The Royal Scots are Scotland's oldest infantry regiment, with a tradition that stretches back to 1633. This first concise history of the regiment is based largely on the recollections of several generations of Royal Scots - men like Private McBane, who carried his three-year-old son into battle at Malplaquet, and Private Begbie, the youngest soldier to serve in the First World War. These first-hand accounts take the reader through the great wars of the eighteenth century, when Britain was a rising global power, through the setbacks and the triumphs of the Napoleonic Wars and on to the glorious years of the nineteenth century. The two world wars of the twentieth century saw the Royals expand in size, and there are full accounts of its meritorious service on all the main battle fronts. More recently, the regiment has been involved in operations in the Balkans and Iraq. In 2006, in one of the most radical changes in the country's defence policy, the Royal Scots will be amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. Royal Scots is, therefore, a timely celebration of the British Army's most venerable regiment, right of the line and second to none.
Created in 1961 as a result of the amalgamation of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and the Seaforth Highlanders, the Queen's Own Highlanders embody the history and traditions of some of Scotland's oldest Highland regiments. Two great Highland families - Cameron of Lochdarroch and Mackenzie of Seaforth - were involved in the formation of the antecedent regiments and their tartans were incorporated in their successor's uniform.During its long history, the regiment has served in the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimea, the Indian Mutiny, the Boer War and the two World Wars of the twentieth century. After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Duke of Wellington specifically mentioned the Cameron Highlanders in his dispatches as a result of the bravery shown by Piper Kenneth Mackay, who left the safety of the regiment's defensive square to encourage the men by playing the traditional rallying tune 'Cogadh no Sith' (War or Peace - the True Gathering of the Clans).In 1994, the Queen's Own Highlanders amalgamated with the Gordon Highlanders, and in 2006 they became the 4th Battalion of the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. This account of the regiment is therefore a timely memorial to its long and distinguished history.
The Royal Highland Fusiliers came into being in 1959 as a result of the amalgamation of two regiments, both of which had strong connections with Glasgow and the west of Scotland: The Royal Scots Fusiliers, founded in 1678 by Charles Erskine, fifth Earl of Mar; and The Highland Light Infantry, or HLI, created in 1881 as a result of the amalgamation of the 71st Highlanders and the 74th Highlanders. Two distinctive infantry traditions can be found in the names of these regiments, which have helped to form the line infantry regiments of the British Army. Fusiliers were armed with the flintlock fusil instead of the more common matchlock musket, and light infantry came into being during the Napoleonic Wars to provide the army with a corps of skirmishing sharpshooters similar to Austrian and German Jäger troops.Amongst those who have served as fusiliers or light infantrymen are Hugh Trenchard, who became Air Chief Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Winston Churchill and David Niven, who joined the HLI from Sandhurst in the inter-war years. All these traditions and personalities went into the making of a regiment whose name lives on in the 2nd battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, which was formed in 2006 as a result of the restructuring of the infantry regiments of the British Army.
The Black Watch was formed at Aberfeldy in Perthshire in the early eighteenth century as an independent security force, or 'watch', to guard the approaches to the lawless areas of the Scottish Highlands.Instantly recognisable due to the famous red hackle cap badge and the traditional dark blue and green government tartan kilt from which it got its name, The Black Watch was renowned as one of the great fighting regiments of the British Army and served with distinction in all major conflicts from the War of Austrian Succession onwards. In a highly controversial move, the regiment served under the operational control of the US Army during the counter-insurgency war in Iraq in December 2004.The Black Watch prided itself on being a 'family regiment', with sons following fathers into its ranks, and this new concise history reflects the strong sense of identity which was created over the centuries. In 2006, as part of a radical review of the country's defence policy, The Black Watch was amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. This new account of the famous regiment is therefore a timely memorial to its long and distinguished history.
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders is one of the best-known regiments in the British Army. In a previous incarnation as the 93rd Highlanders, its soldiers were famed for being the 'thin red line' that repulsed the Russian heavy cavalry at the Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War. When the regiment was ordered to disband in 1968 as part of wide-ranging defence cuts, a popular 'Save the Argylls' campaign was successful in keeping the regiment in being. In 2006, it became the 5th battalion of the new Royal Regiment of Scotland.Formed by two earlier regiments, The Argylls have a stirring history of service to the British Crown. They served all over the empire, taking part in the Indian Mutiny and the Boer War, and fought in both World Wars. In the post-war period the Argylls captured the public imagination in 1967 when they reoccupied the Crater district of Aden following a period of riots.Recruiting mainly from the west of Scotland, the regiment has a unique character and throughout its history has retained a fierce regimental pride which is summed up by its motto: 'sans peur', meaning 'without fear'. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.
