The Cape Breton Highlanders (CBH)

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The Cape Breton Highlanders (CBH)

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  • Cape Breton Highlanders

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The Cape Breton Highlanders were officially formed on October 13, 1871 as the Victoria Provisional Battalion of Infantry under the command of Captain William Bingham. The unit consisted of four companies from Baddeck, Nova Scotia; Middle River, Nova Scotia; and, Grand Narrows, Nova Scotia. By the First World War, the unit had been re-designated a number of times and was known variously as the Victoria “Highland” Provisional Battalion of Infantry (December 2, 1879 – April 8, 1880), the Victoria Provisional Battalion of Infantry “Argyll Highlanders” (April 9, 1880 – June 11, 1885), and the 94th “Victoria” Battalion of Infantry, “Argyll Highlanders” (June 12, 1885 – May 7, 1900).

With the outbreak of World War I (WWI) in 1914, the 94th was placed on active service around Cape Breton for protection duties. On July 15, 1916 the 185th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Cape Breton Highlanders), CEF was authorized and it left for training in Great Britain on October 12, 1916. For the duration of the war, the 185th was part of the 5th Canadian Division and was used for reinforcements until February 1918.

On April 1, 1920, the unit, made up of the 94th, 85th and 185th battalions, was redesignated The Cape Breton Highlanders during a reorganization of the Militia. In 1932, unit headquarters moved from Baddeck to Sydney, Nova Scotia and in 1937 five new companies were established, including HQ Company (Sydney), A Company (Baddeck), B Company (Sydney), C Company (New Waterford), and D Company (Glace Bay).

Upon the outbreak of the Second World War (World War II, WWII), the Highlanders were placed on active service on September 1, 1939 for local protection duties. These duties ended on December 31, 1940 and the 1st Battalion, The Cape Breton Highlanders, CASF were mobilized on January 1, 1941. In November of that year, it was sent to Great Britain before joining the 11th Infantry Brigade, 5th Canadian Armoured Division in Italy in November 1943 and then moving to Holland in early 1945. The battalion was disbanded on February 15, 1946 and returned to militia status.

In 1954, with the Pictou Highlanders and the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, the Cape Breton Highlanders were amalgamated into the 2nd Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders. In 2011, as it was serving in Afghanistan, the unit was again designated The Cape Breton Highlanders. In 2021, the Highlanders celebrated its 150th anniversary.


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Updated December 3, 2021




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