King’s Own Scottish Borderers

Insignia of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers

Insignia of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers

This infantry regiment was raised in 1689 by David Melville, 3rd Earl of Leven, to defend the city of Edinburgh against the Jacobite forces of King James II. The courage of the Regiment during the Battle of Killiecrankie (27 July 1689) won them great regard even though the conflict was a defeat for the Williamite army. In 1691, the Regiment was in Ireland where it took part in the Battle of Aughrim and the sieges of Athlone, Galway and Limerick. For much of the eighteenth century, the Regiment served abroad and was for a time known as Semphill’s Regiment of Foot. In 1751, when all infantry regiments of the line were numbered in order of their original formation, it was retitled the 25th Regiment of Foot. In 1782, the Regiment was attached to the recruiting region of Sussex and became known as the 25th (Sussex) Regiment of Foot. In 1805, its recruiting area was moved to the Scottish border region and the Regiment was accordingly retitled King’s Own Borderers. The final name change, to King’s Own Scottish Borderers, took place in 1887 to honour the Regiment’s national origins.

The Borderers were stationed in Dublin during the 1912-1914 Home Rule Crisis and were involved in the 1914 Howth gun running incident during which they killed 4 and injured 38 civilians, causing widespread outrage throughout Ireland. At the start of the First World War, the Regiment was enlarged to nine battalions and served in many notable campaigns, including the Battle of Mons, the Battle of the Aisne, the Second and Third Battles of Ypres, the Gallipoli campaign, the Battle of Loos, the Battle of the Somme, and the Battle of Arras. The 7th and 8th Battalions suffered such heavy losses during the Battle of Loos in September 1915 that they were amalgamated into a single battalion in spring 1916.

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