The spring drill of 1893 was
uneventful. The regiment upheld its good name for efficiency. the ranks were
well recruited by a desirable class of young men, and the standard aimed at
was placed at a high mark. The record gives evidence of constant drilling
and of steady progress.
On the 7th of April Captain
Macdonald resigned the position of Adjutant, reverting to the retired list
of Captains, to the great regret of the officers and men, who appreciated
his abilities and his complete devotion to duty. Major Macdonald filled his
On the 24th of May (Queen's
Birthday) a return visit was made to Hamilton, the Thirteenth Battalion
having visited the Forty-Eighth at Toronto on the occasion of the
presentation of colours on the Queen's Birthday of the previous year. The
regiment entrained at 8 a.m. and reached Hamilton early in the forenoon,
under command of Lieut.-Colonel Davidson, with a full complement of
officers. The day was an ideal one for the outing, and on the arrival of the
Highlanders at 10.40 a.m. thousands of citizens were at the railway Station
to give them a "Highland" welcome. The Thirteenth Battalion escorted the
visitors to the Drill Hall, where, after a brief rest, preparation for a
Street parade to Dundurn Park began. The parade started about half-past
eleven and reached the park after less than half-an-hour's march. The "feu-de-joie"
was fired, and luncheon was then served to the men on the grounds. The
Thirteenth and Forty-Eighth formed a brigade under Lieut.-Colonel Gibson,
and marched past the saluting point amid the cheers of the assembled crowd.
The trooping of the colours followed also physical drill and bayonet
exercise. When the military part of the proceedings were over, some members
of the Forty-Eighth gave exhibitions of the Highland dances, which aroused
the enthusiasm of the spectators to a high pitch. The citizens entered
heartily into the spirit of the occasion. and entertained officers and men
and other visitors most hospitably. Among those noticeable upon the grounds
enjoying the sights was the venerable Sheriff Archibald MacKellar, the
veteran Highlander, dressed in tartan trews and vest and wearing a cockaded
Glengarry bonnet. Officers and members of the Gaelic Society of Hamilton,
and other Scottish societies of the city, also acted as hosts, keeping open
house for the day. A band concert and fireworks were held in the evening,
after which, at 11 o'clock, the regiment paraded to the railway depot
for their home journey.
In the Regimental Orders of the 26th May, 1893, the Commanding Officer
thus acknowledges the good work of the Regiment during this season:
"The Officer Commanding the Regiment desires to express to the officers, non
commissioned officers and men of the Battalion his appreciation of their
strict attention to duty, regularity in attendance at parade, and of the
general interest manifested by all ranks in the welfare of the Regiment
during the past season s drill, and furthermore, wishes to acknowledge the
general good conduct and esprit de corps of the Battalion during the trip to
Hamilton on the Queen s Birthday."
At the annual meeting of the
officers this year the thanks of the Regiment were placed on record to Mrs.
Henry Keble Merritt and the ladies of Toronto for presenting the colours to
the Regiment. Thanks were also tendered to D. Ritchie & Co., for the "Old
Chum Tobacco" shooting trophy presented to the Regiment. These were the
standing committees for the year: Regimental, Captain Robertson, chairman,
Captains MacGillivray and Michie. Rifle Committee, Major Macdonald,
chairman, Major Wilbur Henderson, and Lieutenant). F. Ramsay. Band
Committee, Major Cosby, chairman, Captains Cassels and Currie. Mess
Committee, Captain Hendrie, chairman, Lieutenant D. H. McLean and Asst.
At a meeting held on the 20th
June it was agreed to hold Scotch games, under the auspices of the Regiment,
on the 19th August following, the general management of which would be
undertaken by Chief Mackinnon, Hamilton. The event passed off successfully.
The conditions were favourable and the crowd of spectators was very large.
From a distance there came: Major R. R. MacLennan, M.P., Cornwall; Captain
A. F. Milliken, Cornwall; G. M. Rose, Berlin; Kenneth Robertson, Montreal;
Lieut.-Colonel Campbell, Milton; Kenneth Chisholm, ex-M.P., Brampton; J.
Murchison, Lucknow; Lieutenant Weir, 37th Batt., Haldimand; Lieutenant
Duncan, Hamilton Field Battery; Mr. William Hendrie, sr., Hamilton; Mr. A.
G. Graham, Chicago; Mr. J. Ball Dow, Whitby; J. Cameron, Woodbridge; Wm.
Campbell and A. Torrance, Markham; Captain Tidswell, 13th Batt., Hamilton;
A. D. Braithwaite, Hamilton; Dr. Jackson, New York; Chief Garlow,
Burlington; Sergt.-Major Williams, 36th Batt., Staff-Sergt. Mills, 13th Batt.,
Ian Mackenzie, Hamilton. Among the Toronto citizens were: Lieut.-Governor
and Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Lieut -Colonel and Mrs. Davidson, Lieut.-Colonel and
Mrs. Hamilton, Major and Mrs. Cosby, Major and Mrs. W. Campbell Macdonald,
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Wyld, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Lee, Miss Lee, Mrs. and Miss
Beatty, Mrs. R. Myles, Mrs. and the Misses Taylor, Captain J. C. MacDougall,
Captain Kirkpatrick, Surgeon Fred W. Strange, Hon. Mr. Justice Ferguson,
Lieut. Colonel and Mrs. G. T. Denison, Mr. and Mrs. MacLean Howard, and Mr.
and Mrs. MacLean, of Pennycross, Mull, Scotland, who were visiting Canada at
During the afternoon the
brass band of the Regiment under Bandmaster Griffin furnished a programme of
The programme of games was
excellently composed. The numbers included athletic events, and contests for
bag-pipe music, dancing, military events, and tug-of-war, and was divided
into two parts, the first part being for professionals and the second part
for amateurs. The professionals included some of the best athletes on the
continent, and their performance was of a high order. The tug-of-war was
between a team of the Royal Grenadiers and the Highlanders (who pulled in
kilts), and, after an exciting contest, the Highlanders won.
