The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

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  • Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Memorial at Kelvingrove, Glasgow © GlasgowSculpture
    Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Memorial at Kelvingrove, Glasgow © GlasgowSculpture
  • Courtesy of the Low Parks Museum
    Learn about the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) regiment at the Low Parks Museum in Hamilton.
  • Courtesy of the Low Parks Museum
    View fascinating war time objects at the Low Parks Museum
  • Courtesy of the Low Parks Museum
    The exhibition hall at the Low Parks Museum

The only regiment of rifles amongst the Scottish regiments of infantry, the Cameronians were formed in the wake of the religious and political turmoil that followed the restoration of Charles II. Learn about their extraordinary service leading up to the Great War which saw them serve in conflicts throughout the world.

Active:

1 July 1881 - 14 May 1968

Type:The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) regiment, courtesy of the Low Parks Museum

Rifles

Regimental Depot:

Hamilton Barracks, Lanark

Motto:

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (Nobody Attacks Me With Impunity)

Marches:

Within a Mile of Edinburgh Town (quick) and The Garb of Old Gaul (slow)

Tartan:

Douglas

Origins:

The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) were formed following the amalgamation of the 26th Regiment of Foot (The Cameronians) Regiment with the 90th Regiment of Foot (Perthshire Volunteers) in 1881. The 1st Battalion was known unofficially at ‘The Cameronians’ while the 2nd Battalion was known as ‘The Scottish Rifles’. Together they would go onto serve in the Second Boer War.

The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) regiment marching into battlefieldHowever, the regiment can trace its heritage even further back to the 1680s. It was originally raised as the Cameronian Guard by the Lords of the Convention. It took its name from the Cameronians, the followers of Richard Cameron, a field preacher and leader in the Covenanter movement who declared war on King Charles III in response to his efforts to eject Presbyterian ministers from the Church of Scotland for refusing to accept the rule of the bishops.

It was officially recognised in 1689 as the 26th (Cameronian) Regiment of Foot following the Glorious Revolution under King William III and later served at the Battle of Dunkeld during the First Jacobite Rising and in campaigns led by the Duke of Marlborough. It won special recognition at the Battle of Blenheim during the War of the Spanish Succession and saw action in the American War of Independence, the Napoleonic Wars, and at the Battle of Corunna during the Peninsular War. It also served in India and China during the First Opium War and took part in the Expedition to Abyssinia (Ethiopia).

The 90th Regiment of Foot (Perthshire Volunteers) was formed in 1794 and served during the French Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars and in South Africa during the Cape Frontier War and Second Boer War.

First World War:

Both battalions were posted to the Western Front in 1914 and remained there throughout the war. The regiment raised an additonal 25 battalions from the Reserve, Territorial and New armies over the course of the conflict. They saw action in France and Belgium, Gallipoli, Egypt, Salonika and at various home stations, receiving a total of 27 battle honours. Over 7,000 men of the regiment lost their lives with several awarded the Victoria Cross.

Did you know?

  • The Regiment’s only Colonel-in-Chief was King Adolf Gustaf VI of Sweden.
  • It was traditional for every new member of the regiment to be issued a bible. This was in tribute to Richard Cameron, the Presbyterian minister after whom the 26th Regiment of Foot was named.
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