The Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum

The Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum Museum devoted to the history of Glasgow and Ayrshire's local regiment and its people. We are small, local museum devoted to passing on knowledge on The Royal Highland Fusiliers, its history (their predecessors Highland Light Infantry and Royal Scots Fusiliers), people and impact.
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As well as sustaining memory of British troops all over the world, including regiment successors 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Operating as usual

Tonight all over the world, Robert (Rabbie) Burns will be remembered - presumably, virtually, in these uncertain times -...
25/01/2021

Tonight all over the world, Robert (Rabbie) Burns will be remembered - presumably, virtually, in these uncertain times - indeed, Royal Highland Fusiliers veterans, led by the Inverness Branch, held their own very successful Burn's Night on Saturday!

Of course, not only was Rabbie a poet and national icon, but he was also a Private in The Royal Dumfries Volunteers for the last eighteen months of his life. Although brief, his service was dedicated, conscientious and should be remembered along with his other achievements.

The Dumfries Volunteers were formed on 31 January 1795 and Robert attended the inaugural meeting held in the Dumfries Court House. This was at a time when the fear of invasion from France was rife and many volunteer regiments were raised around the United Kingdom to protect local communities.

At a meeting on 20 February, Colonel de Peyster was elected Major Commandant of the Corps by the members. Mrs De Peyster then provided the corps with a flag and Colonel de Peyster commissioned 100 ‘Brown Bess’ muskets from Birmingham.

On 21 March, Wellwood Maxwell (probably of Munches near Buittle) was made lieutenant to the second company, in which Burns served. Members agreed to provide their own uniform, serve without pay during the war with France and to have an area of operations not more than 5 miles outside of Dumfries.

Robert was among 59 members who took the Oath of Allegiance and signed the Rules, Regulations and Bye-Laws on 28 March. The governing body of the corps was a committee consisting of all officers and eight members.

Robert's song "Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat" (also known as ‘The Dumfries Volunteers’), appeared in the Dumfries Weekly Journal during April 1795.

Burns attended the meetings, the drill sessions, served on the committee and was never fined for absenteeism, drunkenness or insolence as were many members, both officers and privates.

Drills were held for two hours, twice a week and committee service involved supplying the corps with arms and other material. All this work was on top of his excise duties and, of course, his writing. This contrasts markedly with his ‘traditional’ image as a hard-drinking womanizer.

On 25 July 1796, Robert's funeral was conducted with military ceremony. In addition to his own Dumfries Volunteers it included the Cinque Port Cavalry and the Angus-shire Fencibles. He was buried in the northeast corner of St. Michael's churchyard, a quarter of a mile from his home. His volunteer unifom hat and sword crowned the coffin. The Dumfries Volunteers acted as the pall bearers, the Cinque Port Cavalry band played the Dead March from Saul by Handel and the Angus-shire Fencibles ended the procession with a guard that fired three volleys over the grave.

Once the threat of invasion was past, the Royal Dumfries Volunteers were disbanded in 1802 after only seven years.

More famously, Robert also wrote "The Soldier's Return"; but it is strange how so few of his biographers barely mention what was clearly an important part of the last days of his life.

So, let us raise a wee glass tonight to Rabbie and remember an element of his life that is often forgotten!

Today, we remember Fusilier Dennis Donnini VC - 76 years ago today on 18 January 1945, Dennis died in an heroic action f...
18/01/2021

Today, we remember Fusilier Dennis Donnini VC - 76 years ago today on 18 January 1945, Dennis died in an heroic action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross - the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British & Commonwealth forces.

Dennis was born on 17 November 1925 in Easington Colliery, County Durham - he was the son of Alfredo and Catherine Donnini, who ran an ice-cream parlour & billiards saloon. Alfredo had settled in England in 1899 and had five children: Dennis's two older brothers (Alfred & Louis Dino) who both served in the British Army - Louis was killed on 1 May 1944. Dennis's two older sisters (Corrina & Silvia) both enlisted in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS). However, this did not prevent their father, being an Italian national, being interned for much of the war as an "enemy alien".

Dennis enlisted in The Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1944, and was posted to 4/5th Battalion (4/5 RSF), and had only been in the Army for nine months prior to Operation Blackcock. He told his parents that when he got there he would end the war!

In North-West Europe, on 18 January 1945, 4/5 RSF, supported by tanks was the leading Battalion in the assault of the German positions between the rivers Roer and Maas. This consisted of a broad belt of minefields and wire on the other side of a stream.

As the result of a thaw the armour was unable to cross the stream and the infantry had to continue the assault without the support of the tanks. Dennis's platoon was ordered to attack a small village. As they left their trenches the platoon came under concentrated machine gun and rifle fire from the houses and Dennis was hit by a bullet in the head. After a few minutes he recovered consciousness, charged down thirty yards of open road and threw a grenade into the nearest window.

The enemy fled through the gardens of four houses, closely pursued by Dennis and the survivors of his platoon. Under heavy fire at seventy yards range, Dennis and two companions crossed an open space and reached the cover of a wooden barn, thirty yards from the enemy trenches. Dennis, still bleeding profusely from his wound, went into the open under intense close range fire and carried one of his companions, who had been wounded, into the barn. Taking a Bren gun he again went into the open, firing as he went.

