WE'RE TREW SCOTS; Troops' fury over switch to kilts.Byline: By IAIN LUNDY
THOUSANDS of Scottish troops are in uproar after being ordered to ditch their traditional tartan trousers for kilts.
Soldiers in Lowland regiments have been told they MUST wear kilts when their units are merged into Scotland's new super-regiment.
The decision by the Scottish Council of Colonels has infuriated traditionalists who claim trews have been part of Scottish army life for longer than kilts.
They have accused the Government of bowing to "outside perceptions" of Scottish soldiers.
And they claim the three Lowland regiments - the Royal Scots, the King's Own Scottish Borderers and the Royal Highland Fusiliers The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment) was a regular Scottish line infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish Division, and abbreviated as 'The RHF'. - will lose their identity when the six existing infantry regiments become The Royal Regiment of Scotland The Royal Regiment of Scotland is the senior and only Scottish line infantry regiment of the British Army Infantry. It consists of five regular and two territorial battalions, each formerly an individual regiment (with the exception of the first battalion, which is an amalgamation .
"We are proud to be Lowlanders, we don't want to be Highlanders," said Malcolm Nichol, former secretary of the Berwick branch of the King's Own Scottish Borderers.
"This Government is doing to us what Hitler never managed to do - wiping us out at the stroke of a pen.
"The regiment will have no identity left - and 316 years of history will be down the drain. It is heartbreaking." Kilts are worn by the three existing Highland regiments, The Black Watch, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Scottish Division. In 2004, as part of the restructuring of the infantry, it was announced that the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders would be amalgamated with the other Scottish and The Highlanders.
And it is believed the Ministry of Defence favours the Government tartan, currently worn by the Argylls, as the uniform of the new regiment.
The KOSB and the Royal Scots will become one battalion, then merge with the remaining four regiments to form the new super-regiment. But Charlie McGrogan, a former Royal Scots colour sergeant, said, "We are not a Highland regiment and we don't wear kilts, we wear trews - it is as simple as that.
"The uniform represents centuries of fighting. But these things mean nothing to the people designing the new kilt - they just want a uniform that will fit everyone."
The Royal Highland Fusiliers, formed in 1959 by the amalgamation of a Lowland regiment, the Royal Scots Fusiliers The Royal Scots Fusiliers was a Regiment of the British Army. Raised in 1678 in Scotland for service against the covenanting forces, as were the Royal Scots Greys, the Regiment gave continuous service until 1959 when it was amalgamated with the Highland Light Infantry (City of , and a Highland regiment, the Highland Light Infantry The Highland Light Infantry was a regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1959. In 1923 the regimental title was expanded to the Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) , wear Mackenzie tartan trews.
The King's Own Scottish Borderers have always worn Clan Leslie tartan trews, while the Royal Scots, the oldest regiment in the British Army having been formed in 1633, wear Hunting Stewart tartan trews.
An Army spokesman said: "When you think of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, then the most obvious Scottish accoutrement is the kilt."
TRADITION: Lowland soldiers in their trousers