The 2nd Battalion Seaforth Highlanders
The Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's) was a historic line infantry regiment of the British Army, mainly associated with large areas of the northern Highlands of Scotland. The regiment existed from 1881 to 1961, and saw service in World War I and World War II, along with many smaller conflicts.
The regiment was created through the amalgamation of the 72nd (Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders) Regiment of Foot and the 78th (Highlanders) (Ross-shire Buffs) Regiment of Foot, as part of the Childers Reforms of the British Army in 1881. It was named after Kenneth Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Seaforth, who had originally raised the 72nd Regiment. Originally named "Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs)", Queen Victoria approved on 22 November 1881 to style the regiment forthwith as "Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's)". The 1st battalion saw action at the Battle of Tel el-Kebir in September 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War. After returning home, the 1st battalion again went abroad in 1896, taking part in the International Occupation of Crete in 1897 and the reconquest of the Sudan, being present at the Battle of Atbara in April and the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898. They then moved to Cairo, and from late 1902 was posted in India, where they were stationed at Nasirabad, Ajmer.
Meanwhile the 2nd battalion were stationed in India. They saw service on the North West Frontier, taking part in the Hazara Expeditions in the summer 1888 and the spring of 1891, and the Chitral Expedition in spring 1895.Returning home in 1897, the outbreak of the Second Boer War saw the 2nd Battalion travel to South Africa in November 1899, suffering heavy losses at the Battle of Magersfontein in December 1899 and at the Battle of Paardeberg in February 1900.
A 3rd, Militia battalion (formerly the Highland Rifle Militia), was embodied in late 1899, and embarked in February 1900 for service in Egypt alongside the 1st battalion.
In 1908, the Volunteers and Militia were reorganized nationally, with the former becoming the Territorial Force and the latter the Special Reserve; the regiment now had one Reserve and three Territorial battalions.
2nd Battalion in the Second World War
The 2nd Battalion went to France as part of the 152nd Brigade in the 51st Highland Division with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in October 1939 but was captured at Saint-Valery-en-Caux during the Battle of France in June 1940. The 2nd Battalion was reconstituted, as part of a reconstituted 152nd Brigade in a reconstituted 51st (Highland) Division, and served in the Middle East, fighting in the Second Battle of El Alamein, and the subsequent Tunisia Campaign, in the Allied invasion of Sicily. In late 1943 the 51st Division returned to the United Kingdom and then took part in Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, taking part in Operation Totalize and Operation Astonia, the capture of the French port of Le Havre. The battalion later participated in Operation Veritable, Operation Plunder and the Western Allied invasion of Germany.