The London Scottish Regimental Gazette, No. 917, May 1972

SERVING BN ACTIVITIES ...by the Regimental Colonel ^FT E R two arduous years, Major John Clemence overhanded command of G (London Scottish) Coy lst/51st Highland Volunteers to Major Richard Holliday on March 1. During this time, the strength of the coy has wobbled around “establishment ”,but it has not been possible to achieve the 20 percent overbearing which has been authorised. The coy’s training and morale has, however, been well maintained by John’s enthusiastic example and he goes on the Reserve with the gratitude of both the Regiment and of the 51st. Richard can be guaranteed as tough but as rewarding aspell of duty as his predecessor. We will wish for him that he may bethe senior serving officer under whom we do succeed in having an increased establishment, not merely authorised —but recruited. Congratulations to the new second -in -command, Captain Nigel Rutherford-Young, on adding a third pip and yet another job to that of Pipe-President and Assistant Editor of the Gazette. Another change at HQ is that Lt Nevile Reid, who has been serving as Regimental Adjutant (as well as Mess Secretary), is obliged to relinquish (he post for business reasons. As my own duties have taken me abroad for two or three months in each year, I am especially grateful to Nevile for “holding the fort ”.With the approval of Lt -Colonel David Arbuthnott, Commanding 1st Bn 51st Highland Volunteers, the post of Regimental Adjutant will be filled wef March 31 by Major W. B. Campbell, commanding the Regimental Cadre. Colonel Arbuthnott, himself, is leaving Perth shortly, on appointment as AAG to HQ Scotland. He will be missed by a lot of friends he has made at the southern end of his vast parish. We should all be very grateful for the understanding he showed to some of our problems, which could look very different to someone standing in Tay Street instead of Buckingham Gate. He deserves a rest from the frequent sleeper journeys he has had to undertake over Beattock and Shap to attend inspections, parades and functions at 59. At the end of March, Captain J.O. Robson will have been Curator of the Regimental Museum for the 30 years since its birth in 1942 at the behest of Colonel J.R. L. Ogilby, then Regi­mental Colonel. The conception of an open museum, for all to see instead of a locked room, and the presentation, arrangement and writing up are due to Jack’s enthusiasm and enormous knowledge of our own and other regimen'.s’ histories. It is good to know that his expertise is not going to be lost to the Regiment he has served so well, ashe has agreed to retain the honorary title of Director Emeritus of the Museum. The new Curator, Ian Bulpin, has been Assistant Curator for the last eight years. The treasures and archives of the Regiment will be safe in his keeping. The new Assistant Curator is to be Vic Masters, who also needs no introduction —at least to the 1st Bn of 1939/45, the Sgts* Mess or the Rifle Club. ...by the Company CommanderS unray Speaking TT is an honour and a pleasure to take com­mand of G (London Scottish) Coy, 1st Bn 51st Highland Volunteers. This is made the more so as the coy has been overhanded in good order by my friend and able predecessor, Major John Clemence, TT>. Due to pressure of business reasons Major Clemence regrettably decided to hangup his sporran on March 1, and go onto the Reserve. During his time in command, the coy settled down to improving the quality and scope of military skills, a firm base for which had already been established by the first Coy Commander, Major Jock Anderson. Already tribute has been paid to John at his “dining out ”in the Officers’ Mess. I think it should not go unrecorded in the annals of the Regiment that a good London Scot and 51st Highland Volunteer has retired. I am sure that all persons interested in the Regiment will wish to thank John for his service, dedication and perseverance in difficult Regimental times, particularly as we no longer have major unit status. It is worth remembering that on April 1 we entered the sixth year of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve, as opposed to the Told“ A ”.What happened on that day five years ago was more than just a change of name, abut change in concept. Prior to that date theTA was organised in its time honoured way of Divisions, Brigades and Regiments or Bns, most of them substantially understrength, and with no clearly defined military role discernable to the average soldier. From April 1,1967, the TAVR was split into various categories, with each category having a different commitment for service, both regarding time, place, pay, allowances and, indeed, equip­ment. The London Scottish at that time considered itself lucky to have a Bn HQ and a coy in the “Home Defence” role, and also a coy in the 51st Highland. Unfortunately, these two units made uncomfort­able bedfellows while using the drill hall on the same nights and competing for space, both for training and offices/storage. The Regimental HQ lost its status as a major unit HQ when the Bn, which had its HQ in the drill hall, was disbanded in 1969 and gave way to the present establishment, G Coy. Looking after our fine Regimental name and contact with London District, the London Scottish Cadre was established for three officers, one warrant officer and four soldiers. What I am seeking to convey to all our readers is that the last five years have been ones of considerable actual change, considerable development of ideas and subsequently con­solidation of organisation and training standards, which are closely supervised by Bn HQ in Perth. This time last year we were informed that there would be moreno changes in the size or structure Page 81
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