The 48th Highlanders of
Chapter 2 - The Regiment Organized
In the spring of 1892 the
regiment had emerged from its chrysalis, and had the appearance of it
completed organization. The uniforms had been by this time received—modelled
on that of the Gordon Highlanders, and manufactured in Inverness. Scotland.
The strength of the battalion had reached about 350 and much hard work had
been put on drill. The first officers were:-
John Irvine Davidson.
Majors, Alfred Morgan Cosby, William Campbell Macdonald.
Surgeon. William Theophilus Stuart, M. D.
Assistant Surgeon. Alexander Anthony Dame, M.D.
Chaplain, the Reverend Daniel James Macdonnell, B. D.
Adjutants (Acting), Captain C. J. MacDougall. R.S.I. Captain Walter
Quarter-Master, James Adams.
Captains: Donald Murdoch
Robertson, Dugald MacGillivray, Wilbur Henderson (Captain and Bt.-Major),
William Hendrie, jr., John Allister Currie. Charles Albert Hunter, John
Forbes Michie, Richard Scougall Cassels.
Lieutenants: George MacLean
Rose, Duncan Donald, Donald Hector MacLean. William House Orchard, John
Frederick Ramsay, Charles Alfred Campbell, John Æneas Thompson. Hugh Cameron
John Irvine Davidson was born
on the 17tl) November, 1854, at Wartle. Aberdeenshire. His father was Dr.
Samuel Davidson, of Wartle. He was educated at Aberdeen, and as a young man
began his business career in London, England. Coming to Canada shortly
afterwards he rose rapidly in business, and besides becoming the head of the
firm of Davidson & Hay, merchants, he soon occupied other important business
and public positions. He was president of the Board of Trade 1890-91, was
vice president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, is president of the St.
Paul's Mining Company, and a director of several commercial and financial
institutions. His military career has been varied and uniformly successful.
It began by a service of two and one-hall years as a private iii the 7th
Aberdeenshire Volunteers. He next served as a private for one and ,le-half
years in the London Scottish; one year in the Uxbridge yeomanry, and six
years as lieutenant and captain in the 10th Royal Grenadiers. He holds a
R.S.I. first-class certificate, and was formally confirmed in the command of
the 48th Highlanders on the 25th March, 1892. No happier choice could have
been made. His experience, his great capacity for work, his knowledge of
human nature, his judicious management, are qualities he possesses more than
ordinarily, and from which the organization of the regiment had every
advantage. When he retired from the command in 1898 he was made honorary
Lieut.-Colonel of the regiment.
Alfred Morgan Cosby was
Canadian born lie was the eldest son of John Cosby. of Pelham, County
Welland, Ontario, and was born on the 11th September, 1838. he was educated
in Toronto, and entered the service of the Bank of Toronto in 1861. He was
promoted to be manager of the branch of that bank at Port Hope, and in 1876
became managing director of the London and Ontario Investment Company,
Toronto, a position lie held until the year of his death (1900). He was one
of the chartered directors of the Gooclerham & Worts Company in 1882. He was
a public-spirited citizen and among the institutions to whose success he
contributed were the Upper Canada College, of which he was a trustee the
Toronto Conservatory of Music, of which he was honourary treasurer. He was
also president of the Toronto Cricket Club, of the Canadian Cricket
Association, and of the St. Andrew's Society of Toronto. His connection with
the organization of the 48th Highlanders began early in August, 1891, and he
joined the regiment on its formation in the fall of that year as senior
major. He had no previous military experience, but obtained a first-class
R.S.I. certificate after his appointment. In everything connected with the
regiment he took a leading part. On the retirement of Lieut.-Colonel
Davidson, he succeeded to the command on March 16th. 1898, and held office
until his lamented death on the 12th May. 1900. During his command the
regiment maintained its high state of efficiency, and its high place in
public favour, and few memories will cling longer to those early days than
the appearance of the gallant Colonel and his two sons, one a captain and
the other a lieutenant in the same corps, as they came and went on parade.
