Argyll & Sutherland
Photographs and history of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, during the reign of Queen Victoria.
The double name given to this regiment indicates
its origin. The 1st
battalion was the late 91st of the Line, or Argylshire, and
its 2nd the 93rd, or Sutherland Highlanders.
The former was raised in 1794 as a kilted regiment,
with the Campbell tartan; white epaulettes and yellow facings were worn;
and it was first numbered the 98th, but in 1798 this was
altered to its recent designation, the 91st.
Its first service was at the capture of Cape Town
by Sir Alured Clarke, in 1795, when it does not appear to have worn
either kilt or tartan, but the national costume was partly resumed on
its return to England in 1803.
It was during the voyage home that one of the
regimental heirlooms was acquired.
For a narwhal having charged the transport, and left its bony
snout in the ship?s side, this was eventually removed, and converted
into the sergeant-major?s official walking stick, decorated with a
series of gold plates, eight in number, bearing the names of the
principal Peninsular battles in which the regiment served.
A second battalion, formed in 1804, served at Bergen-op-Zoom in
1813, but was shortly afterwards disbanded.
The other battalion shared in the Peninsula
campaign from 1807 to 1809, being present at Obidos and Vimiera under
Wellesley, and at Corunna under Moore, while detachments served at
Oporto and Talavera. The
bulk of the regiment joined the Walcheren expedition, at which period
the standard for recruits was first fixed at 5 feet 4 inches; and after
losing many men by sickness it returned to England, to be transferred
again to the Peninsula, where it remained
till 1814, taking part in the battles of Vittoria, Saurauren,
Nivelles, Nive, Bayonne, Orthes, and Toulouse.
Though it landed in Belgium for the Waterloo campaign, it took no
part in the great fight, as it was detailed to guard the lines of
communication. In 1822 the
coatee took the place of the regimental jacket, and this lasted until
the introduction of the tunic; but in 1864 its original Highland title
was restored, and it became a trewed regiment, the costume being added
to a little later by the blue patrol jacket for the officers, and a red
serge frock of the Stewart pattern for the men.
Finally it was reconverted into a kilted regiment, and received
its present title.
Meanwhile it had seen its most prolonged and
arduous service at the Cape, where, with a ?Reserve Battalion?,
raised in 1842 and incorporated with the first in 1857, the regiment
served for twenty years.
It was unfortunate in its sea voyages.
The ?Reserve Battalion? went ashore in the Abercrombie
Robinson, and a detachment of the 91st was wrecked on
board the Birkenhead in 1852.
In both cases the superb discipline of the regiment was
evidenced; and, in the latter case, the noble bravery of the men in
preferring to go down with the ship rather than endanger the safety of
the boats, already over laden with women and children, sheds a lustre not
only the history of the regiment, but that of the whole army of the
State. Out of 631 souls
only 193 were saved.
Among the interesting if unwarlike duties it has
had to undertake during this time may be mentioned that some of its
companies were present at the exhumation of the remains of Napoleon I at
St Helena in 1840.
It was mixed up in the disturbances between Boers
and Griquas as far back as 1843, and then shared during the first Kaffir
War in the dangerous operation in the Amatolas and the Waterkloof.
In one of these small campaigns alone it marched 1,200 miles.
For these services it bears the names of ?South Africa,
1846-47?, as well as of ?South Africa, 1851-52-53?, on its
colours, to which it added later ?South Africa, 1879?, for its work
during the Zulu campaign, where it took part in the actions of
Ghinghilovo and Ekowe. Its
only other foreign service before this last was in the operations
against the Rohillas in 1859.
Before the 2nd battalion, formerly known
as the 93rd or Sutherland Highlanders, was called into being,
a regiment of ?Sutherland Fencibles? had appeared, to be disbanded
in 1798. It was not until
1800 that ?Major General Wemyss? regiment of Infantry was formed?.
Neither battalion of the regiment seems to have
been much favoured by the sea, for in the first expedition of the 93rd
to the Cape, in 1805, it lost thirty five men by the upsetting of a boat
in Lospard bay. For the
battle of Blauwe Mountains and the surrender of the colony it earned the
first name for the regimental list of honours, viz., ?Cape of Good
Hope, 1806?. Its career in South Africa was uneventful until 1814, when it
returned to England, to proceed at once with the expedition to New
Orleans, where, in the attempt to storm the works, it lost 584 men, and
the attack failed.
