London Scottish (regiment)

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London Scottish
File: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 Strike Sure
March Highland Laddie
Anniversaries 31st October 1914. First TA unit into action in WWI, Messines Ridge, 1st Battle of Ypres
Major Nicholas Storey
Honorary Colonel Baron Robertson of Port Ellen KT, GCMG, FRSA, PC
Colonel of
the Regiment
Colonel David Rankin-Hunt LVO MBE TD
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

  • 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 (AVR2); and C Company (London Scottish), The London Yeomanry and Territorials (AVR3)
  • AVR 3 disbanded (?date)
  • G Company, 1st Battalion (51st Highland Volunteers)(1/51 HLD)- 1971. The Argyll & Sutherland Highlander companies of 51st Highland formed 3rd Battalion, whilst the Gordons and Queen's Own Highlanders companies formed 2nd Battalion. 1/51 was essentially Black Watch, with London Scottish and Liverpool Scottish add-ons.
  • A (London Scottish) Company, The London Regiment - 1993
  • A (London Scottish) Company, The London Regiment (Guards Division) - 2006. The London Regiment is paired with the Grenadier Guards and Irish Guards for operational deployments. Most of the Permanent Staff Instructors are provided by Guards Division.

Founding of the Regiment

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

The regiment raised three battalions during World War I, with the 1/1st Battalion serving on the Western Front.

Second World War

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:

  • 2nd Battalion - Raised as a 'duplicate' of the 1st Battalion, with a core of officers and senior NCOs from that battalion. The 2nd Battalion remained in the United Kingdom as an infantry battalion committed to home defence. Initially serving in the 141st (London) Infantry Brigade, 47th (London) Infantry Division, it was later transferred to numerous other brigades and acted in a training role.
  • 3rd Battalion - When the duplicate battalion was formed in April 1939, the regiment had enough recruits to form a third battalion; permission was granted provided it was formed as an anti-aircraft (AA) regiment of the Royal Artillery. It was designated 97th (London Scottish) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA and formed with HQ and two batteries (298 and 299) at Westminster.[1] It served as part of 48th AA Brigade in 1st AA Division (the old 47th (2nd London) Division) defending London during the Blitz.[2][3][4] In March 1943 it left for North Africa where it joined British Eighth Army,[2][4][5] and served with it in the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italian Campaign.[2][6] With the depletion of the Luftwaffe and the reduced requirement for AA defences, it was converted in November 1944 into 97th (London Scottish) Garrison Regiment, RA, later designated 610 Infantry Regiment, RA.[2][4][7][8][9] When the TA was reconstituted in 1947, 610 Regiment was reformed as 497th (London) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA at Hammersmith, later renamed 497th (Hammersmith) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, RA, without any London Scottish connection.[10]

The Regiment today

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

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


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

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

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

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 three 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

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 two other cadet detachments now in the Greater London & South East Sector ACF.

95 (London Scottish) Cadet Company - Eltham

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

The third London Scottish Cadet unit is 102 (Bromley) Pltn. Formed in 1913 as part of the 1st Cadet Btn Royal North West Kent Regimentt, 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.

Regimental Band


Victoria Crosses

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




External links