COMMANDING THE 48TH
William Campbell Macdonald
comes of good Highland stock, and has inherited in no small degree the
leading traits of the clans whose names he combines in his own —the splendid
supremacy of the Macdonalds—"dhaindeoin co theireadh e," and the undying
tenacity of the Campbells. His grandfather was Daniel Macdonald, a native of
Caithness-shire, who was engaged in business in Edinburgh, where his son
Benjamin, Colonel Macdonald's father, was born. He came to Canada with his
family and settled in the township of Chinguacousy. Benjamin Macdonald
married Dorothy Campbell, and to them among others was born William Campbell
Macdonald. He has for many years occupied the important position of Actuary
to the Confederation Life Association of Toronto.
enlisted in the Queen's Own Rifles in March. 1878; 2nd Lieutenant, March
1881; Lieutenant, November, 1881; Captain, February, 1884. He served during
the North-West Rebellion of 1885 as Captain of No. 3 Service Co., Queen's
Own Rifles; was appointed Adjutant of the Regiment in 1886. and continued to
serve in that capacity, holding the rank of Captain, until transferred to
the 48th Highlanders as Major upon the organization of the regiment,
February. 1892, and was gazetted Lieut.-Colonel Commanding the regiment June
8th, 1900. He has always taken an active interest in Militia affairs,
particularly in matters pertaining to the encouragement of rifle shooting,
and for many years has been a regular attendant at the rifle matches of the
Ontario and Dominion Rifle Associations. He has been for years a member of
the Council and also of the Executive Committee of the Dominion Rifle
Association. Also a member of the Council and Chairman of the Executive and
Finance Committees of the Ontario Rifle Association. He was a member of the
Bisley Team in 1896, and served as Adjutant of the Team in 1892. Since the
organization of the Highlanders he has been Chairman of the Regimental Rifle
Committee and Captain of the Rifle Teams. He has served on various occasions
on the Staff of the District Camps of Instruction at Niagara in the several
capacities of Instructor in Musketry. Brigade Major, and Chief Staff
Officer, and was acting in the latter capacity at the Divisional Camp at
Niagara this year when gazetted to the command of the regiment. He is a
vice- president of the Canadian Military Institute, he holds first-class
Royal School of Infantry and Equitation Certificates.
Surgeon-Major Stuart, is the
son of the Rev. James Stuart. Presbyterian minister at Markham at the time
of Dr. Stuart's birth. He was educated at Brantford and Upper Canada
College, and is a graduate of Trinity Medical College and Toronto
University. He holds the position of Professor of General and Practical
Chemistry in Trinity Medical College, and of Anatomy and Chemistry at the
Royal College of Dental Surgeons, Toronto. He holds certificates from the
old Military School. under Col. Denison, and an R.S.I. certificate for
Equitation. He was a member of the committee of citizens who formed the
Forty-Eighth, and joined it as surgeon-major on its formation. He is an
enthusiastic and progressive officer of the regiment.
The Chaplains.—The Rev.
Daniel James Macdonnell, B.D., the beloved minister of St. Andrew's Church,
Toronto, and the first Chaplain of the 48th Highlanders, was the son of the
Rev. George Macdonnell, and was born at Bathurst. New Brunswick. He was
minister at Peterborough, Ont., before coming to St. Andrew's, in which he
spent the remainder of his life. His patriotism and interest in military
service had long been established, and in accepting the chaplaincy he
brought strength to the regiment at a time when his help was most needed and
opportune. He associated himself closely with the regiment, and not only
when church parade necessitated his special services, but on every
convenient occasion did his deep interest in the welfare of the corps show
itself. His death, in February, 1896, left a blank which was not filled
until the appointment in the fall of 1899 of Dr. Black.
Rev. Dr. Armstrong Black was
his successor in the pastorate of St. Andrew's, Toronto, as well as in the
chaplaincy of the regiment. Dr. Black is it Scottish Border man, horn at New
Castleton, Liddesdale. Though but recently settled in Canada, he has entered
with ;I soldier's readiness and spirit on the duties of his office, winning
the esteem of officers and men, and exercising an influence which makes for
a high conception of the citizen soldier's duty.
Major Robertson.—Major Donald
Murdoch Robertson, was one of the hand of Scotchmcn who witnessed the birth
of the movement which resulted in the formation Of the 48th Highlanders.
When officers were selected he was appointed senior captain, provisionally,
on February 19th, 1892. with confirmation on February 29th. 1892. He
qualified in the Royal School of Infantry, Toronto. with 2nd class and 1st
class certificates, and a first for equitation. He Was posted to "A"
company, and continued in that position, taking a lion's share of regimental
committee work, until his promotion to be junior major on 31st March, 1898.
