Sectarianism in Scottish Regiments?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by blonde_guy, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. The recent riots in Northern Ireland over flags as well as the age old Rangers/Celtic rivalry intrigued me.

    Though it's probably no problem in the Royal Regiment of Scotland today, was there ever any issue with sectarianism in Scottish regiments? In terms of recruiting areas were there predominantly Protestant/Catholic battalions?

    Did this ever cause problems during tours of Northern Ireland?

    This isn't the NAAFI and this isn't a wah. It's a genuine question, so serious replies only please!
  2. No.
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  3. Never saw any, discipline is too good to let it happen.
  4. Yes

    The IRA supporters were incredibly unimpressed with the Black Watch for failing to side with their Celtic brethren, so much that they made up a song about them.

    It starts "Strolling down the Falls Road with riot guns & gas,
    Beating up old ladies as they're coming out of mass"

    Someone else can remember the rest better than me I hope.
  5. Never saw anything more than a bit of banter with the taigs.
  6. I served with 2 Sottish Regiments & didn't see it in either.
  7. No problems as long as we had some English guys to vent our frustrations on.
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  8. Did hear pissed up RHF twats singing pro-IRA songs coming out the hairy pig at Fally, And there was one sent back for allegedley supplying info to loyalists.
  9. skid2

    skid2 LE Book Reviewer

    Some of the tats' but no worse than the UDR.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using ARRSE mobile app
  10. Only once did I see a soldier with a UVF tattoo on forearm. Found out that later on in his career he was booted out the army. I think in general there really isn't a problem. It's just banter and kept at that.
  11. The Muslims and the Hindus in the Argylls used to go at it non-stop. Singing songs about who's God was best and who's mum made the shittiest curries.
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  12. No, both prods and Catholics don't care who they steal from.
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  13. OOooooh....Dinger!

    I served in The King's Own Scottish Borderers, there were never any sectarian problems - a bit of good natured banter over 'Old Firm' games. We had an Irish Catholic RSM once, damn fine leader and a gentleman to boot - went on to a QM's Commission, the Pipes and Drums would strike up 'The Sash' when they marched on RSM's parade - he would growl good naturedly and brandish his pace stick at them - they would march off to 'The Wearing Of The Green'! The Jocks thought it a great joke. Mind you that was before NI kicked off!
    In the '60s some of the most popular beer bar songs were Irish Rebel songs - sung with gusto by Prod and Taig alike.

    I once saw a big Cameronian Sergeant lay out a Prod Rifleman for calling a fellow soldier a Fenian Bastard - the Sgt was a Prod! "I dinny want to hear ony o' yer gutter shite here - there's only wan religion and that's Cameronian!" Pretty much sums up the feeling in all Scottish regiments of my era.
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  14. CanteenCowboy

    CanteenCowboy LE Book Reviewer

    Well seeing you weren't in the KOSB in the 90's, even though they had a weegie celtic supporting RSM in the mid 90's (who has just got his Lt Col), they were renowned as very bitter, being catholic was considered a hindrance in getting to SNCO rank in them, and that was from my next door KOSB neighbour.

    Over the water we definitely understood the situation better, and could provoke a fight with both sides of the divide with ease. Always remember passing by a group of loyalists in the Highfields and the team commander just turned around and said 'orange bastards' had to run down to the Springfield Road with bricks bouncing along the road.

    We never had any drama's in my mob, RSM's were either or, and we gladly ripped the pish out of each other every day of the week and Sunday. Old Firm games were always hectic affairs no matter where we were from Germany to Afghanistan with sub-units splitting down into respective groups for the game. As I have posted elsewhere, both sets of supporters in my platoon in Iraq dressed in their shirts and send the picture to the respective club magazines, only one picture got published and that was very disappointing.

    In the RRS it's just the same with screaming numpties o' both sides screaming at the TV when the signal gets delayed in Afghan, and it's at a crucial moment. But no real harm is done.
  15. Very sad reading your post, CC. I served early 60s through mid 80s, the regiment was a well disciplined, non sectarian organisation, being catholic or any other denomination come to that was not a hinderance, being fit, educated, and good at your job were the criteria for promotion.
    I recall 1KOSB having a catholic CO, Adj, and RSM simultaneously in the early 1970s for two tours in West Belfast - the two former from old Border recusant families, interestingly all attended the monthly regimental Kirk! No one gave a toss what denomination anyone was.

    The KOSB suffered acutely in Berlin in the late '80s from 'initiation' rites and bullying in a particular company - indicative of a poor OC and CSM, none of the incidents AFAIK were 'sectarian' in nature. Sadly the CO, Adj, and RSM were removed from their posts, all three were friends of mine (though I'd retired way before those incidents) all three had promising careers nipped in the bud. Fortunately they were replaced by an extremely good CO, another friend of mine who recently died, a good Adj (who went on to become a Major General) and RSM (who ended up a Major with the OBE), they restored moral and discipline very quickly indeed.

    Sorry to hear, also, of the lack of discipline in a foot patrol where the commander deliberately stoked sectarian flames - I've busted JNCOs for less! Even sorrier to hear of Jocks running away!
    Jocks didn't wear their team colours back then, times were different I guess - regimental sweatshirts/T-shirts and jeans were the norm off duty in barracks, most wore shirt and tie to walk out. Civilian attire wasn't allowed to be taken on operations - though I can only speak for Aden, Borneo, and NI - I'm an old geezer you see! Mind you even back then they'd scream and bray at fitba on the TV - just like their successors!

    Damn, it's suddenly dawned on me that I'm waffling on about the 'Situation' of 30 to 50 years ago! Time for my Horlicks!

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