Argyll and Sutherland

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Military art prints and regimental military uniform prints showing the Argyll and Sutherland highlanders in military paintings of battle scenes by Harry Payne, Richard Simkin, Robert Gibb, Lady Butler and William Barnes Wollen.

ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS  The regiment was formed in 1794, as the 98th Argyllshire Highlanders, changing in 1809 to the 91st of foot,  the 93rd Highlanders were formed in 1799, and in 1881 both of these Regiments became the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Battle Honours

  • 1806, at the Cape of good hope against the Dutch.

  • 1808 - 1814, Rolica, Vimiera, Corunna, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse during the Peninsula War

  • 1846 - 1847 Seventh Kaffir war, south Africa

  • 1851 - 1853, Eigth Kaffie War, South Africa

  • 1854 - 1856, Alam, Balaclava, Sebastopol during the Crimean War

  • 1857 - 1858 at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny

  • 1877 - 1979  Zulu war, South Africa

  • 1899 - 1902 Modder River, Paardeburg, during the Boer War, South Africa

  • 1914 - 1918 Mons, Le Cateaux, Marne 1914, 1918, Ypres 1915, 1917, 1918, Loos, Somme 1916, 1918, Arras 1917, 1918, Cambrai 1917, 1918, Doiran 1917, 1918, Gaza. during the First World war

  • 1939 - 1945  Odon River, Sidi Barrani, El Alamein, Akarit, Longstop Hill 1943, Crete, Grik Road, Malaya 1941- 1942

  • 1950 - 1953  Pakchon during the Korean War.

    World war One: Retreat From Ons,  Aisne 1914, La Bassee 1914, Messines 1914, Armentieres 1914, Gravenstafel, St Juliene, Frezenberg,  Albert 1916, 1918, Bazentin,  Delville Wood, Pozieres,  Flers Courcelette, Morval, Le Transloy, Ancre heihgts, Scarpe 1917, 1918, Arleux, t, Pilckem, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinede, Poelcapelle, Passchendaele, St Quentin, Bapaume 1918, Rosieres, Lys, Estaires, Hazebrouck, Bailleul; Kemmel  Bethune, Soissonais-Ourcq, Tardenois, Amiens, Hindenburg Line, Epehy, Canal Du Nord, St Quentin Canal Beaurevoir, Courtrai, Selle, Sambre  France and Flanders 1914-18. ,  Italy 1917-1918.  Struma, Macedonia 1915-1918, gallipoli 1915-16, Rumani, Egypt 1916, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jaffa, Palestine 1917-1918

    • World War Two.  Somme, 1940, Tourmauville Bridge,  Caen, Esquay, Mont Pincon, Quarry Hill Estry Falaise, Dives Crossing Aart, Lower Mass Meijel,  Venlo Pocket, Ourthe, Rhineland,  Uelzen, Artlenberg,North West Europe,1940-1944-45, Abyssinia, Medjez Plain, North Africa 1940-3, Sicily landings, Sicily 1943, Gerbini, Adrano, Centuripe, Sicily 1943, Termoli Sangro, Cassino II, Liri Valley, Aquino, Monte Casalino, Monte Spadura, Monte Grande, Senio, Santenro Crossing, Argenta Gap, Heraklion, Middle east in 1941, North Malaya, Central Malaya, Ipoh Slim River, Singapore. 

Victoria Cross Awards  16 Victoria Crosses were awarded to members of the regiment.   7 during the Indian Mutiny,  6 during World war One, 2 during World war two, and 1 during the Korean War.

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Letters from Home by Robert Gibb.


Letters from Home by Robert Gibb.

Sutherland Highlander Officers, are shown in camp, reading letters from home, during the Crimean war.


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Item Code : DHM0498Letters from Home by Robert Gibb. - Editions Available
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Argyll and Sutherland Officer Review Order 1914 by Haswell Miller


Argyll and Sutherland Officer Review Order 1914 by Haswell Miller



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Item Code : UN0092Argyll and Sutherland Officer Review Order 1914 by Haswell Miller - Editions Available
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Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders by Harry Payne.


Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders by Harry Payne.



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Piper, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders by Harry Payne.


Piper, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders by Harry Payne.



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The Thin Red Line by Robert Gibb.


The Thin Red Line by Robert Gibb.

There is no retreat from here, men! said General Sir Colin Campbell (who at that moment may have said to have commanded the regiment in person) as he cantered along the front of the 93rd You must die where you stand To which some of the Highlanders replied cheerily Ay Ay, Sir Colin if needs be well do that. Nearer and nearer the Russian Squadrons approached - the ground trembling beneath their horses feet, and gathering speed at every stride, they galloped on towards that thin red streak, topped with steel the Sutherland Highlanders awaited the onslaught of the enemys horsemen in line, without a movement in their ranks. I would not even form four deep! was the reply of Sir Colin, when remonstrated with for giving the Russians such a chance. Cool as if on Birthday parade The Sutherlands stood until their foes were within 600 yards, then down on their knees they dropped the front rank, and delivered a steady volley. But the distance was too great, and, though a few saddles were emptie.........


