History - 407 Queens Own Cameron Highlanders RCACC

The cadet corps, originally named the Winnipeg Highland Cadet Corps, was formed on April 17th 1913 by members of Winnipeg’s Scottish community and headed by W.G. Bell. LCol Bell then a Major in the Cameron Highlanders of Canada was the cadet corps first Commanding Officer.
Through community efforts the cadets where completely outfitted in highland uniform. The uniform worn by the cadets was that of the Cameron Highlanders with the exception of a dark blue tunic instead of scarlet and a diced Glengarry.
Major G. Curruthers was appointed as the first honourary LCol of the cadet corps and contributed largely to the early success of the corps. In March of 1914 the corps became officially affiliated with the Cameron Highlanders of Canada. Later that same year Mrs. Curruthers presented the cadet corps with a stand of Colours, one of the few corps in Canada to have its own Colours. These original Colours can be seen in the Cameron Chapel of the First Presbyterian Church on Picardy Place in Winnipeg.
During the First World War 130 former cadets volunteered for active service overseas. Of these cadets 9 were killed in action, 2 died of wounds and 17 were wounded. As well 7 were granted commissions and 10 were decorated: 1 CMG, 1 DSO, 1MC and 7 MM with 1 bar.
In December of 1930 the Winnipeg Highland Cadet Corps was granted authority to change its name to The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada Cadet Battalion. With this change the cadets also adopted the uniforms of the affiliated unit, including cap badge, blue hackle and dark blue glengarry.
During the Second World War the corps saw 121 former members volunteer with 8 being killed in action, 18 wounded and 7 being decorated or mentioned in dispatches.
As in the past today’s Cameron Cadets are active in community and cadet activities ranging from fund raising, and legion activities to field exercises, adventure training and summer camps. Regular training is conducted on Thursday evening between 6:30 and 9:15 at Minto Armouries located at 969 St. Matthews Avenue. In addition to the regular weekday training the cadets also participate in a number of weekend exercises conducted in different areas throughout Manitoba and NW Ontario.
The Corps is also very proud of its Pipe band, which participates in a variety of solo and band activities throughout the training year. Pipe band training is conducted on Sunday mornings from 10:00 till 12:00.

407 RCACC REGIMENTAL DRESS AND TRADITIONS

The cadets follow many of the regimental dress and traditions of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada and of the affiliated British Highlanders.

The Colonel-In-Chief

The Colonel-In-Chief is a honourary title given to a member of the Royal Family to denote them as a patron of the regiment. The present Colonel-In-Chief is HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Colonel-In-Chief visited the Regiment HQ and Cadet Corps for the first time in October of 2002 where he was presented with a miniature of the Colours and a regimental coin. His predecessors were Their Majesties, King George V and King George VI.

The Colours

The flags carried by infantry regiments on parade and in the past into battle are more properly referred to as Colour. There are two distinct Colours, the first being the Queen’s Colour and the second being the Regimental Colour. The Queen’s Colour is a Union Jack bearing the Regiments name and in the past the regiments number. The regimental Colour for the Cameron’s is a Royal Blue standard bearing the Regimental crest and battle honours. In 1914 the cadet corps was presented with its own stand of Colours, one of the few cadet corps in Canada to have Colours. These were later retired and are now on display in the Regimental Chapel. The corps today parades the Canadian National flag and the Army Cadet Banner. At the corps’ 95th Annual Ceremonial Review in 2008 the Cameron cadets were presented with the Freedom of the City of Winnipeg and a new corps banner.


Tartan

The cadets wear the Cameron of Erracht tartan of the old Imperial Queen’s Own Highlanders who have since been amalgamated with other Scottish Regiments. It is believed that the tartan was specifically designed for the regiment by the mother or grandmother of Alan Cameron, the founder of the regiment. Traditionally present or past members of the regimental family were the only ones entitled to wear the tartan, though it can be seen today worn by people with no attachment to the regiment. The pipers of the regiment are also entitled to wear the Royal Stewart tartan in recognition of being the Queen’s Own regiment, however for fiscal reasons this has never been done.


Cap Badge

The original cap badge of the cadet corps was a maple leaf superimposed on the St. Andrew’s cross, surrounded by maple leafs on the right and thistles on the left surmounted by a King’s crown. This was replaced with the present cap badge in 1930, which depicts St. Andrew with cross surrounded by thistles and across the bottom the title “Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada”.


