Blantyre Blazers

On 19th November 1909, the Blantyre F Company of the 6th Battalion of the Scottish Rifles celebrated their 50 year anniversary. The Jubilee event took place in Stonefield in Blantyre and the F Company, affectionately known as the “Blantyre Blazers” were in good spirits.

The event marked 50 years of drill practice, military training and preparing young men into a state of readiness to serve their country. Of course on that celebration evening, none of the men would know what awaited them in a few years afterwards. How interesting and incredible it would have been to hear Captain James Brown giving an account of the company’s ups and downs since their formation on 10th December 1859. Originally designated as the Blantyre Rifle Corps, they had in subsequent years become well known as the Blantyre Blazers.

This excellent photo shows F Company of the Scottish 6th Rifles taken in Falkirk in October 1914, as they prepared to leave to mainland Europe. One of four Territorial Battalions of the Regiment, the 6th Scottish Rifles covered Lanarkshire and had its headquarters in Hamilton.

The officer seated in the centre with a moustache is James Brown, the School Teacher from Blantyre, sadly killed in action in Festubert on 15th June 1915. There are likely many young men in this photo from Blantyre.

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