Scottish Regiments

The heritage and tradition of Scottish Regiments

Scotland's Regiments

Learn something about Scotland's Regiments and their museums. Alternatively, obtain more information by visiting the MoD website.

 

Scotlands own Regiment of Foot Guards
Scotlands own Regiment of Foot Guards

The Scots Guards were formed in 1642. Originally Commanded by Archibald, First Marquis of Argyle. The Regiment was formed to protect Scottish settlers in Ulster and become part of the Royal Guard for Charles 1.

Over the centuries the Regiment has been known by a number of different names such as the Scots Fusilier Guards, before having the present title restored by Queen Victoria in 1877.

The Scots Guards have fought in every major war and campaign that the British Army has been involved in, including The Seven Year War, American Revolution, Napoleonic War, South African War (186 1-1864) World Wars, one and Two, Malaya and most recently the Falkland Islands 1982 and the Gulf 1991 accumulating more than 94 Battle Honours throughout the years.

The 1st Battalion Scots Guards Battle Group is now fully operational in Iraq, and is working closely with the Royal Dragoon Guards. The current tasks include protecting power supplies, and guarding the main road between Basra and Fallujah.

The Battalion completes its duty in Iraq at the end of April, and will return to Münster in early May.

The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The Royal Regiment of Scotland

In 2006 it was announced that Scotland’s Historic Regiments would reform as five regular and two TA battalions, the Royal Scots and the King’s Own Scottish Borderers having amalgamated that same year to form The Royal Scots Borderers.

Battalion titles are as follows:

The Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Black Watch 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Highlanders 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

52nd Lowland 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

51st Highland 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

Pipe Bands
Each Battalion will retain a Pipe Band

Military Bands
The Band of The Royal Regiment of ScotlandBands of the 6th and 7th Battalions

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys)
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys)

Formed in July 1971 by the amalgamation of the 3rd Carabiniers and The Royal Scots Greys. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are Scotland's only Regiment of Cavalry. Their forebear's the 3rd and 6th Dragoon Guards and the 2nd Dragoons and have an unbroken history from 1678, through European wars, South Africa and two world wars. The Regiment saw action during the 1991 Gulf war in Challenger 1 Tanks.

The SCOTS DG is currently stationed in Germany. Equipped with Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks. They have deployed to Kosovo in 2000 and 2001. When not on operations the Regiment trains in its role as an Armoured Regiment as part of 7 Armoured Brigade.

This training takes place in Canada, Poland and Germany. SCOTS DG are also famous for their outstanding Pipes and Drums who held the Top of Charts with 'Amazing Grace' They can often be seen performing world-wide and at the Edinburgh Tattoo.

The refurbished Regimental Museum opened in July 1995. Amongst the many displays is the Eagle and Standard captured from the French 45th Regiment at the Battle of Waterloo. The Regiment's Home Headquarters is also located in Edinburgh Castle.

The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) (1st of Foot)
The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) (1st of Foot)

The Royal Scots is the oldest Regiment of the Line in the British Army. The official raising of the regiment was in 1633 when Sir John Hepburn, under a warrant given by King Charles I, recruited 1200 men in Scotland to fight in France. Their first Battle Honour was Tangier 1680 since when a further 148 have been gained in a history which has involved them in almost every campaign in which the British Army has fought, including Marlborough's battles, the Peninsular War, Waterloo, India,the Crimea and South Africa.

During World War I, the Regiment increased to a total of 35 battalions. Seventy nine Battle Honours and 6 VC's were awarded and battalions fought in all areas from the Western Front to Gallipoli, Palestine, Egypt and briefly Northern Russia.

At the start of World War II, the 1st Battalion was part of the BEF and after suffering heavy casualties covering the retreat to Dunkirk, many were taken prisoner; whilst the 2nd Battalion bore the brunt of the Japanese attack on Hong Kong.Battalions also fought in Burma, Italy and NW Europe. In post war years, they have seen active service in Korea, Cyprus, Egypt, Aden and the Gulf.

The Regiment recruits its soldiers from Edinburgh, the Lothians and the former county of Peeblesshire. The Regimental tartan is Hunting Stuart which is worn by all ranks except Pipers who wear the Sovereign's personal tartan, Royal Stuart, an honour granted by King George V to mark the tercentenary of the Regiment in 1933.

