Scottish regiments

The sacrifice of the Scots who served with the British Army during the First World War cannot be overstated. Of those who served, it is estimated that over a quarter were killed. But Scotland’s unique martial contribution and heritage long precedes the advent of the Great War.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Scots may not have fought in the same numbers that they had in previously centuries, but the military traditions of the tartan, kilt and bagpipes had become intrinsic emblems of Scottish identity. Meanwhile local territorial forces continued to play a significant role in community life, especially in rural parts of the country. This instilled a sense of shared heritage and national pride which no doubt encouraged an estimated 688,000 Scotsmen to enlist in their droves over the course of the conflict, leading to the creation of what became known as the New Army.

Discover Scottish infantry regiments and the single cavalry regiment which served in the First World War. Learn about their origins, traditions and service leading up to and during the Great War, and the regimental museums across the country where you learn more.

The Black Watch

The Black Watch

An elite battalion of the British Army, the Black Watch boasts a prestigious regimental heritage which spans three centuries.


The Royal Scots

The Royal Scots were the oldest and most senior infantry regiment in the British Army. Learn more about its compelling history.


The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

Uncover the remarkable story behind the Cameronians, the only regiment of rifles among the Scottish infantry regiments.


The Gordon Highlanders

Learn about this historic infantry regiment described by Winston Churchill as ‘the finest in the World’.


The Royal Scots Greys

Learn about the Royal Scots Greys, a cavalry regiment dating back to the 17th century, and its service in the First World War.


The Highland Light Infantry

The HLI as it was popularly known was based in Glasgow but remained closely tied to its Highland heritage.

Cameron of Erracht

The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders

This former regiment takes its name from one of the most powerful Highland clans of the 18th century and Queen Victoria.

Hunting Erskine

The Royal Scots Fusiliers

Learn about the second oldest of the Scottish regiments which Winston Churchill served with as a commander during the Great War.

Campbell of Cawdor

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

The original ‘Thin Red Line’, this former regiment boasts a fascinating 200 year-old history which has passed into legend.

Seaforth MacKenzie

The Seaforth Highlanders

This world-famous regiment had its roots in regiments recruited from the Highland clans in the late 17th century. Find out more.

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