After the Armisitice, the Territorial Force and its formations were disbanded. The Territorial Army was re-established in 1920 however, and the 52nd Lowland Division became the only completely Territorial Division to fight in the Second World War, although other Lowland Territorial units also fought with the 15th (Scottish) Division, which was newly re-formed in 1939 as the duplicate 2nd Line Territorial Army Division of the 52nd (Lowland) Division. 52nd Lowland Division was initially part of the ill-fated British Expeditionary Force (BEF), later being evacuated from the continent during Operation Ariel. It subsequently trained as a mountain warfare division in the Scottish Highlands. As the Invasion of Normandy approached, the 52nd (Lowland) Division were involved in an elaborate deception plan, Operation Fortitude, designed to deceive the Germans into believing that there would not be one invasion area but several, and that the 52nd would have formed the nexus of a strong force that was to be landed in Norway, also at this time, the division trained as an Airborne force. Eventually the division returned to France in September 1944 and fought with distinction in Holland and Germany as part of the First Allied Airborne Army, including the Battle of the Scheldt and the Battle for the Roer Triangle. The division then crossed the River Rhine on 24th March 1945, eventually advancing as far as Bremen, where it fought its last battle of the war.
In August 1946 the 52nd (Lowland) Division was disbanded at Oldenburg. Shortly afterwards however the formation was revived as part of the 51st/52nd (Scottish) Division, created via an amalgamation with the 51st (Highland) Division. They once again became a Territorial Division upon demobilisation in 1948. As a result of the 1966 Defence White Paper however, a major reorganisation of the Army took place, brought about in part by the end of National Service, with the Territorial Army being disbanded and the Territorial & Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR) formed. Instead of forming large reserve formations, the role of the new TAVR was to provide smaller sub-unit-sized reinforcements for the Regular Army via a multi-tier system established to meet the NATO reserve (TAVR II) and Home Defence (TAVR III) requirements.
The reserve Battalions within the four regiments of the Lowland Brigade were significantly reduced to Company strength cadres. This involved the Glasgow Highlanders Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, 4th/5th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers and the 5th/6th Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, which had all been part of the new The Royal Highland Fusiliers Regiment since 1959. The 8th/9th Battalion of the Royal Scots, 4th/5th Battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers and 6th/7th Battalion of the The Cameronians were also included, and three separate new reserve Battalions were subsequently raised to incorporate them, The 52nd Lowland Volunteers, which was a TAVR II unit with a NATO reserve role and both the 3rd (Territorial) Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers and The Royal Scots and Cameronians Territorials, which were TAVR III units with responsibility for Home Defence. After the TAVR structure was established, the 51st/52nd Scottish Division was split into two Brigade sized formations and 52nd Lowland Volunteers, the 3rd (Territorial) Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers and The Royal Scots and Cameronians Territorials came under the command of what would become 52nd Lowland Brigade.
The TAVR III units were disbanded in 1969, with the two Battalions being reduced to Section-sized "cadres". The cadres became part of the 52nd Lowland Volunteers, although continuing to wear the badges and perpetuating the traditions of their forebears. An increase in the size of the TAVR in 1971 lead to an expansion in the size the Royal Scots and Cameronians Territorials and the 3rd (Territorial) Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers cadres, which were amalgamated and became the 2nd Battalion, 52nd Lowland Volunteers in 1971.
Throughout the remainder of the Cold War, the 1st Battalion of 52nd Lowland Volunteers, based in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, and the 2nd Battalion, based in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Borders, trained primarily for the NATO reinforcement role. In 1984 however, the 1st Battalion raised two Home Service Force Companies and the 2nd Battalion raised one, which trained exclusively for the home defence role, they were eventually disbanded in 1992 as part of Options for Change. The 1st Battalion also had its D (Cameronians) Company disbanded and the 2nd Battalion had its No.1 (Royal Scots) Company disbanded.
Following the Front Line First reforms of the British Army in 1994, the 1st Battalion, 52nd Lowland Volunteers was incorporated into the Royal Highland Fusiliers and as a result, was retitled the 3rd (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1995. The 2nd Battalion, remained a standalone multi cap-badged Battalion, and was known as The Lowland Volunteers, until 1999, when as a result of the Strategic Defence Review of Britain's reserve forces, the two Battalions were transferred under the operational command of the 51st (Scottish) Brigade and re-amalgamated to take the name and single battalion form of The 52nd Lowland Regiment. This saw an overall reduction in strength from eight companies in two Battalions to five companies in one battalion, although the unit continues to maintain the Colours of both the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 52nd Lowland Volunteers.
