The Royal Scots are Scotland's oldest infantry regiment, with a tradition that stretches back to 1633. This first concise history of the regiment is based largely on the recollections of several generations of Royal Scots - men like Private McBane, who carried his three-year-old son into battle at Malplaquet, and Private Begbie, the youngest soldier to serve in the First World War. These first-hand accounts take the reader through the great wars of the eighteenth century, when Britain was a rising global power, through the setbacks and the triumphs of the Napoleonic Wars and on to the glorious years of the nineteenth century.
The two world wars of the twentieth century saw the Royals expand in size, and there are full accounts of its meritorious service on all the main battle fronts. More recently, the regiment has been involved in operations in the Balkans and Iraq.
In 2006, in one of the most radical changes in the country's defence policy, the Royal Scots will be amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. Royal Scots is, therefore, a timely celebration of the British Army's most venerable regiment, right of the line and second to none.