The Regimental Pipes and Drums of
The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Duke of Edinburgh's Own)
The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Duke of Edinburgh’s Own) traces its history back to the formation of the 43rd Battalion of Infantry in October 1866. After several years of service and participation in the Fenian Raids of 1870 the 43rd Battalion was disbanded in December 1875, but was reformed in Ottawa in August 1881 as the 43rd “Ottawa and Carleton” Battalion
Individual members of the battalion served with Canadian military forces during the North West Rebellion in 1885 and the battalion raised most of “D” Company, 2nd (Special Service) Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment for service during the South African War. In 1902 the unit was re-designated the 43rd Regiment, “Duke of Cornwall’s Own Rifles”. During the First World War it contributed significant numbers of soldiers to overseas units, particularly the 38th and 207th Canadian Infantry Battalions. Two members of the 38th Battalion were awarded the Victoria Cross during the war.
During the inter-war period, the regiment was reorganized in 1920 as The Ottawa Regiment (The Duke of Cornwall’s Own) and then as a highland regiment designated The Ottawa Highlanders in 1922. In 1933 the regiment was renamed The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa and “(M.G.)” (for machine gun) was added in 1936. During the Second World War the Camerons served on garrison duty in Iceland, trained in the United Kingdom and landed in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944 – the only Ottawa unit to do so. As part of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, the Camerons fought their way through France, Holland and into Germany in 1944 and 1945.
Members of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa have served as part of numerous UN peacekeeping missions, including Cyprus, the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, the Sinai, Congo, Sudan and Sierra Leone. The Regiment also provided soldiers to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (2001-2014). In March 2014, the Regiment was awarded the Theater Battle Honour for “Afghanistan”.
The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa headquarters is also located in the Cartier Square Drill Hall. In 1969 they were granted the Freedom of the City of Ottawa and have been officially recognized as “Ottawa’s Regiment”. In November 2013, Her Majesty the Queen granted the secondary title, “Duke of Edinburgh’s Own”, to the Regiment in recognition of its exemplary service.
The Regimental Pipes and Drums of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Duke of Edinburgh’s Own) were formed in 1922 and served overseas during the Second World War, accompanying the Regiment through the fighting in Europe. At present day, the Pipes and Drums are part of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve. They are easily recognisable in their Cameron of Erracht tartan and the distinctive eagle feather worn behind the piper’s cap badge. They have performed at many military functions and ceremonies in Canada’s National Capital Region and around the world, including France, Jamaica, the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom. They won the Grade 4 North American Pipe Band Championships, in 2005 and the Grade 4 Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Championships, in 2014. They have the honour of participating in the flag raising ceremony every Canada Day on Parliament Hill and the annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial. They are under the direction of Drum Major Matthew Kane and Pipe Major Christopher Reasbeck. The Pipes and Drums appear by kind permission of the Commanding Officer, Lt Col Robert Patchett, CD.