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Scottish Rifle Volunteers


Introduction The Origins, Development and Organisation of The Scottish Volunteer Force The Records Listings of Records Bibliography Locations of Volunteer Units

Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers

Arnold Morrison 2012

The Historical Background

I have accepted with gratification and pride The extensive offers of service I have received From my subjects. This manifestation of public Spirit has added an important element to our System of national defence. Queen Victoria 1860

Scotland has a long tradition of auxiliary forces raised for national defence in times of threatened invasion. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries perceived or actual threats of the invasion of British soil by France and her Continental allies dominated political and military policy, coming acutely to a head during the Napoleonic Wars between 1793 and 1815, then reflected in Franco-British tensions through the 19 th century until shifting national rivalries in the 20th century saw Germany replacing France as the dominant threat, expressed dramatically in the two World Wars of 1914 - 19 and 1939 - 45. The numerous Volunteer Corps raised in the Napoleonic Wars were largely disbanded when the conflict ended, to be revived in midcentury by the Rifle Volunteers and allied Volunteer Forces, then followed in the 20 th century by the Territorial Force/Army, and during the |Second World War, supplemented during hostilities by the Local Defence Volunteers/ Home Guard. These various auxiliary forces, which recruited volunteers from all sectors of society, changed fundamentally over two centuries in terms of organisation and their connections with the Regular Army. The Rifle, Artillery, Engineer, Medical and Service Corps Volunteers between 1859 and 1908 marked an important transition from the short-lived forces of 1793-1815 to the permanent and integrated Territorial Army of today. However, they are not only interesting militarily; although few ever fired a shot or shell in anger they were a striking feature of the social and military landscape of Victorian and Edwardian Scotland. The Rifle Volunteers and other units of the Scottish Volunteer Force have received considerable attention from writers on military history, so that there is a wealth of descriptive material on the raising of units, their activities and their uniforms. However, their individual records may be of particular interest to family historians, identifying forebears who served in these units and then leading to a wider understanding of the roles of family members in one of the most popular social as well as military institutions of Victorian and Edwardian times. This booklet focusses on the surviving records of individual Volunteers. The first part deals briefly with the historical background to the Volunteers, then considers the characteristics of the Volunteer units and the types of records available on units and individuals. The following part discusses the factors affecting the diverse locations of existing records, then provides a substantial listing of locations and contents of records, principally those in Scottish archives, libraries and elsewhere. An Outline of the Creation and Development of the Scottish Volunteer Force Despite being allies against Russia during the Crimean War the old rivalries between France and Britain came to a head again in the latter years of the 1850s. As President then Emperor of France, Napoleon the Third was strengthening Frances military and naval forces, and adopting an aggressive foreign policy which lead to war with Austria over the Unification of Italy, and colonial expansion. Britain meanwhile had a regular army which was heavily committed to acquiring and maintaining overseas possessions and to the restoration of order in India during the Mutiny. There was, so it was argued, a lack of home forces to defend Britain against an invasion. The fear grew that an increasingly powerful France might well threaten invasion. Stimulated through newspapers and public meetings, popular sentiment

called for a strengthening of home defences through raising a Volunteer force of part-time soldiers which could be called to active service if the need arose. Such was the hostility generated towards France and the ambitions of Napoleon the Third that offers flooded in from influential individuals in all parts of Great Britain to create Volunteer units, principally of riflemen and gunners. And in turn, there was an enthusiastic response from men from many backgrounds - landed gentry and estate workers, manufacturers and their employees, and members of professional bodies,such as

Orkney Artillery Volunteers

lawyers, clerks, shopkeepers and tradesmen. Thus, in the first flush of enthusiasm in 1859-60 in Edinburgh there were corps formed by advocates and Writers to the Signet, accountants, civil servants, bankers, merchants, highlanders, artisans, freemasons, artisans and even total abstainers. And in Glasgow, corps were raised by district, the University of Glasgow, procurators, stockbrokers, shipping companies, grain merchants, jewellers and men employed in various industries at Port Dundas. In rural areas corps were raised in districts, such as in Inverness-shire where units were based in Inverness, Lochaber, Badenoch and Beauly. Meanwhile, Scots living in England formed units in Liverpool and London Whilst patriotic motives lay at the heart of many Volunteers, membership of Volunteer Corps offered part-time training in rifle shooting and gunnery, physical activities and sports. Football teams were popular, such as the 3rd Lanark, 23rd Renfrewshire and 5th Kirkcudbright Rifle Volunteers Football Clubs, the first, Third Lanark FC, winning the Scottish Cup in 1889. Moreover, as well as the camaraderie and social standing of a disciplined, attractively uniformed and respected organisation, service as a Volunteer could sit comfortably alongside domestic and working life. Faced with calls to recognize the many requests to form units, the Secretary of State for War in May 1859 sanctioned the formal raising of the Volunteers and provided a basic set of rules

