The allocation of Scout Sections in Scotland is far less well established than for England. There were certainly Scout Section officers from Highland regiments and regulars serving in the Highlands and Western Isles with Auxiliary Units. However it is not clear if the Highlands area had one or two Scout Sections or a different structure entirely. The initial set up of two Scout Sections in each of the original ten areas would suggest at least two Scout Sections in Scotland, though by September 1940, Caithness and Sutherland was known as Area 1a, with Aberdeen and the Eastern Highlands being Area 1. If considered two separate areas, then four Scout Sections might be expected, two in the Western Highlands and Islands and two in the Eastern Highlands. This would be in addition to Royal Scots Scout Section in Fife and Angus. There is a single report of a Demonstration Squad, commmanded by a Scout Section Officer, operating in Scotland later in the war.
The Scout Section was made of Regular Army soldiers with a Lieutenant in command. Their role was train the Home Guard patrols, but also to go to ground themselves in the event of an invasion.
The diary of the Grange Patrol member, Willie Ingram, from Aberdeenshire, mentions the Scout Section. On 29th October 1942, the Grange Patrol took part in a practice attack on an Operational Base at Muldearie with 2 men of the Scout Section.
In 201 Battalion Newsletter No16 (July 1944), Sergeant Douglas is reported to have just returned from the Islands completing the Area check of Stores. This means he was presumably one of the last regular army personnel serving in the area. His regiment is not known.
Possibly earlier editions of this newsletter might provide additional details about the Scout Sections, but none are known to survive. We would obviously be very keen to hear from anyone who has copies.
Most Scout Sections had at least two operational bases. None has been located for the Highlands sections.
|Lieutenant Neville Alexander Hay||Unknown||19 Apr 1943|
|Lieutenant David George Redvers Oldham||1941||14 Mar 1943|
|Lieutenant Cecil Leyland Riding||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Pte. Douglas||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Donald McPhail Livingstone||
Postman (previously baker)
|16 Apr 1941||03 Jan 1944|
|Sergeant Thomas Varey||10 Dec 1940||28 Feb 1944|
The section would have consisted of a Lieutenant, a Sergeant, a Corporal and 9 private soldiers with a driver batman for the officer and driver for the section’s lorry.
The standard transport for a Scout Section was an Austin 2-seater car and a 15cwt lorry, both with RASC drivers. The men normally also had bicycles.
The Last Ditch, David Lampe
201 Battalion Newsletter No16 (July 1944)
Grange Patrol Diary