This brief history of the Galloway Rifles is from the 'Records of the Scottish Volunteer Force, 1859-1908' published in 1909.
THE GALLOWAY VOLUNTEER RIFLE CORPS.
(KIRKCUDBRIGHT AND WIGTOWN.)
Regimental District, No. 25.
"SOUTH AFRICA, 1900-02." | ORDER OP PRECEDENCE, 202.
Honorary Colonel - J. M. KENNEDY, M.V.O., V.D.(hon. col.), October 13, 1906.
Headquarters - MAXWELLTOWN.
THE Galloway Administrative Battalion of Rifle Volunteers was formed on June 30, 1860, with headquarters at Newton Stewart, and to it, then or on their subsequent date of formation, were attached the following corps :
- 1st Kirkcudbright R.V., Kirkcudbright, formed March 2, 1860, as one company. Uniform steel grey, with green facings.
- 2nd Kirkcudbright R.V., Castle - Douglas, formed March 2, 1860, as one company.
- 3rd Kirkcudbright R.V., New Galloway, formed March 28, 1860, as one company.
- 4th Kirkcudbright R.V., Gatehouse, formed May 19, 1860, as a subdivision, disbanded in 1866.
- 5th Kirkcudbright R.V., Maxwelltown, formed June 1, 1860, as one company, increased to one and a-half companies in 1865 and to two companies in 1880.
- 6th Kirkcudbright R.V., Dalbeattie, formed June 23, 1869, as one company.
- 1st Wigtown R.V., Wigtown, formed February 24, 1860, as a subdivision, incorporated as a section in the 3rd Corps in 1874.
- 2nd Wigtown R.V., Stranraer, formed March 16, 1860, as one company.
- 3rd Wigtown R.V., Newton Stewart, formed March 21, 1860, as one company.
- 4th Wigtown R.V., Whithorn, formed April 11, 1860, as a subdivision, disbanded in 1874.
- 5th Wigtown R.V., Drumore, formed November 23, 1860, as a subdivision, disbanded in 1866.
The original uniforms of the corps were steel or dark grey, and varied greatly, not only between corps, but also in the corps from year to year, one company appearing one year with plumes of cock's feathers and the next with shakos of Highland Light Infantry pattern, &c.
Uniformity was first attained on December 5, 1873, when the whole battalion was clothed in dark grey tunics and trousers, with scarlet cuffs, collars, piping, and Austrian knot (latter with black tracing all round), dark grey shakos with black ball-tuft, and black belts.
On May 9, 1883, the shako was replaced by a plain blue glengarry, but otherwise the 1873 uniform (which remained till 1908 the regulation for officers in full dress) was worn down to May 19, 1905, when drab service dress with scarlet piping on the trousers, drab putties, blue glengarry with regimental badge and red, white, and blue diced border, and brown leather equipment with bandolier, became the sole dress of the battalion.
In June 1880 the battalion was consolidated under the title of the Galloway Rifle Volunteer Corps, with headquarters at Newton-Stewart, and 8 companies, lettered as follows:
- A, Kirkcudbright (late 1st K.R.V.)
- B, Castle-Douglas (late 2nd K.R.V.)
- C, Stranraer (late 2nd W.R.V.)
- D, Newton Stewart, detachments at Wigtown and Creetown (late 3rd and lst W.R.V.)
- E, New Galloway (late 3rd K.R.V.)
- F and G, Maxwelltown (late 5th K.R.V.)
- H, Dalbeattie (late 6th K.R.V.)
On March 21, 1885, headquarters were transferred to Castle Douglas, and in 1899, by Army Order 65, the battalion was removed from the 21st (Royal Scots Fusiliers) to the 25th (King's Own Scottish Borderers) Regimental District.
During the war 95 members of the battalion served in South Africa. Of these, 34 non-commissioned officers and men served with the 1st, Captain J. Blacklock and 26 men with the 2nd, and 20 men with the 3rd Volunteer Service Company of the King's Own Scottish Borderers. Of the 2nd company, Colour-Serjeant R. Grierson, Lance-Corporal J. McMillan, and Private R. Dixon of the Galloway Rifles were mentioned for gallantry at the capture of Commandant Wolmarans and 30 Boers near Damhoek on August 10, 1901 (in Lord Kitchener's despatch of October 8, 1901), and the last two were specially promoted to corporal. In addition Lieutenant T. Shortridge and 2 men served in the Scottish Cyclist Company, Lieutenant E. S. Forde and one other as civil surgeons, 5 men served in the Imperial Yeomanry, 3 in Fincastle's Horse, and 1 in the South African Constabulary.
On September 6, 1904, battalion headquarters were removed from Castle Douglas to Maxwelltown. The battalion possessed 14 separate rifle-ranges, one of which, at Conhuith, for F and G companies, was held conjointly with the 3rd Volunteer Battalion K.O.S.B.
The lieutenant-colonels commanding have been:
- Wm. K Lawrie, June 30, 1860.
- John G. Maitland, January 6, 1872.
- John M. Kennedy, M.V.O., V.D. (hon. col.), July 30, 1889.
- John Lennox, V.D. (hon. col.), September 8, 1906.