Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

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The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Cameronians.gif
Cap Badge of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Active 1 July 1881-14 May 1968
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Rifles
Size Two Regular battalions till 1948, plus Territorials
Part of Lowland Brigade
Garrison/HQ Winston Barracks, Lanark
Nickname The Poison Dwarves. The term Poison Dwarfs is actually an unwanted term that was used by a German to describe the 1st Battalion after an incident that occurred in Minden, Germany, in the early 1960's. It is not by any means one that was ever adopted by the regiment.
Motto Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (Nobody Attacks Me With Impunity) (Latin)
March Quick – Within a mile of Edinboro Town
Slow – The Garb of Old Gaul
Commanders
Colonel in Chief HM King Gustaf VI Adolf
Colonel of
the Regiment
Major General Henry Templar Alexander, CB CBE DSO
Insignia
Tartan Douglas[dead link]

The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, the only regiment of rifles amongst the Scottish regiments of infantry. It was formed in 1881 under the Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of two other regiments:

After the amalgamation, the 1st Battalion preferred to be known as "The Cameronians" while the 2nd preferred to be known as "The Scottish Rifles" and relations between the two battalions were correct rather than friendly. The regiment saw service during the Second Boer War in South Africa, and raised 27 battalions during the First World War. The 1st Battalion saw action in Burma during the Second World War, while the 2nd Battalion was in Europe. The Territorial Force 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th Battalions also served in Europe (the 5th, 6th and 7th with the 52nd (Lowland) Division, the 9th with the 15th (Scottish) Division). In 1948, along with every other infantry regiment, the Cameronians was reduced to a single regular battalion. Under the reforms of the army in the 1966 Defence White Paper, which saw several regiments amalgamated, the Cameronians chose to disband rather than amalgamate with another regiment in the Lowland Brigade. The 1st Battalion, The Cameronians was disbanded on 14 May 1968 at Douglas Castle, near Douglas, South Lanarkshire in the presence of the Duke of Hamilton. Its recruiting area in Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway taken over by the King's Own Scottish Borderers and the Regimental Headquarters finally closed in 1987. However, the name of the Cameronians continued through the Territorial Army, with two companies of the 52nd Lowland Regiment badged as Cameronians. One company was disbanded in 1992, the other was rebadged as the King's Own Scottish Borderers in 1997.

Traditions[edit]

The Douglas tartan

Every new member of the regiment was issued a Bible, as a nod to Richard Cameron, after whom the original 26th Foot was named.

In honour of the regiment's first Colonel, James Douglas, Earl of Angus the tartan was that of the House of Douglas, which was worn as trews by all ranks (except the regiment's pipers, who wore kilts). Until 1914 the regiment wore a unique full dress uniform, comprising a rifle green shako with black upright plume, rifle green doublet and Douglas tartan trews.

The regiment's cap badge featured a Mullet from the coat of arms of the Douglas family on a stringed bugle within two sprigs of thistle.

The pipers of the 1st Battalion wore a distinctive badge of the Mullet with a scroll below bearing the name "The Cameronians". The sporrans and dirks of the pipers of the 2nd Battalion carried a reproduction of the coat of arms of the City of Perth.

As a regiment of rifles, the Cameronians carried no colours, instead wearing its battle honours on its "appointments" (drums).

The regiment's only Colonel-in-Chief was King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.

The regiment mounted an armed guard at the doors of the Kirk during religious services.

Honours and affiliations[edit]

Battle honours[edit]

  • Combined battle honours of 26th Regiment and 90th Regiment, plus:
Blenheim1, Ramillies1, Oudenarde1, Malplaquet1, South Africa 1846-72, South Africa 1877-8-92, Relief of Ladysmith, South Africa 1899–1902

1. awarded 1882 for services of 26th Regiment.
2. awarded 1882 for services of 90th Regiment.

World War I[edit]

[27 battalions]

Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914 1918, Aisne 1914, La Bassée 1914, Messines 1914, Armentières 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Loos, Somme 1916 and 1918, Albert 1916, Bazentin, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Arras 1917 and 1918, Scarpe 1917 '18, Arleux, Ypres 1917 '18, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, St Quentin, Rosières, Avre, Lys, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Scherpenberg, Soissonnais-Ourcq, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, Canal du Nord, St Quentin Canal, Cambrai 1918, Courtrai, Selle and Sambre
Doiran 1917 and 1918
Rumani
First, Second and Third Battles of Gaza, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jaffa

World War II[edit]

  • North-West Europe 1940
Ypres-Comines Canal
  • North-West Europe 1944–45
Odon, Cheux, Caen, Mont Pincon, Estry, Nederrijn, Best, Scheldt, South Beveland, Walcheren Causeway, Asten, Roer, Rheine, Rhineland, Reichswald, Moyland, Dreierwalde, Bremen and Artlenberg
  • Italy 1943–44
Landing in Sicily, Simeto Bridgehead, Sicily 1943, Garigliano Crossing, Anzio and Advance to Tiber
  • Burma 1942 and 1944
Pegu 1942, Paungde, Yenagyaung 1942 and Chindits 1944

Malayan Emergency[edit]

Malaya [1]

Affiliations[edit]

Notable former members of the regiment[edit]

Museum and Monuments[edit]

Memorial on Spion Kop

The Cameronians Museum[edit]

The Cameronians Museum is located within the Low Parks Museum, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.[1]

Monuments[edit]

A cairn commemorating the disbandment of the regiment can be found near Douglas, South Lanarkshire, within a mile of the site of the ceremony. [2]
Also within the village there is a statue of the Earl of Angus to commemorate the 200 years which had passed since the regiment was raised. [3][dead link]
The monument located in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow by Philip Lindsey Clark, was unveiled on 9 August 1924 and depicts men of the regiment manning a Lewis gun.
[4][5]

Memorials[edit]

There is a memorial on Spion Kop listing the names of those who died during the Battle of Spion Kop in the Second Boer War.

References[edit]

External links[edit]