Videos of the disbanding of the Cameronians, 1968

#2
Fantastic stuff - "the death of a whole family" - so true

Watching the Band marching and piping at Rifles pace is fantastic!
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#3
I was in the next Barracks when they disbanded. Cameronians were in Cavalry, we were in Infantry. Got on photo somewhere of their pipeband playing with ours outside the officers mess for the last time.
 
#4
My boss was ex Cameronians; and when he took me on as a fresh civvy I watched the disbandment parade, followed by Braveheart (I'm english!) at his house into the small hours with a bottle of whisky. Top man, sadly no longer with us.
 
#7
Mony a weel kent face on those wonderful videos of a sad day.
What a wonderful regiment the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) were. Tough, with bags o' patter!
The Padre was typical of his era in certain predominantly protestant Lowland Regiments. I recall one Padre (he'd been with the regiment in the Korean War also) exhorting us to smite the enemy when he visited us at our company location while on operations in Sarawak (he also wore a Webley!).

1 KOSB had a compulsory weekly church parade, usually midweek, where the battalion would march to the Kirk wearing bayonets, the tradition stemmed from the Indian Mutiny and I believe it was common to all Line Regiments. Sometimes the Kirk was held on the parade ground with the Bn in hollow square. Last time I attended such a parade was in the early 1980s.
I wonder if Scottish regiments continue that tradition or is it non PC nowadays?
 
#10
Absolutely fantastic video. Too bad the entire ceremony isn't available.

Lots of good details for the history and militaria buffs, like the black Sam Browne belts with two shoulder straps worn by the officers. I have never ever heard or seen a pipe band play and march at Rifle pace before. That was worth seeing in itself.

Question: Is going immediately to order arms at the halt a Rifle affectation or something that is done by all regiments on formal parades? Very impressive.

And what happened to the personnel of the Cameronians? Where they spread throughout the width and breadth of the Army or did most of them end up in one unit together?

Dan.
 
#12
These videos made me have a crack at playing the tune the band were playing, called The Gathering of the Grahams. It's a difficult enough tune in its own right at a regular pace, but to do it at Rifles pace makes it a finger-breaker of a tune. Makes me doubly in awe of the band in the video.
 
#13
Question: Is going immediately to order arms at the halt a Rifle affectation or something that is done by all regiments on formal parades? Very impressive.
No, It's a Rifle regiment thing. In fact when I was a Rifleman we would also turn to a flank (if ordered) after halting and stand at ease too! I was surprised that they were carrying their rifles at the shoulder and not at the trail as the commentary erroneously states though. Could you tell if the rifle slings were tightened up or worn loose in true Rifles fashion? The pace was quite fast too, I'd guess more like 160 than 140 to the minute as is correct.
Rifle regiment drill has changed several times since about 1968 when I believe an attempt was made to standardise it and Light Infantry drill upon formation of the Light Division. For some reason they meddled with it again when the Depot's merged in the late 80's and ended up with a horrible bastardisation of a thing, all sorts of heavy Infantry nonsense crept in for no obviousl reason. :x God only know what they're passing off as Rifle regiment drill nowadays! :roll: I was an ex-junior Leader so I had to learn Rifles drill at the Depot after two years of heavy infantry stuff, it was quite easy but there were one or two things which I never understood. Why for example was the Rifle, when in the shoulder and at attention, held vertically with the but forward instead of pulled back as I'd been taught. And I was continually bollocked for forcing the thumb down on the clenched fist when marching (Don't cock yer f**king wrist!) and had to be broken out the of the habit of hanging my Sword/bayonet frog over the left buttock in line with the trouser crease when in Rifle regiments it is worn at the side, perpendicular with the trouser seam. I imagine this was a hangover from the days of the old Sword bayonet on the Baker rifle?
Words of command were different too with "Face your front" or "Look to your front" being replaced by "Stand Ready".

I enjoyed the Pipe music but was waiting for the Bugles to play to no avail. There wasnlt a separate Bugle section so I presume the drummers also played the bugle calls when necessary? Bit strange having Drums in a Rifle regiment mind you though I suppose the Gurkhas have always had them, and Pipes too!
 
#14
When they disbanded, the men went to other regiments in the Scots Div.
My boss went to the Queens Own Highlanders, where he taught his wife to drive in a 4 tonner on the square while under the influence of alcohol.


The black hackle worn by 1 Scots is from the Cameronians as the KOSB took over their recruiting area.
 

Attachments

#15
Jaeger and tiger stacker,

Thanks for the info. I too noticed the announcer stating that their rifles were being carried at the trail while they were, in fact, at the shoulder. As you said Jaeger, there was none of the arm swinging to shoulder height nor lifting of the foot 12 inches and stamping it on the square (or grass) when coming to 'Attention'.

