London Scottish (regiment)

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London Scottish
Cap Badge 009.JPG
Cap Badge of the London Scottish
Active 1859–1919
1920–Present Day
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg Army Reserve
Type Infantry
Role Light infantry
Size RHQ and one company
Part of London Regiment
Garrison/HQ London
Nickname(s) Cockney Jocks (Piccadilly Allsorts) (Duke of Bangkok's Rifles)
Motto(s) Strike Sure
March Highland Laddie
Anniversaries 31st October 1914. First TA unit into action in WWI, Messines Ridge, 1st Battle of Ypres
Major Rob Pitt
Honorary Colonel Baron Robertson of Port Ellen KT, GCMG, FRSA, PC
Colonel of
the Regiment
Brigadier Alistair Bruce of Crionaich, OBE VR ADC DL
Lord Elcho, Lt Col GA Malcolm, Lt Col RTS MacPherson, Lt Col T Rex-Appleton, Lt Col MAJ Overton, Maj MWH Ludlow.
Tartan Hodden Grey

The London Scottish was a Volunteer infantry regiment of the British Army. Formerly a regiment, the unit is now 'A' (London Scottish) Company of the London Regiment.

Titles and lineage[edit]

  • The London Scottish Rifle Volunteer Corps - raised in 1859
  • 7th Middlesex (London Scottish) Rifle Volunteers - renamed in 1880
  • 7th Middlesex (London Scottish) Volunteer Rifle Corps - renamed in 1891
  • 14th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Scottish) - renamed in 1908 with the creation of the Territorial Force
  • 14th London Regiment (London Scottish) - renamed in 1922
  • The London Scottish, The Gordon Highlanders - 1937
  • In 1967 the regiment was reconstituted as two companies: G Company (London Scottish), 51st Highland Volunteers (TAVR II, "Volunteers"); and C Company (London Scottish), The London Yeomanry and Territorials (TAVR III, "Territorials"). The 51st Highland (Volunteers) comprised, in addition to the London Scottish, companies of Black Watch, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, Liverpool Scottish, Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) and Gordon Highlanders.
  • TAVR III disbanded as units in 1969. C (The London Scottish) Company, The London Yeomanry and Territorials reduced to an 8-man Cadre sponsored and administered by the TAVR II company, G Company, 51 Highland (Volunteers).
  • TAVR III Cadres finally disbanded 1971.
  • G (The London Scottish) Company, 1st Battalion (51st Highland Volunteers) (1/51 HLD) - 1971. The Gordon Highlanders and Queen's Own Highlanders companies of 51st Highland formed a 2nd Battalion, whilst the Argyll & Sutherland Highlander companies formed a 3rd Battalion. 1/51 was essentially Black Watch, with London Scottish and Liverpool Scottish add-ons.
  • G Company (1/51 HLD) ADMINCON 8th Battalion Queen's Fusiliers - 1992-1993
  • A (The London Scottish) Company, The London Regiment - 1993-1999. The battalion was formed of four Rifle Companies, plus an HQ Company: The London Scottish, D (London Irish Rifles) Company (from 4th/5th Battalion, Royal Irish Rangers), and both from the former 8th Battalion Queen's Fusiliers, B (Queen's Regiment) Company and C (City of London Fusiliers) Company. HQ Company was multi-capbadged, with its Support Weapons specialist platoons hosted by and badged to the Rifle Companies. At the point of formation of the London Regiment, these were: Reconnaissance Platoon - A Company, Machine Gun Platoon - B Company), Assault Pioneers Platoon - C Company, and Anti-Tank (Milan) Platoon - D Company. Within two or three years, the battalion was required to reduce to the standard army establishment of three Rifle Companies each of three Rifle Platoons: The London Regiment chose to reduce each of the four Rifle Companies to two Rifle Platoons and established a ninth, multi-capbadged Rifle Platoon (Boot Troop) at HQ Company - for battalion exercises, the Company HQ of the Rifle Company with the weakest turnout would be stood down, with its troops and those of the Boot Troop added to the other Companies' manpower. Through all the subsequent changes (below), the third Rifle Platoon in each Rifle Company has never been re-established.
  • A (The London Scottish) Company, The London Regiment - 1999-2006. The London Regiment received two Rifle Companies from 4th Battalion Royal Green Jackets, which was disbanded under the 1998 Strategic Defence Review. These companies retained their former designations as F and G Companies, becoming F (RGJ) Company and G (RGJ) company. Each company brought with it the Support Weapons specialist platoons they had administered within 4th Battalion Royal Green Jackets. Thus, there were duplicate Reconnaissance and Machine Gun Platoons within the enlarged six-Rifle Company London Regiment. For ceremonial occasions, such as on the annual November Lord Mayor's Parade in the City of London, the London Regiment would be split into two marching columns, the Royal Green Jacket companies marching separately at their light infantry pace.
  • A (The London Scottish) Company, The London Regiment (Guards Division) - 2006. The London Regiment is paired with the Foot Guards Regiments in general for operational deployments, but with specific alignments between the Rifle Companies and particular Guards Regiments for the provision of training support and the posting of Permanent Staff Instructors (PSIs). The two Royal Green Jacket companies leave the London Regiment to form part of the new 7th Battalion The Rifles. The London Scottish is paired with the Scots Guards and the first Scots Guards PSI is appointed, breaking the link with the Royal Regiment of Scotland (ex-Highlanders, ex-Gordon Highlanders), but restoring a pre-1967 Scots Guards link of having Drill Sergeants posted to the London Scottish in addition to the Gordon Highlander appointments.