In June. 1900, he assumed the position of senior major on the Promotion of
Major Macdonald to the command of the regiment. Major Robertson is a native
of Glengarry, Ont., a Scotsman of the Scots, and a devoted citizen soldier.
Major Henderson. Major
William Henderson is of Canadian birth, of Scottish parentage. He was born
at the village of Brooklin. Ontario, Oct. 3rd. 1856. He was educated at
Brighton Grammar School and Upper Canada College. He joined the 34th
battalion as 2nd lieutenant on the 24th June. 1880, was captain in 1882, and
brevet-major March 3. 1892. He was one of the first to advocate the
formation of a Highland regiment in Toronto. He attended the very first
meeting held in connection with the movement, and since then until now he
has been indefatigable in the discharge of his duties. He joined the
Forty-Eighth as captain of "H" company, holding at that time a military
school certificate. lie attained brevet majors rank in the militia by
service, on March 3, 1892, and takes the place of junior major of the Forty-
Eighth in succession to Major Robertson.
William House Orchard is a native of Devizes, Wiltshire. lie served during
t866 and 1867 as a private in the 2nd Batt. Wiltshire Regiment, and in 1868
and 1869 as a private in the 3rd or Prince of Wales Dragoon Guards, Imperial
Army. iie was for two years in the Montreal Engineers, one year as sergeant
in the 16th Batt., about six years in the 4th Cavalry, Kingston, as cornet
and lieutenant and captain and brevet-major in the 16th Battalion Infantry.
He joined the Forty-Eighth May 13th, 1892, retiring from combative rank in
1898, and rejoining as quarter-master and honorary major at the Same time.
lie has devoted great attention to the shooting practice of the regiment.
The first march-out of the
regiment took place on the 21St of April. 1892, from Old Upper Canada
College. Lieut.-Col. Davidson was in command, and the parade mustered 250
officers and men. The regiment was formed into column of route, and headed
by the pipers. marched on King, York. Wellington and Church Streets,
returning to barracks by King Street. The steadiness of the marching was
very gratifying, and was favorably commented upon by the officers of the
other city regiments, who were spectators of the march, while the delight of
the populace was expressed in enthusiastic cheering which was indulged in at
various points of the route.
On the Sunday following,
April 24th, the regiment paraded for the first time for church service. The
day was one long to be remembered in Toronto. Public enthusiasm rose to a
high pitch. The day was fine, and more than 50,000 people assembled in
Queen's Park, where the regiment paraded, and along the line of march. By
the kind permission of the lieut.-colonels commanding the Queen's Own Rifles
and the Royal Grenadiers, the bands of these corps were in attendance, in
addition to the pipe band under Pipe-Major Robert Ireland. The following
notes made by the writer at the time are quoted in order to show the pride
taken in the new regiment by the citizens and the unusual enthusiasm which
their appearance in full uniform evoked.
"As the regiment wheeled
round into College Avenue, which was lined on both sides with thousands of
spectators, the crowd in the park closed behind them, while at all
intersecting streets carriages of every description took up a stand, and it
appeared as if every available vehicle in the city was being utilized by
sightseers. In spite of the excitement attendant upon the occasion the
regiment, which numbered over 300 officers and men, made a very creditable
appearance. A large proportion of the men were much above the medium height.
'A' Company, especially, being composed of stalwart Scotchmen. The same can
be said with almost equal justness of the other seven companies which form
the battalion. When the pipers struck up the historic 'Bha mi air banais a'm
baile lonaragha'. the men overlooking the point conveyed in the time,
lengthened step and strode proudly along, while the crowds expressed their
admiration. The service was held in St. Andrew's church. Rev. D. J.
Macdonnell, chaplain of the regiment, preached from the text, Joshua 1, 9 -
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid,
neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever
thou goest." The opening words of the address were: "You have come to the
house of God to join for the first time as a regiment iii the worship of
God, to seek His blessing and to listen to His word. Your thoughts have been
unavoidably occupied a good deal with the externals that belong to a church
parade. Let me ask you to forget these things for a little and to open your
hearts to the influences that come from the unseen, while I
seek to utter the message
contained in this portion of God's word, I speak to you as one of
yourselves, and desiring to be thoroughly identified with you in your work,
and to be of such service to you as I may as a minister of Jesus Christ,
which, I take it, is the duty of a chaplain of a regiment. What does your
coming here to-day mean? It means that you acknowledge God as your God, and
the God of your country. It means that you desire that His blessing may rest
upon you as volunteers in whatever duty may be assigned you. It means that
you believe that God cares for this land, that He has to do with the defence
of Canada against whatever enemies that may threaten it, and that in serving
your country you are doing the will of God."