In the evening the Gaelic
Society of Toronto evinced its interest in the days proceedings by
entertaining a large number of the visitors to a Highland entertainment in
Victoria Hall, where songs, dances, and music were indulged in, and on
adjournment a number of the judges and prize winners of the day was
entertained to supper at Webb's restaurant. Mr. John Cattanach MacMillan,
president of the society, occupied the chair, and Mr. Alexander Fraser, 1st
vice-president, acted as croupier. A patriotic and appropriate toast list
was honoured in true Highland style.
In the regimental orders of
the 13th September, 1893, Captain Dugald MacGillivray is appointed to be
Acting Adjutant, Captain Duncan Donald taking over the command of "B"
Company, and on the 22nd of the same month authority is given for the
wearing of white shell jackets by sergeants.
On the 6th of October the
strength of the various bands was: Brass Band, Bandmaster Griffin and 32
bandsmen; Bugle Band, Bugle-Major Robertson and 22 buglers; Pipe Band,
Pipe-Major Robert Ireland and 11 pipers.
The battalion cross guns and
crown, for the five highest scores in rifle practice during the season, were
won by Staff Sergeant Wm. Harp by a score of 320 points. On the 13th of
October Captain MacGillivray was gazetted Adjutant of the regiment, and
Captain Donald was confirmed in command of "B" Company.
On Thursday, the 23rd of
November, the Thanksgiving Day manoeuvres took place, and the Forty-Eighth
was brigaded with the Thirteenth and the Royal Grenadiers, forming the
attacking force in the sham fight at Lambton Mills.
Based on the percentage of
drills performed during 1893 and average attendances, the order of merit of
the several companies was as follows:
At the annual meeting for
1894, held on the 19th of January, the review of the work for the previous
year was most gratifying. Substantial progress had been made in every
department of the regiment and the prospects were bright. The following
standing committee were elected for 1894. Regimental Committee, Captains
Robertson and Macgillivray and Lieutenant Orchard; Band Committee, Major
Cosby and Captains Michie and Hunter; Rifle Committee, Major Macdonald,
Capt. and Bt.- Major Henderson, and Lieutenant Ramsay; Mess Committee,
Captain Hendrie, Dr. Dame and Lieutenant Mitchell.
Spring drill was taken up on
March 30th, but hard work had been done with recruits long before that date,
in consequence of which the regiment made a good showing from the first
parade. The strength of the battalion was found to be in creased, and the
regiment settled down to the routine of drill, determined to do well on
inspection day. White shell jackets were worn for the first time on the 20th
of April, 1894, by the company sergeants, the bugle sergeant and pioneer
sergeant, in drill order. On the 2;th of April, Lieutenant Orchard assumed
command of "E" company, vice Captain Cassels retired.
A call having been made upon
the Toronto regiments for assistance to the "Volunteer Monument Fund," for
defraying the cost of the monument erected in Queen s Park to the memory of
the volunteers who fell in the North-West rebellion the Forty-Eighth donated
the collection made at Divine Service on the 3rd of May, for that purpose.
The regiment was by this time
so well-established that Scotchmen and the people generally in outlying
towns were very desirous to have a visit from it on the Queen's Birthday
holidays. This year many invitations had been received, and that from
Woodstock, the centre of Oxford County, was accepted. The regiment paraded
at 7. 15 a.m. on the 24th of May, entrained at the Union Station and
proceeded to Woodstock, where they were welcomed with the greatest
enthusiasm by the military corps and by the citizens. Proceeding to the
park, manoeuvres were gone through, the colour trooped, and afterwards
various games were enjoyed. The Pipe Band was the recipient of much praise
from the people, many of them of Highland descent, with the love for the
music and traditions of the Highlands strong in them. A thoroughly enjoyable
day was spent, every form of entertainment being suitable to the occasion,
and the trip will be long green in the memory of the officers and men who
participated in it. The conduct of the men, as always, was above reproach.
At the conclusion of the
spring drill season Lieut.-Col. Davidson issued this order: "The officer
commanding desires to express his high appreciation of the faithful work
done throughout by all ranks. He, also, refers, with much satisfaction to
the parade on the 24th May, and the excellent conduct of the members of the
regiment on that occasion."
Mr. Charles Allen Hugh
Maclean s appointment as lieutenant dates from the 18th of May this year.
His connection with the regiment being somewhat exceptional, it may be
briefly referred to. His father, Maclean of Pennycross, one of the oldest
cadet houses of the Clan Maclean, visited Canada in 1893, and was much
impressed with the excellent organization and efficiency of the 48th
Highlanders. The military traditions of his family coincided with a military
career for his son, and he decided that his preliminary training for the
British Army should be through the Forty-Eighth and the Canadian military
schools. Accordingly, Mr. Charles Maclean came to Canada, and joined the
Forty-Eighth on November 3rd, 1893, as second lieutenant provisionally. On
February 2oth, 1894, his rank was confirmed, on a 1st Class R.S.I,
certificate. He proceeded to the Royal Military College, Kingston, and took
a brilliant course, qualifying for a commission in the British Army, and
received an appointment to the 2nd battalion of the Argyle and Sutherland
Highlanders, which regiment he joined in India.