In May 1968, as part of cutbacks to the British Army, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was disbanded at a moving ceremony held at the same spot in Douglas in Lanarkshire at which it had been raised in 1689. And yet, although the regiment is no more, its place in history is unassailable. The ceremony embraced the history of one regiment, The Cameronians, which had its origins in the turbulent period that accompanied the rise of the House of Orange at the end of the seventeenth century, while its other component part - the 90th (Perthshire Light Infantry) - was raised as a light infantry regiment during the war against Revolutionary France.Following amalgamation in 1881, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) quickly built up a solid reputation as a fighting regiment. During the First World War it raised 27 battalions and during the Second World War its battalions served in Europe and Burma. In the course of its long history, the regiment provided the British Army with many distinguished soldiers including three field marshals: Viscounts Hill and Wolseley and Sir Evelyn Wood.Always tough and enduring in battle, it reflected the character of its main recruitment area - Glasgow and Lanarkshire - and in later years it took self-conscious pride when the Germans nicknamed its soldiers Giftzwerge, or poison dwarfs.
The Cameronians puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.
The Gordons recruited from the north-east of Scotland and the regiment's character was moulded by men from the farming counties of Aberdeenshire, Moray and Nairn. It was raised in 1794 by an aristocratic landowner, the Duke of Gordon, whose wife played a major role in attracting recruits by riding through her husband's estates and offering a guinea and a kiss to each man who enlisted. Originally raised as the 100th Highlanders, it was later renumbered the 92nd Highlanders and in 1881 was amalgamated with the 75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment to form The Gordon Highlanders.In the nineteenth century the two regiments were in constant service throughout the empire and in 1879 the 92nd Highlanders were involved in Lord Roberts' historic march from Kabul to Kandahar during the fighting in Afghanistan. One of the first Victoria Crosses was awarded to a Gordon Highlander, Private Beach, who was decorated for his supreme gallantry while serving in the Crimea in 1854. Another Victoria Cross winner was Major George White (Afghanistan, 1879), who went on to become a field marshal. During the fighting on the north-west frontier of India in 1897, Piper George Findlater was awarded the Victoria Cross for continuing to play his pipes despite being wounded and under heavy enemy fire.In 1994, The Gordon Highlanders amalgamated with Queen's Own Highlanders to form The Highlanders and in 2006 became the 4th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. This is a celebratory account of the regiment's long and distinguished history.
The King's Own Scottish Borderers is one of only two Scottish regiments never to have been amalgamated until it joined forces with The Royal Scots to form the 1st battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006. It is also unusual in that it lost its Scottish status between 1782 and 1887 when it served as the 25th (Sussex) Regiment of Foot.Formed in Edinburgh in 1689, its first operational role was to defend the city during the period of turmoil following the accession of William and Mary of Orange. That same year the regiment fought at the Battle of Killiecrankie, where they withstood a ferocious charge by the Highlanders supporting James II. Since then, the regiment has fought in most of the major campaigns fought by the British Army.In 1887, the regiment became The King's Own Scottish Borderers. It served with distinction during the two World Wars and achieved nationwide fame in 1915 when Sergeant Piper Daniel Laidlaw won the Victoria Cross during the Battle of Loos. Despite coming under heavy fire he played his pipes in full view of the enemy, encouraging the Borderers with the sound of 'Blue Bonnets o'er the Border' and 'The Standard on the Braes o' Mar'.This concise account of the King's Own Scottish Borderers puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.
The Mainstream Companion to Scottish Literature is the most comprehensive reference guide to Scotland's literature, covering a period from the earliest times to the early 1990s. It includes over 600 essays on the lives and works of the principal poets, novelists, dramatists critics and men and women of letters who have written in English, Scots or Gaelic. Thus, as well as such major writers as Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, Gavin Douglas, Allan Ramsay, Robert Fergusson, Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Hugh MacDiarmid, the Companion also lists many minor writers whose work might otherwise have been overlooked in any survey of Scottish literature.Also included here are entries on the lives of other more peripheral writers such as historians, philosophers, diarists and divines whose work has made a contribution to Scottish letters.Other essays range over such general subjects as the principal work of major writers, literary movements, historical events, the world of printing and publishing, folklore, journalism, drama and Gaelic. A feature of the book is the inclusion of the bibliography of each writer and reference to the major critical works. This comprehensive guide is an essential tool for the serious student of Scottish literature as well as being an ideal guide and companion for the general reader.
