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52nd Lowland Regiment

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The 52nd Lowland Regiment forms the 6th Battalion of the new Royal Regiment of Scotland, also known as 6 SCOTS. It is the senior British Territorial Army Line Infantry Regiment.

Regimental Heritage

The Regiment traces its lineage back to the Battalions of the former 52nd Lowland Division that was formed as as part of the 1908 Haldane Reforms and fought in the First World War at Gallipoli, in the Middle East (Sinai and Palestine) and on the Western Front in France. The Division was the only completely Territorial Division to fight in the Second World War, initially as part of the British Expeditionary Force. It later trained as a Mountain and Airborne Division fighting with distinction in Holland and Germany as part of the First Allied Airborne Army until its Battalions were disbanded from regular service at the end of the war.

Fewer Battalions were required in peace than in war so in 1948 the Division became the 52nd Lowland Brigade and its peacetime Battalions were returned to the Territorial Army order of battle. As a result of the 1966 Defence White Paper, a major reorganisation of the Army took place, 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 smaller unit-sized reinforcements for the Regular Army via a multi-tier system established to meet the NATO reserve (TAVR II) and Home Defence (TAVR III) requirements. The Battalions were reduced to Company or Platoon strength cadres and a new Regiment was raised to incorporate them, The 52nd Lowland Volunteers, under the command of the 52nd Lowland Brigade.

A second Battalion was raised in 1971 and throughout the remainder of the Cold War, the 1st Battalion of 52nd Lowland Volunteers, based in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, trained for the NATO reinforcement role whilst the 2nd Battalion, based in Edinburgh and the Lothians, trained for home defence.

Following the Options for Change reforms of the British Army of the early 1990's, the 1st Battalion was retitled the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1995. The 2nd Battalion, remained a multi cap-badged Battalion, and became simply The Lowland Volunteers until 1999 when, as a result of the Strategic Defence Review of Britain's reserve forces, the two Battalions were transferred under the command of the 51st (Scottish) Brigade and re-amalgamated to take the name and form held today, The 52nd Lowland Regiment.

As part of the Delivering Security in a Changing World Review of the British Army, the 52nd Lowland Regiment became the 6th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland which was formed on 28 March 2006.

Locations and Operations

The Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Company are based at Walcheren Barracks in Maryhill, Glasgow and the Regiment has three Rifle Companies with various Support Weapons detachments:

  • A (Royal Scots Borderers) Company has it's Headquarters and two Rifle Platoons based in Edinburgh, an Anti-Tank Platoon, Rifle Platoon and Sniper Section in Galashiels and a Machine Gun Platoon in Bathgate.
  • B (Royal Highland Fusiliers) Company have the Company Headquarters and two Rifle Platoons based in Ayr, with a Mortar Platoon in Dumfries.
  • C (Royal Highland Fusiliers) Company has it's Company Headquarters and a Rifle Platoon based in Glasgow with the Regiment's Assault Pioneer Platoon in Motherwell

The Companies maintain their affiliations to The Royal Scots, The Royal Highland Fusiliers and The King's Own Scottish Borderers, which now form the regular 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. In recognition of this, its members wear a black or white hackle behind their cap badges, the same as those worn by the 1st and 2nd Battalions respectively. 52nd Lowland Regiment, though, has its own identity in the British Army's order of battle and its members take the greatest of pride in being Lowland Volunteers.

In ceremonial duties, The Band of 52nd Lowland Brigade continues to be administered by the regiment, both the band and The Pipes and Drums of The 52nd Lowland Regiment take part in military and civilian events all over the UK and the world on behalf of the Regiment and the Brigade, including regular appearances at the the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Since 1999, 52nd Lowland Regiment has trained as a formed unit in places such as France, Belgium, Cyprus, the United States, the Slovak Republic and the Ukraine. Many members have also served alongside their affiliated regular Battalions on exercise and operations all over the world, including Afghanistan, Canada, Kenya and, most recently, on Operation TELIC in Iraq.

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