Pipe Major Archie Dewar, CD 48th Highlanders of Canada 1952-1965

Pipe Major (WO1) Archie Dewar, CD

Pipe Major 48th Highlanders of Canada 1952-1965

Pipe Major 1st Battalion 48th Highlanders (CASF) 1945


Archie Dewar emigrated to Ontario in 1926 as a boy of 16. “I became friends with some people in The Toronto Scottish Regiment.  Of course, they had a pipe band, just as they do now.” Archie, with his brother Peter, joined the Scottish in 1927. When a young Archie said that he wanted to learn the pipes, he was told quietly that he would do better with Pipe Major Fraser. Archie went to see Fraser and within a week he had a chanter and his first pipe lesson.

In April 1928, was taken on strength, to begin personal service of 37 years and a Dewar dynasty that shaped the 48th Highlanders Pipes & Drums to the end of the century.

At the outbreak of war in 1939, Archie enlisted in September 1939 1st Battalion, going overseas with the Regiment in December as a piper. He served as company piper, taking part in the landings in Sicily and Italy and the battles throughout Italy and Holland. He was promoted Pipe Major in Holland and brought the band home with the Regiment arriving in Toronto 1 October 1945. That same month he rejoined the home battalion, reverting to the rank of Pipe Sergeant under Fraser. He was again made Pipe Major in 1952.  As Pipe Major he led the band to wins in multiple competitions and even greater prominence until he retired in 1965.  

The names Dewar and 48th have become synonymous – four brothers, two sons and three grandsons have made it so. PM Archie Dewar, CD– 37 years, 1928-1965. Three brothers: Peter, Archie’s twin, 11 years, 1928-1939; Alex, the eldest, 6 years overseas, 1939-1945; Bobby, the youngest, 11 years, 1929-1933, served with the RCAF during the war then rejoined the 48th, 1959-1965. Two in the next generation: Bobby’s son, Bobby Jr., 1956-1964, joined the permanent force rising to Captain then returned to the 48th in 1997 -12 years and counting. Archie’s son, Chief Warrant Officer Alexander (Sandy), served as Pipe Major from 1985 to 2007.  Grandson Iain served as Pipe Sergeant while his brothers Colin and James served as sergeants in the pipe band.

A dictionary of the Regiment would read “Dewar – pipers, volunteers, family, 48th

Militia / Reserve Bn, 48th First Bn (WW 2)
Service number


Data source(s)

48th Highlanders Regimental Casualty Book
Sect D - Entry No. 103 Entry No. 218 Entry 311 5-Nov-37 "1859"
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