Royal Regiment of Scotland
The Royal Regiment of Scotland is the senior and only Scottish line infantry regiment of the British Army Infantry. It consists of four regular and two reserve battalions, plus an incremental company, each formerly an individual regiment (with the exception of the first battalion, which is an amalgamation of two regiments). However, each battalion maintains its former regimental pipes and drums to carry on the traditions of their antecedent regiments.
|Royal Regiment of Scotland|
Cap Badge of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
|Founded||28 March 2006|
One reinforced company
|Part of||Scottish, Welsh and Irish Division|
|Motto(s)||"Nemo Me Impune Lacessit"|
"No One Provokes Me With Impunity"
|March||Quick: Scotland the Brave |
Slow: Royal Regiment of Scotland Slow March
|Mascot(s)||Cruachan IV (Shetland pony)|
|Colonel in Chief||HM The Queen|
|Major-General Bob Bruce CBE DSO|
|Tactical Recognition Flash|
From the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers
As part of restructuring in the British Army, the Royal Regiment of Scotland's creation was announced by the Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon in the House of Commons on 16 December 2004, after the merger of several regiments and the reduction in total regular infantry battalions from 40 to 36 was outlined in the defence white paper, Delivering Security in a Changing World, several months earlier.
The regiment consists of a total of seven battalions: one of these was formed by the amalgamation of the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers, while the others are each formed from one of the remaining single-battalion regiments of the Scottish Division. Of all of the new regiments formed following the announcement of 16 December 2004, the Royal Regiment of Scotland is the only one where the former regimental titles have been prominently retained with the new numbered battalion designations as subtitles. There is however a common regimental cap badge, tactical recognition flash (TRF), tartan, stable belt and Glengarry headdress but distinctively coloured hackles are also worn by each separate battalion on the Tam o' Shanter headdress to maintain their individual identity and the pipes and drums of each battalion continue to wear the ceremonial uniforms and tartans of their former regiments.
Along with the Rifles, the Royal Regiment of Scotland is also one of only two line infantry regiments to maintain its own regular military band within the Corps of Army Music, which was formed through the amalgamation of the Highland band and Lowland band of the Scottish Division. In addition, there are two Territorial bands, the Highland Band and the Lowland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which are administered by the regiment's two Territorial battalions. The regiment also has its own Parachute Display Team, the Golden Lions and shinty team, the Scots Shinty Club.
In 1948, every regiment of line infantry was reduced to a single battalion. The subsequent process of reducing the overall number of infantry regiments in the Army through disbandment or amalgamation of the traditional county regiments that were formalised in the Childers Reforms of 1881 to form larger multi-battalion regiments, has continued to affect most of the British Army Infantry since the 1957 Defence White Paper outlined the first mergers. The creation of the Royal Regiment of Scotland encountered considerable opposition amongst former soldiers, conservatives and nationalist groups.
The new regiment is also primarily a kilted one and there are concerns that the much older Lowland units, which traditionally wore trews, will be effectively absorbed into a Highland tradition. However, the Ministry of Defence's case that change was necessary to enhance operational efficiency through economies of scale, improve and create more flexible conditions of service and to resolve chronic recruiting and retention problems amongst the eight single-battalion Scottish regiments appears to have been accepted by the majority of serving personnel, and indeed was recommended by the then Chief of the General Staff, Sir Mike Jackson. Jackson delegated the decision on how the reduction of battalions would be achieved to the Council of Scottish Colonels. The Council recommended that the Royal Scots should be amalgamated with the King's Own Scottish Borderers reflecting the former regiment's long term poor recruiting record and high reliance on Commonwealth recruits.
The status of the Black Watch was particularly controversial. When the confirmed plan to amalgamate the regiments was announced, 1st Battalion The Black Watch was deployed away from Basra at Camp Dogwood in a relatively dangerous region of Iraq. Hoon was accused by the SNP of "stabbing the soldiers in the back" and being motivated purely by political and administrative concerns, with little regard to the effect on morale. This controversy was further exacerbated in the minds of some by the fact that the Colonel of the Black Watch, Lieutenant-General Alistair Irwin, was a member of the Army Board at the time that the options to change the size and structure of the infantry by forming large regiments, including to amalgamate regiments of the Scottish Division into a single regiment, were being considered in the Ministry of Defence and final decisions taken.