Founding of the regiment[edit]

The regiment was founded in 1859, part of the widespread volunteer movement which developed in the face of potential French invasion after Felice Orsini's attack on Napoleon III was linked to Britain.

Originally as part of the Volunteer Force sponsored by The Highland Society of London and The Caledonian Society of London, a group of individual Scots raised The London Scottish Rifle Volunteers under the command of Lt Col Lord Elcho, later The Earl of Wemyss and March. Over many years the London Scottish have changed titles and composition, and today they are a company of The London Regiment, titled A (London Scottish) Company.

First World War[edit]

The regiment raised three battalions during World War I, with the 1/14th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Scottish) serving on the Western Front.

The 1/14th Battalion was mobilized on the outbreak of war, departing for France on 15 September 1914. On 31 October 1914 the battalion encountered German forces at [[Battle of Messines (1914) (Messines) in Belgium. It was the first territorial unit to see active service in this war. Following ongoing action on the Western Front throughout 1914-18, the 1/14th formed part of the British army of occupation at Cologne.

The 2nd Battalion of the London Scottish embarked for France in June 1916 but was then transferred to Salonika and Palestine. A third battalion served as a training and reserve unit, supplying reinforcements to the two fighting battalions of the London Scottish throughout the war.

The London Scottish lost about 2,500 people who died in World War I. In 1918, two Victoria Crosses were awarded to soldiers of the regiment during fighting near Jerusalem.

Second World War[edit]

As in World War I, the London Scottish raised three battalions during World War II, two of which served overseas. Both of the overseas battalions served with the Middle Eastern Forces in Sicily and Italy. The battalions were:

The regiment today[edit]

Today the Regiment comprises A Company of the London Regiment, which provides Reserve support to the Foot Guards. Members of the London Scottish served in Iraq and Afghanistan supporting their regular counterparts.


The regimental tartan is Elcho Tartan of Hodden Grey in colour. Lt Col Lord Elcho clothed the regiment in Hodden Grey, the homespun cloth known throughout Scotland. This avoided all inter-clan feeling on the subject of tartan and, as Lord Elcho said "A soldier is a man hunter. As a deer stalker chooses the least visible of colours, so ought a soldier to be clad." Along with Elcho Tartan there is also Elcho Blue that was formerly worn on some officers uniforms.

The Regimental Headdress of the London Scottish are the Glengarry, the Tam O'Shanter and for officers, the Balmoral.