on organisation and provision. The Lords Lieutenant, the Queens representatives in the counties, were instructed to submit proposals for the formation of corps and for commissioning officers. Members of units were responsible for providing arms, equipment and uniforms, as agreed with the lord lieutenant, and for defraying expenses, except when on active service. Each unit had to formulate a set of rules and regulations and the Secretary of State for War fixed the establishment of officers and other ranks. Manuals for instructing members in drill and weaponry were prepared, experienced non-commissioned officers seconded as instructors and the government provided finance for establishing rifle ranges where needed. Following the initial enthusiasm for the various corps - rifle, artillery, engineers and some mounted infantry - and the relative freedom of units to develop their individual styles, the government became more involved, so that in 1860 the variously formed independent companies were formed into groups of units, each with an administrative battalion. In 1861 the first Regulations for the Volunteer Force were introduced, then in 1863 the state-supported character of the Forces was formalised in the 1863 Volunteer Act. Thereafter, increased attention was given to improving efficiency and standards of training, to the training of officers to introducing new rifles and to providing drill halls and rifle ranges. Government funding had to increase to meet these developments, but also because the levels of public subscriptions fell as the initial enthusiasm for creating units declined. As well as continuing changes in the internal organisation and administration of the Volunteer forces, not least in transferring most of the powers of the lords lieutenant to the Queen and Secretary of State in 1871, the Regular Army was itself being reorganised in the 1870s and 80s. In particular, the numbered infantry regiments were given territorial designations and militia and Volunteer battalions became fully assimilated into the structure of their local regiments, as third, fourth and subsequent battalions. The Volunteer units were, of course, there for internal defence; however, the manpower demands during the Second Boer War (1899-1902) were such as to enable Volunteers to serve in South Africa, as some five thousand from Scotland chose to do, drawn principally from Volunteer infantry, engineers, mounted infantry and medical units. Following the war there was further reorganisation, culminating in 1908 when the Volunteer Force ceased to exist as such and became, together with the Yeomanry Regiments, the Territorial Force or Territorial Army.

Volunteer Long Service Medal Instituted in 1894

Queens South Africa Medal

During the existence of the Scottish Volunteer Force the annual number of enlisted men who served at one time or another was over forty thousand, so that by counting former members and new recruits the total number over fifty years was considerably higher. Consequently, many families in Scotland may have forebears who served at some time or another. Researching Volunteer Forebears The manner in which units of Volunteers were initially raised, through local committees and influential sponsors, means that the men who volunteered typically came from the local community. Furthermore, the part-time nature of service meant that men could easily combine membership with their daily lives and occupations, not being subject to movement like fulltime regulars and militiamen. And thirdly, occupation and social status might well influence the local unit they chose to join and whether they did so as officers or other ranks. So, an artisan in a factory or shipyard might well join a unit composed of fellow workers, a clerk might join those of similar social status in the area, whilst a member of the gentry or the professional classes might join a unit composed of lawyers, merchants and men of similar standing or seek appointment as a commissioned officer. Consequently, the search for a family member should begin with basic information on where he was living, his occupation and whether his social/professional status might or not indicate commissioned officer rank. Of course,a search might begin with nothing more than the above information; however, there may survive items of family memorabilia or an oral tradition that someone was a part-time soldier which may give clues to a particular unit, the period when someone might have served as a Volunteer or what his rank may have been. Photographs, letters or clips from local newspapers, certificates, medals or ribbons, badges can all be useful, either in starting a search or, later, helping to confirm or give detail to findings once someone has been identified as a Volunteer. The Records The origins of the Volunteers in local communities throughout Scotland, coupled with the developing involvement of the Crown, County Lieutenancies, Parliament and the War Office in London in the organisation of the force over the fifty years of its existence, mean that many kinds of records were created and are now to be found in archives, libraries and various other locations throughout Scotland and further afield in London and other places in the United Kingdom. Consequently, any search for a forebear may have to be wide-ranging, potentially including primary and secondary sources from national and district archives and from a wealth of community resources. The main of sources of information are: Lists of Volunteers Each unit kept lists of personnel, in the form of enrolment rolls, oaths of allegiance, muster lists and nominal rolls. Although such lists varied somewhat in content they typically included name, dates, parish, rank and key dates. There may also be lists of attendance at rifle drills and at particular parades and camps. Two other lists of names are very helpful: the names of those attending the Royal Review of 1860, covering units throughout Scotland, and those from north east Scotland who were present at the Royal Review of 1905. Since these lists contain thousands of names and give the units and broad locations, they can be particularly useful for seeking forebears at those early and late times of the Force. Records of Commissioned Officers: while commissioned officers appear in lists mentioned