The Annual Scottish Games,
under the auspices of the regiment, were held on the Rosedale grounds on the
i5th September, 1894. The weather was unsettled, and the cloudy sky of the
forenoon was uninviting. Consequently the number of spectators was
considerably less than that of the previous year. But the programme was
quite as interesting and enjoyable. Many prominent Scotchmen from places
outside of Toronto were present, as on the previous occasion, and from the
city there was a fair representation. Major Macdonald was director of the
proceedings, and was assisted in the Highland events dress, dancing and
bagpipe competitions by Mr. Alexander Eraser, Toronto. A feature was a
piobaireachd competition, in which written essays on that music were handed
in by the competitors, the prizes for which were donated by the Gaelic
Society of Toronto. While the financial success was not such as to encourage
a continuance of Highland sports by the regiment largely because of the
weather every one present could but feel that excellent sport had been
provided, and that the regiment did itself credit by the excellent manner in
which all the arrangements were carried out. Major Macdonald, Captains
Robert son, Hendrie and Michie were specially instrumental in carrying
through the arrangements for the day to a successful close.
The fall drill began early on
the 3ist of August and continued without interruption to the close of the
season, on the 22ncl of November.
An interesting ceremony which
intervened was the unveiling of the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald on the
13th of October, at which a voluntary parade from the Forty- Eighth was
permitted. A guard of honour was furnished, consisting of 100 officers and
men, with the Band. Capt. and Bt.-Major Henderson was in command, with
Lieut. C. A. H. Maclean and 2nd Lieut. Campbell and 2nd Lieut. Rainsbath
Capt. Hunter resigned his
company on the 2nd November, 1894, and was succeeded in command by Lieut. J.
That year a beautiful
shooting trophy was presented to the regiment by the Caledonian Society of
Toronto, in the form of a Border Tup's head, heavily mounted in silver, with
snuff mull on top. The presentation was made by a deputation consisting of
Mr. William Simpson, president; Capt. Robertson, vice-president; Robert
Barron, George Vair, Wm. Campbell and Alexander Fraser, members of the
With the fall of 1894 the
three year term for which non-commissioned officers and men had enlisted in
1891 came to an end, and it must have been gratifying to the officers and
friends of the regiment that few of the original members, the veterans, then
retired. A "long service" badge was promised to those who would re-enlist in
the service of the regiment, and at the opening of the season of 1895 the
number of those who won the badge was large. Physical drill bulked largely
in the duties of the regiment during the spring of 1895, and the routine
work was uneventful but highly satisfactory.
The standing committees for
the year 1895, were: Regimental: Major Macdonald, Captain Michie, and Lieut.
Scott; Mess: Captain Donald, Dr. Dame, and Lieutenant H. C. MacLean; Rifle:
Major Macdonald, Major Henderson, and Lieutenant Mitchell; Band Committee,
Major Cosby, Capt. Robertson, and Lieut.
Hamilton. Captain Orchard was appointed Musketry Instructor for the year.
Quarters having been assigned
to the regiment in the new Armories, the old Upper Canada College buildings
were abandoned. Steps were taken to furnish the officers and the sergeants
mess in the Armories, where since 1895 the regiment has had its home, and
where many pleasant gatherings of friends of the regiment have been held.
The Queen s birthday, 1895,
was spent at Windsor, Ont. The invitation had been most cordial, and
although the journey was long and the visit extended, the parade was a large
one. This trip is probably the most notable made by the regiment on a Queen
s birthday outing. The journey was begun at nine o clock p.m., on the 23rd
of May, by train from the Union Station. Early next day the regiment
detrained at Windsor, marched from the railway to the camping ground,
outside the city boundary, and camp was at once formed. It took but a short
time to get the tents pitched and to serve breakfast. The daily routine of
the camp was: 6 a.m., Reveille; 6.30 a.m., Guard Mounting; 8a .m.,
Breakfast; 8.40 a.m., Sick Parade; 9 a.m., Orderly Room; 10 a.m., Forenoon
Parade; 12.30 p.m., Dinner; 1.45 p.m., Afternoon Parade; 5 p.m., Tea; 6.30
p.m., Guard Mounting; 7.30pm., Retreat; 10.30 p.m., Tattoo, First Post; 11
p.m., Last Post; 11.15 p.m. Lights Out. The commanding officer impressed
upon all ranks the necessity for the maintenance of discipline and good
behaviour, and the importance of upholding the reputation of the regiment on
and off parade. His wishes were most thoroughly respected; and it is stated
to be the fact that there was no reported absence from camp without leave,
nor was there an instance of any breach of discipline. Camped as the
regiment was on the border of the United States, with the attractions of the
city of Detroit so near, there was some apprehension as to a mishap, but
none occurred. The men
freely crossed the river to
the American side, and they were most kindly received by the citizens there.
The St. Andrew s Society of Detroit not only sent a deputation to Camp, to
welcome the regiment, but kept their rooms and hall open all day long for
the use of any Highlander who might choose to "drop in" for rest or
refreshment, and in the evenings Scottish entertainments were improvised for
the benefit of the visitors. The officers were feted by clubs, societies and
by individuals, and on every side the hospitalities were unbounded. The camp
continued on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the regiment arriving home on
Monday morning. On Friday afternoon a review was held in which regiments
from neighbouring counties took part.
