Highland Connections: Port Hood, the First World War and the Cape Breton Highlanders Overseas

Creator(s): Chestico Museum

As part of the British Empire, Canada sent over 600,000 men to fight for "King and Country" during the Great War. Treading in the footsteps of their Highland ancestors who had first arrived on Cape Breton's shores with General Wolfe's 78th Fraser Highlanders in 1758, the young men of the 185th Battalion would participate in many of the famous battles of the war - Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Arras, Ypres and Cambrai in which thousands of Canadian soldiers fought and died. Although the 185th would be broken up shortly after arriving overseas and its men sent to the 85th or to fill the depleted ranks of the Nova Scotia 25th Battalion, the soldiers still maintained their identity and were among the vanguard taking the highest ground at Vimy Ridge.

Its motto: "Siol Na Fear Fearail" (the Breed of Manly Men) would still be carried with pride during the Second World War where it earned battle honours at Monte Cassino and Corianno Ridge in Italy, and at Delftzijl in Holland. It survives today as the Second Battalion of the Nova Scotia Highlanders.

This Community Memories exhibit celebrates the contributions of these Cape Bretoners during the two Great Wars.

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