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Ties of Tartan

Canada now has more kilted regiments than Britain. Britain's down to only one, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, while around a dozen cities in Canada are home to kilted units. Granted, they are all reserve units. Canadians were recently reminded just how much some units still cherish their Scottish connection when a kilted reservist from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada was shot dead at the National War Memorial in Ottawa by a sad-sack loner who had converted to some perverted branch of Islam. Years back I came across a bunch of lads from the Vancouver-based Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. Not one of them was anyone's traditional idea of a Highlander. At least one looked Hispanic and all the others obviously traced their roots to China or the Indian sub-continent. But they all assured me they wore kilts on ceremonial parades. But even though the ethnic mix in the reserve units carrying on the Scottish names of regiments is very varied, they still show an interest in the the British Army regiments which inspired them. As well as the Seaforth's and Argylls, Canada also has a Black Watch and two regiments of Camerons. I was reminded of the strength of these links when I saw that the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada is throwing its weight behind the appeal for the proposed new Royal Highland Fusiliers museum at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. By the way, the Canadian cousins have long been a kilted regiment. The Highland Light Infantry regained their kilts in 1947 only to lose them again in 1959 when they merged with the Royal Scots Fusiliers to form the Royal Highland Fusiliers. Bizarrely, the government of time insisted on putting the new regiment in trews against the wishes of both the HLI and the RSF. It was only when the RHF became the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland that the kilts were restored.  For more information about the appeal - Museum Appeal.

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