The Royal Scots are Scotland’s oldest infantry regiment, with a tradition that stretches back to 1633. This first concise history of the regiment is based largely on the recollections of several generations of Royal Scots – men like Private McBane, who carried his three-year-old son into battle at Malplaquet, and Private Begbie, the youngest soldier to serve in the First World War. These first-hand accounts take the reader through the great wars of the eighteenth century, when Britain was a rising global power, through the setbacks and the triumphs of the Napoleonic Wars and on to the glorious years of the nineteenth century.
The two world wars of the twentieth century saw the Royals expand in size, and there are full accounts of its meritorious service on all the main battle fronts. More recently, the regiment has been involved in operations in the Balkans and Iraq.
In 2006, in one of the most radical changes in the country’s defence policy, the Royal Scots will be amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. Royal Scots
is, therefore, a timely celebration of the British Army's most venerable regiment, right of the line and second to none.
Trevor Royle has built up an outstanding reputation as a historian of war and empire. His recent books include The Civil War: The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638–1660
, Patton: Old Blood and Guts
and the ground-breaking Crimea: The Great Crimean War 1854–1856
. He lives in Edinburgh.
A marvellous biography of an illustrious Scottish regiment . . . a book that will be enjoyed by general readers as well as the military buff,Royle studs his compact narrative with the lively recollections of men like Private Donald McBane and Private William Begbie,To compress the story of that service, covering four centuries and nearly all the major wars fought by the British Army during that time, into a single, yet concise volume must have been a real challenge. Trevor Royle, with a clarity of style for which he is justifiably known, has more than met that challenge