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The Story of the Regiments - The 90th Perthshire Regiment


The Cameronians were the 26th Regiment of the line. In 1881 another famous Scottish Regiment was linked with them as a 2nd Battalion. This was the 90th, The Perthshire Light Infantry. “The Perthshire Grey Breeks.”

The badge now worn by the Regiment commemorates this union. The star is the Douglas star, in honour of Lord Angus, the first Cameronian Colonel. The bugle is the emblem of the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry.

Since 1881 the title of the Regiment has been “The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).”

The Perthshire Light Infantry were raised in 1794 in the Lowlands of Perthshire by Thomas Graham (afterwards Lord Lynedoch), the hero of the brilliant victory of Barrossa in the Peninsular War. Their steady courage at Mandora in the “Abercromby” Expedition to Egypt was remarkable. The Battalion wore brass helmets, the only head-dress available on embarkation, and were bravely charged by the French horse, who mistook them for dismounted cavalry and were heavily defeated.

In 1854 the 90th proceeded to the Crimea, and were present throughout the assault of the Redan, where many fell, their bodies being afterwards found in the place which marked the farthest limit of the British advance. In the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the 90th added greatly to its reputation by the numerous acts of gallantry performed by its officers and men, and it was present at the relief of Lucknow.

In 1878 the 90th were employed in suppressing the Gaika Rebellion in the Cape Colony, and fought under the temporary command of Colonel Evelyn Wood, V.C., himself an Officer of the Regiment, and later Field-Marshal Sir Evelyn Wood, V.C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G.

In 1899 the Boer War broke out, and the 90th - now the 2nd Battalion of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) - formed part of the Army under Sir Redvers Buller, which, after much exertion brought relief to their beseiged comrades at Ladysmith.

The 90th had the unique distinction of having produced three Field-Marshals and Commanders-in-Chief of our Army -Lords Hill and Wolseley, and Sir E. Wood, the third being in temporary command for a short time when Adjutant-General. (The appointment of Commander-in-Chief of the Army has now been abolished.)

It should also be mentioned that in the Boer War both militia battalions volunteered for active service and rendered much valuable aid. Nor were the Volunteer battalions of the regiment less zealous. The service-companies furnished by them joined the regiment, and shared the work and risks of their regular comrades.



Source: '300 Years of Service' published by the Regimental Trustees