Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders – Recruitment and Service

The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (“Argylls”) was an infantry regiment of the British Army. Stirling Castle was the home of the Argylls and was where new recruits received their training. Stirling Council Archives holds an old recruiting brochure (c.1938) amongst its collections.

In the brochure, when they speak of training and military duties, they focus greatly on the opportunity for the soldiers to get involved in sporting activities. Very little is mentioned about being on active service:

“The 1st Battalion are very keen on games and soldiers who wish to play are given excellent opportunities of playing almost any game.”

It is likely that many of the men recruited through this marketing effort would have gone on to serve in the Second World War. Sergeant Hugh Cameron served in the 1st Battalion of the Argylls at this time. Stirling Council Archives holds his personal scrapbook, which contains photos and postcards of “Persons and Places 1940 – 1946”. The scrapbook reveals that he served in Eritrea, Abyssinia, Sudan, Egypt, Palestine and finally Italy. It is beautifully presented and gives an insight into what life was like for a soldier outside of action. For example, he has photos of himself and comrades relaxing and others of the indigenous people in Abysinnia.

The newspapers held at Stirling Council Archives are a great resource to researchers trying to find out more about local individuals who served. Private Robert Currie of Stirling served in the 2nd Battalion of the Argylls and died on 17 December 1941. The Stirling Observer for 24 Feb 1942 reports that he was missing in Malaya. It is not known how much longer it took for news to reach his parents that he had died. Private Currie is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial. The memorial contains the names of over 24,000 soldiers, of which 229 were Argylls, who have no known grave.

References:

Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Museum website

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