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The 51st Highland Volunteers (51 HIGHLAND) is a battalion in the British Army's Army Reserve or reserve force in the Scottish Highlands, forming the 7th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, also known as 7 SCOTS. It is one of two Reserve battalions in the Royal Regiment of Scotland, along with 52nd Lowland (6 SCOTS), a similar unit located in the Scottish Lowlands.

51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
51highlandbadge.jpg
Active28 March 2006 - Present
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch British Army
TypeLine Infantry
RoleArmy Reserve Light Role
SizeOne Support Company
Four Rifle Companies
Part of51 (Scottish) Brigade
Garrison/HQHQ Company - Perth
A Company - Dundee
B Company - Peterhead
C Company - Inverness
D Company - Dumbarton
Motto(s)Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (No One Assails Me With Impunity) (Latin)
MarchQuick - Scotland the Brave
Slow - The Garb of Auld Gaul
Commanders
Royal ColonelThe Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay
Colonel of
the Regiment
Major General William Euan Buchanan Loudon, CBE
Insignia
Tactical Recognition FlashRoyal Regiment of Scotland TRF.png
TartanGovernment
HacklePurple

Originally formed as the 51st Highland Volunteers in 1967, as a result of the amalgamation of Territorial Battalions within the infantry Regiments of the Highland Brigade, the name commemorated the 51st (Highland) Division of the Territorial Force, within which many of the Regiment's antecedent Territorial Battalions served during the First and Second World Wars.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Origins and First World WarEdit

The current Battalion traces its lineage back to the reserve Rifle Volunteer units that were originally raised in the Scottish Highlands as part of the Victorian Volunteer Force by Lord Lieutenants in every county.[1] These included Highland units from the north-west of Scotland such as the Argyllshire Rifle Volunteers,[2] the Inverness-shire Rifle Volunteers,[3] the Ross-shire Rifle Volunteers[4] and the Sutherland Rifle Volunteers.[5] However, the lineage also includes elements of the Forfarshire Rifle Volunteers,[6][7] the Perthshire Rifle Volunteers,[8] the Fifeshire Rifle Volunteers,[9] the Elginshire Rifle Volunteers,[10] the Aberdeenshire Rifle Volunteers,[11][12][13][14] the Banffshire Rifle Volunteers,[15] the Renfrewshire Rifle Volunteers,[16][17] and the Clackmananshire Rifle Volunteers.[18]

The current unit is the direct descendent of the infantry battalions that made up the 51st (Highland) Division, of which Highland Rifle Volunteer units became a part. This division was formed as part of the Haldane Reforms, which integrated the Volunteer Force, Militia and the Yeomanry into the nascent Territorial Force, created by the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907.[19]

The Black Watch (TF Battalions), c. 1908 The Seaforth Highlanders (TF Battalions), c. 1908 The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (TF Battalions), c. 1908 The Gordon Highlanders (TF Battalions), c. 1908 The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (TF Battalions), c. 1908
4th (City of Dundee) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Parker Street in Dundee (since demolished)[20] 4th (Ross-shire) Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders, at Ferry Road in Dingwall 4th Battalion, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, at Rose Street in Inverness 4th (The City of Aberdeen) Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, at Guild Street in Aberdeen 5th (Renfrewshire) Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Finnart Street in Greenock (since demolished)[21]
5th (Angus and Dundee) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Bank Street in Brechin 5th (The Sutherland and Caithness Highland) Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders, at Old Bank Road in Golspie 5th (Buchan and Formartin) Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, in Kirk Street in Peterhead (since demolished)[22] 6th (Renfrewshire) Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at High Street in Paisley
6th (Perthshire) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Tay Street in Perth (since demolished)[23] 6th (Morayshire) Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders, at Cooper Park in Elgin 6th (The Banff and Donside) Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, at Union Street in Keith 7th Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Princes Street in Stirling
7th (Fife) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Market Street / City Road in St Andrews (since demolished)[24] 7th (Deeside Highland) Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, at Kinneskie Road in Banchory 8th (Argyllshire) Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Queen Street in Dunoon (since demolished)[25]
8th (Cyclist) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Perth Road in Birnam 9th (Dunbartonshire) Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Hartfield House in Dumbarton

These units saw action as part of 51st Highland Division at the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Cambrai in France during the First World War.[26]

Interwar period and Second World WarEdit

After the Armistice, the Territorial Force and its formations were disbanded. It was re-established, by the Territorial Army and Militia Act 1921, as the Territorial Army however, and the original Highland Territorial Battalions were reconstituted, although there were several amalgamations.[27]