Ceremonial and service dress[edit]

From its establishment in 1859 The London Scottish wore Hodden Grey uniforms with dark blue facings.[11] This unique colour remained as full dress for the entire regiment until 1914 and survives in the modern kilts and mess dress.

Highland dress was adopted by the entire regiment in 1872.

Officers, NCO's, pipe band and other ranks of the London Scottish wear a plain dark navy blue Glengarry with black ribbons, a black rosette behind cap badge, and Royal blue toorie in service dress. A cock feather is added when in ceremonial dress.

Pipers of the serving company and cadet corps have the honour to wear the Glengarry without cock feather while in battle dress if they choose to do so.

Battle dress[edit]


The London Scottish officers wear an officers fawn balmoral with a solid silver officers' cap badge backed with a square 4' Hodden Grey patch, and a khaki green toorie (formerly blue).

Warrant Officers[edit]

Warrant Officers wear a London Scottish khaki green Tam O'Shanter with a silver Warrant Officers' cap badge backed with a square 4' Hodden Grey patch, and a khaki green toorie (formerly blue).

Other Ranks[edit]

Other Ranks in the London Scottish wear a khaki green Tam O'Shanter with a white metal or anodised aluminium cap badge backed with a square 4' Hodden Grey patch, and a khaki green toorie (formerly blue).

London Scottish Cadet Corps[edit]

A detailed history of the London Scottish Cadets can be found in the Regimental Gazette, written month to month over the years, but there follows some useful facts about all four Army Cadet Units that are badged London Scottish.

The earliest record of The London Scottish Cadet Corps ("LSCC") was in 1902. It existed alongside their sponsors, The London Scottish Regiment. The London Scottish Cadets originally formed as a battalion with three companies and a pipe band. It was one of a very few cadet battalions to be presented its own Colours.

235 London Scottish Detachment[edit]

The LSCC is now 235 London Scottish Detachment, a member of 23 Group Middlesex and NW London ACF. Formerly based at RHQ, 95 Horseferry Road, in 2005 it moved to the former RMP barracks on Rochester Row. 235 lives on to share its traditions with three other cadet detachments now in the Greater London & South East/West Sectors ACF.

95 (London Scottish) Cadet Company - Eltham[edit]

95 Company was formed in the 1940s with a nucleus of boys from Eltham College. It is based on the site of a former Royal Artillery Army Reserve Centre in Footscray Road SE9. Officers in Command included Major (later Lt Col) Stewart Allward, Capt "Bunny" Bancroft, Capt Eric Botell and Capt Nigel Betts.

102 (Bromley) Platoon, 10 (Kent) Cadet Regiment[edit]

The third London Scottish Cadet unit is 102 (Bromley) Pltn. Formed in 1913 as part of the 1st Cadet Btn Royal North West Kent Regiment, over the years the unit was re-badged a number of times. Firstly, as a Royal Artillery unit and, in the 1970s, as a Royal Signals unit. In 1989, the unit was located at Hill House TA Centre in Bromley, formerly the home of Sir Harold Macmillan, Lord Stockton, which they shared with the Recce Platoon and 6 Platoon of G (The London Scottish) Coy 1/51 Highland Volunteers. The relationship between the London Scottish and cadets was so good that the then unit commander Major John Smith MBE requested that the cadets be re-badged to London Scottish, the unit they proudly represent today.

145 Detachment (London Scottish) - New Addington[edit]

The fourth London Scottish Cadet Unit is 145 Deatchment based in New Addington, Croydon. The detachment re-badged to the London Scottish on Remembrance Sunday 2015 after being affiliated to the Parachute Regiment for a number of years. It is located in the heart of the New Addington estate, at its own standalone premises. The detachment also has 1 of only 2 pipe ranges in the country, which allows its cadets to shoot .22 rimfire, and compete in shooting competitions. 145 is now looking to start its own Pipes and Drums Corps.

Regimental Band[edit]


Victoria Crosses[edit]

Robert Edward Cruickshank, Charles William Train, and George Allan Mitchell were awarded the Victoria Cross while serving with the Regiment.




External links[edit]