PART II: 1900 - 1950

In the immediate post-war period in 1947, both the 7/9thRoyal Scots and the '8th' were revived. Again a company, this time Support Company, was based at Peebles. Jack Nicholson (later Major), the most decorated Peebles soldier of the Second World War with a DCM and MM returned to the 8th Royal Scots as Company Sergeant-Major Jack had spent his war marauding in the Mediterranean with the Special Boat Service.

In 1952 with the 1st Royal Scots in Korea, the '8th' were called to carry out public duties both at Edinburgh Castle and at Holyrood. During this year they paraded at Peebles when the Royal Scots received the Freedom of the Royal Burgh of Peebles. On this occasion they and the burgh were honoured by the presence of the Princess Royal as Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment). On parade that day, Major Joe Brown commanded the 7/9th Royal Scots detachment from Edinburgh.

The cutback in the Territorial Army led in the 1960s to the amalgamation of the 7/9th and the 8th Battalions as the '8/9th'; later still, with the formation of the 52nd Lowland Volunteers, the TA ceased to exist as such and the Royal Scots presence reduced to two companies within the new volunteer force. The Colours of both battalions and their drums are still on display in the Regimental Museums in Edinburgh Castle as a tangible reminder of outstanding service in both world wars.

In the Second World War the 'Phoney War' of 1939 was to become, in the apt phrase of Angus Calder, the 'People's War' from 1940-45. In the first period the main preoccupation was with the possibility of attack from the air on the civilian population, with all that was implied in the terms of casualties and destruction of property. In Peebles as elsewhere, air-raid precautions, or civil defence as it was to become, had already been organised by the outbreak of war. A local civil defence controller for Peeblesshire, Mr Sime of Darnhall, had been appointed. A network of warden posts had been set up with the concomitant telephone communications. Adam Tillotson was active in Peebles in this respect and liaison was maintained with the police force who were augmented by special constables. In the same way the Peebles Fire Brigade was reinforced by the establishment of the Auxiliary Fire Service whose members were exempted from military service. Eventually, all fire brigades were to operate on a national basis under the aegis of the AFS.



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