The Black Watch (TA Battalions), c. 1921 The Seaforth Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1921 The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1921 The Gordon Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1921 The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (TF Battalions), c. 1921
4th/5th (Dundee and Angus) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Parker Street in Dundee 4th/5th (Ross, Sutherland and Caithness) Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders, at Old Bank Road in Golspie 4th Battalion, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, at Rose Street in Inverness 4th (The City of Aberdeen) Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, at Guild Street in Aberdeen 5th/6th (Renfrewshire) Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at High Street, Paisley
6th/7th (Perth and Fife) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Tay Street in Perth 6th (Morayshire) Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders, at Cooper Park in Elgin 5th/7th (Buchan, Mar and Means) Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, at Mugiemoss Road in Bucksburn (since demolished)[28] 7th Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Princes Street in Stirling
8th (Argyllshire) Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Queen Street in Dunoon

During the Second World War these units again saw action as part of 51st (Highland) Infantry Division but many troops were detained as prisoners of war in Germany after more than 10,000 members of the division were taken prisoner at St Valery.[29]

Post-war restructuring and Cold WarEdit

In August 1946 the 51st (Highland) Division was disbanded. Shortly afterwards however the formation was revived as part of the 51st/52nd (Scottish) Division, created via an amalgamation with the 52nd (Lowland) Division. They once again became a Territorial Division upon demobilisation in 1948.[30]

The Black Watch (TA Battalions), c. 1947 The Seaforth Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1947 The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1947 The Gordon Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1947 The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1947
4th/5th (Dundee and Angus) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Parker Street in Dundee 11th (Ross-shire) Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders, at Ferry Road in Dingwall 4th Battalion, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, at Rose Street in Inverness 4th/7th Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, at Guild Street in Aberdeen 7th Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Princes Street in Stirling
6th/7th (Perth and Fife) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Tay Street in Perth 5th/6th (Banff, Buchan and Donside) Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, at Mugiemoss Road in Bucksburn 8th (Argyllshire) Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Queen Street in Dunoon

In 1950, the 51st/52nd (Scottish) Division was split, restoring the independence of the 51st Highland Division, which took regional command of Territorial Army units based in the Scottish Highlands, including the TA infantry battalions of the Highland Brigade regiments.[31]

British forces contracted dramatically as the end of National Service took place in 1960, as announced in the 1957 Defence White Paper. As a result, on 20 July 1960, a reorganisation of the TA was announced by the War Office.[32]

The Black Watch (TA Battalions), c. 1961 The Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) (TA Battalions), c. 1961 The Gordon Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1961 The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (TA Battalions), c. 1961
4th/5th (Dundee and Angus) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Parker Street in Dundee 11th (Ross-shire) Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders, at Ferry Road in Dingwall 3rd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, at Guild Street in Aberdeen 7th Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Princes Street in Stirling
6th/7th (Perth and Fife) Battalion, The Black Watch, at Tay Street in Perth 8th (Argyllshire) Battalion, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, at Queen Street in Dunoon

The 1966 Defence White Paper and afterEdit

This was followed by complete reorganisation as announced in the 1966 Defence White Paper. The 51st Highland Volunteers were formed in 1967 from the amalgamation of territorial battalions of regiments in the Highland Brigade. It was a TAVR II (NATO reserve role) unit with headquarters located at Perth, Scotland.

51st Highland Vounteers c.1967

In 1969, the three TAVRIII (Home defence) battalions were reduced in size and amalgamated into the 51st Highland Volunteers, forming three additional companies:

On 1 April 1971, the 51st Highland Volunteers split into two battalions. A third battalion was subsequently formed on 1 April 1975.

51st Highland Volunteers c. 1975

In 1981, the 3rd Battalion effectively became the Territorial battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders; in 1995, it became the 7th/8th (V) Battalion of that regiment. The 2nd Battalion became the 3rd (V) Battalion of The Highlanders.

A Z (Home Service Force) Company was formed in 1984 at Perth, Kirkcaldy and Dundee. A number of re-organizations and company re-locations also occurred in the 1980s. Between 1992 and 1993, the remaining elements of 1st Battalion, the 51st Highland Volunteers were again reorganised.