The concourse of people who
witnessed the manoeuvres was vast. Thousands crossed from Detroit, and
special trains ran from London and Chatham. People travelled from points as
far away as Kincardine, Lucknow, Stratford, and St. Thomas, and from Scotch
centres in the State of Michigan. It was a gala day, and the evening was
given over to public rejoicing. On Saturday the regiment visited Walkerville,
on the invitation of Mr. Hiram Walker, whose works and ware houses were
inspected. A photograph of the regiment was taken on the lawn in front of
the Company s offices. The officers and men were entertained at luncheon,
and the officers and a number of friends had a sail on the river in Mr.
Walker s steam yacht. On Sunday there was a parade for Divine Service, and
in the evening camp was struck and the regiment entrained for Toronto,
concluding a trip, the pleasures of which have been seldom equalled in
connection with regimental holiday outings.
As an instance of the
interest taken in the regiment, an incident may be related. An old man from
a city in Michigan was observed to follow the movements of the men with the
keenest attention keeping always well to the front. When an opportunity
presented itself he said to one of the staff-sergeants: "I have not seen
Highland soldiers for many a long year, and I have come far to see your
regiment. The sight of the kilts, the sweet sound of the pipes and the
sleeping memories which they have awakened, have brought the tears I could
not restrain from my eyes to-day." Different, but equally characteristic,
was an incident of the Woodstock outing of the year before. An aged piper,
who wore a humane society s medal on his breast for bravery, was much in
demand for bagpipe music, outside the lines. The saying "Probair an aona
phort" is a familiar one: here was a veritable instance. Taking a breathing
spell in a quiet corner, he was espied by a few cronies who insisted that he
should play to them another tune. "I'll do nothing of the kind; do you think
that I can endure to play all day long?" emphatically declared the son of
Tubal. "Just another tune, only one more," pleaded the Zorra boy in a
coaxing tone suggestive of the mellifluent Gaelic. "Well, well, then, you
must have your way," said the vanquished piper, who, shouldering his pipes,
played "A man's a man for a that," with great vigour. "O well," said the man
from Zorra, speaking half apologetically to a non-com, who was standing by,
"he is not what you would call a bad piper, now; but he has only that one
tune whatever." But the piper played
with a piper's pride, unconscious of the sly criticism.
The regimental orders issued
after the Windsor Camp contain the following paragraph: "The officer
commanding the regiment cannot allow this occasion to pass without
expressing in the most unqualified terms his appreciation of the conduct of
the members of the regiment during the Windsor Camp period. The discipline
and esprit de corps exhibited by all ranks merits the highest commendation."
On the 30th of May, the 48th
were called upon to furnish the guard of honour to His Excellency the Earl
of Aberdeen, Governor-General of Canada, on the occasion of the laying of
the foundation stone of the Foresters Temple, Toronto, erected by the
Independent Order of Foresters.
Piper MacSwayed succeeded Mr.
Robert Ireland as Pipe-Major of the regiment.
Fall drill commenced on the
30th of August. The recruit classes were well attended and the drill for the
season elicited the commendation of the Inspecting Officers. Towards the end
of the season the commanding officer authorized the wearing of a Long
Service Badge by all non commissioned officers and men (Staff Sergeants
excepted) whose term of service had expired, and who had engaged for a
further term. The badge was of the following device: The Scottish Lion
Rampant, encircled by a tressure in reel on a shield of yellow 1 3/8 inches
broad; to be worn on the right arm, below the elbow, and immediately above
the good attendance badges.
The regimental best shot,
winning the Gold Cross Guns and Crown this year, was Lance Corporal H. Kerr,
The year 1896 was begun by
the appointment of the following Standing Committees: Regimental: Major
Macdonald, Captain Michie and Lieutenant Scott; Band : Major Cosby, Captain
Robertson and Captain Hendrie; Rifle: Major Macdonald, Captain Orchard, and
Lieutenant Mitchell; Mess: Captain Donald, Lieutenant Hamilton and
Lieutenant Cosby. At the annual meeting of the officers, Colonel Davidson
suggested that shell jackets should be obtained for the regiment; also, that
an entertainment be given to those who had patronized the regiment by
subscribing to the funds. A committee composed of Major Cosby, Captain
Robertson and Captain Michie, was appointed to raise funds for the shell
jackets, with power, if successful, to purchase them. The committee
succeeded beyond their expectations, many of the ladies of Toronto being
among the subscribers, and the shell jackets were thus purchased soon after,
and the regiment paraded in them on the 8th of May following.
On the 27th of February,
1896, this tribute is met in Orders: "It is with regret that the Commanding
Officer draws attention to the loss the regiment has sustained by the death
of the Chaplain, the Rev. D. J. Macdonnell, who has been enthusiastically
identified with the regiment from its inception."
