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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Band of Brothers: The 26th Cameronians

Castle Dangerous, Douglas, Scotland

The wind whistled through the moor and around the castle, as a group of men, in military array, spread out and took up lookout positions. Gazing over the heather, every man erect, as though looking for a terrible enemy. A cluster of people, including women and children, soon arrived, bundled warmly against the wind. The sound of the bagpipes was faintly heard, as the minister arrived. The date was May 14, 1968. Although Covenanters had been allowed the right to freedom of worship almost three hundred years before, these stalwart folk were gathered today to remember and say goodbye…

The 26th Cameronian Regiment of Foot had a glorious heritage. Originally, they were a collection of small militias, formed to protect the Presbyterian congregations from the wrath of the Stuart kings. The regiment gained its name from the Lion of the Covenant, Richard Cameron. It was during this time that the Cameronians would begin traditions that were peculiar to them. A new recruit was always given a bible, in memory of Richard Cameron. They were a direct copy of the New Model Army, under Cromwell, being Presbyterian in doctrine. After the Glorious Revolution, they officially entered the army, and though they adamantly disagreed with the union of England and Scotland, they fought vigorously against the Stuart risings. Because of their Presbyterian heritage, the Cameronians became the only British regiment that was allowed to carry their weapons into church. During the Thirty Years war, the Cameronians fought under the command of Gustavus Adolphus. This godly group of men, recruited mainly from the Lanarkshire and Glasgow areas, participated in every war Britain was involved in, until 1968. After World War II, the British army reduced its size drastically and the Cameronians were given the option of either disbanding or amalgamating with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. They chose to disband, rather than compromise their legacy. Today they gathered, on the same ground where they had been mustered into service, to stack arms for the last time.

More information on the Cameronians is available at the regimental website.

Below is some video footage of the disbandment. It is rather lengthy, but the narrator explains some interesting traditions at the ceremony.

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Blogger Aunt Cin said...

Hi, I llowed you from Colin Maxwell's site. Your list of favorite movies could almost be mine, except you didn't include "To Kill A Mockingbird." Fine film. :-)

The stuff about the Cameronians is a fascinating bit of history - thanks for sharing it, including the videos.

I'm a Northerner (GASP!!) but not without sympathy to the Confederate cause, though enough of a Calvinist in my trust in God's good and perfect will that I think we do not need to keep rehashing the whole thing over and over - His will was done, after all, ainful though it might be for some. History is one thing, Hating every Yankee who breathes is another thing altogether! :-)

I have friends in VA, btw, who pass their winter Saturday evenings Contra dancing. What a delightful way to raise today's young people!


May 14, 2008 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thank you for your comment.

I hope that I do not come across as being bitter about the war. I believe that, in God's providence, the South lost. I also believe that the principles for which my confederate ancestors fought, are principles which are relevant to some of our problems today. I hope you read the excerpts from Pastor Liddle's speech. He was able to put in very few words what my feelings are, especially about honoring our fathers.

May 14, 2008 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Aunt Cin said...

Oh, no, not at all bitter! I'm sorry if I sounded as if you came off that way - it's just that I've met more than a few Southern Covenanters with huge chips on their shoulders - i guess I was getting in a pre-emptive strike. I apologize. Those same folk often cast so many aspersions on the north I keep looking for the horns which must surely be growing out of my Yankee head! ;-)

No - I've enjoyed what I've seen of your site - I love history, and have Scottish ancestors myself. I'm almost one of you!

I'm a congregationless PCA member - our congregation folded last year, and as I'm disabled, it's been difficult to make connections with the new congregation I attend when able. I enjoy making contacts with other believers in whatever way I can.


May 15, 2008 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thanks for the feed back!

May 16, 2008 at 8:45 AM  

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