51st Highland Volunteers c.1993

  • HQ Company at Perth
  • A Company at Dundee
  • B Company at Forfar
  • D Company at Aberdeen
  • K Company at Kirkcaldy

The 1st Battalion was subsequently redesignated (in 1994) as the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment). During this period, all three Battalions adopted the Cap Badges and insignia of their parent Regiments.

The regiment was re-formed in 1999 by the amalgamation of all three battalions (viz 7/8 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 3 The Highlanders, and 3 Black Watch) into a single battalion, the 51st Highland Regiment (51 HIGHLAND), in consequence of the reforms of the Territorial Army in the Strategic Defence Review. It had one support company and five rifle companies.[33]

51st Highland Regiment c.1999

As part of the Delivering Security in a Changing World review of the British Army, on 28 March 2006, the 51st Highland Regiment became the 7th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (also known as (7 SCOTS)).

Current structure and operationsEdit

The battalion headquarters is based at Queen's Barracks in Perth. The Army Reserve military band of 51st (Scottish) Brigade is administered by the battalion, as well as the unit's own 51st Highland Pipes and Drums. The battalion is currently made up of one support company, with four rifle companies:

LineageEdit

Lineage
51st Highland, 7th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland 51st Highland Regiment 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion, The Black Watch 1st Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers 51st Highland Volunteers (TAVR II and III) 6th/7th Battalion, The Black Watch
4th/5th Battalion, The Black Watch
1st Battalion, The Liverpool Scottish
3rd (Volunteer) Battalion, The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons) 2nd Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers 11th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders
4th/5th Battalion, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
1st Battalion, The London Scottish
7/8th (Volunteer) Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 3rd Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers 3rd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders
7th and 8th Battalions, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Scottish Rifle Volunteer units: 1859–1908". Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  2. ^ "5th Volunteer Battalion, The Arygll and Sutherland Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  3. ^ "1st (Inverness Highland) Volunteer Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  4. ^ "1st (Ross Highland) Volunteer Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  5. ^ "1st Sutherland Highland Rifle Volunteers". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. ^ "1st (Dundee) Volunteer Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  7. ^ "2nd (Angus) and 3rd Volunteer Battalions,The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  8. ^ "4th and 5th (Perthshire) Vol. Battalions, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  9. ^ "6th (Fifeshire) Volunteer Battalion, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  10. ^ "3rd (Morayshire) Volunteer Battalion, The Seaforth Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  11. ^ "1st Volunteer Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  12. ^ "2nd Vol. Bn. and 5th (Deeside Highland) Vol. Bn. The Gordon Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  13. ^ "3rd (The Buchan) Volunteer Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  14. ^ "4th (Donside Highland) Volunteer Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  15. ^ "6th and 7th Volunteer Battalions, The Gordon Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  16. ^ "1st and 2nd (Renfrewshire) Vol. Bn's, The Arygll and Sutherland Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  17. ^ "3rd (Renfrewshire) and 4th (Stirlingshire) Volunteer Battalions, The A and S.H." Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  18. ^ "7th (Clackmannan and Kinross) Vol. Bn. The Arygll and Sutherland Highlanders". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  19. ^ "Lineage of Scottish Territorial Infantry Battalions: 1908–1920". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  20. ^ "Dundee, Parker Square, Drill Hall". Canmore. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  21. ^ "Greenock, Finnart Street, Drill Hall". Canmore. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Peterhead, Kirk Street, Drill Hall". Canmore. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  23. ^ "Perth, Tay Street, Drill Hall". Canmore. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  24. ^ "St Andrews, City Road, Volunteer Hall". Canmore. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  25. ^ "51st (Highland) Infantry Division" (PDF). British Military History. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  26. ^ "The 51st Highland Division in World War I". 51st Highland Division Online Museum. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Lineage of Scottish Territorial Infantry Battalions: 1920–1947". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  28. ^ "Bucksburn, Mugiemoss Road, Drill Hall". Canmore. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  29. ^ Saul David, Churchill's Sacrifice of the Highland Division, France 1940, ISBN 1-85753-378-X
  30. ^ "Lineage of Scottish Territorial Infantry Battalions 1947–1967". Scottishmilitaryarticles.org.uk. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  31. ^ Reorganizing Territorials, the Times, 21 July 1960
  32. ^ "Territorial Army Re-organisation". Hansard. 20 July 1960. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  33. ^ "51st Highland Volunteers". Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  34. ^ "Black Watch Territorials". 2008-02-18. Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  35. ^ Structure of regiment on regiments.org

External linksEdit

  • 7 SCOTS - on British Army official website