51st Infantry Brigade (United Kingdom)
|51st Infantry Brigade|
Insignia of 51st Infantry Brigade
|Active||World War I
1914 - 1918
1952 - Present
|Type||All Arms and Services|
|Role||Training and Administration
Military Aid to the Civil Community
Military Aid to the Civil Power
|Part of||Support Command|
|Nickname||The Army In Scotland|
|Brigadier P Harkness|
51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland is an Adaptable Force Brigade of the British Army. It is the regional administrative formation responsible for all the units of the Army Reserve based in Scotland and an Adaptable Force Brigade under Army 2020. It is the largest Brigade in the United Kingdom in terms of geographic area. Although it takes its name and idendity from, and is directly descended from the 51st Highland Division, formed as part of the Territorial Force in 1908 and which fought during the First and Second World Wars, it is also the modern descendant of the 52nd Lowland Division. It is now also the Headquarters for the Army in Scotland.
World War I
World War II
This brigade was not raised during the Second World War.
The Brigade was reformed in the Canal Zone in 1952, and then moved to Famagusta in Cyprus in 1955 to combat the EOKA insurgency. It had the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and 40 Field Regiment Royal Artillery under its command. By 1962 it had returned to the United Kingdom and become 51st Gurkha Brigade. It is recorded that Brigadier Philip Tower was commander of the 51st Infantry Brigade Group from 15 December 1961 to 28 March 1962. From 1963 to 1965 later-General Harry Tuzo commanded the Brigade in Borneo and Brunei. His Gurkha battalions worked to win the "hearts and minds" of the locals, but also participated with the SAS in Operation Claret which interdicted Indonesian troops as they attempted to cross the border.
The Brigade was later disbanded in Hong Kong in 1976.
51st Highland Division
The dominant historical threads behind the current 51st Scottish Brigade come from the famed 51st Highland Division. It existed initially from August 1908 - March 1919, and then was reformed in the Territorial Army in the interwar period. Deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force, the 51st Division was attached to the French Southern Group of Armies and fought a lone battle as the remainder of the BEF was forced to retreat toward Dunkirk. For some time, it was forced to hold a line four times longer than that which would normally be expected of a division. During this period, the 154th Brigade was detached and withdrawn successfully. However, the 152nd and 153rd Brigades were trapped at Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, and surrendered on June 12. Later the Division was reformed from the second line 9th Highland Division and fought with the Eighth Army in the Western Desert campaign. It was later part of Second Army in the North-West Europe campaign.
The 51st/52nd Scottish Division was split into two separate Brigades in 1968, with the 51st Highland component reformed as Highland District, commanded by a Brigadier and the Lowland component forming 52nd Lowland Brigade. Since then the name of the formation changed first to Highland Area and then to a subordinate formation of Scottish District, Highlands, as 51st Highland Brigade. In 1975 the Brigade Headquarters moved from Highland House, St Catherine’s Road, Perth to the old 51st Highland Division Officers’ Mess building at St Leonard’s Bank, Perth. As 51 Highland Brigade it consisted of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 51st Highland Volunteers, as well as other Territorial Army units based in the Highlands.
On 1 April 2002 51 (Scottish) Brigade took on the regional responsibility for the whole of Scotland, instead of just the Highlands, with its Headquarters at Forthside Barracks in Stirling and its Regional Training Centre situated at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh. This enabled 52 (Lowland) Brigade, which previously administered all Lowland TA units, to be specifically reorganised to parent Regular light role infantry battalions for operational deployments. 51st (Scottish) Brigade also co-ordinated operational deployments within its regional area of responsibility, such as in scenarios requiring Military Aid to the Civil Community. The Brigade also had its own military band, administered by 51st Highland, 7th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland. In April 2012, with the disbandment of 2nd Division, the brigade came under the control of the new Support Command based in Aldershot.
51 (Scottish) Brigade has a total manpower strength of over 2600 ranks, accounting for the majority of the 3100 Territorials based in Scotland. Over 700 Territorials from the Brigade have served in either Operation Telic in Iraq or Operation Herrick in Afghanistan since the beginning of the decade - including two formed units – 7 SCOTS' Alamein Company in Iraq; and 6 SCOTS' Bremen Platoon in Afghanistan.
As of April 2014, it has been renamed 51st Infantry Brigade, and transformed as part of the Army 2020 concept. In time, this transition will see the Brigade relocate to Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.
The Brigade's nominal ORBAT consists of the following Regular units:
- The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards - Fallingbostel, Germany, moving to Leuchars in 2015
- Royal Highland Fusiliers (2 SCOTS), 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland - Glencorse Barracks.
- Black Watch (3 SCOTS), 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland - Fort George.
- 3rd Battalion, The Rifles - Redford Barracks.
Also the following Army Reserve units:
- The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry
- 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
- 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
- 5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusileers
Additionally, the Brigade has administrative command for resilience operations and recruiting for the following:
- 39 Engineer Regiment - Kinloss Barracks (Administered as part of 12 Engineer Group)
- 71st Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers - part of 12 (Air Support) Engineer Group
- 105th Regiment, Royal Artillery
- The Scottish Transport Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps
- 225 Medical Regiment (V), Royal Army Medical Corps
- 32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment - part of 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade
- 205 (Scottish) Field Hospital, Royal Army Medical Corps - part of 2 Medical Brigade
The following Officers' Training Corps are commanded by Commandant RMAS but sit within 51st Infantry Brigade's area:
- Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities Officer Training Corps
- Tayforth Universities Officers Training Corps
- Aberdeen Universities Officer Training Corps
- City of Edinburgh University Officers Training Corps
Other TA Units stationed in the area of 51st (Scottish) Brigade
- A (Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick's Own) Yeomanry) & C (Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse) Squadrons of the Queen's Own Yeomanry Regiment (Primarily administered as part of 15th (North East) Brigade)
- D Squadron, 23rd SAS Regiment (Administered as part of UKSF)
- 15th (Scottish) Company, 4th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment (Primarily administered as part of 15th (North East) Brigade)
- 243rd Provost Company (Part of 5th Regiment Royal Military Police, which is under the command of 102nd Logistics Brigade)
- 2 (City of Dundee) Signal Squadron (Primarily administered as part of 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade)
- 23rd (V) Military Intelligence Company, Intelligence Corps (Part of 5th Military Intelligence Battalion)
- 3 Flight, Army Air Corps (Part of 7 Regiment, Army Air Corps)
- 125 Rations Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps (Part of 159 Supply Regiment, RLC)
- 153 Field Company, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Part of 102nd Bn REME (V) and primarily administered by 15th (North East) Brigade