Battalion, Advisory Board, & Association:
A wee bit of Cameron history is in order because our only Victoria Cross was earned 100 years ago this month at Passchendaele, Belgium.
Before this site existed there was another Cameron web site dedicated to the men who fought in that war. It is still ive and it is hosted by Mr. J. Sturt McLean. Be sure to visit this site and leave him a note to tell him thanks for having honoured their memory please. It can be found here:
The story as told on Mr. J. Stuart McLean's web page goes like this:
"During the summer of 1917, General Haig was involved in the Passchendaele Campaign. Its purpose was to clear the Belgian coast and push back the German Army. When this offensive stalled, the Canadian Corps was asked to take over.
On 14 October, the 43rd Battalion entrained at Tinques and headed for Ypres. By the 26th, the Camerons were lying in the muddy banks of the Ravebeck stream waiting for zero hour. At 5:40 AM, the barrage began and the regiment advanced up a slight slope toward Bellevue Spur. C and B Companies moved off first, followed by D and A Companies. Early on, most of the officers were wounded and the leading waves were commanded by Lieutenants. When dawn broke, observers from Battalion Headquarters at Waterloo Farm could see the 43rd men on the Spur. They had come up to a line of three concrete emplacements just below the crest. While C Company passed the first one, B Company was held up by the other two. Sgt. Mowat led his group of men and successfully captured these pillboxes. Behind these emplacements, the exhausted men rested for a short period in the shelter of a ruined trench.
By 7 AM, the 58th Battalion attack on the right had failed and all officers of C and B Companies had been wounded or killed. There was no news from Capt. Galt of D Company. Companies of the 52nd Battalion were ordered to reinforce the 58th and 43rd Battalions
Meanwhile, Lt. Smart and A Company were facing fierce rifle and machine gun fire from an enemy trench about 250 yards beyond the captured pillboxes. With the 52nd Battalion companies advancing all seemed well, but by 9:30 AM, these troops and remnants of the 43rd and 58th had retreated back to their jumping off lines. Lt. Smart and A Company had seen the 58th and 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles on the 43rd's flanks fall back. After holding his position, he reluctantly gave orders to retreat to save his men from being wounded or captured. The attack had appeared to fail completely.
At 10 AM, Lt. Shankland suddenly appeared at Battalion Headquarters. Although slightly wounded, he had returned to report following a section of ground between the Spur and Waterloo Farm which was not being shelled by the enemy. He reported that there were about 40 men holding the Spur, they had two machine guns, and one counter-attack had been repulsed. Headquarters could not have heard better news.
It was now known what had happened on the Spur. After advancing from the row of pillboxes, B Company encountered two partially complete strong points. After bitter hand-to-hand fighting, Sgt. Mowat and his men found themselves in a commanding position on Bellevue Spur. These 20 or so men, with one machine gun dug themselves in and awaited reinforcements.
D Company, advancing behind B, reached the three captured pillboxes just under the crest. Capt. Galt took 5 men and attempted to capture the Bellevue Farm strong point on the right, but this was protected by barbed wire. They were pinned down by snipers so that they could not move from their location. Finally, the D Company men under command of Lt. Shankland reached the Camerons who had captured the Spur. There were now about 40 men and two machine guns at the top of this hill. This small group used their rifles and machine guns so skillfully, the Germans did not realize how few there were. At one point they repulsed one counter-attack which was forming up about 500 yards ahead.
Shankland had noticed that reinforcements could be safely brought forward as the low left slope of the hill was not being shelled. It was this information that earned him the Victoria Cross. By 9:30 AM, he made his way back to Waterloo Farm to report.
Meanwhile, the Germans tried to enfilade the Spur. As small parties of the enemy advanced around the hill, they were unable to see each other after they passed a certain point. When they came into view, they were shot at by our men. A German officer, assuming his men to be in attacking position, came by with three other ranks. As they approached, one of the Germans was shot and the others became prisoners. When the officer realized that he had been captured by Canadian troops, he became very interested. Casually he lit up a cigarette. He spoke English fluently, knew Toronto well, and had done business with Eaton's!
Reinforcements were sent forward. Lt. Smart's party advanced to the right of Bellevue Spur to fill the gap between the 43rd and 58th. One company of the 52nd went forward on the low left slope of the hill to fill the gap between the Camerons and the 4th C.M.R. A second company soon followed and cleared the remaining strong points along the Cameron front. Six additional pillboxes were captured, along with 100 prisoners and 10 machine guns. By noon, Lt. Smart had captured the Bellevue Farm strong point and sent back 90 prisoners, including 3 officers.
