Archival Research

-We welcome all manner of enquiries.

-Research undertaken will not incur a fee but donations are very welcome.

-We strive to acknowledge all enquires immediately and reply within 14 days.

-Individuals are welcome to conduct research at the archive by making an appointment either by phone on 0207 630 1639 or by e-mail at curator@londonscottishregt.org

The best guide for ancestor research for those who served in the British Army can be found on the excellent web site of the Army Museums Ogilby Trust (Founded by Colonel  Robert Ogilby,  DSO DL, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion London Scottish 1916-18)

https://www.armymuseums.org.uk

For details of those who were killed or died of wounds or disease please consult the search facility on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site:

https://www.cwgc.org

VICTORIAN ERA

From 1859 to 1870 we have an imperfect list of volunteers with Regimental Number.

From 1870 to 1908 there is a full regimental roll of names, regimental numbers, age, addresses and occupations.

The London Scottish Regimental Gazette began publishing in 1896 and chronicled both the social and military sides of regimental life.  

WW1

We have the London Scottish Regimental Roll and The London Scottish Regimental Gazette

Please note that the London Scottish Regiment was officially designated as 14th London Regiment.

All the Infantry in the Territorial Force in London was organised as numbered battalions (1-28) of the London Regiment. We have details ONLY about soldiers in the 14th London (London Scottish) Regiment and not any of the other numbered battalions.

Looking for an individual:

We can search for an individual soldier or officer in the regimental Roll which will confirm surname, initials and army number

The London Scottish Regimental Gazette was a monthly magazine designed to be read by the membership of the regiment. Material included; Casualty lists, some notices of promotion or gallantry awards (without citations) and after the war, mentions of re-unions and some memoirs and obituaries. These are indexed on a card file and can be searched – although it was never meant to be exhaustive or 100% inclusive.

The Regiment holds NO PERSONAL SERVICE RECORDS. Enlistment and Service records; Pension records and Medal Entitlement cards are held at The National Archives in Kew, Surrey.

More than half of the records for enlisted men were destroyed or damaged during WW2. The surviving records have been digitised and can be searched and downloaded (for a fee) from the National Archives website. These records are also available through the Ancestry.co.uk  web site but this too, is a fee paying subscription service.  Records for the Officers were kept in a different location and many more survived. The Officers’ records are held at the National Archives but have not been digitised.  The documents can be requested and viewed at the reading room at the National Archives.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/first-world-war/.

WW1 Primary Resources

WAR DIARIES:

The Regimental Archive holds no copy of the Battalion War Diaries. These are held and available for viewing at the National Archives although some have been digitised:

National Archive Reference:  WO 95/1226/2

Unit: 1st/14th London Regiment (1st Battalion London Scottish Regiment) – 1st Brigade: 1st Division

Date Range: 01 August 1914 to 31 January 1916

Description: in relatively sparse detail, this war diary covers the initial mobilisation on the outbreak of war; initial training in Abbots Langley; deployment to France on 15th September 1914; the Battle of Messines on 31st October 1914; subsequent actions at Givenchy; Neuve Chappelle, Festubert and Loos. This volume has been digitised and is available to download for a fee:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7351902

National Archive Reference: WO 95/2956/1

Unit: 1st/14th London Regiment (1st Battalion London Scottish Regiment) – 168th Brigade; 56th Division

Date Range: 01 February 1916 – 31 May 1919

Description: This War Diary covers the Battalion’s service with the 56th (London) Division including the various battles of the Somme; Arras 1917 and 1918; 3rd Ypres;  Cambrai to the end of the War and the Army of Occupation in Hilden, Germany.  This volume has been digitised and is available to download for a fee:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7354941

National Archive Reference: WO 95/3030/4

Unit: 2nd/14th London Regiment (2nd Battalion London Scottish Regiment)  179th Brigade: 60th Division

Date Range: 01 January 1915 – 30 November 1916

Description: This volume covers the 2nd Battalion from its creation and training in Wimbledon and Dorking to the embarkation in June 1916 and service in France until November 1916.

