To keep things simple, I've decided to base the following on the regular Scottish regiments as they were at the time of the Second World War.
But first -
Scottish Regiments at Waterloo - The Royal Scots Greys, the Scots Guards, the Royal Scots, the Highland Light Infantry, the 73rd Foot (later 2nd Black Watch), the Black Watch, the Cameron Highlanders and the Gordon Highlanders. The 91st Foot (later 1st Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) were guarding one of the flanks and did not take part in the fighting.
Scottish Regiments in the Crimean War - The Royal Scots Greys, the Scots Guards, the Royal Scots, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Black Watch, the Highland Light Infantry, the 72nd Duke of Albany's Highlanders, the Cameron Highlanders, the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders and 90th Perthshire Light Infantry. The Gordon Highlanders arrived days after the capture of the main Russian fortifications at Sebastapol.
Scottish Regiments in the Indian Mutiny - The Black Watch, the 71st Highland Light Infantry, the 73rd Regiment, the 74th Highlanders, the 75th Stirlingshire Regiment, the 79th Cameron Highlanders, the 92nd Gordon Highlanders, the 72nd Duke of Albany's Highlanders, the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry, the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, the 78th Ross-shire Buffs.
Scottish Regiments in the Zulu War - Royal Scots Fusiliers, 90th Perthshire Light Infantry and 91st Argyllshire Highlanders. The Edinburgh-raised 99th Lanarkshire Regiment and the 94th Regiment, raised in Glasgow, also served against the Zulus but were shortly afterwards stripped of their Scottish associations to become battalions of the Wiltshire Regiment and the Connaught Rangers.
Scottish Regiments at Culloden - The Government troops at Culloden in 1746 included the regiments that would later be known as The Royal Scots, The King's Own Scottish Borderers and the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Loudon's Highlanders, disbanded in 1748, were also present.
Scottish Regiments in the American Revolution - The Scots Guards, the 21st Royal Scots Fusiliers, the 26th Cameronians, the 42nd Black Watch, the 71st Fraser Highlanders, the 76th MacDonald Highlanders, the 80th Edinburgh Volunteers, the 82nd Hamilton's, the 83rd Glasgow Volunteers and the 84th Royal Highland Emigrants. The last six regiments named were all disbanded at the end of the war.
Some of the regimental tartans and sporrans can be seen in Photo Identification
The Royal Scots Greys
Scotland's only regular cavalry regiment. They trace their origins back to troops of horsemen raised in 1678 as the Royal Regiment of Scotch Dragoons to hunt down strict Presbyterians who revolted against attempts to impose an English-style church in Scotland. The name “Greys” was first applied because of their grey uniforms but later they were mounted on grey chargers. The regiment was also distinguished by being the only cavalry one to wear bearskin headgear. Most famous for their charge at the Battle of Waterloo (See Scottish Military Disasters Chapter 19 ; “Scotland for Ever”), the regiment also took part in the successful, but now mainly forgotten, Charge of the Heavy Brigade, during the Crimean War. The regimental headquarters is at Edinburgh Castle. In 1971 the Scots Greys were amalgamated with the 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales Dragoon Guards), itself a 1920s amalgamation of two other cavalry regiments, to form the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, now based at Leuchars in Fife.The Carabiniers had recruited in Cheshire and North Wales. The Welsh connection is recognised by Men of Harlech, arranged for the bagpipes, being one of the duty tunes played by the regimental pipe band. The officers' reputed fondness for champagne in times past once led to the regiment being nicknamed the "Bubbly Jocks". Link to Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum
The Scots Guards
The Scots Guards claim descent from a regiment raised in 1642 by the Duke of Argyll for service in Ireland. They became the third regiment of Foot Guards in 1661, following the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards in precedence. During the Crimean War they were known as the Scots Fusilier Guards. In 1861 it had twice as many Englishmen as Scotsmen in its ranks. The regiment recruits from throughout Scotland but still includes a large contingent of Englishmen. The regimental headquarters is in London but the regiment is presently based at Aldershot. Link to Scots Guards museum
The Royal Scots
