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The Story of the Royal Scots
By Lawrence Weaver


It is well at this time to he reminded of the history of The Royal Scots, for we in the Lothians think that it is not sufficiently borne in mind. There are so many famous regiments in Scotland that ours, though the senior, stands some chance of being overlooked.

Those who read this excellent book will not be likely to commit this fault. There they may read the long pedigree of The Royal Scots, who date, so to speak, their legal existence to 1662, but who may be traced long before then, and indeed earned from their antiquity the playful nickname of “Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard.” They will see how ineffaceably The Royal Scots have stamped their name on almost every battlefield in which our army has been engaged; how they have been commanded and trusted by such consummate captains as Turenne, Marlborough and Wellington. It has, indeed, been their habit to fight all over the world; there is scarcely a region where they have not left their mark. That is the way now with all our regiments, but The Royal Scots have been longer at it. And now they are marching gallantly into the burning fiery furnace of this world conflagration.

Just now we can think of nothing but this war which is to make or mar the world. Each soldier of the King, great or small, who is fighting in this campaign, fights that we may breathe freely once more and be relieved from the nightmare of a brutal and odious tyranny. Each soldier and sailor, then, is the champion of civilization and liberty as well as of his country. He will conquer, as he did the less barbarous armies of the Zulus and the Mahdists, forces trained, like the Prussian, for the injury and domination of their neighbours. He is fighting for as sacred and vital a cause as any Crusader, against venomous gases, poisoned wells, the piratical submerging of innocent vessels, the tramping underfoot of the law of nations, and the other abominations of Prussian culture. And those who cannot serve strain anxious eyes to discern all that we can of our champions and their deeds.

But in a closer fashion we are concerned with our neighbours who have left their homes in our province of Lothian, be they mansions or cottages, to fight for us. For them even more than for ourselves this Story is written. We wish them to know the full splendour of the tradition which they carry like their colours. Nothing surely to them or to us can be more inspiriting than the record of the centuries of valour which they represent. They have in this war proved already that they yield nothing to their forbears in achievement, yet they may well wish to know the details of the traditions that they inherit and emulate.

We at any rate, men, women and children of the Lothians, Edinburgh and Peebles, the romantic county with the unromantic name, desire to know all about our famous regiment, and so we welcome this book. There will need to be another volume added to it when this war is over.

Honour, then, to The Royal Scots, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, among the choicest of our fighting men, whose record is in this book, as on the field of battle. We who cannot stand with them must at least try all we can to sustain them and fill their ranks.


Author’s Introduction

Chapter I - The Fighting Scots Abroad, 1421-1632
Scots in Mediaeval France—Regiments serving with Gustavus Adolphus—Sir John Hepburn—The Green Brigade—Le Rigiment d’Hibron.

Chapter II - Royal Warrant for Hepburn's Regiment, 1633-1636
Charles the First’s Order—Arguments as to Seniority—Serving Louis XIII against Germany—Death of Sir John Hepburn in 1636.

Chapter III - Mingled French and English Service, 1636-1683
Hepburn’s Successors—Le Rigiment de Douglas—The Condi-Turenne Campaigns—Battle of Dunkirk Dunes—Recall to England—Pepys and the Regiment—Further Foreign Campaigns—Two Battalions—End of French Service—The Grenadier Company—Tangier, 1680-1683.

Chapter IV - The Royal Regiment of Foot and James II, 1684-1689
Duke of Monmouth’s Rebellion—Royals at Sedgemoor—Second Battalion goes to Scotland—Infant Officers and their pay— Hobos—Flight of King James and Dumbarton—Colonel Count Schomberg—The Ipswich Mutiny.

Chapter V - The Regiment's Service Under William III, 1689-1702
Steenkirk—Death of Sir Robert Douglas—Lord George Hamilton becomes Colonel—Landen—The Siege of Namur—Uncle Toby’s Account of the Assault—Treaty of Ryswick—Five years of Peace.

Chapter VI - Marlborough's Campaigns, 1702-1713
Minor Sieges in 1702—The March to Bavaria—Schellenberg— Blenheim—1693 revenged at the Little Geete—Ramillies— Oudenarde—Malplajuet—Marlborough's Fall—The Treaty o} Utrecht.

