The Crimean War is one of history's most compelling subjects. It encompassed human suffering, woeful leadership and maladministration on a grand scale. It created a heroic myth out of the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade and, in Florence Nightingale, it produced one of history's great heroes. New weapons were introduced; trench combat became a fact of daily warfare outside Sebastopol; medical innovation saved countless soldiers' lives that would otherwise have been lost. The war paved the way for the greater conflagration which broke out in 1914 and greatly prefigured the current situation in Eastern Europe.
Formed in Edinburgh in 1689, its first operational role was to defend the city during the period of turmoil following the accession of William and Mary of Orange. That same year the regiment fought at the Battle of Killiecrankie, where they withstood a ferocious charge by the Highlanders supporting James II. Since then, the regiment has fought in most of the major campaigns fought by the British Army.
In 1887, the regiment became The King's Own Scottish Borderers. It served with distinction during the two World Wars and achieved nationwide fame in 1915 when Sergeant Piper Daniel Laidlaw won the Victoria Cross during the Battle of Loos. Despite coming under heavy fire he played his pipes in full view of the enemy, encouraging the Borderers with the sound of 'Blue Bonnets o'er the Border' and 'The Standard on the Braes o' Mar'.
This concise account of the King's Own Scottish Borderers puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.
Formed by two earlier regiments, The Argylls have a stirring history of service to the British Crown. They served all over the empire, taking part in the Indian Mutiny and the Boer War, and fought in both World Wars. In the post-war period the Argylls captured the public imagination in 1967 when they reoccupied the Crater district of Aden following a period of riots.
Recruiting mainly from the west of Scotland, the regiment has a unique character and throughout its history has retained a fierce regimental pride which is summed up by its motto: 'sans peur', meaning 'without fear'.
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.
During its long history, the regiment has served in the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimea, the Indian Mutiny, the Boer War and the two World Wars of the twentieth century. After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Duke of Wellington specifically mentioned the Cameron Highlanders in his dispatches as a result of the bravery shown by Piper Kenneth Mackay, who left the safety of the regiment's defensive square to encourage the men by playing the traditional rallying tune 'Cogadh no Sith' (War or Peace - the True Gathering of the Clans).
In 1994, the Queen's Own Highlanders amalgamated with the Gordon Highlanders, and in 2006 they became the 4th Battalion of the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. This account of the regiment is therefore a timely memorial to its long and distinguished history.
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.
Following amalgamation in 1881, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) quickly built up a solid reputation as a fighting regiment. During the First World War it raised 27 battalions and during the Second World War its battalions served in Europe and Burma. In the course of its long history, the regiment provided the British Army with many distinguished soldiers including three field marshals: Viscounts Hill and Wolseley and Sir Evelyn Wood.
Always tough and enduring in battle, it reflected the character of its main recruitment area - Glasgow and Lanarkshire - and in later years it took self-conscious pride when the Germans nicknamed its soldiers Giftzwerge, or poison dwarfs.
The Cameronians puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.
Two distinctive infantry traditions can be found in the names of these regiments, which have helped to form the line infantry regiments of the British Army. Fusiliers were armed with the flintlock fusil instead of the more common matchlock musket, and light infantry came into being during the Napoleonic Wars to provide the army with a corps of skirmishing sharpshooters similar to Austrian and German Jäger troops.
Amongst those who have served as fusiliers or light infantrymen are Hugh Trenchard, who became Air Chief Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Winston Churchill and David Niven, who joined the HLI from Sandhurst in the inter-war years. All these traditions and personalities went into the making of a regiment whose name lives on in the 2nd battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, which was formed in 2006 as a result of the restructuring of the infantry regiments of the British Army.
Instantly recognisable due to the famous red hackle cap badge and the traditional dark blue and green government tartan kilt from which it got its name, The Black Watch was renowned as one of the great fighting regiments of the British Army and served with distinction in all major conflicts from the War of Austrian Succession onwards. In a highly controversial move, the regiment served under the operational control of the US Army during the counter-insurgency war in Iraq in December 2004.
The Black Watch prided itself on being a 'family regiment', with sons following fathers into its ranks, and this new concise history reflects the strong sense of identity which was created over the centuries. In 2006, as part of a radical review of the country's defence policy, The Black Watch was amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. This new account of the famous regiment is therefore a timely memorial to its long and distinguished history.
The two world wars of the twentieth century saw the Royals expand in size, and there are full accounts of its meritorious service on all the main battle fronts. More recently, the regiment has been involved in operations in the Balkans and Iraq.
In 2006, in one of the most radical changes in the country's defence policy, the Royal Scots will be amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. Royal Scots is, therefore, a timely celebration of the British Army's most venerable regiment, right of the line and second to none.
Also included here are entries on the lives of other more peripheral writers such as historians, philosophers, diarists and divines whose work has made a contribution to Scottish letters.
Other essays range over such general subjects as the principal work of major writers, literary movements, historical events, the world of printing and publishing, folklore, journalism, drama and Gaelic. A feature of the book is the inclusion of the bibliography of each writer and reference to the major critical works. This comprehensive guide is an essential tool for the serious student of Scottish literature as well as being an ideal guide and companion for the general reader.
In Trevor Royle's vivid and evocative narrative, we are drawn into the ranks, on both sides, alongside doomed Jacobites fighting fellow Scots dressed in the red coats of the Duke of Cumberland's Royal Army. And we meet the Duke himself, a skilled warrior who would gain notoriety due to the reprisals on Highland clans in the battle's aftermath. Royle also takes us beyond the battle as the men of the Royal Army, galvanized by its success at Culloden, expand dramatically and start to fight campaigns overseas in America and India in order to secure British interests; we see the revolutionary use of fighting techniques first implemented at Culloden; and the creation of professional fighting forces.
Culloden changed the course of British history by ending all hope of the Stuarts reclaiming the throne, cementing Hanoverian rule and forming the bedrock for the creation of the British Empire. Royle's lively and provocative history looks afresh at the period and unveils its true significance, not only as the end of a struggle for the throne but the beginning of a new global power.
In particular, it investigates the lives and careers of six of the greatest war correspondents of all time: G W Steevens, who accompanied Kitchener to the Sudan and who introduced the 'colour story' to war reporting; Edgar Wallace, the future thriller writer who scooped the rest of the world at the end of the Boer War; Charles á Court Repington, the military correspondent who exposed the scandal of the shortage of shells in 1915; Claud Cockburn, a communist who adopted a self-confessed partisan approach during the Spanish Civil War; Chester Wilmot, perhaps the greatest of radio war correspondents who brought the Second World War into the living-rooms of Britain; James Cameron, a pacifist who uncovered stories of atrocities in Korea and who demanded to be published and damned. There also includes a discussion on the problems of using television to cover modern war.
First published in 1976, We'll Support You Evermore is a collection of reminiscences about the nation's favourite game. Hilarious tales of after-match celebrations and moving accounts of growing up playing football on the mean streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh rub shoulders with memories of superb victories, glorious defeats and drunken jaunts abroad. Together, these produce an entertaining portrait of Scottish supporters. Novelist Alan Sharp and Gordon Williams contribute essays, as do journalists Ian Archer, John Rafferty and Hugh Taylor among others. Each writes about his own personal recollections of the game: the Wembley Wizards, the Famous Five, Third Lanark, the Old Firm, Queen's Park, Hearts, Hibs, and many more. There's something here for every fitba'-daft reader.