He was wounded a second time but recovered and went on firing until a third bullet hit a grenade which he was carrying and killed him. Dennis's superb gallantry and self-sacrifice drew the enemy fire away from his companions on to himself. As the result of this, the platoon were able to capture the position, accounting for thirty Germans and two machine guns.

Dennis was buried in Sittard War Cemetery, Sittard, Netherlands.

At just 19, he was the youngest recipient of the VC in the Second World War.
It was reputed that Dennis’ father remained detained until being released at the behest of King George VI, whom he met after he was granted leave to receive his son’s posthumous Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace. .

We have been privileged to attend commemorations for Dennis at Easington Colliery over the years and the Museum are proud to hold the campaign medals of this very brave young fusilier.

Her Majesty The Queen, in an act of remembrance: a bouquet of flowers featuring orchids and myrtle - based on Her Majest...
11/11/2020

Her Majesty The Queen, in an act of remembrance: a bouquet of flowers featuring orchids and myrtle - based on Her Majesty’s own wedding bouquet from 1947 - was placed on the grave of the Unknown Warrior.

During the wedding of Lady Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) and King George VI in 1923, Lady Elizabeth paused on her way down the aisle to lay her bouquet on the grave of the Unknown Warrior, in memory of her brother Fergus who was killed in 1915 at the Battle of Loos during the First World War. Lady Elizabeth became the only Royal bride to walk down the aisle without her bouquet.

Her spontaneous action of remembrance created a beautiful tradition for other Royal Brides to follow, in 1947 Queen Elizabeth II also laid down her bouquet, as did, among others, The Princess Royal, The Countess of Wessex, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duchess of Sussex and both Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York.

Today is the centenary of the dedication of the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey - the grave that repres...
11/11/2020

Today is the centenary of the dedication of the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey - the grave that represents all those men and women who have died in the service of our county - many of them, unidentified: "Known only unto God" - but that is not entirely true - as each and everyone of them had families who loved and missed them!

The story began as to how the grave came about began in 1916: the Reverend David Railton, an Anglican clergyman serving on the Western Front, spotted a grave in a back garden in Armentieres, France. Written on a cross in the grave were the words: "An Unknown British Soldier".

Reverend Railton said: “How that grave caused me to think … I thought and thought. What can I do to ease the pain of father, mother, brother, sister, sweetheart, wife and friend? Quietly and gradually there came out of the mist of thought this answer clear and strong. ‘Let this body – this symbol of him – be carried over the sea to his native land.’”

Four years later, Railton wrote to the Dean of Westminster Abbey, Herbert Ryle, to suggest having a nationally-recognised grave for an unknown soldier and the idea caught the public imagination.

The unknown warrior's body was chosen from the bodies of six British servicemen whose bodies had been exhumed from battlefields on the Western Front: the Aisne, the Somme, Arras and Ypres.

These remains were brought to a chapel on the night of 7 November 1920, where Brigadier General John Wyatt, Commander of British Forces in France & Belgium, randomly chose one body.

It could have been anybody: the body of a Lord, a farmer, a factory worker. A saint. A sinner.

The point was that the nation might honour him without distinction of rank, birth or service.

The fact that the identity of the soldier was unknown, meant it could represent anyone and everyone.

The body was treated with every honour and dignity.

The journey home began when the casket, made of oak from trees from the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, was placed onto a French military wagon, drawn by six black horses. All the church bells of Boulogne tolled, the massed trumpets of the French cavalry and the bugles of the French infantry played the French ‘Last Post’.

The mile-long procession—led by a thousand local schoolchildren and escorted by a division of French troops—made its way down to the harbour. As the body was taken aboard HMS Verdun it was piped on board as though an Admiral was boarding the ship.

Six battleships escorted HMS Verdun and as the flotilla approached Dover, it received a 19-gun salute - usually reserved for Field Marshalls.

During the morning of 11 November, one hundred years ago, the unknown soldier began the journey to his final resting place, drawn on a gun carriage of The Royal Horse Artillery as another Field Marshall’s salute was fired in Hyde Park.

At the newly unveiled Cenotaph, the cortege was joined by the King and other members of the Royal Family.

At 11 o’clock there was a two-minute silence, and the body was brought into Westminster Abbey, passing through a guard of honour of 100 holders of the Victoria Cross.

In the Abbey itself, sat 100 women who had lost husbands or sons, who watched as the coffin was buried under soil brought from the battlefields of Europe.

The King placed his wreath of red roses and bay leaves on the coffin. His card read "In proud memory of those Warriors who died unknown in the Great War. Unknown, and yet well-known; as dying, and behold they live. George R.I. November 11th 1920".

