The London Scottish Regiment


Abbots Langley

North Mimms


The 14th County of London Regiment (the London Scottish) was a territorial regiment that went to Abbots Langley to train in August 1914 and were sent on to France in September. They were the first regiment of the 2nd London Division (later the 47th Division) to see action, with fatal consequences for many of the men.

The Second Line Battalion was based in the Watford area between April and June 1915, and attended a musketry course at North Mimms in August 1915. They later went to France, Salonika and Egypt as part of the 60th Division.

London Scottish Territorial Troops in a rural billet, alsmost certainly Abbots Langley, Herts, August/September 1914.


Men of the London Gunners Regiment

 in rural billet, in Abbots Langley area during August or September, 1914


Postcard by Harry Cull, Photographer, 169 St Albans Road, Watford


Negative No (in pencil) 1093/10


London Scottish Cap Badge

The London Scottish cap badge


Cap Badge from photograph



Andrew Waterston, of High Wycombe writes: The young man in the coveralls sitting on the bucket at the front of your picture is my Great Uncle, 1847 Pte George Alexander Waterston.  He joined the London Scottish in 1913 and was posted to G Company.  He had grown up around army horses as his father had been awarded the DCM serving in the Royal Horse Guards and had gone on to run the canteen above Horse Guards in Whitehall, so the coveralls suggest he may have been employed looking after the officers' chargers - or he may have just been a messy eater!

Yours is the last photograph we have of him. He transferred to D Company and was killed less than 3 months later on the night of 31st October 1914 in the attack on the burning Windmill at Messines.  He was 20 years old.  His elder brother, Will was killed at Festubert in May 1915, unaware that his younger brother was already dead.

Infantry Battalions to the Front.


In September it was decided to send the London Scottish Battalion to reinforce the Expeditionary Force. Lieutenant Colonel Collen recorded their departure:

15th September: Accompanied GOC and staff to see the London Scottish entrained at Watford. They went in 2˝ Battalion trains and were seen off by Sir Ian Hamilton. It was rather depressing seeing them go. It is, I think too, much too premature to send them even though they are all wanted perhaps to reinforce the Guards or take their place. They have practically all trained men and nearly all have done their musketry but still they are not ready yet and it is rather bad luck on the Battalion to send them too early. One can only hope that they will be given some chance on the lines of communication to shake down before they are really wanted.

London Gunners, Chapter 17.

The First Battle involving the London Scottish


When the London Scottish Battalion sailed for France Lieutenant Colonel Collen had recorded in his diary his doubts about their battle readiness. For six weeks they carried out duties behind the lines, such as escorting prisoners to the coast, unloading supplies from ships, putting up huts, and such like. On the 31st October, 1915, they had the opportunity to fight on the ridge at Wytschaete, near Ypres. They rushed forward with vigour. “Then someone discovered that the Germans were coming up in a solid mass behind us, so we doubled back to hold the trench. ... The people we had fired on turned on us and started to advance, and a third lot was bearing down to enfilade us. The sergeant’s rifle jammed permanently then. He took mine, but that jammed too! So had most of the rest - and we were almost surrounded. There was a ring of fire round the trench and just one solid sound of bullets.


The British Press, including The Gazette, praised the courage of the London Scottish while carefully drawing a veil over their casualties and foolhardiness. Inexperienced as they were, and determined to show the Regulars that the Territorial could fight, they had misread the situation, forgot about their flanks, and found themselves under heavy fire from three sides. Of the 750 men who had attacked, 345 were killed, wounded or missing by the following day.

London Gunners, Chapter 19.

London Scottish at Work - First World War

(No publisher - description printed on reverse)

After being in position but 48 hours the London Scottish were ordered to attack a village. Under darkness they advanced and when within a few hundred yards charged with their bayonets. After a few sharp thrusts in the narrow streets the Germans fled and the London Scottish won their first success.

London Scottish - World War 1 - Photographer Cull, Watford

Frank Moffat

Pictures kindly provided by his granddaughter Valerie Hatton of  Queensland, Australia

This card shows soldiers of the London Scottish, location unknown,  but photographed by Harry Cull of Watford, suggesting they were in the Watford area.  There is some ambiguity over the correct negative number, but the soldiers probably come from the First Battalion, who went to France in September 1914, and not the 2nd Battalion, which moved to Watford in April 1915.

Frank Moffat

?in France?


Another undated picture shows him in Reigate

Second Line Troops - the  2/14th Battalion (London Scottish)

Musketry Camp, North Mimms, August 1915

Images kindly provided by Peter Miller

World War 1: London Scottish: North Mimms, 1915: Musketry Cource


The above two cards carry the date 28 August 1915 on the back

The Troops must be the 2/14th (County of London) Battalion (London Scottish) which became part of the 60th Division. The Battalion was formed in September 1914, moved to Maidstone in January 1915, to Watford in April 1915, to Saffron Walden in June 1915 and to Sutton Veny in January 1916. After a short time in Ireland in connection with the Irish Rebellion they went to France in June 1916, and later to Salonika and Egypt.

The Long Long Trail


The Musketry Camp was about 5 miles from the Chalk Hill Rifle Range, St Albans, where musketry courses were being held in 1919, and presumably earlier.



Miss L. Piper

Dunstall Hall, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Sep 3rd

Dear L. Sorry I did not have time to stop and see you last Monday. Hope you had a good time at B. We have just got back to Saffron again worse luck. Had a good time for a week at North Mimms. I was up in town 5 times last week so it wasn't bad. I sent down hear last Sat & had a week-end pass put in & its gone through all right so will be up again tomorrow. Thanks very much for parcel Lill I told Alice to thank you . Hope to see you soon. Doug.

Photographer: W. H. Christmas, Photographer, 8 Queens Road, Bowes Park, N

He was probably Walter Henry Christmas, brother of Lea Latimer Christmas, photographer of Watford and St Albans. In 1911 Walter was described as a clerk living at 8 Queens Road, Wood Green.


Miss L. Piper was undoubtedly Lily Morgan Gordon Piper (born 1887, Baxted, Sussex) who in 1911 was one of a number of servants living in the house of Sir Reginald Hardy, Colonel, Staffordshire Yeomanry, at Dunstall.

The identity of Doug is unknown and there are no obvious clues as Lily did not have a brother of that name and her husband, when she married in 1931, was a Russell E Gates.

The Regimental Web Site

Wikipedia Entry



The London Scottish In The Great War

Mark Lloyd 2001 1st Ed

For two centuries the officers and men of the London Scottish have faithfully served their country and never more so than during the terrible years of the Great War. Initially with the 1st Guards Brigade and later with the 56th (London) Division, the 1st Battalion served in France and Flanders throughout the War. They were the first Territorial soldiers to be committed to battle when, at Messines in 1914, they suffered one-third casualties and were among the last to disengage. So dedicated was the London Scottish to the prosecution of its cause that, by November 1918, the 1st Battalion included only three survivors of the original Battle of Messines. The 2nd Battalion saw action in campaigns as diverse as France and Flanders, Ireland, the Balkans and Palestine where it won two Victoria Crosses.

[I have not seen this book but include details for information.

November 2011   Page created
December 2012   Card provided by Valerie
January 2013   Battle PC added
January 2014   North Mimms cards
April 2014