The oldest line infantry regiment in the British Army. The regiment used to refer to itself as Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard. The unit claims descent from the Scottish mercenaries who served the Kings of France. It lineage can safely to be traced back to Hepburn's Regiment which fought for the Swedes in 1625. It was authorised as a British regiment in 1633 and lent to the French. When the British decided to number their regiments rather than identify them by the names of their colonels, the Royal Scots were named the 1st Foot. Also known simply as “The Royals” or “Royal Regiment of Foot” at some points in their history. When regimental recruiting areas were assigned in 1881, the Royal Scots were given Edinburgh and the Lothians; the depot was in Edinburgh. The regiment's 2nd Battalion was almost wiped out when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong in 1941 (See Scottish military Disasters Chapter 30; The Fleet of Foot ). In 2006 the regiment was merged with the King's Own Scottish Borderers to form the 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland “The Royal Scots Borderers” (1 SCOTS), and was based at Palace Barracks near Belfast. 1 SCOTS in 2017 became part of the Special Operations Brigade and in late 2021 rebadged as the 1st Battalion of the Rangers. The re-organisation of 1881 saw the regimented kitted out in Black watch tartan trews. The tartan was changed in 1901 to Hunting Stewart. When part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland 1 SCOTS was kilted. The SCOTS tartan is based on the old Argylls Government 1A sett. Members of 1 SCOTS wore a black hackle on their Tam o'Shanters. Link to Royal Scots Museum
The Royal Scots Fusiliers
This regiment was formed in 1678, like the Scots Greys to hunt religious dissidents, and eventually numbered the 21st Foot. Fusilier regiments were usually assigned to protect artillery guns. In 1707, following the union of the English and Scottish Parliaments, the regiment dropped its “Scotch” appellation and was known as The North British Fuzileers. Five years later it became a Royal regiment and adopted the name Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1871. In 1881 it was assigned Ayrshire and Galloway as its recruiting ground and the regimental depot was at Ayr. Galloway was transferred to the King's Own Scottish Borderers' regimental district before the First World War. In 1914 the regiment was wearing Government tartan with a dark blue overstripe. This changed in 1948 to Hunting Erskine tartan. The regiment was merged with the Highland Light Infantry in 1958 and the new unit was christened the Royal Highland Fusiliers. The RHF wore MacKenzie tartan trews. It is now the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland “The Royal Highland Fusiliers” (2 SCOTS) and members wear a white hackle on their Tam o'Shanters. The battalion is based at Glencorse Barracks near Edinburgh. All the battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland are kilted. The tartan is based on the old Argylls Government 1A sett. Link to Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum
The King's Own Scottish Borderers
Formed in Edinburgh within a matter of hours in 1689 to help put down a rebellion by Highland clansmen which was intended to restore the Stuarts to British throne, this unit's first battle was a defeat. But the raw recruits were among the few soldiers to keep their heads at the Battle of Killiecrankie. Known as the Edinburgh Regiment and eventually numbered the 25th Foot. Between 1782 and 1805 it was known as the Sussex Regiment before becoming the King's Own Borderers. The reorganisation and regionalisation of the British Army in 1881 saw it narrowly escape becoming a Yorkshire regiment and was instead assigned the Scottish border counties; the depot was at Berwick on Tweed. As with all the Lowland regiments in 1881 it was authorised to wear Government (Black Watch) tartan trews. In 1898 Leslie tartan trews were authorised. It was amalgamated with the Royal Scots to form the 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006 (1 SCOTS). The battalion, known as the Royal Scots Borderers, wore a black hackle on its Tam o'Shanters, and was based at Palace Barracks near Belfast. 1 SCOTS in 2017 became part of the Special Operations Brigade and in late 2021 rebadged as the 1st Battalion of the Rangers. When part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland 1 SCOTS was kilted. The SCOTS tartan is based on the old Argylls Government 1A sett. Link to King’s Own Scottish Borderers Museum
The Cameronians/Scottish Rifles
The 1881 reorganisation also involved creating two battalion regiments. All the regiments up to the 25th already had two battalions or were allowed to create a second one. The 26th Foot were the Cameronians and they were amalgamated with the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry to create the Scotch Rifles (Cameronians). This name was quickly changed to The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). But for years only the 1st Battalion, the old 26th Foot, went by the name Cameronians while the 2nd Battalion insisted on being referred to as The Scottish Rifles. During the First World War all the battalions raised were known as The Scottish Rifles. The regiment was assigned Lanarkshire, which included much of a Glasgow area, as its recruiting ground. The depot was at Hamilton. The regiment switched from Government tartan trews to Douglas tartan in 1891.
