Highlanders Dilemma

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by Cam_Jock, Jan 15, 2010.

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  1. Hi all.

    I'm a 17 year old who wants to join the infantry and am struggling to pick a regiment and hope you could provide some answers.

    All my family who served (bar 3 who were navy) have served in the Gordon Highlanders. Obviously the Gordons no longer exist and so, over a pint, I asked my Grandad (ex-Gordon) what I should join. He told me anything except the new Royal Regiment of Scotland as it has been so amalgamated I wouldn't be serving in an individual, proud, Gordon regiment, more a mash-up of different Scottish cultures with rock-bottom morale.

    I'm still willing to have a look but he described the Gordons as "Professional but out for fun" and he, along with several of his ex-Gordon mates said that after the amalgamation the Gordon culture was wiped out and (apparently) a large number of Gordons left as they just couldn’t deal with the new regiment.

    If I were to join 4 Scots, would it be anything like the Gordons or should I not bother with joining a family regiment anymore?

    Also, I was born in England when my mum and dad were house-hunting for my dad’s new job at the time, lived back up in Scotland for a bit then moved down to England where I have stayed since. Although I do have a Scots lilt from my parents and family (all from Aberdeenshire area) I do sound English when compared to the family. Would this be a problem in a Scottish regiment now?

    Basically, I have a strong pride and connection to a regiment that hasn’t existed since I went to the amalgamation parade in 1994 and have developed an English-sounding accent since then. Should I join 4 Scots for a family connection that could have changed massively in 14 years or just go for the local English regiment even though I don't feel any connection to them?
  2. Visit the local careers office, they can explain much better than your Grandad can about Golden threads continued. No disrespect to him but he sounds like a fud.
    Each Btn in the RRS still keeps their old name, if the Gordons were so special why did they merge :?
  3. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Not very helpful, mate and frankly insulting too. The Gordon's were a fine Regiment but they and all the rest can't fight against political expediency, which matters more than regimental wishes or common sense these days.

    To cam_jock. One comment that I will agree with is that your Grand-dad's comments are out of order. And I'd remind you that the Hldrs amalgamated 15yrs or so ago and there are v v few left who may know there creed but hundreds that know the Hldrs or any of the other scots Bns. We are family. That creed remains.

    Look south of the border and all the regiments there have amalgamated there too so it sounds like a bit of sour grapes in the loss of the Regimental name rather than informed opinion.

    The RRS is a good regiment - period. Remember that in the new Regt system,the Bn you join may not be where you finish (depends on how long and how successful you are whilst in) as people (just they did in the past but now far more regularly) move around. I'd suggest that you make a start with the Bn that will have most resonance with your own kin. And that means the 4th Bn.

    You are Scottish, yes? You wish to join a Scottish Bn, yes? Then no more of this sacrilegious crap about going elsewhere :D

    Whatever you choose to do, I wish you luck.
  4. Tiger stacker, the reason I am considering 4 Scots is because to be honest my Granddad is about 30 years out of date about the army and is probably still bitter at the amalgamation of "his" regiment.

    From what I have heard (admittedly from ex-Gordon relatives) and found on the web, they escaped amalgamation in the 1960s and, when another two Highland regiments had to be amalgamated following the 'Options for Change' paper, they were 'got' because there were no Gordon officers in high army positions at the time.

    Thanks for the advice though mate.

    in_the_cheapseats, thanks a lot for that. As I said to Tiger stacker I suspect that my Granddad is still bitter at loosing "his" regiment (a fair view I think) and so this probably has prejudiced him against anything else but Gordons.

    I'm going up to Edinburgh to see the Scotland v France 6 Nations game. I guess there will be an RRS recruiter there so I'll pop in and ask a few questions.

    Thanks for the help so far.
  5. I only saw them up close once, so not much of an evidence base, but the impression was exteme levels of turnout and discipline and the jocks seemed very fit, but had a hunted look. It looked a lot more "professional" than "fun". Old timers may romanticise too much to be a guide.
  6. Why not try Para Reg or the RM, both have a good mix from all over the UK?
  7. No matter what Regiment you choose to join, you will find that they have their own traditions and history devloved from all the amalgamated Regiments. And of course you could always try the Scots Guards ;)
  8. As one of the Old and bold who served alongside the Gordons and also tried to fight with the "Save our Scottish Regiments" for their retention along with a number of other Fine Jock Batalions who disappeared into the history books. The Gordons bless them have gone but live in the new Royal Regiment of Scotland,the name might have gone but the heritage, history and sheer bloody ferocity of a Jock Battalion is there.

    I remember when the Argyls nearly went (as a schoolboy!)and my own Battalion The RHF became the RRS with the murdered moose cap badge, but at the end of the day there is Tartan in your blood.
    All the best and give the 4th Battalion a go.
  9. Your family are correct in that 4 SCOTS is not the GORDONS, but I am sure people said the same thing when the 92nd and 75th were amalgamated to make the GORDONS. It's what the Army does, it's been happening for hundreds of years and each new regiment has to forge it's own path but they carry not only the traditions but the attitude of the old regiment with them. The Jocks are still the Jocks regardless of what name changes have happened.

    A lot of us did move to other Regiments before and after the amalgamation but it was for a variety of reasons not because the Highlanders were a poor regiment.

    A lot of my friends also stayed in the Bn and you will find former Gordons still serving as SNCOs and as LE officers in 4 SCOTS. Quality people who would not have stayed if there had been a marked drop in standards.

    As for you sounding like a FEB that won't last long when you start spending your time surrounded by Buckie loons and assorted heather hoppers.

  10. Before I joined the regs I was in the Lovat scouts (STAB), these amalgamated with the Gordon Highlanders and then the Cameroon and Seaforth, morale dropped in every amalgamation and caused many problems. How can you rip the heart and history out from so many regiments?
  11. Thanks a lot for all the help guys, its really cleared the issue up for me. When I'm in Edinburgh I'll go to see the RRS recruiter to ask a few questions then start all the paperwork at my local place.

    Thanks again
  12. Hate to say it but thats life, the guys in the HLI and RSF wern't exactly bouncing but in time it sorted itself out and the RHF were a happy band of brigands, all changes take time and constant change is here to stay!
  13. Oh dont know..the "Lovat Scouts" name is make a comeback with the ISTAR (covering Recce/Snipers) platoon of 7 SCOTS...bit odd to bring it back to the TA, but hey whos complaining?
  14. You've got tartan in the blood and that is what matters... join the SCOTS.

    Oh and by the way, thanks to the GORDONS we wear the black buttons on our spats... its enough to hate any regiment :D