The regiment was initially formed of six regular and two Territorial battalions on 28 March 2006. On 1 August 2006, the Royal Scots Battalion and King's Own Scottish Borderers Battalion were amalgamated into the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Borderers, leaving the final regular roll of five regular battalions.
In 2012, as part of the Army 2020 reform package, it was announced that the 5th Battalion, while not losing its name, connection and history as the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, would be reduced to the status of an incremental company, similar to the three companies in the Guards Division, and be transferred to become a permanent public duties unit in Scotland.
- Regular battalions
- 1st (Royal Scots Borderers) Battalion - Convert to Specialized Infantry Battalion, under new "Specialized Infantry Group" - Aldershot
- 2nd (Royal Highland Fusiliers) Battalion - Stay Light Infantry Battalion, under 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland - Edinburgh
- 3rd (Black Watch) Battalion - Convert to Light Mechanized with Foxhound, under 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland - Fort George
- 4th (Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons)) Battalion - Stay Mechanized, move to Catterick Garrison
- 5th (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) Battalion - Reduced to 1 Company, public duties - Edinburgh Castle
- Reserve battalions
- The Regiment also has many bands:
- Pipe Bands
- Pipes and Drums of the 1st (Royal Scots Borderers) Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland
- Pipes and Drums of the 2nd (Royal Highland Fusiliers) Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland
- Pipes and Drums of the 3rd (Black Watch) Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland
- Pipes and Drums of the 4th (The Highlanders) Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland
- Pipes and Drums of the 6th (52nd Lowland) Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (TA)
- Pipes and Drums of the 7th (51st Highland) Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (TA)
The Museum of the Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) and the Royal Regiment of Scotland is located in Edinburgh Castle. Operating as an independent museum, the exhibits include dioramas, uniforms, medals, weapons, drums, ceremonial regalia and silver. Displays focus on the regiment's activities since its founding up to contemporary Army life.
- 1st Battalion: HRH The Princess Royal
- 2nd Battalion: HRH The Duke of York
- 3rd Battalion: HRH The Duke of Rothesay1
- 4th Battalion: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
- 5th Battalion: HM The Queen
- 6th Battalion: HRH The Princess Royal
- 7th Battalion: HRH The Duke of Rothesay
Uniform and dress
Cap badge and motto
In August 2005, the new regimental cap badge was unveiled at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The design was the result of a collaborative effort, led by Brigadier Andrew Mackay, along with other serving and retired officers and Regimental Sergeant Majors, with advice from the Lord Lyon King of Arms. The new cap badge incorporates the Saltire of St Andrew and the Lion Rampant of the Royal Standard of Scotland, which are two prominent national symbols. The cap badge is surmounted by a crown, in this case the Crown of Scotland. The regiment's motto is Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (No One Assails Me With Impunity)—which is the motto of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland's highest order of chivalry, and was also the motto of four of the pre-existing Scottish regiments.
The new regiment's various Dress Uniforms incorporate a number of "golden threads" from the antecedent regiments. Some of the most prominent include:
- All battalions wear the Lowland pattern Glengarry, this pattern was in fact also common to the Seaforth Highlanders and Gordon Highlanders, as well as the Lowland Royal Highland Fusiliers, Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers regiments.
- In No. 1 and No. 2 pattern dress, all battalions wear Blackcock tail feathers attached to the Glengarry in a tradition taken from the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers.
- The regimental motto of the Highlanders, Cuidich 'n Righ (Aid the King), has been incorporated into the Royal Scots Thistle pattern collar dogs worn on the No.1 and No.2 pattern doublet or Service Dress jacket.
- The tartan adopted by the new regiment is Government 1A (sometimes known as Sutherland), a version of the Government (Black Watch) tartan worn by the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
- The kilt is sewn in a box pleat style, as worn by the 2nd Battalion Black Watch, Seaforth Highlanders, Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The Sporran is in the horsehair style worn by the Seaforth Highlanders and Gordon Highlanders, with a brass Black Watch cantle.
- The Black and Red diced Hose and scarlet Garter flashes are in a style worn by the Black Watch. The Spats with black buttons, worn over the Brogues, are in a style worn by the Gordon Highlanders, with a point to the rear, as worn by the Black Watch.
