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Tag: 1st Battalion HLI Ordering

hi i am looking for information about my grandfather who served with the h l i 1st battalion from 1940/48 he was from liverpool and i know he my nan and my mum who just babe in arms where billited in creif ,he never spoke much about his time in the regiment and any information had to be extracted from him, i know he was one of the first unit across the rhine, and i am sure he was at some polnt in holland and from 45/48 in Palestine, and just some of the conversation we had i think in some sort of Italian conflict? maybe someone can help me shed some light on the battalion movement i know he was wounded sometime in 43 shrapnel wounds, we lost my grandad in 1989 so have big void, just wished i had asked more questions any help appreciated  thanks colin

I'm searching for a Hector McKinnon who was born on the Isle of Mull in 1868, there were four Hector McKinnons born in Scotland in 1868. I have been informed that a Hector McKinnon is on the 1891 English census and is with the 1st HLI in barracks in Dover, it gives his birth place as Scotland.

Can I find his service records anywhere that would show his specific birthplace?

Thanks & Reagrds.

A photo of my Grandfather George McFadyan HOLLEY (1883 - 1945)


Circa after 1905 (year of enlistment in the HLI) and before 1914 (year immigrated to USA from Glasgow with my Grandmother Martha MCDOWELL HOUSTON and my father Thomas). Back of photo reads: "No. 9562, Pvt. Geo. Holley, K. Coy, 1st H.L.I., Dum Dum, India"


A photo of my Grandfather George Holley with his Daughter (my Aunt Helen) and Son (my Uncle Chuck)


Helen was a U.S. Navy Aviation Machinist Mate and Chuck a U.S. Navy Signal Man 3rd/Class.  Chuck served aboard the USS Nashville (CL-43) - he was awarded the Purple Heart from injuries sustained during a Kamikaze attack.  Both my Aunt and Uncle have said that my Grandfather was very proud of their military service during WWII.


George McFadyan Holley:  United States - WWII Draft Registration Card at age 58


Also within the DOWNLOADS section you can view within "PDFs" a three (3) page copy of the Highland Light Infantry Chronicle, Vol V, No.1, January, 1905 where George is listed within the "Depot Notes" under "Recruits Joined Since Last

Issue": 9562 G. Holly (surname misspelled).

Page three of the Chronicle contains a recruiting advertisement for: "Smart Respectable Young Men of Scottish Nationality" to join the HLI.

Wondering if anyone can comment on my Grandfathers uniform and/or the history of

the 1st HLI between 1905 and 1914. And the translation of:


as noted at the end of the HLI Chronicle article.


Ron Holley


Men of 1HLI at the Pyramids 1946

 Jack Brooks (my Grandfather) is front row on the right.  Back row in the middle is Mitchell.


The 1st Battalion, HLI in Palestine.

In my first entry of stories from my Dad ( Charles Robert Dobson 1st Battalion, HLI, 1944-47) I mentioned a TV programme and how we thought that a we saw a brief glimpse of HLI soldiers in Jerusalem.  I've managed to take a photo of the TV screen that shows these soldiers.  I'm afraid that the quality isn't good, because firstly you can see the reflection of my camera and tripod and secondly the picture is grainy anyway.  The soldier that we think is my Dad is the one second from the right, leaning against the Bren Gun Carrier, my Dad was a marksman with the Bren Gun.

UPDATE:- I've just been informed that this episode of Infamous Assassinations - Yitzhak Rabin Isreal 1995, is being shown on the Yesterday channel at 11:30am on Tuesday 12th April 2011. see



Discharge from the HLI late 1947 - Demob

Here is my Dad's discharge book when he eventually got home after more than three years with the HLI.


There was a slight mistake on the discharge book as my Dad is shown as a Lance Corporal, when he was by that time a Corporal.

My Dad seems to think that the document was signed by a Major who was the 2IC, to the Lieut. Colonel. It looks like the Major was J.G. Coulter or Coultard.  It says that Dad's Military Conduct was Exemplary and the Testimonial reads "Classified Signaller. Thoroughly honest, sober and dependable. Intelligent and thoroughly respectful in his manner.  A good signal ??(word unclear)"

Apparently this was the Army equivalent of a letter of recommendation to be used when getting a job.