On a spring morning in 1903, Major-General Sir Hector Macdonald, one of Britain's greatest military heroes, took his life in a hotel room in Paris. A few days later he was buried hastily in an Edinburgh cemetary as his fellow countrymen tried to come to terms with the fact that one of Scotland's most famous soldiers had ended his life rather than face charges against his character.The suicide and its aftermath created a national scandal and one which still reverberates long after those dramatic events - it is now clear that the official files dealing with his case, the papers of the Judge Advocate have been destroyed. Macdonald or 'Fighting Mac' as he was known to an adoring public, was no ordinary soldier. A crofter's son who had risen from the ranks in the Victorian army, he covered himself with glory during a long and successful military career and in 1898 was widely acknowledged as the true hero of the Battle of Omdurman, which cemented British Imperial rule in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Everything lay at his feet - a knighthood, honours, the respect of fellow generals such as Roberts and Kitchener - but Macdonald's career came to a shocking full stop when he stood accused of homosexuality and was ordered to face a court martial. Unable to come to terms with the disgrace, he committed suicide. That should have been the end of his story but so powerful was the myth created by Fighting Mac that people refused to believe he was dead. Soon rumours were circulating that Macdonald had faked his death and had adopted the persona of a prominent Prussian officer, the future Field Marshal August con Mackensen, one of Germany's great leaders during the First World War. FIGHTING MAC tells the true story behind his disgrace and sheds new light on the myths....
Whenever man has gone to war in modern times there has been no shortage of men and women to write about his exploits. They were known as war correspondents, a type of journalists whom General Wolseley called 'the newly invented curse to armies'. This study of the war correspondent's view of war traces the story from Russell's pioneering work for The Times in the Crimea to the assorted press, radio and television journalists who accompanied the British task force to the Falklands in 1982. In particular, it investigates the lives and careers of six of the greatest war correspondents of all time: G W Steevens, who accompanied Kitchener to the Sudan and who introduced the 'colour story' to war reporting; Edgar Wallace, the future thriller writer who scooped the rest of the world at the end of the Boer War; Charles à Court Repington, the military correspondent who exposed the scandal of the shortage of shells in 1915; Claud Cockburn, a communist who adopted a self-confessed partisan approach during the Spanish Civil War; Chester Wilmot, perhaps the greatest of radio war correspondents who brought the Second World War into the living-rooms of Britain; James Cameron, a pacifist who uncovered stories of atrocities in Korea and who demanded to be published and damned. There also includes a discussion on the problems of using television to cover modern war.
As in the rest of Britain, the outbreak of hostilities in 1914 was met in Scotland with excitement and relief. In the field of literature too, the initial response was positive. Kailyard fiction and the Celtic Twilight were left behind as artless verses, patriotic articles and short stories flooded into print. But as the war progressed things changed and a more complex picture emerged - the patriotism and braggadocio was counterpointed by writers who saw the futility and horror of war. In this book, acclaimed military historian Trevor Royle introduces a huge range of literary material - including poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction, letters and articles - by Scottish writers. The result is a fascinating picture which shows how war affected not only those who fought at the front, but also those at home, and how it led to profound changes - not least in the forging of the Scottish literary Renaissance and the rise of nationalism. Writers include; John Buchan, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Douglas Haig, Ian Hay, Harry Lauder, Hugh MacDiarmaid, Naomi Mitchison, Neil Munro, John Reith, Saki (H.H. Munro).
The Battle of Culloden has gone down in history as the last major battle fought on British soil: a vicious confrontation between Scottish forces supporting the Stuart claim to the throne and the English Royal Army. But this wasn't just a conflict between the Scots and the English, the battle was also part of a much larger campaign to protect the British Isles from the growing threat of a French invasion. In Trevor Royle's vivid and evocative narrative, we are drawn into the ranks, on both sides, alongside doomed Jacobites fighting fellow Scots dressed in the red coats of the Duke of Cumberland's Royal Army. And we meet the Duke himself, a skilled warrior who would gain notoriety due to the reprisals on Highland clans in the battle's aftermath. Royle also takes us beyond the battle as the men of the Royal Army, galvanized by its success at Culloden, expand dramatically and start to fight campaigns overseas in America and India in order to secure British interests; we see the revolutionary use of fighting techniques first implemented at Culloden; and the creation of professional fighting forces. Culloden changed the course of British history by ending all hope of the Stuarts reclaiming the throne, cementing Hanoverian rule and forming the bedrock for the creation of the British Empire. Royle's lively and provocative history looks afresh at the period and unveils its true significance, not only as the end of a struggle for the throne but the beginning of a new global power.
