London Scottish (regiment)

London Scottish

Cap Badge of the London Scottish
Active 1859–1919
1920–Present Day
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Army Reserve
Type Infantry
Role Light infantry
Size RHQ and one company
Part of London Regiment
Garrison/HQ London
Nickname(s) Cockney Jocks (Piccadilly Allsorts) (Duke of Bangkok's Rifles)
Motto(s) Strike Sure
March Highland Laddie
Anniversaries 31st October 1914. First TA unit into action in WWI, Messines Ridge, 1st Battle of Ypres
Major Nicholas Storey
Honorary Colonel Baron Robertson of Port Ellen KT, GCMG, FRSA, PC
Colonel of
the Regiment
Colonel David Rankin-Hunt LVO MBE TD
Lord Elcho, Lt Col GA Malcolm, Lt Col RTS MacPherson, Lt Col T Rex-Appleton, Lt Col MAJ Overton, Maj MWH Ludlow.
Tartan Hodden Grey

The London Scottish was a Volunteer infantry regiment of the British Army. Formerly a regiment, the unit is now 'A' (London Scottish) Company of the London Regiment.

Titles and lineage

Founding of the regiment

The regiment was founded in 1859, part of the widespread volunteer movement which developed in the face of potential French invasion after Felice Orsini's attack on Napoleon III was linked to Britain.

Originally as part of the Volunteer Force sponsored by The Highland Society of London and The Caledonian Society of London, a group of individual Scots raised The London Scottish Rifle Volunteers under the command of Lt Col Lord Elcho, later The Earl of Wemyss and March. Over many years the London Scottish have changed titles and composition, and today they are a company of The London Regiment, titled A (London Scottish) Company.

First World War

The regiment raised three battalions during World War I, with the 1/14th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Scottish) serving on the Western Front.

The 1/14th Battalion was mobilized on the outbreak of war, departing for France on 15th September 1914. On 31 October 1914 the battalion encountered German forces at Messines in Belgium. It was the first Territorial unit to see active service in this war. Following ongoing action on the Western Front throughout 1914-18, the 1/14th formed part of the British army of occupation at Cologne.

The 2nd Battalion of the London Scottish embarked for France in June 1916 but was then transferred to Salonika and Palestine. A third battalion served as a training and reserve unit, supplying reinforcements to the two fighting battalions of the London Scottish throughout the war.

The London Scottish lost 1,542 dead in World War I. In 1918 two Victoria Crosses were awarded to soldiers of the regiment during fighting near Jerusalem

Second World War

As in World War I, the London Scottish raised three battalions during World War II, two of which served overseas. Both of the overseas battalions served with the Middle Eastern Forces in Sicily and Italy. The battalions were:

The regiment today

Today the Regiment comprises A Company of the London Regiment, which provides Reserve support to the Foot Guards. Members of the London Scottish served in Iraq and Afghanistan supporting their regular counterparts.


The regimental tartan is Elcho Tartan of Hodden Grey in colour. Lt Col Lord Elcho clothed the regiment in Hodden Grey, the homespun cloth known throughout Scotland. This avoided all inter-clan feeling on the subject of tartan and, as Lord Elcho said "A soldier is a man hunter. As a deer stalker chooses the least visible of colours, so ought a soldier to be clad." Along with Elcho Tartan there is also Elcho Blue that was formerly worn on some officers uniforms.

The Regimental Headdress of the London Scottish are the Glengarry, the Tam O'Shanter and for officers, the Balmoral.

Ceremonial and service dress

From its establishment in 1859 The London Scottish wore Hodden Grey uniforms with dark blue facings.[11] This unique colour remained as full dress for the entire regiment until 1914 and survives in the modern kilts and mess dress.

Highland dress was adopted by the entire regiment in 1872.

Officers, NCO's, pipe band and other ranks of the London Scottish wear a plain dark navy blue Glengarry with black ribbons, a black rosette behind cap badge, and Royal blue toorie in service dress. A cock feather is added when in ceremonial dress.

Pipers of the serving company and cadet corps have the honour to wear the Glengarry without cock feather while in battle dress if they choose to do so.

Battle dress


The London Scottish officers wear an officers fawn balmoral with a solid silver officers' cap badge backed with a square 4' Hodden Grey patch, and a khaki green toorie (formerly blue).

Warrant Officers

Warrant Officers wear a London Scottish khaki green Tam O'Shanter with a silver Warrant Officers' cap badge backed with a square 4' Hodden Grey patch, and a khaki green toorie (formerly blue).

Other Ranks

Other Ranks in the London Scottish wear a khaki green Tam O'Shanter with a white metal or anodised aluminium cap badge backed with a square 4' Hodden Grey patch, and a khaki green toorie (formerly blue).

London Scottish Cadet Corps

A detailed history of the London Scottish Cadets can be found in the Regimental Gazette, written month to month over the years, but there follows some useful facts about all four Army Cadet Units that are badged London Scottish.

The earliest record of The London Scottish Cadet Corps ("LSCC") was in 1902. It existed alongside their sponsors, The London Scottish Regiment. The London Scottish Cadets originally formed as a battalion with three companies and a pipe band. It was one of a very few cadet battalions to be presented its own Colours.

235 London Scottish Detachment

The LSCC is now 235 London Scottish Detachment, a member of 23 Group Middlesex and NW London ACF. Formerly based at RHQ, 95 Horseferry Road, in 2005 it moved to the former RMP barracks on Rochester Row. 235 lives on to share its traditions with three other cadet detachments now in the Greater London & South East/West Sectors ACF.

95 (London Scottish) Cadet Company - Eltham

95 Company was formed in the 1940s with a nucleus of boys from Eltham College. It is based on the site of a former Royal Artillery Army Reserve Centre in Footscray Road SE9. Officers in Command included Major (later Lt Col) Stewart Allward, Capt "Bunny" Bancroft, Capt Eric Botell and Capt Nigel Betts.

102 (Bromley) Platoon, 10 (Kent) Cadet Regiment

The third London Scottish Cadet unit is 102 (Bromley) Pltn. Formed in 1913 as part of the 1st Cadet Btn Royal North West Kent Regiment, over the years the unit was re-badged a number of times. Firstly, as a Royal Artillery unit and, in the 1970s, as a Royal Signals unit. In 1989, the unit was located at Hill House TA Centre in Bromley, formerly the home of Sir Harold Macmillan, Lord Stockton, which they shared with the Recce Platoon and 6 Platoon of G (The London Scottish) Coy 1/51 Highland Volunteers. The relationship between the London Scottish and cadets was so good that the then unit commander Major John Smith MBE requested that the cadets be re-badged to London Scottish, the unit they proudly represent today.

145 Detachment (London Scottish) - New Addington

The fourth London Scottish Cadet Unit is 145 Deatchment based in New Addington, Croydon. The detachment re-badged to the London Scottish on Remembrance Sunday 2015 after being affiliated to the Parachute Regiment for a number of years. It is located in the heart of the New Addington estate, at its own standalone premises. The detachment also has 1 of only 2 pipe ranges in the country, which allows its cadets to shoot .22 rimfire, and compete in shooting competitions. 145 is now looking to start its own Pipes and Drums Corps.

Regimental Band


Victoria Crosses

Robert Edward Cruickshank, Charles William Train, and George Allan Mitchell were awarded the Victoria Cross while serving with the Regiment.



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