Military Wiki
Scottish Command (from 1972 Army Headquarters Scotland)
Headquarters Scotland badge.jpg
Active 1905–1972
Country United Kingdom
Branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Type Command
Garrison/HQ Edinburgh

Scottish Command or Army Headquarters Scotland (from 1972) is a command of the British Army.


Early history[]

Edinburgh Castle, command headquarters from 1905 to the 1955

Craigiehall, command headquarters from 1955 to 2000

Great Britain was divided into military districts on the outbreak of war with France in 1793.[1] The Scottish District was commanded by the Commander-in-Chief, Scotland. In January 1876 a ‘Mobilization Scheme for the forces in Great Britain and Ireland’ was published, with the ‘Active Army’ divided into eight army corps based on the District Commands. 8th Corps was to be formed within Scottish Command, based at Edinburgh. This scheme disappeared in 1881, when the districts were retitled ‘District Commands.[2]

Early twentieth century[]

The 1901 Army Estimates introduced by St John Brodrick allowed for six army corps based on six regional commands. As outlined in a paper published in 1903, VI Corps was to be formed in a reconstituted Scottish Command, with HQ at Edinburgh.[3] Lieutenant General Sir Charles Tucker was appointed acting General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOCinC) of VI Corps in April 1903. Scottish Command was established in 1905 at Edinburgh Castle but moved to Craigiehall in 1955.[4]

First World War[]

Army Order No 324, issued on 21 August 1914, authorised the formation of a 'New Army' of six Divisions, manned by volunteers who had responded to Earl Kitchener's appeal (hence the First New Army was known as 'K1'). Each division was to be under the administration of one of the Home Commands, and Scottish Command formed what became the 9th (Scottish) Division.[5] It was followed by 15th (Scottish) Division of K2 in September 1914.[6] The 64th (2nd Highland) Division was established in the Command by 1915 after the departure of 51st (Highland) Division for France.[7]

Second World War[]

In September 1939 consisted of Highland Area with 9th (Highland) Infantry Division and 51st (Highland) Infantry Division, and Lowland Area with 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division and 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division, plus other troops.[8] By 1940 during the Battle of Britain the command was responsible to Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces.

As France was capitulating, General Władysław Sikorski. the Polish commander-in-chief and prime minister, was able to evacuate many Polish troops—probably over 20,000—to the United Kingdom.[9] After initially regrouping in southern Scotland[10] these Polish ground units (as I Corps, comprising the 1st Independent Rifle Brigade, the 10th Motorised Cavalry Brigade (as infantry) and cadre brigades largely manned by surplus officers at battalion strength) took over responsibility in October 1940 for the defence of the counties of Fife and Angus; this included reinforcing coastal defences that had already been started. I Corps was under the direct command of Scottish Command. While in this area the Corps was reorganised and expanded.[11]

Post War[]

In 1950, the 51st/52nd (Scottish) Division was split, restoring the independence of the 52nd Lowland Division, which took regional command of Territorial Army units based in the Scottish Lowlands, including the Territorial infantry battalions of the Lowland Brigade regiments.[12]

The Command was merged into HQ UK Land Forces (HQ UKLF) in 1972 and Scotland became a District under the new structure. Scotland continued to have district status directed by Army Headquarters Scotland at Craigiehall near Edinburgh until 2000 when the last General Officer Commanding Scotland stood down and the Army HQ Scotland was replaced by HQ 2nd Infantry Division with control of troops in Scotland and the North of England.[13] The post of General Officer Commanding Scotland was recreated again on 2 April 2012 following the disbandment of 2nd Infantry Division.[14] In 2014, Headquarters Scotland was merged with Headquarters 51st Infantry Brigade based at Forthside Barracks, Stirling. In 2015, the post of General Officer Commanding Scotland was eliminated.[15]

General Officers Commanding-in-Chief[]

Commanders-in-Chief have included:[16][17][18]

Commander-in-Chief, Scottish Army[]

