Royal Army Service Corps & Royal Corps of Transport Association
From the formation of The Highland Divisional Transport and Supply Column ASC (TA) in 1908, the antecedents of the STR did not have an official Regimental Tartan. Indeed, it was not until 1937, when 51st Highland Divisional RASC (TA) formed the Regiment’s first Pipes and Drums, that this lack of a Regimental Tartan became an issue. In 1937, the Commanding Officer, Lt Col T Harris Hunter OBE, gained the consent of Princess Arthur of Connaught for the Pipes and Drums to wear the Red MacDuff Tartan. Princess Arthur was Duchess of Fife – where the RHQ was based and remains to this day – and her husband, Prince Arthur of Connaught, was the first Colonel in Chief of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC), the forerunner of the RCT and thence the RLC. The official designation of the Regiment’s Tartan is No16 Red MacDuff (Ancient).
The name MacDuff means 'son of the dark one' (MacDhuibh in the Gaelic) and the MacDuffs are descended from the same ancient royal house as Shakespeare's Macbeth. Traditionally, MacDuff was the first Earl of Fife; he opposed Macbeth and helped Malcolm to the Throne. Fife is, of course, the home of the Regimental HQ, which is based in Dunfermline. The MacDuffs, under their earl, had the privilege of crowning the king and of always being in the front ranks of his army - a position of great honour. In 1306, Robert the Bruce had Duncan MacDuff, Earl of Fife, imprisoned for seven years, as he had been a supporter of the Comyns.
The motto of the MacDuff clan is Deus Juvet: God Assists.
Head Dress and Cap Badge
From 1937 until 1978, the Red MacDuff tartan was worn only by the Regiment’s Pipes and Drums. On 9 January 1978, authorisation for the wearing of the wearing of a diamond shaped 13⁄4 inch Red MacDuff backing to the cap-badge was granted by the Army Dress Committee to both 153 (Highland) Artillery Support Regiment RCT and 154 (Lowland) Transport Regiment RCT.
This was ratified by the Corps Dress Committee (RCT) on 9 February 1978. The change in dress was unfunded (and remains unfunded) and took some time to complete, with 221 (Glasgow) Sqn RCT being the last to change (29 January 1979).
This Battlefield trip to commemorate one hundred years of the First World War, had taken several months of organisation. After some intensive research, I decided to use a firm called Eclipse holidays of 75 Bothwell street Glasgow G2 6TS. The company was very professional throughout. We dealt with Kevin and Claire and I can recommend them to any other association. They can be contacted on(0844 800 9424) if needed.
I would also thank our driver Bill, ex W.0.1. K.O.S.B. for looking after us all and big thanks to Norrie, John, Duncan, Jim, and of course Grahame head of security.
Finally I would like to thank my wife Shirley for the help and understanding she showed during the planning and execution of this trip. It was greatly appreciated.
Perthshire Branch Chairman and Regional Committee Member.
McDuff Tartan and the Corps