The Cameronians Scottish Rifles.
The regiment as we know was formed in 1881 with the merger of two regiments, The 26th Cameronians and The 90th Perthshire Light Infantry, two unique regiments each with a varied and interesting history of their own. One from the Scottish religious turmoil of the 17th century, the other from the love of a beautiful woman in the 18th century Napoleonic wars.
Raised without a beat of a drum on the 14th of May 1689 by James Douglas the 18 year old Earl of Angus of the famous Douglas family, the regiment being formed from followers of the Reverend Richard Cameron, a covenanter field preacher who was killed at the battle of Airds Moss 1680.
Their first battle on 21st August 1689 at Dunkeld Perthshire, the regiment held the town against the Jacobite army who had won weeks before at Killiecrankie. thus a Jacobite rebellion was broken but at the cost of the death of Lt Colonel William Cleland. Proving to be a fine regiment they were thus engaged in the wars in the european low countries, first led by King William of Orange, then Marlborough's campaigns, unfortunately again losing a notable leader in the Earl of Angus at Steenkirk. Again in 1715 the regiment help break up a Jacobite rebellion, this time at Preston, proving to be a scourge of the Jacobites? In the years up to the war of American independance and after the now 26th or Cameronians were mainly on garrison duty in parts of the early British empire. The Napoleonic wars found them in Egypt and the Low countries again before off to China, whence it helped capture Hong Kong in 1841 to 1842 during an opium war. Thus we come to 1881 and the Amalgamation with the 90th Perthshire light infantry.
90th Perthshire Light Infantry.
The regiment which was to become the 2nd Battalion of the regiment was raised in its own individual way, the love of one of the most beautiful women of the time. Thomas Graham (later Lord Lyndoch) of Balgowan Perthshire raised the 90th upon request to the government to avenge the insult to his wife Mary by French Revolutionaries by forcing open her coffin.
Nicknamed the Perthshire Greybreeks their first actions were in the Peninsular campaigns of Wellington then onto the Egypt campaigns of Abercrombie against Napoleon's forces.
From then the regiment was on Garrison duties throughout the British Empire till the outbreak of the Crimean war of 1854, then to India and the Indian mutiny of 1857 where the regiment won many honours including VC's at the siege of Lucknow.
The next campaigns for the 90th were the South African and Zulu wars of 1877 to 1879 returning to India for garrison duties being renamed as the 2nd Battalion the Cameronians in the Childers reforms of 1881. The two regiments now becoming The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), the regiment of the Old Lanarkshire.
The 2nd Battalion Classing themselves as the Scottish Rifles they fought the 2nd Boer war of 1899 to 1902.
Thereafter till the start of The First World War in 1914, both regular battalions served on Garrison duty, the Haldane reforms of 1908 creating the Territorial Battalions of the regiment in the recruiting areas of Glasgow, Lanarkshire and the edge of the Lothians and Border country.
1914 found the two regular battalions in France with the BEF soon to be followed by the TA units and then the Kitchener volunteer units.