Commander-in-Chief, Scotland (or North Britain)[]

Commanding the troops in the North British District[]

Commanding the troops in the Scottish District[]

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Scottish District[]

General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Scottish Command[]

General Officer Commanding, Scotland[]

Note: There was no General Officer Commanding, Scotland between 2000 and 2012

Military Secretary and General Officer, Scotland[]


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  2. Army List 1876–1881.
  3. Col John K. Dunlop, The Development of the British Army 1899–1914, London: Methuen, 1938.
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  5. "9th Division". The long, long trail. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  6. "15th Division". The long, long trail. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  7. "64th (2nd Highland) Division". The Long Long Trail. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  8. Leo Niehorster, Scottish Command. Retrieved December 2008
  9. (Polish) Wojsko Polskie we Francji. Świat Polonii. Please note that various sources give estimates that can differ by few percent.
  10. James Dunnigan, Albert Nofi; Dirty Little Secrets of World War Ii: Military Information No One Told You By, HarperCollins, 1996, ISBN 0-688-12288-4, Google Print, p.139
  11. Diana M. Henderson, The Lion and the Eagle: Polish Second World War Veterans in Scotland, Cualann Press, 2001, ISBN 0-9535036-4-X
  12. Reorganizing Territorials, the Times, 21 July 1960
  13. Major change of direction Mark Strudwick; After commanding the Army in Scotland, running PSYBT is a surprisingly suitable new career The Glasgow Herald, 25 June 2006
  14. "Scotland's Army Head installed as Edinburgh Castle Governor". Ministry of Defence. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  15. "Land Forces senior, as of September 2015". Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  16. Whitaker's Almanacks 1905 – 2000
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  18. Army Commands Archived 5 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
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  21. Patrick Cracroft-Brennan, Dalhousie, Earl of (S, 1633) in Cracroft's Peerage. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  22. Charles Dalton, English Army Lists and Commission Registers, volume 6 (London, 1904) page 220.
  23. "No. 9140". 11–15 February 1752. p. 2. 
  24. "No. 9321". 17–20 November 1753. p. 1. 
  25. R. S. Lea, BEAUCLERK, Lord George (1704–68). in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715–1754 (1970). Online version. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
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  28. Richard Cannon, Historical Record of the Forty-Sixth, or the South Devonshire Regiment of Foot (London, 1851) pages 71–72.
  29. Army List January 1817. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  30. Ron McGuigan, Bradford, Thomas in British Generals of the Napoleonic Wars 1793–1815. The Napoleon Series, 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  31. Ron McGuigan, O'Callaghan, Robert William in British Generals of the Napoleonic Wars 1793–1815. The Napoleon Series, 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
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  33. "Charles Cathcart, 2nd Earl Cathcart". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  34. "Neil Douglas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  35. "No. 20711". 5 March 1847. p. 918. 
  36. "Thomas Ernest Napier". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  37. "Henry Dundas, 3rd Viscount Melville". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  38. Wards, Ian McLean (1966). "CAMERON, Sir Duncan Alexander, G.C.B.". An Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  39. "The 78th Highlanders or Ross-Shire Buffs". Electric Scotland. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  40. "News". Limerick City. 1868. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  41. "The 79th Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders 1873 – 1886". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  42. "Historical record and regimental memoir of the Royal Scots fusiliers, formerly known as the 21st Royal North British fusiliers. Containing an account of the formation of the regiment in 1678 and its subsequent services until June 1885". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  43. "Hart's Army List 1879". p. 117. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  44. "No. 24954". 25 March 1881. p. 1360. 
  45. "The clan Donald (Volume 3)". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  46. "No. 25452". 17 March 1885. p. 1197. 
  47. "No. 25784". 7 February 1888. p. 819. 
  48. "No. 26372". 14 February 1893. p. 822. 
  49. "Hugh Rowlands". National Library of Wales. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  50. "No. 27312". 10 May 1901. p. 3202. 

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