A Short history of the TRANSVAAL SCOTTISH
The Transvaal Scottish originated as the Transvaal Scottish Volunteers which was formed on the 9th June, 1902 as an infantry unit complementary to the Scottish Horse. The later was a mounted unit of the Transvaal Volunteers. During the early years the Regiment had companies active in Johannesburg, Krugersdorp, Pretoria, Potchefstroom and on the East Rand.
RHQ The Transvaal Scottish Regiment
The Regiment saw its first action in 1906, when a company served as part of the Natal Ranges in the Zulu Rebellion
During World War 1 the 1st Battalion saw action in the German South West Africa as part of Gen. Louis Botha's force during 1914-1915.
A 2nd Battalion was formed in 1914 and saw action in German South West Africa under Gen. J.C. Smuts. At the end of that campaign it was disbanded . Many members of both battalions joined the 4th SAI ( South African Scottish) which was the Fourth Regiment of the 1st SA Infantry Brigade. The Brigade saw service in Libya and France. The 4th SAI emerged from the Battle of Delville Wood with 4 officers and 38 other ranks.
In World War II, the 1st Battalion formed part of the 1st South African Brigade and was brigaded with the Natal Carbineers and the Duke of Edinburgh's Own Rifles (Dukes). It was the first South African unit to enter enemy territory, and went into action for the first time as E1 Wak. This Battalion fought throughout the East African Campaign, and then in North Africa, being involved in such actions as the Crusader campaign, Gazala Line and Alamein. Towards the end of the was the Battalion amalgamated with the Duke of Edinburgh's Own Rifles (Dukes) and the Rand Light Infantry to form "D.S.R." which saw service in Italy.
The 2nd Battalion was resuscitated in 1936 and was brigaded with two battalions od South African Police to form the 6th South African Brigade. The brigade saw action as Sollum, Halfaya Pass, Gazala Line, Acroma Keep and Commonwealth Box in North Africa. At Tobruk the brigade went into captivity and ceased to exist.
The 3rd Battalion was formed in 1939 and moved to East Africa as part of the 5th South African Brigade. They were brigaded with the South African Irish Regiment and Regiment Botha . This brigade saw action at Hobok and Mega before moving to North Africa where its existence was short lived when it was overwhelmed at Sidi Rezegh.
During the Second World War the Regiment earned the following awards.
D.S.O = 4
M.C. and Bar = 2
M.C. = 16
D.C.M. = 7
M.M. = 34
George Cross = 1
O.B.E. = 2
M.B.E. = 2
M.I.D. = 61
Kings Commendation = 2
The Regiment sustained the following Casualties:
Killed in action or died of wounds ..................168
Prisoners of War ................................................1023
The Prisoner of war total was comprised of 686 members of the ill fated Tobruk garrisson and 337 were Sidi Rezegh survivors.
It is interesting to note that during the Second World War the Transvaal Scottish was the only unit of the Union Defence Force to have three battalions serving beyond the borders of South Africa. In 1953 the Freedom of the City of Johannesburg was conferred on the Regiment. The Transvaal Scottish was the first Citizen Force Unite to receive this honour. The Freedom of Benoni and Barberton was conferred on the Transvaal Scottish in Subsequent years.
The only member of the Regiment to attain the rank of General is Maj.-Gen. N.N. Webster S.S.A.,S.M.,J.C.D. He was a former commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion.
After the war the 1st and 2nd Battalions were amalgamated in 1954 and the 3rd Battalion was reformed as the 7th Medium Regiment S.A.A. (3rd Transvaal Scottish). The 3rd Battalion was later disbanded in 1960.
In 1970 the 2nd Battalion was re-established in Johannesburg.
In1976 both Battalions saw service in the Border War ; the 1st Battalion in Angola and South West Africa, now Namibia, and teh 2nd Battalion along with Caprivi Strip. Since then, until 1984, men of both Battalions have been called up at least once a year for service in South West African Border War.
Until the 1990's , the role of 1 Transvaal Scottish has been a conventional one. They participate in a number of important operational exercises and also conducted peace keeping operations in Black unrest areas on the Witwatersrand and in Natal.
2 Transvaal Scottish , during this period, conducted Counter Insurgency (COIN) operations along the North Western Transvaal border with Botswana and along the border with Zimbabwe.
During the Border War, W.O 1 T. Wright of 2 Transvaal Scottish was awarded the Honoris Crux.
BATTLE HONOURS : 18
REGIMENTA: TARTAN : Murray of Atholl
THE PIPERS TARTAN : Murray of Tullibardine
REGIMENTAL MARCH : The Atholl Highlanders
MOTTO: Alba nam Buadh