above, their appointment involved the Crown, the county lieutenant and the War Office. Consequently, basic information on recommendation, appointment, promotion and resignation can be found in lieutenancy correspondence, in Army Lists giving name, rank and unit, and in the official London and Edinburgh Gazettes. Some full or part lists can be found, such as the full list of Volunteer officers for 1863 in Parliamentary Papers HC1863 xxxii 583. And, since many officers came from landed or professional families, mentions of family members can be found in family and estate papers, many of which now to be found as Gifts and Deposits in national and district archives. Unit Records: Each Volunteer unit kept general records of its administration and activities. These took the form of letter books, minute books, orderly books and cash records. These were the responsibility of the commanding officer and the adjutant. In them it is possible to find the names of individual officers and other ranks and the reasons for their mention. Some of these items may appear in archival catalogues as papers and need to be examined.
A famous Football Club

Royal Scottish Volunteer Review, Edinburgh 1860

Nominal Roll Stirling Volunteer Rifle Corps 1880

Medal Rolls: Volunteers with long service were awarded either the Long Service Medal for other ranks or the Volunteer Decoration for commissioned officers, both awards given for twenty years service and held on a green ribbon to distinguish them from awards to regular soldiers. Also, those Volunteers who served in the Boer War 1899 - 1902 were entitled to the South Africa medal. Medal Rolls are held in the National Archives in London. Other Sources: The close connections between the Volunteers and the communities they came from meant that individuals or group frequently appeared in local, even national newspapers, sometimes together with photographs. Mentions might be found of Volunteer football matches, of those who had been awarded a long service medal or had come back from the Boer War, prizes for marksmanship, proficiency certificates or appointments of officers. Also, numerous books on the Volunteers were published, containing the names of individual officers and other ranks. The pre-eminent source on the history of the Scottish Volunteer Force is Major-General J.M.Griersons Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force, published originally in 1909 but currently available in a facsimile edition. It provides a general history of the Force, followed by accounts of individual units, and is profusely illustrated with invaluable coloured plates of uniforms. Apart from its general importance to the family historian it can give major clues to the locations of likely units in which forebears may have served. Other books, such as Ian Devlins Albanich and Sinclairs The Aberdeen Volunteers deal with particular areas and groups of units and contain many names and general accounts of the units. Lastly, regimental museums may have information on individuals, although with a few exceptions they do not hold Volunteer personnel records.

Victorian Medal 1st Stirlingshire Volunteer Artillery

Locating the Records During the long history of the Scottish Volunteer Force tens of thousands of records of various kinds were produced. However, the number of those that are now available to public search indicate that many have not survived or have not been identified. Furthermore, few units have a more or less continuous series of records throughout the history of the Force. Consequently, searches for individuals may not always be successful or may only give inconclusive indications. Nevertheless, there is much to be searched. Where a likely forebear lived outwith Scotland, relevant records of Volunteers may be held in archives and libraries in other parts of the United Kingdom, or, indeed, in those of other countries which once formed part of Britains Victorian Empire, such as Australia and New Zealand. However, it should be noted that the Volunteer movement was not sanctioned in Ireland for security reasons. The best known examples of units outwith Scotland are, of course, the London and Liverpool Scottish Regiments, but there were other Rifle, Artillery and Engineer Corps and Medical and Service Corps units with Scottish members. However, where the person was domiciled in Scotland the records and other information are to be found in one or more of the following locations: The National Archives of Scotland: The National Archives of Scotland holds a wealth of material on the Scottish Volunteer Force and makes one of the most important starting points for research. Through the catalogue it is possible to track down official and private records relating to the county or town of interest. There is an on-line catalogue and, importantly, the internet holds SCAN, the Scottish Archives Network, which contains numerous references to records held in the National Archives and elsewhere. Also, the NAS holds the National Register of Archives for Scotland which lists records still in private or corporate hands, to which access may be granted. A visit to the NAS is essential to appreciate its resources. Also, it should be noted that many records from units in Scotland are held in the WO13 Series in the National Archives in London.


War Office Letter on Commissioning and Gazetting

District Archives and Libraries: The close association between Volunteer units and the counties and communities in which they were formed and operated means that district archives and libraries hold many records and allied material. These archives are perhaps the most likely places for finding lists of men.


And, of course, they and the libraries also hold a wealth of other material - books, newspapers, journals, photographs and so forth - which gives wider information on individual Volunteers and their units. Other Locations: Whilst the National Archives of Scotland and the District Archives and Refrence Libraries are the most important locations, the following repositories have valuable material, although it is mostly secondary information - The National Library of Scotland, the National War Museum of Scotland and the National Museums of Scotland. Also, the Internet is not only useful for on-line catalogues but has websites containing an array of pictorial and descriptive material.

