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50th Regiment Gordon Highlanders
Some Victoria Colonist Articles about Currie and the 50th Gordon Highlanders
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26 Oct 1913

Victoria Colonist

 

Field Officers of Gordon Highlanders

Majors Lorne Ross and G. B. Hughes Appointed -- Records of Their Military Service—Fifty men Sworn In

 

            Lieutenant Colonel Currie met the gentlemen who have been interesting themselves in the formation of the new Highland regiment at 1175 Fort St on Friday night and yesterday announced that Major Lorne Ross and Major G. B. Hughes will be the senior and junior field officers of the Gordons. The regiment will thus be started with three senior officers who are soldiers with experience and a record of service which well qualifies them to occupy the positions they are called upon to fill. Fifty men have also been sworn in this last week, and the Victoria Pipe Band throw in their lot with the regiment. Colonel Currie stated yesterday that a report was received from the Finance committee which is thoroughly satisfactory and gives good grounds for felling that the heavy expense entailed by raising of a Highland regiment will be provided for. In lieu of the Government providing uniforms, as in the case of an ordinary regiment, an allowance of money is made per man, the balance being usually made up in other cities of Canada by private subscription.

            Major Lorne Ross, who will become the senior major, obtained his first commission as lieutenant in the famous 13th Light Dragoons at Montreal in 1904. With this regiment he served four years qualifying for his rank at the royal School of Instruction at Staley Barracks, Toronto. Coming to the West, he transferred to the 22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse, with whom he served one year. On the organization of the 29th Light Horse, he was appointed major in command of A Squadron, and was stationed at Saskatoon for two years. He qualified for his field officer’s certificate at the Royal School of Instruction at Fort Osborne Barracks Winnipeg under colonel Sam Steele, and will be transferred from the last mentioned  <unreadable>  As his name implied Major Ross is of British extraction, his father having been born in Scotland.

            The junior field officer, Major G. B. Hughes is the son of Colonel the Hon Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia. He graduated at the R. M. College at Kingston Ontario in 1901, finishing as the senior cadet with the rank of battalion sergeant-major. He obtained a commission as second lieutenant in the 45th Victoria Regiment in Ontario, and quickly reached the command of a company, putting in six months attendance at the military school of the Royal Regiment of Infantry at London Ontario, for the purpose of qualifying as captain and field officer. He was attached to the staff of King George, the HRH, the Duke of Cornwall and York, when on a visit to Canada in 1901 and also acted on the divisional staff at Niagara Three Rivers and Kingston during divisional camps at those points.  For some years he has <unreadable> Militia, but as a graduate of the R.M. C. has held a commission in the reserve of the Canadian Engineers, from which he will be transferred to his new post in the Gordon Highlanders.

            The organizers of this new Victoria regiment are well satisfied with the way in which the difficulties of officering a regiment on its first formation have been overcome and they one and all  express the keenest appreciation of the great interest shown in the starting of the Gordon Highlanders by the D.O.C. Colonel A. Roy, who has not only smoothed the way by advice but to whom they feel they are in a large measure indebted for th appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Currie as its commanding officer.

            The armoury and headquarters of the Gordon Highlanders are now established at 1175 Fort Street, where swearing in will be proceeded with on Thursday evening.

 

 

(Photocopied by  Jack Bates and transcribed by John Sargeant 23 August 2009)

26 Oct 1913

Victoria Colonist

 

Colonel Currie To Be Given Command

Appointment will extend his period of Service for Number of Years – Career with the Fifth Regiment

 

            Yes I have seen the announcement in the evening paper” said Lieutenant Colonel Currie to a representative of The Colonist last night, “that I was to be the commanding officer of the regiment of Highlanders now in process of formation. I regret that the announcement has been prematurely made, and there are in the article some inaccuracies which must be corrected”.