- The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland wears the Feather bonnet with a red over white hackle and scarlet Doublet in Full Dress Uniform.
The official mascot is a Shetland pony named Cruachan. He was originally the regimental mascot of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders prior to the amalgamation. The first pony mascot was presented to the Argylls in 1929 by HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll and named after Ben Cruachan, a mountain in the Argylls' namesake lieutenancy, and the war cry of Clan Campbell, of whom the Duke of Argyll was chief. The current mascot is a Shetland pony Cruachan IV who was presented in late 2012.
Historic alliances are as follows:
- The Royal Scots Borderers
Canada: The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary's) Canada: Royal Newfoundland Regiment Canada: 1st Battalion, The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Carleton and York) Australia: 25th/49th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment Malaysia: 5th Battalion, The Royal Malay Regiment South Africa: The Witwatersrand Rifles Royal Navy: HMS Edinburgh
- The Royal Highland Fusiliers
Canada: The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada New Zealand: The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment Pakistan: 11th Battalion, The Baloch Regiment South Africa: Prince Alfred's Guard
- The Black Watch
Canada: The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada Canada: 42nd Field Artillery Regiment (Lanark and Renfrew Scottish), RCA Canada: The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC) Australia: The Royal Queensland Regiment Australia: The Royal New South Wales Regiment South Africa: The Transvaal Scottish New Zealand: The New Zealand Scottish Royal Navy: HMS Montrose
- The Highlanders
Canada: The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Duke of Edinburgh's Own) Canada: The 48th Highlanders of Canada Canada: The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada Canada: The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Canada: The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's Own) Australia: 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment Australia: 5th/6th Battalion, Royal Victoria Regiment (formerly 5th Battalion, The Victorian Scottish Regiment) Australia: The Royal South Australia Regiment Australia: 16th Battalion, The Royal Western Australia Regiment (formerly 16th Battalion, The Cameron Highlanders of Western Australia) New Zealand: The Otago and Southland Regiment New Zealand: The Wellington (City of Wellington's Own) and Hawke's Bay Regiment South Africa: The Cape Town Highlanders Royal Navy: HMS Sutherland Royal Navy: HMS Victorious
- The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
- "Delivering Security in a Changing World" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- Chappell, Mike (1987). The British Soldier in the 20th Century Part 2, Field Service Head Dress 1902 to the present day. Wessex Publishing. ISBN 978-1870498012.
- "Shinty in the Armed Forces". Shinty. 20 March 2014. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Outrage at plans to disband three Scots infantry regiments Axe hangs over the Royal Scots, Black Watch and King's Own Scottish Borderers". Herald Scotland. 24 November 2003. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Why the Royal Scots can no longer hold the line". The Daily Telegraph. 10 October 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "Royal Regiment of Scotland". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders downgraded in MoD cuts plan". BBC News. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "Transforming the British Army: An update" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "2020 Structure" (PDF).
- "Corps of Army Music". www.army.mod.uk. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Museum of the Royal Scots and the Royal Regiment of Scotland". The Royal Scots. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "Queen presents new colours to Royal Regiment of Scotland". The Daily Telegraph. 2 July 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "New Cap Badge for Royal Regiment of Scotland". British Armed Forces. 17 August 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Royal Regiment of Scotland Dress Regulations" (PDF). Royal Regiment of Scotland. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "The Royal Regiment of Scotland 2006". Scottish Military Articles. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- "Meet Cruachan IV - The mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland". Scottish Television. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- The London Gazette, Page 3300-3301 (1 July 1881). "Childers Reform" (24992). Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- The London Gazette, Page 5713 (22 November 1881). "War Office Memorandum" (25040). Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
- The London Gazette, Page 2590 (2 June 1882). "War Office, Pall Mall" (25114). Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Regiment of Scotland.|
- The Royal Regiment of Scotland- on British Army official website
- Amalgamation opposition site – R.O.A.R.
- MoD press release; Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon announces the regimental changes
- Defence News: Royal Regiment of Scotland officially formed
- Defence News: Uniforms of the Royal Regiment of Scotland
- The Royal Regiment of Scotland and its Predecessors
- The Royal Regiment of Scotland in the Scottish Military Heritage Centre
|Infantry Order of Precedence||Succeeded by|
Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment