26 Oct 1913
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
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.
by Jack Bates and transcribed by John Sargeant 23 August 2009)
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
“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)
2 Nov 1913
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)
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
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
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)