            “The commission will not be gazetted in the next issue, nor was I asked by the Minister of Militia when he was last in Victoria to accept this appointment. I have not served two terms as commanding officer of the 5th Regiment, nor is Major Angus the senior officer. I fully endorse the statement that he is one of the most efficient gunnery officers in Canada, and I sincerely hope I may see him in command of the 5thsome day. Who my successor will be has not yet been definitely decided, though it will probably be Major W. N. Winsby, O.C. No. 2 Company.”

            “I do not intend to sever my connection with the 5th for some time yet because, as you will realize, there are many matters consequent upon an exchange of command which must first be attended to, and besides, there is no reason for any unseemly haste. My tenure of command does not expire until next August, and the department, which urged me to accept this new appointment has been good enough to say that it wished to retain my services in the militia rather than see me on the shelf.”

            “Now that the announcement has been made, I desire to say that I shall <unreadable>  sincere regret. I joined it as a gunner nearly seventeen years ago. Like Mulvaney,  “I was a corporal wanst and have a picture to prove it.” I am more than proud that during the time I was I command the enthusiasm of all ranks has been so great, the esprit de corps, so pronounced, the genuine hard work so thorough that the record of the regiment has been highly creditable. I do not claim to be primarily responsible for this. Had I not had loyal officers and intelligent rank and file, such results would have been impossible. No man is indispensible  and I confidently expect that the present high standing of the 5th will be maintained. “

            “I am sensitive to the high honor done me in being asked to command the Gordon Highlanders and I hope with the assistance of all ranks to make it a regiment equal tot carrying on the traditions of the famous regiment whose name it takes.”

            As will be seen from Colonel Currie’s statement the 5th Regiment’s loss will mean a gain to the militia forces of the Province for, whereas his term of service as an artillery officer would have come to an end in August 1914 and there would have been no higher posts to which he could have been appointed, there is now before him five years of command of an  infantry regiment after which he will be qualified for promotion to more important posts and a further term of service of at least three years.

            Colonel Currie’s record of service with the 5th Regiment is as follows: He joined No. 1 Company in March1897, received a commission as lieutenant in 1900 and assumed command of the same company in the autumn of 1901. This company he commanded for eight years, during which time it won the efficiency shield seven years out of the eight. He was promoted captain in 1902, and major in 1906, becoming lieutenant-colonel in 19109. Under his command the 5th Regiment has achieved the following record in the annual competitions between the companies of the different garrison artillery regiments of Canada. 1909, 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions, 1910 1st and 2nd, 1911, 3rd (concerning this years competition a misunderstanding arose as to the system of marking); 1912 1st and 2nd in garrison artillery and 1st in movable armament work. 1913, all 1st and 2nd prizes in garrison artillery. The results in the movable armament competition this year are not yet published but No. 3 Company  has good hopes of taking the first place.

            In addition to the distinguished position which Colonel Currie has held as the commanding officer of the 5th, he is an honorary vice-president of the Canadian Artillery association, and himself a first-class host, he has always taken the keenest interest in raising the standard of rifle shooting in the forces. He has been president of the British Columbia Rifle Association since 1905, and is at the present time on the council of the dominion rifle Association. He has also been president of the 5th Regiment Association since 1902.

 

(Scanned by Jack Bates and transcribed by John Sargeant 23 August 2009)

 

 

pjriddell.jpg

2 Nov 1913

Victoria Colonist

 

Joins the Highland Regiment

Is Quartermaster of Highland Regiment

Mr. P. J. Riddell Given Position in New Local Military Organization –His Appointment is Popular

 

            Lieutenant-Colonel Currie announced yesterday that Mr. P. J. Riddell will be come quartermaster of the new Highland Regiment, with an honorary rank which has not yet been officially decided on. As is well known, it is to Mr Riddell’s untiring efforts that the regiment, in a large measure, owes its establishment, as he, with Dr G. L. Milne and Mr. E. W. Powell, have been working on the scheme for over a year.

            Mr. Riddell is a native of the Gordon’s county Aberdeenshire. He came to Canada 33 years ago and has been for 22 years in Victoria an energetic citizen and foremost in many spheres of activity. For the last eight years he has served as a school trustee for the city, and in Scotch circles he is widely known as the president of the large and prosperous Caledonian Club of Victoria. He is also the captain of the Victoria Pipe Band which he organized five years ago, and which, it may be said, contained within it the germ of this new regiment.

