Wallace K57000 – 1939-1950
Named after Alexander Wallace, Pipe Major of the 1st Battalion The Canadian Scottish Regiment from 1930 – 1939, the St. Bernard was one year old when he joined the 1st Battalion at Macaulay Point in 1939. He moved to Debert, Nova Scotia, with the Battalion, and when the call came to go overseas, instead of leaving him in Canada he was chloroformed and smuggled aboard the troop ship Stratheden. As the result of a leek of information about his presence on board, a search was conducted, and although eleven other dogs were discovered, Wallace managed to elude detection. However, he was discovered on going ashore and was quarantined for six months on arrival in Scotland, and then stayed with the Battalion until 1944. From ‘D’ Day he was looked after by The Royal Scots at their Regimental Depot in Glencorse (with a watchful eye on his welfare from the Colonel-in-Chief) until 1945 when he rejoined the Battalion, and returned home in January of 1946, leading the parade from the Canadian Pacific Railway dock to the Bay Street Armoury.
He was housed at Government House for a time but kept running away, until finally staying with Piper “Wee Andy” McGeorge, who had been his minder in England.
After his death, Wallace was cremated in November of 1950 and his ashes were placed in keeping of the Officers’ Mess, as was an oil painting of him presented to the Battalion by Her Royal Highness, Princess Mary.
BABY WALLACE II - 1969
Wallace II - 23 May 1969 – 1 October 1971
Although he was officially presented to the Regiment by Warrant Officer E. Cunningham, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, on the 17th of May in 1969, Wallace II made his first appearance with the Pipes and Drums in the Victoria Day Parade on the 23rd of May of that year. He was placed in the care of Regimental Sergeant Major P. Barber, who became noted for transporting him around in “The Wallace Wagon,” a 1959 Austin with the back seat removed. He attended evening and Saturday morning training regularly and appeared with the Pipes and Drums from Victoria to Seattle with handlers Sergeant W. Musgrave and Sergeant J. Peeters. Wallace II was presented the No.1 Dog Tag of the City of Victoria by Mayor H. Stephen. Suffering from acute hip dysplasia, Wallace was put down on the 1st of October 1971, and, with the permission of Honorary Colonel J. Nicholson, Lieutenant Governor of B.C., buried on the grounds of Government House, where a cairn was erected in his memory.
BABY WALLACE LOOKS AT A PORTRAIT OF HIS PREDECESSOR PTE WALLACE I
Wallace III – 13 January 1972 – 23 February 1982
Two months later on a wintery Sunday evening in December, Lieutenant Colonel M. Heppell, the then Commanding Officer of the Regiment, received a telephone call from a woman living at Departure Bay, Nanaimo. She stated that she and her family were moving away the next day and were looking for a home for their large dog which they were unable to take with them. She said that the large dog was only 18 months old, very friendly, had never been in the house and looked very much like a St. Bernard. With his curiosity sparked and anxious to find a replacement mascot, the Commanding Officer drove to Nanaimo in winter conditions and, with the assistance of a passer-by, found the house he was looking for. His introduction to “Pal” occurred when the back door was opened and up bounded a very large and determined dog covered in fresh snow. Sizing up the situation quickly, Lieutenant Colonel Heppell recognized the dog as being strong, fit and friendly – qualities befitting a Canadian Scottish soldier – and offered to take him away with him to become the Regiment’s mascot. This satisfied the family and although the young lad of the house was sad to see his friend “Pal” leaving, all were content that he would be well cared for.
Wallace III, as he was renamed, stayed with the Heppell family until the following parade night when the Commanding Officer brought him to the Armoury for an introduction to the unit. A visit to the Band Room resulted in Wallace howling dolefully at the sound of the pipes, much to the delight of the drummers present. On parade, Wallace, standing beside Lieutenant Colonel Heppell, was introduced to the Headquarters and ‘A’ Company elements of the Regiment and when the parade was asked by the Commanding Officer if they would accept the dog as their mascot, the response was a resounding “YES SIR!”
The Commanding Officer made two stipulations: first, that a handler was required from the ranks, and second, Wallace would have free access to all messes in his capacity as Regimental Mascot. After the parade Warrant Officer J. “Hans” Peeters volunteered to serve as handler with Wallace living with his family. This was approved without hesitation and there began a wonderful relationship between Warrant Officer Peeters and Wallace that was to last until 1982 when Wallace III passed on.
