Pipe Major Ian MacLeod, Glasgow Highlanders

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by aboode, May 17, 2019.

  1. aboode

    aboode Member

    I am looking for information about Ian MacDonald MacLeod (1918-1974), who was Pipe Major of one of the two Glasgow Highlanders battalions in the HLI during WW2.
    The 1st Bn existed from 1920 to 1959 and the 2nd Bn was formed in 1939 - when was this disbanded or amalgamated into the 1st Bn?
    Thank you for your help.
  2. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Whilst not answering your specific enquiry, Wiki has details of the Glasgow Highlanders for WW2
    Glasgow Highlanders - Wikipedia

    and for WW2 says
    " In 1920, the Territorial Force was re-established as the Territorial Army, and the Glasgow Highlanders re-raised a single battalion. It later moved to a new Headquarters, (in what became known as Walcheren Barracks) in Maryhill in 1935. Still part of the 157th Infantry Brigade of 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division, the 1st Battalion was sent overseas to France in 1940 as part of the Second British Expeditionary Force (see Operation Ariel) to cover the withdrawal of the BEF being evacuated from Dunkirk. With the rest of the division, the 1st Battalion spent the next four years training in the United Kingdom and, from May 1942 until June 1944, was trained in mountain warfare and later in airlanding operations. In early October 1944 the 52nd Division was sent to Belgium, coming under command of the First Canadian Army, and saw service most notably during the capture of Walcheren Island during the Battle of the Scheldt.

    In the spring and summer of 1939, the Territorial Army was ordered to be doubled in size, in order to meet the threat of Nazi Germany. As a result, the 1st Battalion raised a duplicate unit, the 2nd Battalion which was assigned to the 46th (Highland) Infantry Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division. With the division, the 2nd Battalion remained in the United Kingdom until it was sent overseas, to France, in June 1944. The battalion fought in the Battle of Normandy in Operation Epsom and the Second Battle of the Odon, followed by Operation Bluecoat and the subsequent Allied advance from Paris to the Rhine. The battalion later played a small part in Operation Market Garden, later taking part in Operation Veritable and crossing the Rhine in Operation Plunder, finally advancing into Germany in the Western Allied invasion of Germany. During Operation Epsom "the 2nd Battalion, The Glasgow Highlanders lost 12 officers and sustained nearly 200 casualties, mainly around the hotly contested village of Cheux. Total strength of this battalion was approximately 35 officers and 786 other ranks; thus one day's losses amounted to 34% of their officers and nearly 25% of the entire rifle battalion."

    There are several Iain McLeods well known in piping circles, so perhaps drop an email to the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, even though he died in 1974 they may have better information for you.
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  3. aboode

    aboode Member

    I recently purchased the book "The Scottish Volunteers, History of the 2nd Bn Glasgow Highlanders" by Captain Eric Scotchburn-Snell.
    On page 60 it gives the Order of Battle of the 2nd Bn of 17 June 1944 and mentions under HQ Company Pipe Major McLeod So that is one question answered.
    But on page 99 it mentions that in August 1944 Pipe Major McLeod was wounded at Verson and Corporal Chisholm, a piper from the 2nd HLI who had until recently been a rifle company section commander, was promoted sergeant and put in charge of the band.
    Could someone tell me the year when McLeod was appointed P/M of the 2nd Bn and has someone got more information about Sgt Chisholm who took over from him as P/M in 1944; for Chisholm I am in particular looking for his first/middle names and reg.no.
    Your help will be appreciated. Thanks
  4. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Nothing found in the casualty lists but just to help people it might be useful to clarify the spelling of his surname as you are using both MacLeod and McLeod.
  5. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

  6. aboode

    aboode Member

    51highland - thank you. According to the diaries the Bn was at Verson (on the outskirts off Caen) on 10 July 1944 - less than a month after they landed in France. Unfortunately the diaries only give names of officers, not other ranks, when they were wounded.
  7. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Whilst looking at CWGC casualties for July and August, I noticed this
    2nd Bn casualties in Albania on 29 July 1944? Surely some mix up?
  8. travers1940

    travers1940 Active Member

    This from the HLI Association website quotes service in the Balkans later in the war:

    The 2nd Battalion moved to Egypt early in the war and saw action at the Battle of Keren in March 1941. It then transferred to the Western Desert and saw combat at the Battle of Knightsbridge in June 1942 and the Battle of Fuka in July 1942. It took part in the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and, after a period in Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece, took part in the final advance into Northern Italy.

    In late 1947, 2nd Bn HLI, which had been stationed in Greece, reduced to a cadre, returned to Scotland and was stationed in Glasgow prior to amalgamation with 1st Bn HLI. This occurred in Fort George, the remains of 2nd Bn HLI joining 1st Bn HLI and becoming 1st Bn HLI (71st and 74th).

    World War Two

    1945-59 and Beyond
  9. aboode

    aboode Member

    It is confusing, but there were the (regular) 1st and 2nd Battalions of the HLI but also the 1st and 2nd (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalions of the HLI !
    The Glasgow Highlanders battalions were formed in 1939 from the 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion HLI.
  10. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    So there was a 2nd Battalion HLI (CITY of Glasgow Regiment) and a 2nd Bn HLI (Glasgow Highlanders)... No chance of confusion then - presumably different tartans?
  11. travers1940

    travers1940 Active Member

    Thank you aboode for confirming how they could be confused.

    For interest & completion only & not wishing to create a thread within a thread, the HLI men buried in Albania would have been taking part in Operation Healing II.

    During this operation C Company, 2nd Bn HLI, together with Commandos and the Raiding Support Regiment landed, with the intention of the operation being to re-open the coastline in the neighbourhood of Himara so that supplies could be delivered to the Albanian Partisans in that area.

    The full story is here:

    Operation Healing 11 | ͏
  12. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    As an aside to this topic, the clarification on the 2nd Bn HLI in my post #7 has had a reply from the CWGC as sollows:-
  13. aboode

    aboode Member

    I believe that the brief history of the Glasgow Highlanders is as follows:

    Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers:

    1868 – 1880 105th Lanarkshire (Glasgow Highland) Rifle Volunteers

    1880 – 1887 10th Lanarkshire (Glasgow Highland) Volunteers

    Highland Light Infantry:

    1887 – 1908 5th (Glasgow Highland) Volunteer Battalion

    1908 – 1914 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion

    1914 – 1918? 1/9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion
    1914 – 1918 2/9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion
    1915 – 1916 3/9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion

    1920 – 1939 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion

    1939 – 1947 1st (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion
    1939 – 1946 2nd (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion

    1947 – 1949 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion

    1949 – 1959 1st (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion

    Royal Highland Fusiliers:

    1959 – 1967 1st (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion


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