The Cameronians were raised 1689 from former Presbyterian rebels, the people the Scots Greys were raised to hunt down, to thwart the mainly Catholic rebels seeking to restore the Stuarts to the throne after they were replaced by the Protestant William of Orange and his wife Mary. The regiment stopped the Jacobite Highland army at Dunkeld and prevented it moving any further south following its victory over Government troops at Killiecrankie.
The 90th Perthshire Volunteers was raised in 1794 by Scottish nobleman Thomas Graham who had been outraged when French revolutionaries insisted on searching his wife's coffin for contraband when he was bringing her back home to Scotland for burial. The regiment was distinguished in its early days for wearing cavalry helmets and grey trousers. Sometimes known as Graham's Greybreeks or the Perthshire Greybreeks. In 1815 the regiment became known as the Perthshire Light Infantry. At one point in the run-up to the 1881 reforms it looked as if it would be “married” to the 73rd Perthshire Regiment – neither regiment was regarded as particularly Scottish by the 1860s. Three soldiers who rose to be commanders-in-chief of the British Army served with the 90th – Evelyn Wood, Rowland Hill and Garnet Wolseley.
In 1968 the regiment decided that it preferred disbandment to amalgamation with another Scottish unit. The disbandment parade was held near the Lanarkshire village of Douglas where it had had been raised almost 300 years earlier. The regimental recruitment area was transferred to the King's Own Scottish Borderers. Link to The Cameronians Museum
The Black Watch
The oldest of the kilted Highland Regiments. The unit started in the 1720s as a paramilitary police force made up of clans loyal to the British government. It was formed into a line regiment of the British Army in 1739 and originally numbered as the 43rd Foot but the disbandment of another regiment soon made it the 42nd “The Gallant Forty-twa”. It suffered heavily casualties at Ticonderoga (See Scottish military Disasters Chapter 10; Death Prophesied ). The regiment gained “Royal” status in 1758 and was officially known as The Royal Highland Regiment. But to many it was always the Black Watch, the name dating back to its paramilitary police days and the dark “Government” tartan it was issued with.
In 1881 it merged with the 73rd Perthshire Regiment and assigned Perthshire, Fife, and the area around Dundee as its recruiting ground; the depot was in Perth. The 73rd had started life as the 2nd Battalion of the Black Watch but has been made a separate regiment in 1786. It was one of the Highland regiments which lost the kilt in 1809 in a bid to attract non-Scottish recruits. The regiment struggled to maintain any semblance of Scottishness and by the 1860s many regarded it as an English regiment. By the time it was designated the 2nd Battalion of the Black Watch in 1881 there was a suspicion that it had been heavily infiltrated by militant Irish nationalists. The 3rd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) carries on the traditions of the Black Watch and is based at Fort George near Inverness. The battalion sports the traditional red hackle associated with the Black Watch. All the battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland are kilted. The tartan is based on the old Argylls Government 1A sett. Link to Black Watch Museum
The Highland Light Infantry
Although a number of Highland regiments were raised following the success of the Black Watch, they were all disbanded at the end of their war service. The first to survive the coming of peace and remain in existence was the 73rd Highlanders. Raised by former Jacobite John MacKenzie, Lord MacLeod, in 1777, it was a true clan regiment and contained no fewer than 17 officers called MacKenzie. It was sent to India and was soon renumbered the 71st. In 1806 the entire regiment was captured by the Spanish at Buenos Aires ( See Scottish military Disasters Chapter 16; The Treasure Seekers ). The regiment's long service in India often meant it was kitted out with trousers rather than kilts for many of its early years and it seems unlikely it wore tartan in either South Africa or Argentina in 1806-07. In 1808 it wore MacKenzie tartan trews. In 1809 it became an elite light infantry regiment and by the time of Waterloo wore standard grey trousers. Trews made a comeback around 1829. In 1881 the 71st merged with the 74th Highlanders to form a two battalion regiment. The 74th Highlanders had been raised in 1787 for service in India by Sir Archibald Campbell and at first was recruited from the Argyllshire area; though it needed a strong infusion of recruits from Glasgow and Paisley to bring it up to strength. It suffered heavy casualties in India and was one of regiments deprived of the kilt in 1809 to encourage English and Irish recruits and long struggled to maintain even a Scottish identity. This was partially recovered when the regiment was authorised to wear Government tartan trews with a white overstripe (Lamont) in 1845. It was originally was paired with the Cameronians in the run-up to the 1881 reforms. The two battalion HLI created by the 1881 reforms had the City of Glasgow for a recruiting area and had its depot there from 1920; the original post-1881 depot having been at Hamilton. During the First World War the HLI