Message from the Padre – #4
48th Stained Glass

A number of years ago at the annual regimental dinner in December, MWO Mark McVety CD (Ret’d) gave a talk to the newest members of the unit about where and how the regiment had passed Christmas during the long years of the First and Second World Wars.


It was a lot to take in, but the cumulative effect was to underscore that the Dileas spirit had burned bright to carry them through some bleak periods at a time of the year when they would naturally have been thinking of home and the traditional celebrations that mark this time of the year.


The story that stood out most for me that day was connected with the Christmas spent in Ortona, Italy in 1943. On Christmas Day the battalion found itself isolated and surrounded on an exposed hill well behind enemy lines. I tried to visualize the scene as the Sergeant Major painted a word picture of the relief column in the dark of Christmas night silently picking their way along a goat path that ran below the ravine ridge under the leadership of Capt. George Beal and Padre Stuart East.


When they had finally all converged on the battalion’s position, ominously later named Cemetery Hill, the CO, Lt Col Ian Johnston quipped “You forgot to bring a tank.” The next day his wish was granted when three tanks showed up to provide the support needed to prevail.




As we come to the end of the second year of COVID-19 only to be confronted with the spectre of the Omicron wave and the threat of more disruptions to our plans, I find it helpful to reflect on the ways our forebears met the challenges of their own time.


One of the recurring themes that strikes me is that great struggles are not overcome alone. We need to help one another if we are going to have a chance to succeed. More than that, we need an ‘all arms’ approach – we need to co-operate with people from all walks of life understanding that we all bring something different to the table.


The other thing that I see time and again when I study our regimental history is that a good sense of humour goes a long way. In the midst of harsh conditions and constant dangers, the 48th Highlanders have always been able to keep their spirits up and enjoy a laugh together.


I know the holidays are often hard times for people. If you find yourself struggling, please reach out to your chain of command, or to me at 416-554-2370 or the CAF Member Assistance Hotline at 1-800-268-7708 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).


I wish you the very best of the season.


Dileas gu Brath.

Maj the Rev’d Canon Don McLean Aitchison UE

Chaplain, Trinity College School


ON EXERCISE URBAN FALCON 2022, Soldiers of the 48th Highlanders, had their urban ops skills put to the test as they practiced fighting through and clearing subway cars through a subway station with simmunition rounds. In their exercise scenario, their mission was to rescue and secure a hi-jacked train from a well trained enemy. They fought against a simulated enemy force of other infantry Master Corporal’s and Sergeants, who set traps and obstacles in their path to test how they would react. Attached to the regiment in this exercise were a small amount of medics and Intelligence personnel from @25fdamb as well as @2intcoy_2cierens, which enabled soldiers to practice intel gathering/handling as well as dealing with casualties in a realistic manner.

Video filmed by Capt Lau and Cpl Chung
Video edited by MCpl Clark

Voici ce qui s'est passé lors de l'exercice Urban Falcon 2022. Les soldats des 48th Highlanders ont vu leurs compétences en opérations urbaines mises à l'épreuve alors qu'ils s'entraînaient à combattre et à dégager les voitures de métro à travers une station de métro avec des balles de vaccination, dans un scénario où leur but était de sauver et de sécuriser un train détourné d'un ennemi bien entraîné. Ils se sont battus contre une force d'opposition de caporal-chef et de sergents, qui ont tendu des pièges et des obstacles sur leur passage. Au régiment dans cet exercice se trouvaient un petit nombre d'infirmiers et de personnel du renseignement de @25fdamb ainsi que de @2intcoy_2cierens, ce qui a permis aux soldats de pratiquer le rassemblement/manipulation de renseignements ainsi que de faire face aux victimes de manière réaliste.

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On March 5th and 6th, Soldiers of the 48th Highlanders, with members from @2intcoy_2cierens and @25fdamb, who augmented our soldiers as an opportunity to practice their trade skills under the Tactical-Control of an infantry platoon, run through their “prepare for battle” phase during their simulated mission on Exercise Urban Falcon 2022, in which the soldiers were put under the stress of fighting in close quarters, and learning to maneuver and communicate in an entirely new environment.

Video editing by MCpl Clark
Video filmed by Capt Lau and Cpl Chung

Les membres des 48th Highlanders, avec des membres de @2intcoy_2cierens et @25fdamb, qui ont augmenté nos soldats comme une occasion de pratiquer leurs compétences professionnelles sous le contrôle tactique d'un peloton d'infanterie, pratiquent la phase de « préparation à la bataille » au cours de leur mission simulée dans le cadre de l'exercice Urban

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