Blue Hackle

The Royal blue hackle worn on the regimental headdress was adopted in 1939 to commemorate the distinction of being the last Highland regiment to wear the kilt into battle. The pipers of the regiment when in full dress wear a Golden Eagle feather instead of the blue hackle.

Collar Dogs

The collar dogs worn by the regiment as well as senior cadets and bandsmen on the CF tunic was adopted from the Imperial Camerons and is the Royal badge of Scotland. The collar dog depicts the thistle of Scotland surmounted with the Queen’s crown.

Motto

The regimental motto or war cry of the Cameron Highlanders is the Gaelic word ULLAMH, which means Ready. It signifies the regiment’s commitment to meet all tasks and challenges.

Officer’s Sword

British Pattern 1897 Infantry Officer sword and scabbard. The hilt has a nickel plated three quarter 'scroll' pattern pierced sheet steel guard with the GVR royal cypher. The grip is wire bound black fish-skin. The straight blade is etched half way on both sides with a foliage design having the royal coat of arms on the centre right and the royal cypher of George V on the centre left. There is a single fuller on each side for half of the length. The ricasso is etched with the interlocking triangle symbol on the right with By Warrant in a scroll banner and the Prince of Wales three feathers over a scroll with By Appointment and HENRY WILKINSON PALL MALL LONDON on the left. A buff leather washer is attached to the blade where it meets the hilt and the back edge has an arrow within a D 10/13. The nickel plated steel scabbard has two loose suspension rings on bands at 2.5 and 10.5 inches from the throat.

The Swagger Stick

A swagger stick is a short stick or riding crop usually carried by a uniformed person as a symbol of authority. A swagger stick is shorter than a staff or cane, and is usually made from rattan or malacca.
Originally, it was a functional implement used to direct military drill and maneuvers, or to administer physical punishment. In the Roman army, short vine wood staffs were carried and used for corporal punishment by Centurions (often career soldiers), not by higher officers (often from the socio-political elite). Nowadays it is more often a traditional visual attribute. Swagger sticks are most familiarly carried by military officers or more senior non-commissioned officers.
In the British Army and other militaries following the Commonwealth traditions, commissioned officers carry swagger sticks when in formal uniform as a symbol of rank. Warrant Officers and Senior NCOs carry longer pace sticks or regimental sticks instead, although a Regimental Sergeant Major may be seen sporting a swagger stick. British swagger sticks are often topped with a silver cap, bearing regimental insignia.

The Pace Stick

The Royal Regiment of Artillery of the British Army was the originator of the Pace Stick. It was used by gunners in the early 16th Century to measure and to ensure correct distances between field guns on the battle field, thus ensuring the appropriate effective fire to the beaten zone of each gun.
The original stick was more like a walking stick, with a silver or ivory knob, so it was meant only to be a pacer from one gun to another. It could not be manipulated like the modern Pace Stick as it only opened like a pair of callipers.
The Infantry then modified the stick to it’s present configuration as an aid to Drill whereby the RSM of the unit can correct and check out the required paces to be taken on a parade ground with the required pace of soldiers participating in that particular parade.

The Drill Cane

A similar pace stick is the drill cane or regimental stick. This is a shorter cane, usually fitted on one end by a shell casing and on the other by the forward part of a shell, complete with the bullet; these are often chromed, or left in their natural brass, but highly polished. In the Canadian Forces, and Australian Army, the round usually used is a .50 calibre round. They are carried on parade solely as an indicator of rank and authority by senior non-commissioned officers and warrant officers, and their use is generally governed (or restricted altogether) by the sergeant-major.

The Red Sash

The sash was originally a very wide length of cloth draped over the shoulder and tied at the bottom. These sashes where used to assist in carry the wounded and dead from the battlefield. Inevitably the sashes would become blood stained so it was decided that they would be intentionally coloured red so as to ‘hide’ the blood.
From there sashes evolved into being used as badges of rank so that senior NCOs and Officers could be readily identified on the field of battle. In the 17th Century the red sash was adopted for use by the Officers and Senior NCOs of the British Army and depending upon the unit it is either worn around the waist or over the shoulder. In Highland Infantry units the Officers wear a silken burgundy sash over their left shoulder while Senior NCOs wear a faded, worsted or beaten red sash over their right shoulder.