Capital Soldiers: The History of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa

Capital Soldiers--front cover


The new Regimental history Capital Soldiers: The History of The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa is available through the Kit Shop.

The book was written by Dr. Ken Reynolds and designed by Robin Brass. It details the history of the Regiment from its founding as the 1st Volunteer Militia Rifle Company of Ottawa to service by Regimental members in Afghanistan.


Inside front cover flap


Capital Soldiers is a story 150 years in the making – the history of the national capital’s Highland regiment. In 2006 the regiment celebrated its 125th anniversary, but one of its rifle companies dates back a generation before that.

This book recounts the regiment’s story from 1856 to the early part of the Afghan campaign, beginning with local rifle and infantry companies formed in the mid-19th century and the life and death of the original 43rd Battalion, the “Carleton Blazers.” The rebirth of the regiment in 1881 follows, including service during the North-West Rebellion of 1885 and the South African War. Ken Reynolds recounts the stories of the 38th and 207th Battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War, the interwar Highland transformation of the regiment, and the three battalions the Camerons contributed in the Second World War. One of the latter fought in Northwest Europe in 1944-45 and was the only Ottawa regiment to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Finally, the book details the postwar years, the ups and downs typical of every Canadian reserve regiment, leading up to the campaign in Afghanistan, where reservists played such an important role.

Capital Soldiers is also the story of a relationship, the connection of the Cameron Highlanders with the city of Ottawa and the unit’s status as Ottawa’s Regiment. The cap badge worn by current Camerons prominently bears the word “ADVANCE” – the motto of the regiment as well as the city of Ottawa – which has been part of the regimental cap badge design since 1882.

This handsome volume contains numerous photographs, drawings, paintings and maps. Many of the archival images have rarely been published. The appendices include the Roll of Honour, Battle Honours, wartime honours and awards, individual regimental appointments and the service of Camerons on United Nations and NATO duties.

Although the goal of the book is to tell the story of one regiment, this history is told within the context of the development of the Canadian Army from the mid-19th century – with its accomplishments, its sacrifices and its soldiers being part of that narrative.

Camerons… Advance!


For a brief history of the Regiment, refer to the History page.