Between the Wars

Between the Wars

Between the Wars 1919-1939

In March 1921 the HLI Depot moved from Hamilton to Maryhill Barracks.

Hamilton Barracks                                                                                   Maryhill Barracks

In June 1923 the title of ‘City of Glasgow Regiment’ was authorised to be added to the name of the Regiment.

1 HLI – Home Service (with interruptions) 1919-39

1 HLI, reduced to a cadre, moved from Mesopotamia to India in 1919 and then went home to Scotland. In Cupar the cadre absorbed 3 HLI to reform the 1st Battalion. Following a brief period in Egypt in 1920 it returned to Scotland at the end of that year, moving to Edinburgh.

Ireland 1921

1 HLI spent two months on operations in Ireland before returning to Edinburgh.

Britain and Northern Ireland

After two more years in Edinburgh 1 HLI moved to Northern Ireland in December 1923, serving first in Ballykinlar and then Holywood, just outside Belfast. In 1926 it returned to Britain and was stationed in Aldershot.

Home Service in Malta

Although officially the ‘Home Service’ Battalion of the HLI the Battalion was sent to Malta in 1929. This break from home service was very welcome although described as being ‘just too social for words.’ Serving in the 1st Battalion HLI at this time was a young subaltern, David Niven, who went on to command great acclaim in Hollywood; also serving in Malta with the HLI at this time was a promising young Captain, Roy Urquhart, who went on to command the 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem.

2nd Lt. David Niven HLI

Home Again

1 HLI returned home in December 1931 and was stationed at Dover. 1934 saw a move to Fort George. 1936 saw another short break in home duty, the Battalion being sent to Egypt for 7 months during the trouble between Britain and Italy. Returning to Fort George at the end of that year the 1st Battalion was still there at the outbreak of war.

2 HLI – Overseas Service 1919-39


2 HLI returned to Aldershot from Germany in April 1919 and was almost immediately ordered to move to Archangel, North Russia, as part of the British force assisting the White Russians. This task involved active operations and several men were killed and wounded. The force was withdrawn late in 1919 but this brief post-war operation gained the HLI the Battle Honour, Archangel 1919.


After a brief period of leave 2 HLI was sent to Ireland at the end of 1919 in aid of the Civil Power in Co. Clare. This tour lasted until June 1920.

Egypt, Palestine and Turkey

Following a short stay in Edinburgh 2 HLI was sent to Egypt at the end of 1920. In the following year the Battalion was transferred to Palestine to help keep the peace during trouble between Jews and Arabs. Then, after a brief return to Egypt in 1922 trouble beckoned again, this time in Turkey. War between Turkey and Greece threatened a Turkish crossing of the Dardanelles into European Turkey, still occupied by Britain. A British force was sent to the Dardanelles and 2 HLI found itself based in Fort Nagara, just north of Chanak. Here the Battalion remained for nearly a year.

India and Palestine

2 HLI, having withdrawn from Chanak to Egypt in 1923, was then sent further east to India in 1925. Here the Battalion served for 13 years, at Bangalore, Cawnpore, Razmak and Peshawar.

2nd Bn Highland Light Infantry in India 1920s-30s

While at Peshawar it once again returned to the NW Frontier, taking part in the Mohmand Operations of August – October 1935 and gained the India General Service Medal.

In 1938 2 HLI was sent to Palestine and was still there when World War II broke out.