A second battalion was raised in the same year, but
disappeared after less than two years? life.
This regiment?s last active service was in the Umbeyla campaign.
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders is the only
infantry regiment of the Line that bears ?Balaklava? on its colours.
Their gallantry in the battle when the ?thin red line?
received the charge of the Russian cavalry ? a formation to meet the
mounted arm unprecedented up to that time in the annals of war ? has
been already referred to, and the name of ?the thin red line? is the
only recorded nickname ? save probably the ?Rory?s? ? the old
93rd have had. It
is also stated, that though the first ?king?s colour? is retained,
framed and glazed, the regimental colour carried with it has
explains this by asserting that when Colonel Dale of the regiment was
mortally wounded before Orleans in 1814 he made the request that he
should be buried wrapped in one of the colours, and his wish was
Like other Scotch regiments, the scarlet uniform is
faced with yellow, and the kilt is of Sutherland tartan. The badges are quaint; a myrtle wreath interlaced with one of
butcher?s broom, the former surrounding a boar?s head with ?Ne
Obliviscaris?, and within
the other a cat with the scroll ?Sans peur?, the whole linked
together with a label of three points, and crowned by the coronet of H.
R. H. the Princess Louise, is worn on the button.
The tunic collar has the same without the crown.
The head dress plate bears a thistle wreath, within it is the
regimental title on a small scroll within the double cipher crown of the
Princess Louise; the boar?s head and cat are borne on either side.
The feather bonnet has a white feather and a scarlet and white
diced border. The 91st
regiment, or the Princess Louise?s Argyllshire Highlanders, were
shortly after the marriage of the Princess ?commanded? by the Queen
to ?always march past (in quick time) to their pipers?,
The 3rd and 4th Militia Battalions are the Highland Borderers Militia, formed in 1803, and the Royal Renfrew in 1798. The latter was embodied until 1816 and again in 1855, having ?invariably been kept to its establishment, and given a great many officers and men to the regular army, notably during the Peninsular and Crimean Wars?. There are seven Volunteer Battalions attached : the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Renfrew, 1859-60; the 1st Stirling, the 1st Argyll, the 1st Dumbarton, and the 1st Clackmannan, 1859, and Kinross. All these wear a scarlet uniform with the national facings, except the second, which has blue facings. The regimental depot is at Stirling.
Extract from "The British Army and Auxiliary Forces" Colonel C. Cooper King, R.M.A. , 1894
JAMES MUNRO (Colour-Sergeant) 93rd Regiment (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) Decorated for his devoted gallantry on November 16th 1857, at the attack on the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, during Sir Colin Campbell?s advance to the relief of the Residency. Captain Walsh had fallen severely wounded and was in imminent danger of being killed by the Sepoys, when Munro rushed to his assistance, carried him to a place of safety, and saved his life. He himself was shortly afterwards brought in dangerously wounded. His Victoria Cross is in the United Services Institute, in London.
JOHN PATON (Sergeant) 93rd Regiment (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) At the Shah Nujjiff, Novemebr 16th 1857, Peel?s naval guns had been firing point blank at the walls, endeavouring to force a breach for the eager Highlanders to rush in, but the strength of the masonry was such that it seemed a hopeless task. An attempt was about to be made to carry the place by assault, when Sergeant Paton hurried up with the report that he had an opening. On his own initiative, and quite alone, he had crept around the stronghold to, if possible, discover a means of entry, and found that the shot?s from our heavy guns had at the commencement gone over the front and made a beach in the rear defences, through which he guided his regiment. The enemy were taken in rear, and a general stampede took place leaving the Shah Nujjiff in our hands. Born on December 23rd 1883, at Stirling, Paton enlisted in the 42nd Highlanders on March 20th 1848, but volunteered into the 93rd at the outbreak of the Crimean War. After the Mutiny, he left the Army in 1861, went to Sydney, joined the Prison Service, and eventually became Governor of Goulburn Gaol, retiring in 1896.
