All ranks wore the same pattern of Regimental
Cap Badge on glengarries, tam o'shanters, balmorals, and melton winter hats. As was
the case in most units of the Canadian Army, there were not enough badges to go around in
the early months of the war.
The cap badge was not backed when worn on the melton
winter cap. On the glengarry, the badge was worn over a rosette of black silk (which
was not always present on the glen).
On the balmoral and tam o'shanter, the badge was
backed by a square of Government tartan, cut where the lines of green intersected.
No cap badges were worn on the steel
helmet, but in England, a red and white diced decal, emulating the dicing of the
glengarry, was painted on the left side of the helmet. Each checker on this decal
measured approximately 1 cm tall by 1/2 inch wide.
Regimental Shoulder Titles
|At the start of the war, there were
two types of shoulder title in use on Service Dress uniforms; both these styles were taken
into use once Battle Dress was adopted.
The first type had been adopted in the early 1930s, consisting
of the initials "C.H" with a period seperating the letters. These titles
were worn in brass.
The second type of shoulder
title was a special distinction granted to the Calgary Highlanders shortly before the war.
When Battle Honours for
the First World War were being considered in the 1920s, the units that perpetuated the
10th and 16th Battalions of the CEF were perturbed that they did not receive recognition
for the Battle of Kitcheners Wood. That battle had marked the first offensive action
taken by Canadian soldiers in the First World War, and was later described by Marshall
Foch as "the finest act in the War." The commanding officers of the three
battalions (The Canadian Scottish Regiment, The Calgary Highlanders, and The Winnipeg
Light Infantry) petitioned Ottawa, and gained the support of many prominent individuals
such as Sir Arthur Currie. The Adjutant General proposed that a distinction in dress
be awarded in lieu of a battle honour.
In June 1926, it was suggested that one or more oak leaves on a blood red
background be adopted as a collar badge, as Kitcheners Wood had been an oak plantation.
The Calgary Highlanders preferred a badge be worn on the lower sleeve while the WLI
preferred an upper sleeve badge. All three agreed that an acorn and oak leaf design
was desirable. The Adjutant General agreed that a collar badge depicting a single
acorn and oak leaf was acceptable, and could be worn in conjunction with existing collar
badges, as precedence for double collar badges had been set in the British Army by the
Seaforth Highlanders and the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
In 1930, the Adjutant General's office proposed that the collar badges of the
individual units be set upon a bronze oak leaf. This idea was rejected, and in 1933
a metal shoulder badge was agreed upon. The Calgary Highlanders and Canadian
Scottish wanted the full name of the regiment to be part of the design, while the WLI
wanted only their initials.
General Orders in 1934 granted authority for the Calgary Highlanders and Canadian
Scottish to wear bronze oak leaf and acorn badges with their names inscribed on an
annulus. The WLI were to wear a badge consisting of the oak leaf and acorn with the
initials on the regiment superimposed.When the badges were presented in 1938, the Calgary
Highlanders' design had again changed to one resembling the WLI, being a brass oakleaf
with the letters CH superimposed. It is not clear why the change was made.
Agnew, curator of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, uncovered these drawings of suggested
badges in the National Archives in Ottawa. None of the badges were ever worn.
Photo reproduced from The Oakleaf, Regimental Newsletter of the Calgary Highlanders, Dec
Highlanders oak leaf badges were issued in right and left pairs. They were worn with
the acorn pointing to the wearer's front.
were worn on Battle Dress, by those that had them, as well as the older C.H badges.
In England, the wearing of brass shoulder titles on Battle Dress was stopped. As
well a cloth shoulder title with the title CALGARY HIGHLANDERS stitched in black onto a
khaki background had been introduced. Other Ranks slipped this title over their
shoulder straps, and it appears that officers sewed the badge to their upper
In 1941, the
Second Division adopted Battle Patches, as had been worn in the First World War. The
Calgary Highlanders dispensed with the slip on titles and instead were recognized only by
a red triangle sewn above the blue Second Division formation patches adopted midway
through the year. These were worn in conjunction with the CANADA titles worn by
overseas troops since the introduction of Battle Dress.
After the Dieppe Raid in August 1942, the Division conformed to the rest of the Canadian
Army, and adopted embroidered shoulder titles to distinguish one regiment from
According to the staff at the regimental museum, the first pattern of badge was a blue
crescent, with CALGARY HIGHLANDERS and CANADA embroidered thereupon. While small
numbers of these titles have been found on the collectors market, there is no evidence to
suggest that they ever progressed past prototype stage. There is no photographic
record of the badges being worn.
Instead, the Calgary Highlanders adopted an oval shaped badge, conforming to the other
rifle battalions in the Division, with the name CALGARY HIGHLANDERS embroidered in green,
with CANADA also embroidered in red. The CANADA title was thus not worn in
conjunction with this title. Several variations of this badge can be seen, as
they were manufactured in England and in Holland. Economy patterns printed on
canvas can also be found.
Photo and artifacts from the collection of Bill Alexander. One or two of these badges
may be, in fact, postwar.
Metal buttons were worn on several
uniforms; on the Service Dress Jacket and the greatcoat primarily, though they were also
worn on the band's full dress uniforms. Two patterns of regimental button are known
to have existed; one bearing the cap badge, and a second pattern with only the St.
Andrew's cross and beaver. The buttons can be found in brass with some (probably
second pattern) possibly chromed. The regimental buttons were most commonly found on
Officers' Service Dress uniforms. Other Ranks greatcoats were issued with General
Service buttons (shown below at right) and many band uniforms can be seen with
generic diamond shaped "thistle" buttons.
During the war, metal
shortages led to the prohibition of regimental buttons. Officers in possession of
them were permitted to keep them, but no new buttons were permitted to be made.
|Kit Bag Markings
Personal kit bags were marked with the
Serial Number of the unit, in the case of the Calgary Highlanders, 192. This serial
was represented in coloured form beginning in 1944 with the use of coloured bars
representing the last two digits. This system of marking was to enable baggage from
different units to be quickly sorted.