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First of the first of the first


The Royal Scots 1st battalion, emulating in the New World the martial prowess of its sister battalions in the Old, was plucking Canadian laurels with the point of the bayonet; and in particular at the storming of Fort Niagara, the Royal Scots carried all before them. "I have to express my admiration", wrote Colonel Murray to General Drummond, "of the valour of the grenadier company of the Royal Scots under Captain Bailey, whose zeal and gallantry were very conspicuous . . . Their instructions were not to fire, but to carry the place at the point of the bayonet. These orders were punctually obeyed, a circumstance that not only proves their intrepidity, but reflects great credit on their discipline."1 

History of the Grenadiers


The Royal Scots are the oldest, and therefore most senior, infantry regiment of the line in the British Army, having been raised in 1633 during the reign of Charles I of England.


During service in France in the 1630s the Royal Scots earned the nickname “Pontius Pilate’s Bodyguards.”  The French Regiment of Picardy asserted that their regiment was the older regiment, having been on guard at the Crucifixion.  The Royal Scots claimed they were there too, as bodyguards to the governor!


The First Battalion of the Royal Scots sailed from the West Indies to Canada in the summer of 1812 and landed at Quebec City.  Because of the years spent in service in the Islands nearly everyone was suffering from one sort of sickness or malady to the extent that the Regiment was unfit for duty until the following January. 

The Royal Scots 1st Battalion was very active in Upper Canada in the War of 1812, being present in eight major engagements and many minor skirmishes against the forces of the United States.  These included Sackett’s Harbour, the capture of Fort Niagara and the burning of Buffalo in 1813, and the Battles of Longwoods, Chippewa, Lundy’s Lane, and Fort Erie in 1814. The campaign in Upper Canada earned the battle honour “Niagara” which is displayed on the Regiments colours. 

Motto of the 1st (Royal Scots) Regiment


The Order of the Thistle

According to legend, the "guardian thistle" has played its part in the defense of the ancient realm of Scotland against a night attack by the Danes, one of whom let out a yell of pain when he stepped on a prickly thistle, thus alerting the Scottish defenders. In the motto "No-one provokes me with impunity" (Latin: "Nemo me impune lacessit"), "me" was therefore originally the thistle itself, but by extension now refers to the Scottish crown and the Scottish regiments which have adopted it. Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, me impune lacessit.

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