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The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada

The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada is the oldest highland regiment in Canada. Volunteers have served in the Regiment since its beginnings in Montreal on 31 January 1862, when it was known as the 5th Battalion, Volunteer Militia Rifles of Canada.

The Canadian government authorized its formation due to growing tensions with the United States and the rise of American military strength during the Civil War. The first members of the Regiment were raised for border service, to protect Canada from their American neighbours. In addition to Canadian border service, the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada served in the South African War, as well as the First and Second World Wars.

During the Second World War, the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada travelled to Newfoundland before sailing to the United Kingdom in August 1940. The Regiment first saw action at Dieppe, 19 August 1942.

On that day, they arrived at Puys, just east of Dieppe. A very ambitious task was assigned to this small band of men as they were to support the Royal Regiment of Canada with machine guns and mortars. However, their German enemies were alert and ready for battle upon the arrival of the Canadian regiments at Puys. The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada found themselves pinned down by the enemy with mortar and machine gun fire. The raid did not go as planned on that ill-fated day and the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada suffered four fatal casualties.

In July 1944, the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada moved into North Western Europe where they participated in some 30 battles throughout France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. By the end of the Second World War, members of the Regiment had won more than 200 battle honours and awards.

When the Second World War finally came to an end in 1945, the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada returned home and was disbanded on 30 November 1945.

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