The inscription, composed by the Dean of Westminster reads:
BENEATH THIS STONE RESTS THE BODY
OF A BRITISH WARRIOR
UNKNOWN BY NAME OR RANK
BROUGHT FROM FRANCE TO LIE AMONG
THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS OF THE LAND
AND BURIED HERE ON ARMISTICE DAY
11 NOV: 1920, IN THE PRESENCE OF
HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE V
HIS MINISTERS OF STATE
THE CHIEFS OF HIS FORCES
AND A VAST CONCOURSE OF THE NATION
THUS ARE COMMEMORATED THE MANY
MULTITUDES WHO DURING THE GREAT
WAR OF 1914-1918 GAVE THE MOST THAT
MAN CAN GIVE LIFE ITSELF
FOR GOD
FOR KING AND COUNTRY
FOR LOVED ONES HOME AND EMPIRE
FOR THE SACRED CAUSE OF JUSTICE AND
THE FREEDOM OF THE WORLD
THEY BURIED HIM AMONG THE KINGS BECAUSE HE
HAD DONE GOOD TOWARD GOD AND TOWARD
HIS HOUSE

Around the main inscription are four texts:
(top) THE LORD KNOWETH THEM THAT ARE HIS,
(sides) GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS

UNKNOWN AND YET WELL KNOWN, DYING AND BEHOLD WE LIVE,

(base) IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE.

.

08/11/2020
31/10/2020
31/10/2020
www.poppyscotland.org

The following press release is from Poppy Scotland - sadly all Remembrance events have been cancelled due to Coronavirus.

REMEMBRANCE EVENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
The annual national remembrance events that were scheduled to take place in Edinburgh on Remembrance Sunday (8th November 2020) and Armistice Day (11 November 2020) will not be open
to the public following confirmation of Coronavirus guidelines by the Scottish Government yesterday.

Under the Scottish Government Strategic Framework outdoor standing events are not permitted in areas placed in Levels 1 to 4, which means that traditional remembrance services and parades at outdoor war memorials must be cancelled. Services held in places of worship can proceed if undertaken in line with Government guidelines but will be limited in size.

However, Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland are encouraging alternative arrangements to be made for marking remembrance this year. The public are being encouraged to take to their doorsteps at 11am on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day to mark the two-minute silence. The BBC will televise proceedings from the Cenotaph in London on 8 November and both charities will be broadcasting a virtual service of remembrance on 11 November.
.
Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, Dr Claire Armstrong, said: “Coronavirus must not cancel remembrance, but public safety is paramount. The Scottish Government guidance means that it is simply not safe to proceed with our planned national events. It also means that for most of the country, local remembrance events cannot take place either. However, we can and must take time as a nation to observe the two-minute silence safely, and ensure we come together in spirit to pay our respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“While we cannot stage our traditional Remembrance Sunday event at Edinburgh’s Stone of Remembrance, we will be holding a small private service and wreath laying within the Scottish National
War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle, highlights of which will be broadcast via the news media and our social media channels afterwards. This service will be conducted in strict adherence with Scottish Government guidelines on places of worship, with only a very small, invited number of wreath layers in attendance. Legion Scotland will also lay wreaths at the Stone of Remembrance on behalf of those organisation who would normally attend in person.”

Commenting on the Scottish Government’s restrictions and the implications for the remembrance period, Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans, Graeme Dey MSP, said: “Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for people in Scotland to join with others across the world to commemorate those who laid
down their lives for their country, but the pandemic has made that much more difficult this year.

“We understand it will be disappointing to many people that national services will not be open to the public, however, due to the risk of public gatherings spreading the virus and endangering lives, we would encourage those who want to pay their respects to do so safely in other ways.

“It is vitally important that all of us abide by the restrictions to help save lives and protect the NHS as we are remembering the incredible sacrifice that so many have made.”

The 2020 Scottish Poppy Appeal continues, albeit with thousands of volunteers forced to stay at home. This has seen Scotland’s biggest annual street collection badly affected with much of the vital fundraising now taking place online.

Mark Collins, Chief Executive of Poppyscotland added: “So many of our traditional and planned remembrance activities cannot proceed and that comes with great disappointment to many, myself
included. Remembrance remains a period of personal reflection and while we cannot share in that moment in the usual way, we can and must continue to remember those who have sacrificed so much for us in new and different ways.

“Our Armed Forces community rely on the vital, life-changing support provided by Poppyscotland and this is largely made possible by the donations we receive to the Scottish Poppy Appeal. That is why I am urging the public to donate differently this year.

“We have launched a number of new digital innovations including our Virtual Field of Remembrance, QR codes and contactless chips on poppy boxes and our Donate, Download and Display campaign. Many supermarket collections are also continuing, and poppies are still widely available from the usual outlets. As we approach the final few days of the Appeal, we’re urging the public to show their support online like never before. Our Armed Forces community are counting on us all.

The Scottish Government guidelines on remembrance events can be viewed at:
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-remembrance-2020/

To donate to the Scottish Poppy Appeal visit: www.poppyscotl

Address

518 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow
G2 3LW

Opening Hours

Monday 13:15 - 16:00
Monday 09:00 - 12:30
Tuesday 13:15 - 16:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 12:30
Wednesday 13:15 - 16:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 12:30
Thursday 13:15 - 16:00
Thursday 09:00 - 12:30
Friday 13:15 - 15:00
Friday 09:00 - 12:30

Telephone

01413320961

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Comments

My distinguished relative Sgt Alexander Edwards VC.