The History of Leith

March 25, 2012

The 7th Battalion Royal Scots.

The 7th Battalion Royal Scots.
For many, many years South Leith Church has been
closely associated with the Auxiliary Forces of the British
There is a strange fitness in this, for our Church
was partially demolished in the seige of Leith in 1560.
One of the hopes that may be legitimately cherished is
that at some day the inspiration may come to a benefactor of
the Town to rebuild the lost choir of our noble edifice.
After these turbulent days—almost 100 years after—the
great Oliver Cromwell is known to have turned the
to be maintainted. He asks therefore, through the columns
of the Magazine, that young men in all our homes should
bestir themselves, and enlist immediately in the 7th Royal
Scots.
It seems almost unbelievable that such an appeal should
require to be made. Is it possible that there is decline
in the patriotic feelin&of our young men? I for one
would be slow to believe so, although there are pernicious
theories leavening the minds of the thoughtless and
impressionable with their malign power. But the fact
that some unpatriotic fellows will not do their duty ought
not to weaken others in their manifest duty : it should
spur them on all the more. There were days when
aggressive war came within the range of most people’s
liking. That day is long over. But we must always be
ready for a defensive war, either by land or sea. Woe to
every interest the country holds dear if the spirit of
patriotism dies out of our young men ! Young men of
South Leith, away with self-indulgence, lethargy, lack of
patriotism, and enrol in the ranks of the Defenders of the
Land!
:: ngregation out of the Church for about four years. We
can easily imagine this corner and that filled high with
provisions for the men and fodder for the horses. If some
-ories are true, ropes may have been tied round the
zillars, ancient even then, to keep the prancing steeds in
their places !
When the Volunteer movement arose, the minister of
South Leith was appointed chaplain of the local regiment,
ir.d we all know how proud Dr Mitchell was of this
honour ! Many have spoken to me about his yearly
sermon to the men, and others have referred with admiration
to the sight they could recall of him, marching, in
full regimentals, at the head of the column, as it proceeded
up the Walk after the Parade Service to the Headquarters
in Ualmeny Street.
Since the Territorial system took the place of the old
arrangement, the old connection between the Church and
the Regiment has been kept up, the present minister
being one of the chaplains. He had the novel experience
of being at the camp in July of last year, and can testify
to the value of such training, and also to the good humour
of all concerned in an almost continuous storm of wind
and rain !
He has now to do what has never had to be done before.
The Regiment is without its full complement of men.
Many recruits are wanted at once if the old traditions are
regimentals, at the head of the column, as it proceeded
up the Walk after the Parade Service to the Headquarters
in Ualmeny Street.
Since the Territorial system took the place of the old
arrangement, the old connection between the Church and
the Regiment has been kept up, the present minister
being one of the chaplains. He had the novel experience
of being at the camp in July of last year, and can testify
to the value of such training, and also to the good humour
of all concerned in an almost continuous storm of wind
and rain !
He has now to do what has never had to be done before.
The Regiment is without its full complement of men.
Many recruits are wanted at once if the old traditions are
to be maintained. He asks therefore, through the columns
of the Magazine, that young men in all our homes should
bestir themselves, and enlist immediately in the fth Royal
Scots.
It seems almost unbelievable that such an appeal should
require to be made. Is it possible that there is decline
in the patriotic feelin&of our young men? I for one
would be slow to believe so, although there are pernicious
theories leavening the minds of the thoughtless and
impressionable with their malign power. But the fact
that some unpatriotic fellows will not do their duty ought
not to weaken others in their manifest duty : it should
spur them on all the more. There were days when
aggressive war came within the range of most people’s
liking. That day is long over. But we must always be
ready for a defensive war, either by land or sea. Woe to
every interest the country holds dear if the spirit of
patriotism dies out of our young men ! Young men of
South Leith, away with self-indulgence, lethargy, lack of
patriotism, and enrol in the ranks of the Defenders of the
Land!

source-South Leith Magazine 1913

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