Christ Church Cathedral and the Canadian Scottish

The Colours of the Canadian Scottish Regiment. Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, B.C.

The Colours of the Canadian Scottish Regiment. Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, B.C.

Reflecting Upon Regimental Colours

The Canadian Scottish Memorial at Pioneer Square is located near to Christ Church Cathedral adopted by the Canadian Scottish regiment as their Regimental Chapel, September 16, 2001. A recent visit to the memorial and cathedral reminded me once again of connections to the Great War. Of particular interest to the Canadian Scottish Regiment are their Regimental Colours hanging above, their drape, colour and symbol resolute for all to see. As I gently raise the camera to my eye I reflect upon regimental pride in the Colours, not just of the Canadian Scottish  but so too of those who defended the Colours at all costs.

This includes two soldiers from the 1879 Zulu Wars when Lieutenant T. Melville and Lieutenant N.,J.A. Coghill attempted to save the Queen’s Colours of the 1st Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot. Coghill and Melville were embroiled in the Battle of Isandhlwana, when the British army lost 52 officers and 806 NCOs and other ranks. An additional 471 Africans serving with the British were also killed. For their attempt to save the Colours, Coghill and Melville were posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross albeit many years later in 1907.

Melville and Coghill found with the Colours.

Melville and Coghill found with the Colours.

The last time Regimental Colours were carried in action was on the 26th of January, 1881, at Laing’s Nek. They were carried by the old 58th Regiment, now the 2nd Bn. the Northamptonshire Regiment. Colour-bearers were always a target for the enemy’s marksmen, and on this occasion the officer carrying a Colour was mortally wounded. Lieutenant Hill Walker remained behind to bring him in, and was awarded the V.C. for his gallant conduct”.

(Major T.J. Edwards, M.B.E., F.R.Hist.S., “Some Military Customs and Survivals,” The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal: Volume XXXIX, October 1939 and January 1940”)

And so – slowly as the camera is drawn to my eye, the Colours are brought into the frame, the shutter is snapped and once again I step back reflectively wondering what else I may come across to reflect upon.

From Zulu Dawn, “Save the Colours”.


About The Author

pferguson
Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and in Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was further amazed by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Film captivated Paul and with time he became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was entranced when he learned Weir had visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. The film "Gallipoli" alone led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii and Gallipoli. It was, however, when Paul watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", that Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests would be a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, he believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.

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