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The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment) was a regular Scottish line infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish Division, and abbreviated as 'The RHF'. The regiment was formed on 20 January 1959 by the then controversial amalgamation of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, with the Highland Light Infantry . As part of the Delivering Security in a Changing World Review of the Armed Forces, the regiment was amalgamated with the other regiments of the Scottish Division to become part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and is now known as the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS), which was formed on 28 March 2006.

Regimental heritage

The regiment celebrated its 300th anniversary, inherited from the Royal Scots Fusiliers, at Redford Barracks, Edinburghmarker in 1978. The regiment consisted of a single Regular Army Battalion, approximately 600 strong, under the Commanding Officer, a Lieutenant Colonel.

Notably, the regiment and current battalion has the distinction among British infantry regiments of carrying three Colours on parade. In addition to the Queen's and Regimental Colours, the third - the Assaye Colour, was originally awarded by the Governor General in Council in India on behalf of the British East India Company to the 74th Highland Regiment for distinguished service at the Battle of Assayemarker in India in 1803 while under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington.

The Regiment maintained the traditions of the long 'Attention' command being given on parade (rather than the modern abbreviated Army 'shun') and of referring to the Commanding Officer's orders (disciplinary parade) as 'haul up' from the days of the unit acting as escorts to prisoners being transported to the colonies. Officers wore red 'infantry' piping on the epaulettes of their greatcoats, a detail inherited from the Royal Scots Fusiliers and mentioned by Boris Pasternak in his book Doctor Zhivago, but long lost to other infantry regiments. On administrative days, officers wore a blue patrol jacket detailed with a pleated spine pad, a relic of the Boer War.

The Regiment's uniform included the blue Glengarry cap with red 'tourie', red, white and green dicing, black silk cockade and 'Flaming Grenade' cap badge, Mackenzie tartan trews and black highland brogue shoes worn with white spats. In the field in combat dress, the Glengarry was replaced, when a helmet is not worn, by a khaki 'tam o'shanter' bonnet with Mackenzie tartan patch and with a white hackle from the Royal Scots Fusiliers when appropriate. The Regimental capbadge was the 'grenade in flames' taken from the Royal Scots Fusiliers cap badge, on which is mounted the crowned HLI monogram from the Highland Light Infantry. The tartan is 'Mackenzie', the blue and green 'government' tartan with added white and red lines.

The Regiment has been awarded over 200 battle honours, from Blenheim to the Gulf War, gained in every major and many minor conflicts, campaigns and theates of war since the 21st Regiment's first engagement at the Battle of Walcourtmarker in 1689, a number unsurpassed by any other unit in the British Army. The Regiment has fought against Louis XIV, Napoleon, Kruger, George Washington, The Kaiser, Hitler, Bonnie Prince Charlie the IRA, The United Statesmarker, various natives of Africa and Asia and Saddam Hussein; in the Netherlands, in the War of the Spanish Succession, the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War, in the American Revolution, in India, the Peninsular War and at Waterloomarker, in the Crimea, in the South African wars, in the First and Second World Wars and in recent Gulf conflicts. The 'Royal' Achievement was conferred on the 21st Fusiliers in 1712 by Queen Anne for exceptional services in the War of the Spanish Succession. The Regiment's 'achievements' as born on the colours and on the drums are: The Royal Cypher and The White Horse of Hanover, St Andrew, The Castle and Key of Gibraltar and the Assaye Elephant.

The Regiment's most cherished Battle Honours are: Blenheimmarker (August 1704 - War of the Spanish Succession), Assayemarker (September 1803 - Mahratta War) , The Storming of Badajosmarker(April 1812 - Peninsular War), Vitoria (June 1813 - Peninsular War), Waterloomarker (July 1815), Inkermanmarker (November 1854 - Crimean War) and Gheluvelt (October 1914 - World War 1 - France). 44 battle honours are carried on the Regimental Colour, 29 on the Queens Colour and 2: Seringapatam and Assayemarker, on the Assaye Colour.

In the Royal Highland Fusiliers' Pipes, Drums and Bugles band, pipers wear the all-blue Cameron pattern Glengarry with Dress Erskine tartan kilt, drummers also wear the kilt but retain the diced Glengarry as do buglers who wear Mackenzie tartan trews. The band wear a different wear a different type of capbadge in which the Regimental 'flaming grenade' capbadge is superimposed on the saltire of St Andrew and the star of the Order of the Thistle. The Drum major wears Mackenzie tartan trews, fusilier officer's full dress pattern scarlet doublet and bearskin with a grenade cap badge and white hackle.

A definitive history of the Royal Highland Fusiliers from 1959 is yet to be published. However, the most important histories of the forebear regiments are: The History of the Royal Scots Fusiliers 1678-1918 by the famous novelist John Buchan, written in memory of his brother who served in the Regiment, and Proud Heritage. The Story of the Highland Light Infantry (4 Volumes) by Lieutenant Colonel L B Oatts DSO late of the HLI.

Locations and operations

The Battalion traditionally recruits as far as possible from Greater Glasgowmarker and Ayrshiremarker but also welcomes members from all over Scotland, the UK and from the Commonwealth of Nations, with serving soldiers from as far afield as Fijimarker.

In 2004, as part of the restructuring of the British Army Infantry, the Ministry of Defence announced that the Royal Highland Fusiliers was to be merged with the other regiments of the Scottish Division as part of a single seven battalion unit with the title of the 'Royal Regiment of Scotland'. This merger took place in March 2006. As with the other Scottish line infantry regiments, the Royal Highland Fusiliers were permitted to retain their former name as their main title, with the new battalion number as a subtitle. Therefore, the regiment is now known as The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, abbreviated to 2 SCOTS; in addition, it continues to maintain its Pipes, Drums and Bugles band and members of the battalion continue to wear the white fusilier hackle on the tam o'shanter. Three Territorial Army Companies of the 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland are also affiliated with the regular Royal Highland Fusiliers battalion.

Currently as a light role battalion under the command of 52nd Infantry Brigade, it has responsibility for public duties in Edinburghmarker. The battalion is based at the state-of-the-art Glencorse Barracks in Penicuikmarker. The Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Regimental Headquarters and Museum is operated by the Regimental Secretary and located near Charing Crossmarker at Sauchiehall Streetmarker in Glasgowmarker. The battalion's recruitment team is also based at Walcheren Barracks in the Maryhillmarker district of Glasgow. A regimental magazine is also published, The Journal of the Royal Highland Fusiliers. There are also various old comrades groups and associations linked to the current and antecedent Regiments of the RHF.

Alliances



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