The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
This remarkable regiment can trace its origins back to 1689, when
it was raised under unique circumstances. The regiment is an amalgamation
of the 26th Cameronian Regiment and the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry
which were brought together, albeit reluctantly in the Army Reforms
of 1881, to form The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).
Since 1881, the recruiting base for The Cameronians has been firmly
located in Lanarkshire and the Glasgow area, where the 26th Cameronian
Regiment originated. ( see map below)
The first muster of the regiment took place at Douglas Parish Kirk,
Lanarkshire on 14th May 1689. Here a declaration was read out, and
explained to the assembled men:
"All shall be well affected, of approved fidelity and of
a sober conversation. The cause they are called to appear for, is
the service of the Kings Majesty and the defence of the Nation,
recovery and preservation of the Protestant Religion; and in particular
the work of reformation in Scotland, in opposition to Popery prelacy
and arbitrary power in all its branches and steps, until the Government
of Church and State be brought back to that lustre and integrity
which it had in the best times."
This extraordinary regiment was, therefore, as much a congregation
as a military force. Each company had its elder and every man carried
a Bible. Traditionally the regiment posted sentinels at church parades
and the sermon did not commence until an officer notified the minister
that 'the pickets are posted, there are no enemy in site'.
Source: With acknowledgement to Diana M Henderson 'The Scottish
Published by Harper Collins.
Scotland Map showing main recruiting area - Lanarkshire.