The Gordons recruited from the north-east of Scotland and the regiment's character was moulded by men from the farming counties of Aberdeenshire, Moray and Nairn. It was raised in 1794 by an aristocratic landowner, the Duke of Gordon, whose wife played a major role in attracting recruits by riding through her husband's estates and offering a guinea and a kiss to each man who enlisted. Originally raised as the 100th Highlanders, it was later renumbered the 92nd Highlanders and in 1881 was amalgamated with the 75th (Stirlingshire) Regiment to form The Gordon Highlanders.

In the nineteenth century the two regiments were in constant service throughout the empire and in 1879 the 92nd Highlanders were involved in Lord Roberts' historic march from Kabul to Kandahar during the fighting in Afghanistan. One of the first Victoria Crosses was awarded to a Gordon Highlander, Private Beach, who was decorated for his supreme gallantry while serving in the Crimea in 1854. Another Victoria Cross winner was Major George White (Afghanistan, 1879), who went on to become a field marshal. During the fighting on the north-west frontier of India in 1897, Piper George Findlater was awarded the Victoria Cross for continuing to play his pipes despite being wounded and under heavy enemy fire.

In 1994, The Gordon Highlanders amalgamated with Queen's Own Highlanders to form The Highlanders and in 2006 became the 4th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. This is a celebratory account of the regiment's long and distinguished history.

On a spring morning in 1903, Major-General Sir Hector Macdonald, one of Britain's greatest military heroes, took his life in a hotel room in Paris. A few days later he was buried hastily in an Edinburgh cemetary as his fellow countrymen tried to come to terms with the fact that one of Scotland's most famous soldiers had ended his life rather than face charges against his character.The suicide and its aftermath created a national scandal and one which still reverberates long after those dramatic events - it is now clear that the official files dealing with his case, the papers of the Judge Advocate have been destroyed. Macdonald or 'Fighting Mac' as he was known to an adoring public, was no ordinary soldier. A crofter's son who had risen from the ranks in the Victorian army, he covered himself with glory during a long and successful military career and in 1898 was widely acknowledged as the true hero of the Battle of Omdurman, which cemented British Imperial rule in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Everything lay at his feet - a knighthood, honours, the respect of fellow generals such as Roberts and Kitchener - but Macdonald's career came to a shocking full stop when he stood accused of homosexuality and was ordered to face a court martial. Unable to come to terms with the disgrace, he committed suicide. That should have been the end of his story but so powerful was the myth created by Fighting Mac that people refused to believe he was dead. Soon rumours were circulating that Macdonald had faked his death and had adopted the persona of a prominent Prussian officer, the future Field Marshal August con Mackensen, one of Germany's great leaders during the First World War. FIGHTING MAC tells the true story behind his disgrace and sheds new light on the myths....
Winston Churchill described Wingate as a ‘man of genius who might well have become a man of destiny’. Tragically, he died in an jungle aircraft crash in 1944. Like his famous kinsman Lawrence of Arabia, Wingate was renowned for being an unorthodox soldier, inclined to reject received patterns of military thought. He was a fundamentalist Christian with a biblical certainty in himself and his mission. He is best-remembered as the charismatic and abrasive leader of the Chindits. With the support of Wavell, he was responsible for a strategy of using independent groups deep behind enemy limes, supported only by air drops. Wingate was responsible for leading the charge of 2,000 Ethiopians and the Sudan Defence Force into Italian-occupied Abyssinia. Remarkably, he defeated a 40,000 strong enemy that was supported by aircraft and artillery, which Wingate did not possess. Despite his achievements, Wingate suffered from illness and depression and in Cairo attempted suicide. He was not universally liked: his romantic Zionism contrasted with the traditional British Arabist notions. He did, however, lead from the front and marched, ate and slept with his men. In this authoritative biography, Royle expertly brings to life a ruthless, complex, arrogant – but ultimately admirable – general. Trevor Royle is an author and broadcaster specialising in the history of war and empire, with more than 30 books to his credit. His latest book is The Road to Bosworth, a study of the War of the Roses. He is a columnist for the Sunday Herald and is an Honorary Fellow at Edinburgh University’s School of History. He was born in India in 1945.
The history of the British Army is really the story of its regiments and the men who served in them. From the very beginning they formed the backbone of a singular institution that is itself a reflection of the way the people of Britain view themselves and their collective past.  Beginning with the Glorious revolution of 1660 and the return to the throne of King Charles II, it was a time when Cromwell's Commonwealth and his military institutions were not popular. But the new king had to be protected and the country had to be defended. Through a process of slow growth and frequent tardiness an army eventually came into being and from the outset it was based solidly on a regimental system which needed steady supplies of recruits to keep it in being.  Since then, men have joined up for many valid reasons such as adventure, patriotism or a sense of duty; but not all motives were commendable. For every young man attracted by the chance to wear a uniform there would be many more who had fallen foul of the law, been poverty-stricken or fallen into debt, or had committed a sexual indiscretion. Others were simply coerced.  With the exception of the two great world wars of the twentieth century the Army rarely numbered more than 250,000 and in 2020 its numbers will have fallen to 82,000, a poor reward, one would have thought, for all past endeavours. Over the years periods of warfare have always been followed by times of peace when expenditure on the armed forces dropped, soldiers were made redundant and regiments, mainly infantry, were either disbanded or amalgamated, often with painful consequences. However, there is a case for saying that no regiment is ever entirely lost and that it will always live on in men’s minds as a mystical entity. The British Army certainly makes a great deal of the ‘golden thread’ which still links, say, the Middlesex ‘Die-Hards’ to the modern Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, but the harsh reality is that those ties are only as strong as the men who made them. Like it or not, the old and bold soldiers are a dwindling band and once they have fallen out for the last time the regiments will be truly lost.  For this reason Trevor Royle now explores the histories of the many regiments that have disappeared; to celebrate their existence as well as the men and officers who served with distinction within them.
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