For the second time since its
inception the regiment spent the Queen s birthday at Hamilton, the guests of
the Thirteenth Battalion. The regiment paraded nearly 450 strong on Saturday
evening, the 23rd of May, 1896, and proceeded by train to Hamilton, where,
on arrival, they took up quarters in Dundurn Park. They were quietly, but
cordially received by the officers of the Thirteenth and a few
representative citizens. Camp was continued over Sunday and Monday. On
Sunday a church parade took place, the Thirteenth, the Hamilton Field
Battery, and the Forty-Eighth taking part. The brigade was commanded by
Lieut.-Colonel Gibson, the senior officer present, and numbered about 877
officers and men. Thereafter, the day was quietly spent, and the rest was
greatly enjoyed. On Monday a great field day was held at the grounds of the
Jockey Club, the feature being a sham battle. The Seventh Fusiliers, of
London, the Thirteenth, the Thirty-Eighth, Brantford, the Forty-Eighth,
Toronto, and the Hamilton Field Battery took part. The opposing brigades
were: the attacking force, under Lieut.-Colonel Moore, consisting of the
Seventh Fusiliers under Major Beattie. the Thirteenth under Major McLaren,
and two guns of the Field Battery under Lieutenant Alexander Duncan; and the
defence, under Lieut.-Colonel Davidson, consisting of the Forty-Eighth,
Thirty-Eighth, and two guns from the Field Battery, commanded by Major
Hendrie. The movements were well executed, and the forces carried out the
programme, which had been arranged in advance, with great accuracy. After
the sham fight, the Forty-Eighth trooped the colours, winning the applause
of the spectators. The evening was given over to a combined band concert at
Dundurn Park, but before its completion the rain began to fall in torrents
and the concert had to be stopped. This second visit was much enjoyed by the
officers and men, and the good-will and friendship existing between the
Forty- Eighth and the Thirteenth ever since the formation of the former was
deepened and strengthened.
With the Queen's Own Rifles
and the Royal Grenadiers, the Forty-Eighth paraded on Saturday, June 27th,
for the unveiling of the monument to the North-West volunteers, in Queen s
Park, Toronto, and the turnout was large.
Out of a total possible of
150 marks in the comparative efficiency of the companies, on June 1st, 1896,
the regimental average was 99.84, the highest being 110.10, made by "B"
On the 28th of August, 1896,
Captain Dugald MacGillivray was gazetted Paymaster, with honorary rank of
Captain, and was succeeded in the Adjutancy by Captain Duncan Donald, whose
place was filled by Lieutenant H. C. MacLean, promoted to be Captain.
Rose was promoted on September 25th, 1896, to be Sergeant-Major, in the
place of Alfred G. Robertson, who had occupied that position since the
organization of the battalion.
In the marching and firing
competitions on the 10th of October, 1896, the Forty-Eighth won the
Gascoigne cup, with a score of 93 out of a possible 160 points, the next in
order of merit being the Royal Grenadiers, with 85 points. This success, in
a hard competition, in which eight veteran regimental teams were engaged,
brought distinguished honour to the young regiment. Interest in the rifle
practice rose to a high pitch this Fall, and as one result a
beautifully-mounted dirk was presented as a trophy by John Wanless & Son;
the conditions of contesting for it was left to the commanding officer, who
decided that the dirk should be regimental property, and granted the
privilege of wearing it, in lieu of that usually worn, to the officer
commanding the company obtaining the first place in the Regiment at the
The regimental drill was
concluded on the 26th of November, Thanksgiving Day, by a practice in field
The Standing Committees for
1897 were: Regimental: Major Macdonald, Captain Michie, and 2nd Lieutenant
Harbottle; Band Committee: Major Cosby, Captains Robertson and Hendrie;
Rifle Committee: Major Macdonald, Lieutenant Mitchell, and 2nd Lieutenant
McDougall ; Mess Committee, Captain Donald, Lieutenant Brooke, and 2nd
Lieutenants Burnside and Cosby.
In the spring of this year (1897) the Regiment was equipped with Lee-Enfield
rifles, and that arm was used in the rifle practice for the season.
An invitation from the
Thirty-Eighth Batt., backed up enthusiastically by the citizens, to spend
Queen's Birthday at Brantford was accepted. The regiment paraded on Saturday
evening, the 2 2nd, at eight o clock, and took train to Brantford, and camp
continued until the evening of the Monday following. On arrival at
Brantford, officers of the Thirty-Eighth were in attendance to extend a
welcome and to escort the regiment to the camp prepared before-hand by
Captain H. C. MacLean and his advance contingent.
An event which will go down
in the annals of the Forty-Eighth Highlanders is the victory of the
regimental team at the Islington Royal Military Tournament. The tournament,
which is a military function of the highest importance, took place in June,
1897, and a team from the Forty-Eighth decided to cross the ocean to take
part. It was a bold venture, but Sergt. Williams and his men felt confident
that they would win honour for the Regiment. Great public interest was
aroused by the event. The citizens of Toronto, the City Council, and the
Ontario Government subscribed handsomely to the fund required to cover the
expenses of the trip. The ten members of the team were: Sergt.-Instructor
Williams, "H" Co., in command, Pte. Rankin and Pte. McCheyne, "A" Co., Pte.
Campbell and Pte. Rae, "E" Co., Pte. Wallbridge and Pte. DeLisle, "G" Co.,
Pte. Stewart, Pte. I. McLean and Pte. Wasson, "H" Co. The team was
accompanied by Major Wilbur Henderson, "H" Co. The contests were with
bayonets, and though the Highlanders were in excellent form, few Canadians
expected the victory would have been so complete and glorious. The
Highlanders won in three contests.
First event: The Colonial
Individual Competition. Here four men were put against four men, and the
Forty- Eighth men engaged were Williams, Wasson, McLean and Stewart. Their
opponents were Australian volunteers, who had a number of teams represented.