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7355274

National Archive Reference: WO 95/4928

Unit: 2nd/14th London Regiment (2nd Battalion London Scottish Regiment)  179th Brigade 60th Division

Date Range: 01 December 1916 – 30 June 1917

Description:  This file details the 2nd Battalion’s move from the Western Front to Salonika and the service on the Macedonian front fighting the Bulgars.

As of 01 November 2017 this war diary has not been digitised but may be viewed as an original document at the National Archives

National Archive Reference: WO 95/4668

Unit: 2nd/14th London Regiment (2nd Battalion London Scottish Regiment) 179th Brigade: 60th Division

Date Range: 01 July 1917 -31 May 1918

Description:  In this volume the 2nd Battalion move from Greece to Egypt and then serve under General Allenby in the successful Palestine campaign. Both the Regiment’s two Victoria Crosses were awarded in this campaign as well as the Battle Honours Beersheba,  Jordan, El Haud, Es Salt and Jerusalem.  

As of 01 Novemberr 2017 this war diary has not been digitised but may be viewed as an original document at the National Archives

National Archive Reference: WO 95/2340/2

Unit: 2nd/14th London Regiment (2nd Battalion London Scottish Regiment) -90th Brigade: 30th Division

Date Range: 01 June 1918 – 31st August 1919

Description: This Diary covers the history of the 2nd Battalion from when they returned from Palestine and re-joined the war on the Western Front, through the last 100 days through Belgium and then their work after the armistice based in Etaples.   This volume has been digitised and is available to download for a fee:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7353661

WW1 Secondary Sources:

There are a number of books that deal with the London Scottish in the First World War

The London Scottish in the Great War

by Lt.Col.F.H.Lindsay (Privately Published 1926)

This is the Official Regimental History and covers the activities of both 1st and 2nd Battalions throughout the war. It includes 20 maps, a roll of honour and an extensive index. This has recently been re-printed by Naval and Military Press and is available from the Regimental Secretary or the Naval & Military website.

This is particularly good for identifying places and battles with specific dates.

The London Scottish in the Great War

by Mark Lloyd (Pen and Sword 2001)

Not to be confused with the Official History of the same name, this slimmer volume distils the factual text of the earlier work and complements it with many images and excerpts from diaries and memoirs held in the Regimental Archive.

Cannon Fodder: An Infantryman’s Life on the Western Front 1914-18

by A Stuart Dolden (Blandford Press: 1980)

Dolden was a solicitor who enlisted as a Private soldier in the London Scottish after the outbreak of War. He was posted to the 1st Battalion in France in July 1915 and this memoir is based on his illegally kept diaries from his enlistment in 1914 to his demobilization in 1919. It is an excellent account of the life of an enlisted man, sometime bomber, sometime cook in D Company, 1st/14th London Regiment. This is a must read for those who want to know “what it was like”. Cannon Fodder is currently out of print but copies can be obtained on specialised used book web sites such as Amazon or Abe.

Ladies From Hell

by R. Douglas Pinkerton (The Century Press; 1918)

Ladies from Hell is another personal account by an enlisted man but sadly not nearly as satisfactory as Cannon Fodder. Pinkerton enlisted in 1914 and saw action with the 1st Battalion in France in 1915 before being wounded and invalided out of the army. Published in the USA during the War, the purpose for writing was primarily to sway American opinion towards the Allied cause and not as a record of events. The text says more about the individual than the Regiment in which he served. Ladies From Hell has also been re-printed and is available on-line.

Kilts Across the Jordan: Being Experiences and Impressions with the Second Battalion London Scottish in Palestine

By Bernard Blaser (Witherby: 1926)

This is the only memoir published by a member of the 2nd Battalion and it specifically details that Battalion’s service in Egypt and Palestine from July 1917 to June 1918. Blaser was a battalion Scout and mapper so his account might be better informed than some others. It is liberally illustrated with his own maps sketches and photographs. The Regiment’s two Victoria Crosses were awarded for actions in this campaign and are described in this book. This has also been re-printed by the Naval and Military Press in association with the National Army Museum.