Chapter VII - Piping Times of Peace, 1713-1740
Police Duty in Ireland—Irish Recruits—Sergeant MacLeod—Death of Colonel the Earl of Orkney.

Chapter VIII - The Spanish Main; The Seven Years War; The 'Forty-Five, 1740-1755
Fighting Fever in the \Vest Indies—Dettingen—Fontenoy—The Fall of Ghent—Prisoners of Prince Charlie—Falkirk— Culloden—Fort Sandberg—The Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Chapter IX - Canada and the West Indies, 1756-1792
Early days of North America—Canada and the French—The Royals at Louisburg— Fighting the Cherokees—Cuba and the Assault on the Moro—Newfoundland—Brimstone Hill, St. Christopher—Big Sam.

Chapter X - The Prince of the Great French War, 1793-1799
A Brief Sketch of Causes—The Second Battalion at Toulon, Corsica and Elba—The First Battalion in St. Domingo— Ireland and the ‘Ninety-eight.

Chapter XI - The Napoleonic War, Egypt, 1801-1803
The Mediterranean Situation—Second Battalion in Egypt—The Landing in Aboukir Bay—Battles of March 13 and March 21, 1801—The end of French rule in Egypt— Troubles at Gibraltar.

Chapter XII - St. Lucia, West Indies, India, America, 1801-1816
Seizure of Island of St. Martin—Life in the West Indies— Demerara and Berhice—St. Lucia—Depleted ranks—Service in India—Campaign against the United States—Changes in Uniform.

Chapter XIII - The Third Battalion in the Peninsula, 1808-1814
Captain Waters' adventure—Corunna—The interlude of Walcheren—Busaco—Fuentes d'Onor—First use of name "Royal Scots”—Salamanca—Vittoria—Siege of San Sebastian—Nive.

Chapter XIV - The Crushing of Napoleon, 1815
Third Battalion at Quatre Bras—The attack on the Squares— Waterloo—La Haye Sainte—The Royals and their Colours —The Fourth Battalion—Bergen-op-Zoom.

Chapter XV - Forty Years of Little Wars, 1816-1853
Peace Service of First Battalion—Second Battalion in Mahratta Wars—Nagpore—Maheidpoor—A sseerghur—Burmese War —Ava—The Rebellion in Canada.

Chapter XVI - Crimea, 1854-1856; China, 1859-1860; Peace, 1861-1899
Alma—Siege of Sevastopol—Inkerman—Private Prosser’s V.C. Taku Forts—Changes of Organization and Title—Colours and Battle Honours—Bechuanaland.

Chapter XVII - The South African War, 1899-1902
Faithful Reservists—Paardeplatz—Sergeant Robertson and Major Twyford—Lieut. C. L. Price at Bermondsey— Casualties and Honours.

Chapter XVIII - Militia, Volunteer, Territorial and Service Battalions
The Edinburgh Militia—South Fencibles—Dukes of Buccleuch —South African Service, 1899-1902—The Special Reserve —The Volunteer Movement—Territorial Battalions, Fourth to Tenth-Service Battalions, Eleventh to Seventeenth.

Chapter XIX - First Year of the Great War, 1914-1915: France and Flanders
The Royal Scots in the First Onset—Mons—Le Cateau—Cambrai —Capture of Orly-sur-Marne and Vailly—On the Aisne—La Bassie Canal and Croix Barbie—Petit Bois—V.C. won at Kemmel—The Fights for Ypres—V.C. won at Givenchy.

Chapter XX - First Year of the Great War, 1915: The Dardanelles
An Epic of Territorials — The Fifth (Queen's) in the 29th Division—The Fight for the Landing—Captain Moctagon's Narrative—Saving the situation on June 19—The Storming of The Gully Ravine on June 28—The Fighting during July—"Achieving the Impossible".


Appendix A - A Short Bibliography.
Appendix B - The Regimental Music.
Appendix C - The Regimental Roll of Honour (Officers Killed, Wounded, Prisoners of War and Missing in the Great War): Made up to August 31, 1915.
Appendix D - A List of the Officers of the Regiment Serving in August 1915.

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