The Royal Scots were the oldest Infantry regiment in the Army. They are thought to have their roots in the old Garde Ecossaise founded by France’s Charles III (the Simple) in 882. The direct predecessor of the regiment was raised by Sir John Hepburn under a royal warrant from Charles I, on the Scottish establishment for service in France in 1633 under Louis XIII and was placed on the British establishment in 1678. It was formed from a nucleus of Hepburn’s previous regiment, formerly in Swedish service, which had been in existence since 1625. When in France it absorbed the remnants of many other Scottish mercenary units which had fought in Swedish service, and by 1635 had swelled to some 8,000 men. Lord James Douglas was appointed the new colonel, and the name of the corps was altered to the Régiment de Douglas. The regiment existed continuously until 2006 when it was amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Scotland and with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) to form The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, abbreviated to 1 SCOTS. Until 1881 the regiment, except for its pipers, wore the ordinary dress of the Infantry of the Line. In 1881 it was granted tartan trews and a scarlet doublet, and these were worn for a time with the spiked infantry helmet, making a rather unbecoming combination, until the much more handsome Kilmarnock bonnet, shown here, was granted. The plate shows the full-dress uniform of 1914, which survived for levees and other special functions until 1939. The doublet is the same as for other regiments, the facings being blue for a Royal regiment, and the tartan of the strapped overalls is Hunting Stuart.
Officer, The Royal Scots, 1939
The Royal Scots merged with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) in 2006 to form The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland [1 SCOTS].
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