Other general published resources include:

For 1st/14th London Regiment after January of 1916 to the end of the war

The 56th Division

by Major C.H. Dudley-Ward (John Murray: 1921) and reprinted since

For 2nd/14th London Regiment from formation to service in France, Salonika and to the end of the Palestine Campaign:

History of the 60th Division (2/2nd London Division)  

by Colonel P.H. Dalbiac (George Allen and Unwin: 1927) and reprinted by Naval and Military Press

For the 2nd/14th London Regiment from July 1918 to the end of the War on the Western Front:

A Brief History of the 30th Division from its reconstitution in July 1918 to the Armistice

by Anon (War Narrative Publishing: 1919) re-printed by Naval and Military Press

For the 1st day of the battle of the Somme: The 1st Battalion at Gommecourt

Pro Patria Mori: The 56th (1st London) Division at Gommecourt 1st July 1916

by Alan MacDonald (revised edition Iona Books: 2008)  

www.gommecourt.co.uk

For the soldier, his equipment and conditions in WW1 there is none better than:

Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front 1914-18

by Richard Holmes (Harper Collins: 2004)  

Holmes gives specific reference to the Territorials and the peculiar nature of the London Scottish as a “white collar” volunteer regiment.

The Long, Long, Trail is an excellent web site that performs the role of an on-line reference library for all things WW1 related.  Below is the link to the WW1 section.

http://www.1914-1918.net/london.htm

Research for WW2 Soldiers

At the London Scottish Regimental Archive we hold a Regimental Roll and copies of our Regimental Gazette. So, if given a name, we can supply an army number, the  battalion in which he served and possibly dates of service. Further biographical details may be forthcoming from the pages of the monthly regimental magazine, The London Scottish Regimental Gazette.

Soldiers’ service records are still held by the Ministry of Defence and can be obtained, for a fee, by either the individual or his next of kin, by applying to the Army Pay and Record Office. Please see links below:  

https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records

The form for requesting your own records:

https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records/apply-for-your-own-records

The form for requesting next of kin service records:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545054/request_service_details_NOK_pt1_v6.pdf

The Form for requesting records of servicemen who are not your next of kin:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545056/request_service_details_general_enquirers_pt1_v6.pdf

The Form for Army Enquiries:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/545060/request_for_service_details_army_application_part2_1_.pdf

or write to

The Army Personnel Centre

MS Support Unit,

P & D Branch Historical Disclosures,

MP 555 Kentigern House

65 Brown Street

GLASGOW G2 8EX:

Other secondary sources include:

The official Regimental History: The London Scottish in the Second World War edited by Brigadier C.N. Barclay

This covers all aspects of three battalions, the Special Companies who were the precursors to the Commandos, and the service of the attached ATS. It is complete with maps, roll of honour and awards. 

The Battalion is an excellent first hand account of the 1st Battalion in Italy. It is a very honest account written by Keith Spooner, an enlisted man and a second generation London Scot. It is illustrated throughout by the sketches of Spooner’s friend and comrade in arms, Bob Souter. It is available from the Regimental Shop.

J.M.Lee Harvey’s memoir D-Day Dodger covers his experience in the London Scottish’s 3rd Battalion, which was given the role of a Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment. He covers his training in England, service in North Africa and Italy and after the Italian campaign when the Battalion was broken up and he was re-trained as an infanteer and posted to Greece. D Day Dodger was published by William Kimber in 1979.

Of No Military Importance is an historically annotated collection of the cartoons, drawings, poems and stories of the late Bob Souter, a pre-war London Scottish Territorial who took his sketch pad to War with the 1st Battalion in Italy in WW2. He was captured at Anzio and kept sketching. For many years after he contributed to the Regimental Gazette and designed menu covers and made paintings of Regimental life. This collection was assembled and edited by Colonel J.A.Clemence CBE TD, a London Scottish Officer and former Honorary Colonel.