Photos - First Battalion, 1939-1945
All photos are thumbnailed, click to
|Route March in Calgary, probably April 1940.
Marching was a form of training that didn't require equipment the Regiment didn't
have. The Pipes and Drums are clad in ceremonial dress, and wear the Royal Stewart
Tartan. Upon arrival in England, the battalion was politely reminded that only Royal
Regiments are permitted to wear that tartan.
|Before departing the city in the spring of 1940,
the First Battalion, Calgary Highlanders, laid up their stand of Colours in the Church of
the Redeemer in downtown Calgary.
The two Colours consisted of a King's Colour, shown here at left, and a Regimental Colour,
at right. The Regimental Colour was emblazoned with Battle Honours earned by the unit's
predecessor, the Tenth Battalion, during the Great War.
Lieutenant Colonel J. Fred Scott is shown at left, wearing tartan
riding pants and a balmoral. The Major holding the Regimental Colour, D.G.
MacLauchlan, would later command the battalion in combat, earning the Distinguished
Service Order for his leadership at Clair Tizon in the summer of 1944.
|House clearing drills in England. The
Calgary Highlanders performed a lot of specialized training in England before moving to
the Continent in July 1944; while their stormboat training may not have been useful, house
to house fighting did take place in a number of locations. The most notable city
fight was Groningen in the last weeks of the war; by then many of the veterans who had
trained in England had been killed or invalided out of the battalion.
|Calgary Highlanders posing for the camera in
England with "newly acquired automatic weapons." Visible are both the Bren
Light Machine Gun and the Thompson Submachine Gun. Both were issued in large
quantities after arrival in the United Kingdom, and every 10 man section of infantry had
one of each type of weapon. The Thompsons were replaced by the Sten Gun after the
Dieppe Raid of August 1942. Needless to say, the photo does not portray actual
training conditions (the men wear no equipment and are far too close together).
|Training in England; an infantry section crosses
a wooden fence while directing staff hover in the background. The battalion was
constantly assessed and re-assessed by their own officers, as well as brigade and
divisional level officers, in order to better guide their training.
|Pipe-Major Neil Sutherland talks to former Prime
Minister and Honourary Colonel R.B Bennett, in England on 12 February 1943. The Pipe
Band took their full ceremonial dress with them to the United Kingdom. Officer in
greatcoat in centre of photo wears the Second Division patch on his sleeve with a gold
wire "C-II" device. Officer at right has a decal on the left side of his
helmet, in the pattern of the red and white dicing found on the glengarry.
|Another photo taken the same day as above,
showing former Prime Minister R.B. Bennett inspecting the battalion. Rifles are also
of the same pattern used in World War One; the Number I Mark III would be replaced by the
Number 4 Mark I during 1943. The inspection was considered a "great day for the
Battalion" by the War Diarist, and preparations for the event appear to have been
|After the inspection, a marchpast was conducted,
through the town of Bognor.
|Aboard an amphiboius assault craft in Seaford,
England. The officer in front wears a woollen hat called a "cap comforter", and
per regimental dress regulations, a regimental striped necktie in the colours of the 2nd
Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
|A member of the Calgary Highlanders poses beside
a French-made Char tank in France in the summer of 1944. Germany made extensive use of
captured French armour during the Second World War, though usually in second-line units.
The Calgary Highlanders faced a mix of second line division and fanatic SS troops in their
earliest battles in Normandy.
|A funeral service in Holland. During the
war, temporary wooden crosses were used to mark service graves, as shown in the centre of
the photo. After the war, permanent markers such as those shown at bottom were used
in the permanent war graves, as overseen by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
The permanent markers in the photograph are from the First World War.