The Highland Light Infantry

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The Highland Light Infantry
extracted from "The Territorial Battalions, A Pictorial History 1859-1985" by Ray Westlake
further details are given on these battalions in appropriate sections of the site

5th (City of Glasgow) Battalion

During 1860, a number of independent rifle corps, then existing in the City of Glasgow, were merged as the 19th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteer Corps. By the end of the year, the 19th had reached a strength of nineteen companies, and included contingents provided by Glasgow firms, the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, and the newspaper and printing industry. The 19th was renumbered as 5th in 1 880, and later provided the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Highland Light Infantry.

After the Boer War, the battle honour `South Africa 1900-02' was awarded to the battalion for the service of its members. During the First World War, the 1/5th Battalion served with the 52nd Lowland Division in Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine and on the Western Front. The 2/5th went to Ireland while the 3/5th became the 5th (Reserve) Battalion.

The 5th HLI went to France as part of the BEF in 1940, and with the 157th Infantry Brigade, fought in NW Europe throughout 1944-5.

The 5th and 6th Bat. HLI were part of the 52nd (Lowland) Division, moving to France in June 1940 for a short period taking part a fighting retreat via Cherbourg in the middle of June. For the next four years it trained to become a Mountain Division in Scotland. With the approach of D-Day the role of the Division was changed and it landed in Belgium in October 1944, taking part in the capture of the Dutch island of Walcheren. Thereafter it fought throughout Southern Holland and into Germany, with the Division’s final action resulting in the capture of Bremen.

In 1947 the 5th was amalgamated with the 6th, 10th and 11th Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry, to form the regiment's 5th/6th Battalion. Transferred to the T&AVR in 1967, it forms part of the 52nd Lowland Volunteers.

6th (City of Glasgow) Battalion

The 6th HLI was originally the 25th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, which had been formed in 1861 by the amalgamation of the several rifle companies that had been raised by Clyde shipbuilding and engineering yards. The 25th was renumbered as 6th in 1880, and in 1887 became the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Highland Light Infantry.

Members of the battalion fought in South Africa during the Boer War, and in 1914-18 service was seen in Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine and on the Western Front. While in France, Cpl. D. Hunter won the VC. During the Second World War the battalion served in the UK and took part in the campaign in NW Europe in 1944-5.

The battalion was merged with other HLI Territorials in 1947 to form the 5th/6th Battalion.

7th (Blythswood) Battalion

The additional title `Blythswood' was granted to the 2nd Admin Battalion of Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers in honour of its Commanding Officer, Campbell of Blythswood. The battalion became the 31st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1865, the 8th in 1880, and the 3rd (Blythswood) Volunteer Battalion, HLI in 1887.

The battle honour `South Africa 1900-02' was granted to the battalion for its services during the Boer War. In 1914-18, the 1/7th fought at Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine and in France and Belgium, while the 2/7th was stationed in Ireland. The 3/7th became part of the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, HLI in 1916.

In 1938, the 7th HLI was converted and transferred to the Royal Artillery as 83rd AA Regiment.

8th (Lanark) Battalion

The 8th Battalion of Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers, upon formation in 1860, consisted of companies situated at Lesmahagow, Lanark, Carluke and Douglas. It became the 9th Lanarkshire RVC in 1880, and later provided a volunteer battalion of the Highland Light Infantry.

During the war in South Africa, 96 members of the battalion saw active service, and earned for the 9th Lanarks the battle honour `South Africa 1900-02'.In 1914, however, insufficient numbers volunteered for service overseas, and as a result, the battalion was later disbanded.

9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion

This battalion was formed in 1868 as the 105th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteer Corps by Highlanders then resident in the City of Glasgow. The corps soon consisted of twelve companies and in 1880 was re-numbered as 10th. Redesignation as the 5th (Glasgow Highland) Volunteer Battalion, Highland Light Infantry was in 1887, and the battalion sent a large number of volunteers to South Africa.

The 1/9th Battalion served in several formations on the Western Front during the First World War. The 2/9th went to Ireland with the 65th Division, while the 3/9th remained at home as part of the 5th (Reserve) Battalion. The battalion was doubled in size and divided as the 1/9th and 2/9th in 1939. Both units saw action in NW Europe during 1944-5.

In 1947 the battalion was redesignated as the Glasgow Highlanders Battalion, Highland Light Infantry and is now represented as part of the 1st Battalion, 52nd Lowland Volunteers.

10th Battalion

Formed in 1939 as a duplicate of the 5th Battalion in Glasgow, the 10th served as part of the Orkneys and Shetland Islands defences, before moving to NW Europe for the 1944-5 campaign. The 10th formed part of the 5/6th Battalion in 1947.

11th Battalion

The 11th Battalion was formed in 1 939 as a duplicate of the 6th, and was converted in 1941 to 156 Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps with the 36th Army Tank Brigade. The battalion remained in the UK throughout the war, and in 1947 was merged into the 5/6th Battalion, HLI.

12th (Home Defence) Battalion

See 30th Battalion

21st Battalion

Formed in 1915 as the 9th (Scottish) Provisional Battalion (TF), it became 21st HLI in 1917 and was disbanded in 1919.

30th Battalion

Formed in 1936 as 67 Group National Defence Companies, the unit became 12th (Home Defence) Battalion, HLI in 1939, the 30th in 1941 and was disbanded in 1943.


Thursday, 26 July, 2007 12:32

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