King's Own Scottish Borderers
|King's Own Scottish Borderers|
Cap badge and tartan of the King's Own Scottish Borderers
|Active||1689 – 1 August 2006|
|Allegiance|| Kingdom of Scotland (1689–1707)
Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800)
United Kingdom (1801–2006)
|Part of||Scottish Division|
|Garrison/HQ||Berwick Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed|
|Motto(s)||In Veritate Religionis Confido (I put my trust in the truth of religion)
Nisi Dominus Frustra (Without the Lord, everything is in vain)
|Anniversaries||Minden – 1 August|
|Last Colonel-in-Chief||HRH the late Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, GCB, CI, GCVO, GBE|
|John Cooper (Operation Banner, 1993–97)|
Royal Stewart (pipers kilts and plaids)
The King's Own Scottish Borderers was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish Division. On 28 March 2006 the regiment was amalgamated with the Royal Scots, the Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment), the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons) and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland, becoming the 1st Battalion of the new regiment.
The regiment was raised on 18 March 1689 by David Melville, 3rd Earl of Leven to defend Edinburgh against the Jacobite forces of James II. It's claimed that 800 men were recruited within the space of two hours. The regiment's first action was at the Battle of Killiecrankie on 27 July 1689. Although this battle was a defeat for the Williamite army, the Jacobite commander, John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee (Bonnie Dundee), was killed by a volley fired by Leven's Regiment, bringing an end to James II's attempt to save his throne in Scotland. The regiment was judged to have performed well and was granted the privilege of recruiting by beat of drum in the City of Edinburgh without prior permission of the provost.
For a period it was known as Semphill's Regiment of Foot, the name under which it fought at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and the Battle of Culloden in 1746. When the British infantry were allocated numerical positions in the 'line' of Infantry the regiment was numbered 25th Regiment of Foot (based on its formation date) in 1751. The regiment fought at the Battle of Minden on 1 August 1759 with five other regiments; this battle honour was celebrated by the regiment each year on 1 August. The 25th was the county regiment of Sussex in 1782 when it became known as the 25th (Sussex) Regiment of Foot.
The regiment was awarded the right to bear the emblem of the Sphinx for their role in the Battle of Alexandria in 1801. Its recruiting area was moved to the Scottish Borders region in 1805 from when the regiment became known as the King's Own Borderers. During the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1878 to 1880, the second division was renamed the Khyber Line Force while guarding the lines of communication between Kabul and Peshawar. The regiment became known as the King's Own Scottish Borderers in 1887.
A 3rd, Militia, Battalion was formed of the formed Scottish Borderers Militia, with headquarters at Dumfries. It was embodied in January 1900 for service in the Second Boer War, and embarked for South Africa two months later. Most of the battalion returned home in June 1902.
First World War
The 1st Battalion was serving in Lucknow, India when the war broke out. After returning to England it landed at Cape Helles in Gallipoli as part of the 87th Brigade in the 29th Division in April 1915. After being evacuated from Gallipoli in January 1916 it moved to Alexandria in Egypt and then landed at Marseille in March 1916 for service on the Western Front. It saw action at the Battle of the Somme in Autumn 1916, the Battle of Ypres in Autumn 1917, the Battle of Lys in April 1918 and the Battle of Cambrai in October 1918.
During the Home Rule Crisis in 1914, the 2nd Battalion was stationed in Dublin as part of 13th Brigade in the 5th Division. They killed four civilians and wounded 38 after opening fire on a group of unarmed civilians on the day of the Howth gun-running in July 1914. It then landed at Le Havre in August 1914 for service on the Western Front and saw action at the Battle of Mons in August 1914, the Battle of Le Cateau also in August 1914 and the First Battle of the Aisne in September 1914. It later saw combat at the Second Battle of Ypres in May 1915, the Battle of the Somme in November 1916, the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, the Battle of Passchendaele in November 1917 and the Battle of Lys in April 1918.
The 1/4th (Border) Battalion and the 1/5th (Dumfries & Galloway) Battalion landed in Gallipoli as part of the 155th Brigade in the 52nd (Lowland) Division in June 1915. After being evacuated from Gallipoli in January 2016 they moved to in Egypt and then took part in the Third Battle of Gaza in November 1917 before landing at Marseille in April 1918 for service on the Western Front.
The 6th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the 28th Brigade in the 9th (Scottish) Division in May 1915 for service on the Western Front. It saw action at the Battle of Loos in September 1915 the Battle of the Somme in November 1916, the Battle of Arras in May 1917 and the Battle of Passchendaele in November 1917.
The 7th (Service) Battalion and the 7th (Service) Battalion landed at Boulogne-sur-Mer as part of the 46th Brigade in the 15th (Scottish) Division in July 1915 for service on the Western Front. They fought at the Battle of Loos in September 1915, the Battle of the Somme in November 1916, the Battle of Arras in May 1917, the Battle of Pilckem Ridge in August 1917, the Second Battle of the Somme in August 1918 and at the Second Battle of the Marne also in August 1918.
