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The Essex Scottish

In the 1860s, with the Fenians threatening Canada, the Windsor area of Ontario felt the need to establish an army for their protection. It wasn't until 12 June 1885, however, that the regiment, known as the 21st Essex Battalion of Infantry, was authorized. It was formed by the amalgamation of five infantry companies in the Windsor area. The Regiment went through a number of name changes before settling on the Essex Scottish Regiment on 15 July 1927.

On 1 September 1939, the Essex Scottish Regiment, C.A.S.F. was mobilized. Within only a few days the Regiment had recruited a full strength force, including a notable number of Americans.

On 16 August 1940 the Regiment set sail for England as part of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. It was two years later before they experienced their first fight, the Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, which left the Regiment almost completely decimated.

On that ill-fated day, a misleading message was received by the headquarters ship, which led officials to believe that the Essex Scottish Regiment had breached the seawall successfully and were making headway in the town, when in fact they were on the pebble covered beach, pinned down and being fired at by the enemy. By the end of the Dieppe Raid, the Essex Scottish Regiment had suffered 121 fatal casualties.

In July 1944, after regaining their strength, the Regiment moved on to northwestern Europe. They landed on the coast of Normandy and fought their way through France, Holland, and Germany until the end of the war in the fall of 1945.

By the wars end, the Essex Scottish Regiment had suffered more than 550 war dead and had been inflicted with the highest number of casualties of any unit in the Canadian Army during the Second World War, more than 2,500. The Regiment returned home after the war in 1945, where they were disbanded on December 15.

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