Chapter

‘A military fervour akin to religious fanaticism’: Scottish Military Identity in the Australian Imperial Force

Craig Tibbitts

in A Global Force

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2016 | ISBN: 9781474402736
Published online May 2018 | e-ISBN: 9781474422499 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402736.003.0007
‘A military fervour akin to religious fanaticism’: Scottish Military Identity in the Australian Imperial Force

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter highlights the long-term influence of Scottish military traditions and identity in Australia, dating back to the arrival of a battalion of the 73rd Highland Regiment in New South Wales in 1810. From the 1860s, several home-grown ‘Scottish’ volunteer militia units were established in the Australian colonies. This coincided with a peak period of Scottish emigration to Australia with some 265,000 settling between 1850 and 1914. With the outbreak of the First World War, Australia quickly raised a contingent to assist the Empire. Several Scottish-Australian militia regiments sought incorporation into the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) but with limited success. This chapter highlights how the existence of Scottish military identities conflicted with the desire of the AIF that its identity be entirely Australian as means of forging the identity of the new Commonwealth of Australia. At the same time, a small number of AIF units managed to maintain some small degree of Scottish flavour about them. Those such as the 4th, 5th and 56th Battalions which had many join en- masse from the pre-war ‘Scottish’ militia regiments, provide examples of how this identity survived and was influenced by some key officers and NCOs of Scots heritage.

Keywords: Australia; Identities; Scottish; Regiments; First World War

Chapter.  10014 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.