquarters would deal with administrative concerns, freeing the corps commanders to train fighting formations. On 6 April the Headquarters First Canadian Army came into being, and the Headquarters First Canadian Army, Defence Company (Lorne Scots) was established to protect it. Commanded by Captain V.G.H. Phillips, it consisted of six officers and 160 other ranks. It had the task of guarding Headley Court, the stately home near Leatherhead, Surrey, where the corps headquarters had been located. It was a serious business: much time was spent training (there were sessions on aircraft recognition, and on drills in case of gas attack) and on the ranges; once a sergeant was accidentally wounded by a sten gun; and on one occasion a soldier was court-martialed for sleeping on his post as a sentry.

The officers of the units were frequently called to assist at the many courts-martial that took place at the headquarters. The men provided guards of honour when the Minister of National Defence, J.L. Ralston, visited. They were often congratulated by General McNaughton for their deportment on the March Past after the monthly church parade (services were voluntary on the other Sundays, but a soldier had to inform the Orderly Sergeant if he wanted to attend).

Almost every issue of Daily Orders included a section entitled 'Punishments', mostly for being absent without leave, which brought loss of pay and confinement to barracks. The shortages of wartime Britain were also reflected in the Orders: the wasting of bread was to cease forthwith, and the Orderly Sergeant was to take the names of men who left bread on the table. When this measure failed to correct the situation, the men were restricted to half a slice of bread at a time. After exercises, the headquarters received complaints of men shooting game with service rifles. And the arrival of 20,000 American cigarettes for resale to the troops was an occurrence of such importance that it was recorded in the War Diary.

The Company was disbanded in April 1944, when its duties were taken over by the Royal Montreal Regiment.


The Canadian government was sensitive to public criticism that its troops were standing too long on guard duty in Britain, and Canadian commanders wished their troops to gain some battle experience. That came with the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, by British, Canadian and American forces; the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian Army Tank Brigade were part of General Montgomery's force.

McNaughton had only committed Canadians to Sicily for battle experience, and had not planned to break up the army he had forged for the last great battle in Europe. But Ottawa had agreed, not only to leave the Canadians already there in the campaign, but to augment them with the 5th Armoured Division and First Corps Headquarters.

On 26 October 1943, the Edmund B. Alexander pulled out of Gourock with 4700 troops, including the Headquarters 1st Canadian Corps and its Defence Company. The men had thought that they were going on an exercise, and as the ship joined a convoy of 24, they realized they were going into action, although even on the voyage they were unsure of their destination. It was in Sicily, at Augusta, that the Alexander disembarked, the men going ashore in landing craft.

The company took over a defensive position from the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, three miles (5 km) north of Ortona, from the 15th to the 27th of February 1944. The men immediately began taking part in the constant patrolling that sought out information from the enemy—the Lornes augmenting the more experienced Seaforths. On the 18th, Cpl Tost and two other volunteers joined a fighting patrol that was to try to take a prisoner. They studied the objective on aerial photographs—a group of houses that the Germans were thought to occupy during the night.

The fighting patrol passed through one of our standing patrols ... and made its way down into the valley, moving very quietly and in bounds. We stopped very often to listen as it was so dark we had difficulty in keeping the man in front in view. We crossed the bottom of the valley and started into enemy territory. Movement was very difficult due to trip wires, dry bamboo and the darkness. Everyone was extremely tense and our trigger fingers never left their correct positions. After crossing the valley we went to ground and travelled snake fashion for 200 or 300 yd (270 m). There was no time to worry about ourselves now because we were working as a Team and each man had a job to do .... Jerry kept up his steady flow of illuminating flares and every time one went up there were 17 living statues out in no-man's land. At 3 or 4 minute intervals Jerry let go with a burst of tracer from his fixed lines of fire and some came uncomfortably close. We advanced as far as a small stream just inside Jerry lines and remained there for some time listening and then crossed it in small groups. We heard some movement that sounded like several men in a group and moving in the direction of our objective. We moved to a position with 70 yd (64 m) of our objective and flares were now landing within a few feet of us. There was very little M.G. fire at this time.... It was clear that Jerry was trying to draw us into his cross-fire. ... we learned that we had followed a Jerry patrol right up to our objective.

CSM TR Steen had the job of keeping the troops of the front line supplied with ammunition and rum. On one occasion the Sergeant Major brought the rum through under shell fire to his quarters. Waiting for the shell fire to cease, 'he boldly uncorked the bottle and repeatedly assured himself that the quality of the rum was up to the standard required for his men.'

In May 1944, the two Ack Ack [Anti-Aircraft] platoons were becoming familiar with new 20 mm Oerlikon Guns. In July, a Lorne Scot concentration was held, then Maj Drennan admitted to 5th Cdn CGS; he was found to have serious injury to his spinal column, and on 3 August Major S. Beatty assumed command. During the summer, the POW cage was only lightly used, mostly for Italian refugees; during the fierce fighting of September, this changed, the busiest day being the 13th (the date of the capture of Coriano Ridge on the Rimini Line), when two German officers and 130 other ranks were admitted.