Hope it's of some interest.




More memories of HLI 1st Battalion in Germany and Palestine. 1944-1947



My Dad, Charles Robert Dobson, known as Charlie or “Scouse”, was in the HLI, his memory for names of his platoon and company members isn’t brilliant, but I’ve got a few more stories from him that I thought I’d share. Don’t forget that these stories are from a man who turns 85 in two months, so exact dates and historical accuracy is not guaranteed

My father remembers that in Hamburg, his company (A Company) had a Sergeant by the name of BARTELLI.  The sergeant was from a Glasgow family who owned a Fish & Chip shop that was right next door to the Maryhill Barracks.  Maybe some older Glaswegian’s may remember the shop? I believe that Glasgow was home to a lot of families of Italian descent.

Another name he recalls from his platoon was a Geordie from Newcastle by the name of DENNIS COCKING, a guy who was football mad and a dyed in the wool Newcastle United fan.  In 1946 a Newcastle player named Albert Stubbins transferred to Liverpool, my Dad’s team.  At the time my Dad said it a major move for a record fee of £12,500 and this Dennis Cocking guy moaned and whinged for about two months after the move as he couldn’t believe Stubbins had deserted his home town team for Liverpool. Stubbins' later claim to fame was an appearance on the front cover of  The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the only footballer to be given that honour.


The photo below was taken approximately late 1946 or early 1947 and my Dad appears to be showing off fairly fresh tattoos.  They don't look anywhere near as crisp and sharp now he's 85 years old. 

My Dad also remembers a man by the name of MITCHELL, who won the Military Medal and if you asked him why he had been awarded the medal he would tell you that he got it for throwing snowballs at the Germans. I’d like to know why he had won it? Dad thinks that they had about six MM recipients in the regiment.

There is another reason that my Dad remembers Mitchell, was because their company were detailed as a guard of honour for a visit by the Emir Abdullah, the King of Jordan to the then High Commissioner of Palestine, General Alan Cunningham.   The Commissioners residence was at the top of a hill, the King walked up and down the rows of the honour guard, stopping occasionally to speak to some of the soldiers.  He stopped to speak to Mitchell who was two away from my Dad.  The King said to Mitchell “How long have you been in the British Army?” Mitchell took a breath and bellowed at the top of his lungs “21 years, your Majesty!” The Kings face was a picture apparently.

Another soldier Dad remembers from his platoon was a chap called HARRISON who was a tall, blond lad who came from Keithley in Yorkshire and loved the game of cricket.  Many years later watching a TV programme about the bombing of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, there was photo of Harrison stood with his rifle outside the remains of the hotel were 80+ people had died.  At the time of the bombing the battalion were in the Allenby Barracks, which was just up the road from the hotel.  Several members of the HLI, Dad included, were called out to help get the wounded and dead out of the ruins.

Dad remembers quite a lot of trouble surrounding the issue of demobilisation, a lot of soldiers had been through WWII and now they found themselves in a hot, desolate country, miles from home, whilst others were returning to their wives and families, some of the soldiers got a bit disgruntled. At this time the Battalion had come out of Palestine and were stationed in Egypt. In late 1945 or early 1946 a number of Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) men barricaded themselves on board some barges they were unloading in Port Suez, Egypt, they were protesting because of the slow demob.  Some days after they were forcibly brought out of the barges and found themselves posted to other regiments in the area. The 1st HLI received about 20 of the RASC soldiers who were told in no uncertain terms that if any trouble started in the Battalion, then they would immediately have to report to the Company Office for duty, if they failed to report they were told that they would be tried and shot for mutiny.

Some time later in 1946 Dad and a number of other soldiers from the Battalion, including the Commanding Officer, Colonel Rose, were sent home on a 21 day leave.  On their return to Egypt they were told that whilst they were away the Battalion had formed a mass march from their camp to take part in a meeting, with other Regiments in the area, at an open air cinema, they too were protesting about the very slow demob.  The story goes that the RSM tried to stop the march and had ordered the soldiers on guard duty to fire upon their mates; they refused and let the march pass through.  The HLI had been led on the march by a Provost Sergeant named SLOPER, for this act Sgt. Sloper received a term in the glasshouse, my Dad doesn’t remember how long his prison term was. All this had happened under the watch of the 2IC, a Major whose name Dad can’t remember, the Major was very quickly posted away.

