Regimental Monuments of The
Monument - Mewata Armoury
The Regimental Monument resides
in front of Mewata Armoury; dedicated in 1998, the monument
takes the form of a Universal Carrier, of the type used by the
Regiment in the Second World War, painted in the markings worn
by the 1st Battalion from 1944-45. A plaque dedicates the
memorial to all soldiers of the the regiment and its
predecessors who have "Served Canada in War and Peace."
Regimental Markings included a gold maple leaf on Royal Blue,
indicating the 2nd Canadian Division, and a green square
indicating the 5th Brigade, upon which was placed the Unit
Sign "62" in white.
Lieutenant Brian S. King, CD, Curator of the Regimental
Museum, received permission from 41 Canadian Brigade Group to
place a vehicle in front of Mewata Armoury, after discussions
in the Museum in 1997. This form of homage is common in other
armouries and military bases across Canada. Lieutenant King
sought out collectors in order to obtain an appropriate
vehicle, and negotiations with the Canadian War Museum yielded
this fully restored carrier, from the collection of Jack
Guthrie, a notable Calgary vehicle collector, now passed on.
The concrete pad for the carrier was donated by BURNCO and the
plaque purchased by the Regimental Funds Foundation through a
grant from the Royal Alberta United Services Institute. The
markings were researched and painted by Corporal Michael
Dorosh, at that time a clerk with battalion headquarters.
Memorial Plaque - Calgary City
of the 10th Battalion erected a plaque at City Hall (now
known as the "Old City Hall" building) to commemorate the
actions of that unit at Kitchener's Wood. The plaque in its
original form is shown above. The annual St. Julien's
services since before the Second World War have involved a
wreath laying at this plaque. The inscription reads:
IN MEMORY OF
Lt COL R.L. BOYLE
& MEN OF THE
WHO FELL AT THE SECOND BATTLE OF
ERECTED BY SURVIVING
MEMBERS OF THE BATTALION
At the end of the Second World
War, the plaque was amended to commemorate the service of the
Calgary Highlanders in the Second World War. Underneath a
likeness of the Regimental Cap Badge is the inscription
HONOUR AND GLORY OF GOD
IN MEMORY OF THE OFFICERS N.C.O.s
AND MEN OF THE CALGARY
HIGHLANDERS WHO GAVE THEIR
LIVES IN THE WAR 1939 - 1945
PERPETUATING UNIT OF 10th Bn C.E.F.
GOD SAVE OUR KING
Boyle Statue - Central Park
While not specifically
dedicated to the regiment, the Boer War memorial in
Calgary's Central Park does have a regimental
connection. The figure seated atop the horse depicts
Russ Boyle, who later became the first combat commander
of the Tenth Battalion, CEF. Boyle was killed in the
first action of the battalion, at Kitcheners' Wood
during the fighting for St. Julien as part of the Second
Battle of Ypres. Lieutenant Colonel Boyle is
specifically mentioned on the plaque at City Hall
(above) but despite his likeness being used for this
statue, his name does not appear on the monument,
dedicated simply to those Albertans that fought in South
Africa from 1899 - 1902.
The statue also dispels the urban myth that suggests the
number of feet an equestrian statue has in the air will
tell you the fate of the rider. Urban mythology would
have one believe that a man depicted on a horse with one
or more feet off the ground was killed in battle.
Lieutenant Colonel Boyle's horse has all four feet
solidly on the ground.
The memorial at right was erected in
the 1990s by the St. Julien Elementary School.
In the last few years, the school
children have visited the memorial on April 22nd to pay their
respects to the men who participated in the action at
Photo courtesy Principal Robert
During the Regimental
Centennial year, the people of Clair Tison held a ceremony on 6 June
2010 at which a sizeable contingent of Calgary Highlanders were able
to participate, at which a monument was unveiled. Clair Tison had
been the scene of a very successful action by the regiment on 12-13
August 1944, for which the Commanding Officer had been recognized by
the award of the Distinguished Service Order.
Highlanders at Clair Tison 6 June 2010
Photo by Nancy Desilets
|The plaque at
Photo by Nancy Desilets
As part of the celebrations of the 50th
Anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, Mr. Fokkens, Mayor of the
City of Doetinchem, established a special celebrations committee
chaired by Dr. Paul Bijkersma. The doctor recommended that the City
Park be renamed in honour of Lieutenant Colonel Mark Tennant and
that a monument for the Calgary Highlanders who were killed in the
fighting there be established, with funding from local and
provinical corporations in the Netherlands. The City Council
|Captain Mark Tennant
had been severely wounded in the fighting to open the way to
South Beveland in October 1944, but returned to the Calgary
Highlanders to participate in the final weeks of fighting,
distinguishing himself during the battle for Doetinchem where
the Highlanders and Le Regiment de Maisonneuve both fought to
clear the city between 1 and 3 April 1945.
|Thus, as a measure of thanks on
the fiftieth anniversary of Holland's liberation, the City of
Doetinchem named the park "Mark Tennantplantsoen - Een
Canadese bevrijder" - "Mark Tennant Park, A Canadian
Liberator." Trees in the park still contained shrapnel;
mute evidence of the fighting that raged there in April 1945.
The memorial at right, like the street
sign above, was unveiled on 4 May 1995 in Doetinchem. Mister Marco
Gerritsen designed the stainless steel memorial, which was made by
Rovasta in Bleiswijk, and installed by Mister Haan Bestrating.
Engraved on the face of the memorial are the names of nine fallen
Highlanders, and the legend: "Greater love hath no man."
A final touch to this tribute to the
Calgary Highlanders was the planting of a Canadian maple tree next
to the stainless steel memorial.