Daily Orders required Canadians to remove the insignia that identified their nationality. It was felt that the presence of Canadians heralded an offensive, and commanders took the double step of trying to disguise an imminent attack on the Gothic Line, and by sending the 1st Canadian division to Florence, where the Americans were making diversionary prepartations, before sending it to a more active part of the front.

In mid-January 1945, Major Beatty was made responsible for the defence of Ravenna and would become Garrison Commander in event of attack or stand-to. The front had become static for the winter, on a line along the rivers Senio and Seno approximately 10 miles (16 km) from the city.

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.

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.

Home Defence

Japanese activity on the Pacific coast in 1942 provoked great fears of invasion. In February, a submarine shelled California, and on 20 June, two other submarines fired on Oregon and on an isolated wireless station on Vancouver Island. Although almost no damage was done, it was the only time in either world war that enemy shells fell on Canadian soil. On June 6–7, the Japanese occupied the two Aleutian islands of Aleut and Kiska. There was little likelihood that the mainland would be invaded, but there was enormous fear that it would be. In March the War Committee approved the completion of the 7th Division and formation of the brigade groups of the 8th, for home defence. The 6th and 8th Divisions were disposed in Pacific Command; the 7th later was sent as a general reserve for the Atlantic Command.

No. 6 Defence and Employment Platoon for the 6th Canadian Division was authorized in March 1942, and recruited in Brampton, Georgetown, Oakville, Orangeville and Port Credit. During the organizational period, because of lack of facilities, the troops were put on subsistence of $1.00 a day. In mid-May training began at 20 CA(B)TC Brantford and at Camp Niagara. Trained personnel were posted to the new brigade defence platoons, and in September one officer and 28 ORs moved to Work Point barracks in Victoria. Recruits were constantly being posted in, and trained soldiers posted out. In May 1943, fully trained active personnel were transferred to depot for proceeding overseas, and partially trained sent to infantry Training Centres to complete training prior to going overseas. Fifteen of the new recruits who arrived the next month were National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA) men, who had been conscripted for service in Canada. In October, the Platoon was in Prince George, BC.

Late in 1944, the need to free fit men for duty overseas was becoming desperate, and the need for coastal defence had abated. Cabinet approved the disbandment of the 6th Division, so that one infantry brigade group and two infantry brigades could be drawn from it. The government also decided to send 16,000 NRMA men overseas. The decision sparked about a demonstration by about 200–300 NRMA men in Prince George, although none from the Division's Defence and Employment Platoon took part. For a few days, there were demonstrations at several camps along the coast. The divisional headquarters ceased to exist on 2 December, and its Defence and Employment Platoon was disbanded on 31 January 1945.


File:Lorne Scots camp flag.jpg

The camp flag of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferian and Halton Regiment).

Since the Second World War, the regiment has been well represented at all military functions and in 1955 had the largest attendance at summer camp of any infantry regiment in Canada. In autumn of 1963, the regiment was presented with its colours by the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, The Honourable W. Earl Rowe, in a ceremony at Caledon. This was followed by an upsurge of interest and prowess in marksmanship in the unit which immediately began to dominate competition shooting at all levels from local to national. This domination has continued to the present time with the unit being represented at various world Championships, Olympics, Pan-American Games and the Bisley Competition in England.

In the 1960s, the Lancashire Fusiliers, the allied regiment in England since 9 May 1929, suffered amalgamation and in the process bestowed its revered primrose hackle on the Lorne Scots for custodianship. It is now worn proudly on the headdress of all Lorne Scots infantry personnel. With the coming of the 1970s, the role of the Militia expanded, resulting in some Lorne Scots members serving in Germany.

The Regiment’s first ever Colonel-in-Chief, Field Marshal HRH The Duke of Kent visited the Regiment in 1979 and 1983 and presented the unit with a new Regimental and Queen's colour on 14 September 1991 in Brampton on the occasion of the regiment's 125th birthday.

The Regiment has also provided troops to many of the United Nations peacemaking forces that Canada has contributed to. These include Golan Heights, Namibia, Cambodia, Cyprus and, most recently, the Former Yugoslavia. A number of troops participated in the clean up of activities during the 1998 Ice Storm in eastern Ontario, and Sovereignty Operation Nanook in the Canadian Arctic throughout 2007 – 2010. Soldiers from the Regiment also participated in the Security Perimeter for the 2010 G20 toronto Leaders Summit under the Royal Canadian Mounted Police led Integrated Security Unit, however did not interact with protests or protestors during the Summit.

The Regiment deployed over 40 soldiers to Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force throughout 2001 – 2012. They participated in Mentoring the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police, Humanitarian Operations, Security Operations and Combat Operations. This marked the first time soldiers from the Lorne Scots directly engaged in Combat Operations since the Korean War.

Battle honours

File:Lorne Scots regimental colour.jpg

The regimental colour of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment).

Those battle honours in bold type are emblazoned on the regimental colour.[1]

The Great War

The Second World War

Regimental Pipes and Drums

The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) parades a first rate military Pipes and Drums band. The Pipes and Drums is known as The Regimental Pipes and Drums of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment). The Band was formed in 1881 and has been active locally and internationally since that time.

The Regimental Pipes and Drums of the Lorne Scots is one of the oldest Pipe Bands in Canada. This Band plays street parades, Military Tattoos, Indoor and Outdoor Concerts, Art Festivals, Ethnic Celebrations, Royal Visits, Civic Receptions and Public Entertainment with a full and challenging repertoire of Music for Pipe Band and Combined Military Bands.

The Pipes and Drums of the Lorne Scots was the first Canadian Reserve Pipe Band to play at the Edinburgh Tattoo in 1960 and again in 1970 and has performed for Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Duke of Kent, The Duke of Argyll, Governors General, Lieutenant Governors, The Prime Minister, and various Premiers. The Band has toured the United Kingdom, playing at the Tower of London, and The London Guildhall. The Band has also played various engagements in the United States and Southern Ontario. The members of the pipes and drums, are often tasked or called upon to augment other military bands that are not able to meet taskings.

Currently, the pipes and drums are under the direction of Drum Major Iain McGibbon CD and Pipe Major Matthew Chambers.

The Lorne Scots Regimental Pipes and Drums are an active military band that plays bagpipes and drums. The Regimental Pipes and Drums are a large part of the Regiment and is made up of serving members of the Regiment and volunteer musicians. They are based out of the Col J.R. Barber Armoury in Georgetown, Ontario.

Commanding officers

  • 1.Lt-Col Godfrey Fitzgerald, ED, 1936–39
  • 2.Lt-Col Louis Keene, ED, 1939
  • 3.Col Reginald Conover, VD, 1939–42
  • 4.Lt-Col Leonard Bertram, MC, 1942–46
  • 5.Lt-Col Newton Powell,1946
  • 6.Lt-Col Charles Sharpe, 1946–47
  • 7.Lt-Col Herbert Chisholm, ED, 1947–49
  • 8.Lt-Col John R. Barber, ED, CD, 1949–54
  • 9.Lt-Col Samuel Charters, CD, 1954–57
  • 10.Lt-Col Arthur Kemp, CD, 1957–61
  • 11.Lt-Col Edward Conover, CD, 1961–65
  • 12.Lt-Col Robert Hardie, CD, 1965–68
  • 13.Lt-Col Earl Lince, CD, 1968–71
  • 14.Lt-Col Donald Egan, CD, 1971–74
  • 15.Lt-Col Frank Ching, CD, 1974–78
  • 16.Lt-Col Lowell Breckon, CD, 1978–79
  • 17.Lt-Col Larry Smith, CD, 1979–81
  • 18.Lt-Col Robin Hesler, CD, 1981–85
  • 19.Lt-Col Jerry Derochie, CD, 1985–88
  • 20.Lt-Col John Rodaway, CD, 1988–92
  • 21.Lt-Col Richard Irvine, CD, 1992–97
  • 22.Lt-Col Douglas Johnston, CD, AdeC, 1997–2000
  • 23.Lt-Col William Adcock, OMM, CD, 2000–03
  • 24.Lt-Col Ross Welch, CD, 2003–06
  • 25.Lt-Col Timothy Orange, CD, 2006–09
  • 26.Lt. Col. A.M. Phelps, CD, 2009–2012
  • 27.Lt. Col Duane E Hickson, CD, 2012–


Site Date(s) Designated Location Description Image
Col J.R. Barber Armoury 91 Todd Road Canada's Register of Historic Places Georgetown, Ontario Centrally located structure with a low-pitched gable roof houses "C" Company
Brampton Armoury 2 Chapel Street, 1914–15 1991 Recognized – Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings Brampton, Ontario
  • Housing "B" Company this centrally located, mid-size, rectangular building has a low-pitched gable roof
Oakville Armoury Canada's Register of Historic Places Oakville, Ontario centrally located building with a low-pitched gable roof; home of A company, The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment)

Lorne Scots Regimental Museum

Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) Museum
Location The Armoury, 48 John Street, Brampton, ON L6W 2H1 Canada
Type Regimental Museum
Website http:\\

The Lorne Scots Regimental Museum preserves, for future generations, items of historical importance regarding this regiment and the Canadian Forces. The museum displays as many artifacts as possible which will perpetuate the memories and illustrate the past histories of our forces and communities.[2] The museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, OMMC and Virtual Museum of Canada. The museum is located behind the armory in Brampton, Ontario. Exhibits include uniforms, weapons, musical instruments, maps, medals, documents, photographs and other regimental memorabilia. The Museum is open on select days to both members of the Regimental family and the general public. The museum also features a regimental kit shop.

Order of precedence

Preceded by
The Grey and Simcoe Foresters
The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) Succeeded by
The Brockville Rifles


See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Canadian Forces Publication A-DH-267-003 Insignia and Lineages of the Canadian Forces. Volume 3: Combat Arms Regiments.
  2. A-AD-266-000/AG-001 Canadian Forces Museums –Operations and Administration 2002-04-03
  • The Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914–1919 by Col G.W.L. Nicholson, CD, Queens's Printer, Ottawa, Ontario, 1962

External links

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