|51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland|
Insignia of 51 (Scottish) Brigade
|Active|| World War I|
1914 - 1918
1952 - Present
|Role|| Training and Administration|
Military Aid to the Civil Community
Military Aid to the Civil Power
|Part of||Support Command|
|Nickname||The Army In Scotland|
|Commanders||Brigadier P Harkness|
51 (Scottish) Brigade is a regional brigade of the British Army. It is the regional administrative formation responsible for all the units of the Territorial Army based in Scotland. It is the largest Regional Brigade in the United Kingdom in terms of geographic area. It is directly descended from the 51st Highland Division, formed as part of the Territorial Force in 1908 and which fought during the First and Second World Wars.
World War IEdit
World War IIEdit
This brigade was not raised during the Second World War.
The Brigade was reformed in the Canal Zone in 1952, and then moved to Famagusta in Cyprus in 1955 to combat the EOKA insurgency. It had the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and 40 Field Regiment Royal Artillery under its command. By 1962 it had returned to the United Kingdom and become 51st Gurkha Brigade. It is recorded that Brigadier Philip Tower was commander of the 51st Infantry Brigade Group from 15 December 1961 to 28 March 1962. From 1963 to 1965 later-General Harry Tuzo commanded the Brigade in Borneo and Brunei. His Gurkha battalions worked to win the "hearts and minds" of the locals, but also participated with the SAS in Operation Claret which interdicted Indonesian troops as they attempted to cross the border.
The Brigade was later disbanded in Hong Kong in 1976.
51st Highland DivisionEdit
The dominant historical threads behind the current 51st Scottish Brigade come from the famed 51st Highland Division. It existed initially from August 1908 - March 1919, and then was reformed in the Territorial Army in the interwar period. Deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force, the 51st Division was attached to the French Southern Group of Armies and fought a lone battle as the remainder of the BEF was forced to retreat toward Dunkirk. For some time, it was forced to hold a line four times longer than that which would normally be expected of a division. During this period, the 154th Brigade was detached and withdrawn successfully. However, the 152nd and 153rd Brigades were trapped at Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, and surrendered on June 12. Later the Division was reformed from the second line 9th Highland Division and fought with the Eighth Army in the Western Desert campaign. It was later part of Second Army in the North-West Europe campaign.
The Territorial Army in Scotland re-raised the 51st/52nd Scottish Division in the late 1940s, which was in existence until the TA was disbanded and reorganised as the TAVR in 1967.
The 51st/52nd Scottish Division was split into two separate Brigades in 1968, with the 51st Highland component reformed as Highland District, commanded by a Brigadier and the Lowland component forming 52nd Lowland Brigade. Since then the name of the formation changed first to Highland Area and then to a subordinate formation of Scottish District, Highlands, as 51st Highland Brigade. In 1975 the Brigade Headquarters moved from Highland House, St Catherine’s Road, Perth to the old 51st Highland Division Officers’ Mess building at St Leonard’s Bank, Perth. As 51 Highland Brigade it consisted of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 51st Highland Volunteers, as well as other Territorial Army units based in the Highlands.
On 1 April 2002 51 (Scottish) Brigade took on the regional responsibility for the whole of Scotland, instead of just the Highlands, with its Headquarters at Forthside in Stirling and its Regional Training Centre situated at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh. This enabled 52 (Lowland) Brigade, which previously administered all Lowland TA units, to be specifically reorganised to parent Regular light role infantry battalions for operational deployments. 51st (Scottish) Brigade also co-ordinates operational deployments within its regional area of responsibility, such as in scenarios requiring Military Aid to the Civil Community. The Brigade also has its own military band, administered by 51st Highland, 7th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland. In April 2012, with the disbandment of 2nd Division, the brigade came under the control of the new Support Command based in Aldershot.
51 (Scottish) Brigade has a total manpower strength of over 2600 ranks, accounting for the majority of the 3100 Territorials based in Scotland. Over 700 Territorials from the Brigade have served in either Operation Telic in Iraq or Operation Herrick in Afghanistan since the beginning of the decade - including two formed units – 7 SCOTS' Alamein Company in Iraq; and 6 SCOTS' Bremen Platoon in Afghanistan.
On 1 August 2019, the Field Army was reorganised. As a result, both 2 and 6 Scots moved to 4th Infantry Brigade and 2 and 8 RIFLES moved under the brigade. The brigade's structure is now as follows;
- Brigade Headquarters at Forthside Barracks (Perth)
- Balaklava Company 5th (Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Public Duties) [Incremental Company of 100 Men]
- The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Light Cavalry) at Leuchars Station
- The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry (Reserve Light Cavalry) RHQ in Edinburgh [Paired with RSDG]
- 3rd (Black Watch) Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Light Mechanised) at Fort George
- 2nd Battalion The Rifles (Light Infantry) at Abercorn Barracks
- 7th (51st Highland) Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (Reserve Light Infantry) RHQ in Glasgow [Paired with 3 SCOTS]
- 8th Battalion The Rifles (Reserve Light Infantry) RHQ in Durham [Paired with 2 RIFLES]
- 51 (Scottish) Brigade - on British Army official website
- 225 Medical Regiment (V)
- Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association
Gregory Blaxland, The Regiments Depart: A History of the British Army 1945-70
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