Seaforth of C

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Seaforth of C


Museum Apeldoorn 2005

Seaforth_crest_in_colour_from_decal.jpg (56207 bytes) The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada are a militia unit (i.e. reserve army) and parade in Vancouver, British Columbia at the Seaforth Armoury on Burrard Street.

I am sad to report the sudden death on Sunday, 24 February 2008 of Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) E. Rod Vance. He died of natural causes. He was my company commander when I served with the Seaforth Highlanders in the 1970s. A "Celebration of Life" was held for him in early March.

The official Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Regimental Association web site is at: http://seaforth-highlanders.ca

Another web site talking about the Seaforths is: http://cdnarmy.ca/inf/seaforth.html

Membership in the regimental association is open to all current and former Seaforths, and membership is encouraged. It is cheap too, only $15.00 a year! Our WWII vets are now falling by the wayside and we need more Seaforths who have served in the post-war era to become active in the Association.

The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Regimental Museum is an officially recognized Canadian Forces Museum and it is located in the Seaforth Armoury. I am once again the Curator (effective 2008 June 04) of this museum  which I started in 1972 while serving as an officer with the regiment.

A regimental history came out in 1920. HISTORY OF THE 72nd CANADIAN INFANTRY BATTALION, SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS OF CANADA by B. McEvoy and A. H. Finlay. Publisher Cowan and Brookhouse, Vancouver.  The Seaforth Association is looking into the possibility of republishing this book.

In 1969 Dr. Reg H. Roy wrote another history that covered the rest of the history to 1965.
THE SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS OF CANADA 1919 - 1965 This book should be available at most libraries, and certainly through inter-library loan. One can purchase this book from the Seaforth Association for $40 plus postage. They are at the:

 Seaforth Association, 1650 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC,   V6J 3G4    

Orderly Room: (604) 666-4379       Association: (604) 733-3836

The author of this web site, Colin Macgregor Stevens, CD (former Captain with the Seaforths in the 1970s), may be reached at seaforthmuseum (at) gmail.com

 

My Glengarry with my solid silver officers' cap badge. The badge is a very old one, which I acquired used in 1970 when I transferred in as a 2/Lt from the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada. The Glengarry was worn by my father in 1943 with the Essex Scottish Regiment in the UK.

Seaforth title & 1 Cdn Div patch.jpg (60596 bytes)
Old battledress shoulder title (variation with serifs, probably WWII pattern) and 1st Canadian Infantry Division formation patch. These two badges were worn on both arms of the WWII battledress. 
Seaforth transfer SHC Assn).jpg (40459 bytes)
Reprint of World War II helmet transfer as worn by Seaforth Highlanders of Canada on the left side of the helmet while in England in the early 1940s. Now reproduced as a car window decal for the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Regimental Association (but with sticky side on face, not back). The MacKenzie tartan dark colours do not show up well in this scan.  The badge shown in the Other Ranks version as  worn by Privates up to Corporal.
Seaforth liberation Holland 1945.jpg (125392 bytes)  Seaforth with girl liberation Holland.jpg (277433 bytes) Seaforth motorcyclist Holland liberation.jpg (301659 bytes)
Seaforth Highlanders of Canada during the liberation of Holland festivities, May 1945. 
Who are these men? Can anyone identify them please? Please write to me at seaforthmuseum (at) gmail.com if you can. 
Insignia_Eighth_Army_and_1CID_on_PPCLI_Cpl_NAC_PA177085.jpg (159757 bytes)
Two Seaforth Highlanders of Canada NCOs on the way home. A WO2 and a Sgt. [Who are they?] WO2 (with crown on lower left sleeve) is wearing an other Ranks Seaforth cap badge. The Sergeant is wearing the silver three-dimensional Senior NCOs' cap badge consisting of the stag's head and motto. The  Note also the PPCLI Corporal at bottom left wearing an Eighth Army formation sign on his left epaulet. One cannot see it here, but he would also be wearing his red 1 Canadian Infantry Division patches as well, below his PPCLI shoulder titles. Repatriating troops take a last look at England, 21 June 1945  NAC/PA-177085  
Brig HP Bell-Irving & jeep.jpg (70836 bytes)
Brigadier H. P. Bell-Irving, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, with Colin Stevens' 1944 Willys MB jeep. Battle of Britain Parade, Stanley Park, September 2000. 

 

The regiment was established in 1910 in Vancouver, BC. They took the number 72 from the old 72nd Regiment of Foot, the Seaforth Highlanders, in Scotland. The cap badge was always the same for the officers I believe (solid silver, 3 dimensional, in 3 and 4 piece variations). In 1910, the Other Ranks had a round cap badge, but soon changed to the style we see in WWI - stag's head, wreath and 72 between the antlers. 

The World War I units that drew from the members of this famous regiment include the:

16th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) 

72nd Bn. CEF

231st Bn CEF (Reserve Battalion, in Vancouver, BC)

In World War II the 1st Bn. went overseas in 1939 as part of 1 Canadian Infantry Division and participated in the Defence of Britain. In 1943 they were part of operation Husky, the invasion on Sicily, and then the invasion of Italy. In 1945 they were moved to Holland along with the rest of the 1st Canadian Corps and reunited with the 2nd Canadian Corps as part of First Canadian Army for the liberation of Holland.

In the 1950s the regiment sent a company to Germany to serve with NATO.

Many Seaforths have served on attachments with the Regular Force on United Nations, SFOR and other duties. Some Seaforths were at the Battle of the Medak Pocket in the former Yugoslavia. Some are likely serving in Afghanistan now in the War on Terror.

Canada's last surviving VICTORIA CROSS winner was Private E. A. Smith who won this decoration while serving with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. For more info see: http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=history/secondwar/citations/smith

Note that Veterans' Affairs is using the WRONG Seaforth cap badge! The one shown is the issue one replacing the WWI 72nd CEF badge, BUT THE REGIMENT REFUSED TO WEAR IT! In the 1970s I showed one to Brigadier Clark who commanded the 72nd Bn CEF in World War I and was our Honorary Colonel and he said in effect - "That damned thing! Ottawa sent those badges out and we refused to wear them! Only the Officers and RSM wear the coronet and L."  This is the badge that is shown in most badge books - official issue but WRONG! Yes it is rare, and yes they were worn sometimes when there was a shortage of badges e.g. one of our officers wore one in the early 1970s because we did not have enough of the 3 dimensional solid silver cap badges to go around. 

I served in the regiment as an officer from 1970 to 1975, and then again in 1977.

No, it is NOT Vietnam, though that war was just winding down for the USA at this time. 2/Lt Colin Stevens at CFB Gagetown (New Brunswick) in August 1972. I was on course at the time. I am carrying a PRC 25 radio set and a 9mm SMG C1 with bayonet fixed (for the "gung ho" look).  Note that there is another soldier in the photo as well. 

 

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Copyright Colin Stevens Updated: August 24, 2008
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