from the Disbandment Parade
Address by Rev. Donald MacDonald
Delivered by the Rev. Donald MacDonald (the much loved former
Chaplain for many years in India, to each of our Regular Battalions
Cameronians! This is a grievous day for you and all of us
here. We may well say it is a grievous day for Scotland, seeing
that your roots have been so closely intertwined with the troubled
history of Church and State in this land.
Today, you cease to be a regular arm of Her Majestys Forces.
It has never been the habit of Cameronians to whimper and we shall
not whimper now, for, thank God, we can fill this doleful moment
with gratitude and pride.
On this historic spot, we remember the men who on the 14th May,
1689, gave the Cameronian name to the Regiment of my Lord
Angus, then raised as the 26th of Foot. They were men into
whose moral fibre the Bible as the Word of God, had woven its own
strong and distinctive pattern. It is surely fitting that we should
seek from that same Word, Inspiration and encouragement to sustain
the present hour. And here it is! From the 1st Chapter of the Book
of Joshua:- Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid,
neither be disheartened, for the Lord your God is with you wherever
It is a Word for all of us. It is a Word for you who have been
serving in the 1st Battalion, and over whose future may hang a cloud
of uncertainty. I say to you: Be of good courage. The
mystic element of Morale has always been a feature of
the Cameronians, and never more so than when facing grim situations.
You could not fail to have been caught up in its strong influence.
So take it with you to the various units where you continue your
service. It will be an addition to their strength, and with your
own disciplined minds, will be a rewarding possession to yourselves
wherever you go.
Our text has also a word for those who have given a lifetime of
service to the Regiment, and to whom this day must bring a pang
of sorrow beyond telling which lies at the heart of love. Yet they
need not be disheartened, for to them is the precious remembrance
of a warfare accomplished and a duty well done. To most of us here,
and to many not here, so long as life lasts, this Regiment will
never die. It shall live in our hearts till mind and memory flee.
So then, above all our regrets, there is gratitude to God for
the blessings of the years, and there is pride in the exploits of
comrades past and present. Look at your Drums! They carry Battle
Honours that are epic in British History. From them, we can take
comfort that todays sad event had come to you, not because
you or your forbears ever shirked any duty committed to your charge.
It is not YOU who are being proved unworthy or unwilling to share
the solemn trust of maintaining the dignity and furthering
the destiny of this realm. Recent years speak their witness on that
point, and it is a witness which can stand alongside the heroic
story already engraved upon your annals.
You now move out of the Army List because of changes of emphasis
in our Defence Systems coupled with economic duress and political
expediency. But be not dishertened. The Army List is
a document of temporary significance, liable to amendments
or excision according to the whim and swing of governments.
So put pride in your step Cameronians! As you march out of the
Army List, you are marching into History, and from your proud place
there, no man can remove your name, and no man can snatch a rose
from the chaplet of your honour.
Be of good courage therefore! The Lord your God is with you wherever
you go, and to His gracious mercy and protection, I now commit you.
The Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face to shine upon
you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up the light of His
countenance upon you and give you peace.
The Speech by
the Colonel of the Regiment.
Delivered by Lieut.-General Sir George Collingwood, K.B.E.,
C.B., DS.O. (Colonel of the Regiment) and addressed to Major-General
F. C. C. Graham, C.B., D.S.O., D.L. (Colonel Commandant of the Scottish
I speak for all Cameronians Scottish Riflemen, whether here
present today, or unable to attend but here in spirit.
We are greatly honoured by the presence here, of General Count
Bonde (who has come from Sweden as the personal representative of
our revered Colonelin-Chief) of the Duke of Hamilton the Earl
of Angus, to whom we are deeply grateful for undertaking the
sombre task of taking leave of the Regular Battalion of the Regiment,
which was raised by his forbear, James, Earl of Angus, within a
mile of this spot, on the 14th May, 279 years ago) of Miss Douglas-Home
(representing her father, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, by whose kind permission
we are holding this parade here today) of General Sir Geoffrey Musson
(Adjutant-General of the Forces), and General Sir Derek Lang (Commander-in-Chief
in Scotland, and an old and trusty friend of the Regiment) of the
Lord Lieutenant and Civic Chiefs of our own County of Lanarkshire
of eminent Ministers of the Church of Scotland, with which we have
such close historic ties and a host of friends and supporters of
our Regiment from Lanarkshire and far beyond.
Since we made our home in this County nearly a hundred years ago,
we have received the support of the County and Burghs of Lanarkshire,
of the Church of Scotland, and of the two great branches of the
House of Douglas (whose tartan we wear), headed by the Dukes of
Hamilton and the Earls of Home, and I feel sure that this support
will be continued in even greater measure (as the need is greater),
to our two Companies of Territorial Volunteers and our Army
Cadets, the remaining rearguards of our Regiment, by whom we hold
to life, and on whom rest our hopes of revival. I would appeal to
all these great Interests to exert their power and influence to
keep in being these remaining elements of this famous and historic
Regiment, which Is not only ours but also theirs.
General Graham, I address you as Colonel Commandant of the
Scottish Division. We are very grateful for your presence here,
and for the presence of so many of the Scottish Colonels and representatives
of our Sister Regiments in Scotland and of those beyond, including
the 7th Gurkha Rifles.
We are intensely proud of our 1st Battalion, and deeply grateful
to Lieut.-Colonel Dow and all ranks for having so faithfully upheld
the unique customs and traditions, the honour and high reputation
of our Regiment.
When they disperse and go their various ways in the next few days
and weeks, they will go with our hopes and prayers for their happiness
and success wherever they may serve The Queen. We are happy, Sir,
in the assurance that they will be welcome and honoured members
of their new Regimental families. When the Battalion flag comes
down in a short time and the Battalion marches away to lay down
its arms, part of all our hearts will go with it. In a few days
time, we shall deliver this Battalion flag to you for safe custody
on behalf of the Regiment, in the Scottish Division, to keep among
you as a token of our Regimental spirit which, through our long
history, has inspired all our devotion, all our valour, and all
our sacrifices in the service of the Sovereign and of the Country.
That spirit will of course, live on in our Territorial Volunteers
and Cadet Units, and our Association and Clubs, but for the time
being In the Regular Army, this flag must be its symbol.
We Cameronians cannot regard this disbandment as final, because
we have sufficient conceit of ourselves to believe that In
time of stress, our Country could ill afford to dispense with the
services of such a well-tried and renowned fighting unit. Our record
from 1689 until today, and the unusual, if not unique number of
famous leaders our Regiment has produced, is the testimony
of our worth.
We would make of you, Sir, a particular request. That if and when
it becomes necessary to expand the armed forces and no wise man
today, would assert that it could not happen then we would ask that
you or your successor at that time, should urge the highest military
authorities and the Secretary of State for Scotland as a first step
to re-muster our Regular Battalion, so that It can fly this Flag
again and take up its arms from where this fine Battalion Is laying
them down today.
We believe that that would be the wish of our Sister Regiments
In Scotland, In general of the people of our home County of Lanarkshire
which is so strongly represented here today.
It remains for me, Sir, on behalf of us all, to wish you and all
Scottish Regiments good fortune and long life in the service of
Source: 'The Disbandment Souvenir
Programnme' published by the Regimental Trustees, The Cameronians