WILLIAM McBEAN (Lieutenant and Adjutant, afterwards Major General) 93rd (Argyll and Sutherland) Highlanders Forbes-Mitchell, in his Reminiscences of the Great Mutiyn, relates how Lieutenant McBean, with Sergeant Hutchinson and Drummer Ross, a boy of about twelve years of age, climbed to the top of the dome of the Shah Nujjiff by means of a rude rope ladder, which was fixed, on it. This was during the relief of Lucknow by Sir Colin Campbell?s force, and the reason for this daring adventure (for the enemy on the Badshahibagh saw them and turned their guns on them) was in order to signal to the garrison of the Residency to let them know the position of the relieving force. Describing the assault on the Begum?s Kothee, the same author relates the act for which William McBean was awarded the Victoria Cross. After the assault the men were broken up into small parties in a series of separate fights all over the different detached buildings of the palace. ?Willie? McBean, as the officers, but ?Paddy? McBean to the men knew him, encountered a havildar, a naik, and nine Sepoys at one gate, and killed the whole eleven one after the other. The havildar was the last; and, by the time he got out through the narrow gate, several men came to the assistance of McBean, but he called to them not to interfere, and the havildar and he went at it with their swords. At length McBean made a feint cut, but instead gave the point, and put his sword through the chest of his opponent. McBean was an Inverness-shire ploughman before he enlisted, and rose from the ranks to command the regiment and died a Major General. It is said of him that when he first joined the regiment he walked with a rolling gait and the drill corporal was rather abusive with him when learning his drill. At last he became so offensive that another recruit proposed to McBean, who was a very powerful man, that they should call the corporal behind the canteen in the barrack yard and give him a good thrashing, to which proposal McBean replied: ?Toots, toots, man, that would never do. I am going to command this regiment before I leave it and it would be an ill beginning to be brought before the colonel for thrashing the drill-corporal.? McBean kept to his purpose and did live to command the regiment through every rank from private to Major General.
J. DUNLEY (Lance Corporal) 93rd Sutherland Highlanders (now part of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) At the attack on the Secundra Bagh at Lucknow, November 16th 1857, Dunley was the first surviving man of his regiment who entered the trench. He was particularly noticeable in his conduct, gallantly supporting Captain Burroughs against heavy odds. Elected by the private soldiers of the 93rd Regiment under Rule 13 of the Warrant.
P. GRANT (Private) 93rd Sutherland Highlanders (now part of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) Elected under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, for his bravery at the storming of the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, November 16th 1857. Lieut. ?Colonel Ewart had most gallantly captured a colour from the mutineers, and, while striving to get it away through the masses of Sepoys, was furiously attacked by them. Grant kept close to his colonel, and defended him, and having seized one of the enemy?s swords, killed five of them himself. The colour was eventually safely carried out.
D. MACKAY (Private) 93rd The Sutherland Highlanders (now part of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) At the capture of the secundra Bagh at Lucknow, November 16th 1857, MacKay displayed the greatest gallantry in capturing one of the standards of the enemy, after a most obstinate resistance on their part. Afterwards, at the capture of the strong defence, the Shah Nujjiff, he was severely wounded. His comrades elected him to receive the decoration of the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Warrant.
WILLIAM GEORGE DRUMMOND STEWART (Captain, afterwards Major Sir W. G. D. Stewart, Bart 93rd The Sutherland Highlanders (now part of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) On November 16th 1857, this officer led a brilliant charge upon two of the enemy?s guns, which were brought to bear upon our troops, and inflicting severe damage. By the capture of these cannon the position of the mess-house was secured. Under Rule 13 of the Warrant this officer was decorated with the Victoria Cross.
ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS
The regiment was formed in 1794, as the 98th Argyllshire Highlanders, changing in 1809 to the 91st of foot, the 93rd Highlanders were formed in 1799, and in 1881 both of these Regiments became the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Victoria Cross Awards
16 Victoria Crosse's were awarded to members of the regiment. 7 during the Indian Mutiny, 6 during World war One, 2 during World war two, and 1 during the Korean War.
