The Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment

Semper Paratus - Always Ready


Armorial Description

Two sprays of thistle supporting a scroll in the shape of a pointed arch, being the designation THE ESSEX AND KENT SCOTTISH; across the thistles a scroll bearing the motto SEMPER PARATUS; in the centre a shield bearing in chief three seaxes barwise (alluding to the arms of the County Council of Essex) in base the White Horse of Kent; the whole surrounded by a lions head erased.

Battle Honours (36)

Authorized Marches

Regimental Quick March: The Highland Laddie
Quick March of C Company in Chatham: A Hundred Pipers

Regimental Headquarters

Major Fred Tilston V.C Armoury
37 University Avenue East
Windsor, Ontario
N9A 6J4

Location of Sub Units

Headquarters, A and B Companies and Band: Windsor, Ontario

C Company:
Chatham Armoury
50 William Street North
Chatham, Ontario
N7M 4L2

Alliances

The Queen's Regiment
Howe Barracks
Canterbury, Kent, England

The Royal Anglian Regiment
Blenheim Camp
Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England

Order of Precedence
29

Victoria Cross Winners
L/Sgt Ellis Wellwood Sifton
18th Battalion, CEF
Vimy Ridge, France
9 April 1917 (Posthumous)

Capt John MacGregor
2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion, CEF
Near Cambrai, France
29 September - 3 October 1918

Maj Frederick Albert Tilston
The Essex Scottish Regiment
The Hochwald, Germany
1 March 1945

Tartan

Kilt: MacGregor
Trews: Hunting MacGregor

Origin and Lineage

The roots of the regiment date back tot he first decade of the 18th centrury, when the United empire Loyalists and the local population were faced with attacks from Americans, Indians and French. It was the Fenian Raids, beginning in 1866, which sparked the establishment of stong Militia forces in the areas of Chatham and Windsor. On 14 September 1866 the 23rd Essex Volunteer Light Infantry and the 24th Kent Battalion of Infantry were organized but neither unit remained part of the active Militia. The Essex County Militia was disbanded 11 March 1870 having failed to complete reorganization while the Kent County Militia remained until disbanded on 25 November 1892.

The continuous lineage of the regiment dates back to 12 June 1885 and it incorporates the following regiments:

THE ESSEX SCOTTISH REGIMENT was authorized on 12 June 1885 as the 21st Essex Battalion of Infantry, to be formed from five infantry companies which had been created between 1860 and 1885 in Essex County. It was redesignated 21st Battalion Essex Fusiliers, 4 February 1887; 21st Regiment Essex Fusiliers, 8 May 1900; the Essex Fusiliers, 1 April 1920; and the Essex Scottish Regiment 15 July 1927. On 1 October 1954 it was amalgamated with The Kent Regiment and redesignated The Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment. On 7 March 1962 the regiment was redesignated as the 1st Battalion, The Essex and Kent Scottish with headquarters in Windsor, and on the same date, a 2nd Battalion was also authorized in Chatham. These two battalions amalgamated on 31 March 1965 with headquarters in Windsor, Ontario. At this time the current designation was adopted.

THE KENT REGIMENT was authorized on 1 January 1901 as the 24th Kent Regiment with headquarters in Chatham. It was redesignated The Kent Regiment, 1 April 1920; the Kent Regiment (MG) on amalgamation with B Company, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC, 15 December 1936; and The Kent Regiment, 1 April 1941. On 1 October 1954 it was amalgamated with The Essex Scottish Regiment as detailed above.

History

Militia history in Windsor and Essex County dates back to 1701 when Sieur Antonine de la Monthe Cadillac established Fort Pontchartrain at Detroit. At that time every man was a Militiaman, and was partially equipped with supplies from the fort with which to combat the Indian threat. Militia units of one sort or another where kept actively engaged by American, British, French and Indian forces in the decades which followed.

The first Fenian Raid of 1866 sparked the establishment of strong forces at Windsor. It was the anticipation of this military requirement which prompted the amalgamation of the local independent Militia companies into the 21st Essex Battalion of Infantry in 1885.

With the advent of the First World War, details of the 21st Regiment Essex Fusiliers, as it was then called, were placed on active service on 6 August 1914 for local protective duty. The 21st Regiment contributed initially to the 1st Battalion, CEF upon its formation in September 1914. Later, LCol ES Wigle organized the 18th Battalion, CEF largely from Essex Fusilier members. The 21st Regiment Essex Fusiliers continued its recruiting efforts and filled out the ranks of the 99th and 241st Battalions. The 24th Kent Regiment raised the 186th Battalion CEF and also contributed to the 1st and 18th Battalions. The 18th Battalion served in France and Flanders with the 4th Infantry Brigade from 15 September 1915 until the Armistice. This battalion was followed by the 99th, 186th and 241st under the command of LCol TS Welch and LCol WL McGregor, respectively. It was their task to provide reinforcements for the Canadian Corps in the field.

In 1926 an alliance was established with the Essex Regiment of the British Army now known as the Royal Anglian Regiment. The following year the Essex Scottish was organized under Col Prince and the MacGregor tartan was adopted when it was decided to outfit the regiment according to Scottish Highland tradition. In 1927 an alliance was also established with the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment of the British Army, now known as The Queen's Regiment.

On 15 December 1936 a nucleus of officers and men from The Essex Scottish Regiment formed The Essex Regiment(Tank), now The Windsor Regiment(RCAC). A tribute to the military expertise which was maintained in the period between the two world wars is the fact that for eight of the twelve years prior to 1939 the regiment won the Infantry Association Trophy for efficiency.

The regiment was the first unit in Western Ontario to be mobilized for service in the Second World War adn withing a few days it had recruited to full strength, including a substantial number of Americans. Several officers and men from the Kent Regiment in Chatham also joined the Scottish.

The Essex Scottish Regiment, CASF was mobilized on 1 September 1939 and sailed for England on 16 July 1940. The first action for the regiment was the ill-fated raid on Dieppe on 19 August 1942 where the regiment was all but decimated during Operation Jubilee. Licking its wounds and strengthing itself to renew the fight, the regiment prepared for the invasion of France. On 5 July 1944, it landed with the 4th Infantry Brigade on the coast of Normandy. It then fought through France, Holland and Germany until war's end.

The Kent Regiment did not go overseas but was mobilized on 24 May 1940 and was assigned defensive posts from Halifax to Vancouver Island. The active component of the Essex Scottish was disbanded on 15 December 1945. A 2nd Battalion served in the Reserve Army. The Kent Regiment(MG)mobilized The Kent Regiment, CASF on 24 May 1940. This unit served in Canada until disbanded on 30 March 1946. A 2nd Battalion also continued to serve in the Reserve Army.

By war's end, the regiment had suffered 552 dead and had been inflicted with the highest number of casualties of any unit in the Canadian Army in the Second World War; a staggering 2,510.

In 1964 Canadian Forces Headquarters decided upon several conversion, amalgamations and reductions within the military. These changes affected many Ontario units, in particular the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment. The 1st and 2nd Battalions were ordered amalgamated by 31 March 1965. At this point, the current designation was adopted.

(Borrowed from the book Ducimus)

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© Copyright 1996, Nathan T. Brown