Conversely, another story tells of a group of men with age and service group numbers as low as 6 or 7 who were being demobbed, sat on the front of a Jeep crying like babies as their Jeep was towed along by another Jeep.  These men were in their late 40’s or early 50’s and the army had been their life since they had left Glasgow years before.  My old man said that at the time Glasgow and indeed his home town of Liverpool had terrible slums and these guys knew what they were going back to and preferred army life, harsh as it was.

Finally all that association with Scots must have rubbed off on my Dad, because after he’d returned to Civvy Street he met and married a half Scots girl, my Mum, who can trace her family roots back to the early 16th century to the island of Fetlar in Shetland.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed Dad’s stories.






Charles Robert Dobson, A Company, 1st Battalion, HLI. 1944 to 1947

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My name is Steve Dobson and I'm submitting this information on behalf of my Dad.

I've just come back from visiting my Father, who from 1944 to 1947 belonged to the HLI, City of Glasgow Regiment. My Dad, who'll turn 85 in May, still talks about his days in the HLI. He had recorded a programme which had been on the Yesterday Channel as part of a series called “Infamous Assassinations” this particular programme was about the death of Israeli Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The programme gives the back story to the setting up of Israel and about 12 or 13 minutes into the programme, it talks about the Peacekeeping Force sent into Palestine to try and keep the Jews out. The camera flickers showing Jews in Jerusalem and pans across to a group of British soldiers stood by a Bren Gun Carrier, with the number 62 on its front. There are five soldiers, all members of the HLI, Tam o’Shanters on heads and rifles in hands. There amongst the group, second on the right, is a 19 year old Charles Robert Dobson, my father. Or at least we’re 98% sure it’s my Dad, who was a Bren gun man. The image only lasts seconds, but we paused it and sure enough it looks like my Dad, or at least photos I have of him at that age. My Dad tells me that the White Triangle on the arms of the soldiers shows that they belonged to 1st Division, and Dad was in A Company of the HLI. However he can’t recall the names of the other guys in the group, apart from he thinks one may have been called Ballatine. I thought that HLI Association members might like to watch the programme as it bound to be repeated.

My Dad details are Charles Robert Dobson, born 27th May 1926, Liverpool, England. Service Number 14986559, A Company, 1st Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, City of Glasgow Regiment. At the time of the photo, which my Dad thinks was in the winter of 1945-46, because their wearing full uniform, if it had not been winter they would have shorts on, my father was a Lance Corporal and by the time he was demobbed in 1947, he was a Corporal.

My Dad was one of only two Liverpool lads in the HLI (at that time) and of course he was known as “Scouse” or as the Scots guys called him “Scoose” in their Scots brogue. His best friend was a guy called Angus McWilliam of Peterhead, Dad is still in contact with Angus. The only other Liverpudlian my Dad can remember was a guy called Charlie Warwick, who was a Bren Gun Carrier Driver and was in S Company.

So how did a lad from Liverpool, with no Scots ancestry end up in the HLI? Well, in 1944, Dad signed up for the Navy, then it was decided that soldiers rather than sailors were needed so he was transferred to the Army, he tells me that the 149 at the start of his Service Number show that he was a transferee. He was send over to Northern Ireland for his basic training, In the County Down area, not far from Newcastle. Whilst there D Day happened, and after training in about August 1944, he found himself amongst a party of 100 soldiers shipped from Tilbury Docks in London on an American Troop Ship to Belgium. Once in Belgium, the 100 were spilt in half, 50 went into the HLI and the other 50 others ended up with another Scots regiment, possibly the Black Watch or Argyle and Sutherlands. My Dad heard that these 50 guys were all killed later in the war.

