The origin of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) is absolutely unique within the British army as the basis of their founding was purely religious. Its history can be traced back to The Cameronian Regiment (1689) and the 90th Perthshire Light Infantry (1794). Under the Army reforms of 1881 both Regiments were merged to form The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) consisting of two battalions.
The regiment saw service during the Second Boer War in South Africa, and raised 27 battalions during the First World War. The 1st Battalion saw action in Burma during the Second World War, while the 2nd Battalion was in Europe. In 1948, along with every other regiment of line infantry, the Cameronians was reduced to a single battalion. In 1967 it was announced that the 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was to disband (rather than opting to merge), thus ending nearly three hundred years of service to the Crown. The disbandment parade, in the form of a Conventicle, took place on the holm at Douglas on 14 May 1968.
In his sermon at the final Conventicle, The Reverend Donald MacDonald, a much loved former Chaplain said:
” … So put pride in your step Cameronians! As you march out of the Army List, you are marching into history, and from your proud place there, no man can remove your name, and no man can snatch a rose from the chaplet of your honour.”
The history of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) is an important lineage that stands proudly with that of all other Scottish regiments. They are part of that golden thread which is forever tied to the Scottish Infantry from 1633 to 2006. When the Regiment was disbanded, three quarters of all ranks who remained in the army chose to transfer to other Scottish Regiments.