AS THE country prepares to mark Remembrance Day on November 11, thoughts turn to the contributions and sacrifices made by the Armed Forces.
Scots have long served in armies across Europe. The Garde Écossaise was founded in 1418 to be the personal bodyguard of the French king, and finally disbanded in 1830.
During the Thirty Years War in the early 17th century, thousands of Scots travelled to fight under various commanders on the continent.
Following the Act of Union in 1707, English and Scottish regiments were brought together to form the first British Army.
Scottish regiments have played crucial roles in some of the most significant battles in modern history.
The Scots Greys are said to have shouted ‘Scotland Forever!’ while charging into battle against Napoleon’s French army at Waterloo in 1815.
The Black Watch were the first to cross the Rhine as the Allies pushed east into Nazi Germany in 1945 following the D-Day landings the previous year.
Following the Second World War, the number of Scots serving in the army remained high as National Service continued until 1960. This required healthy males 17 to 21-years-old were to serve in the armed forces for 18 months, and remain on the reserve list for four years.
The end of the Cold War saw many Western nations reducing their military expenditure.
The 2004 decision by the then Labour Government to merge Scotland’s traditional infantry regiments under one name and cap badge prompted a fierce campaign of opposition from veterans, but ultimately the new Royal Regiment of Scotland was created in 2006.