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Employment of Defence Platoons

  • Thread starter Bill Alexander
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Bill Alexander

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The Lorne Scots and Royal Montreal Regt were employed as defence platoons for brigade, corps, and army formations in WWII. (The RMR were used as regular infantry and badly mauled in the Scheldt campaign.) Does anyone have evidence of the insignia they wore in these tasks? (I had a Lt tunic to the Lorne Scots which was done up in Lorne flashes etc. He had armbands with TM on them, which I assume stood for Town Major.)Were the Lorne‘s ever used as combat infantry, as the RMR were?
 
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madorosh

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See BATTLE DIARY by Charlie Martin. A platoon of Lonre Scots fought in the battle for the Channel Ports, replacing a platoon of the QOR.
 
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madorosh

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As for insignia, during my research I contacted the regiment and the CO himself sent me some info. My friend also has an original BD Blouse, with Lorne Scot insignia (if you look at the colour plates in my book, there is a photo of it). The formation badge was added in by myself for that shot.

I presume that the Lorne Scots platoons wore regimental flashes and the formation badge of the formation they wer assigned to. Look at the Reader‘s Digest 2 volume set on Canadians at War, and you will see a nice photo of Lorne Scots wearing diamond shaped Corps badges with their regimental titles.

More soldiers served in Europe as Lorne Scots than as members of any other regiment, so their history tells us.

I don‘t know if other platoons beside the 3rd Div HQ platoon ever traded off. I would presume they kept their own badges - in the frontline it was common to remove badges altogether, and since the steel helmet was worn instead of the balmoral/TOS, they wouldn‘t have stood out at all.

Charlie Martin says the Lorne Scots platoon acquitted itself well; it would be interesting to see what the QOR war diary had to say about it.
 

Art Johnson

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Take a look at the "Horny Lornes" new web site: http://www.lornescots.com It looks like they have accepted the Queens silver. At one time they had a list of names of men who had served in the Lornes during WW II.
 
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Bill Alexander

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Thanks Mike and Art:
The Lornes were also a Base Depot formation and as such served as the repatriation unit for many returning soldiers. Perhaps this is part of the basis for the claim that they were the "biggest" regiment in NW Europe. I was told by one "high point" veteran that he was shuffled into the hands of the Lornes in the summer of 1945, and they promptly told him to take down his rifle regiment flashes and put up the Lorne titles. He was less than amused at the affront. A crusty rifleman told to dress up like a Scots pow guard!!! (His experience with the Lorne Defence Platoons had been of their taking pow‘s off the regiment‘s hands.)
I had a look at the Lorne site and found the data base. It included some photos, but unfortunately they aren‘t clear enough to see the formation patches. One photo clearly shows the Lorne badge on backing, but the cloth insignia can‘t be determined.
The web site also has some war diary material which suggests that other platoons were also given front line experience.
 
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