'Trevor Royle has done First World War History a great service' - Gary Sheffield 'Graphic, ably controlled the power of imaginative storytelling is Royle's endeavour' The Guardian 'His exceptional talents at narration produce a work that is both through-provoking and engaging. This is a vivid, solidly-written book, drawing upon the best in recent scholarship' - International Review of Scottish Studies On the brink of the First World War, Scotland was regarded throughout the British Isles as the workshop of the Empire'. Not only were Clyde-built ships known the world over, Scotland produced half of Britain's total production of railway equipment, and the cotton and jute industries flourished in Paisley and Dundee. In addition, Scots were a hugely important source of manpower for the colonies. Yet after the war, Scotland became an industrial and financial backwater. Emigration increased as morale slumped in the face of economic stagnation and decline. The country had paid a disproportionately high price in casualties, a result of huge numbers of volunteers and the use of Scottish battalions as shock troops in the fighting on the Western Front and Gallipoli young men whom the novelist Ian Hay called the vanished generation'. In this book, Trevor Royle provides the first full account of how the war changed Scotland irrevocably by exploring a wide range of themes the overwhelming response to the call for volunteers; the performance of Scottish military formations in 1915 and 1916; the militarisation of the Scottish homeland; the resistance to war in Glasgow and the west of Scotland; the boom in the heavy industries and the strengthening of women's role in society following on from wartime employment.
In this book acclaimed military historian Trevor Royle examines Scotland's role in the Second World War from a wide range of perspectives. Throughout the conflict the country's geographical position gave it great strategic importance for importing war matériel and reinforcements, for conducting naval and aerial operations against the enemy and for training regular and specialist SOE and commando forces. Scotland also became a social melting pot with the arrival of Polish and numerous European refugees, whose presence added to the communal mix and assisted post-war reconstruction. The role played by women was also essential to the war effort: for the first time they were conscripted and worked on the land, in forests and in munitions factories such as the huge Rolls-Royce complex at Hillington. In addition to the important military aspects the exploits of the Army's renowned 15th Scottish, 51st Highland and 52nd Lowland Divisions in Europe and North Africa and the role played by the RAF and the Royal Navy from Scottish bases, for example Scotland was also vital as an industrial powerhouse and acted as the nation's larder. Culture, too, flourished, with a new generation of poets supporting Hugh MacDiarmid's Scottish Renaissance movement, which promoted the aims of Scots as a literary language. At the end of the war the new sense of internationalism encouraged the creation of the Edinburgh International Festival, which encapsulated the optimism that a brave new world was emerging. The war had a huge impact on politics, with national centralization achieved through the Scottish Office and the Scottish Grand Committee under the able guidance of Secretary of State Tom Johnston, who launched numerous initiatives to help the war effort and to create jobs. With the emergence of the post-war Labour government and the welfare state, nationalism went into decline and the dominance of socialism, especially in the west, paved the way for the command politics which dominated Scotland for the rest of the century. Based on previously unseen archives in the National Archives of Scotland, A Time of Tyrants is the first comprehensive history of the unique part played by Scotland and the Scots in the global war to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
'It has to start somewhere for everyone, this daft, wild, extraordinary notion that happiness is a Scottish lap of honour and that the greatest, most hysterical happiness would be a Scottish lap of honour on a World Cup final day, England having just retired to the dressing-rooms, not just beaten, but destroyed, humiliated, thrashed, gubbed . . . ' - Ian Archer First published in 1976, We'll Support You Evermore is a collection of reminiscences about the nation's favourite game. Hilarious tales of after-match celebrations and moving accounts of growing up playing football on the mean streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh rub shoulders with memories of superb victories, glorious defeats and drunken jaunts abroad. Together, these produce an entertaining portrait of Scottish supporters. Novelist Alan Sharp and Gordon Williams contribute essays, as do journalists Ian Archer, John Rafferty and Hugh Taylor among others. Each writes about his own personal recollections of the game: the Wembley Wizards, the Famous Five, Third Lanark, the Old Firm, Queen's Park, Hearts, Hibs, and many more. There's something here for every fitba'-daft reader.
This anthology is the first ever acknowledgement of Scotland's unique contribution to the literature of the First World War. Here are gathered together well-known writers like John Buchan, Eric Linklater, Hugh MacDiarmid and Compton Mackenzie, as well as poets like Joseph Lee and Roderick Watson Kerr, who found their true voices fighting in a war to end wars. There is also a substantial contribution from women writers in the work of Violet Jacob, Naomi Mitchison and Mary Symon.