Military Wiki
The Nova Scotia Highlanders
Active 1871–present
Country Canada
Branch Primary Reserve
Type Light infantry
Role Light role
Size One battalions
Part of Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Garrison/HQ Truro, Nova Scotia
Motto(s) Siol Na Fear Fearail (Breed of Manly Men)
March The Sweet Maid of Glendaruel (Regiment)
The Atholl Highlanders (1Bn)
Abbreviation NS Highrs (as seen on rank slip on)

The Nova Scotia Highlanders (also known as North Novies, North Novas) is a reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces.


The regiment was formed in 1954 by the amalgamation of The North Nova Scotia Highlanders, The Cape Breton Highlanders, and The Pictou Highlanders.

The regiment was composed of two separate units, officially designated as the 1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders (North), and 2nd Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders (Cape Breton), both of which were part of 5th Canadian Division's 36 Canadian Brigade Group. The 1st Battalion was headquartered in Truro with individual companies located in Amherst, Pictou, New Glasgow, Springhill, and Truro. The 2nd Battalion was headquartered in Sydney, and in 2011 it was renamed back to its pre-1954 designation, the Cape Breton Highlanders.[1][2] This leaves The Nova Scotia Highlanders as a one-battalion regiment.


Although the 2nd Battalion continued the proud tradition of wearing balmorals, the traditional headdress of the regiment, the 1st Battalion did not. There was a strong movement within the unit by the majority of the troops to replace the beret with the balmoral once again as it marked out the highland unit as distinctive and showed the ties with the unit's heritage that contributed to its ésprit de corps. As of January 1, 2011, the balmoral once again became the official headdress of the 1st Battalion as well.

History of predecessor regiments

Part of a series on the
Military history of
Nova Scotia
Citadel hill.jpg
Battle of Port Royal 1690
Conquest of Acadia 1710
Battle of Jeddore Harbour 1722
Northeast Coast Campaign 1745
Battle of Grand Pré 1747
Dartmouth Massacre 1751
Bay of Fundy Campaign 1755
Fall of Louisbourg 1758
Headquarters established for Royal Navy's North American Station 1758
Burying the Hatchet ceremony 1761
Battle of Fort Cumberland 1776
Raid on Lunenburg 1782
Halifax Impressment Riot 1805
Establishment of New Ireland 1812
Capture of USS Chesapeake 1813
Battle at the Great Redan 1855
Siege of Lucknow 1857
CSS Tallahassee Escape 1861
Departing Halifax for Northwest Rebellion 1885
Departing Halifax for the Boer War 1899
Imprisonment of Leon Trotsky 1917
Jewish Legion formed 1917
Sinking of HMHS Llandovery Castle 1918
Battle of the St. Lawrence 1942–44
Sinking of SS Point Pleasant Park 1945
Halifax VE-Day Riot 1945
Walter Callow Wheelchair Bus established 1947
Notable military regiments
Mi'kmaq militias 1677-1779
Acadian militias 1689-1761
40th Regiment 1717-57
Troupes de la marine 1717-58
Gorham's Rangers 1744-62
Danks' Rangers 1756-62
84th Regiment of Foot 1775-84
Royal Fencible American 1775-83
Royal Nova Scotia Volunteers 1775-83
King's Orange Rangers 1776-83
1st Field Artillery 1791-present
Royal Nova Scotia 1793-1802
Nova Scotia Fencibles 1803-16
The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) 1860-present
The Princess Louise Fusiliers 1867-present
78th Highlanders 1869-71
Cape Breton Highlanders 1871-present
Nova Scotia Rifles 1914-19
No. 2 Construction Battalion 1916-19
West Nova Scotia 1916-present
The Nova Scotia Highlanders 1954-present

Members of the regiment volunteered for service in the Canadian Contingents that served in South African War (1899–1902) (see South African War Memorial (Halifax)). The regiment's original constituents participated in many operations, including the Vimy, the Hindenburg Line in World War I and the Normandy landing, Boulogne, and the Gothic Line in World War II.


The Nova Scotia Highlanders perpetuate the following battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force of the First World War:

Battle honours

The Nova Scotia Highlanders have received 56 battle honours since the unit's inception.

They are:

South Africa, 1899–1900 (South African War Memorial (Halifax))

First World War

  • Ypres, 1915, '17
  • Festubert, 1915
  • Mount Sorrel
  • Somme, 1916, '18
  • Flers-Courcelette
  • Thiepval
  • Ancre Heights
  • Arras, 1917, '18
  • Vimy, 1917
  • Arleux
  • Scarpe, 1917, '18
  • Hill 70
  • Passchendaele
  • Amiens
  • Drocourt-Quéant
  • Hindenburg Line
  • Canal du Nord
  • Cambrai, 1918
  • Valenciennes
  • Sambre
  • France and Flanders, 1915–18

Second World War

  • Liri Valley
  • Melfa Crossing
  • Ceprano
  • Gothic Line
  • Montecchio
  • Coriano
  • Lamone Crossing
  • Fosso Munio
  • Conventello-Comacchio
  • Italy, 1944–1945
  • Normandy Landing
  • Authie
  • Caen
  • The Orne
  • Bourguébus Ridge
  • Faubourg de Vaucelles
  • Verrières Ridge–Tilly-la-Campagne
  • Falaise
  • The Laison
  • Chambois
  • Boulogne, 1944
  • Calais, 1944
  • The Scheldt
  • Savojaards Plaat
  • Breskens Pocket
  • The Rhineland
  • Waal Flats
  • The Hochwald
  • The Rhine
  • Zutphen
  • IJsselmeer
  • Leer
  • Delfzijl Pocket
  • North-West Europe, 1944–1945.

NOTE: The honours in bold appear on the Nova Scotia Highlanders regimental colours.


Site Date(s) Designated Location Description Image
Col Welsford MacDonald Armoury 31 Union Street Pictou, Nova Scotia
  • Housing The Nova Scotia Highlanders, this centrally located building has a flat roof
New Glasgow Armoury 10 Riverside Parkway New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
  • Housing The Nova Scotia Highlanders, this centrally located building has a flat roof
Col James Layton Ralston Armoury, Acadia Street 1914-1915 David Ewart Canada's Register of Historic Places; Recognized - 1990 Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings Amherst, Nova Scotia
    • Housing The Nova Scotia Highlanders, this large, centrally-located stone and brick Baronial style building features two sturdy towers, a triple arched entrance way and a large drill hall
LCol Daniel J Murray Armoury 72 North Street Springhill, Nova Scotia
  • Housing The Nova Scotia Highlanders, this centrally located building has a flat roof
Truro Armoury 126 Willow Street, 1874 Thomas Seaton Scott Canada's Register of Historic Places; Recognized - 1991 Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings Truro, Nova Scotia
  • Housing 1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders, this centrally located box-like Dominion style Neo-Gothic style building with a flat roof was designed with classical inspiration.


Order of precedence

Preceded by
The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment
The Nova Scotia Highlanders Succeeded by
Le Régiment de Maisonneuve

See also



  • No Retreating Footsteps: The Story of the North Novas (by Will R. Bird)
  • The Fighting North Novies: Into the Fire (by Al Cameron)


External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).