Lieutenant Colonel David Murray died on 8 January 2017: born on 14 September 1921, he was a veteran of the Battle of Kohima

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Saturday 22 April 2017 9:12 am

Though a Queen’s Own Cameron Highlander since 1941 he was a life-long admirer of, student of, and writer on The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).  As such he was a good friend of the regiment.  He, like many Cameronians, became wearily used to the all-too-often confusion between the two regiments which, although both Scottish in origin, could hardly have been less alike.  He commanded the (3inch) mortar platoon at Kohima in April 1944 and later, in the recapture of Burma, he was mentioned in dispatches.

His obituary in The Times said: …’He stayed in the army until 1967 rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel but he also had a passion for the bagpipes. … From about 1952 on he was a prime mover in the establishment of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo as part of the city’s annual festival, and in 1955 won the contest of the Royal Scottish Pipers Society.’ (more…)

Colonel AR (Reggie) Kettles OBE MC died on 30 October 2016 : the last surviving Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Saturday 22 April 2017 9:08 am

Having served first in the Territorials he joined the 2nd Battalion in 1939 and was soon commissioned, just before his twenty first birthday.  They were in France and, during the retreat to Dunkirk on 21 May 1940, the battalion was involved in heavy action.  As a result of his leadership of a patrol which captured a German soldier he was recommended for a Military Cross, receiving instead a Mention in Dispatches.

The 2nd Battalion were then sent in 1943 to the invasion first of Sicily and later to reinforce the invasion at Anzio.  In the first, as a 24 year old Captain commanding A Company, he was seriously wounded and evacuated for recovery to North Africa.  On 21 March 1944, at the Anzio beachhead, he again showed great courage and leadership which resulted in his award of the Military Cross.  (more…)

William George Beardsmore - An Obituary

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Monday 6 February 2017 2:03 pm

As requested, and with great honour I am writing to you with the details of my Late Father in Laws service during the war and especially his time with the 6th Battalion, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) - William was born in 1926. His father, also William, had served throughout the 1st World War, with The Royal Scots. The humorous tales of these arduous times led William to follow in his father’s footsteps, once of age in 1944, when he enlisted for regular service (7 colours, 5 reserve).

On completion of his basic training  he was posted overseas to a holding unit in North Western Europe and then to 6th Battalion of The Cameronians with which he saw action from then on until the end of the war.

During his time in Belgium Bill met a local girl named Simone. She was quite stunning and they struck up quite a mutual admiration for each other. He the tall handsome soldier and she the Petite, beautiful member of the Belgian resistance.  Bill served out four years in Germany after the war and in due course they married and remained together for 66 years until she passed away in 2015.

William George Beardmore S/N 14447711 was laid to rest on the 27th of January 2017. His coffin was draped in the tartan of the Cameronians, his Medals sat on top

The members of the regiment that attended the funeral, brought and laid  a regimental wreath, one of the attendees, Kenn Robinson, spoke in front of us all as to the meaning of being a Cameronian.  His comments reflected and fortified what we had always understood from Bill. 

We thank those present, some we deeply regret not being able to thank personally.

But with the same honour in which they served , they simply came, performed their duty and slipped quietly away.

Glen Tizard

Re: Westminster Garden of Remembrance 2016

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Thursday 5 January 2017 12:10 pm

This year I had the privilege standing on the red carpet and fronting the regimental plot, having taken over from Eddie Clark who has done this duty for the past 16 years (what an act to follow). I was well supported by the stalwarts Ex Majors Philip Grant & Mike Sixsmith, Eddie Crawford (PORTSMOUTH) Joe & Mary Goven and Davie McColl (Scotland) Eddie Clark and family members a total of 14 (A GOOD TURNOUT) to pay tribute.

Once again the regimental plot was much admired and well photographed by visitors, thanks should go to Alex Maxwell for the Plaques and crosses he sent down for me to install. This year’s centrepiece was a cross to represent the Cameronian Chindits in Burma made by Alex.

We were honoured this year with great interest in the Cameronians and the Regimental plot by HRH Prince Philip and HRH Prince Harry It was a great delight to inform and explain to them and was very proud to represent the regiment. I received (a thankyou) from HRH Philip Regarding the Burma connection and a (good one) from HRH Harry for the display and lay out.

It was a great day meeting everyone and escorting Eddie in his wheel chair I attach his letter of thanks.

On the Sunday  I attended  the Cenotaph Parade as guest of the  KOSB`s met many old friends who sent their greetings to you Brian and hope you are keeping well, I presented a Cameronian poppy wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of the association. The weekend was clouded with news of Col Reggie Kettles and Tom Gore of the 9th Bn (Long time London Representative). Poppies were laid for them in the plot.

Yours aye / Ian Bilboe


“On Thurs Nov 10th I attended the annual Field of Remembrance service at Westminster Abbey. As usual it was a memorable occasion, especially for me. I wish to thank all the Cameronians who attended for the fantastic reception they afforded me….I was touched very much.’’


Cameronians (SR) Travel Club Somme Trip 2016

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Friday 29 July 2016 10:51 am

Seventeen members of the Travel Club decided to make a relaxed five day trip for the Battle of the Somme Commemoration in Peterborough Cathedral together with a few visits en route.

We set off from Glasgow by coach and spent our first night in Atherstone, where we stayed in a very interesting 1600’s Inn , the Red Lion, where we met up with two members who had made their own way. On our way we had called in to the town of Litchfield where we visited the Historical Cathedral.

The following day we set off for the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas where we laid a wreath to passed comrades and continued our journey to Peterborough .

At 10.30am the next day we formed up with members of the Royal British Legion and the Lord Mayor, for the service of remembrance in Peterborough Cathedral in the All Services Regimental Chapel. Again a wreath to old comrades was laid and some members took part in the service, reading from the Bible and selected Poems.

