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Infantry Unit - The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
The regiment was founded in 1793 by Alan Cameron of Erracht, a Scotsman with a long family history of fighting. Alan’s grandfather was killed in the battle of Sherifmuir, when Highland troops went down to defeat in their attempt to restore the British crown to a Scottish King. His father was the second-in command of the Cameron Clan during the battle of Culloden. Alan himself had fought in the American Revolution, first with the Highland Immigrants and later in Tarleton’s Legion.

After the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, where the unit served with great distinction, the regiment was transferred to Canada to serve at Quebec, Kingston and Toronto between 1825 and 1836. In the years that followed, the Cameron’s distinguished themselves during the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the Egyptian Campaign against the followers of the Mahdi and the Boer War.

In 1871, the Regiment was singled out by being granted the title “Queen’s Own”, the only regiment so honored during the long reign of Queen Victoria.

On 1 February 1910, the unit was gazetted, something the various Scottish societies in Manitoba, descendants of the original Selkirk Settlers, had been lobbying for since 1908. To this day, the Regiment commemorates its birthday with a church parade on the first Sunday in February at First Presbyterian Church in Winnipeg. The Regiment staged its first official parade in this city on 9 October 1910 and was presented with its first colors by the wife of the Lieutenant-Governor, Mrs. D.C. Cameron. More than 10,000 Winnipeggers attended.

During the First World War, the Cameron’s of Canada served with great distinction in the European Theatre, winning eighteen battle honors, including Ypres 1915-1917, Mount Sorrel, Somme 1916, Ancre Heights, Vimy 1917, Passchendaele, Amiens and Canal Du Nord. ON 26 October 1917, during the Battle of Passchendaele, one of the Regiment’s officers, Lieut. Robert Shankland DCM, was awarded the Victoria Cross. Officers serving with the unit today honor Lieut. Shankland’s act of gallantry by holding their annual mess dinner on the Friday closest to the 26th of October.

By 1941, the Cameron’s were back in Europe for action during World War II, arriving in England as part of the Second Canadian Division. On 19 August 1942, they took part in the raid of Dieppe, losing 346 men killed wounded or captured.

The unit did not see action again until after D-Day, when on 17 July 1944, it captured the French town of Carpiquet. By 5 May 1945, the Cameron’s were in Germany, having fought their way through France and Holland. The Regiment won twenty-one battle honors during World War II, of which the following are carried on the Colors; Dieppe, St.Andre-Sur-Orne, Verriers Ridge Tilly-La-Compagne, Falaise, Foret De La Londe, Dunkirk 1944, Goensdrecht, The Rhineland, The Hochwald, Xanten.

In 1950, the Cameron’s were called out to aid civil authorities during the Winnipeg flood and were led by a piper to the dikes in true Highland tradition.

In 1960, the Regiment celebrated its official 50th Anniversary and performed a retreat ceremony on the Legislative grounds, which was broadcast on national television.

Today, the Regiment is located at Minto Armoury and forms part of the combat arms element of the Manitoba Militia District. As an infantry regiment, the Cameron’s are responsible for raining individuals to make them capable of augmenting the nations regular armed forces in times of emergency or when the security of the country is threatened by war.

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