As part of the Delivering Security in a Changing World Review of the Armed Forces, the 52nd Lowland Regiment was amalgamated with the other Regiments of the Scottish Division to become the 6th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, which was formed on 28 March 2006. There was also further consolidation, with D (King's Own Scottish Borderers) Company, based in Galashiels, amalgamating with A (Royal Scots) Company, to reflect the formation of the regular Royal Scots Borderers.
The Battalion Headquarters is based at Walcheren Barracks in Maryhill, Glasgow and the Battalion currently has one Support Company and three Rifle Companies, which also incorporate various Support Weapons platoons, based throughout the Scottish Lowlands:
The Companies maintain their separate affiliations to The Royal Scots Borderers (A Company) and The Royal Highland Fusiliers (HQ, B and C Company), which now form the regular 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland and cover the same recruiting areas. In recognition of this, its members wear a black or white hackle on their Tam o' Shanters, the same as those worn by the 1st and 2nd Battalions respectively. In the past, Headquarter Company of the 1st Battalion, 52nd Lowland Volunteers maintained the direct lineage of the Glasgow Highlanders but rebadged as Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1973. D Company of the Lowland Volunteers also maintained the name and lineage of the The Cameronians, however it changed its affiliation to the King's Own Scottish Borderers in 1997. 52nd Lowland, though, has its own identity in the British Army's order of battle and its members are recognised primarily as 52nd Lowlanders.
In ceremonial duties, the Battalion has a military band, The Lowland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, formerly the Royal Scots Territorial Band, which is also an asset of 52nd Lowland Brigade but continues to be administered by the Battalion. Both the band and 52nd Lowland Pipes and Drums take part in military and civilian events all over the UK and the world on behalf of the Battalion, the Regiment and 52nd Lowland Brigade, including the Battalion's annual Beating Retreat and Remembrance Day ceremonies in George Square, the World Pipe Band Championships, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Opening of the Scottish Parliament.
Each member of the Battalion has a minimum commitment to serve 27 training days per annum, which normally includes a two-week long annual camp, as well as regular weekly training evenings and monthly weekend training exercises in locations throughout Scotland such as Garelochhead, Barry Buddon and Kirkcudbright. Since 1999, 52nd Lowland, now the 6th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, has trained on overseas annual camps as a formed unit in France, Belgium, Cyprus, the United States, Slovakia and the Ukraine.
Many members have also served individually alongside their affiliated regular Battalions or as part of Territorial composite sub-unit formations of up to company-sized strength on exercise and operations all over the world, including Canada, Kenya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and, most recently, on Operation Herrick in Afghanistan and Operation TELIC in Iraq, especially on TELIC 2 and TELIC 4, the former on which two fatalities were suffered in 2003 .
The Battalion's primary operational role is to provide reserve contingents to augment its two affiliated regular Battalions during any Large Scale Deliberate Intervention (LSDI) Operations. In such a scenario, the Battalion would provide specialist reinforcements in areas such as Support Weapons, Medics, Signallers and Assault Pioneers, which enables the two regular Battalions to deploy at their full War Fighting potential.
Since the SDR New Chapter was published in 2001, the Battalion also has an additional role as the mainstay of 51st (Scottish) Brigade's Civil Contingency Reaction Force (CCRF) in the Scottish Lowlands, which entails the provision of ad hoc support to the emergency services if required. The Battalion's Area of Responsibility is contiguous with that of the Lothian and Borders Police, Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and Southern divisions of Strathclyde Police.
From August 2007 until February 2008, 52nd Lowland deployed Bremen Platoon, a composite Force protection formation in support of 151st Transport Regiment, based at HQ ISAF, in the Kabul area of Afghanistan, as part of Operation Herrick, on a 6-month Roulement. This was the first complete 52nd Lowland sub-unit formation deployed since the Second World War and the platoon received a commendation from ISAF commander General McNeill. The battalion will continue to contribute forces in order to sustain the British Army's overseas deployments for the foreseeable future, with some elements of the Battalion deploying to Cyprus on Operation Tosca as part of UNFICYP in the near future.
The Regiments of the former Lowland Brigade
|52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland||52nd Lowland Regiment||3rd (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers||1st Battalion, 52nd Lowland Volunteers||52nd Lowland Volunteers (TAVR II)||8th/9th Battalion, Royal Scots|
|4th/5th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers|
|5th/6th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry|
|The Lowland Volunteers||2nd Battalion, 52nd Lowland Volunteers||3rd (Territorial) Battalion, The Royal Highland Fusiliers (TAVR III)||1st Glasgow Highlanders Battalion, The Highland Light Infantry|
|4th/5th Battalion, King's Own Scottish Borderers|
|The Royal Scots and Cameronians Territorials (TAVR III)||6th/7th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)|