The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment) 21st, 71st, 74th.
The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment) 21st, 71st, 74th.

The Regiment was formed on the 20th January 1959 by the amalgamation of The Royal Scots Fusiliers and The Highland Light Infantry. Recruits are drawn from the City of Glasgow and Ayrshire. HRH Princess Margaret is the Colonel in Chief.

The RSF were raised in 1678. Originally known as The Earl of Mar's Regiment, they had several name changes over the years: - Scots Fusiliers, 21st Royal North British Fusiliers, and finally Royal Scots Fusiliers.

The HLI were raised in 1777 as the 73 (Lord McLeod's) Highlanders, were renumbered 71st in 1786, and became the 71st Highland Light Infantry in 1809. Meanwhile the 74th Highland Regiment raised in 1787, had a separate existence until 1881 when it was amalgamated with the 71st to become the Highland Light Infantry.
The Regiment and its forebears have fought in most of the major campaigns over the years and carries more than 120 Battle Honours on its colours from Blenheim (1704) to The Gulf (1991).

The King's Own Scottish Borderers (25th)
The King's Own Scottish Borderers (25th)

The King's Own Scottish Border Regiment was mustered in 1689, originally called the Earl of Leven's.

The Borderers' military history dates back to honours in Namur in 1695, Gallipoli in 1915-16 and Dunkirk in 1940.During the turbulent days of 1689, when the citizens of Edinburgh were in a state of alarm at the prospect of an attack by Jacobite forces, David Earl of Leven was authorised 'with all expedition to levie one Regiment of Foot'. This he achieved in the remarkably short period of two hours. Named after him initially as 'Leven's Regiment', it was soon to be in action at the Battle of Killiecrankie. But this was not to be the Regiment's last conflict with the Jacobites, for it is unique in the Army in having also fought at Sherriffmuir in 1715 and at Culloden in 1746.

The King's Own Scottish Borderers are one of the six infantry regiments which 'gained immortal glory' at the Battle of Minden in 1759 by advancing against a superior force of French Cavalry. This battle commemorated annually on the first of August when the Regiment wear red roses in their headdress following the tradition that the soldiers had picked roses as they advanced through gardens before the battle. This custom was even observed by Borderers in 1944 when they mounted an attack on Minden Day during the invasion of Normandy - for they attached to their helmets the roses which they plucked from the hedgerows.

During the last fifty years the King's Own Scottish Borderers have seen action in Palestine, Korea, Malaya, Aden, Borneo and The Gulf.

The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) (26th, 90th)
The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) (26th, 90th)

The Cameronian Regiment, the 26th of foot was raised in 1689 and took the name of Richard Cameron, a Covenanter, whose efforts to defend the Presbyterian Faith led ultimately to this capture and death in 1680.

In 1881 the Regiment was linked to the Perthshire Light Infantry , the 90th of foot, raised in 1794 in the Lowlands of Perthshire by Thomas Graham (later to become Lord Lynedoch) who achieved fame in the Pennisular War.

The Regiment took part in many campaigns around the world not least the terrible battle of Neuve Chapelle. It saw action in Burma, Sicily, Italy and marched across Europe from Normandy to the Baltic. In more recent times the Regiment served in Trieste, Germany, Jordan, Kenya and Aden and took part in operations in Malaya, and the Arabian Peninsula.

In 1968, as part of the first round of Defence cuts the Regiment chose to disband rather than amalgamate with another Lowland Regiment.

The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) (42nd, 73rd)
The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) (42nd, 73rd)

Raised in 1725 as independent companies to police the Highlands. The name originated from the dark colour of the tartan and the role of watching the Highland clans.

The companies were formed into a Regiment in 1740 and were to become the 42nd Royal Highlanders after receiving the Royal Warrant in 1751.

A second battalion was raised which became a separate regiment, the 73rd - but in 1881 it reverted to become the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment again.

The distinctive Red Hackle was issued in 1795 a privilege exclusive to The Black Watch. 14 VCs Field Marshall Ear Wavell is the most renowned soldier of the Regiment.

Queens's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) (72nd, 78th, 79th)
Queens's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) (72nd, 78th, 79th)

Queen's Own Highlanders were an amalgamation of three of the famous Highland regiments raised in the late 18th Century; The 72nd Highlanders (Duke of Albany's Own), The 78th Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) and the 79th Cameron Highlanders, who became Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders in 1873.