They were all beaten by the Forty-Eighth men, the result being : Stewart won
first prize, Wasson 2nd, Williams defaulting to Stewart (his pupil) in the
third round. The winner in the Colonial event had to fight off against the
winner in the Regulars and in the Volunteers for the Championship of the
Second event: The Regulars
and the London Volunteers fought individually, and their first prize men had
to fight with the Colonial s first prize men in the first contest. The first
prize man of the Regulars was Col.-Sergt. Daniels, West York shire Regiment,
and of the London Volunteers, Pte. Hobbins, 12th Middlesex. With them
Stewart had to fight. They drew for places and Stewart got the bye, leaving
the first bout for the championship to be between Daniels and Hobbins. But
Hobbins defaulted and Daniels and Stewart fought, Stewart winning the
championship, Third event : A special match contest between (1) mixed teams
from the London Regulars Brigaded Guards 1st and 2nd Life Guards, Grenadier
Guards, Coldstream Guards and Scots Guards; (2) mixed teams from the
different London Volunteer Corps; (3) and the 48th Highlanders team. The
London Volunteer Corps team and that of the Brigaded Guards fought first.
Corporal Fencing-Instructor E. Elliott was in charge of the Regulars and
Pte. Hobbins of the Volunteers. The Regulars won by 5 to 4 points. The
Regulars then fought the 48th Highlanders team, which was led by Sergt.-Instructor
Williams, and the 48th Highlanders defeated the Regulars by a score of 5 to
4 points, securing a hard won victory.
Thus private George Stewart
won the Championship, and Privates Rankin and Wasson also did brilliant
work, while Sergt. Williams discharged his duty most creditably. Throughout
military circles in Great Britain the success of the Canadian team was
hailed as a sign of the growing importance of the premier colony, and coming
as it did, almost at the same time as the Queen's Jubilee celebration in
London, in which the Canadian contingent took a distinguished part, it
obtained considerable public attention. Canada was proud of her Highland
soldiers. In Toronto the news of Stewart's splendid victory was extremely
well received. A Citizen's Reception Committee was formed, and on the
arrival home of the team it was met on the train some distance from the city
by a deputation of citizens and escorted in triumph to Toronto. A military
and civic parade was formed, and, amid the deafening cheers of thousands, a
procession took place to the Queen's Park where purses of gold, gold medals,
and copies of an illuminated address of welcome were presented to the
members of the team. To this reception men and women travelled from Hamilton
and other places near the city, and some of these visitors, the members of
the Citizens Committee and others were entertained at the Forty-Eighth
Officers Mess after the proceedings had been concluded. Among those who had
the honour of being invited were : His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor of
Ontario, the Mayor of Toronto, the members of the City Council, the
contributors to the team fund, the officers of Stanley Barracks, R.C.D. and
R. R. C. I., officers of the city corps, members of the Citizens Committee,
Lieut.-Colonel R. R. MacLennan, M.P. Lieut.-Colonel Moore, and a number of
officers from Hamilton, accompanied by the famous band of the Thirteenth
Batt., joined in the welcome.
On the 22nd of June, 1897,
Canada, in common with other parts of Her Majesty s dominions, expressed its
joy on the occasion of the Queen s Diamond Jubilee. Toronto did nobly; and a
feature of the day s celebration was a grand military display. The
Forty-Eighth bore a conspicuous part in the proceedings, the street parade
and in the movements at the Exhibition Grounds.
The regimental entertainment
took place on October 22iid, 1897, when an immense success was attained.
In the marching and firing
competition this Fall (1897) the second team of the Forty-Eighth took second
place with only four points below the winning team, and with a better score
than last year when they won first place.
The annual field manoeuvres
took place on Thanksgiving Day, the 25th of November, and in the work of the
day the Forty-Eighth did their part extremely well.
The spring of 1898 ushered in
an event of more than usual importance to the Forty-Eighth, viz., the
retirement under the service limit of its first Commanding Officer, Lieut.
-Colonel Davidson. His retirement and appointment in his place of Major A.
M. Cosby are dated the 16th of March. The Regimental Orders following that
date contain the following farewell from Lieut.-Colonel Davidson:
"Lieut.-Colonel Davidson, in
retiring from the command of the 48th Highlanders, desires to acknowledge
the burden he is under to all those, both members of the Regiment
(especially to the Adjutant, Captain Donald) and otherwise, who since the
organization was authorized, have by their united efforts and hearty
co-operation enabled him to accomplish the task allotted to him by the
military authorities, and without which his best efforts must have been
unavailing. The officers, non-commissioned officers and men who have by
their untiring exertions, unwearied support, and uniform adherence to duty
and discipline aided him in bringing the Regiment up to the high state of
efficiency which it now occupies, would he have bear in mind that only in
strict attention to duty, engendering that esprit dc corps so essential, can
there be success, and it rests with them to see that the same
self-sacrificing devotion to the interests of the Regiment which has existed
since the beginning is maintained and strengthened.
bespeaks for his successor a continuance of the implicit confidence and
support which has been extended to him; and with these few admonitions and
acknowledgments he makes his farewell to the 48th Highlanders with every
expression of gratitude for the past, well knowing they will continue in the
path which they have carved out for themselves; that they will be loyal and
true sons of Canada and of the majestic Empire of which we form a part;
worthy of the time-honoured uniform they wear, and of their motto, "Dileas
The splendid condition in which Lieut.-Colonel Davidson handed over the
Forty-Eighth to his successor may be gathered from the following remarks by
Inspector of Infantry at the
time: "Physique, excellent; drill, very good; clothing and accoutrements,
excellent ; arms, excellent; books, excellent; discipline, very good;
general, a very efficient battalion, short in officers to the number of
seven; over-strength in non-coms, and men; an excellent band, with a very
good bugle and drum corps; also efficient bearers and stretchers."
