Tag Archives: Royal Regiment of Scotland

Those pants, tho

“My first warlike frenzy!” Via The Illustrated Naval and Military magazine

Happy birthday today to the oldest regiment in the British Army– and among the snazziest dressers, with Hunting Stewart tartan trews being a standard part of their kit for a long time.

The Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment), c.1908

Although the British standing army dates to a Royal Warrant issued by Charles II on 26 January 1661, the oldest regiment actually predates that by a good bit.

Sir John Hepburn, then a 34-year old Scottish soldier who had been fighting in the Thirty Years War for about half his life and had already been made a colonel and knighted by Swedish King Gustav II Adolf, was granted a warrant dated Edinburgh, 24 April 1633, by the Privy Council of Scotland to raise a regiment of 1,200 men in Scotland for French service.

Dubbed originally Régiment d’Hebron, it was off to the Continent in no time to see bloody combat. While Sir John himself was killed by a gunshot wound during the siege of Saverne in Alsace just three years later and buried at Toul, his regiment lived on and over time would become the First Foot or Royal Scots in British service, where it had remained ever since.

The Regiment has since picked up Battle Honours at:

Tangier 1680, Namur 1695, Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Louisburg, Havannah, Egmont-op-Zee, Egypt,St Lucia 1803, Corunna, Busaco, Salamanca, Vittoria, San Sebastian, Nive, Peninsula, Niagara, Waterloo, Nagpore, Maheidpoor, Ava, Alma, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Taku Forts, Pekin 1860, South Africa 1899–1902, Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914 ’18, Aisne 1914, La Bassée 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Ypres 1915 ’17 ’18, Gravenstafel, St Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Aubers, Festubert 1915, Loos, Somme 1916 ’18, Albert 1916 ’18, Bazentin, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916 ’18, Arras 1917 ’18, Scarpe 1917 ’18, Arleux, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917, St Quentin, Rosières, Lys, Estaires, Messines 1918, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Béthune, Soissonnais-Ourcq, Tardenois, Amiens, Bapaume 1918, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, St Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Courtrai, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914–18, Struma, Macedonia 1915–18, Helles, Landing at Helles, Krithia, Suvla, Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915–16, Rumani, Egypt 1915–16, Gaza, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jaffa, Palestine 1917–18, Archangel 1918-19, Dyle, Defence of Escaut, St Omer-La Bassée, Odon, Cheux, Defence of Rauray, Caen, Esquay, Mont Pincon, Aart, Nederrijn, Best, Scheldt, Flushing, Meijel, Venlo Pocket, Roer, Rhineland, Reichswald, Cleve, Goch, Rhine, Uelzen, Bremen, Artlenberg, North-West Europe 1940, ’44–45, Gothic Line, Marradi, Monte Gamberaldi, Italy 1944–45, South East Asia 1941, Donbaik, Kohima, Relief of Kohima, Aradura, Shwebo, Mandalay, Burma 1943–45 and Wadi Al Batin 1991.

And they looked good doing it.

In 2006, the unit was merged with the other Scottish Infantry Regiments to form one of the seven battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. The direct link is to 1st Battalion, The Royal Scots Borderers or 1 SCOTS, a Specialised Infantry Battalion providing overseas capacity building (training, assistance, advice and mentoring) to British allies.

The unit today is some 386 years old.

Sir John would be proud.

Part of B Company, 1 SCOTS, Camp Qargha, Kabul with their Foxhounds, 2016

May the Fourth be with you

Soldiers from 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and a Stormtrooper of the First Order compare weapons. (Photo: MoD)

Of course, it should be pointed out that Stormtroopers in the original series used vis-modded British Lewis guns and Sterling SMGs

The Sandtrooper officer in the middle carries the T-21 Blaster (Lewis Machine Gun sans drum magazine).

Happy Red Hackle Day

Today is Red Hackle Day! This annual celebration on 5 January commemorates the award to The Black Watch (3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, 3 SCOTS) of the right to wear the Red Hackle in their caps.

The Black Watch at Quatre Bras, 1815, by William Barnes Wollen. Note the red hackles in their caps

The Black Watch at Quatre Bras, 1815, by William Barnes Wollen. Note the red hackles in their caps

Forward! 42nd Highland (Black Watch) at the Battle of Alma, 1854, Crimean War. Note the red hackles

Forward! 42nd Highland (Black Watch) at the Battle of Alma, 1854, Crimean War. Note the red hackles

The origin of the wearing of the Red Hackle is uncertain. There is evidence that it was worn by the 42nd in North America in the 1770s, however a 19th Century tradition ascribes the award of the Red Hackle to an action at the battle of Geldermalsen in 1795 when the 11th Light Dragoons retreated, leaving two field guns for the French. The Black Watch promptly mounted an attack and recovered the guns.

It was for this action that the Red Hackle was allegedly awarded and on the King’s birthday on 4 June 1795, there was a parade at Royston in Hertfordshire, when a Red Hackle was given to every man on parade. It was not until 1822 that the Adjutant General issued an order, confirming that only The Black Watch would have the privilege of wearing the red “vulture feather” in their bonnets.

In 1919 the Central Committee of The Black Watch Association formalised the date on which the Regiment should celebrate “Red Hackle Day”.

The tradition is carried on to this day.

Date 03/09/11 Location Fort George Invernes-shire Photo by Mark Owens: His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay inspects troops at Fort George today. Photo Caption: DUKE OF ROTHESAY VISITS 3 SCOTS Today [Saturday, 3 September 2011] His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay visited The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at their Fort George base. The Battalion paraded its new Colours in the presence of HRH and Battalion’s families. The Parade was followed by a BBQ lunch, which led into a number of afternoon activities, encompassing military stands, entertainment for the children, and an inter-company competition. The day provided an opportunity to assemble the Battalion community for the final time prior to 3 SCOTS forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan , and allowed HRH – the Battalion’s Royal Colonel - to meet soldiers and their families. ENDS Note my new DII e-mail address: 2XX-G3Media-Ops-Edin-PIO (Jamieson, Bill Mr) Bill Jamieson Press Officer Army G3 Media and Communications (Based at G3 Media and Communications HQ 2nd Division) 94740 2611 - HQ 2nd Division (Military) 0131 310 2611 - HQ 2nd Division (Civilian) 07900 607919 (Mobile) bill.jamieson678@mod.uk

Date 03/09/11 Location Fort George Invernes-shire , Photo by Mark Owens: His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay inspects troops at Fort George today.
Photo Caption: DUKE OF ROTHESAY VISITS 3 SCOTS, Today [Saturday, 3 September 2011] His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay visited The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at their Fort George base. The Battalion paraded its new Colours in the presence of HRH and Battalion’s families. The Parade was followed by a BBQ lunch, which led into a number of afternoon activities, encompassing military stands, entertainment for the children, and an inter-company competition. The day provided an opportunity to assemble the Battalion community for the final time prior to 3 SCOTS forthcoming deployment to Afghanistan , and allowed HRH – the Battalion’s Royal Colonel – to meet soldiers and their families.