Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
The regiment was created as part of the Childers Reforms in 1881, when the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot (The Black Watch) was amalgamated with the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot to form two battalions of the newly named Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). The 42nd became the 1st Battalion, and the 73rd became the 2nd Battalion.
In 1881, the 1st Battalion deployed to Dublin, Ireland and the following year the battalion, as part of the Guard Brigade, took part in an expedition to Egypt, which came about in response to a revolt led by Urabi Pasha, an Egyptian military officer. The Scots Guards gained the battle honours "Tel-el-Kebir" and "Egypt 1882" for their taking part in the Egyptian Expedition, and it was the last time the regiment carried the Colours into war.
In 1885, the 2nd Battalion took part in the Suakin Expedition to the Sudan, taking part in the Battle of Hasheen, and gaining the battle honour Suakin 1885 for their part in the campaign The battalion returned home to the peace and quiet of the UK in late 1885 and took part in Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee Military Review in 1887. In 1895, the 2nd Battalion of the regiment deployed to Dublin and returned to their barracks in London in 1897, with the 1st Battalion deploying to Dublin that same year.
In 1899, war broke out between the British Empire and the Dutch
Boer Republics, the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The 1st Battalion soon
departed Ireland for South Africa to join up with the 1st Guards Brigade, and
reached that country in November. The battalion quickly saw its first
engagements in November, at Belmont, and at the Battle of the Modder River. In
December, the battalion took part in its first major engagement of the war at
the Battle of Magersfontein. The Boers, well defended in their positions, poured
a terrible fire into the attacking British, causing very heavy casualties, with
the battle ending in a defeat for the British.
In 1900, the 2nd Battalion departed the UK for South Africa, landing there in April, whereupon it joined the 16th Infantry Brigade. The Scots Guards then saw action at another major battle, at the Battle of Paardeberg, which last for a number of days in February, though the Boers there were eventually defeat when the Boer leader Piet Cronje surrendered. The following month, the regiment took part in the Battle of Driefontein and in May, the 2nd Battalion took part in a small engagement at Biddulphsberg and on the 31st, the regiment was present at the capture of Johannesburg. During their time in Africa, the regiment performed a variety of duties, including manning blockhouses, rather than just their involvement in the many battles of the war. In 1902, the regiment returned home, having proven their professionalism once more to the world, and returned to the usual public duties that accompany the Guards.
Photo Ellis (Malta)