Scottish History

The history of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

The Regimental Museum in Stirling Castle

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 1945 to the present day.

Her Majesty the Queen

Her Majesty the Queen

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are honoured to have Her Majesty The Queen as their Colonel in Chief. She was appointed by King George VI on her 21st Birthday in April 1947 whilst still Princess Elizabeth and has visited the Regiment on very many occasions since then, some of which are recorded in the display of photographs in the 'Modern' Room. In 1948 in common with all other Line Regiments the 2nd Battalion (the old 93rd) went into suspended animation but its traditions have been carried on by the 1st Battalion, which has since seen service in many parts of the world including three years in Palestine keeping the peace between Arabs and Jews, and the Korean War in which it was one of the first two British units to reach that theatre and where it fought with great distinction, Major Muir winning a posthumous Victoria Cross on Hill 282.

Hill 282

Hill 282

After a period of Public Duties in Edinburgh including the presentation of New Colours by Her Majesty in 1953, the Battalion was despatched at short notice to British Guiana 'in aid of the Civil Power'. No action was required on this occasion and, following service in Berlin (1955/56) the next move was to Egypt for the Suez Operation, where the Battalion landed but did not see any action. This was followed by Internal Security duties in Cyprus for 18 months (1957/59). The first tour in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) as an armoured infantry battallion took place from 1959-62 and when that ended they returned to Scotland for ceremonial duties which included the granting of a number of Freedom of the Burgh ceremonies.


Jungle Hat and Khukri used by 2/Lt DP Thomson on 3 operational tours of Borneo.

'Confrontation' proved to be the next active service tour for the Battalion, in 1964 they moved to Singapore and from there they carried out three six-month tours of duty in Borneo.

On their return to Plymouth in 1967 they were almost immediately selected to serve in Aden where their task was to keep rival Arab factions from interfering with the British plans for granting Independence to the inhabitants of Aden. The successful re-occupation of Crater under the command of Lt Col CC Mitchell which received international acclaim was the main event during this tour of duty.

On returning to England the astonishing decision to disband the Argylls came as sad and unwelcome news, however, thanks to the "Save the Argylls" campaign, which received world wide support, the decision was rescinded. The Battalion was reduced to Company strength but in 1972 was re-formed. The re-formation took place at Kirknewton, since when the Battalion has seen service in Northern Ireland on a large number of occasions, Osnabruck, Catterick, Ballykelly, Cyprus, Edinburgh, the Falkland Islands, Colchester and once again BAOR, this time Minden, Folkestone and Edinburgh where Her Majesty presented new colours to the Battalion in 1996. In addition various training exercises have also been carried out in Canada, Kenya, the Falklands and Belize.

Troops in front of helicopter Patrol into Safwan

The beginning of the 21st century saw the Battalion's contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process being recognised by the award of the Wilkinson Sword of Peace, as well as a change of role. The Battalion has become an integral part of 16 Air Assault Brigade and has seen service in Iraq where it helped recruit, train and deploy units of the new Iraqi Civil Defence Corps and to assist in bringing security and stability to the area north of Basra under extremely dangerous conditions

As part of the process of being accredited as a fully trained Air Assault Battalion the Argylls took part in a large scale Air Assault Exercise in October 2004. The Battalion is now 'Fit for Role'. It undertook a tour in Bosnia between March and September 2005.

What lies ahead? The world of the British Army has shrunk since the days of the Empire but despite a reduction in overseas garrisons there are still tremendous opportunities for members of the Battalion to serve and train in such diverse locations as Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Poland, Russia, Bosnia, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Falkland Islands, South Africa and Sweden.

Information about service as a Regular, Volunteer or Cadet with The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders can be found at http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/argyll


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