A Captain and Subaltern of the 93rd (1896)
Of the tow officers of the 93rd Highlanders, the one with his feather bonnet on and wearing a full dress badger skin sporran, holds the rank of Captain, as the line of gold braid within the lace on his cuff shows. The officer by the Captain's side, bare-headed, is a Lieutenant in "review order" tenue. The badge of their famous regiment is shown on the collar of the doublet - a silver wreath of myrtle interlaced with a wreath of butcher's broom. Within the myrtle wreath is a boar's head of gilt metal inscribed Ne oblivis caris, and within the wreath of the butcher's broom a cat on a scroll, inscribed Sans Peur. Both emblems bear above them, in silver, a label of three points. The 93rd are also known as the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland) Highlanders.
||The late Sergeant-Major J. McKae, Argyll and
Sutherland Highlanders. (1895)
Opposite is the portrait of the late Sergeant-Major J. McKae, of the 2nd Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who died in India on 14th August, 1895, deeply regretted by all ranks with whom he was, deservedly, most popular. The 1st battalion of the famous regiment is the old 91st of Corunna and Peninsula War fame, since widely known for their services at the Cape, in the Kaffir Wars and the Zulu War. As having been first raised in 1796 by the then Duke of Argyll, the Battalion, on the marriage of Princess Louise to the Marquis of Lorne, was specially given its present title. Equally renowned is the 2nd Battalion of the regiment, the old 93rd, those splendid highlanders, who at Balaclava formed Sir Colin Campbell's "Thin Red Line" of immortal memory.
The Colonel of the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. (1896)
The officer in trews is Lieut.-Colonel O.C. Hannay, who command the 1st Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders now stationed at Aldershot Camp. The warrant officer to whom he is giving an interview is the Sergeant-Major of the battalion, Sergeant-Major R. C. Williamson. The two officers here shown are the heads of the executive in a battalion. The Lieut.-Colonel is the commandant in supreme charge of the corps as a military unit, and also the senior and head of the commissioned officers of the battalion. The Sergeant-Major is peculiarly responsible for the discipline and efficiency in drill of non-commissioned officers and men of the rank and file at whose immediate head he is, as the senior warrant officer of the battalion.
The Officers of the 1st Battalion Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland) Highlanders. (1896)
These are the officers of the 1st Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (the old 91st), waiting to fall in on parade at Aldershot. Most of them are seen in full Highland uniform, as worn by officers of Scots regiments on foot. The three officers, of those wearing the feather bonnet who are shown in trews, are Colonel Hannay, the commander of the battalion, one of the majors, and the adjutant. Colonel Hannay is seen with a paper in his hand, speaking with the major, while the adjutant stands to the left (as the reader looks at the group) conferring with another officer. The badges borne on the uniform of this regiment are specially distinctive: the Boar's Head, the crest of the Argyll family, and wreath of Myrtle, the badge of the Campbell clan; the Mountain Cat, the family cognizance of the Sutherlands, and wreath of Butcher's Broom, the badge of the Sutherland clan; the silver label of three points, the heraldic "mark of cadency" of the arms of the Princess Louise. These badges are borne on the buttons, feather bonnet, glengarry cap, doublet collar, and waist plate. The regimental Tartan is the Sutherland Tartan; the regimental facings are yellow; and the hackle is white.
How Major George James Christie, Of The 9th Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders (T.F.), Won The D.S.O. At The Second Battle Of Ypres.
