It pays to know your History: the petition of
the King’s Own Scottish Borderers Association to the Sherriff Court Edinburgh, February 2005
Most are now aware of the dangers posed by the Secretary
of State’s proposals to merge all the remaining Scottish
Regiments into a new “Royal Regiment of Scotland”. These
proposals include combining the KOSB with Scotland’s
oldest Regiment, The Royal Scots.
painting "Raising the Regiment - The Kings Own Scottish
Borderers March 1689" by Terence Cuneo
The members of the Edinburgh Association of the King’s
Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) Association through a
thorough knowledge of their Regiment’s history have
thrown a legal spanner into the works of Mr Hoon’s
plans. For the Regiment was raised on 18th March 1689 by
the Earl of Leven in Edinburgh, to the beat of drum,
with a Warrant issued by the Scottish Parliament.
Edinburgh was threatened by the Jacobite Highland Army
of “Bonnie Dundee”, or “Bluidy Clavers”, John Graham of
Claverhouse, depending on which end of the opposing
weapon you were on. Within hours the Regiment reached
its establishment of 800 men in two hours and they
marched off north and would meet an early setback at the
Battle of Killiecrankie four months later.
The KOSB campaigners lodged a petition at Edinburgh
Sheriff Court arguing that the Government may not
proceed with proposed merger, and a writ has been served
on Linda Clark, QC, the advocate general for Scotland,
who has 21 days to respond as the senior legal
representative of the Whitehall government in Scotland.
This is being handled by Alexander Moffat and Co, on
behalf of the KOSB Regimental Association. The same firm
took care of the return of the so called "Stone of
Destiny" to Scotland in 1996.
Donald Fairgrieve, a signatory to the petition and a
former KOSB officer, said: "The Act which brought the
regiment into being was never rescinded. We have done
our homework thoroughly."
The petition also questions the legality of the events
that led to the disbandment of The Cameronians,
Lanarkshire's Infantry Regiment, in 1968, under a
previous defence cut. This Regiment, drawn from the
ranks of Covenanters, was also raised by Scottish
parliamentary warrant before the United Kingdom came
The petition itself, is confidential while it is before
the court, but will certainly make interesting reading.
This will probably only delay the loss of the Regiments,
but makes it more difficult.