16 April 2016

10th Royal Scots transfers to the HLI



I thought I'd share some research I undertook for a client earlier in the week.

I was looking at a man who had no surviving service record but whose medal card indicated service with the Royal Scots and later the HLI. The four digit Royal Scots number could, realistically, only belong to a Territorial Force (TF) battalion or to the 3rd (Special Reserve) battalion. But which TF battalion?

The Royal Scots Regiment had seven TF battalions with five of these battalions focused on Edinburgh with the 8th Battalion and the 10th (Cyclist) Battalion covering a larger area. The 8th Battalion is particularly interesting to me as at one stage it operated three distinct regimental number series. The 10th Battalion too, also ran at least two number series for a time.

When I dug a little deeper it soon became evident that men with HLI numbers in the range that I was looking at: 434**, had all transferred from the 10th Royal Scots in August 1916. These men sailed for France on the 29th July 1916, joined the 20th Infantry Base Depot at Etaples the following day and then joined the HLI a little over a week later. Their medal index cards therefore note the Royal Scots numbers (because they arrived in France serving with the Royal Scots) but their time overseas with the Royal Scots was limited to marking time at an IBD in Etaples. All of their active service in France was with the HLI.

I do not know how drafts of 10th Royal Scots were selected, and my research shows that there were some long-serving men in these drafts as well as men who had only joined up the previous year. Most of these men found themselves transferred to the 12th Battalion HLI.

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The photo on this post, courtesy of the Scotland's War website, shows men of the Bathgate Company of the 10th Royal Scots.