had three famous what the English called "Pals Battalions", the 15th (Tramways), 16th (Boys' Brigade) and the 17th (Chamber of Commerce). In both World Wars the HLI was the official parent regiment of the Glasgow Highlanders. But the Highlanders wore uniforms similar to those of the Black Watch. The HLI resumed wearing the kilt in 1947 but went back into MacKenzie tartan trews in 1958 following amalgamation with the Royal Scots Fusiliers to form the Royal Highland Fusiliers. Its traditions are now carried on by the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS) and is based at Glencorse Barracks near Edinburgh. The new battalion sports the white hackle formerly associated with the Royal Highland Fusiliers. All the battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland are kilted. The tartan is based on the old Argylls Government 1A sett. Link to Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum
The Seaforth Highlanders
The Earl of Seaforth raised a regiment from his Highland estates in Ross-shire and Lewis in 1778 which was originally numbered the 78th Highlanders. Eight years later it was renumbered the 72nd Highlanders. Despite being predominatly Scottish it lost the kilt in 1809 and dressed as an English regiment. The regiment's Scottish character was recognised again in 1823 when it was kitted out with Royal Stewart (sometimes known as Charles Edward Stuart) tartan trews and named The Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders. The uniform was Highland, including ostrich feather bonnet, despite the lack kilts. Many of the soldiers who fought in trews on the battlefields of Afghanistan between 1878 and 1880 found themselves fighting in kilts two years later in the Egyptian desert as members of the 1st Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders.
A second regiment was raised from the MacKenzie lands and surrounding area in 1793 and numbered the 78th. Known as the Ross-shire Buffs, the regiment remained staunchly Scottish and retained the Mackenzie tartan kilt. In the run-up to the 1881 reforms which created the Seaforth Highlanders, the 72nd were paired with the 91st Argyll Highlanders, while the 78th was linked to the Highland Light Infantry. The Seaforth Highlanders had their depot at Fort George near Inverness and recruited from the areas north and east of the Highland capital.
In 1961 the Seaforth Highlanders and the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders were merged to form the Queen's Own Highlanders. Then in 1994 the regiment was merged with the Gordon Highlanders to form the unimaginatively named The Highlanders. The 4th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS) perpetuates a blend of the Seaforth, Cameron and Gordon traditions. Members of 4 SCOTS wear the blue hackle on its Tam o'Shanters first sported by the Camerons, then the Queen's Own Highlanders and latterly by The Highlanders. The battalion is based at Catterick in Yorkshire. All the battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland are kilted. The tartan is based on the old Argylls Government 1A sett. Link to The Highlanders Museum
The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
This regiment was intended to be raised in 1793 from the Cameron clan's traditional lands in western Inverness-shire - though some researchers have calculated that it contained fewer than 200 genuine Highlanders. Originally known as the Cameronian Volunteers the name was quickly changed to The Cameron Highlanders. It retained its Scottish character and was the only line regiment not forced into a shotgun marriage in 1881 with another regiment – there was talk of it becoming part of the Brigade of Guards. A second battalion was authorised in 1897. The Camerons had their depot in Inverness and recruited from Inverness-shire. The 1st battalion is reputed to have been the last Highland unit to go into action wearing the kilt, against the Germans in 1940. While the other Highland regiments wore kilts or trews based closely on government tartan, the Camerons wore a distinctive red, green and yellow tartan known as Cameron of Erracht. The Camerons merged with the Seaforths in 1961 to form the Queen's Own Highlanders which in turn merged with the Gordons in 1994 to become a regiment known as The Highlanders. Now the 4th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS), its members wear a blue hackle on their Tam o'Shanters and are based in Catterick in Yorkshire. All the battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland are kilted. The tartan is based on the old Argylls Government 1A sett. Link to The Highlanders Museum
The Gordon Highlanders
This regiment was unusual because it took on the name of the higher numbered battalion involved in the 1881 merger. The 92nd Highlanders had been raised mainly from the Duke of Gordon's Highland estates, which included much of Inverness-shire, in 1794 and was originally numbered 100th Highlanders. Its first commanding officer was a Cameron. The regiment remained staunchly Scottish, and kilted, in the years up until 1881. For much of the 1870s it was paired with the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, regarded by many as the most Highland of the Highland regiments. The regiment wore Gordon tartan kilts, basically the dark Government tartan with a yellow over-stripe.
