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lest we forget

a GlescaPals tribute to 'oor forces'          

Highland Light Infantry    page5   page5a   page5b  page5c


 photographs from GlescaPals

pages 1   2.  3.  4.   5.  5a  5b  5c  6.  7   8.   9 10



           Highland Light Infantry    


Glasgow man, Private George Rodgers of the list Regiment (later the HLI) and holder of the Victoria Cross.  On June 16, 1858 at Marar, Gwalior in India, Private George Rodgers attacked single-handedly a party of seven rebels, one of whom he killed. This was a particularly vital act of bravery as the party of rebels were all armed and strongly posted in the line of advance of a detachment of the 71st Regiment.
George Rodgers sadly died in Glasgow's Govan district, on the 9th March 1870, after mistakenly drinking vitriol poison thinking it was alcohol. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Glasgow's Southern Necropolis.
a ceremony organised by the Royal Highland Fusiliers and Mrs Mary Fairbairn of Abercorn Memorials, Edinburgh, took place on the 1st December 2004 in Glasgow's Southern Necropolis, to place a memorial stone over the previously unmarked grave of Private George Rodgers VC.  
His VC is on display at the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum, in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
The Royal Highland Fusiliers were formed in 1959 by the amalgamation of the Royal Scots Fusiliers (21st)
and the Highland Light Infantry (71st, 73rd & 74th)  
 In honour of both Regiments, the RHF wore the HLIís Mackenzie tartan trews (trousers) and retained the Flaming Grenade cap badge from the RS



Company Sgt.Major and Sergeants

15th (S) Battalion

(1st Glasgow, Tramways)

in France  


The 15th was a locally raised Glasgow battalion formed on 2nd September 1914. It joined the 32nd Division and went to France in November 1915. Served in France and Flanders until the Armistice.

Oct.2007, email, Kathleen Cox just been browsing your great site. What a trip down memory lane. I was born in Glasgow, but we left when I was 10 years old. It was lovely to see all the photos. I was particularly interested in the Forces section, as my grandfather was in the 15th Battalion (Tramways) of the HLI, and fought, and lost a leg during the first months in France. I noticed there is a photo of Sergeant Major and Sergeants of the 15th Battalion, and I am sure one of them is my grandfather, as he was a sergeant.
Do you know where the photo came from or who the men in it are? I would dearly love a copy to have a closer look, as I only have one photo of my grandfather, when he was younger, but taken after the war in the early 1920s. I would like to compare the two photos to see if he is one of the soldiers.
Sorry I don't have the names of the soldiers, It would be wonderful if it were your grandfather. Regards, Webmaister

Aug 2015, email, Alexander Strachan, Age 75, Beith, Scotland
The soldier in the centre of the photograph is my grandfather Company Sergeant Major Alexander Anderson Strachan of the 15th Battalion (tramway) who won the military cross and two bars, survived the war but died later from wounds received.


lest we forget

GlescaPal Jas Turbull
East Kilbride
...... Grandfather,
Robert Turnbull
was born
7 Jan.1878 in Stonelaw Street, Rutherglen.
He married Agnes Gibson on 25 Dec 1908 in Bridgeton, Glasgow and they lived at No.16 Savoy Street, Bridgeton, and had eight children.

Robert served in the HLI and fought at Gallipoli and he very well could be in the photograph above showing the HLI marching from their Bridgeton Barracks in 1915.



           see Turnbull website

Robert & Agnes Turnbull

This photo of Robert with his wife Agnes was taken during WW1



 During the war of 1914-1918 
 twenty-six battalions were raised.

A cap badge to the
Glasgow Highlanders.
9th Battalion,
Highland Light Infantry in white metal.
With lugs to rear.




.. .


January 1956 and the men of the Highland Light Infantry get their kitbags weighed before taking off for the danger of Cyprus, which was then in the grip of a guerrilla war for independence


  The regiment received the 
   Freedom of the City of Glasgow 
on 16th March, 1948

   Regimental Tartan: Mackenzie tartan

   The HLI was the only Highland
   regiment to wear trews.



A Gordon for Me

I'm Geordie MacKay of the H. L. I.
I'm fond of the lassies and a drappie for bye,
One day when out walking I chanced to see,
A bonnie wee lass wi' a glint in her ee'
Says I to the lassie "Will you walk foe a while?
I'll buy you a bonnet and we'll do it in style,
My kilt is Mackenzie o' the H.L.I."
She look'd at me shyly and said wi' a sigh.

A Gordon for me, a Gordon for me,
If ye're no a Gordon ye're no use to me.
The Black Watch** are braw, the Seaforths** and a'
But the cocky wee Gordon's the pride o' them a'.


HLI Bugle



Jimmy Currie  & Jim Cairney
Palestine cc1947/48

This photo was sent to me by
GlescaPal Nell.

Her dad is Lance Corporal James Wilson Cairney seen here with his pal Jimmy Currie. The picture was taken in Palestine where he served with the 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry, 1947/48, he later made Sergeant.
During a military raid L/Cpl Jim Cairney got shot in the stomach, leg and face. His pal Jimmy Currie, in the photo, lost a leg and another comrade Archie Bremner later died of his wounds.
Jim came out of Army in May 1949, met Jessie McKay in August 1949 and after a whirlwind romance they married in December 1949. Their first born Helen (Nell) was born in September 1950 so they didn't waste any time! Her sister Jessie was born in September 1952.
Jim & Jessie separated in 1954 and eventually divorced.

Webmaister : Nell thank you for sending me this photo - its an honour for me to record these stories and photos from oor Glesca soldiers.
When I see these photos and read the stories - how can we ever thank these guys?

footnote : In November 1947 the general assembly of the United Nations voted to partition Palestine, dividing it into Jewish and Arab controlled parts The Jews accept the UN plan, but the Palestinians and neighbouring Arab nations reject it. In 1948 the new Jewish state, State of Israel, was proclaimed

 Jim Cairney, Nell's dad was admitted into hospital December 2007....
 "I have been to his flat, which is full of clutter, my Dad always says, "Genius's thrive on clutter" :D, I am shredding and sorting out papers and photographs, he asked me to do it. Its a sad task, a lifetime of papers, he has given me his medals and his Glengarry from the HLI, ( see below ) he wanted me to have them. I will be back to the hospital today and will let you all know how he is tomorrow.  Thank you all again for your support and comfort.
Luv Nell"
   Sadly Jim died of cancer in London on 8th Jan 2008.  
                                            GlescaPal Ronnie found this poem and added it the condolences ......

I must have life.
I don't wish for death to ease his pain
I am too selfish for that
He must have life

I must be able to hear of his life
He must continue to sing to me
I need to see his beautiful baby blues
sparkle and shine

I don't want to just remember these things
Even in his pain they sparkle and shine

I need him to be here to show me who I am
To show me where I came from
If he left, part of me would leave
I would be someone different

I need to touch and hug him
To let him know how important he is

I don't want to remember these things
To feel the pain that I will feel
when my memories of him start to fade

I want him here with us
I want him here with no pain
I love you, my Dad

All through my troubled and sad childhood,
through my rebellious adolescence and through adulthood,
I always knew that you loved me

I hope you knew that I always loved you too

[poem by Sharon]

Apr.2009 GlescaPal Nell, London
here is a photo of my Dad, Jim Cairney,  Glengarry and his medals. The other medal there is the Big Penny for my Great Uncle James who was killed on the Somme in 1916 aged 21. I have been several times with my Dad to visit my Great Uncle's grave in Dernancourt War Cemetery in Northern France.




.  Highland Light Infantry    page5   page5a   page5b   page5c


 photographs from GlescaPals

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