Second World War
In between the wars, the regiment's regular battalions were sent all over the British Empire to Ireland, Egypt and Hong Kong but were quickly recalled home at the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. The 1st Battalion landed in France as part of the 9th Brigade in the 3rd Infantry Division in September 1939 for service with the British Expeditionary Force; it took part in the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940 and the Normandy landings in June 1944 and saw action at the Battle for Caen later that month.
The 2nd Battalion land in Burma as part of the 89th Brigade in the 7th (Indian) Division in September 1943 for service in the Burma Campaign and saw action at the Battle of the Admin Box in February 1944 and the Battle of Imphal in July 1944.
The 4th and 5th Battalions landed at Saint-Malo as part of the 155th Brigade in the 52nd (Lowland) Division in in June 1940 for service with the British Expeditionary Force; after evacuation from Cherbourg later in the month they took part in Operation Infatuate in November 1944 and the subsequent capture of Bremen in April 1945.
The 6th Battalion took part in the Normandy landings as part of the 44th Brigade in the 15th (Scottish) Division in June 1944 and saw action at the Battle for Caen later that month and then advanced into Germany.
One of its heaviest losses during the war was at the ill-fated Battle of Arnhem in which the 7th Battalion, as part of the 1st Airlanding Brigade of 1st Airborne Division, suffered 90% casualties in September 1944; they defended the perimeter in Oosterbeek against 2nd SS Panzer Corps.
After the war
After the Second World War, the regiment served internal security duties in the British Mandate of Palestine and was reduced to a single battalion around 1948. The regiment was part of the United Nations forces that saw action at the First Battle of Maryang San in October 1951 during the Korean War. Private Bill Speakman was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the battle. The regiment was deployed during the Malayan Emergency in the late 1950s and was regularly posted to Northern Ireland as part of Operation Banner during the Troubles and suffered casualties during the 1989 Derryard attack which killed two of their men. They took part in the Gulf War in 1991 but were one of the few Scottish regiments not deployed to the Yugoslav Wars: they were being mainly stationed in Northern Ireland instead. The regiment also served in Iraq on Operation Telic in 2003.
Restructuring of the infantry
Until 2004 the regiment was one of five in the line infantry never to have been amalgamated, the others being The Royal Scots, The Green Howards, The Cheshire Regiment and The Royal Welch Fusiliers. When five Scottish regiments were amalgamated to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland on 28 March 2006, the Royal Scots Battalion and the King's Own Scottish Borderers Battalion initially maintained their identities as separate battalions.
However almost immediately the Ministry of Defence moved to amalgamate the two battalions. This was not a new idea: the origins of the combined entity, Royal Scots Borderers, dates from the 1990 Options for Change review, when it was initially announced that the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers would amalgamate. That amalgamation was subsequently rescinded. The Royal Scots Battalion and King's Own Scottish Borderers Battalion duly amalgamated on 1 August 2006 – upon their amalgamation, the new battalion took the name Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland.
King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum
The King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum is located in Berwick Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Exhibits include uniforms, badges, medals, weapons and relics from different campaigns. Berwick Barracks is operated by English Heritage. Admission includes access to the King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery and the exhibition ‘By Beat of Drum’ on the life of the British infantryman.
The battle honours are:
- Namur (1695); Minden (1759); Egmont-op-Zee (1799); Egypt (1801); Martinique (1809); Afghanistan (1878–80); Chitral (1895); Tirah (1897–98); Paardeberg, 2nd Anglo-Boer War (1900–02)
- World War I: Mons, Aisne, Ypres, Loos, Somme, Arras, Soissonnais-Ourcq, Hindenberg Line, Gallipoli, Gaza
- World War II: Dunkirk, Sword Beach, Odon, Caen, Arnhem, Flushing, Rhine, Bremen, Burma Campaign (Ngakyedauk Pass, Imphal, Irrawaddy)
- Kowang-San (1951–52); Gulf War (1991)
- The King's Own Scottish Borderers Association. "1689 – 19th Century". The King's Own Scottish Borderers Association and Museum. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
- Royle, Trevor (2011). The King's Own Scottish Borderers: A Concise History. Random House. ISBN 9781780572505.
- "The War - Troops returning home" The Times (London). Wednesday, 4 June 1902. (36785), p. 13.
- "King's Own Scottish Borderers". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- The King's Own Scottish Borderers Association. "20th and 21st Centuries". The King's Own Scottish Borderers Association and Museum. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
- "Today in Irish History – July 26th 1914 – The Howth Gun Running". The Irish Story. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Middlebrook, Martin (2009). Arnhem 1944. Pen & Sword. p. 456. ISBN 978-1848840751.
- "King's Own Scottish Borderers in Korea". Britain's small wars. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 25 December 1951. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- Bruce, Ian (15 December 1989). "Calculating, professional enemy that faces KOSB". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
- "Northern Ireland". 4 December 2003.
- "Royal Regiment of Scotland". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Royal, Trevor (2011). The King's Own Scottish Borderers: A Concise History.
- "Why the Royal Scots can no longer hold the line". The Telegraph. 10 October 2004. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- "Regimental Museum". King's Own Scottish Borderers Association. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "About the regiment". The King's Own Scottish Borderers Association. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- Royle, Trevor (2008). The King's Own Scottish Borderers: A Concise History. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84596-091-9 (Link on Google Books)
- For operational details see Second World War 60th Anniversary
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