Lieut.-Colonel Davidson s
connection with the Forty-Eighth has been retained as Honorary
Lieut.-Colonel Cosby, who now
assumed command of the regiment, was, as has been stated previously, an
active promoter of the regiment and an officer from the beginning. He took a
deep interest in everything pertaining to its welfare, a course he pursued
during the tenure of his command. The vacancy in the Majority, caused by
Major Macdonald s promotion to be senior Major, was filled by the
appointment of Captain D. M. Robertson to be junior Major.
A regimental entertainment
was held on the 15th of April, 1898, in the Grand Opera House. At the
Military Tournament held in the Armories same month, the Forty-Eighth took a
fair share of the honours.
The Queen's Birthday trip,
this year, was to Galt, where a cordial welcome awaited them. The manoeuvres
were the source of pleasure to a large number of Scotsmen who travelled to
see the Forty-Eighth from the surrounding counties. Train for Toronto was
taken in the evening of the same day, the outing being briefer than on any
The impetus caused by the
success at Islington to physical drill and bayonet exercise resulted in the
formation of a large class, of which Sergt. Alf. Williams was at the
beginning of fall drill this year appointed Sergeant Instructor of
Gymnastics. It is to be noted that the state of the parade shows excellent
attendance at drill and at the rifle practices this fall. The Thanksgiving
Day manoeuvres were held on the 24th of November, the Thirteenth battalion
taking part with the Toronto regiments. The Forty-Eighth was brigaded with
the Queen's Own Rifles, under Lieut.-Colonel Delamere, and acted their part
very creditably in the field exercises of the day.
The retirement of
Lieut.-Colonel Davidson was marked by the presentation to him of three
valuable pieces of sterling silver plate in the form of loving cups, from
the officers, non-coms., and men. The engravings were of chaste and
beautiful de sign, the crest and motto of the Regiment being conspicuous. At
the close of drill parade the Regiment was drawn up, forming three sides of
a square, and Lieut.- Colonel Cosby made the presentation on behalf of the
Highlanders, and alluded to the personal popularity of Lieut.-Colonel
Davidson, and to his indefatigable energy in organizing and developing the
Regiment. Honorary Lieut.-Colonel Davidson replied in terms of deep feeling.
Thereafter a reception was held in the officers mess, at which, among
others, the following were present: Lady Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Cosby, Mrs.
Davidson, Mrs. Macdonald, Mr. Wyld, and Dr. Daniel Clark.
In Regimental Orders the
following letter appeared:
"11th Nov., 1898.
My Dear Col. Cosby :
Would you kindly have conveyed to the officers, non-commissioned officers,
and men of the 48th Highlanders, my deep appreciation of their kind
thoughtfulness in presenting to me such a beautiful testimonial. I will ever
cherish it in memory of six happy years spent with the Regiment, and will
hand it down to my family with pride.
Yours very truly,
JOHN I. DAVIDSON,
Hon. Lieut. -Colonel 48th Highlanders."
At the close of 1898, the
condition of the Regiment was very gratifying. The general officer
commanding the Canadian militia had inspected them, and made this flattering
report: "General remarks 48th Highlanders; in excellent order. Remarks:
Physique, excellent; clothing and accoutrements, very good; drill, very
good; books, very good order; arms, excellent; discipline, very steady and
quiet on parade. General: a very reliable and efficient battalion; complete
in officers, and somewhat over strength in men; very keen and enthusiastic
in all duties; an excellent band, with a very good bugle corps, as well as
pipers; efficient bearer and pioneer corps."
The Standing Committees for
1898 were: Regimental, Captain and Bt.-Major Henderson, Captain Michie and
Lieutenant Catto; Band Committee, Major Cosby, Captain Robertson and Captain
Hendrie; Rifle Committee, Major Macdonald, Captain Mitchell and 2nd
Lieutenant Harbottle; Mess Committee, Captain Donald, Lieutenant N. W.
Cosby, and 2nd Lieutenant Taylor; Athletic Committee, Major Henderson,
Lieutenant Perry and Lieutenant Brooks.
The annual meeting of the
officers, held on the ;,rd of February, 1899, fore shadowed an active spring
in detail of regimental work. The various departments of the Regiment were
well reported upon, and arrangements made for prosecuting the duties
vigorously. The leading branches were placed under the following Standing
Committees: Regimental, Major Henderson, Captain Michie, and Lieutenant
Catto ; Band, Major Robertson, Captain Hendrie, Lieutenant McDougall; Rifle,
Major Macdonald, Captain Michie, Lieutenant Harbottle; Mess, Major Orchard,
2nd Lieutenant Woodbridge, Assistant-Surgeon Smith ; Athletic, Captain and
Bt.- Major Henderson, Lieutenant McDougall, 2nd Lieutenant Darling.
An event of interest in the
history of this year was the encampment of the battalion at Niagara during
the 30th of June and the 1st and 2nd of July. The Regiment paraded at 5.45
a.m., on the 30th of June, in Review Order, and proceeded to Niagara by
steamer, returning therefrom on the evening of the 2nd of July. During camp
the duties devolving in the Regiment were calculated to be a useful
experience, not as readily gained by the usual drill, and in the discharge
of these the Forty-Eighth compared favourably with the other regiments
forming the brigade.