            Mr Riddell expressed yesterday the satisfaction felt by himself and the rest of the gentlemen interested in the formation of a Gordon Highlander Regiment in Victoria at their good fortune in having succeeded in inducing a soldier of Colonel Currie’s experience and reputation to undertake the onerous post of commanding officer at its initiation, and is confident that with the officers already nominated and those whose names are up for approval, there will be nothing lacking to ensure a high standard of efficiency being reached and maintained.

            The badge of the regiment will be the Gordon’s crest, a stag’s head and (undecipherable) It is hoped to begin drill with the opening of the New Year.

 

(Scanned by Jack Bates and transcribed by John Sargeant)

drdaviddonald.jpg

5 November 1913

Victoria Daily Colonist

 

Is Appointed to Gordon Highlanders

Dr. David Donald has Seen Considerable Active Service in Africa and Also of Troops at Aldershot

 

            Lt.-Col Currie announced yesterday that Dr. David Donald will become the medical officer to the Gordon Highlanders with a rank which has not yet been officially decided on. 

            Dr. Donald holds the M. D. of Durha University, the L.R.C.O. and L.R. C. S. of Edinburgh and the L. R. P. S. of Glasgow and has a wide and diversified experience of army medical work. Born in the city of Aberdeen and educated at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Durha, and King’s College London he served for three years in the Second Lancashire Rifle Volunteers (Scot (undecipherable) from the staff of the Edinburgh Eye Infirmary was appointed by Lord Salisbury as medical officer of Uganda in 1900 under the foreign office. He was in medical charge of the troops during the Somaliland Expedition in 1893, for which he received the medal and clasp and during the Sudanese Mutiny in the same and following year was in medical charge of Lubas Fort.

            When the Nandi Punitive Expedition was organized in 1900 he was in medical charge of the base hospital and for a time acting Commandant of Eldona Fort, British East Africa.

            Returning to England, he became surgeon to the Aldershot hospital where he remained from 1901 to 1910.

            Dr Donald came to Victoria three years ago and in civil life has served as school trustee for the city (undecipherable) is organizing the St John Ambulance Society and is the chairman of the Victorian centre. He is also honorary medical officer to the Royal Life Saving Society, British Columbia chief centre.

 

(Scanned by Jack Bates and transcribed by John Sargeant Sept 2009)

 

 

24 November 1913

Times Colonist

 

Regimental Colors For the Highlanders

Daughters of the Empire Announce Their Intention to Make Gift – List of Contributors to Fund

 

            At a meeting last evening of the officers mess 50th Regiment Highlanders of Canada the Daughters of the Empire Lady Douglas Chanter through their regent, Mrs R B McMicking announced that they had been authorized by the Municipal Chapter to identify themselves with the regiment and that they will have the greatest pleasure in undertaking to provide it with regimental colors.

            The following is a list of contributors to the to the regimental fund and Major Ross stated last night that the committee have every hope of completing the $50,000 which is the goal they have set themselves to reach at present by the end of another week. <transcriber’s note – what follows is a considerable list of names>

                It was also announced last night that the agent for Messrs. Moore Taggart, the military tailors of Glasgow, will be here within the next few days and that all men who have joined by the time of his arrival will have the advantage of being measured for their individual uniforms. Major Ross also stated that application has been made to the Gordon Highlanders for permission to assume their name and badges, and also that it is the intention to secure from the parent regiment on of two experienced sergeants whose time is about to expire to assist in working up the Victoria regiment <undecipherable>

                The composition of the regiment as at present decided on will be eight companies of 56 mean each, with a pipe band of 16, a brass band of 24, and a Maxim gun detachment of 10.

            Last night thirty men were engaged on the miniature rifle ranges in the Pemberton gymnasium and company matches are being arranged between teams of ten.

(Scanned by Jack Bates, transcribed by John Sargeant 25 Aug 2009)