But in 1881 it was decided to merge the Gordons with the 75th Stirling regiment. This had been raised in 1787 as the 75th Highlanders but was amongst those which were de-kilted in 1809 in a bid to attract more English and Irish recruits. By 1881 it was no longer considered Scottish and had spent much of the previous decade linked with the Dorsetshire Regiment.
The Gordons were based in Aberdeen and recruited from Aberdeenshire. The Gordons merged with the Queen's Own Highlanders in 1994 to form The Highlanders; now the 4th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS). Members of 4 SCOTS wear a blue hackle on their Tam o'Shanters and the battalion is based in Catterick, Yorkshire. All the battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland are kilted. The tartan is based on the old Argyll's Government 1A sett. Link to The Gordon Highlanders Museum
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
The 91st Argyle Highlanders were raised by the Campbells in 1794 (and originally numbered the 98th Highlanders). Although most of the officers came from Argyll, the regiment had a strong Lowland character and later a large Irish contingent. It was de-kilted in 1809 but struggled long and hard to retain its Scottish character. A large draft of men for the 91st was on board the troopship Birkenhead when it sank off South Africa in 1852 (See Scottish military Disasters Chapter 20 ; Women and Children First ). In 1864 the 91st was authorised to wear Government (Black Watch) trews with a red and light blue over-stripe (known as Campbell of Cawdor). The battalion went back into the kilt in 1881 when it merged with the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders to form the Sutherland and Argyll Highlanders. The names were quickly switched around to the more melodic-sounding Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, shortened further by many to The Argylls.
The 93rd Sutherland Highlanders were raised in 1799 from the estates of the Countess of Sutherland by General William Weymss. Legend has it that Weymss had all the fit young men of each Parish lined up for his inspection and gave men he selected a pinch of snuff and orders to report for military service. Many of the recruits had previously served with the home defence Sutherland Fencibles. The regiment narrowly avoided being disbanded during a brief period of peace between Britain and France in 1802. It suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 (See Chapter 18 ; The Stonewall Highlanders in Scottish Military Disasters) and was the original of Thin Red Line described by war correspondent William Russell which drove off a large force of Russian cavalry at the Battle of Balaklava in 1854. Russell actually wrote “thin red streak” in his original report but the phrase is usually remembered as “thin red line”. Often described as the most Highland of the Highland regiments, in 1853 it was reported that only 30 men in the unit were not from the counties of Inverness, Ross or Sutherland. The Sutherlands were very religious and supported their own mobile Church of Scotland parish. The regimental tartan was sometimes referred to as Sutherland, supposedly a little lighter than the Government sett issued to the Black Watch. This was the tartan adopted by the Argylls.
The 1881 merger brought the regimental depot to Stirling and it lost all links with Sutherland. The regiment recruited from central Scotland, Argyll, and Dunbartonshire. As the “junior” Highland regiment it came close to being disbanded in the late 1960s but a vigorous public campaign and the need for soldiers to serve in Northern Ireland saved it. The regiment had been reduced briefly to company strength, about 100 men, and some experts say an over-rapid expansion back to full battalion level in 1971 was responsible for disciplinary problems which plagued the regiment in the following decade. The regiment became the fifth battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 Scots) in 2006 but was reduced in 2013 to company strength, known as Balaklava Company (5 Scots), and based at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh. The company wears green hackles on their Tam o'Shanters. All the battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland are kilted. The tartan is based on the old Argylls Government 1A sett. Link to Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum
Recruitment Areas of the Scottish Regiments Circa 1914
The move towards fixed recruiting areas for each regiment was well in train by the 1870s and the boundaries pretty much set by the 1881 Cardwell Reforms. But even then, those boundaries were not set in stone. The Royal Scots Fusiliers had to turn the Galloway area over the King's Own Scottish Borderers in around 1900. The map reflects the recruiting areas around the time of the First World War.
I'm no artist and the map's not the greatest. If anyone spots a major error, let me know and I'll alter the map.
Space restrictions mean the map shows Glasgow as solely Highland Light Infantry territory. The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) also recruited heavily in Glasgow. Once again, space restrictions mean the Cameronians' recruiting area is labelled "Scot. Rifles". During the First World War only the 1st Battalion of the regiment went by Cameronians, all the other battalions called themselves the Scottish Rifles. In the Second World War all the battalions called themselves Cameronians.
Glasgow provided recruits to all the Scottish regiments. Lacking any cities or major population centres, the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and the Seaforth Highlanders both had a hard time filling their wartime ranks from their recruiting areas. An old Cameron, captured with much of the old 51st Highland Division at St. Valery in 1940, used to joke "Moskovitz, Schellenberg, O'Hara, Snodgrass, Goldberg, - A Company Cameron Highlanders reporting for duty, Sir."
The Scots Guards and the Scots Greys both recruited from throughout Scotland.
For a details of the counties assigned to each regiment for recruiting purposes check out Recruiting Area Map
You may also be interested in Photo Identification
And as I know a number of you are interested in the uniforms of the Royal Regiment of Scotland I thought this link to the Royal Regiment of Scotland Dress Regulations website might be appreciated.
While by the First World War most of the old part-time infantry units, militia and volunteers, had been absorbed into the new Territorial Force as battalions of the well known regular regiments several of the part time cavalry units continued in their own right. Later, during the Second World War several served as armoured units while others became part of the Royal Artillery.
The Lovat Scots were formed by Lord Lovat during the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War and was made up mainly of Highland estate workers such as ghillies, gamekeepers and deer stalkers. Not surprisingly, it was known for its marksmanship and excellent fieldcraft. During the First World War the 1st Lovat Scouts served at Gallipoli before being converted to infantry as the 10th Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and serving at Salonika in Greece. The Lovat Scouts also provided snipers for the Western Front. During the Second World War the regiment was trained in Canada as mountain warfare specialists after a stint garrisoning the Faroe Islands. It then served in Italy. After the war it was converted into an artillery unit but in the 1960s reverted to an infantry role as a Territorial Army company. It is now part of the 7th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Lothians and Border Horse
This yeomanry cavalry units traces its roots back to 1797 when it drew on East Lothian and Berwickshire for its troopers. It eventually became the Lothians and Border Horse in 1908. During the Second Boer War it contributed a company to the 6th (Scottish) Imperial Yeomanry. During the First World War regiment's squadrons were distributed amongst three infantry divisions as cavalry support. In 1917 two of the squadrons, used as cavalry for V Corps, were converted to infantry formed the core of the 17th Royal Scots. Two other squadrons served at Salonika in Greece from 1917 onwards. The 1st Lothians and Border Yeomanry fought in Vickers light tanks as part of the 51st Highland Division in 1940 and was part of the surrender at St Valery en Caux. Some personel escaped and the reformed unit was part of the 79th Armoured Division after D Day in 1944, equipped with mine-clearing flail tanks. The 2nd Lothians and Border Horse served as a tank unit with the 1st British Army in Tunisia and was instrumental in stopping the Germans after the US Army's collapse at the Kasserine Pass. It then served in Italy. The regiment was merged with the Lanarkshire and Glasgow yeomanries in 1956 to form the Queen's Own Lowland Yeomanry and now provides a squadron of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry
Fife and Forfar Yeomanry
This regiment traces its roots back to the Forfar Yeomanry which was first raised in 1794. The Fife Yeomanary was formed in 1803 from a Kirkcaldy unit which was begun in 1797. Both units were disbanded and re-raised between 1828 and the 1860s when the 1st Fifeshire Mounted Rifle Volunteer Corps was raised. The Forfarshire Yeomanry was raised in 1856 but disbanded six years later only to reemerge as the Forfarshire Light Horse Volunteer Corps in 1876. Both sent men to the 20th company of the 6th (Scottish) Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry. The two units merged in 1901 as the Fifeshire and Forfarshire Imperial Yeomanry and became part of the Territorial Force in 1908. During the First World War the first battalion became the 14th Battalion of the Black Watch and served in the 74th Yeomanry Division in Egypt and Palestine before being rushed to the Western Front in 1918. During the Second World War the Fife and Forfar started out as the reconnaisance regiment of the 51st Highland Division but was replaced by the Lothians and Borders and thus escaped from Dunkirk. The 1st Fife and Forfar served in the 79th Armoured Division using flame throwing Crocodile tanks after D Day. The 2nd Fife and Forfar was part of the 11th Armoured Division in Northwest Europe from June 1944 until the end of the war. The regiment was merged with the Scottish Horse in 1956 and is now part of the The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry.
The Scottish Horse, like the Lovat Scouts, was formed during the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War when it became clear that to fight the mounted Boer commandos more horsemen were required. At first the regiment was recruited from Scots living in Cape Colony and other parts of southern Africa. These first recruits were soon supplemented by Australian and other South Africans. By the time of the First World War it had squadrons based across Perthshire, North East Scotland and Argyll. It sent three regiments to Gallipoli. In October 1916 two of the regiments became the 13th Black Watch, which was sent to Salonika in Greece. The third became part of the Machine Gun Corps and was then joined the Lovat Scouts in the 10th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, ending the war on the Western Front as part of the 50th Northumbrian Division. The unit started the Second World War as a mounted reconnaissance unit but in 1940 was divided to become the 79th and 80th Medium Regiments of the Royal Artillery. The 80th (Scottish Horse) Regiment served in Italy. After the war it returned to an armoured role and in 1956 was amalgamated with the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, and is now part of the The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, a reconnaissance unit.
Like many of the Scottish yeomanry units, the Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick’s Own) Yeomanry traced its roots to 1794 and the war against the French. It sent volunteers to the 6th (Scottish) Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry during the 1899-1902 Anglo Boer War and served in an infantry role at Gallipoli in 1915. In 1917 it became part of the 12th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and served in Palestine with the 74th Yeomanry Division, before ending the war on the Western Front. As with the Scottish Horse, during World War Two the unit was split in two to form two regiments of the Royal Artillery, the 151st and 152nd (Ayrshire Yeomanry) Field Regiments. The 151st fought in Tunisia and was then assigned to the 11th Armoured Division in Northwest Europe after D Day. The 152nd also fought in Tunisia but then went to Italy. The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry has a squadron based in Ayr.
This unit dates back to 1819, after the Napoleonic Wars had ended. Along with the Ayrshire Yeomanry it sent volunteers to the 6th (Scottish) Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry’s 17th Company during the 1899-1902 Anglo Boer War. It served alongside the Ayrshire unit at Gallipoli in 1915 and the two regiments amalgamated into the the 12th Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1917, seeing service in Palestine and on the Western Front. During the Second World War, again like the Ayrshire regiment, it was converted into two field regiments of the Royal Artillery, the 155th and the 156th. The 155th fought in Malaya and was captured by the Japanese in 1942 at Singapore. The 156th took part in the invasion of Sicily and the Italian Campaign before ending the war in Northwest Europe.
