The Highland Light Infantry (HLI) was formed in the 1881 Army reforms by merging the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry) and the 74th (Highland) Regiment of Foot, which became its 1st and 2nd Battalions respectively.
Both these regiments were highland units, but the new unit recruited in Glasgow, so it became the only highland regiment given the lowland uniform of trews (trousers).
A Matter of Life and Death:
The actor David Niven was an officer in the regiment between the two World Wars.
No skirts allowed:
The HLI were the only highland regiment to wear trews (tartan trousers) as part of their full dress. Kilts were not authorised until 1947.
Straight from hell:
The regimental nickname was 'Hell's Last Issue', inspired by the unit's initials of HLI.
In January 1959 the HLI was amalgamated with The Royal Scots Fusiliers to form The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret’s Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment). In 2006 this was amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The National Army Museum works together with Regimental and Corps Museums across the country to help provide a network of military museums for everyone to visit and enjoy.
Explore the history and collections of Highland Light Infantry by visiting the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum.Find out more