on 6 April 2007
Formed in 1725 as an independent security force (or watch) their initial task was to guard the lawless areas of the Scottish Highlands. From those dark years through to the present day, the Black Watch has served its country fearlessly and has earned the enviable reputation as being one of the finest fighting regiments in the British Army.
Brave men of the regiment added many battle honours to the regimental colours over the years- they are of course too numerous to mention them all here, however historically famous names such as Alma, Sevastopol and waterloo, together with Egypt, South Africa, Ypres, Arras, Loos, Somme, Cassino, Tobruk and El Alamein will be familiar to many and need no further elaboration in respect of the hardships suffered and the gallant actions fought . In post war years, the regiment saw active service in Korea, Kenya, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Kosovo and more recently in Iraq. Other unusual accolades include them being the last Resident battalion in Hong Kong and were present there in 1997 when the British flag was lowered for the last time. Rather unusual is the fact that 8 Pipers of the regiment also led the funeral procession of the late President John F Kennedy !
This excellent concise history follows Trevor Royale's previous publication detailing the history of the Royal Scots-another distinguished Scottish regiment who, along with the Black Watch were "swallowed up" in 2006 (as part of the government's radical defence policy), into the newly formed Royal Regiment of Scotland. Despite this volume's compactness and most attractive price, the author has successfully managed to cover nearly 300 years of distinguished service in enough detail to provide the military historian, collector and family history researcher with a host of invaluable information. In common with his previous volume, this title has some excellent colour and black and white plates too, together with an appendix that includes a fully comprehensive index, a Regimental Family Tree, a full list of battle honours together with citations for the Victoria Cross together and details of regimental marches, badges and tartans.
All in all, a very useful reasonably priced volume that will appeal to a wide range of readers, especially those with an interest in this regiment.
on 3 August 2013
Like The Royal Scots, another book in the series, it gives a concise history of the regiment from its founding in the 18th century without elaborating too much on each campaign, although it does give the reasons for each conflict. Well worth the money for anyone interested in the subject and is an attractive little book like the rest of the series.
on 4 September 2012
I have to disagree with the previous review. This sloppy book looks like another regimental history was rushed out in time for the amalgamation of the Black Watch with the other Scottish regiments to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Not only does the author regurgitate previous, unreliable and now very outdated histories of the C19th century but he doesn't it even do it well, adding his own inaccurate variations on tired old myths. Not only is it factually incorrect but the rambling writing style is also very poor. You would get as good value from some old barrack room lawyer sat across the table in the pub, with the advantage of having a drink in your hand. The Linklater history of 1977 if you can get it, although it has its flaws and of course does not cover the last thirty years of the regiment's existence, is still the best single volume history you can read.