Lieut.-Colonel Davidson Was
in command. command. The staff officers were Majors Cosby and Macdonald;
Captain Macdougall, Acting Adjutant: Surgeons, W. T. Stuart and A. A. Dame;
and Captain Walter Macdonald. The companies were under the commands of
Captains D. M. Robertson, Dugald MacGillivray. John Allister Currie, J.
Forbes Michie, R. S. Cassels, W. Hendrie. C. A. Hunter, Wilbur Henderson;
Lieutenants D. H. MacLean. Geo. M. Rose. and Duncan Donald.
The first annual meeting of the officers was
held on the 13th of May. under very bright and promising auspices. To some
of the officers the experience was new, this being the first meeting of the
kind they had ever attended, but to all the welfare of the regiment was
supreme and the future had no looming cloud on its horizon. The committees
struck and their chairman were: Rifle Committee, Major Macdonald; Band
Committee, Major Cosby; Mess Committee, Captain Hendrie: Regimental
Committee, Captain Robertson.
Queen's Birthday, 1892, was an eventful day in
the history of the young regiment. It has been usual on the 24th May for the
Toronto regiments to make a trip to some neighbouring city or town and spend
the day in a pleasant outing and military demonstration there. But the first
anniversary of the Queen's birthday since its Organization was spent
differently by the Forty-Eighth. They remained at home and had the honour of
receiving the gift of the Queen's and regimental colours from the ladies of
Toronto, at the hands of His Excellency Lord Stanley of Preston, the
Governor-General of Canada. The ceremony was most impressive, and was
witnessed by a vast concourse of citizens and people from neighbouring towns
who visited Toronto in order to be present on 50 interesting an occasion.
The Thirteenth Battalion, of Hamilton, was present to take part in the
proceedings. It was commanded by Lieut.-Colonel the lion. J. M. Gibson, and
the regiment paraded 427 strong.---a neighbourly act by which was commenced
it friendship between these battalions which has been delightful and
interesting to both.
The morning of the 24th dawned brightly and the streets were alive with
people at an early hour. The Thirteenth Battalion arrived by steamer at
about hall-past eight o'clock. and, forming on the Esplanade, marched by
King Street to Simcoe Street to meet the 48th Highlanders. Lieut. -Colonel
Gibson was supported by the following officers: Major McLaren, Adjutant J.
Stuart. Quarter-Master J. J. Mason, Surgeon Griffin, Assistant Surgeon
Rennie, Chaplain Forneret, and the company officers. The staff officers of
the Forty-Eighth in attendance were: Lieut-Colonel Davidson, Major Cosby,
Major Macdonald, Captain-Adjutants Macdougall and Macdonald, Surgeons Stuart
and Dame, Quarter-Master Adams, and Chaplain the Rev. D. J. Macdonnell.
Column of route was formed, and the battalion marched out. The Thirteenth
received the Forty-Eighth for the first time as comrades-in-arms with the
band playing a selection of Highland music, and each company of the
Forty-Eighth as it passed the Thirteenth saluted the colours by coming to
the shoulder. When the Highlanders had passed, the Thirteenth took up the
line of march, the pipers. the buglers and the brass bandsmen playing in
succession. The pipers began with the regimental march of the Black
Watch—"The Garb of Auld Gaul." The ceremonies of the dey were held on the
old cricket grounds, behind the Toronto University buildings, and there an
immense crowd was assembled, including, within the special enclosures, the
members of the Citizens' Committee which organized the regiment, a number of
contributors to the regimental funds and many representative citizens, not
only of Toronto but of the Dominion, among them being Sir David and Lady
Macpherson, the Hon. Geo. A. Kirkpatrick. M.P., and Mrs. Kirkpatrick,
Lieut.-Colonel Fred Denison. M.P, Lieut.-Colonel Grasett, Mr. Frederick Wyld,
chairman of the promoters of the regiment. Mr. Thomas McCracken, treasurer,
Mr. Alexander Fraser, secretary, and Mrs. Fraser, Mr. Robert Swan, Mr. Wm.
