- Lovat Scouts
Infobox Military Unit
dates= 1900 - Present
World War One
World War Two
One Infantry Platoon
Simon Joseph Fraser, 16th Lord Lovat
Simon Fraser, 17th Lord Lovat
motto= "Je suis prest" (I am ready)
battle_honours=South Africa 1900-02
France and Flanders 1916-18
The Lovat Scouts is now a
platoonof the British Army's 51st Highland Regiment. The unit was first formed during the Second Boer Waras a Scottish Highland yeomanry regimentof the Territorial Armyand is the first known military unit to wear a ghillie suit. In 1916, these scouts formally became the British Army's first sniperunit, then known as " sharpshooters". Their motto is: "Je suis prest" (I am ready)
This Scottish Highland regiment was formed in January 1900 for service in the
Second Boer Warby Simon Joseph Fraser, 16th Lord Lovat, father of the World War IIcommando, Simon Fraser, 17th Lord Lovat. The unit reported to an American, Major Frederick Russell Burnham, the British Army Chief of Scouts under Lord Roberts, who fittingly described Lovat Scouts as "half wolfand half jackrabbit."cite book | author= John Plaster| title= The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual For Military And Police Snipers | publisher =Paladin Press| year=2006 | pages= 5| id=ISBN 0-87364-704-1] Well practiced in the arts of marksmanship, field craft, and military tactics, they were also phenomenal woodsmenalways ready to tempt fate, but also practitioners of discretion: "He who shoots and runs away, lives to shoot another day." cite book | author=John Plaster | title= The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual For Military And Police Snipers | publisher =Paladin Press| year=2006 | pages= 5| id=ISBN 0-87364-704-1] Lovats scouts have the distinction of being the first military unit to wear a Ghillie suitcite book | author= Martin Pegler| title=Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper | publisher =Osprey Publishing| year=2004 | pages= | id=ISBN 0-87364-704-1]
Lovat scouts were attached to the
Black Watch, but were disbanded in July 1901 while two companies (the 113th and 114th) were formed for the Imperial Yeomanry. When the Second Boer War ended in 1902, the two companies of the Imperial Yeomanry were disbanded. The unit was reformed the following year, consisting of two regiments, titled the 1st and 2nd Lovat Scouts. From these scouts a sharpshooter unit was formed and formally become the British Army's first sniperunit.cite book | author=John Plaster | title= The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual For Military And Police Snipers | publisher =Paladin Press| year=2006 | pages= 5| id=ISBN 0-87364-704-1]
First World War
The two Lovat Scouts regiments saw extensive involvement in the First World War. Each regiment raised two further duplicate battalions during the war. The Lovat Scouts saw service on the Western Front, at Gallipoli, and in Egypt and Macedonia.
In Macedonia in December 1916 the 1/1st and 1/2nd Regiments were merged, dismounted and along with a company from the 1/3rd Regiment
The Scottish Horseformed 10th (Lovat Scouts) Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. It still retained the uniform of the Lovat Scouts until disbanded in 1919.
The 2/1st and 2/2nd Regiments were based at home in the United Kingdom and provided drafts for the 1/1st, 1/2nd and 10th Bn Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. From 1916 when they merged to form the 1st (Lovat Scouts) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment, they also provide men for the Lovat Scouts (Sharpshooters)
The Sharpshooters were formed from
gamekeepers or gillieof the highland estates and were used in an observation and snipingrole on the Western Front until the end of the War.
The 3/1st and 3/2nd Regiments were raised in 1915 and provided drafts to 1st and 2nd Line regiments. They were disbanded in 1917 and the personnel were distributed between the 1st (Lovat Scouts) Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment and 3rd (Special Reserve) Bn, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.
With the defence cuts implemented after WWI, one regiment of the Lovat Scouts was disbanded in 1922.
econd World War
The British occupation of the Faroe Islands 1940-1945"
Upon the reconstitution of the Territorial Army in 1947 the regiment was reduced to a squadron (C (Lovat Scouts) Squadron) of
The Scottish Horse, part of the Royal Armoured Corps. It was converted to artilleryin 1949, becoming the 677th Mountain Artillery, RA (Lovat Scouts). It remained in the Royal Artillery, under numerous different titles it, until, with further defence cuts in the 1960s, was disbanded with two squadrons, one becoming a battery of The Highland Regiment, RAand the other joining the 3rd (Territorial) Battalion, Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons). The Lovat Scouts were reorganised with No. 1 (Lovat Scouts) Company being formed as part of the 51st Highland Volunteers.
The company became two separate platoons in 1981 but was reduced to one platoon (Lovat Scouts Platoon) of B (Highlanders) Company,
51st Highland Regiment, after the Options for Changedefence white paper.
"The Lovat Scouts" is a lively Scottish
quickstepand strathspey, written in the bagpipeidiom by James Scott Skinner.cite web |url=http://www.abdn.ac.uk/scottskinner/display.php?ID=JSS0705 |title=The Lovat Scouts, The Kirrie Kebbuck. |accessdate=2007-09-15 |format=html |work=sheet music and description ]
There is a memorial to the Lovat Scouts in the town square of
* [http://www.1914-1918.net/CAVALRY/lovats1.htm The Long, Long Trail - 1st and 2nd Lovat Scouts]
* [http://www.regiments.org/regiments/uk/volmil-scotland/vcav/lovat.htm Regiments.org - Lovat Scouts]
* [http://www.btinternet.com/~james.mckay/yeoman06.htm Scottish Military Historical Society - Lovat Scouts]
* [http://www.qohldrs.co.uk/html/lovat_scouts.htm A History of the Lovat Scouts, with Pictures]
* Fairrie, Lt. Col. Angus (1998). 'Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons): An Illustrated History'. QOHLDRS Amalgamation Trustees. ISBN 0-9508986-2-7
*Melvile, maj. Michael Leslie (1981). 'The Story of the Lovat Scouts 1900-1980'. St Andrew Press. ISBN 1904440037
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