Restoration of Black Watch Cairn Print E-mail

On Sunday, September 19, 2010, the newly-restored cairn at the Taymouth cemetery in New Brunswick was unveiled. Below was a speech presented by New Brunswick Chapter President, Basil MacAllister.

Honoured Guests, Ladies and Gentleman ..... We have gathered together this evening for two ceremonies.....

First will be the unveiling of the restored Black Watch Cairn followed by a candlelight service of Remembrance.

rededication_003The Cairn and flower mound, surmounted by the Black Watch crest and flag was the initiative of Major Lloyd Watling MC, The Commanding Officer of the Black Watch Regimental Depot and the work was done by the Pioneer Platoon. Since the original unveiling some 42 years ago the ravages of age and weather required major restorations to the cairn.

With financial assistance from Veterans Affairs the work has now been completed.

The unveiling will be done jointly by Mrs. B. MacDonald, Deputy Mayor and Mrs. Phyllis Miller, wife of LCol. Alex Miller, MMM who prior to his passing last year, was the officer of prime interest in insuring the success of the restoration project. It is also only fitting to note that both these fine officers lie at rest in this memorial Cemetery.

This cemetery, which is designated as an Historical site, is the final resting place of the original settlers of this area and their descendants. These settlers were former Scottish soldiers of the British army that had fought in the American Revolutionary war.

They were members of the 42 Highland Regiment which  fought with distinction throughout the war and came to Nova Scotia in 1783 with the fall fleet and was one of the last regiments that protected  the embarkation of the Loyalists at the end of the war.

The regiment grew from independent companies formed to police the Highlands after the union of parliaments of England and Scotland in 1707 and was made up entirely of all highlanders and was referred to as "The Black Watch". This name came about as a result of the colour of the Government Tartan they wore which was black, blue and deep green and that their duty was to 'watch' over the highlands. In 1740 these independent companies were amalgamated to form a regiment and were given the number 43, which sometime later was changed to 42. The regiment came to be designated the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment (The Black Watch).

Upon arrival in Nova Scotia those "time served" soldiers who elected to take their release were given several options including land grants. It was a common practice to have wives and families accompany soldiers of the period and although the parcels of land allotted them were relatively small this seemed more attractive than their other options.

It must be understood the British army of the day was at best a very harsh existence. There was as yet no thought of quartering soldiers in barrack and there certainly was little consideration given to the women and those children accompanying their men-folk. Just to survive was more than we can possibly imagine today. To say they must have been a tough lot is a gross understatement. Approximately one hundred men of the 42nd elected to take their release upon arrival in NS and it seems likely that those discharged came directly to what we now know as New Brunswick, some time in Oct 1783. They drew lots and spent the winter in Parr and Carleton (Saint John). In the spring of 1784 many of these soldiers and their families came to settle in this area.

The descendants of those resting in this place would, over the course of years,  find themselves volunteering  to defend, in two great wars the very country and land that their forefathers pioneered. It is fitting therefore that the regular battalions and Regimental Depot of The Royal Highland Regiment of Canada (The RHC), "The Black Watch", should have seen fit to erect a memorial to these Imperial Black Watchers and that the "old soldiers" of this Regiment which was struck from the regular order of battle in 1970 should continue to keep "Watch" over this site for as long as they are able. of the recent amalgamation of many of the British Army's Highland Regiments into one unit "The Royal Regiment of Scotland ".....the only Black Watch Regiment in the world exists in Canada and is headquartered at their Bleury Street Armoury, Montreal.

Full set of pictures can be found here.

Home Communications News of Interest Latest News Restoration of Black Watch Cairn