Volunteer Decoration Instituted for Officers in 1892

Volunteer Artillery at Leith


Biographies of Volunteers Finding that a forebear was a Volunteer will add an interesting dimension to what is already known about him from the usual genealogical sources, such as the civil registers and censuses. As well as information on the kind of unit in which he served, who his fellow soldiers were and what duties were carried out by the unit, it will be possible to place him and his fellows in the activities of the wider community of the parish or town in which they lived and worked. And, not least, the findings will give interesting insights into the social and military attitudes of Victorian and Edwardian people from a wide range of backgrounds.

Volunteer Forces Records listed in the Catalogues of Repositories in Scotland Regional/Local Archives, Reference Libraries and Museums

Location Scottish Borders Archives

Type Enrolment Book, Second Selkirk (Ettrick Forest ) Rifle Volunteer Corps, 1860 - 1908. 1879 - 92, Nominal Roll 1st Roxburghshire Volunteer Rifle Corps 1887, Squad List 7th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. 1892 - 4, List of Members of F Company, 5th Vol. Bn. Scottish Rifles. Nominal Rolls 1862 Stirling Volunteers, inc. Rifle Volunteers, Artillery Volunteers, 1st. Stirling Rifles, 1st. Fife Artillery, 1st. Clackmannanshire and Kinross Rifles. 1863-87 Nominal Rolls of Volunteer Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. 1888, Correspondence re. Appointment Of commissioned officers. 1859-65, Letter Book, No.3 Co. Dumfriesshire Rifle Volunteers. 1861 - 1913, Photocopy of Cuttings Book, 1st. Dumfriesshire Volunteers (Langholm). Notes for Ian Devlins book on Galloway Rifle Volunteers.

Comments Held at Selkirk Library.

North Lanarkshire Archives

Stirling City Archives

Dumfries Archives

See also Ian Devlins book.


Aberdeen /Aberdeenshire Archives

1859 - 60 Papers on setting up the 2nd Artisan Company, Aberdeenshire Rifle Volunteers.1859 - 60 Rolls of Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen Rifle Volunteers. 1859,Roll of 1st Company Aberdeen Rifle Corps (Artisan Volunteers). 1860 List of effective members of 9th Aberdeenshire Rifle Volunteers.1860 Commission of Alexander Macdonald in Aberdeenshire Rifle Volunteers. 1859 Interim Rules of City of Aberdeen Volunteer Rifle Corps, adopted by 6th and 7th Companies. 1859 Various correspondence of Alexander Macdonald re Rifle Volunteers. 1867- 97, Papers and Annual Returns relating to 8th. Inverness-shire Highland Rifle Volunteers (Portree Company). 1899 - 1903, 1st Volunteer Bn. Cameron Highlanders (Inverness Co.), Nominal Rolls, Attendance at Camps. 1860 - 1883, Inverness Artillery Volunteers, Certificates of Proficiency. 1871 - 1888, Inverness-shire Highland Rifle Volunteers, Correspondence, Rules. 1869 - 81, Lochaber Rifle Volunteers, Membership, Press Cuttings Book. 1860-1906 1st Nairn Artillery Volunteers, muster rolls. 1895 - 1909 1st.Sutherland Rifle Volunteers, Cash Book. 1882 - 95 1st Inverness-shire Artillery Volunteers, Rolls. 1860 - 65 Enrolment List and other items for the Kinross-shire Volunteer Rifles. 1864 - 71 Oaths of Allegiance. 10th Perthshire Volunteer Rifles. Corps. C Company Order Book of the 1st Kinross-shire Rifle Volunteers 1861- 93, Edinburgh Records of Volunteer Regiments ( Rifles, Artillery, Engineers and medical), Returns of Enrolled Men. 1859 - 93, Returns of Officers. Skye and Lochalsh Archives Centre.

Highland Archives

Lochaber R.V. records held at Lochaber Archives Centre

Caithness Archives Centre

Perth and Kinross Archives

Edinburgh City Archives

Also,1895 - 1904 minutes of Carbine Club. Extensive collection of Returns

Ayrshire Archives

1859-67 Irvine Rifle Volunteers Minutes, lists of subscribers, cash books, advertisements and notices, rules and regulations. 1860 - 75, Ayrshire Rifle Volunteers, records relevant to Dalry. 1886-1907 Muster rolls No 8 Company, 1st Orkney Royal Garrison Artillery ( Volunteers) 1907, also, printed regimental orders - camp, drill, gun practice, competitions. Certificate of Service of Sgt. John Muirden 1896-1907. 1861 Company photograph, 1st Company, Orkney Volunteers. 1860 - 70 3rd and 4th Forfarshire Rifle Volunteers, Order Book

Nominal Rolls for the Maybole Rifle Volunteers can be seen under that name on a personal website on the internet.