Queen’s Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry
First raised in 1796 as the Glasgow Light Horse. It provided men to the 6th (Scottish) Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry during the 1899-1902 Anglo Boer War. Two squadrons fought at Gallipoli as infantry attached to the 52nd Lowland Division. The regiment was split up for much of the war with some squadrons serving on the Western Front while others were in Palestine. About 150 men were sent to the 18ty Highland Light Infantry in 1917. In 1921 it became part of the Royal Artillery as a field gun regiment and then in 1938 it became the 54th and 64th Anti-Tank regiments of the Royal Artillery. As part of the 52nd Lowland Division the 54th was briefly landed in France and then evacuated after Dunkirk. It was trained in mountain warfare with the rest of division but then was sent to fight alongside the 1st Canadian Army in the Netherlands. The 64th became part of the 78th Infantry Division and fought in Tunisia and Italy. Some parts if the regiment also saw service in Greece. In 1947 it was returned to an armoured role before amalgamating with the Lanarkshire Yeomanry and the Lothians and Border Horse in 1956 to form the Queen’s Own Lowland Yeomanry.
The three infantry regiments based in England all enjoyed enviable fighting records.
Liverpool played host to several volunteer units which celebrated the Scottish heritage of their membership. In the 1850s three companies were formed into the 19th (Liverpool Scottish) Lancashire Volunteer Rifle Corps. The unit was noted for the number of skilled literate men, many members of the "professions", in its ranks and the higher than usual level of education was a hallmark of the Liverpool Scottish well into the 20thCentury.
In 1900 it became the 8th (Scottish) Battalion of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment. It sent volunteers to the Gordon Highlanders during the 1899-1902. During the First World War the Liverpool Scottish was one of the first seven Territorial Army battles to go into action as the 10th King's. In the 1920s the unit developed a relationship with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and in 1937 became a territorial battalion of the Camerons. During the Second World War the 1st Liverpool Scots remained in the UK but sent drafts to the Camerons and to No 2 Commando, which took part in the St Nazaire Raid in 1942 in which several members wore kilts. The 2nd Battalion was converted to a Royal Artillery anti-tank unit, the 89th Regiment. After the war it provided a company of the 51st Highland Volunteers and a troop of artillery. By 1999 the infantry company had been reduced to a platoon of the King's and Cheshire Regiment but it was disbanded in 2014 and the personnel affiliated to the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.
The Tyneside Scottish dates back to the First World War. The call for recruits of Scottish heritage in 1914 was so successful that the Tyneside Scottish formed four frontline battalions of the Northumberland Fusiliers which serves alongside each other as the 102nd (Tyneside Scottish) Brigade of the 34th Division from the 1916 Battle of the Somme onwards.
In 1939 the 12th (Tyneside Scottish) Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry was raised and within a year had become the 1st Tyneside Scottish Battalion of the Black Watch. It served in the British Expeditionary Force, was evacuated from Dunkirk and was part of the Iceland Garrison until 1942. It was badly chewed up in Normandy and placed in suspended animation. After the war it became and anti-aircraft regiment of the Royal Artillery, 670th, was reduced to battery strength as part of 439th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment and is now represented by 204 (Tyneside Scottish) Battery of the 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment of the Royal Artillery, complete with tam o'shanters rather than black berets.
The London Scottish started life in 1859 as a rifle volunteer unit sponsored by the Highland Society of London and the Caledonian Society of London. Originally the London Scottish Rifle Volunteers, it became the 7th (London Scottish) Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps and during the 1899-1902 South African War sent drafts of men to Gordon Highlanders and several Yeomanry regiments.
In 1908 the 14th (County of London) Battalion of the London Regiment (London Scottish). It was the first Territorial Force unit to see action in France. After the war it was dubbed the Hollywood Battalion thanks to the number of former members who became film stars - Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains, Ronald Coleman and Herbert Marshall. The battalion drill hall was near London's theatre district. Members of the battalion were supposed to have been born in Scotland or have a Scottish parent. A second battalion served in Greece and Palestine. In 1937 the unit was affiliated with the Gordon Highlanders. As part of the 56th London Division the 1st Battalion fought in Italy. The 3rd Battalion was converted to the 97th (London Scottish) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment of the Royal Artillery helping defend London during the Blitz before going onto serve in Italy. In 1947 it became a T.A. anti-aircraft unit and eventually shed its connections to the London Scottish. In 1967 the London Scottish provided a company to the 51st Highland Volunteers and since 1992 it has been part of the London Regiment. The London Scottish were plain brown/grey kilts in honour of their first commanding officer back in 1859, Lord Elcho.