The memorial has been visited by
Calgary Highlanders each year since the unveiling.
|Loon Plage, France.
Major (retired) William J. Riley - who
during World War Two had served as an artillery Forward Observation
Officer and attached to the Calgary Highlanders in action - paid for
this bronze plaque. The shoulder flash depicted on the plaque was
worn from the early 1970s to the late 1980s, when the CF Uniform
lacking shoulder straps was in use.
At right, Major Riley, MC, CD as he
appeared in October 1944, in a photo taken in Antwerp. During the
fighting at Loon Plage on 8-9 September 1944, an enemy artillery
observation post was spotted in the steeple of the local church.
Mark Tennant, at that time a Captain serving in Support Company,
later reported using 23 rounds from a 6-pounder anti-tank gun to
destroy the church tower. Major Riley, attached to the Calgary
Highlanders from the Royal Canadian Artillery as a Forward
Observation Officer (FOO), later claimed that it was he who knocked
down the church, using 25-pounder guns from his own unit. On that
occasion he selected the roof of an abandoned brewery for his own
1983, doing business with a nearby shipyard and noting that the
church had been rebuilt, he arranged for the above plaque to be
unveiled on 19 June.
|Groningen, The Netherlands
Memorial tablet at Groningen, The
Netherlands. As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of VE
Day, the City of Groningen Council, like their counterparts in
Doetinchem, wished to make a visible tribute to the Calgary
Highlanders that fought for their liberation. In conjunction with
the 1945 Committee, the City Council elected to plant a forest on
the eastern outskirts of Groningen. The committee further decided
that the Liberation Forest would have 13,000 trees - one to
represent each member of the Second Canadian Infantry Division. The
trees were to be purchased, to pay for the planting and upkeep of
the monument in the centre of the forest. The Calgary Highlanders
purchased 25 of the trees, and the memorial was unveiled on Dutch
Remembrance Day - 4 May 1995.
In the middle of the forest stands a Canadian Maple tree that
had been planted in 1945, facing a stone table on which the names of
all the units of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division are carved.
Like the memorial in Doetinchem, this tribute has been visited by
Calgary Highlanders each year since its unveiling.
June 2010, a contingent of Calgary Highlanders visited the monument
as part of the Centennial Battlefield Pilgrimage.
Calgary Highlanders at Groningen in
Photo by Nancy Desilets
Causeway, The Netherlands
In 1986, Lieutenant
Colonel C. Forbes of Le Regiment de Maisonneuve attempted to raise
funds for a monument on the west side of the Walcheren Causeway,
where all three units of the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade (Black
Watch, Regiment de Maisonneuve, and Calgary Highlanders) had fought
on 31 October - 1 November 1944. The Dutch name for this terrain
feature was the Sloe Dam. Dutch Colonel Wilhelm Kasteleijn, an
advisor to the Dutch Royal House, agreed to help with the project.
Contractors of the Provincial Government of Zeeland took over
funding and installation of the monument. A stone monument was
donated by a Mr. Sandee, and French, English and Dutch text were
engraved on the marker. Mr Jan Den Hollander arranged for an
unveiling ceremony and on 31 October 1987, His Royal Highness Prince
Bernhard of The Netherlands unveiled the monument. Veterans of the
battle represented all three regiments, and Defence Minister George
Hees was also in attendance. In October 1944 he had been a staff
officer with no combat experience who nonetheless volunteered to go
forward at Walcheren Causeway and lead one of the rifle companies
when all of their own officers had been killed or injured.
Lieutenant Colonel Murray Dennis, CD, Regimental Sergeant Major Bill
Toews, CD and Pipe Major Robert Henderson all attended the
unveiling. Pipe Major Henderson was inspired by the event to
compose a slow march entitled "The Sloedam", which has become the
unofficial Slow Time March Past for The Calgary Highlanders.
The monument itself stands
on the west side of the former causeway, where it touches Walcheren
Island. Other monuments nearby commemorate the first battle for the
causeway fought 15-17 May 1940 by Dutch troops, and a small Scottish
monument marking the efforts of troops of the 52nd (Lowland)
Division who also fought at the Causeway in November 1944. Students
from Dutch schools on Walcheren Island itself now maintain the site
and conduct services there on Dutch Rememberance Day every May.
Calgary Highlanders have visited the site annually since 1994.
Because of the ongoing
ingenuity of the Dutch in reclaiming land from the sea, much of the
area now lies above water and is unrecognizable as a serious
obstacle to vehicle or foot movement, as it certainly was on 31
In early 2008, Dre Pompen of the Royal Netherlands
Army took the following photos for Sergeant Denny Russell. The monument
originally located at the west end of the causeway has been rearranged to
accommodate construction, including rail and road work. The view east across the
polder to the east end of the Sloedam was blocked by a new rail line, and so a
raised viewpoint has been incorporated into the landscaping behind the monuments
so that the Canadian start line can be seen. The Walcheren Liberation Committee
is apparently still not happy with the layout and is asking the railway to make
more changes, hoping that the Canadian and British memorials will not be
overshadowed by the large French monument; they also hope that a map of the
battle will be restored and repositioned. Photos below show (clockwise from
upper left) a front and rear view of the French memorial; a memorial to the 52nd
(Lowland) Division; a monument to the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade; a view
looking east toward the Canadian positions; and an overall view of the layout of
all three memorial markers.
In June 2010, a contingent of
Calgary Highlanders visited the monument as part of the Centennial Battlefield
Calgary Highlanders at Walcheren in 2010.
Photo by Nancy Desilets