Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

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Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Cap Badge of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Active 1 July 1881–14 May 1968
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Rifles
Size 2 Regular battalions
2 Militia battalion
2 - 4 Territorial and Volunteer battalions
Up to 12 hostilities-only battalions
Part of Lowland Brigade
Garrison/HQ Hamilton Barracks (1881-1947)
Winston Barracks, Lanark (1947-1968)
Nickname(s) The Poison Dwarves. Not a popular nickname as it was derogatory.
Motto Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (Nobody Attacks Me With Impunity) (Latin)
March Quick – Within a mile of Edinboro Town
Slow – The Garb of Old Gaul
Colonel in Chief HM King Gustaf VI Adolf
Colonel of
the Regiment
Major General Henry Templar Alexander, CB CBE DSO
Tartan Douglas[dead link]

The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was a rifle regiment of the British Army, the only regiment of rifles amongst the Scottish regiments of infantry. It was formed in 1881 under the Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 26th Cameronian Regiment and the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry. In 1968, the regiment was one of two infantry regiments that decided to disband rather than amalgamate with another regiment, the other being the York and Lancaster Regiment.


After the amalgamation, the 1st Battalion preferred to be known as "The Cameronians" while the 2nd preferred to be known as "The Scottish Rifles" and relations between the two battalions were correct rather than friendly. The regiment saw service during the Second Boer War in South Africa.

First World War

The regiment raised 27 battalions during the First World War. The Territorial Force 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th Battalions also served in Europe (the 5th, 6th and 7th with the 52nd (Lowland) Division, the 9th with the 15th (Scottish) Division).

Second World War

The regiment saw service in the Second World War. The 1st Battalion saw action in the Burma Campaign, while the 2nd Battalion was in Europe. The Territorial Army battalions, the 6th and 7th, both part of 156th Infantry Brigade fought in Europe. The 10th Battalion remained at home with the 45th Brigade, initially part of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division and later as a training formation with the 80th Infantry (Reserve) Division.


In 1948, along with every other infantry regiment of the British Army, the Cameronians was reduced to a single regular battalion. Under the reforms of the army in the 1966 Defence White Paper, which saw several regiments amalgamated, the Cameronians chose to disband rather than amalgamate with another regiment in the Lowland Brigade. The 1st Battalion, The Cameronians was disbanded on 14 May 1968 at Douglas Castle, near Douglas, South Lanarkshire in the presence of the Duke of Hamilton. Its recruiting area in Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway taken over by the King's Own Scottish Borderers and the Regimental Headquarters finally closed in 1987. However, the name of the Cameronians continued through the Territorial Army, with two companies of the 52nd Lowland Regiment badged as Cameronians. One company was disbanded in 1992, the other was rebadged as the King's Own Scottish Borderers in 1997.


The Douglas tartan

Every new member of the regiment was issued a Bible, as a nod to Richard Cameron, after whom the original 26th Foot was named.

In honour of the regiment's first Colonel, James Douglas, Earl of Angus the tartan was that of the House of Douglas, which was worn as trews by all ranks (except the regiment's pipers, who wore kilts). Until 1914 the regiment wore a unique full dress uniform, comprising a rifle green shako with black upright plume, rifle green doublet and Douglas tartan trews.

The regiment's cap badge featured a Mullet from the coat of arms of the Douglas family on a stringed bugle within two sprigs of thistle.

The pipers of the 1st Battalion wore a distinctive badge of the Mullet with a scroll below bearing the name "The Cameronians". The sporrans and dirks of the pipers of the 2nd Battalion carried a reproduction of the coat of arms of the City of Perth.

As a regiment of rifles, the Cameronians carried no colours, instead wearing its battle honours on its "appointments" (drums).

The regiment's only Colonel-in-Chief was King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden.

The regiment mounted an armed guard at the doors of the Kirk during religious services.

Honours and affiliations

Battle honours

  • Combined battle honours of 26th Regiment and 90th Regiment, plus:
Blenheim1, Ramillies1, Oudenarde1, Malplaquet1, South Africa 1846-72, South Africa 1877-8-92, Relief of Ladysmith, South Africa 1899–1902

1. awarded 1882 for services of 26th Regiment.
2. awarded 1882 for services of 90th Regiment.

First World War

[27 battalions]

Mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914 1918, Aisne 1914, La Bassée 1914, Messines 1914, Armentières 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Loos, Somme 1916 and 1918, Albert 1916, Bazentin, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Arras 1917 and 1918, Scarpe 1917 '18, Arleux, Ypres 1917 '18, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, St Quentin, Rosières, Avre, Lys, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Scherpenberg, Soissonnais-Ourcq, Drocourt-Quéant, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, Canal du Nord, St Quentin Canal, Cambrai 1918, Courtrai, Selle and Sambre
Doiran 1917 and 1918
First, Second and Third Battles of Gaza, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jaffa

Second World War

  • North-West Europe 1940
Ypres-Comines Canal
  • North-West Europe 1944–45
Odon, Cheux, Caen, Mont Pincon, Estry, Nederrijn, Best, Scheldt, South Beveland, Walcheren Causeway, Asten, Roer, Rheine, Rhineland, Reichswald, Moyland, Dreierwalde, Bremen and Artlenberg
  • Italy 1943–44
Landing in Sicily, Simeto Bridgehead, Sicily 1943, Garigliano Crossing, Anzio and Advance to Tiber
  • Burma 1942 and 1944
Pegu 1942, Paungde, Yenagyaung 1942 and Chindits 1944

Malayan Emergency

Malaya [1]


Notable former members of the regiment

The Cameronians Museum

File:Cameronians Memorial plaque.JPG
Cameronians Memorial, Douglas, Lanarkshire

The Cameronians Museum is located within the Low Parks Museum, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.[1]


A memorial tablet on Spion Kop lists the names of those who died during the Battle of Spion Kop in the Second Boer War.

A monument in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow by Philip Lindsey Clark, unveiled on 9 August 1924, depicts men of the regiment manning a Lewis gun.

A monument commemorating the disbandment of the regiment can be found at Douglas, South Lanarkshire, within a mile of the site of the ceremony. [4]

Also within the village is a statue of the Earl of Angus to commemorate the bicentenary of the raising of the regiment. [5][dead link]


External links