Politics

Formation Day - MP Pays Tribute To Royal Regiment Of Scotland

Former Reservist Paul Sweeney had kind words to say about his old unit.

Video credit: parliamentlive.tv

An ex-military MP has paid tribute in Parliament to the Royal Regiment of Scotland, on the anniversary of their formation.

It’s thirteen years since eight regiments of Scottish Infantry – consisting of six regular and two reserve – were brought together to form one unit.

Paul Sweeney is the Labour and Co-Operative Member of Parliament for Glasgow North East.

He’s also Shadow Minister for Scotland, and served in the 52nd Lowland Reserve between 2006 and 2018.

Asking the Leader of the House of Commons to join him in marking Formation Day, Paul said:

“Of course, [the Royal Regiment of Scotland] might be relatively new.

“But it’s the most senior regiment of line infantry, combining some illustrious names in the Army’s history.”

Paul Sweeney MP gazes at military medals in the Houses of Parliament
Paul Sweeney MP gazes at military medals in the Houses of Parliament

The four regular battalions merged into the Royal Regiment of Scotland include the Royal Scots Borderers, Royal Highland Fusiliers, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons).

Formation Day in 2006 also saw reserve battalions 51st Highland and 52nd Lowland rolled in.

In his address to Speaker John Bercow and Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom during Business Questions, Paul continued:

“I joined the regiment the same year as it was formed, and indeed it was a very formative part of my growing up.”

He then asked for a debate on the “huge contribution” he feels the regiment has made since 2006.

Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Leader of the House replied that she was “delighted” to join Mr Sweeney in celebrating the regiment.

She added: “We do owe such a debt of gratitude to all of those people who do so much to keep us safe.

“[Not just this] but also [those that] support international humanitarian exercises and all of the work they do for our communities.”

Paul Sweeney later Tweeted that his decision to join the 52nd Lowland was “one of the best” he has made, and that it “shaped” him into the person he is.

He was 17 and still at school when he signed up, initially because “it sounded like an interesting and fun thing to do over the summer.”

He described his time in uniform as “character-building...and formative.”

The Royal Regiment of Scotland calls itself “one of the key custodians of Scottish martial history, and fiercely proud of its heritage.”