The idea behind this website is to make the war diaries of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division (June 1944 - May 1945) generally available online as a "searchable" historical record and to provide access to a unique body of "war literature", written on the move by those engaged in the fighting. The original war diaries are currently held at The National Archives in Kew, London and only available to view in person by visiting their premises. A similar site dealing with the war diaries of the various battalions of the Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Borderers during the Second World War can be found at: royalscotskosbwardiaries.co.uk.

 

Generally compiled by the Intelligence Officer or Adjutant, the diaries are typed or handwritten on Army Form C.2118 with varying degrees of clarity and legibility and are accompanied in their original folders by the various appendices referred to, together with any other material considered worthy of inclusion. In some instances, original maps are included, which still bear visible signs of the mud and grime of the fields of battle they depict.

 

In terms of historical context, the diaries speak for themselves and, although in no way providing a full picture of what was taking place, they do, for instance, offer very specific information about unit locations and movements, to the extent that the many map references given can still be used in conjunction with the original maps to pinpoint exact locations on the ground.

 

The diaries for all of the Division's units (where diaries exist) have now been transcribed. Of the 45 units in the Division, 2 do not appear to have compiled war diaries or their diaries have gone astray for whatever reason. The diaries prior to D-Day give an equally telling picture of the long road that eventually led to Normandy and beyond but, for the moment, they are outside the scope of this project.

While transcribing the diaries, an attempt has been made to be as faithful as possible to the original, both in terms of content and format. Obvious typos and spelling mistakes have generally been corrected and punctuation added or omitted on occasion for the sake of clarity but otherwise the text is as it appears in the diaries.

Particular thanks must go to The National Archives in Kew for preserving these documents in the first place and then for allowing them to be made available online under the terms of the Open Government Licence. The National Archives' own references to the relevant war diaries can be found below:

This site contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

© Adam Bruce-Watt 2016-2020