The HLI were at time part of the 53rd Welsh Division according to Dad and they went into Germany in February 1945 at a place called Goch, which is south east of Nijmegen in Holland. He ended up in Hamburg near the end of April 1945 and he tells a story of being posted on guard duty at Hamburg Cathedral on May 8th, the night the war in Europe ended. The place they were particularly guarding was the wine cellars below the Cathedral; you can imagine the chaos that eschewed with a load of young Scots lads and a Scouser guarding a cellar full of wine!!

After the VE day, Dad was on guard duty at a barracks were Josef Kramer and other prisoners from the Belsen camp where held. Then about July or August they were flown in a converted Stirling Bomber from Brussels to a place called Heliopolis near Cairo, Egypt, for one month’s acclimatisation to the heat before going into Palestine. Dad remembers that VJ day, August 14th, happened whilst he was out there, as he remembers discussing the Atom Bombs etc. Anyway he ended up spending about 2½ years out in Palestine in various locations. Dad remembers the footballer  and later manager,Tommy Docherty, joining D company at some point whilst they were in Palestine.

After the war, he was one of many reservists, who were called up because of the war in Korea, luckily he was never sent to Korea and went back to civvy street, working as a tram and bus driver in Liverpool. Dad remained in the TA for many years but was then attached to the Royal Artillery; by the time he was discharged from the TA in 1960 he’d reached to rank of Sergeant.

He was able to put his time in the Army to use, because of an organisation called the Royal Artillery Association. Through which he managed to get a job as a chauffeur to the Managing Director of a shipping company.

Luckily despite being nearly 85, his memory is fantastic, so hopefully he’ll come up with some interesting stuff. I look forward to when the WWII section of the website is complete, I’ll bring my Dad up and let him sit at my computer and reminisce.

HLI Monument Kelvingrove Park


Memorial in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow to the officers,non commissioned officers and men of the Highland Light Infantry who fell in the South African War of 1899-1902. It was sculpted by William Birnie Rhind and finished in 1906.


My Family History

My story is like this.

Welcome to the Highland Light Infantry Association Website

HLI Association Cyprus veterans Jimmy Urquhart and Jim Fury attended the presentation ceremony at Glasgow City Chambers where Mrs Jean Andrew, the sister of their fallen HLI comrade John Beattie, was presented with the Elizabeth Cross.

The Herald 23rd February 2017.

Somme VC Commemoration

HLI Association members attend the unveiling of Victoria Cross commemorative plaques for Sgt James Turnbull VC (17th Bn HLI) and Drummer Walter Ritchie VC (2nd Seaforth Highlanders) on the 100th anniversary of their heroic actions on the first day of the Battle of The Somme.  More details:


The Last Post: Major Robert Barbour Cameron

HLI WW2 Veteran John Lamont leads the Glasgow VJ Day Parade from a Jeep

Photo courtesy of Derek Crowe


100th Anniversary of the Battle of Loos.  Sunday 27th September 2015


William Angus VC Memorial Unveiling

Click Here


200 years ago the 71st (Highland Light Infantry) Regiment captured the reserve battery of the French Imperial Guard and turned the guns to fire the last shot of the Battle of Waterloo 18th June 1815.


The Highland Light Infantry Association is the official organisation for ex-members of all regular and territorial Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry, and their descendant units within the 52nd LOWLAND Volunteers and The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Associate membership is also available to members of other UK and Allied veteran associations, descendants of HLI veterans, and serving military personnel.


The HLI Association meets for various veteran events in and around the City of Glasgow, including: VE Commemoration Day, Armed Forces Day, VJ Commemoration Day, and of course, Remembrance Sunday.  Members also travel further afield to commemorate fallen comrades of the HLI and their brothers in arms now resting in foreign fields.


A small band of the "Maryhill Die-hards" meet up socially in the Iron Horse Bar in Glasgow on the third Thursday of the month.