Adamson, Mr. W. I. Mackenzie. Mr. David Spence, Miss Silence and Miss Beaton,
Mr. D. R. Wilkie, Mr. Geo. A. Cox, Lieut.-Colonel C. T. Denison, Dr. Wylie.
Eev. J. G. Stuart, Mrs. (Dr.) Stuart, Miss Gibson, Alderman Lindsey, Mr.
Chits. Holland, Dr. Daniel Clark, James Massie, Sir Wm. P. Howland, W. D.
Matthews, Mr. George MacKenzie, Wm. Campbell. Mrs. Campbell. Bard Evan
MacCoIl, Ian MacKenzie, Hamilton.
consisted of His Excellency, Lord Stanley of Preston, Major St. Aubyn. Lord
Kilcoursie. and Captain Walsh.
The Thirteenth and the Forty- Eighth were
brigaded under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Otter, D.A.G., with Major
Buchan as Brigade-Major, and Captain Hendrie, of the Hamilton Field Battery,
as Orderly Officer.
After the general salute, the Governor-General and Staff inspected the
regiments thoroughly, making a complete round of the ranks. Then the
Highlanders were formed up in three sides of a square for the ceremony of
presenting the colours. The drums were piled in front of the regiment and
the colours uncased. The colour party consisted of Lieutenants D. H. McLean
and Duncan Donald, Colour-Sergeant Simpson, "C" Company, and Colour-Sergeant
Alexander Rose, of "A" Company. Majors Cosby and Macdonald took post on
right and left respectively.
The ceremony was begun by the dedicatory prayer
offered by Rev. D. J. Macdonnell, chaplain of the regiment. It was as
follows:—"Eternal, immortal, invisible God, we worship Thy great name. Thine.
O Lord, is the dominion and the power and the glory, and the victory and the
majesty, for all that is in heaven and earth is Thine. Thine is the Kingdom.
O Lord, and Thou art exalted high above us. Lord of the nations, we bless
Thee for the goodly land which Thou hast given us, and for the blessings
which have come to us as a heritage from our fathers. We bless Thee for the
preservation of our gracious Sovereign the Queen to her faithful subjects
this day. We commend her and them to Thy providence, beseeching Thee that
the remaining years of her life may be filled with prosperity. We pray for
Thy blessing on the Royal Family, and upon all who bear royal command under
our Queen and over us. We commend to Thee Thy servants the Governor-General,
the Lieutenant- Governor, and all judges and magistrates throughout the
land. We pray for Thy blessing upon the whole body of the people. May we
learn that the true greatness and majesty of a nation is in loyalty to Thee
and those in authority wider Thee. Our own arm cannot save us, but Thine arm
and the light of Thy countenance. We would go forward to our duty in Thy
strength. Trusting in Thy guidance we would be strong and of good courage.
In the name of our God will we set up our banners. Grant, we beseech Thee. O
God, that these colours which we dedicate to Thee to be used in the service
of this land, may never be unfurled in an unrighteous cause, but ever and
only in the cause of right and freedom and the weal of our country. Grant
that if Thy servants are called to fight in defence of their country
that they may ever do so as good soldiers of
Jesus Christ, seeking to maintain Consciences void of offence toward Thee
and toward man. Give peace in our time, O Lord, the peace that is based upon
righteousness. Hasten the time when the Prince of Peace shall reign over all
the earth, when men shall he bound together in a brotherhood of all nations,
and when wars shall cease unto the ends of the earth. Hear us in these our
on behalf of the ladies of Toronto who donated the colours, placed the
Queen's colour in the Governor-General's hands, and he in turn handed it to
Lieutenant McLean. Major Macdonald banded the regimental colour to Mrs.
Henry Keble Merritt, who was present as the representative of the lady
donors of the colours, and she gave it to the Governor General, who handed
it over to Lieutenant Donald.
