Title: The London Scottish in the Great War 1914 – 1918
Author: Lt Col J.H Lindsay
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2002
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 425 pages & 22 maps
Comments: The first TF infantry battalion to join the BEF, in September 1914. Remained on the Western Front, fought at Messines (1914), Ypres, Somme, Arras and Cambrai.. 2/14th Battalion arrived in France June 1916 (60th Division), to Macedonia Nov 1916 and then Palestine.
Roll of Honour (1,542 died) and list of honours and awards.The London Scottish originated in 1859 at a meeting of the Scottish residents in London at the Freemasons’ Tavern, in which it was decided to form a Volunteer Rifle Corps, to be designated the London Scottish Rifle Volunteers.
A half company served with the Gordon Highlanders in S Africa and other volunteers in the City Imperial Volunteers. When the Territorial Force was created in 1908 the London Scottish became the 14th Battalion of the newly formed London Regiment, in the 4th London Brigade of the 2nd London Division. Soon after the outbreak of war second and third line battalions were formed, 2/14th and 3/14th (the latter became a reserve battalion); the original battalion was now 1/14th. 1/14th London Scottish was the first TF infantry battalion to join the BEF, in September 1914, where it was attached to GHQ. Just over a month later, on the night of 31st October, it fought its first battle at Messines, commemorated today by the memorial that stands beside the Messines-Ypres road.
Among those who took part was the actor Ronald Colman who was wounded. The battalion remained on the Western Front for the rest of the war, fighting at Ypres, on the Somme, at Arras and Cambrai. 2/14th arrived in France in June 1916 with 179th Brigade, 60th (2/2nd London) Division, but five months later, in November, the division went to Macedonia and in June 1917 it moved again, to Palestine. 2/14th fought in both theatres, winning two VCs in Palestine. In May 1918 it left 60th Division and went to France where it joined 30th Division. This is a good history which deals with the two active battalions separately.
The author himself commanded the 1/14th, but was seriously wounded on the Somme in October 1916 by a sniper. The operations in which they were engaged are well described and supported by good maps. Appendices give the composition of the various divisions in which the battalions served, the list of honours and awards (including Mentions in Despatches they total 438), and the roll of honour. In all 1,542 died serving with the London Scottish.