32 Signal Regiment
The 1st Lanarkshire Engineer Regiment were raised in Glasgow on 5 December 1859 as part of the Volunteer Force. The regiment was formally registered with the War Office on 27 February 1860. In 1863, the regiment adopted the uniform of the Royal Engineers. In 1864, the 'Corps Training Ground' was established in Maryhill. In 1894, a Telegraph Company was added to the regiment. In 1900, the regiment was chosen to be part of the first operational use of the Volunteer Force, and a company of two officers and 99 Other Ranks were sent to the Second Boer War. The regiment undertook its first Annual Camp at Dunoon in 1902.
World War I
As part of the 1908 Haldane Reforms, which created the TA, the regiment became the Glasgow Telegraph Group Royal Engineers. A Wireless, Cable, and Airline Company were added, and the regiment was established as a Field Company to support 51st Highland Division. After the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Glasgow Group RE was disbanded and the regiment was sent as part of IV Corps and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to France. The regiment saw action at the 1st Battle of Ypres, and had the distinction of being the first reserve regiment to take part in active service in the campaign.
World War II
On reforming the Territorial Army in 1920, 52nd Lowland Division Signal Company reformed at Maryhill. On 28 June that year, the Royal Corps of Signals was formed, and the regiment changed uniform and Cap Badge. During World War II, the regiment again saw active service in support of both British 51st (Highland) Infantry Division and British 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division in the European Theatre of World War II. On reforming the TA in 1947, the regiment returned once again to Maryhill as the 51st/52nd (Scottish) Infantry Division Signal Regiment. A small part of the regiment became the 82nd Army Emergency Reserve (AER). The regiment was retitled 52nd Lowland Infantry Division Signal Regiment in 1948.
As a result of the 1966 Defence White Paper, a major reorganisation of the Army took place, caused by the end of National Service, with the TA being disbanded, and the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR) formed. Instead of forming large reserve formations, the role of the new TAVR was to provide individual and unit-sized reinforcements for the Regular Army. The 32nd (Scottish) Signal Regiment was created as a TAVR II, being formed on 1 April 1967. The new regiment was composed of five squadrons, amalgamating the four Signals Regiments in Scotland. They were:
- Headquarter Squadron
- 51st (Highland) Signal Squadron – successor to 51 (Highland) Signal Regiment
- 52nd (Lowland) Signal Squadron – successor to 52 (Lowland) Signal Regiment
- 61st (City of Edinburgh) Signal Squadron – successor to 61 (City of Edinburgh) Signal Regiment
- 82nd (Army Emergency Reserve) Signal Squadron – successor to 82 Signal Regiment (Army Emergency Reserve)
The regiment gained a sixth squadron in 1969, when a Squadron of North Irish Horse became 69 (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron. The regiment was reduced to five squadrons in the early 1970s upon the disbandment of 82 Squadron. Due to Options for Change, 69 Squadron transferred to 40 (Ulster) Signal Regiment in 1995. In 1999, due to the reforms implemented by the Strategic Defence Review, 52nd Squadron was re-titled as 52 (Lanarkshire and Glasgow Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, due to the disbandment of B (Lanarkshire and Queen's Royal Glasgow Yeomanry) Squadron, The Scottish Yeomanry, which became part of the Queen's Own Yeomanry; this title however did not achieve popular use, and the traditional title of 52nd (Lowland) Signal Squadron was used up to restructuring in 2008.
At this point, the title of 52 (Lowland) was transferred to the existing Headquarters Squadron to form 52 (Lowland) Support Squadron, this completed a journey of 9 years between 1999 and 2008 when the 52 (Lowland) Squadron was away from its home of Jardine Street on the banks of the River Kelvin. The existing infrastructure and personnel were renamed 852 (Lanarkshire) Signal Troop, and 863 (Lothian) Signal Troop becoming part of the new 51st (Scottish) Signal Squadron, based upon the Squadron Headquarters of the former 61st (City of Edinburgh) Signal Squadron.
Another journey was completed in October 2010, when 69 (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron returned to the Regiment after a 15 year hiatus. The Squadron rejoined as 40 (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron.
Current locations and operations
The Regimental Headquarters is situated in North Kelvinside, Glasgow, and after recent re-organisations in 2014, the regiment currently has four squadrons based throughout Scotland and Northern Ireland, with a detached Troop in York that is collocated with our paired Regular Regiment, 2 Signal Regiment:
- 2 (City of Dundee & Highland) Signal Squadron – Dundee & Aberdeen
- 40 (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron – Belfast
- 51st (Scottish) Signal Squadron – Edinburgh & East Kilbride
- 52nd (Lowland) Support Squadron – Glasgow & York
- 38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade
- 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland
With secure Command and Control communications facilities to execute their Regional Points of Command responsibilities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The main capabilities to support this are provided by Deployable Communications Detachments using the REEBOK local area network infrastructure, Mobile Signal Detachments using Bowman (communications system), Terestrial Trunked Radio, and Inmarsat.
The regiment also maintains a long-standing affiliation with the Queen's Own Gurkha Signals that began in 1967. But its key partnering arrangement is with 2 Signal Regiment based in York; the regiment has a troop (Kohima Troop) embedded at Imphal Barracks. Recent operational deployments as a unit have included Operation Giraffe - the Cumbrian floods of 2009, and the creation of Barkers Crossing, Operation Fresco, United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, the 31st G8 summit at Gleneagles, the 39th G8 summit in Northern Ireland, and in 2014 support to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Many members have also served alongside their regular counterparts on operations all over the world, including on Operation TELIC in Iraq and Operation Herrick in Afghanistan.