Hodden Grey Museum

The Museum was created by the Regimental Association (largely under the direction of WOI Jack Bateman, a former Regimental Sergeant-Major) and was officially opened in 1984 by our late Colonel-in-Chief Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Funding for display cases, painting and the purchase of artifacts, memorabilia etc was provided by the Association. The museum is ably and professionally run by Pipe-Sergeant Tim Stewart, the curator who is a secondary school history teacher. It is available for viewing by appointment, and is open for viewing during Regimental events.

History of The Toronto Scottish Regiment Pipes and Drums

Written by Pipe Sergeant Tim Stewart CD, Curator, TSR Museum.   
The Pipes and Drums have been a most important part of the Regiment from the early 1920s when they were formed under Pipe Major David Bell. One of the better known Pipe Majors was WO 2, Pipe Major Adam MacDonald EM, who took charge of the band from 1934 to 1955. Pipe Major MacDonald was well respected in piping circles and a fine teacher to the young recruits. When the Regiment went to war in 1939, the entire pipe band volunteered. The band played at many functions in England during those early war years, but each member of the band in addition to being a piper/drummer, was a trained soldier. In the Regiment's fight to liberate Holland, Pipe Major MacDonald was awarded the Dutch Meritorious Cross for gallant service. Forty years later, in 1985, Grigor Murdoch EM CD, a wartime piper and 1950s Pipe Major of the Scottish, accompanied the band on its return to Holland for the 40th anniversary of the liberation. Other wartime pipers who made the trip in 1985 were: Garfield Foster, Alex Howie and James Revie.

Read more: History of The Toronto Scottish Regiment Pipes and Drums

History of the Toronto Scottish Regiment

For centuries, fighting men have marched into battle to the accompaniment of stirring music, whether it be fife and drum or military band, but perhaps the most stirring music of all is that of the pipes and drums. The sound of the pipes and the beat of the drums is a sound that has led men into battle for centuries and is guaranteed to send a chill up your spine.

One of the most famous Scottish Regiments in Canada today is The Toronto Scottish, a regiment that perpetuates the fighting 75th Battalion from WWI. Lieutenant-Colonel S.G. Beckett recruited the 75th Bn in 1915 and became its first Commanding Officer. The 75th served in France from August 1916 until the armistice in 1918 and it was committed to every major engagement in which the Canadian Corps took part. A great loss occurred during a raid on Vimy Ridge in March 1917, when Lieutenant-Colonel Beckett was killed attempting to rally his men, following a costly assault upon the enemy trenches. The 75th faced very difficult assignments throughout the war over one thousand officers and men were killed by war's end. For acts of gallantry, 242  members of the battalion received decorations including the award of the Victoria Cross to the battalion Medical Officer, Captain B.S. Hutcheson, already a recipient of the Military Cross. The battalion was awarded 16 Battle Honours for WWI of which 10 are emblazoned on the Regimental Colour, including Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Amiens.

Read more: History of the Toronto Scottish Regiment

Historical Committee

The formation of an Historical Committee was approved by the Senate in December 1992 with a mandate to write and produce a book covering the history of the 75th (Mississauga) Battalion CEF and its successor The Toronto Scottish Regiment - the first 75 years 1915 to 1990. The deadline to complete the book has been extended and it is now anticipated that the first draft of a completed manuscript will be available in 2008, with the history covering the first 90 years 1915 to 2005. Originally asked to author the history in 1992, Major The Reverend Donald McKillican CD handed over reference material he had gathered as well as the portion of the manuscript he had completed to Pipe-Sergeant Tim Stewart, in January 2001. In 1998 at the Historical Committee's request, Major McKillican updated the short history of the Regiment which is in the form of a booklet that is given to all new recruits upon joining the Regiment. The 1998 edition was Iris third update. In 2003 the Historical Committee produced a book entitled 'Proud to be Your Colonel-in-Chief, chronicling in correspondence and photographs the sixty-five year period Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was our Colonel-in-Chief.