At the Dominion Rifle
Meeting, the Forty-Eighth were well represented, and its crack shots
succeeded in making a brilliant showing, winning the British Challenge
Shield, the Gzowski Cup, and the Gillespie Challenge Trophy; a list to be
proud of, surely.
Thanksgiving Day, 1899, was
observed fully a month earlier than usual, the date falling on the 19th of
October. The sham fight was participated in by the Queen s Own Rifles, the
Royal Grenadiers, the Thirteenth Battalion, the Forty-Eighth Highlanders,
the 1st Prince of Wales Fusiliers, Montreal, the Royal Canadian Dragoons,
and the 9th Field Battery. Lieut. -Colonel Henry McLaren commanded the
attacking, and Lieut.-Colonel Delamere the defending force. The manoeuvres
exemplified quite a number of interesting tactics, and the Forty-Eighth
maintained its reputation for reliability.
On the 15th of October the
battalion attended divine service in St. Andrew's church, when the Rev. Dr.
Armstrong Black preached for the first time as Chaplain of the Regiment.
The interest aroused by the
South African war was felt nowhere deeper than in Toronto, ever loyal to the
British crown and to its imperial interests. As a matter of course, when
permission was given to send a Canadian contingent to take part in the war,
the Forty-Eighth Highlanders responded with a will. Many applications were
made for places on the contingent, but the number being restricted, the
following only were taken :
"A" Company, Colour-Sergeant
A. R. MacGregor, Corporal J. A. Smith, Privates Whitehead, Weller, Mitchell
"B" Company, Private J. D. Spence.
"C" Company, Privates G. M. Smith and Hornibrook.
"D" Company, Privates A. C. McKenzie and McNish.
"E" Company, Sergeant W. H. Grant.
"G" Company, Color-Sergeant Lorsch, Privates Dunham and F. K. Blain.
"H" Company, Corporals Hopeson and Banton, and Ptes. Baldwin and Morley.
Captain J. F. Ramsay, who had held the rank of Lieutenant and Captain in the
Regiment, and had retired on leaving the limits, travelled from the Western
States to Toronto in time to offer his services as a private in the
contingent, and to be accepted. Captain F. L. Cosby and Lieutenant N. W.
Cosby also went later, the former as an officer in the Canadian Mounted
Rifles, and the latter as a private in the Canadian Field Artillery Corps.
Lieutenant Temple went in connection with the Company from London, Ontario.
This year, 1900, opened
auspiciously. The Regiment was in excellent condition,
and the enthusiasm of all ranks boded well for the year. The committees
the 2nd of February were : Regimental, Captain and Bt.- Major Henderson,
Michie, Lieutenant Catto; Band, Major Robertson, Captain Hendrie, 2nd
Mackenzie; Rifle, Major Macdonald, Captain Mitchell, Lieutenant Harbottle;
Captain MacLean, Surgeon- Lieutenant Smith and 2nd Lieutenant Woodbridge;
Athletic, Captain Mitchell, Lieutenant Harbottle, 2nd Lieutenants Woodbridge
Early in the year, 1900, the Regiment was supplied with the "Oliver"
equipment. In regimental orders of the 20th of April reference is made to
the fact that Private Hornibrook, "C" Company, had been specially mentioned
in the report of the officer commanding the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion,
Royal Canadian Regiment, at Paardeberg. Col. Otter in his report said:
"Another incident of coolness and pluck was that of No. 7347 Private
Hornibrook, who, at daylight on the morning of the 19th instant, was clown
to the extreme right of the lines occupied by the enemy the previous day. He
was unarmed and came suddenly upon an armed Boer looking for a stray horse.
With great presence of mind, Hornibrook pretended to be armed with a
revolver and called upon imaginary assistance, at the same time demanding
the man s surrender. The Boer at once submitted, and on being "brought in
proved to be one of General Cronje's adjutants and a most important
On the 11th of May, Major
Macdonald assumed the command of the Forty- Eighth, owing to the illness of
Lieut.-Colonel Cosby, and on the 12th of that month Lieut. -Colonel Cosby
succumbed to that illness, at the comparatively young age of 62 years, to
the deep regret of the officers and men and of the community by which he was
highly esteemed. The regimental tribute reads: "It is with regret that the
death is announced of Lieut. Colonel Cosby, the late commanding officer of
the Regiment, which took place on Saturday, the 12th inst. (May).
Lieut.-Colonel Cosby had been actively connected with the Regiment since its
organization, and took a deep interest in all matters pertaining to its
welfare. As a mark of respect to his memory, officers will wear the usual
mourning badge for a period of thirty days."
The spring season closed by
the Forty-Eighth taking part in a garrison parade on the 24th of May, when
it trooped the colours in honour of the Queen s Birthday, and subsequently
in the garrison parade and review. His Excellency, Lord Minto, the
Governor-General, was present, and, himself a veteran soldier, he expressed
his entire satisfaction with the excellent arrangements made for the
celebration of Her Majesty s birthday at Toronto, and his appreciation of
the very smart appearance of the troops on parade.
On the 7th of June, 1900,
Major Macdonald was appointed Lieut.-Colonel of the Forty-Eighth, and in his
hands it is safe to say the honourable record set down in these pages will
be more than fully maintained.