Message from the Padre
Part of the stained glass window at St. Andrews Church, Toronto.

As I write this, many of us are marking Easter week and I can’t help but note that it was on an Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, that the Regiment participated in the famous battle of Vimy Ridge.

The weather on that fateful day 104 years ago was cold and sleety, quite different from the balmy temperatures here in Ontario this weekend.

When I think about the 15th Battalion and the hardships they faced while deployed overseas in WWI as they faithfully did their duty to God, King and country, I sometimes imagine that they must have thought to themselves, “At least the folks at home don’t have to deal with the mud, and the trenches, and the lice and the endless roar of the guns and the death.”

As we enter the second year of the COVID pandemic, I reflect back on the experience of the troops who participated in OP LASER last summer and how different it was for those deployed in a domestic operation where the battle had come to us.

Rev’d Canon Don McLean Aitchison UE

            A year ago this week, members of 32 CBG and the 48th Highlanders were stepping up for OP LASER, part of the CAF’s domestic response to the pandemic which saw hundreds of soldiers mobilized and ready to respond to any number of requests for assistance.

            In my role as CBG chaplain, I was working with a team at brigade HQ to anticipate and prepare resources for our members to support them as we faced the many unknowns around the effect the pandemic would have on employment, the health and well-being of family, education and so forth.

            Later in the summer, I had the privilege of serving with the Territorial Battle Group (TBG) in support of several Long Term Care Facilities in the GTA. This was a very challenging mission and brought with it stresses and strains that our ancestors might not have been as familiar with.

            These included the fact that while the troops were segregated in Toronto hotels and observing stringent PPE protocols, their families at home were potentially at a greater risk of contracting the disease. Economically there was no boom of war-time production, rather many people were off or out of work. The lockdown meant that there were no leaves or opportunities to see family, even though in some cases members could see their neighbourhoods from their hotel windows.

            Since the end of that stage of the operation, we have all become more or less accustomed to the status quo, the ‘new normal’; but in my role as a chaplain I have spoken with many members whose greatest challenge has been a sense of loneliness as a result of the reduced opportunities to train and socialize with others. This enforced isolation is another thing Highlanders of the past might have a harder time understanding. It has never been more important to reach out and stay in touch with one another.

            With Spring, however, and the steady rise in the number of the vaccinated, we can begin to hope for and look to better days again. I find hope in the Easter story of new life. I hope that you, too, have a source of spiritual strength that you can draw on to help you remain Dileas gu Brath, no matter what challenges come our way.

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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Ce site internet est la propriété des 48th Highlanders Trusts qui en assure le fonctionnement; c’est un troisième partie du Département de la Défense Nationale et est privée. Le contenu et les liens qui figurent sur ce site sont sous la responsabilité de 48th Highlanders Trusts et ne reflètent pas nécessairement les politiques et les vues du gouvernement du Canada. Ces sources de renseignements concernant les membres des services actuels des 48th Highlanders nous sont gracieusement fournies par les Forces Armées Canadiennes.

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