London Scottish (regiment)

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

A (London Scottish) Company
Cap Badge 009.JPG
Cap Badge of the London Scottish
Country United Kingdom
BranchFlag of the British Army.svg Army Reserve
RoleLight infantry
SizeRHQ and one company
Part ofLondon Regiment
Garrison/HQ59 Buckingham Gate (1886–1985)[1]
Horseferry Road drill hall (1985–Present)
Nickname(s)Cockney Jocks (Piccadilly Allsorts) (Duke of Bangkok's Rifles)
Motto(s)Strike Sure
MarchHighland Laddie
Anniversaries31 October 1914. First TA unit into action in WWI, Messines Ridge, 1st Battle of Ypres
Honorary Regimental ColonelLord Geidt GCB GCVO OBE QSO PC
Colonel of
the Regiment
Brigadier Alistair Bruce of Crionaich, OBE VR ADC DL
TartanHodden Grey



The regiment was founded on the formation of the Volunteer Force in 1859.[2] 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.[3] The regiment became the 7th (London Scottish) Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps and then, in 1908, the 14th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment (London Scottish).[4]

First World WarEdit

The London Scottish during the First World War, 1914
Unknown U.K. Soldier 1921 (London Scottish)

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 Messines in Belgium.[5] The 2/14th Battalion embarked for France in June 1916 but was then transferred to Salonika and Palestine.[5]


In 1937, on the break-up of the London Regiment, the unit was re-named The London Scottish, The Gordon Highlanders.[4]

Second World WarEdit

97th (London Scottish) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery in Italy, 1944 (IWM NA18197)

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


In 1967 the London Scottish tradition was resurrected on the formation of G (London Scottish) Company 1st Battalion 51st Highland Volunteers.[4] Since 1992, the tradition has been carried on by A (London Scottish) Company of the London Regiment, which provides Reserve support to the Foot Guards.[18]

London Scottish Cadet CorpsEdit

The London Scottish Cadet Corps, which was formed around 1902, had three companies, a pipe band and its own colours and was sponsored by the regiment.[19] The corps evolved to become 235 Westminster Detachment (London Scottish Regiment), part of 23 Company Middlesex and North West London Army Cadet Force: it is based at the Rochester Row Army Reserve Centre in Westminster and is the sole surviving cadet unit maintaining the traditions of the regiment.[20]


From its establishment in 1859 The London Scottish wore Hodden Grey uniforms with dark blue facings.[21] This unique colour remained as full dress for the entire regiment until 1914[22] and survives in the modern kilts and mess dress.[23]

Hodden Grey

Regimental Pipes and DrumsEdit

Regimental Drum

Being founded right after the regiment was raised, the Regimental Pipes and Drums of The London Scottish is one of the oldest army pipe bands in the world.[24] It wears its distinctive Hodden Grey tartan so that band members can supposedly blend in with the environment as camouflage. The pipes and drums accompany the entire regiment during official dinners, military parades, presentation of colours and other regimental functions, effectively providing musical support. It has performed at many high profile events in the City of London as well as Greater London, most notably the Beating Retreat, Lord Mayor's Show and The Royal Caledonian Ball. Outside of the United Kingdom, the band has had the opportunity to perform at many parades and military tattoos in countries such as Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Uzbekistan and Jamaica.[25]

From 1953 to 2002, the Pipe Major of the London Scottish held the position of Piper to the Queen Mother.[26]


Victoria CrossesEdit

Three members of the regiment were awarded the Victoria Cross:




  1. ^ "London Scottish Regiment H.Q." Plaques of London. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  2. ^ War Office Circular, 12 May 1859, published in The Times, 13 May.
  3. ^ Blain, Rev. Michael (2007). The Canterbury Association (1848-1852): A Study of Its Members’ Connections (PDF). Christchurch: Project Canterbury. pp. 29–30. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b c "A Company history". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "The London Regiment". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  6. ^ Joslen, p. 230
  7. ^ Joslen, p. 238
  8. ^ 1 AA Division 1939 at British Military History
  9. ^ a b c d 1 AA Division 1940 at British Military History
  10. ^ 1 AA Division 1940 at RA 39–45 Archived 2013-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b c 97 HAA Rgt at RA 39–45 Archived 2013-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Joslen, pp. 484–5.
  13. ^ Joslen, pp. 466–7.
  14. ^ 97 Garrison Rgt at RA 39–45 Archived 2013-10-22 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ 610 Infantry Rgt at RA 39–45 Archived 2014-09-04 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Joslen, p. 467.
  17. ^ 497 HAA at British Army 54 on
  18. ^ "History of the Regiment". The London Scottish Regiment. Archived from the original on June 12, 2003. Retrieved 27 April 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  19. ^ Regimental Gazette
  20. ^ "Locations". Army Cadets. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  21. ^ Robert and Christopher Wilkinson-Latham, page 157 Infantry Uniforms Book Two" ISBN 0713705256
  22. ^ Major R. M. Barnes, page 301 "The Uniforms and History of the Scottish Regiments", Sphere Books Ltd 1971
  23. ^ Page 25 "Regiment Issue 35 - The London Regiment", Nexus ISSN 00819-8277
  24. ^ "150 years of Proud History: Pipes and Drums of the London Scottish". Piping Centre. 1 March 2013. p. 34. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  25. ^ "About The Band". London Scottish Regiment. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  26. ^ Helen Cathcart (1982). The Queen Mother herself. Magna Print. p. 427.


  • Lt-Col H.F. Joslen, Orders of Battle, United Kingdom and Colonial Formations and Units in the Second World War, 1939–1945, London: HM Stationery Office, 1960/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2003, ISBN 1843424746.

External linksEdit