When the Farm was captured, Capt. Galt managed to rejoin his men on the Spur. He had been forced to take cover from machine gun fire after losing two men and the Lewis machine gun had jammed. Capt. Galt then relieved Lt. Shankland and took over command of the Cameron position.
The 43rd continued to hold Bellvue Spur through the night. The next day was fairly quiet. At midnight, they were relieved and moved back to support. Casualties were as follows: Officers, 2 killed, 1 missing believed killed, and 10 wounded. Other Ranks: 36 killed, 66 missing, and 234 wounded. Of the attacking 497 Camerons, only 148 escaped unscathed."
Battalion: 2017 Fall training programme
Association: Annual General Meeting Results 27 Sept 2017
THE TWO KEY AGENDA POINTS WERE:
1. ELECTION OF 2017-2018 ASSOCIATION EXECUTIVE
- RESULTS - NO CHANGE TO THE CURRENT SLATE, WE'RE BACK ON THE JOB
THAT SAID PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WE CAN'T AND WON'T DO IT FOREVER, YOUR TURN IS COMING. WE'RE THE CAMERON ASSOCIATION, NOT STEVE'S MERRY MEN.
2. THE PRESENTATION OF THE CAMERON MONUMENT DESIGN AND A REQUEST FOR A VOTE FOR APPROVAL BY THE MEMBERSHIP TO PROCEED WITH IT WAS MET WITH SOLID APPROVAL. THE MONUMENT PROJECT WILL PROCEED IN PRINCIPLE. CONTRIBUTIONS SHOULD BE MADE TO THE CAMERON FOUNDATION
Cameron Cadets: Remember to check the www.407army.ca web page for upcoming events.
The Cadets got to send more than 12 Cameron Cadets to Vimy for the 100th Anniversary of the storming of the Ridge in April of 1917. Thank you to all who helped out !
Cameron Picasaweb Site is Closed Down for Good BUT !!!!
The latest word is that the site is now complete on Google Photo. That's the good news. The not terribly great news is that the site manager (Secretary of the Association H O'Donnell) has not yet sorted out the public accessibility rights. He is currently trying to do so but has encountered technical difficulties. This site will be posted as soon as he can get it running for you.
Thank you for your patience.
The latest Oatmeal Rag, Issue #27, is now available:
Oatmeal Rag Issue 27 NOV 2017
100th Anniversary of the Regiment Newsletter:
Issue #10 March 2011
Order your copy of the Cameron history book
"Winnipeg's Ladies From Hell"
Please make cheques payable to QOCH of C Regimental Foundation.
Please include your name and mailing address with your payment. You can send them to:
The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
Minto Armoury, 969 St. Matthews Ave
Wpg, MB R3G 0J7
WO Patrice Vincent and Cpl Nathan Cirillo Donations Link
Please read the details of the donations carefully !
25 May 2009 Auction of LCol R. Shankland's VC, DCM, & other medals
The Regimental family would like to thank all of you who helped keep LCol Shankland's medals here in Canada. Your actions were and remain very much appreciated.
Baptized in the mud, blood and fire of France and Flanders, the Camerons bear the distinction of being one of only four regiments currently on the Canadian Army list to have fought as a kilted regiment. All other kilted regiments in the Canadian Army were either raised or converted to a kilted regiment after the First World War. Celebrating the Regiment’s centenary in 2010, the Camerons of today are as fiercely proud of their highland traditions as their forebears were.
From it’s founding, Winnipeg has had a strong Scottish tradition. Sponsored by Thomas Douglas, the fifth Earl of Selkirk, the Red River Colony was established on the banks of the Red River in 1812, settled by Scots displaced by the highland clearances.
After years of intense pressure from the local Scottish community, the government finally authorized the raising of a highland regiment in Winnipeg. As was the fashion at the time in the Empire, the new regiment would be raised borrowing traditions from an existing British unit. Gazetted in 1910, the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada are the oldest highland regiment in Western Canada.
This website will serve as an information source for current serving members, retired members, potential members, and other affiliated or interested people. It includes a listing of current activities for all parts of the Camerons; the unit, the Regimental Association, and the Regimental Advisory Board. A large part of the web site is dedicated to historical and traditional matters. In general it is a place for anyone with an interest in the Camerons to look to for information.