After the service we traveled to Central Park to meet up with the children from Southfields school who look after Jimmy the Donkey’s grave. The parade to Jimmy’s grave set off at 1315 with two pipers leading and followed by a ‘stand in’ Jimmy the Donkey wearing a replica Dickin Medal (Animals Victoria Cross) around his neck. The Lord Mayor together with other dignitaries formed part of the 200 group of participants who took part in the memorial service at the graveside where once again wreaths were laid.

That evening I organised a Regimental Dinner - The Lord Mayor of Peterborough, the President of The British Legion, the Class Teacher of Southfields School were our Guests, together with a special guest the Grandson of David Wright who looked after Jimmy till his death in 1943 . Many a dram was consumed.

The following day a very interesting visit was made to The Imperial War Museum at Duxford where we laid a Cameronian Poppy Cross at the memorial to conflicts since 1942.

And so to Day 5, when packed, we set off homewards stopping en route for lunch at Eden Camp an old Italian POW Camp now set up as a Military and War Time Museum. Both museum visits warranted more time to do each justice.

To end the trip 22 members met up in Glasgow Cathedral at 10.15am on the 3rd July to take part in the Combined Services Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme

Ian Bilboe

Beverijings Museum Nieuwdorp Holland

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Friday 15 July 2016 11:49 am

The rededication service of the rebuilt Nissen hut church at the Beverijings Museum Nieuwdorp in Holland was held on the 22 April this year. Davie McColl and I and members of The Cameronian Friends and Families Organisation were invited to participate.

A large museum has been constructed at Nieuwdorp depicting the battle of the Scheldt crossing to take Walcheren Island from the Germans (Operation Mallard). In this operation Canadian forces and the Cameronians played a leading part. During the battle the local church in Nieuwdorp was destroyed and the allied forces provided a Nissen hut to serve as a church for the local populace.

However when a new church was built the Nissen one was abandoned and fell into disrepair. The abandoned remains of this Nissen hut church were offered to the Museum. With generous support and hard work the original frame work was restored, new corrugated cladding fitted and the Nissen hut church was rebuilt in the Museum grounds.

Installed in the church as a permanent fixture is a show case with personal effects of Maj C Sixsmith Cameronians Scottish rifles. During the ceremony a Regimental Poppy Wreath was laid in memory of Major Sixsmith and all Cameronians who fell in that action, Davie McColl was asked to give a eulogy on the Cameronians in the Scheldt action (one of our Battle Honours) which was well received.

The service was well attended some 300 guests including the Canadian Ambassador and the Governor of Zeeland (to whom we were introduced). There was a fly past and wing salute by a vintage Avro trainer and a Piper was also in attendance, it was a very emotional service. We were treated like royalty, everyone was pleased we came to support them and for our part we were proud to represent the Regiment.

On any of my visits to this part of the Country I am amazed and humbled by the respect that is felt for the Cameronian Regiment.

You may care to note, we have been given an area in the new museum to display artefacts depicting Cameronian action in WWII

Ian Bilboe

Regimental Collection Web Site - South Lanarkshire Council.

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Sunday 22 May 2016 5:15 pm
For those wishing to note ongoing data regarding The Regimental Collection, Making an Enquiry and Research provided by the custodians of our Regimental Collection, namely South Lanarkshire Council, I commend to you their new web site:
Brian A S Leishman MBE

Edinburgh Castle 14 May 2016

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Sunday 22 May 2016 5:11 pm

Flags flying high at Edinburgh Castle on 14th May 2016

Rememberance Service for Neuve Chapelle - Glasgow Cathedral, 6th March 2016

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Sunday 13 March 2016 11:48 am

A Rememberance Service for Neuve Chapelle was held at Glasgow Cathedral on 6th March.
The event was well attended and included the Parade and Wreath Laying at Cameronian Corner.

(Left to Right):Mr P.I. Bilboe, Mr J.D. Torrance, Mr R Gilmour (Parade Commander),
Mr J Ingham, Mr J McDonald, Mr T Brydson (Standard Bearer), Mr T McLeish,
Mr J Poulton, Mr B McNeill (Reserve Standard Bearer)
Present, but not in Parade photo: Ms Gallagher, Ms A.Scott

“THE BLACK HACKLE” Newsletter - First Quarter 2016

Posted by webmaster | Uncategorized | Tuesday 23 February 2016 6:21 pm

First Quarter 2016

Greetings to our members, their families and the friends of the Association. We trust that all had an enjoyable festive season and we wish everyone a prosperous, happy and healthy 2016.


The peacekeeping force in Sudan is due to return during  early April and will be welcomed back at the Medal Parade to be held on 15th April.

Recently a WR patrol was ambushed and one of our members was wounded in the attack. Fortunately the patrol followed their drills and no further casualties were experienced. The member concerned was wearing a bullet proof vest which provided sufficient protection for the injury not to be too serious and he was transported back to SA for further treatment.

The Regiment participated in a number of high profile parades, in particular the Infantry Parade at the Infantry School in Oudtshoorn and the Johannesburg Freedom Regiments parade.

Membership continues to grow and family members are welcome to join.

Membership is not restricted to WR types but is open to anyone who has the interest of the Regiment and the Association at heart.

Annual subs are R50-00 per annum. Please make your cheques payable to Witwatersrand Rifles Regimental Association and forward them to Roy Brown at our postal address which is reflected above or EFT into the Association Account, details which are reflected under “Fund Raising”.

March 7th - Combined Regimental Birthday (112th) and Cameronian Day Function - 19h00
March 14th - Cameronian Day

Best wishes to all,

Kevin Townsend (Lt Col ret), Editor

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