King's Own Scottish Borderers
The King's Own Scottish Borderers was an infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

 of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, part of the Scottish Division
Scottish Division
The Scottish Division is a British Army Infantry command, training and administrative apparatus designated for all Scottish line infantry units. The Scottish Division was formed on July 1, 1968 with the amalgamation of the Lowland Brigade and Highland Brigade...



It was raised on 18 March 1689 by the Earl of Leven
David Melville, 3rd Earl of Leven
David Leslie-Melville, 3rd Earl of Leven and 2nd Earl of Melville was a Scots aristocrat, politician, and soldier.The third son of George Melville, 1st Earl of Melville and his second wife Catherine Leslie-Melville, he shared the Whig political and the Presbyterian religious sympathies of his...

 to defend Edinburgh against the Jacobite forces of James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

. It is said that 800 men were recruited within the space of two hours. The Regiment's first action was at the Battle of Killiecrankie
Battle of Killiecrankie
-References:*Reid, Stuart, The Battle of Kiellliecrankkie -External links:* *...

 on 27 July of the same year. Although this battle was a defeat for the Williamite army, the Jacobite commander, Viscount Dundee (Bonnie Dundee
Bonnie Dundee
Bonnie Dundee is a poem and a song about John Graham, 7th Laird of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee who was known by this nickname. The song has been used as a regimental march by several Scottish regiments in the British Army and was adapted by Confederate troops in the American Civil...

), was killed by a volley fired by Leven's Regiment, bringing an end to James II's attempt to save his throne. The Regiment was judged to have performed well and was granted the privilege of recruiting by beat of drum in the City of Edinburgh without prior permission of the provost.

For a period it was known as Semphill's Regiment of Foot, the name under which it fought at the Battle of Culloden
Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Taking place on 16 April 1746, the battle pitted the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart against an army commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, loyal to the British government...

 in 1746. When the British infantry were allocated numerical positions in the 'line' of Infantry the regiment was numbered 25th Foot (based on its formation date) in 1751. The Regiment fought at the Battle of Minden
Battle of Minden
The Battle of Minden—or Thonhausen—was fought on 1 August 1759, during the Seven Years' War. An army fielded by the Anglo-German alliance commanded by Field Marshal Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, defeated a French army commanded by Marshal of France Louis, Marquis de Contades...

 on 1 August 1759 with five other regiments; this battle honour was celebrated by the Regiment each year on 1 August. The 25th was the county regiment of Sussex
Sussex , from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is an historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded on the north by Surrey, east by Kent, south by the English Channel, and west by Hampshire, and is divided for local government into West...

 from 1782 to 1805, before its recruiting area was moved to the Scottish Borders
Scottish Borders
The Scottish Borders is one of 32 local government council areas of Scotland. It is bordered by Dumfries and Galloway in the west, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian in the north west, City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian to the north; and the non-metropolitan counties of Northumberland...

 region. From then it was known as the King's Own Borderers, becoming the King's Own Scottish Borderers in 1887.

The Regiment was affectionately known by the Scottish public as the "Kosbies" but this term was never used within the Regiment. The regiment saw service during both World Wars.

Restructuring of the infantry

Until 2004 the regiment was one of five in the line infantry never to have been amalgamated, the others being:
  • The Royal Scots
  • The Green Howards
    The Green Howards
    The Green Howards was an infantry regiment of the British Army, in the King's Division...

  • The 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment
    Cheshire Regiment
    The Cheshire Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales' Division.The regiment was created in 1881 as part of the Childers reforms by the linking of the 22nd Regiment of Foot and the militia and rifle volunteers of Cheshire...

  • The Royal Welch Fusiliers
    Royal Welch Fusiliers
    The Royal Welch Fusiliers was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales' Division. It was founded in 1689 to oppose James II and the imminent war with France...

In 2004, as part of the British Government's defence review
Delivering Security in a Changing World
The 2003 Defence White Paper, titled Delivering Security in a Changing World, set out the future structure of the British military, and was preceded by the 1998 Strategic Defence Review and the 2002 SDR New Chapter, which responded to the immediate challenges to security in the aftermath of the...

, it was announced that the Scottish Division
Scottish Division
The Scottish Division is a British Army Infantry command, training and administrative apparatus designated for all Scottish line infantry units. The Scottish Division was formed on July 1, 1968 with the amalgamation of the Lowland Brigade and Highland Brigade...

 would lose an infantry battalion. This was achieved through the amalgamation of the King's Own Scottish Borderers with the Royal Scots to form the Royal Scots Borderers
Royal Scots Borderers
The Royal Scots Borderers is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.Two infantry regiments ; the Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borderers merged on the 28 March 2006, and with the other Scottish infantry regiments amalgamated into the single seven battalion strong Royal...

 on 1 August 2006. This single battalion became the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Court case

Campaigners against the amalgamation of the KOSB argued that the Westminster government is "outwith the competency" (i.e. does not have the right) to merge or disband the regiment, because it was raised by the independent Scottish Parliament prior to the foundation of the United Kingdom and had been in continuous service ever since. To this end, the campaigners went to court in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 in an unsuccessful attempt to get an interdict
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties and may have to pay damages or accept sanctions...

 against the amalgamation with the Royal Scots.

King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum

The King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum is located in Berwick Barracks, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed or simply Berwick is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles south of the Scottish border....

. Exhibits include uniforms, badges, medals, weapons and relics from different campaigns.

Berwick Barracks is operated by English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

. Admission includes access to the King's Own Scottish Borderers Museum, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, the Berwick Museum and Art Gallery and the exhibition ‘By Beat of Drum’ on the life of the British infantryman.

External links

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