I watched the video again and not only are the rifle slings tightened on the left side of the rifles but they are (shudder!) khaki coloured! So are the belts worn by the other ranks, which are without a regimental buckle of any sort. The bayonet frogs are hanging to the rear of the belts.

I also recall hearing that in 1968 the newly amalgamated Light Infantry regiments had to standardize their drill as, apparently, each had a completely separate way of doing it! Nothing wrong with a little eccentricity now and again, is there?

Jaeger I don't understand you're comment about it being strange to see drums in a Rifle regiment. I thought that they were a part of a battalion's bugles. They are in Canadian Rifle regiments. If the Rifle regiments didn't have drums where would they show their Battle Honours?

Dan.
 
#16
Jaeger and tiger stacker,

Thanks for the info. I too noticed the announcer stating that their rifles were being carried at the trail while they were, in fact, at the shoulder. As you said Jaeger, there was none of the arm swinging to shoulder height nor lifting of the foot 12 inches and stamping it on the square (or grass) when coming to 'Attention'.
Correct, Rifle only swing the arms waist-belt high and the foot is only lifted ankle-height, in short, exagerrated and "unnatural" physical movements are absent from Rifles drill. The Light Infantry used to swing their arms shoulder high however! :p


I watched the video again and not only are the rifle slings tightened on the left side of the rifles but they are (shudder!) khaki coloured! So are the belts worn by the other ranks, which are without a regimental buckle of any sort. The bayonet frogs are hanging to the rear of the belts.
Well they were austere times the 60's! Actually I was a bit surprised at that too. At that time we wore the black patent-leather belt with the "Snake" fastening and matching sling and frog.I think the LI were still wearing white belts etc and I remember them gettin the black belt with the badge on the plate in about 1973.

I also recall hearing that in 1968 the newly amalgamated Light Infantry regiments had to standardize their drill as, apparently, each had a completely separate way of doing it! Nothing wrong with a little eccentricity now and again, is there?
True, that sounds about right!

Jaeger I don't understand you're comment about it being strange to see drums in a Rifle regiment. I thought that they were a part of a battalion's bugles. They are in Canadian Rifle regiments. If the Rifle regiments didn't have drums where would they show their Battle honours.
'Fraid not old son, Rifle and Light Infantry regiments communicated on the battlefield by Bugle and the "heavies" by beat of Drum. Briefly, the Bugle carried further and was less cumbersome than a side drum, the Bugle horn was also the traditional symbol of Light troops. We had a "Band and Bugles" as opposed to a "Band and Drums" or "Band, Pipes and Drums" (Scottish and Irish regts). The Royal Ulster Rifles for example, although an Irish regiment did not have Pipes, only Bugles and when they amalgamated into the Royal Irish Rangers ended up with a Band, Bugles, Pipes and Drums!!!. The Cameronians cleary kept their pipes when they became a Rifle regiment, they weren't always one remember! Finally in regard to the battle honours, in the Rifles these are traditionally born on the cap-badge, usually a selection of the main ones whereas heavies carry them on the Colours (which we don't have, but the LI did!) I'm not sure but I'd guess that the Canadian Rifle Regiments converted from other Militia units and retained their drums platoons?
 
#17
Jaeger,

Marching with arms only swinging waist belt high, and only lifting the foot to ankle height? What a civilized way to do drill. I'll bet this is considered to be absolute heresy in Pirbright. I remember hearing the Rifles pioneered the rubber soled boot before the vulcanized sole and DMS became the standard. None of that silly 'polishing the soles of your boots' that other regiments brag about.

As to the Cameronians use of webbed belts and slings on parade, I couldn't download the pictures but if you go to The Cameronians and look in the photo gallery for the 1968 uniforms page you will find two artist drawings showing SD 2 and Tropical White dress with black accoutrements and big silver belt buckles. Why they were not used on this parade is beyond me. Perhaps they had already been withdrawn for re-issue elsewhere since the battalion was already going through the throes of disbandment.

I've never been able to fully understand whether or not Light Infantry were truly in the Rifles universe prior to 1968. The original LI regiments seemed to have worn either red or green jackets prior to the khaki era. I know that they used the bugle over the drum but did they march at the 140 pace or 120? I also know they finally received Colours for each battalion sometime in the 1970's which would have further distanced them from the Rifles tradition. Perhaps they were in a class of their own.

Now, the drums laddie, the drums. I know that Canadian Rifle regiments have a drum line in the bugles upon which the battle honours are emblazoned. Please refer to this photo of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada from the last war. Twelve side drums and a bass. For me, drums in a Rifle regiment was always the norm. There is also a fine photo of a post-war QOR drum and bugles to be found on the flash photos at The Rifleman Online - The QOR of C. This is why I was dismayed at the lack of drums in the British Rifles. Not done here old chap.

Dan.