Orkney Archives

Black Watch Museum

Also, 1870 Photograph Album


Kings Own Scottish Borderers Museum

1905 Muster Roll of Galloway Volunteer Rifle Corps at Royal Review in Edinburgh. 1859 - 91 Minute Book of Kelso Volunteer Rifles 1860 -80 Oaths of Allegiance, Dumfriesshire Rifle Volunteers. 1873 - 1914 Muster Rolls 1st and 3rd Berwickshire Rifle Volunteers and later reserve battalions of KOSB. 1860s,Muster roll, 1st Kincardineshire Volunteers 1868 - 79, Accounts of 17th Aberdeenshire (Old Deer) Volunteers 1860 -66,6th Argyllshire Artillery Volunteers, Papers re formation and organisation. 1861- 72 List of commissions for officers of the Volunteers. 1861 Annual returns of 7th Argyllshire and 10th Rifle Volunteer Corps. 1860 returns of effective Volunteers for Cowal. 1866 return of effective Volunteers for Kintyre. 1860 - 62 muster rolls of 9th, 10th 11th and 12th Rifle Volunteers for Cowal, Lorne, Dalmally and Islay. 1881 - 92 Nominal rolls of 1st Co. Argyll Highland Rifle Volunteers, 1st co. Argyll and Bute Artillery Volunteers, and 5th Bn Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In Earl of Kintores papers. MS3816/6/1/10 Large number of items within Lieutenancy records CA/1/11. Includes Rifle and Artillery Volunteers from various districts of Argyll and Bute. The catalogue should be checked for further possible items of interest.

Aberdeen University

Argyll and Bute Archives

Dundee University Archives

1862 - 72, Papers on the affairs of the 3rd Forfarshire Artillery Volunteers. 1863 - 65, papers relating to George Downies service in th 1st Forfarshire and the 1st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers, 1901 - 10, Discharge Certificate 2nd Battalion, Royal Highland Volunteer Corps and Enrolment Certificate for Cossipore Artillery Volunteers, India. 1860 Names of members of Lochee Volunteer Rifle Corps Muster Roll, No.2 Company,1st Forfarshire Rifle Volunteers. Discharge Certificate of an Enrolled Volunteer, First Roxburgh Mounted Rifles. 1860 List of Officers and Committee Members of Musselburgh Rifle Volunteers 1860 - 84, Minute Book, Musselburgh Rifle Volunteers. 1863 - 65, List of names, 1st Lanarkshire Engineer Volunteers c.1871 5th Coy. Lanarkshire Engineer Volunteers

Papers of Capt. John Dalyell.

Cox Family Papers. Local Studies Dept.

Dundee Central Library Mitchell Library

East Lothian Council Library Service and Archives

Journal of Glasgow and West of Scotland FHS

In vol.43. In vol.53.


The National Records of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland

1858 - 1860s, Papers of the 1st Company, Edinburgh Volunteer Rifle Battalion, Rolls and correspondence. 1871,Commission to Capt. Scott Plummer of the Roxburgh and Selkirkshire Rifle Volunteers Narrative of Royal Scottish Volunteer Review 1860 by Ernest Ralph Vernon (pseudo.) Contains lists of officers and men present at the review Aberdeen County Records, 1860 1863 Aberdeenshire Lieutenancy and Volunteer Records. 1859 - 64 Minute Book of Grenadier Company of 1st Midlothian Coastal Artillery Volunteers. 1869 -1880 Papers on Sutherland Artillery Volunteers. No Rolls/Lists 1794 - 1887 Papers concerning local affairs, volunteers 1860 Return of the 8th Coy. Argyle Volunteers. Much interesting correspondence. Papers relating to 1st Ayrshire and Galloway Royal Garrison Artillery Volunteers. No rolls/lists. 1858 - 1886 Midlothian Rifle and Artillery Volunteers Muster and Nominal Rolls and draft commissions. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Midlothian Rifle Volunteers and 1st and 2nd Midlothian Coast Artillery Volunteers. 1860, Printed Rules of the 1st Coy., East Lothian Rifle Volunteers. 1880, Certificate of Proficiency awarded to Major J. A. Hay, 2nd Midlothian and Peeblesshire Rifle Volunteers. 1855 - 64 Returns of Peebles Volunteers.

A unit raised by Edinburgh Advocates.

National Library of Scotland

National Library of Scotland

Held in Special Collections Dept. Also contains Volunteers from the North of England. CO6/5 GD1/450

National Records of Scotland The items here are almost entirely drawn from Gifts and Deposits of Estate Papers.

