WORLDWAR2-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLDWAR2 > 2001-02 > 0982823276
From: Iain Kerr <>
Subject: Re: [WORLD WAR II] 1st Bn., Cameronian Scottish Rifles
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 06:27:56 +0000
At 18:13 21/02/01 +0000, V & A Taylor wrote:
>Could anyone help in my search about the, 1st battalion, The Cameronians
>(Scottish Rifles) during 1945 and 1946 when I believe they were disbanded
>with many but not all transferring to the 2nd Bn..
>My uncle whom was in this mob says he saw action against the Japanese in
>Burma and marched through to India driving the Japanese back until their
>surrender in August 1945.
>I hope sks can be of assistance because said uncle wishes me to put together
>a review of the period he spent with the 1st then 2nd Bn. he is 76 and
>without the proper facts I am struggling to jog his memories, or at least
>challenge those that don't seem to add up.
>Alan Taylor (UK)
The term "mob" is not one that should be used by a third party to refer to
a unit of the British Army with a long and distinguished history and a fine
service record. Look it up in the dictionary to see how insulting the term is.
The Cameronian Regiment of Foot formed 1689, later Angus's Regiment of
Foot, later Brigadier Ferguson's Regiment of Foot, later Brigadier Sutton's
Regiment of Foot, later The 26th Regiment of Foot, from 1786 The 26th (The
Cameronians) Regiment of Foot, from 1881 1st Battalion, The Cameronians
(The Scottish Rifles); the regiment went into suspended animation May 1968.
The 1st Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was based in India on
the outbreak of war on 3 Sep 1939. It was rapidly deployed to Rangoon in
Feb 1942 to meet the immediate threat of Japanese invasion. The battalion
then took part in the long withdrawal to the Indian frontier. When it
reentered India on 26 May, the battalion had been reduced to 14 officers
and 120 other ranks. The battalion spent the next year in India regaining
full strength and then training for long range operations as part of the
Chindits - the 3rd Indian Division. The battalion, returned to Burma,
flying in by gliders in Mar 1944 in 11th Brigade (or Profound column as it
was referred to). For the next four months the battalion operated behind
Japanese lines, disrupting lines of communication. The Chindits were
supplied by air and often dependent on their own resources to survive while
marching hundreds of miles through the jungle and keeping their wounded
with them. When Operation Thursday ended with the monsoon and the Japanese
catching the battalion at Namkin, it had 50 men on stretchers and 150
walking wounded. Nevertheless, the battalion managed to march back into
India in mountainous jungle terrain. It remained in India for the remainder
of the war.
The Cameronians lost a total of 1,222 men during World War II.
Post World War II
In 1947, in common with other infantry regiments, The Cameronians were
reduced to a single regular battalion. Between 1946-48 the 1st Battalion,
The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was reduced to nil strength in
Malaya. The remnants joined the 2nd Battalion at Gibraltar where on 19 Sep
1948 it was officially redesignated as the new 1st Battalion, The
Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and the 2nd Battalion ceased to exist.
Faced with the threat of disbandment or merger at a time of reductions in
the size of the British Army, the Cameronians considered it beneath their
dignity to merge with other infantry regiments, Scottish or otherwise. It
was considered impossible for the traditions of The Cameronians to be
maintained under such conditions. The regiment chose to go into suspended
animation, ready to return should Scotland and its Church ever need
them. The final ceremony reflected their formation in defence of the
Covenant. They marched to church parade, posted sentries, piled arms, and
after a final service, marched off into history. The disbandment parade
(or "conventicle" as the Cameronians called their church parade) was held
at Castle Dangerous, Douglas on 14 May 1968. The 26th Regiment of Foot had
been formed at that place and date in 1689.
Regimental Museum of the Cameronians (The Scottish Rifles), Mote Hill, Muir
Street, Hamilton, Lanarkshire ML3 6BY, Scotland. Phone: +44 (0) 1698
428688. Covers the history of the regiment 1689-1968, showing uniforms,
medals, banners and campaign relics. The museum is recently reopened and
housed in old riding school building. (Open Mon - Sat 10:00 to 17:00; Sun
12:00 to 17:00.
Iain Kerr in Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Web Page at: http://home.clara.net/iainkerr/index.htm
RootsWeb Sponsor and Listowner for the WORLDWAR2 Mailing List.
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