The Queen Mother's Dish

In 1974 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, in her thirty-seventh year as Colonel-in-Chief, donated a sterling silver dish to the Regiment to serve as a constant reminder of her interest in, and affection for The Toronto Scottish Regiment. In May of that year the Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Johnston, travelled to London to take delivery of Her Majesty's gift. The Colonel-in-Chief was in Scotland at the time, and in a ceremony at Clarence House he accepted the dish from Princess Anne on her mother's behalf.

Getting the dish back to Toronto presented its own difficulties. During his stay in London Johnston stayed at the Army and Navy Club on Picadilly, better known to some as the 'In and Out Club '. Being concerned about the safety of the dish, he recalled seeing the Manager of the club about putting the valuable artifact in a secure place. When Johnston seemed reluctant to hand the dish over to the Manager to put in their safe, the Manager said in a quiet confiding voice "Don't worry Colonel you can trust me. I am a retired Brigadier".

For the return trip to Canada Johnston did not let the dish out of his sight. It had been securely wrapped at Clarence House in several layers of packing. On arrival at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in uniform, he noted that the Customs Officer on duty was quite young - in fact he was a summer student hire. The Customs Officer took an especial interest in the securely wrapped parcel the Colonel was carrying, and asked what it contained and what was its value? It was duly explained that the parcel contained a gift from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and in view of the nature of the one-of-a-kind personal gift, he had no idea how much it was worth. Whereupon the Customs Officer instructed him to unwrap the parcel for inspection. He reluctantly began removing the wrapping when the Custom Officer's supervisor who had been standing nearby, came over and told the young man that it was time to take his coffee break, and that he would finish the inspection of the Colonel's package. Then much to Johnston's relief, the Inspector instructed him not to unwrap the parcel any further, that he had cleared customs and was free to leave.

It was the Colonel-in-Chiefs wish that the Dish be used to honour the serving member of the Battalion who had made the greatest contribution during the training year. Nominees for the award may be proposed by members of the Regimental Senate, the Serving Battalion, and the Cadet Corps. Members of the Officers' and Regimental Associations may also nominate potential recipients. Only serving members of The Toronto Scottish Regiment who have been on strength for at least a year are eligible to receive the award. Nominees will be considered and approved by the Regimental Senate. The honoree will be presented with a suitably engraved replica dish.

Pipes and Drums Majors

Pipes Majors:

David Bell 1922-24 Tom Anderson 1984-1985
Donald MacPherson 1924-25 David A. Buchan CD 1985-87
John Reid 1925 James “Jim” Thomson 1987-91
Alex MacPherson 1925-33 Fred Hodgson CD 1991-92
Adam MacDonald EM 1934-55 David C. Beecham 1992-93
Donald MacLeod (2nd B’TN) 1940-41 James “Jim” Thomson 1993-95
Peter Clark (2nd B’TN) 1941-45        Christopher Federico 1995
Alex Thompson EM 1955-56 James “Jim” Thomson 1995-98
Grigor Murdoch EM CD 1956-62 Rick Dade 1998-2004
John Wakefield CD 1962-68               Doug Swann 2004-2010
William Kennedy CD 1968-70            Iain Dewar CD 2010-11
John Wakefield MMM CD 1970-80            Kenneth B. Bice CD 2011 - 2014
 Terry Porter CD 1980-83   Doug Swann 2014 - 2017
 John Wakefield MMM CD 1984   Andrew Killick 2017 - Present

Drums Majors:

A. Lambert 1922-31 Arthur Laverty 1961
A. Smith 1931-33 William Baird CD 1961-70
Al Moir 1933 Norman MacKenzie CD 1970-92
Leonard Davidson EM 1933-56 John-Richard Millar CD 1992-2008
George Steven 1956-61   Stephen J. Hepburn 2008 - 2017
    Billy Boulet-Gagnon 2017 - Present


Contact Us

Toronto Scottish Regiment Pipes and Drums
Captain Bellenden Hutcheson VC Armoury,
66 Birmingham Street,
Toronto M8V 2B8, Canada

tsrpdDOTcom grey


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