King's Own Scottish Borderers

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King's Own Scottish Borderers
KOSB.JPG
Cap Badge and Tartan of the King's Own Scottish Borderers
Active1689 - 1 August 2006
Country Kingdom of Scotland (1689–1707)
 Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–2006)
BranchArmy
TypeLine Infantry
SizeOne battalion
Part ofScottish Division
Garrison/HQBerwick Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed
MottoIn Veritate Religionis Confido (I put my trust in the truth of religion)
Nisi Dominus Frustra (Without the Lord, everything is in vain)
AnniversariesMinden - 1st August
Commanders
Last Colonel-in-ChiefHRH the late Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, GCB, CI, GCVO, GBE
Notable
commanders
John Cooper (Operation Banner, 1993–97)
Insignia
TartanLeslie (trews)
Royal Stewart (pipers kilts and plaids)[dead link]
 
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King's Own Scottish Borderers
KOSB.JPG
Cap Badge and Tartan of the King's Own Scottish Borderers
Active1689 - 1 August 2006
Country Kingdom of Scotland (1689–1707)
 Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–2006)
BranchArmy
TypeLine Infantry
SizeOne battalion
Part ofScottish Division
Garrison/HQBerwick Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed
MottoIn Veritate Religionis Confido (I put my trust in the truth of religion)
Nisi Dominus Frustra (Without the Lord, everything is in vain)
AnniversariesMinden - 1st August
Commanders
Last Colonel-in-ChiefHRH the late Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, GCB, CI, GCVO, GBE
Notable
commanders
John Cooper (Operation Banner, 1993–97)
Insignia
TartanLeslie (trews)
Royal Stewart (pipers kilts and plaids)[dead link]

The King's Own Scottish Borderers was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish Division.

History[edit]

Plaque commemorating the raising of Leven's regiment

It was raised on 18 March 1689 by the Earl of Leven to defend Edinburgh against the Jacobite forces of James II. It is said that 800 men were recruited within the space of two hours. The Regiment's first action was at the Battle of Killiecrankie on 27 July of the same year. Although this battle was a defeat for the Williamite army, the Jacobite commander, Viscount Dundee (Bonnie Dundee), was killed by a volley fired by Leven's Regiment, bringing an end to James II's attempt to save his throne. The Regiment was judged to have performed well and was granted the privilege of recruiting by beat of drum in the City of Edinburgh without prior permission of the provost.

For a period it was known as Semphill's Regiment of Foot, the name under which it fought at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and the Battle of Culloden in 1746. When the British infantry were allocated numerical positions in the 'line' of Infantry the regiment was numbered 25th Foot (based on its formation date) in 1751. The Regiment fought at the Battle of Minden on 1 August 1759 with five other regiments; this battle honour was celebrated by the Regiment each year on 1 August. The 25th was the county regiment of Sussex from 1782 to 1805, before its recruiting area was moved to the Scottish Borders region. From then it was known as the King's Own Borderers, becoming the King's Own Scottish Borderers in 1887.

Throughout the 19th century the Regiment fought abroad, in the West Indies, Ireland, South Africa, India, Gibraltar, Malta, Canada, Afghanistan, Burma, Ceylon and Sudan. It was awarded the right to bear the emblem of the Sphinx for their role in the Battle of Alexandria.[1] During the second Anglo-Afghan War, the second division was renamed the Khyber Line Force while guarding the lines of communication between Kabul and Peshawar.[2]

The Regiment was affectionately known by the Scottish public as the "Kosbies" (derived from the regiment's abbreviation KOSB) but this term was never used within the Regiment.

The regiment saw service during both World Wars. During the First World War, the regiment was enlarged to nine battalions and served in notable campaigns such as Gallipoli and the Somme. In between the wars, the regiment's regular battalions were sent all over the British Empire to Ireland, Egypt and Hong Kong but were quickly recalled home at the outbreak of World War II in 1939. One of its heaviest losses during the war was at the ill-fated Battle of Arnhem in which nearly 90% of the 7th battalion were killed in action;[3] the unit was part of the 1st Airborne Division and defended the perimeter in Oosterbeek against 2nd SS Panzer Corps. Several of the other battalions were dispatched to Southeast Asia and fought against the Japanese in the Burma Campaign and in India. After the war, the regiment served internal security duties in Palestine and was reduced to a single battalion in around 1948. It was part of the UN forces deployed to the Korean War.

Between 1972 to 2004, the regiment was regularly posted to Northern Ireland as part of Operation Banner to maintain stability during The Troubles. They were most notably victims of the 1989 Derryard attack which killed two of their men. During the 1990s, they were one of the few Scottish regiments not deployed to the Yugoslav Wars but were mainly stationed in Northern Ireland instead.[4] The regiment also served in Operation Telic during the 21st century before it was amalgamated to the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Restructuring of the infantry[edit]

Until 2004 the regiment was one of five in the line infantry never to have been amalgamated, the others being:


In 2004, as part of the British Government's defence review, it was announced that the Scottish Division would lose an infantry battalion. This was achieved through the amalgamation of the King's Own Scottish Borderers with the Royal Scots to form the Royal Scots Borderers on 1 August 2006. This single battalion became the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Court case[edit]

Campaigners against the amalgamation of the KOSB argued that the Westminster government is "outwith the competency" (i.e. does not have the right) to merge or disband the regiment, because it was raised by the independent Scottish Parliament prior to the foundation of the United Kingdom and had been in continuous service ever since. To this end, the campaigners went to court in Edinburgh in an unsuccessful attempt to get an interdict against the amalgamation with the Royal Scots.

King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum[edit]

The King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum is located in Berwick Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Exhibits include uniforms, badges, medals, weapons and relics from different campaigns.

Berwick Barracks is operated by English Heritage. Admission includes access to the King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery and the exhibition ‘By Beat of Drum’ on the life of the British infantryman.

Battle Honours[edit]

[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The King's Own Scottish Borderers Association. "1689 - 19th Century". The King's Own Scottish Borderers Association and Museum. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Royle, Trevor (2011). The King's Own Scottish Borderers: A Concise History. Random House. ISBN 9781780572505. 
  3. ^ "British paratrooper's body found 68 years after battle of Arnhem". Daily Telegraph. 18 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "4 Dec 2003". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (House of Commons). col. Column 127W—continued .
  5. ^ King's Own Scottish Borderers in Korea
  6. ^ About the regiment

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]