The Governor-General, facing the regiment, then
addressed them as follows:-- "Colonel Davidson, officers, non-commissioned
officers and men of the Forty-Eighth Highlanders,— It has been the custom
from early times that every body of armed men should carry with them some
flag, eagle, or colour, which should represent at once the authority under
whom they are enrolled, and also to form a rallying point either for attack
or defence. Although modern warfare has lessened the use of colours on the
field, still they are not without a great value in encouraging that which is
best in the spirit of the regiment. These colours, presented by the ladies
of Toronto, I now commit to your charge as the representative of our
Sovereign the Queen. May they remind you of the loyalty which is due to her
person and her throne, a loyalty, which, I am sure, least of all will be
forgotten on this day. And may they also remind you of the duty which you
owe to your regiment as loyal soldiers and servants of the Crown. I trust
that you may not have occasion to be called out in active defence of your
hearths and homes, but should it be so, remember the inscription on colours,
the old motto of Scotland, 'Nemo me impune lacessit,' ('No one attacks me
with impunity')---a motto, let me say, as fitting for a Citizen soldiery as
is, at home, the motto of the British volunteers, 'Defence and not
Defiance.' But though you may not have the opportunity of displaying on
active service those qualities which make a good soldier, there are often in
times of peace occasions on which you can uphold the pride of your regiment
and your determination to be an example to those with whom you serve and to
those who come after you. Cheerful and unquestioning obedience to orders,
devotion and loyalty to the Crown and the country, a determination to do
your best in all circumstances, these are some, though by no means all, of
the qualities which we sum up as the highest praise in the one word,
soldierlike. I trust that every one of you, when he looks on these colours,
will determine to uphold the honour of his regiment, and that you will at no
time forget those who have been kind enough to do you honour as the ladies
of Toronto have done by presenting you with these colours this day. The
commencement of your regiment has shown a spirit of zeal and a power of
organization which does you the highest credit, and I am sure, Colonel
Davidson, that I am only paying you your due in saying that it is greatly
owing to your own care, as well as that of your officers, that this fine
regiment appears to-day on parade although its formation was consummated
only something like six months ago. You form a body of men who, I am able to
say, would bear comparison with many fine regiments in Her Majesty's
service. I trust you will always do your best to uphold the character of
your regiment, to honour all officers and one another, and to be true to the
colours which, in the Queen's name, I have now the honour to present to
In reply to his
Excellency, Lieut.-Colonel Davidson said: My Lord and ladies of Toronto,
--The regiment which I have the honour to represent must feel highly
flattered by the distinguished honour you have conferred upon them by
presenting these colours. I trust we shall bear out the motto 'Dileas Gu
Brath,' ('Faithful For Ever,) which we bear, towards you and Her Majesty the
Queen, whom we are pleased to serve."
At the conclusion of the ceremony the bagpipe
band struck up "Highland Laddie," for the march past, His Excellency
receiving the salute. The Highlanders then formed in line and saluted the
colours. A march past by the brigade, and the ceremony was at an end. The
veteran officers present paid high tribute to the steadiness of the marching
and the beauty of the movements of the new regiment.
In the orderly room, alter the parade, a
pleasant function took place, when Captain J. C. MacDougall, of the Royal
School of Infantry, who from the formation of the regiment had acted as its
adjutant and rendered valuable services to it, was made the recipient of a
gold watch, suitably inscribed, from Lieut.-Colonel Davidson, and of a
handsome gift from the officers on behalf of the regiment.
In the evening the officers of the Thirteenth
and the Forty-Eighth were entertained at dinner by Lieut.-Colonel Davidson.
Major Macdonald and Adjutant Macdonald presided as president and
vice-president of the officers' mess.
In the course of embarking on the steamer for
Hamilton that evening, a private in the Thirteenth missed his footing and
fell into the water of the bay at Yonge Street wharf. He would have been
drowned but for the gallantry of Corporal Mills, of the Forty-Eighth, who,
in uniform, plunged into the water and effected a difficult rescue, winning
thereby the Royal Humane Society's medal, which was presented to him on the
10th of September succeeding.
On the 15th of June, 1892. the following
District Memorandum was published in orders:
FROM HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL.
To Major-General Herbert, C. B., commanding the
Sir,—By direction of His Excellency the Governor-General, I have the honour
to convey to you the expression of His Excellency's approval of the
arrangements made for the inspection of the 13th and 48th Battalions at
Toronto on the 24th ult., which were well and ably carried out by
Lieut.-Colonel Otter, D.A.G., who commanded the parade.
