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The Royal Scots
(The Royal Regiment)
Regimental Day -  28th March



The United Kingdom's oldest infantry Regiment was raised by a warrant from the Privy Council of Scotland, given under King Charles I's authority at Whitehall on 28th March 1633

On 24th April 1633 Sir John Hepburn raised a regiment of 1,200 men in Edinburgh under a warrant from the Privy Council of Scotland, given under King Charles I's authority at Whitehall on 28th March. 

Sir Robert Douglas recaptures the Colour at the Battle of Steenkirke,1692

The Regiment when raised was formed of units which had served since the mists of time. It is the oldest regiment of infantry in the British Army and is the 1st Regiment of Foot. The Royal Scots have served throughout practically every major campaign in the last 372 years, up to and including the Gulf War in 1991, with honour and distinction. Many know the saying "Steady the Buffs..." but less well known is the last part "...stand fast the Queens and let the Royals go by." For it was the Royal Scots who had the honour of the Right of Line to be the first in any conflict. The Regiment's nickname is "Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard", consequent upon its antiquity. 

In its early days, in service in France, the Royals were quartered next to the Regiment of Picardy, which claimed to be older, having been on guard at the crucifixion. The Royals replied, they were there too, making a much better job of guarding the Governor of Palestine. Many legends have a basis in fact.  It is now thought that Pontius Pilate may have been born in Perthshire, and the Roman Legions recruited from every part of the Empire.

World War I
In World War I 100,000 men served in The Royal Scots.  The Regiment was awarded 71 Battle Honours, 10 of which appear on their Colours.  6 Victoria Crosses (VC), 32 Distinguished Service Orders (DSO), 217 Distinguished Conduct Medals (DCM), 158 Military Crosses (MC) and 337 Military Medals (MM). 11,213 were killed and 40,000 wounded, a casualty rate of over 50% over 4.5 years of war.

One of a million  Centenary candles lit at "Lights Out" for the million British and Colonial fallen of the Great War at 2200 hrs on 4th August 2014  and extinguished at 2300 hrs, the hour  war was  declared in 1914.

Contalmaison 1st-4th July 1916
The objective on 16th Battalion, The Royal Scots, known as McCrae's after their C.O.. This battalion was recruited fully in just six days and had at its core the Heart of Midlothian Football Team and its coaches and supporters.  The Battalion went in 1,000 strong and took and held their objective for four days.  When the roll was called 624 NCOs and Men and 12 officers were missing.  They are thought to be buried at Gordon Dump Comonwealth War Graves Cemetery nearby, only 19 are identified.  1,053 of the 1,676 war graves are unidentified.




Seven Battalions of The Royal Scots took part in the Battle of the Somme, The 2nd, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th (McCrae’s) and the 17th.

Memorial to the fallen of The Battle of the Somme with no known grave.
Cemetery Details


Beaumont Hamel

Hunters Cemetery

Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery
Cemetery Details


Menin Gate
Memorial to the fallen of WWI in Flanders with no known grave
The daily act of homage | Last Post Association

The Last Post at the Menin Gate, 31st May 2016 (315,975 Kb MOV)


Chocques Military Cemetery
Cemetery Details

Hinges Military Cemetery
Cemetery Details

Le Vertannoy Military Cemetery
Cemetery Details

Le Touret Military Cemetery and Memorial
Memorial to the 13,400 fallen from 1914 to the Battle of Loos 1915 with no known grave
Cemetery Details



Arras Memorial
Cemetery Details




Tyne Cot Cemetery






Dochy Farm New British Cemetery


Trois Arbres Cemetery





La Kreule, Hazebrouck

  2018 Commemorations


St Venant Robecq Road



Messines Ridge




Le Tournai Communal Cemetery Allied Extension



Béthune Town Cemetery CWGC






Mont-Bernanchon Churchyard - April 1918

WWI next to WWII, 20 years apart.


World War II
In WWII there were 4 Battalions, the 1st, 2nd, 7th/9th and 8th.  The Regiment was awarded 38 Battle Honours, 10 of which appear on the Colours.  Awards included 1 George Cross (GC), 14 DSOs, 42 MCs, 10 DCMs and 40 MMs. 97 Officers and 1,151 Warrant Officers, Non Commissioned Officers and Soldiers were killed. 140 Royal Scots were killed in action in 17 days in May 1940.

Wavre Action

St-Genesius-Rode - 17th May 1940



Piper Stevenson
According to 1RS War Diary
killed in fighting at Wavre on the
east bank of the River Dyle
on 14th May 1940
while attached to C Company

 Pelouse d'Honneur


The Battle on the Escaut

Bruyelle Military Cemetery - Fallen 21st May 1940


  Maj Byam-Shaw 2/Lt Gallie L/Cpl Kehely Unknown  
  Pte Storrar Unknown Pte Anderson Pte Hunter  
  Pte Neilson Pte Grant Cpl Mitchell Pte Hughes  
  Pte McLean Cpl Campbell L/Cpl Robinson    

Calonne Communal Cemetery - Fallen 21st May

  Cpl Flynn Pte Penman Cpl Logan Cpl Farquhar  
  Pte Stewart Pte Graham      

Chercq Churchyard - Fallen 21st May

Cpl Carnochan

Le Paradis, 1940

Le Paradis Churchyard - Fallen 26th/27th May



  Sgt Reid L/Cpl Combe Pte Sinclair L/Sgt Leach  
  Pte Greaves L/Cpl Aust Pte Carabine Cpl Graham  
  Cpl Avery Pte Wylie L/Cpl Park Pte Somerville  
  Pte Ellis Pte Pearson Pte Kidd P/Maj Allan  
  Pte Collier Pte Pomroy L/Sgt Turner Pte Tervet  
  Pte Podgurski Cpl Leadbetter Pte Gordon Unknown  
  Pte Tuting Pte Brown Maj Watson DSO MC Cpl Morrison  
  Pte Patterson WOII (CSM) Martin Drummer Cain Sgt Turner  
  Pte Martin Unknown Unknown Pte Kidd  

Mont-Bernanchon Churchyard - 13th May/2nd October


  Unknown Unknown Pte Scullion Unknown  
  Pte Scotland Pte Neilson Pte Green Pte Quested  
  Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown  
  Unknown Unknown  2/Lt Turcan L/Cpl McCabe  
Unknown Pte Ferrol 2nd/Lt Page Pte Scanlan
  Pte Rillie Pte Loudon      

The Cemetery also has WWI burials, including Royal Scots. Most of the Royal Scots are dated 21st May- 1st June. There are also 8 fallen Royal Norfolks 1940 buried at Mont-Bernanchon.  33 are unidentified and dated 27th May 1940. 2nd Lt Turcan is dated 27th May-2nd October 1940.

Valparaíso, Chile

WWII Memorial at British Community Church, St Paul's Valparaíso, Chile includes Lt A J Somerville, 1RS, killed at Kohima on 9th June 1944

The Regiment continues to be represented by the veterans of The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) Association with its HQ at
The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh, which is, itself, a War Memorial.

Veterans of the Regiment at the 2016 Cenotaph Parade




Prints of
The Royal Scots through their history.

The Royal Scots Museum site

The Royal Scots Association Pipe Band

The Royal Scots in
Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth

This page includes Colonels and the names given to the Regiment and its Battalions throughout its history, badges, and VC awards


Last updated 10/07/2018