PS: So when and where were you in the Black Mafia?
 

Attachments

#18
Fantastic vids and a great story too, the Regiment chose to disband rather than merge. I have some old army lists from the 70s and they were still in them 'in suspended animation'. I saw a story in Soldier mag in the 80s about a TA Cameronian on an SSVC with the regs and still wearing the twin cross straps etc of the Regiment. Guess they've gone now too, and their cadets - crying shame that!

For those that thought 1 RHF were hard, you never went toe to toe with a Cameronian!
 
#19
Airfix said:
Fantastic vids and a great story too, the Regiment chose to disband rather than merge. I have some old army lists from the 70s and they were still in them 'in suspended animation'. I saw a story in Soldier mag in the 80s about a TA Cameronian on an SSVC with the regs and still wearing the twin cross straps etc of the Regiment. Guess they've gone now too, and their cadets - crying shame that!

For those that thought 1 RHF were hard, you never went toe to toe with a Cameronian!
I know of one TA Cameronian still serving athough in a red tab job. Can't be many others left.
 
#20
exspy said:
Jaeger,

Marching with arms only swinging waist belt high, and only lifting the foot to ankle height? What a civilized way to do drill. I'll bet this is considered to be absolute heresy in Pirbright. I remember hearing the Rifles pioneered the rubber soled boot before the vulcanized sole and DMS became the standard. None of that silly 'polishing the soles of your boots' that other regiments brag about.
Dunno about the boots, I think they were introduced into the Regiments at the same time as the rest of the Army. I do know that Ammo boots were completely abandoned in the Rifles whereas I'm pretty sure some other regiments retained them as "best boots" for a long time afterwards.


As to the Cameronians use of webbed belts and slings on parade, I couldn't download the pictures but if you go to The Cameronians and look in the photo gallery for the 1968 uniforms page you will find two artist drawings showing SD 2 and Tropical White dress with black accoutrements and big silver belt buckles. Why they were not used on this parade is beyond me. Perhaps they had already been withdrawn for re-issue elsewhere since the battalion was already going through the throes of disbandment.
Yes, you could well be onto something there, they would be Regimentsl issue or private purchase and could well have been withdrawn pior ot disbandment.

I've never been able to fully understand whether or not Light Infantry were truly in the Rifles universe prior to 1968.
No, not at all, they were very much focussed on their membership of the Light Infantry Brigade consisting of all the remaining LI regiments each represented by a single Battalion. The exception of course being the Ox & Bucks LI who for historical reasons (well, that and having two Field Marshalls I suppose :wink: ) were part of the Green Jacket Brigade and from 1966 The Royal Green Jackets.

The original LI regiments seemed to have worn either red or green jackets prior to the khaki era. I know that they used the bugle over the drum but did they march at the 140 pace or 120? I also know they finally received Colours for each battalion sometime in the 1970's which would have further distanced them from the Rifles tradition. Perhaps they were in a class of their own.
Originally, all LI regiments were Inf of the Line and were converted into LI at various times in their history. Very few in fact, were ever Light Infantry in the true sense of actually being raised trained and employed in that role from the start. The earliest Light Infantry as far as I know, were raised in North America during the French and Indian War usually from the light companies of Line battalions. Of course the 60th Rifles were originally formed there for exactly that purpose as, the four-battalion Royal American Regiment whose Fifth Battalion became (in 1797) the first Green-jacketed and Rifle equipped unit in the British Army. The LI regiments were dressed as line Infantry but with certain differences. I'm not sure when they started to adopt green uniforms but I suspect it was in the late 1800's as I've seen numerous prints of them still wearing Red coats well into the 1880's. They did march at 140 though, and used the Bugle instead of the Drum. They also retained their colours and have only now relinquishe them on becoming Rifles. In fact I seem to remember seeing the old colours of the Ox & Bucks on display in the Sergeants mess of the School Of Infantry in about 1998! They lost them on amalgamation too!

Now, the drums laddie, the drums. I know that Canadian Rifle regiments have a drum line in the bugles upon which the battle honours are emblazoned. Please refer to this photo of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada from the last war. Twelve side drums and a bass. For me, drums in a Rifle regiment was always the norm. There is also a fine photo of a post-war QOR drum and bugles to be found on the flash photos at The Rifleman Online - The QOR of C. This is why I was dismayed at the lack of drums in the British Rifles. Not done here old chap
.

You're right of course, but with the greatest of respect, Rifle regimenst do not, out of practical necessity, operational efficiency and historical accuracy, carry drums. I can only say that the point of reference for this must be the Green Jackets who, as the direct descendants of the two original genuine Rifle Regiments did not carry drums from the outset.

Dan.

PS: So when and where were you in the Black Mafia?
A) 1972 to 1996, and over the hills and far away! :lol:
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top