Cap badge The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment), 4th Canadian Division

Unmarked, both lugs imissing This cap badge in white metal, measuring 72 mm wide by 78 mm high

€ 37,50

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 realised 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 15 to 27 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 preparations, 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 the Netherlands.

In northern Italy, defence platoons were reorganised 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.

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