The Royal Regiment of Scotland has received its first award of the Freedom of the City, when Midlothian Council admitted the Royal Regiment of Scotland, in the name of the Royal Scots Borderers and the Royal Highland Fusiliers as Freemen of Penicuik.
The award honours the outstanding national contribution the Royal Scots Borderers and the Royal Highland Fusiliers have given to the nation and in particular the good relationship which exists between the regiments and the Penicuik community.
This is the first such honour for the Royal Regiment of Scotland since it was set up on 28 March 2006 as part of a programme of controversial, sweeping changes to the Armed Forces, which saw the creation of one super-regiment for Scotland. The six existing battalions were reduced to five, with The Royal Scots and King’s Own Scottish Borderers being amalgamated.
The super-regiment consists of:
The new cap badge of the Royal Regiment of Scotland shows the Saltire, the Lion Rampant and the Crown and incorporates the Scottish motto “Nemo Me Impune Lacessit” â€“ Who Dares Meddle with Me?
The ceremony, which took place on Saturday 24 March, was witnessed by the Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces. The Freedom of Penicuik was accepted by Major General Andrew Graham, Colonel of the Royal Regiment.
Councillor Adam Montgomery, Leader of Midlothian Council said, “Penicuik has a proud and long-standing relationship with the Scottish regiments based at Glencorse Barracks. I am delighted that Midlothian Council is the first to honour the new Royal Regiment by conferring the Freedom of Penicuik on it, in the name of the Royal Scots Borderers and the Royal Highland Fusiliers. This award underlines our gratitude and support for the soldiers in these regiments and recognises the contribution the regiments make to the wider community of Penicuik.”
The Barracks at Glencorse were originally set up to accommodate French prisoners of war, during the Napoleonic Wars. It fell into disuse after the war until 1846 when it became a British Army Detention Centre, later the Barracks we know today.
Major General Andrew Graham, Colonel of the Royal Regiment said, “It is a great honour for the Royal Regiment of Scotland to be awarded the freedom of Penicuik which recognises past, present and future links in the most positive manner.
“The Regiment has had a busy year with Battalions deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and training all over the world. Despite the understandable apprehension from some quarters, the Regiment’s first year has been a success. We have maintained our historical links and heritage whilst pulling together as Scotland’s infantry Regiment, forging new friendships and associations and taking the opportunities that present themselves to prove ‘best of breed’. The cornerstone of any Regiment is its soldiers, and the quality of young men coming forward, and their pride in and dedication to their Regiment is inspiring. They deserve the country to be behind them and the Regiment in its second year.’
Pictured (left to right) are Donald MacKay, Director Education; Major General Andrew Graham, Colonel of the Royal Regiment; Councillor Adam Montgomery, Leader, Midlothian Council; Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP and Provost Sam Campbell.
THE new Royal Regiment of Scotland is also set to be conferred with the freedom of the city of Aberdeen when it returns from duty in war-torn Iraq.