Like his predecessor, Wallace was given the No.1 Dog Tag by Mayor P. Pollen in March of 1972. During his 10 years of service Wallace was seen by thousands of spectators when on parade with the Pipes and Drums. He attended training at Camp Wainwright, Alberta, and Fort Lewis, Washington, and various Branches of the Royal Canadian Legion and hospitals were Regimental veterans were being cared for.
His last parade was on the 11th of November in 1981 and he passed away on the 23rd of February in 1982. His ashes are held in the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess.
WALLACE I ON PARADE WITH THE BAND - 1942
Wallace IV – 24 September 1989 – 22 May 1991
After the death of Wallace III it was rumoured that the Colonel-in-Chief, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, had indicated a desire to present her Regiment with the next mascot. No more a rumour, Brigadier General and Mrs. D. Coell were tasked with the commission to find a suitable St. Bernard. With the assistance of a well known Victoria dog handler, they selected a puppy from the Val David Kennels in Quebec.
Born on the 2nd of August 1989, Wallace IV was shipped to Victoria by air just prior to the 75th Anniversary Celebrations, and was presented, amidst a roar of approval from the Battalion, Veterans and the Regimental Family, by Princess Alexandra to Lieutenant Colonel J. Cameron on the 24th of September of 1989. The next day he was given to his handlers, Sergeant and Mrs. T. Higgins.
Not only had he established his chain of command with the Commanding Officer by ‘passing his compliments’ on Lieutenant Colonel Cameron’s tunic at the presentation, he also managed to put Master Warrant Officer R. Cullen in his place a few days later by biting him on the ear and drawing blood – resulting in a grumble from the wounded man that he would have to draw up a Charge Sheet on the insubordinate canine.
Wallace IV took up his duties quickly and endeared himself throughout the Regiment, but, to the sorrow of all he, too, was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia. His last appearance was at the 1991 Victoria Day parade, and he was put down on the 22nd May.
Wallace V – 4 September 1991 – 6 June 1998
Within months of Wallace IV’s passing, Carol David of Val David Kennels sent out a successor, Wallace V. Once again Sergeant and Mrs. Higgins undertook his welfare and training, and he was to carry out his role both on parade and off for almost seven years. As with his predecessors, he was welcomed in all Regimental messes and managed to create a name for himself. One night, at the Nanaimo Military Camp, he was seen chasing a deer through the fields with one of the soldiers on night Fire Picket at the on the end of the leash trying to keep up and keep from falling down.
On another occasion he managed to pay his compliments on a sports jacket, which later turned out to belong to Pipe Major Kelly.
On official duties he went wherever the Pipes and Drums went including Regimental Parades, their rounds of the Legions, the Veterans’ Hospital, and some visits to the U.S.A.
Suffering from bone cancer, he had to be put down on the 6th of June in 1998 – a fitting date for a fine soldier.
CWO Middleton with Wallace VI
Wallace VI - 2002 - 2011
In 2002 the unit's Warrant Officer Chuck Middleton and his family volunteered to raise a new St. Bernard puppy in Victoria, who became Wallace VI. When Wallace was a mere puppy he used to run full speed in the hallways of the old buildings at the Nanaimo Military Camp and not having learnt how to stop yet, he would just slide accross the floor bumping into soldiers' feet. When fully grown, he weighed 200lbs and he had his "Wallace Wagon" like his predecessors did in the past. He had his own drivers and the Commanding Officer (at that time LCol Boucher) used to joke that "he" never had his own driver but Wallace always did! Wallace's favourite hobby was eating couches when bored.
WO Middleton over the years became the Regimental Sergeant Major. Very fitting to have Wallace at his side. Wallace accompanied the Regiment on parades, field exercises and traditional ceremonial events. He was quite the local celebrity being featured in several newspapers, TV news casts, he even had an audience with the Mayor of Victoria and was a frequent guest at the Lieutenant Governor's house, as it seemed the two of them were good friends. He stole the hearts of many and is now dearly missed by the entire Regimental Family.