Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 2, 2016

Artifact of the Week. Battledress, Captain Robert F. Gray, 1st Battalion, SD & G Highlanders; Service Medals, Sergeant Lloyd G. “Archie” Lavigne, 2nd Ottawa Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery.




The uniform shown above belonged to Captain Gray, a member of the SD & G Highlanders and long term member of the SD & G Historical Society.scan0024

Lt.-Col. D.R. Dick, Officer Commanding 2nd Battalion, SD & G Highlanders introduced this booklet with the following words

“We thought it fitting to present to each member of the Unit returning from Overseas, a copy of this brief history.  The Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry Highlanders being one of the oldest regiments in Canada.”

“It has been impossible with  the short time at the disposal of the committee to attempt to make a complete history, but it is hoped in the near future this will be compiled.  And a copy will go forward to the next of Kin of each member of the Regiment, who paid the supreme sacrifice in the conflict just ended.”

Of the 3,342 officers and men of 1st Battalion who fought their way from Normandy to Germany, 278 were killed and 781 were wounded.

Of the 4,000 Cornwallites who served throughout the conflict, 183 were killed in action:  109 soldiers and 64 airmen.

The number of Cornwallites killed is less than the number killed in the Regiments, as the number killed in the Regiment include SD & G and other areas.


A sign in Nomandy, France.

The above pictured history relates:

By six o’clock on the morning of “D-Day”, 6th June the craft containing the Battalion were 16 miles from the coast of France.  Large numbers of planes were passing overhead.  Large fires could be seen raging in the Bernieres-sur-Mer sector where the Battalion was to land, and also at St. Aubin-sur-Mer.  Destroyers were supporting the landing and dense clouds of smoke covered the beaches.  Th battalion touched down at 1220 hours on White Beach. (part of Juno Beach).

The damage to the village was not so great as had been imagined, and after getting ashore the unit established itself along a road leading inland and proceeded towards Beny-sur-Mer.  The North Nova Scotia Highlanders were reported to be running into difficulties.  Enemy mortar fire and resistance were becoming stronger and the Battalion took up a position near the Church at Beny-sur-Mer, where the Commanding Officer held a conference with the Company Commanders.  The Battalion was now in contact with enemy patrol on foot with armour but there was so far no enemy air activity.

While the initial resistance was slight and the bridgehead was successfully established, it was not long before heavy counter-attack developed.  The North Nova Scotia Highlanders were first to receive the attack, which they returned with great vigour and determination and with such effect that despite heavy losses the village of Burron was retaken.  The Glengarrians were on their flank and put down an intense fire on the enemy.

It was not until the 7th June that the S.D.G.s really discovered what power of metal the enemy could throw.  On that day a drive towards an airfield west of Caen commenced with the Glengarrians…


World War II General Service Medals issued to Sergeant Lloyd G. “Archie” Lavigne (1917 – 1988).  Lavigne from Cornwall, joined the 2nd Ottawa Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery in 1939 and saw active service until he was discharged with the rank of Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant in 1945,  Returning to Cornwall he opened a grocery store in the north end, was elected to City Council in 1947 and became Mayor in 1957.

Medals:  left to right:  1939 – 45 Star; France and Germany Start; The Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with overseas clasp; 1939 – 45 War Medal.  These medals were donated by L.G. Lavigne.


L.G. Lavigne, Aldershot England, late 1940, 4th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery.

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