GD1/970 GD96/681 GD112/52/654 GD154/932 GD266/127/1 - 6

GD433/3/9/4 GD504/7


National Museums of Scotland

National War Museum 1860 - 1871 Oaths of Allegiance, Q Coy. 1st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers. 1860 Enrolment Book,Kelso Rifle Volunteers Members of Company associated with Glasgow University


National Register of Archives Scotland

770/2 Box 12 55/8/25 Papers regarding Nairn Volunteers 1861 - 77 Papers relating to the 2 Battalion Aberdeenshire Rifle Volunteers 1866, List of Officers of new Volunteer Corps 1859 - 63, Aberdeenshire Volunteers 1859 - 1920s, Dunfermline Volunteer Gazette, Collection of Press Cuttings relating to the Volunteers 1874 - 1908, Diaries, Papers and Photos, Midlothian Rifle Volunteers 1903 - 05, Orderly Book, 1st Strathearn Volunteer Regiment, 1860 Papers about Strathearn Rifle Volunteers.

Restricted Restricted

859/Box 61/4 6162 1834

Earls of Hume Gordon of Cluny. Open, Aberdeen University Library Restricted. Dunfermline Central Library.,

2278/1/Box 38 2307

Restricted Open. Perth and Kinross Archives.

Records on the Internet 1889 Roll Book of Officers and Men, C (Armadale) Company, Linlithgowshire Rifle Volunteers Muster Roll of Maybole Company of the Ayrshire Volunteers Contained in website headed Armadale and District Roll of Honour. 160 names, with year of birth, occupation, address and any remarks. No date, but appears to be c. WW1 Transcription held by Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society Also photograph of the group. maybolecompany

1901, List of men of 3rd Dundee Highland Volunteer Battalion who served in South Africa. Narrative of the Royal Scottish Volunteer Review, 1860. Muster Rolls of those present. By Ernest Ralph Vernon (pseud.) List of Officers in the Volunteer Service who attended Her Majestys Court 1860 1860 Muster Roll of 1st Kincardineshire Coy. of Fetteresso Rifle Volunteers. Photograph of members of the 16th Strathaven Rifle Volunteers


Essential source for early volunteers. Contents can be downloaded from Scribd Lists officers from corps across Great Britain and Ireland Have this for sale in March 2012 A rare and expensive document The photograph is accompanied by names . c. 1890

Google eBook

Abe Books.

Annals of the Parish of Strathaven

The National Archives, London.

WO13 Muster Lists and other records for various Scottish Volunteer Units On-line catalogue gives units but no information on range and quantity of lists. Enter under R.Vs.


London and Liverpool Scottish Rifle Volunteers. Readers interested in these Corps will find most references in repositories in England, for example, the National Archives, ImperialWar Museum, Liverpool Scottish Museum in Liverpool, the London Scottish Museum and various other reference libraries in the two cities. Their respective military museums have websites at:

London Scottish Rifle Volunteers


Army Service Corps and Royal Army Medical Corps

Engineer Volunteers


The following and other books are to be found variously in the National Library of Scotland and district/local reference libraries. Also, some are to be found listed in holdings of antiquarian booksellers, such as Abe Books. Some are general histories of the Volunteer Movement, whilst others focus upon individual units; the latter are always worth checking for mentions, sometimes extensive, of officers and men. In addition to the studies mentioned here, there are others to be found in libraries and on the internet which deal with uniforms, badges and equipment. Anstruther-Thomson, J. A History of the Fife Light Horse, 1818 - 1904, Blackwood, Edinburgh, 1892. Beckett, J., Riflemen Form: A Study of the Rifle Volunteer Movement 1859 - 1908, Sword and Pen, 2007. Brown, J.D., A Volunteer Reconnaissance: An Account of the Expedition of Q Company, 1 st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers to Gartmore in 1887. Cunningham, Hugh, The Volunteer Force: A Social and Political History, Google Books. Devlin, Ian, Albanich, A History of the Galloway Rifle Volunteers, G.C. Wigton, 1997. Dyer, E. History of the Volunteers of Clackmannan and Kinross, Alva, Robert Cunningham, 1907. Elliot, J. and Others, Index to the Stirling Advertiser and Journal, University of Stirling, 1978. Ferguson, J., Records of the Third (The Buchan) Volunteer Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, 1894, Peterhead, David Smith. Grierson, J.M. Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force 1859 - 1908, Blackwood,1909. ( Modern Facsimile available from The Naval and Military Press Ltd., Uckfield, East Sussex.) Howie, D. The History of the 1st Lanark Rifle Volunteers, Glasgow, 1887. Jackson, Lorna. Patriotism or Pleasure? The Nineteenth Century Volunteer Force as a Vehicle for Rural Working-Class Male Sport. The Sports Historian 19.1 (May 1999). ( A substantial article using Argyllshire data ) Morrison, A. The Defence of Scotland - Militias, Fencibles and Volunteer Corps 1793 - 1820. Orr, J. The History of the 7th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers, Glasgow, 1884. (Also facsimile edition) Sinclair, D. History of the Aberdeen Volunteers ( Embracing also, some account of the early Volunteers of the Counties of Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine. ), Aberdeen Daily Journal Office,1907. The full text can be seen on Google eBooks. The book has a valuable appendix, listing members of the Gordon Brigade and others who were present at the 1905 Royal Review; 1st Aberdeenshire Royal Garrison Artillery (Volunteers), 1st Aberdeenshire Royal Engineers (Volunteers), the Gordon Volunteer Brigade: 1,3,4, 5, 6 and 7thVolunteer Battalions of the Gordon Highlanders, RAMC (Volunteers) Aberdeen Companies, 7th Middlesex(London Scottish) , Officers of the8th Scottish Volunteer