His Excellency is pleased to be able to state
his appreciation of the appearance and bearing of all ranks of both
battalions, he remarked the steadiness under arms of the Thirteenth,
especially after their early start from Hamilton and their trying morning's
Having regard to
the short time the 48th have been enrolled, he considered there was evidence
of great pains having been taken by all ranks to become efficient and that
the result was most creditable to all concerned.
(Signed) J. S. Aubyn, Major.
the 10th of June, 1892, Captain Walter Macdonald appears in orders as Acting
Adjutant of the regiment, taking the place so well filled by Captain
Macdougall from the month of October of the previous year. On the 25th of
August, 1892, Captain Macdonald was gazetted Adjutant of the regiment.
On the 13th of August, "C" Company, commanded by
Captain Currie, obtained permission to visit Collingwood. They were
accompanied by a number of men from "G" Company, under Captain Hunter. The
officers and men received a most cordial welcome from the citizens of
Collingwood, who entertained them in Camp from Saturday until the following
The fall drill
for 1892 opened on 9th of September with it good attendance, and the record
is one of hard, steady work by all concerned during the season. The approach
of the cold weather is indicated by an order taking effect on 14th of
October, that the regiment would parade in trews instead of in kilts as
previously. From the 21st to the 28th of October, the Company inspection in
connection with the efficiency competition was held, and the results were
very satisfactory to the regiment. On 29th of the same month the Annual
Rifle Match of the regiment took place, at which an attractive programme and
Company shooting were combined, giving a foretaste of the honours the
regiment was to win in days to come.
On 10th of November, the Thanksgiving
rnanoeuvres were arranged for, in which the 48th was assigned an important
part, but the inclemency of the weather caused the sham fight to be called
The courtesies so
generally extended to the regiment by the officers of the Toronto Garrison
were acknowledged by a smoking concert and supper, given by the officers of
the 48th to the garrison on 8th of November, 1892. The invitation was
accompanied by the following card
"Wi this ye'll ken ye're speired to crack and
wi us, and eat it haggis on Tuesday nicht, November, 8th,
at half-past eight, at the Auld Upper Canada College Buildings.
If ye canna come, dinna, bit let's ken."
The response was highly flattering, the senior
officers of the garrison being present, including Lieut.-Colonel Otter,
Lieut.-Colonel Gray, Lieut.-Colonel G. F. Denison, Lieut.-Colonel Dunn,
Surgeon-Major Grasset. the commanding officers of city corps, and
seventy-five other officers. Representing the civilians. Mr. Frederick Wyld,
Chairman, and Mr. Alexander Fraser, Secretary of the Citizens' Committee,
officers' messroorn had in the meantime been handsomely fitted up, Mrs.
Davidson contributing largely to the furnishing. The quarters were
commodious and comfortable, and pleasant recollections will always linger
around the evenings spent at the "Old Barracks" in the early days.
The closing function of 1892 was the
presentation to Mr. Alexander Fraser of a copy of a book, "The Costume of
the Clans," by John Sobieski Stolberg Stuart and Charles Edward Stuart, the
reputed grandsons of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. The inscription explains
why the presentation was made:
Presented to Alexander Fraser, Esq.,M.A., by
the Officers of the 48th Highlanders. in appreciation of
his assistance in the formation of the regiment.
On behalf of the Officers.
(Signed) JOHN I. DAVIDSON. Lieut.-Colonel, Commanding the 48th Highlanders."
Toronto, Dec. 23rd, 1892.
In making the presentation. Lieut.-Colonel
Davidson referred to the part taken by Mr. Fraser in the formation of the
regiment. The officers, he said. had always felt they ought to acknowledge
his services in some appropriate way, and they had decided it should take
the form it had assumed, believing they had made a selection congenial to
Mr. Fraser's tastes as a Highland antiquarian, he hoped the gift would be
cherished as a precious heirloom, and that the bond between the recipient
and the regiment would not be terminated, by this acknowledgement, but
strengthened and renewed.
in the course of his reply, accepting the gift,
Mr Fraser stated that when the authors of the book came to Scotland they
were hospitably received by quite a number of the Scottish nobility and
gentry as the decendants of the exiled Stuarts. Lord Lovat, the chief of the
clan Fraser, built a mansion for them on "Eilean Aigais." an island
romantically situated on the River Glass, within sight of his (the
speaker's) father's door. Here, amid surroundings perfectly familiar to him,
the descendants of Prince Charlie compiled the work which was now, through
what happy thought he knew not, presented to him.
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