“Beginning as a force for the policing of the Scottish Lowlands, the regiment came presently to be a kind of microcosm of the Lowland character, a thing as idiomatically Scottish as the Kirk itself.”
When Scottish Presbyterians, known as the Covenanters, broke out in rebellion a new lowland regiment was formed to fight for the King.
Known initially as The Earl of Mar’s Regiment of Foot, the regiment was formed of men with little military background.
Initially, their task was not a glamourous one – to keep the peace and scour the moorlands for conventicles and recalcitrant Covenanters.
However, in 1679 the regiment fought its first battle at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge.
From then, famous battlefields saw the blood of the Royal Scots at Culloden, Fort Ticonderoga and Schellenburg.
They served with Marlborough under the cannonballs of Blenheim, and Haines through the fog of Inkerman.
And when the Great War tore through Europe in 1914, the Royal Scots Fusiliers marched to war again.
Battalions from the Royal Scots saw service in most of the main theatres of this far reaching war. Throughout these years, their battles took them across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Its reputation consistently reflected trustworthiness and the will to stand till the last man.
In Spring 1916, while stationed near Ploegsteert Wood on the Western Front, the 6th Battalion welcomed its new commanding officer: future Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
The History of the Royal Scots Fusiliers (1678-1918) is a detailed account of the regiment from its formation to the end of the First World War. Due to the Regiments vast amount of battle honours this regimental history also serves as history of British wars since the Restoration.
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (1875-1940) was a Scottish novelist, biographer, and historian. Buchan also worked as a general editor. Many of his non-fiction novels were inspired by his own experiences and circumstances. His works include South Africa (1927), The Half-Hearted (1900), Witch Wood (1927), amongst many others. Buchan wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps during the war, a novel which was adapted for film.