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HMS Scotia

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HMS Scotia is a Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) headquarters unit, commissioned in 1957, first located at RAF Pitreavie, then Rosyth Naval Dockyard, where HMS Scotia (Rosyth) lies within the RNSE Caledonia site.

The name of HMS Scotia was adopted by the unit in 1960. Prior to this use, the name had been used during World War II, and identified a wartime shore training establishment at Ayr, which would later become the well known Butlin's holiday camp at the Heads of Ayr.

HMS Scotia is one of 14 RNR units in the UK, with around 140 members at its purpose built centre at HMS Caledonia, Rosyth. One further unit exists in Scotland, in Greenock, HMS Dalriada. Affiliated units include TS Fife SCC, and the Highland Territorial Army Volunteer Reserves Association.[1]


HMS Scotia is one of the newest Royal Naval Reserve Training Centres, yet its tradition is rooted in the very cradle of Volunteer Reserve activity in Scotland. In August 1903 the Admiralty appointed the first two Commanding Officers of the then RNVR to form divisions in London and on the Clyde. Lieutenant Commander (later Commodore) the Duke of Montrose raised the Clyde Division based in Glasgow, and the division rapidly expanded across Scotland, first to Dundee onboard the sailing frigate, HMS Unicorn, and then to Edinburgh onboard the monitor, renamed HMS Claverhouse. These two East Coast divisions were, many years later, to form the heart of the modern HMS Scotia.

Under the 1994 defence review all three of these original Scottish Sea Training Centres, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, were combined into two units of a different type, HMS Scotia in Fife and HMS Dalriada in Greenock. Both of these had been units formed in the cold war to support nearby naval headquarters, and both were rapidly expanded to accommodate the closing units. In the case of Scotia this required a complete rebuild, and the unit now inhabits spacious, modern accommodation with excellent facilities, close to Rosyth Royal Dockyard. The unit has excellent communication links by road, rails and air.

An important 'first' has been the establishment of Scotia's Satellites. Although Scotia is a large and vigorous unit, it was recognised that its distance from the city centres of Edinburgh and Dundee was inhibiting recruitment at a time when the RN's demand for reservists was growing. Scotia became the testbed for a scheme to extend the RNR footprint with the first satellite unit, the Tay Division of HMS Scotia in Dundee, which started training in 1999 and rapidly established itself as the national benchmark. It was soon followed by another Scotia satellite, Forth Division, in Edinburgh. Unfortunately Forth Division in Edinburgh closed its doors in 2004.

It was as a direct result of these efforts in expansion that Scotia was awarded the "Director's Trophy" in 2001.

1958HQ Unit formed at MHQ (marine headquarters) Pitreavie
1960Name of HMS Scotia adopted. Previous ship of that name was a wartime shore training establishment at Ayr (now a Butlins holiday camp!).
1962Crest of HMS Scotia matriculated on 5 Sep 62 by Lord Lyon, King of Arms, in the Public Register of Arms and Bearings in Scotland.
1962HMS Scotia moved out of MHQ into accommodation above ground at Pitreavie.
1994HMS Scotia absorbed 267 reservists from HMS Camperdown and Claverhouse to become the largest RNR establishment in the UK with 375 personnel. Re-designated a Reserve Training centre on 1 Oct 94.
1996Moved to new site within Royal Naval Support Establishment HMS Caledonia on 15 May 96. Official rededication ceremony conducted on 12 Oct 96 in the presence of HRH Prince Michael of Kent as Honorary Commodore RNR.
199940th Anniversary. Tay Division of HMS Scotia set up at Dundee.
2000Forth Division of HMS Scotia set up at Edinburgh.
2004Forth Division Closes
© Crown Copyright Royal Navy, HMS Scotia (Rosyth).[2]


1 Unit information, HMS Scotia (Rosyth), Royal Navy

2 Unit history, HMS Scotia (Rosyth), Royal Navy

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