The Essex Scottish Regimental Lineage

Last updated on February 17th, 2022 at 02:55 am

Essex Scottish Regimental Crest
“A Hundred Pipers”

Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment history highlights: The regiment traces its lineage back to 1740 when the region was part of the French empire, although there were several breaks until 1885, when the im­mediate predecessor of the current regiment begins. Here are some of the highlights:

Timeline

1885

The Essex Battalion of Infantry, headquartered in Windsor, is formed.

1887

The name is changed to 21st Battalion, Essex Fusiliers.

1900

The new name is 21st Regiment, Es­sex Fusiliers, which supplies officers and men for the Canadian volunteer force during the Boer War

1914

With the outbreak of the First World War Fusiliers’ commanding officer Lt.-Col. E.S. Wigle organizes the 18th Bat­talion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Later, the 99th and 241st Battalions are also recruited through the Fusiliers. The three battalions win 18 battle hon­ours by the time the war ends in 1918.

1919

Battalions disband and Essex Fusiliers reform.

1927

Regiment adopts Highland dress and is renamed the Essex Scottish (High­landers) under the command of Lt.-Col. Alan Prince, great-grandson of Col. John Prince. The official tartan is the McGregor, named for Lt.-Col. Wal­ter McGregor, whose family founded Ford of Canada and who supplied the funds for the new uniforms. The regi­mental crest has a red shield with three white sea axes — symbol of Es­sex County, England, the motto Semper Paratus (Always Ready) and a lion’s head at the top. The Highland Laddie is the regimental quick march.

Regimental Crest Badge of the Essex Scottish Regiment.
The MacGregor Tartan, the official tartan of the Essex Scottish Regiment.

1939

Regiment mobilizes on Sept. 3, a week before Canada declares war on Germany, with many volunteers com­ing from the U.S. Preliminary training begins.

1940

The Essex Scottish regiment leaves from Halifax for England on July 23 to become part of the fourth brigade of the Second Canadian Infantry Divi­sion. Two years of training and exer­cises begin.

1942

First attempt to assault Dieppe (Op­eration Rutter) by 5,000 members of the Second Division and supporting forces fails due to bad weather. Troops leave embarkation ships to return to base on July 12.

1942

Operation Jubilee gets underway Aug. 18. Landing at Dieppe is Aug. 19. The regiment, along with the rest of the battalions taking part, is cut to pieces.

1942

Following the raid, the regiment is rebuilt and takes part in more training for the next two years.

1944

The Second Division returns to the continent a month after the D-Day land­ings, seeing action at places like Ifs, Verrieres and Falaise. Casualties are again high.

1944

The Second Division liberates Dieppe without a fight on Sept. 1. A tri­umphant march is held, and the sol­diers place flowers on the graves of those killed in the raid two years earli­er.

1944-45

The regiment is involved in battle af­ter battle in Belgium, Holland and Ger­many, with a Victoria Cross awarded to Maj. Fred Tilston for actions in the Hochwald Forest fighting on March 1.

1945

The war ends with the Essex Scot­tish holding part of Oldenburg in Ger­many. The regiment has the highest ca­sualty figures for any Canadian battal­ion in the war – 2,510 – and adds 18 more battle honours.

1954

The Essex Scottish and the Kent regi­ment are amalgamated, adopting the current name. A Hundred Pipers be­comes tune of the Chatham-based bat­talion.

The Essex and Kent Scottish Regimental crest and tartan

1965

Canadian Forces headquarters or­ders 1st and 2nd battalions amalgamat­ed. There are now two companies in Windsor and one in Chatham.