The 72nd Highlanders were originally numbered for the 78th Highlanders, they were recruited by the Earl of Seaforth mainly from Ross-shire and Lewis, and first mustered at Elgin in 1778. They were subsequently renumbered as the 72nd Highlanders. In 1881 they were amalgamated with the 78th Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) to become the 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. The 78th has the emblem of the Assaye Elephant in India in 1803, and the 79th has the Sphinx for their service in Egypt in 1801.

On 7 February 1961 the Seaforth Highlanders and The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders were amalgamated to form the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth, and Camerons).

From its formation 1st Battalion Queen's Own Highlanders has served all over the world. Its operational duty has included the Brunei revolt in 1962, the confrontation campaign in Borneo, patrolling the Hong Kong border, the rehabilitation of the Falklands Islands and the Gulf War and many tours of Northern Ireland. Other services abroad included Germany and Berlin, Sharjah, Belize, with regular training exercises in Canada and the USA.

Under the 1980s programme of Defence cuts, Queen's Own Highlanders were amalgamated on 17 September, 1994, with the Gordon Highlanders to form The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons).

The Gordon Highlanders (75th, 92nd)
The Gordon Highlanders (75th, 92nd)

Raised by the 4th Duke of Gordon in 1794, The Gordon Highlanders, numbered the 100th, traditionally recruited from the North East of Scotland. The raising of the Regiment was famously assisted by the Duchess Jean who is said to have offered a kiss to prospective recruits with a guinea between her lips.

In 1798 the Gordons were numbered the 92nd. The Sphinx emblem was awarded for services against the French armies in Egypt in 1801 and the Tiger emblem in 1807 in recognition of the 75th's service in India. Further honours were earned in the Peninsular War and in 1815, the 92nd fought at Quatre Bras and Waterloo, taking part in the famous 'Scotland for Ever' charge with the Scots Greys.

Service further afield then brought honours in India and Afghanistan and, following amalgamation with the 75th in 1881, the Gordons earned further fame for their victory at the Dargai Heights , where two of the Regiment's 19 Victoria Crosses were won' later six VC's were won during the Boer War.

In the twentieth century, Gordon battalions have fought with distinction and great sacrifice through the two World Wars and have since been involved in operations throughout the world in Malaya, Cyprus, Borneo and Northern Ireland and service in Germany, Singapore and Berlin.

Under the 1980s programme of Defence cuts, The Gordon Highlanders were amalgamated on 17 September 1994 with the Queen's Own Highlanders to form The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons).

The Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) (91st, 93rd)
The Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) (91st, 93rd)

The Argyllshire Highlanders, or 91st, were raised on the 10th February 1794. Five years after the raising of the 91st another Highland Corps came into being, this was the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders.

For the next eighty years both Regiments fought with distinction all over the world. The 91st served in South Africa and in the Peninsula against Napoleon, during the course of which nine battle honours were gained.

The 93rd's most famous actions were in the Crimea at Alma, Sevastopol and Balaklava where they earned the nickname of the 'Thin Red Line'. During the Indian Mutiny they took part in the relief of Lucknow and won seven Victoria Crosses, six in one day. They also played a heroic part in the Battle of New Orleans.
Between 1881 and 1914 the two Battalions continued to see active service in India and the Boer War in South Africa, where the 1st Battalion earned a further three Battle Honours.

During the First World War the Regiment raised 7 Battalions, of which 2 Regular, 5 Territorial and 4 service Battalions fought with great distinction in France and Flanders and the Middle East. A further 6 Victoria Crosses were won.
MarchingFrom 1919 to 1939 the two Battalions saw service in India, Egypt, Sudan, Jamaica, China and Hong Kong.

In the Second World War the 1st Battalion fought in Africa, Crete, Abyssinia, Sicily and Italy. the 2nd Battalion fought with great gallantry in Malaya and Singapore. A further two Victoria Crosses were won during the war.

In 1948 the 2nd Battalion was amalgamated with the 1st Battalion which then saw service in Palestine, Korea (where Major Muir won the Victoria Cross), British Guiana, Berlin, Suez, Cyprus, BAOR, Singapore, Borneo, Aden, Hong Kong and the Falklands.