Metropolis regiment marks proud century – Winnipeg Free Press

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This article was published 29/09/2010 (4488 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

THEY emerged after years of lobbying from Winnipeg’s Scottish community, whose members were eager to see a military regiment in the rugged Highland tradition in their Prairie city.

One hundred years later, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada are ready to celebrate.

The primary reservist infantry regiment dates back to Feb. 1, 1910, and is marking this year’s century milestone with a museum exhibition, parades, a gala celebration and a new book on regimental history, to be launched tonight at the Minto Armouries.

Prince Philip greets Cameron Highlanders during the royal couple’s Winnipeg visit this past July.

“Rather than marking a single day, we wanted to celebrate the centenary throughout the entire year,” said Lt.-Col. Brett Takeuchi, commanding officer for the Winnipeg-based regiment.

It’s been an eventful century for the regiment formerly known as the 79th Cameron Highlanders of Canada (named the Queen’s Own in 1924). During the First World War, the Camerons contributed thousands of soldiers, mostly Manitobans, in five battalions.

The regiment suffered serious losses in the raid on Dieppe during the Second World War, later fighting in the Normandy campaign in 1944 and the liberation of northwest Europe.

They fought in Korea, stepped up during Manitoba’s three major floods, and served in Egypt, Cyprus, the Golan Heights, Croatia and Bosnia. Around two dozen soldiers have served as regular-force soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Camerons formed after urging from Winnipeg’s deep-rooted Scottish community, in particular groups like the Sons of Scotland and the St. Andrew’s Society, said Takeuchi. The Highland regiments, considered the ‘shock troops’ of the British empire, had “a certain mystique,” he said — “a very fierce, martial reputation.”

Winnipeg’s Ladies From Hell, a regimental retrospective by former Free Press managing editor Murray Burt, is the fourth written account of the Camerons’ history. But Takeuchi said this collection of personal tales is “more like a story than a history.”

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