One of the few Canadian units which served on garrison duty in Iceland was The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (M.G.). From July 1940 through April 1941 the Camerons protected several areas of the island with infantry patrols and machine gun posts. The battalion’s headquarters were eventually located in "Bytown Camp" in October 1940 with proper buildings and metal "Nissen" huts replacing the tents that the battalion used in the early months of their stay. Iceland is a cold and windy land, with few trees to provide protection from the wind and storms blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to having their tents replaced by solid buildings, the Canadian soldiers bundled up in the winter months, wearing heavier winter clothing – including fur hats from Montreal – to protect them against the weather. As members of "Z"-Force, whose emblem was the polar bear, the Camerons spent Christmas of 1940 in Iceland.

Among the slim choices for recreational activities, the soldiers were able to play cards with decks made in Iceland. Just before the battalion left for England in the spring of 1941, Pipe Major Sam Scott even Read More
One of the few Canadian units which served on garrison duty in Iceland was The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (M.G.). From July 1940 through April 1941 the Camerons protected several areas of the island with infantry patrols and machine gun posts. The battalion’s headquarters were eventually located in "Bytown Camp" in October 1940 with proper buildings and metal "Nissen" huts replacing the tents that the battalion used in the early months of their stay. Iceland is a cold and windy land, with few trees to provide protection from the wind and storms blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to having their tents replaced by solid buildings, the Canadian soldiers bundled up in the winter months, wearing heavier winter clothing – including fur hats from Montreal – to protect them against the weather. As members of "Z"-Force, whose emblem was the polar bear, the Camerons spent Christmas of 1940 in Iceland.

Among the slim choices for recreational activities, the soldiers were able to play cards with decks made in Iceland. Just before the battalion left for England in the spring of 1941, Pipe Major Sam Scott even wrote a musical piece, the "Cameron’s Farewell to Iceland", for the occasion.

© 2002, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

A fur hat worn by Canadian soldiers in Iceland

A fur hat worn by Canadian soldiers in Iceland. It was manufactured in Montreal, Quebec.

Ken Reynolds
c. 1941
© The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum


Photographs of Camerons in Iceland, 1940

Photographs of Camerons in Iceland, 1940, during their period of garrison duty on the island.

Ken Reynolds
c. 1940
© The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum


A collection of items used by the Camerons

A collection of items used by the Camerons during their stay in Iceland.

Ken Reynolds
c. 1940
© The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum


Canadian troops stationed in Great Britain had a variety of pursuits with which to fill their leisure hours when they were off-duty and on leave. Many soldiers participated in sports such as football, swimming, boxing, track and field, and marksmanship. For the soldiers in England, however, one of their favourite "sports" was dating, as shown by this extremely humorous "application for a date". At least a few of the British girls must have answered the questions correctly since more than one Canadian soldier brought home an English war bride.
Canadian troops stationed in Great Britain had a variety of pursuits with which to fill their leisure hours when they were off-duty and on leave. Many soldiers participated in sports such as football, swimming, boxing, track and field, and marksmanship. For the soldiers in England, however, one of their favourite "sports" was dating, as shown by this extremely humorous "application for a date". At least a few of the British girls must have answered the questions correctly since more than one Canadian soldier brought home an English war bride.

© 2002, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

"Application for a Date with a Member of the Calgary Highlanders"

"Application for a Date with a Member of the Calgary Highlanders" produced by members of the regiment while training in England.

Calgary Higlanders

© The Calgary Highlanders Regimental Museum and Archives


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Develop an understanding of the participation and role of Canada’s Army in the World War II
  • Examine the contributions, sacrifices and experiences of individuals who participated in military events during World War II
  • Identify key locations in which Canada’s military operated during World War II
  • Evaluate the weapons and technology used by Canadian soldiers

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