Meanwhile ?B? and ?C? Companies of the 9th Argyll?s had advanced from Zouave Wood to the trenches, which Major Christie?s men had dug near the Menin Road. On the way, their gallant and much loved Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Clark, and shells killed another officer. Major Christie, who had hurried back to report the new attack, dispatched ?D? Company to reinforce the 91st; but, notwithstanding the assistance of the Territorial, the latter were driven from their trenches by the determine attacks of the kilted Germans. The 9th Argyll?s and 2nd Cameron?s, though now exposed to an enfilading fire from north of the Menin Road, gallantly held their trenches against every attack, until night fell, and piles of corpses beyond their entanglements bore eloquent testimony to the deadly work of their machine guns and rifles. They had themselves lost heavily, however. Among the slain was Colonel Campbell, commanding the Cameron?s, who was killed by a shell, which had landed right in the middle of a machine gun team, who work he was directing. At 2 a.m. relief arrived, and Major Christie, whom the death of Colonel Clark had left in command of the 9th Argyll?s, led his sorely tried men back to their dugouts in Zouave Wood. In that and the previous days fighting the battalion had had twelve and some three hundred men killed and wounded. Thee losses were considerably increased during the next two days, May 11th and 12th, when, their position having been located by a captive kite balloon sent up by the enemy, the wood was raked by a terrific shelling, which seemed to search every yard of it. Major Christie?s own dugout was twice blown in, but, happily, he escaped without injury. When the shelling creased, hardly a tree of that wood remained standing; all was a jumble of broken timber and undergrowth, beneath which lay dead men, broken rifles and equipment, and torn sandbag. On the 16th the 9th Argyll?s were sent to the rest camp at Poperinghe. But they were not permitted to enjoy even so much as one whole day?s rest, as, scarcely had they arrived, when orders came to join the 10th Brigade at La Brique. Just after dawn on May 24th, while they were occupying the support trenches northeast of Saint-Jean, the enemy started bombarding our front with asphyxiating shells and immediately afterwards gas was released from the cylinders against the whole three miles of front from Shelltrap Farm to the Bellewaarde Lake. After the gas came a violent bombardment from north, northeast and east.
Seeing that the troops in the first line trenches were beginning to give way, Major Christie at once resolved to repeat that dash to the rescue, which had saved the Cameron?s trench at Hooge a fortnight before, and having adjusted their respirators, the territorial doubled across the shell swept ground which lay between them and the fire trenches. The sight which met their eyes as they reached them was terrible, for maimed and gassed men were lying everywhere. But they lost no time getting to work, and, lining the broken parapet, opened a withering fire on the advancing Germans. The enemy fell back, but soon it became apparent that their artillery was concentrating on that particular trench, while, though the German infantry fell in heaps before our fire, they continued to advance in ever increasing numbers. Major Christie saw that, if the trench was to be held, more men must be found to replace those whom we were losing every minute. As all communication with the rear had been cut, he left one of his officers in charge, and ran back to the support trench, in search of stragglers. He found a few odd lots of the Dublin Fusiliers and of his own battalion and rushed them forward. But still there were not sufficient rifles to line the parapet, so out into the fire swept open went the major again, searching for men-men with rifles. In a small isolated trench he found another odd lot, gassed and half dazed, but, though for the moment the poor fellows could be of little use, they had rifles, and, pouncing upon them, he was leading them forward, when he was hit in the leg by a piece of shell and fell to the ground. But the odd lot he was leading went on and reached the trench, and it seems to have been largely through the assistance rendered by them that the German hordes were held off until relief arrived.
Major Christie did what he could for himself with a tourniquet, until Drummer Bell, of the Argyll?s came out of the trench to his assistance and after rendering first aid, went away and returned with two men of their battalion carrying a stretcher. Lifting the wounded officer on to this, they set out for the nearest dressing station; but so tremendous was the fire through which they had to pass, that they were obliged several times to stop and take refuge in a ditch or under a hedge. Major Christie begged the men to leave him and look after themselves; but these brave fellows indignantly refused to do, and, though all three were wounded, they managed to stagger on with their load until they reached the dressing station. Drummer Bell, who repeatedly interposed his own body between his wounded officer and the enemy?s fire, was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the French Croix de Guerre. Major Christie, who received the Distinguished Service Order, is a native of the Vale of Leven, and the youngest son of Mr John Christie, of Levenfield, Alexandria, Dumbartonshire, chairman of the United Turkey Red Company, Limited, and its thirty-five years of age. He served for a number of years with the Alexandria and Renton Company of Volunteers, retiring with the rank of honorary major. He is a good shot and won several prizes at the Dumbartonshire Rifle Association meetings at Jamestown. At the outbreak of war he volunteered for service, and went into training with his old regiment at Bedford, proceeding to the front in February 1915. He was immensely popular with the 9th Argyll?s, alike for his dauntless courage and his solicitude fro their comfort, and it is indeed regrettable that the injuries he received will prevent him from leading them again. Extracted from 'Deeds That Thrill The Empire'
Officers, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
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