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Operation Bluecoat, Normandy, 30th July 1944 by David Pentland.


Operation Bluecoat, Normandy, 30th July 1944 by David Pentland.

Churchill MkIV tank of the 6th Guards Tank Brigade (comprised of 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards, 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards and 3rd Battalion Scots Guards), pass infantry of the 2nd Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the Battle for Caumont.


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Item Code : DHM0839Operation Bluecoat, Normandy, 30th July 1944 by David Pentland. - Editions Available
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Limited edition of 50 artist proofs.
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Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders by Richard Simkin


Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders by Richard Simkin



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The Advance of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders at the Battle of Alma 1854 by Richard Simkin.


The Advance of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders at the Battle of Alma 1854 by Richard Simkin.



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History of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, during the reign of Queen Victoria.

The double name given to this regiment indicates its origin.  The 1st battalion was the late 91st of the Line, or Argylshire, and its 2nd the 93rd, or Sutherland Highlanders.    The former was raised in 1794 as a kilted regiment, with the Campbell tartan; white epaulettes and yellow facings were worn; and it was first numbered the 98th, but in 1798 this was altered to its recent designation, the 91st.  Its first service was at the capture of Cape Town by Sir Alured Clarke, in 1795, when it does not appear to have worn either kilt or tartan, but the national costume was partly resumed on its return to England in 1803. 

It was during the voyage home that one of the regimental heirlooms was acquired.  For a narwhal having charged the transport, and left its bony snout in the ship’s side, this was eventually removed, and converted into the sergeant-major’s official walking stick, decorated with a series of gold plates, eight in number, bearing the names of the principal Peninsular battles in which the regiment served.  A second battalion, formed in 1804, served at Bergen-op-Zoom in 1813, but was shortly afterwards disbanded.

The other battalion shared in the Peninsula campaign from 1807 to 1809, being present at Obidos and Vimiera under Wellesley, and at Corunna under Moore, while detachments served at Oporto and Talavera.  The bulk of the regiment joined the Walcheren expedition, at which period the standard for recruits was first fixed at 5 feet 4 inches; and after losing many men by sickness it returned to England, to be transferred again to the Peninsula, where it remained  till 1814, taking part in the battles of Vittoria, Saurauren, Nivelles, Nive, Bayonne, Orthes, and Toulouse.  Though it landed in Belgium for the Waterloo campaign, it took no part in the great fight, as it was detailed to guard the lines of communication.  In 1822 the coatee took the place of the regimental jacket, and this lasted until the introduction of the tunic; but in 1864 its original Highland title was restored, and it became a trewed regiment, the costume being added to a little later by the blue patrol jacket for the officers, and a red serge frock of the Stewart pattern for the men.  Finally it was reconverted into a kilted regiment, and received its present title.

Meanwhile it had seen its most prolonged and arduous service at the Cape, where, with a “Reserve Battalion”, raised in 1842 and incorporated with the first in 1857, the regiment served for twenty years.  It was unfortunate in its sea voyages.  The “Reserve Battalion” went ashore in the Abercrombie Robinson, and a detachment of the 91st was wrecked on board the Birkenhead in 1852.  In both cases the superb discipline of the regiment was evidenced; and, in the latter case, the noble bravery of the men in preferring to go down with the ship rather than endanger the safety of the boats, already over laden with women and children, sheds a lustre not only the history of the regiment, but that of the whole army of the State.  Out of 631 souls only 193 were saved.  Among the interesting if unwarlike duties it has had to undertake during this time may be mentioned that some of its companies were present at the exhumation of the remains of Napoleon I at St Helena in 1840.

It was mixed up in the disturbances between Boers and Griquas as far back as 1843, and then shared during the first Kaffir War in the dangerous operation in the Amatolas and the Waterkloof.  In one of these small campaigns alone it marched 1,200 miles.  For these services it bears the names of “South Africa, 1846-47”, as well as of “South Africa, 1851-52-53”, on its colours, to which it added later “South Africa, 1879”, for its work during the Zulu campaign, where it took part in the actions of Ghinghilovo and Ekowe.  Its only other foreign service before this last was in the operations against the Rohillas in 1859.  Before the 2nd battalion, formerly known as the 93rd or Sutherland Highlanders, was called into being, a regiment of “Sutherland Fencibles” had appeared, to be disbanded in 1798.  It was not until 1800 that “Major General Wemyss’ regiment of Infantry was formed”.   Neither battalion of the regiment seems to have been much favoured by the sea, for in the first expedition of the 93rd to the Cape, in 1805, it lost thirty five men by the upsetting of a boat in Lospard bay.  For the battle of Blauwe Mountains and the surrender of the colony it earned the first name for the regimental list of honours, viz., “Cape of Good Hope, 1806”.  Its career in South Africa was uneventful until 1814, when it returned to England, to proceed at once with the expedition to New Orleans, where, in the attempt to storm the works, it lost 584 men, and the attack failed.