Battalion, Liverpool Regiment. Smith, Godfrey, With The Scottish Rifle Volunteers at the Front, I.e. South Africa, 1901. Spencer, W. Records of the Militia and Volunteer Forces 1757 - 1945, Kew, PRO Publications, 1997. Stephen, W. History of the Queens Edinburgh Rifle Volunteer Brigade, William Blackwood & Sons, 1881. Taylor, M. The Dunbartonshire Volunteers and 9th Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Dumbarton, 1983. Territorial Army Association for the County of Dumbarton, Roll of Officers of the 1 st Dumbartonshire Volunteer Rifle Corps, 1937. Thomson, J. The Third Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers and Cadets, 1991. Thomson, J. The Volunteer Regiments of the Lothians,1939. Tullibardine, Marchioness of (Ed), A Military History of Perthshire, 1660-1908, Perth, R.A. & J. Hay, 1908. Vernon, E.R. (pseud.)Narrative of the Royal Scottish Volunteer Review 1860, W.P. Nimmo, Edinburgh 1860. This important booklet contains muster lists of officers and men of the Scottish Volunteer Force present at the 1860 Royal Review. It also includes units from Northumberland, Durham and Cumberland. War Office, Drill and Rifle Instruction for the Corps of Rifle Volunteers, 1860 Westlake, W. The History of the Rifle Volunteers, Chippenham Picton,1982.

Galloway Rifle Volunteers

Review by Queen Victoria in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, 1860.

The Oath of Allegiance to Queen Victoria

I do make Oath that I will be faithful and do swear Allegiance to Her Majesty, her heirs and Successors and that I will as in duty bound Honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and Successors In person, Crown and dignity against all enimies(sic) and will observe And obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and Successors and of The Generals and Officers set over me. So help me God Headquarters and Drill Halls In order to provide administrative headquarters and drill halls for the Scottish Volunteer Force, a building programme throughout Scotland was undertaken. These buildings subsequently became premises for the Territorial Army. Many continued in that use, while others were either used for other purposes or fell into disuse. Many can be found on the internet and in local records, such as the one in Golspie, the abandoned building in Paisley and the one in Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh which now houses a flourishing arts centre, and there are many more.


The Headquarters and Drill Hall of The Edinburgh Volunteer Rifle Brigade

List of Locations of County Forces The following table gives a general indication of where Volunteer units were located at some time or other during the history of the Scottish Volunteer Force. The table covers rifle, artillery, engineer and medical units. Initially, units were raised through local sponsors, so that they arose wherever there was sufficient interest. However, co-ordination between units in a particular area was soon fostered through the creation of administrative battalions and later through associations with regular regiments. Also, changes in location arose through amalgamations of units, movements of headquarters and disbandments. For a detailed picture of changes in organisation and location, reference should be made to General Griersons Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force. The following list should, however, help family historians in identifying locations of units relevant to searches for family members.

COUNTY Aberdeen


LOCAL UNITS Aberdeen, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Tarves, New Deer, Ellon, Turriff, Fyvie, Meldrum, Udny, Peterhead, Old Deer, Longside, Pitsligo, St.Fergus, Cruden, Cluny, Alford, Huntly, Echt, Inverurie, Aboyne, Lumphannan


Argyll and Bute

Oban, Dunoon

Melfort, Easdale, Tarbert, Oban, Tayvallich, Cowal Rothesay,Ardgour, Campbeltown, Port Ellen Ellen. Lochgilphead, Mull, MMMelfortInveraryTobermory,Lochgilphead, Inverary,