HLI Veteran gets a smacker when he came up with his Son from Birkenhead to join us for our VE Day celebrations in Glasgow in May 2015


HLI Association School Visit for Remembrance Assembly November 2014

St Mark's Primary School Visit November 2014Click this link for a short video of a WWI Discovery visit last week by Highland Light Infantry Association members to St Mark's Primary School, Hamilton. The soundtrack is the Primary 7 children singing their own arrangement (assisted by S6 Pupils from John Ogilvy High School) of "In Flanders Fields". (This will take you to YouTube. Use your browser "Back" button to return to this site)

In Memoriam: The Somme 2014Click this link for a short video.(This will take you to YouTube. Use your browser "Back" button to return to this site)

Highland Light Infantry Remembrance Ceremony Nijmegen 2014Click this link for a short video.(This will take you to Vimeo. Use your browser "Back" button to return to this site)


Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Netherlands. Monday 22nd September 2014. 70 years since the brave soldiers of the Highland Light Infantry, and their brothers in arms from the Parachute Regiment, gave their lives for the liberation of Holland in Operation Market Garden. A ceremony of remembrance by members of the Highland Light Infantry Association with Parachute Regimental Association (Central Scotland-Glasgow Branch) comrades in attendance. With thanks to Mr John Hawthorn for the excellent video footage taken with his mobile phone in Nijmegen, Netherlands.



Glasgow Highlanders Parade and Church Service Sunday 5th

October 2014

Click for details

HLI Members at the GH Church Service


Birkenhead Memorial Unveiling: Wednesday 5th March 2014

Birkenhead Merseyside

Images courtesy of Bob Warwick, Steve Dobson, and Jim Fury

HLI Members attended the unveiling of a new memorial to the gallant actions of the 74th of Foot when the troopship HMS Birkenhead sank of South Africa in 1852.

This was the first occasion when the term "women and children first" was used as the Officers and men of the 74th Regiment of Foot (which became the HLI) formed up in order on deck as the ship went down to avoid swamping the lifeboats carrying the women and children on board.

Wreck of The Birkenhead Thomas M. Hemy 1892

The Highland Light Infantry Standard was in attendance with a delegation of HLI members including local Merseyside members Ken, Charlie, and Steve.


Charlie showing he still knows how to carry the Standard.  Supported by a Standard Party including Ken and Chris.


HLI Liverpool Lad Charlie in 1944 and at the Birkenhead Memorial unveiling in 2014. Still an HLI Lad!


HLI on Merseyside with the Liver Building in the background


Jimmy makes the acquaintance of Jemma the young designer of the Birkenhead Memorial


Jemma is a student at Birkenhead Sixth Form College. The Memorial was constructed by apprentices at Cammel-Laird Shipyard


Glasgow Remembrance Service Sunday 10th November 2013


Evening Times 11/11/13




Remembrance Service Bridgeton Glasgow Monday 11th November 2013





2 Scots Homecoming Parade Glasgow Friday 15th November 2013 2 Scots Homecoming Video by David McNay (This link will take you to YouTube)


The Glasgow Highlanders Association held a service of dedication of their new standard in St Columba Church of Scotland Highland Cathedral on Sunday 18th November 2012.



The new Glasgow Highlanders Association Standard flanked by the RHF Association Standard and our own proudly borne by a 1 HLI veteran

(Photo by the Secretary)


Members of the HLI Association and other ex-service associations supported and participated in this splendid event. HLI Association members also assisted in raising funds towards the cost of the new GH Association standard.  It is intended that both the HLI and GH Associations will continue to march together at parades with both standards flying!

Kilts V Trews 1957

Click on the link above for a short British Pathe news film on the battle over amalgamation.

(Link will open in a new browser window)



Liverpool lad in the Highland Light Infantry!


Charles Robert Dobson, Service Number 14986559, A Company, 1st Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, City of Glasgow Regiment. (Photograph c.1944 courtesy of Steven Dobson)

Do you recognise Charlie? Also known (inevitably!) as "Scouse". He would like to hear from old comrades.  Read more about Charlie in the "HLI Stories section".


Service of Dedication of a new Standard for the Highland Light Infantry Association 13th August 2010


This website has been developed to raise the awareness of the Highland Light Infantry Association and facilitate communication between its members whilst also appealing to the wider general public.

The website will grow over time and will hopefully stimulate further research and study into this famous Regiment.


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