The Scots Guards


The Scots Guards (SG), is one of the Foot Guards regiments of the British Army. Their origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland. Its lineage can be traced back to 1642, although it was only placed on the English Establishment in 1686. It is the oldest formed Regiment in the Regular Army, more so than any other in the Household Brigade.
In 1854, the 1st Battalion of the Scots Fusilier Guards were dispatched as part of the Guards Brigade to the East, being deployed to Malta, Bulgaria and Turkey, before, in September, the British finally landed in the Crimea, at a place called Calamity Bay.
During the battle of Alma, the Scots Fusilier Guards, in the center of the Guards Brigade, part of the 1st Division, were supporting the Light Division, The Russians seized their opportunity to strike, launching a large-scale bayonet charge on the regiment, resulting in brutal carnage, eventually forcing the regiment to reluctantly withdraw, suffering over 150 casualties. During this chaos, the Colour party of the regiment, whose Colours had been shot through, held its ground against the overwhelming Russian force, and safeguarded the Colours from the Russians, as well as helping to rally the regiment. The British, including men of the battered Scots Fusilier Guards, subsequently advancing, causing the Russians to flee which allowed the British to re-take the Great Redoubt. For their actions at Alma, the Scots Fusilier Guards won a battle honour and four men of the regiment would later win the Victoria Cross, an award created in 1856 to become the highest award for valour in the face of the enemy. These men were Captain Robert James Lindsay, Sergeants John Knox and James McKechnie, as well as Private William Reynolds.
In 1855, the regiment took part in another bloody engagement, at the Battle of Inkerman, the regiment won its thirteenth battle honour for its part at Inkerman. The Scots Fusilier Guards also took part in the arduous Siege of Sevastopol, which lasted from September 1854 to September the following year.
In 1862, the 2nd Battalion landed in the then-colony of New Brunswick to reinforce the garrison there during increased tensions with the United States during the American Civil War. The battalion departed in 1864. In 1877 Queen Victoria, changed the regiment's name to the now more familiar Scots Guards.
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. The Scots Guards gained the battle honours "Tel-el-Kebir" and "Egypt 1882" for taking part in the Egyptian Expedition.
In 1885, the 2nd Battalion took part in the Suakin Expedition to the Sudan, including the Battle of Hasheen, and gained the battle honour Suakin 1885 for their part in the campaign. The battalion returned home to 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 its 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, which ended in a British victory, and at the Battle of Modder River, another British victory, though it had come at a heavy cost in British life; the Scots Guards gained a battle honour for their part in the battle. In December, the battalion took part in its first major engagement of the war at the Battle of Magersfontein. Also in 1899, the 3rd Battalion of the regiment was raised in London, though would not see overseas service in South Africa.
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 the Battle of Paardeberg. 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 31 May, the regiment was present at the capture of Johannesburg.


Photo Wright (London) (London)

Photo Stuart Brothers (London)

PhotoGordon's (Aberdeen)

Photo Barnard (Cape Town)