Irvine, Irvine

RRothesay Irvine, Ayr Largs, Ardrossan, Kilmarnock, Dalry,Saltcoats,Largs, Beith, Maybole, Girvan, Cumnock, Sorn, Colmonell,Catrine, Troon Banff, Macduff, Portsoy, Cullen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Burghead, Buckie, Aberlour, Keith, Dufftown, Glenlivet. Eyemouth, Coldingham, , Duns, Coldstream, Ayton, Greenlaw, Lauderdale, Earlston, Chirnside Wick, Thurso, Lybster, Barrogill, Castletown, Thrumster, Halkirk Alloa, Alva, Kinross Dumfries, Thornhill, Sanquhar, Penpont, Annan, Moffat Langholm, Lockerbie, Lochmaben Dumbarton, Helensburgh, Row, Bonhill, East Kilpatrick, Alexandria, Cardross, Luss, Gareloch, Jamestown, Kirkintilloch, Milngavie, Clydebank, Tarbert, Cumbernauld Dundee, St. Andrews, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Tayport, Leven, Kinghorn, Dysart, Eiie,Burntisland, Kilconquhar, Strathleven, Cupar, Colinsburgh, Lochgelly. Montrose, Broughty Ferry, Arbroath, Brechin, Newtyle, Glamis, Kirriemuir, Cortachy, Friockheim Haddington, Dunbar, Gifford, Aberlady, East Linton, Dunglass, North Berwick Inverness, Elgin, Fort William, Kingussie, Beauly,Portree, Roy Bridge, Ardersier Stonehaven, Johnshaven St. Cyrus, Bervie, Banchory, Laurencekirk, Fettercairn, Fetteresso, Auchinblae, Durris, Netherley.



Berwick Caithness Clackmannan Dumfries Dunbarton

Duns Wick Alloa Dumfries Dumbarton, Helensburgh.


Cupar, Kirkcaldy, St. Andrews

Forfar (Angus) Haddington (East Lothian) Inverness Kincardine

Dundee Haddington Inverness

Kinross Kirkcudbright

Alloa Kirkcudbright, Wigtown Glasgow, Hamilton, Airdrie

Kinross Kirkcudbright, Newton-Stewart,, Castle Douglas, New Galloway, Gatehouse, Maxwelltown, Wigtown, Stranraer, Dalbeattie Drumore Glasgow,Kirkintilloch, Cadder, Lanark, Hamilton,Uddingston,Blantyre, Bothwell, Wishaw, Motherwell,East Kilbride, Strathaven, Coatbridge, Gartsherrie, Bailliestown. Biggar, Leadhills, Carluke. Linlithgow, Boness, Bathgate, Armadale, Uphall, West Calder Edinburgh, Leith, Musselburgh, Dalkeith, Penicuik Elgin, Forres, Rothes, Fochabers, Carrbridge, Urquhart, Garmouth, Grantown


Linlithgow (West Lothian) Midlothian Moray

Linlithgow Edinburgh Elgin


Nairn Orkney Peebles Perth

Nairn Kirkwall

Nairn Kirkwall, Sanday, Stromness, Stronsay,, Firth, Evie, Rousay, Birsay Peeble,Broughton, Innerleithen Perth, Blairgowrie, Dunblane, Coupar Angus, Crieff, Airth, Doune, Callander, St. Martins, Birnam, Auchterarder, Stanley, Bridge of Earn.Kenmore, Aberfeldy,Killin, Strathfillan Greenock, Port Glasgow, Gourock, Paisley, Renfrew, Kilbarchan, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch, Barrhead, Pollockshaws, Neilston, Thornliebank, Cathcart, Hurlet Cromarty, Lochcarron, Stornoway, Dingwall,Invergordon, Avoch, Knockbain, Alness, Moy, Evanton, Gairloch Hawick, Kelso, Jedburgh, Galashiels, Selkirk Lerwick Stirling, Grangemouth, Falkirk, Lennoxtown, Balfron, Denny, Strathblane, Carron, Kilsyth, Bannockburn Helmsdale, Golspie, Dornoch,Brora, Stranraer, Portpatrick, Sandhead

Perth, Birnam


Greenock, Paisley, Pollockshaws

Ross and Cromarty


Roxburgh and Selkirk Selkirk Shetland Stirling

Hawick, Melrose Lerwick Stirling

Sutherland Wigton



Acknowledgements I wish to express my appreciation of the fine illustrations of Volunteer uniforms in General J.M.Griersons book on Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force, also my thanks to archivists, librarians and others who have assisted me in my searches.

The author, formerly the Head of the Department of Education in the University of Stirling, Scotland, now does historical and genealogical research and writing. He has published a major study of Scots who emigrated to Argentina and Patagonia in the 19 th and 20th centuries, now available as a website and as an e-book on SCRIBD, under the title of Scots in Argentina and Patagonia Austral. His other interest is Scottish military history, on which he has published The Defence of Scotland -Militias, Fencibles and Volunteer Corps 1793 - 1820, also available on SCRIBD. His present study on the Scottish Volunteer Force takes up further the story of the part-time volunteer soldier during the second half of the 19 th century. His publications are written primarily to help family historians trace their forebears and to that end contain extensive references to sources which hold information on individuals. He can be contacted by e-mail at < >