A regimental badge was first introduced in 1805 when the regiment was given its royal status with the title King’s Own Borderers at the command of King George III. The new badge incorporating the new motto In Veritate Religionis Confido (I trust in the truth of religion), was surmounted by the white horse of Hanover and the royal cipher with the garter and crown. It was worn on the shoulder-belt plate.
Insignia had first appeared on the regimental headdress in the 1770s during the colonelcy of Lord Lennox (1762-1805) when, according to Woollcombe, it consisted of ‘Scottish insignia’, presumably to preserve a link to its Scottish roots, on account of the regiment having taken the title ‘the Sussex regiment’.
However, this apparently did not last and a headdress badge only appeared again in the mid 19th century, when Edinburgh castle was used on the shako plate.
In 1828 it was proposed that the badge of the regiment should at last be the arms of Edinburgh, a castle and a shield, with the motto of the city, Nisi Domnus Frustra, which it was supposed, must have been the inspiration behind George III’s suggested religious motto.
Thus, in 1832, after a four year correspondence with Horse Guards, the regiment was granted a new cap badge featuring, rather than the white horse of Hanover, a depiction of Edinburgh castle. This was coupled with the restoration of the regiment’s traditional privilege of ‘beating up for recruits’ through the streets of Edinburgh. This had been the achievement of Major Courtenay Chambers who subsequently became CO of the regiment from 1830 to 1848.
The modern regimental badge first saw the light in 1871 as that worn on the Glengarry and peaked forage cap. Then of course it was missing the word ‘Scottish’ as the regiment was at that date the King’s Own Borderers. It also bore the regimental number twenty-five in roman numerals (XXV), which was discontinued with the army reforms of 1881.
During the 1890s the badge was worn as a plate on the new regimental helmets.
The eventual cap badge which would last the regiment until its amalgamation in 2006 consisted of the Cross of St. Andrew upon a circlet inscribed King’s Own Scottish Borderers. Within the circlet lay Edinburgh Castle with 3 turrets, each with flag flying to the left. Above and below the circlet, within scrolls, were the two mottoes In Veritate Religionis Confido and Nisi Dominus Frustra. Surrounding the circlet was a wreath of thistles. The Royal Crest with St. Edward’s Crown surmounted the whole.
In 1961 the badge was examined by the Lord Lyon King of Arms who advised that the royal crest of England should be changed to the sovereign’s crest of Scotland – a lion sejant affronté erect that is, seated looking to the front and holding the sword and sceptre. The commanding officer sounded out opinion and was left in no doubt that the regiment wished to retain its English crest. Thus the crown of St Edward remained and was, until amalgamation, popularly and affectionately referred to as ‘the dog and bonnet’.
THE BATTLE OF MINDEN – 1st AUGUST 1759
‘Minden’ was the second Battle Honour awarded to the 25th (Edinburgh) Regiment, as the King’s Own Scottish Borderers were then called, and the battle is celebrated on 1st of August every year.
During the Seven Years War against the French, a force of six British battalions, seven German battalions and Allied cavalry, was operating in the valley of the River Weser near the town of Minden. The British battalions were the 12th, 20th, 25th, 37th and 51st Regiments of Foot.
The Battalions were ordered to take a minor objective, but owing to a misunderstanding, advanced on the main body of the French Army. Seeing this, Prince Ferdinand, the German commander of the Allied Forces, ordered the German battalions to support the left flank and the cavalry to advance along the high ground on the right as a protection to that flank. The Cavalry Commander, Lord George Sackville, declined to accept any orders from the Prince and the cavalry remained spectators of the Infantry battle.
Seeing the advance of a small force, the French sent their cavalry, 10,000 strong, to the charge. The six battalions halted and by close range, well aimed, disciplined volleys, broke up the attack. The enemy cavalry reformed on six separate occasions and returned to the charge. Only on one occasion did a squadron succeed in penetrating the front rank and they were almost annihilated by the second rank. Finally, all 75 squadrons were sent flying in disorder.
The British Infantry continued their advance and, coming under the crossfire of sixty six guns and musketry fire from the enemy infantry, suffered heavily. The French threw in two Brigades in an effort to stem the tide but they were quickly broken. Finally, in desperation a large body of their Saxon allies were sent to counter-attack, but they fared no better than their French predecessors and the whole enemy line broke in panic. Had the British cavalry then attacked the slaughter would have been immense. As it was, the enemy lost 7,000 men to our 2,800 over 1,500 of which were lost by the six British battalions.
Visiting the scene of the battle afterwards, Prince Ferdinand remarked ‘It was here that the British Infantry won immortal glory’.
In memory of our ancestors who earned this great Battle Honour and who plucked roses from the gardens of Minden as they went forward to the battle, we of the Minden Regiments wear roses in our headdress on this proud day.
- ‘Blue Bonnets O’er the Border’, originally the march of the Scottish Borderers Militia, is the Regimental March
- ‘The Garb of Auld Gaul’ (Band)
- ‘The Borderers’ (Pipes and Drums).
- ‘The Standard on the Braes of Mar’ is the Regimental Charge.
- ‘Buglehorn’ (A Coy)
- ‘Bonnie Dundee’ (B Coy)
- ‘The Mucking o’ Geordie’s Byre’ (C Coy)
- ‘Hot Punch’ (D Coy)
- ‘Liberton Polka’ (Support Coy)
- ‘Cock o’ the North’ (HQ Coy)
- ‘Caber Feidh’ (Admin. Coy)
- ‘The Barren Rocks of Aden’ (Command Coy.)
- Annandale and Eskdale
- Berwickshire, Berwick-upon-Tweed
- Coldstream, Dumfries
- Duns, Ettrick and Lauderdale
- Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso, Kirkcudbright, Melrose
- Newton Stewart
- Roxburgh, Sanquhar
- Stranraer and Wigtown.
In Veritate Religionis Confido, ‘I put my trust in the truth of religion’, and Nisi Dominus Frustra, ‘Without the Lord, everything is in vain’
The motto of the City of Edinburgh.