Trevor Royle will talk about The Black Watch between 1919 and 1939. As had happened throughout Britain’s history the conclusion of hostilities in November 1918 brought a rapid reduction in defense expenditure. Following the post-war election which was won by the Liberals, David Lloyd George’s government introduced a Ten Year Rule to govern defence spending: under this legislation expenditure on the armed forces was planned on the assumption that there would be no major war for ten years and it was extended annually until 1932. Equipment was not renewed and under the Geddes Axe of 1920 (named after Sir Auckland Geddes, chairman of the Committee on National Expenditure) manpower levels were reduced to make further savings. Like the rest of the British Army The Black Watch was not immune from any of these changes and would pay the price when it went to war again in September 1939.
Trevor Royle is the author of several works of military history, his latest book being ‘Facing the Bear: Scotland and the Cold War’. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.