A second battalion was raised in the same year, but disappeared after less than two years’ life.   Little of military interest occurred until the outbreak of the Crimean War, when the 93rd formed part of Sir Colin Campbell’s Highland Brigade.  Sir Colin’s order to the brigade before going into action shows the discipline of the regiments at that time, and still more the value of localisation.  To none would the threat used by the General appeal more directly than to a Scotsman, when he was told that if any soldier attempted to carry off wounded men “his name shall be stuck up in the parish church”.  It was the fact that these men were localised to a great extent, that made such a threat serious.  They behaved with admirable gallantry everywhere.  When they met the charge of the Russian cavalry in line it was an act of desperate boldness, considering the slow loading arms of that time.  But to Sir Colin’s brief address, “There is no retreat from here, men! You must die where you stand”, came the ready, cheery answer, “Ay! Ay! Sir Colin, and needs be we will do that!”  The 93rd shared in the occupation of Kertch, and saw the fall of Sebastopol; and in 1857, when on its way to China, was diverted at the Cape to the more serious work of the Mutiny in India, where it again fell under its old general’s command, and saw practically continuous arduous and active service until 1859.  It was engaged at Kudjwa, where some of its wounded and some wounded sappers beat off a body of rebels; in the first advance on Lucknow (which name is borne on the colours); at Secundrabagh; at Cawnpore; at Kala Nuddee; the second and successful advance on Lucknow, when Lieutenant and Adjutant Macbean killed eleven men with his own hand, and where the regimental piper, among the first to crown the breach, remained there, cheering his comrades on with the pipes, at Fort Rayah, where Adrian Hope was slain; at Bareilly, Pusgaon, Russulpore, and Fort Mussowli.  During the campaign seven Victoria Crosses had been won, and three other officers were recommended, but though the cases were most meritous, the applications were not granted.  Crosses were bestowed upon Captain Stewart, who was elected to the honour by the officers of the regiment; Lieutenant Macbean (or McBen), for the exploit referred to above; Sergeant Paton, chosen by the non-commissioned officers of the regiment for reconnoitring for a breach under a heavy fire; Sergeant Munro, for saving Captain Walsh when wounded; and Privates Mackay and Grant, both selected by the privates of the regiment for their distinguished bravery.

This regiment’s last active service was in the Umbeyla campaign.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders is the only infantry regiment of the Line that bears “Balaklava” on its colours.  Their gallantry in the battle when the “thin red line” received the charge of the Russian cavalry – a formation to meet the mounted arm unprecedented up to that time in the annals of war – has been already referred to, and the name of “the thin red line” is the only recorded nickname – save probably the “Rory’s” – the old 93rd have had.  It is also stated, that though the first “king’s colour” is retained, framed and glazed, the regimental colour carried with it has disappeared.  Tradition explains this by asserting that when Colonel Dale of the regiment was mortally wounded before Orleans in 1814 he made the request that he should be buried wrapped in one of the colours, and his wish was complied with.

Like other Scotch regiments, the scarlet uniform is faced with yellow, and the kilt is of Sutherland tartan.  The badges are quaint; a myrtle wreath interlaced with one of butcher’s broom, the former surrounding a boar’s head with “Ne Obliviscaris”, and  within the other a cat with the scroll “Sans peur”, the whole linked together with a label of three points, and crowned by the coronet of H. R. H. the Princess Louise, is worn on the button.  The tunic collar has the same without the crown.  The head dress plate bears a thistle wreath, within it is the regimental title on a small scroll within the double cipher crown of the Princess Louise; the boar’s head and cat are borne on either side.  The feather bonnet has a white feather and a scarlet and white diced border.  The 91st regiment, or the Princess Louise’s Argyllshire Highlanders, were shortly after the marriage of the Princess “commanded” by the Queen to “always march past (in quick time) to their pipers”,

The 3rd and 4th Militia Battalions are the Highland Borderers Militia, formed in 1803, and the Royal Renfrew in 1798.  The latter was embodied until 1816 and again in 1855, having “invariably been kept to its establishment, and given a great many officers and men to the regular army, notably during the Peninsular and Crimean Wars”.  There are seven Volunteer Battalions attached : the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Renfrew, 1859-60; the 1st Stirling, the 1st Argyll, the 1st Dumbarton, and the 1st Clackmannan, 1859, and Kinross.  All these wear a scarlet uniform with the national facings, except the second, which has blue facings.  The regimental depot is at Stirling.

Extract from "The British Army and Auxiliary Forces" Colonel C. Cooper King, R.M.A. , 1894

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