Queens Own Highlanders

(Seaforth & Camerons)

 

Regimental Association

 

 

Lovats page

Imperial Yeomanry*

 

Lord Lovat was allowed to raise two companies of scouts in 1899 for service in South Africa. His main recruits were stalkers, ghillies and shepherds from the northern Highlands of Scotland.

They were intended, as the name suggests, to scout out and supply vital intelligence information about the Boers, whose tactics made them an often unseen and deadly foe.

The first company was mounted on Highland ponies while the second was a foot contingent with both being assembled and trained in the early part of 1900.

On seeing service in South Africa as part of the Highland Division, they soon put their stalking skills to great use. With the use of spyglasses, Heliograph and Semaphore they soon greatly improved the intelligence capability of the Division so much that Lord Lovat on his return to Inverness was allowed to raise a second contingent of Scouts.

Initially known as the 99th & 100th Companies Imperial Yeomanry they also served in South Africa and after suffering a high number of casualties, a third contingent was raised in October 1901 as reinforcements.

After the South African War Lord Lovat was again allowed to raise the Lovat Scouts as Yeomanry. Two regiments were raised each of 500 men who were trained in the role of mounted infantry. In 1908 lord Lovat went on to command the Highland Mounted Brigade until 1915 when the First World War took him on to other things.

At the outbreak of the WW1 both regiments were still part of the Highland Mounted Brigade and moved to Grimsby to take over the defense of the coastline from Sutton-on-sea to Skegness. The Regiments became cyclist for some time forming part of 1st Cycle Brigade in Norfolk until they merged in 1916. From there they saw service in Gallipoli and Egypt. In 1916 such was their reduced strength that the two regiments were amalgamated to form the 10th (Lovat Scouts) Battalion Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.

From 1916 - 1918 they served very successfully in Macedonia proving again their skill in observation, fieldcraft and sniping. Also in 1916 Lord Lovat formed the Lovat Scouts (Sharpshooters) who were so successful that there were plans to provide Lovat Scout Observer Units to every Division in the British Army. This unit had no equal in the world in providing intelligence gathering in close observation of the enemy.

In 1939 the Lovat Scouts were again mobilized to provide “Mounted Scouts” for reconnaissance and close protection. The Regiment formed part of the 9th (Highland) Division until 1940 when they joined the Mounted Cavalry Division in Nottinghamshire. They then sailed to the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic to protect that island from an expected German invasion. They returned to Scotland in 1942 and shortly thereafter began training as a Mountain Reconnaissance Regiment.

It is at this point my uncle “Frank Hill” joined “B” Company of the Battalion and after ski training in the Cairngorms moved to Wales and continued his training in Snowdonia. His initial infantry induction took place in Fort George, and was carried out by the training staff of the Cameron Highlanders. In December 1944 skiing was moved to Alberta, Canada, for a further five months, before the Regiment returned to Aberdeen for a well earned four weeks leave.

In 1943 they landed in Naples and carried out many successful behind the lines patrols and continued in this campaign until the cease fire was announced in 1945. The role of the Lovat Scouts in this theatre of war cannot be fully calculated, but their value to the 8th Army was immense.

In 1945 they moved to Greece where they carried out a peace keeping role in allowing free elections to take place and the handover of weapons from the resistance movements. The Regiment was disbanded in 1946 and my uncle was demobbed to civi street in 1947. He does state that after all that ski training, he hardly ever got a chance to get his skis on! He would also love to hear from anyone who served with the Regiment, as the annual meetings stopped in the mid 50s and he has lost touch with his old comrades, most of whom came from the Western Isles. 

As I have stated earlier on this web site, it is impossible to give little more than a brief snapshot of each regiment’s history. Should you wish to know more, then buy the books or videos that are available from the sales page.

Motto:

“Je Suis Prest” (I am ready)

 

*Yeomanry meaning Volunteer Cavalry force

Gordon Llewellyn Griffiths (1888 - 1943) Lovat Scouts. Part of the 1st Cycle Brigade in 1917

This photograph shows the 1st Cyclist Brigade of the 1st Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment (Lovat Scouts) and was taken somewhere in East Anglia in 1917. The Officer Commanding of the 1st Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment, a Lt. Col. Edward (??), (The owner of the photograph has a document with his signature, but cannot decipher the remainder) was based at the Old Post Office, Gorleston and the photograph was taken by Southwold based photographer, F. Jenkins. The barrel in the foreground is endorsed with "1st Cyclist Brigade YR, Lovat Scouts, Winners of the B & F Cups". The Grandfather of Philip Clifford, Second Lieutenant 2697, Gordon Llewelyn Griffiths, is seated with the other officers, 4th left of the barrel. Two cups are visible on the floor in front of the group.

We do not know what the B & F Cups were nor can we identify any of the other soldiers present.

W. E. Henderson Sr. 72nd Seaforth Highlanders.
Gordon Llewellyn Griffiths (1888 - 1943). Lovat Scouts. Pictured Right with unidentified colleague.

Unidentified group of soldiers with Gordon Griffiths seated centre of first row. It is known that Gordon was a Musketry Instructor and it is assumed that he was responsible for training these men, who appear to be a detachment from a battalion of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.

Gordon Llewellyn Griffiths (1888 - 1943) with a group of Cameron Highlanders. Middle row, centre wearing Glengarry

Gordon L. Griffiths is on the second row, 3rd from left, and is now wearing headgear of the King's Own Scottish Borderers. He was seconded to them for about 6 months in the capacity of Training Officer. Note that four of the officers on the front row have wound stripes on their forearms, the officer on the far left having two such stripes

Malcolm Morrison & Colleague

Lovat Scouts, circa 1916. Believed to be one of the originals at about 1901.

Photo supplied by Mike Morrison Who would like to know the “colleague” in the picture. Any ideas? Information to the usual suspects.

Picture

Remember you can find out more at RHQ in Cameron Barracks in Inverness or the Regimental Museum sited within Fort George just by Inverness

Pictures

Pictures are by kind permission of and/or submitted by relatives of the people photographed.

Middle Right; W. E. Henderson Sr. 72nd Seaforth Highlanders and then latterly, on demob, Lovat Scouts. Circa 1870 (approx.)

All other pictures belong to the relatives of: Gordon Llewellyn Griffiths (1888 - 1943) of the Lovat Scouts. Phillip/Kathryn Clifford

More information can be found by following the undernoted url:

http://subnet.virtual-pc.com/~mc546367/journal.htm#Top

 

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