Information

General Information

Career Information

Current Events

Transitions (NEWS)

Events / Calendar

Media

Photos and Articles

Videos

The Glen (newsletter)

The Regiment

Appointments

Honours & Awards

Regimental Association

Regimental Museum

Pipes and Drums

Regt'l Organizations

Traditions

Soldier Assistance

Affiliates, Allies & Friends

Prose and Music

Links

Detailed History


Return to Main Page


 

 

The Colour Party is made up of two Colour Ensigns, both subalterns, consisting of a Senior Colour Ensign who carries the Queen's Colour, with a Junior Colour Ensign carrying the Regimental Colour.  The two Colours are escorted by Senior NCOs whose function is to guard and protect the Colours.   The Calgary Highlanders continue to equip the Colour Escorts with Lee Enfield Number 4 Mark I rifles, with spike bayonet.  The three rifles were specially presented to the unit, and while the Regiment re-equipped with the FN C1 assault rifle in the 1960s and to the C7 assault rifle in the late 1980s, the Colour Party has continued to use the older rifles, as well as having to perform the old style drill with its command of Slope Arms rather than the modern Shoulder Arms.

The Colour Party also wears green dress coatees, patterned after similar garb adopted by the British Army to replace the traditional scarlet doublet.   The Calgary Highlanders' pattern of coatee matches that worn by the Allied Regiment of the British Army, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's).

Also part of the Colour Party are two Colour Orderlies who assist in casing and uncasing the Colours.  They do not, however, go on parade with the Colour Party.

At right, a fine portrait of a Colour Escort.  Sergeant Carson, photographed at the Cathedral of the Redeemer sometime in the 1990s, guards the Colours.

The pattern of green coatee is shown, including the turnbacks on the tails, in the Regimental facing colour of yellow.  A red sash as worn by Infantry sergeants is also obvious, as is the presentation plaque on the butt of the Lee Enfield Number 4 Mark I rifle.

On the command "Guard Colours" the three Escorts face outwards and hold their weapons at the port arms as shown.

The Senior Colour Ensign visible behind him is armed with a "claymore" or Scottish pattern broadsword, which is standard issue for all Calgary Highlanders officers on formal parades.  He wears a maroon officers' sash and half plaid in Government Tartan.

The Colours in this photograph have been situated at the entrance to the Cathedral of the Redeemer on St. Julien's Day.  As the Regiment files in to the church for the annual commemoration of the Battle of Kitcheners' Wood, they have the opportunity to pay their respects to the Colours.

colourcarson1.jpg (47242 bytes)

Veterans and serving soldiers alike enter the Cathedral.  The two soldiers furthest right in green coatees are the Colour Orderlies.  The Senior Colour Ensign can be seen wearing two white shoulder belts; over the right shoulder is worn the crossbelt for carrying the claymore (dress sword), while over the left shoulder is worn the Colour sling.

Needless to say, guarding the Colours, or carrying the Colours themselves in a strong wind, is physically demanding.

colourcarson2.jpg (33217 bytes)

Parades

When on parade, the Colour Party always counter-marches so that the Queen's Colour is always on the party's right hand side.  The right hand side is always the senior side of a formation on parade; when more than one unit is on parade, the senior unit or sub-unit will fall in on the right, with the second-senior unit or sub-unit to their left, and so on.

The Colour Party will form up at the head of the Regiment if only one Guard is on parade, or in the centre of the unit if more than one Guard is parading.  The Colours are always marched on to parade after all the officers have fallen in, and are the first ones to be dismissed from the parade, being marched off seperately.

The Colour Party is marched on and off parade to the tune All The Blue Bonnets Are Over The Border, which is considered one of the Regiment's official March Past tunes.

Mess Dinners

The Colours may be displayed at official dinners.  When done so, they are marched in by the Colour Party, usually with a single piper playing, and deposited in a special stand in the proximity of the head table.   At the end of the dinner, they are marched out again and returned to Regiment's lines for safe keeping.

At right, the Colours are displayed at a mess dinner sometime in the 1930s.  Standing is Honourary Colonel R.B. Bennett.

nb-16-192.jpg (37448 bytes)

Calgary Highlanders Colour Party, 29 March 1940, during the last parade of the Colours before depositing them at the Church of the Redeemer for safekeeping as part of the First Battalion's preparations for leaving Calgary.

The Colour Escorts are armed with the Short Magazine, Lee Enfield (SMLE) rifle with sword bayonet, the standard battle rifle of the Canadian infantry from 1916 to 1943.

From left to right - Regimental Sergeant Major E.V. Stanley, Major J.M. Taylor, Company Sergeant Major K. MacMillan, Major D.G. MacLauchlan, and Company Sergeant Major G. Jones.

colourparty1940.gif (204351 bytes)

Calgary Highlanders Colour Party, 1984, photographed by MWO Heinz Winkel at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary.

From left to right - Lieutenant Carsted, Sergeant Bruce Anderson, Sergeant Bruce Waterhouse, Lieutenant Bruce Duggan, Sergeant Bob Glass.

Click image to enlarge.

colourparty.jpg (66734 bytes)

The information on this website is intended for a specific audience within a defined geographic area and therefore all content appears in English only.