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51st Infantry Brigade
Insignia of 51st Infantry Brigade
Active World War I
1914 - 1918
1952 - Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type All Arms and Services
Role Training and Administration
Military Aid to the Civil Community
Military Aid to the Civil Power
Part of 1st (United Kingdom) Division
Garrison/HQ Forthside Barracks, Stirling

The Army In Scotland

The Fighting 51st
Engagements World War I
Cyprus Emergency
Brigadier Robin Lindsay

51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland is an Adaptable Force Brigade of the British Army. It is the regional administrative formation responsible for all the units of the Army Reserve based in Scotland and an Adaptable Force Brigade under Army 2020. The Brigade is also regionally aligned with the Persian Gulf region as part of defence engagement.[1]

Although it takes its name and identity from, and is directly descended from the 51st (Highland) Division, formed as part of the Territorial Force in 1908 and which fought during the First and Second World Wars, it is also the modern descendant of the 52nd Lowland Division.


World War I

The British 51st Infantry Brigade began as a formation of the 17th (Northern) Division during the First World War. It spent the entirety of the war with the Division on the Western Front.[2]

World War II

Insignia of the 51st Highland Division, 51st (Scottish) Brigade's direct antecedent.

Although this brigade was not raised during the Second World War, the dominant historical threads behind the current 51st Scottish Brigade come from the famed 51st (Highland) Division which was deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force. The 51st Division was attached to the French Southern Group of Armies and fought a lone battle as the remainder of the BEF was forced to retreat toward Dunkirk. For some time, it was forced to hold a line four times longer than that which would normally be expected of a division.[3]

Post war

The Territorial Army in Scotland re-raised the 51st/52nd Scottish Division in the late 1940s, which was in existence until the TA was disbanded and reorganised as the TAVR in 1967.[4]

The 51st/52nd Scottish Division was split into two separate Brigades in 1968, with the 51st Highland component reformed as Highland District, commanded by a Brigadier and the Lowland component forming 52nd Lowland Brigade. Since then the name of the formation changed first to Highland Area and then to a subordinate formation of Scottish District, Highlands, as 51st Highland Brigade. In 1975 the Brigade Headquarters moved from Highland House, St Catherine's Road, Perth to the old 51st Highland Division Officers’ Mess building at St Leonard's Bank, Perth. In 1989, towards the end of the Cold War it had various battalions under its command, such as the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers, a field support squadron and reservist Royal Army Medical Corps under its command.[5][6]

21st century

On 1 April 2002, 51 (Scottish) Brigade took on the regional responsibility for the whole of Scotland, instead of just the Highlands, with its Headquarters at Forthside Barracks in Stirling and its Regional Training Centre situated at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh. This enabled 52 (Lowland) Brigade, which previously administered all Lowland TA units, to be specifically reorganised to parent Regular light role infantry battalions for operational deployments. 51st (Scottish) Brigade also co-ordinated operational deployments within its regional area of responsibility, such as in scenarios requiring Military Aid to the Civil Community.[7]

In April 2012, with the disbandment of 2nd Division, the brigade came under the control of the new Support Command based in Aldershot.[8] On 31 March 2014, it was renamed 51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland, and transformed as part of the Army 2020 concept.[9]

Current formation

51st Infantry Brigade & Headquarters Scotland structure, as of July 2020.

51st Infantry Brigade

Units forming part of 51st Infantry Brigade, at Forthside Barracks, Stirling, include:[10]

HQ Scotland

Headquarters Scotland, at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh, normally abbreviated as HQ Scotland oversees all units and ministry of defence estates in Scotland. Current organisations and units include:


The regular units which fall under the administrative command of the brigade include:[24]


  1. "Information regarding British Army brigades being regionally aligned". Ministry of Defence UK. 2 August 2019. "Responsible Organisation 51st Infantry Brigade Region Gulf Region" 
  2. "17th Division". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 12 September 2019. 
  3. Saul David, Churchill's Sacrifice of the Highland Division, France 1940, ISBN 1-85753-378-X
  4. "Divisional RE units". British Army units 1945 on. Retrieved 12 September 2019. 
  5. "British Army units from 1945 on - Welcome" (in en). 
  6. "BOAR 1989". 
  7. "Defence Basing Reforms". Scottish Parliament. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2019. 
  8. "HQ Regional Command". Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  9. "51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  10. "51st Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Scotland - British Army". 
  11. "Highland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association - The Website of the Highland Reserve Forces and Cadets" (in en-US). 
  12. "Lowland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association -" (in en-GB). 
  13. "Public Information Leaflet, DTE Scotland". 
  14. "Wayback Machine". 2017-10-01. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 "The Royal Regiment of Scotland [UK"]. 2007-12-13. 
  16. "British Army Music" (in en-GB). 
  17. "Edinburgh Castle - Garrison Office". 
  18. "Edinburgh Garrison" (in en). 
  19. "Edinburgh Garrison" (in en). 
  20. "Army Welfare Community Support". December 2018. 
  21. Liam; Editor; Warfare.Today. "2 SCOTS Return from Iraq, South Sudan" (in en-GB). 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Officers Training Corps". Highland RFCA. Retrieved 11 July 2020. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Officers Training Corps". Lowland RFCA. Retrieved 11 July 2020. 
  24. "Map/Maps showing the responsibilities of the British Army’s Regional Commands across the United Kingdom". 17 August 2020. 

External links and sources