Tayforth UOTC

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Tayforth Universities' Officers' Training Corps
Active1860 – Present
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch British Army
RoleArmy Officer Training
Size2 Squadrons & 1 Company
Part ofSandhurst Group (Army Recruiting and Training Division)
LocationsRHQ - Park Wynd, Dundee
A Sqn - Wyvern House, St Andrews
B Sqn - Park Wynd, Dundee
C Coy - Forthside Barracks, Stirling
Nickname(s)"God's OTC"[1]
A Sqn - The Senior Squadron
"Ever to Excel"
Commanding OfficerLt Col Al Jarvis
Honorary ColonelMajor General Kevin Abraham CBE
TartanHunting Stewart

Tayforth Universities Officers' Training Corps is a Scottish UOTC formed of three sub-units: A (The Senior) Squadron, which draws its members from the University of St Andrews, B Squadron, which draws its members from the universities of Dundee and Abertay, and C Company, which draws its members from Stirling University.[2]


Tayforth is descended from a Militia formed from the time of Charles II and the Jacobite rebellions of 1715 and 1745. In 1859 a committee was formed in St Andrews to form a volunteer corps of both rifle and artillery. This was carried in a town meeting on 5 December 1859 and was carried unanimously and 3rd (St Andrews) Fife Artillery Volunteers was formed.

In 1881 Professor Peter Scott Lang formed the St Andrews University Volunteer Battery of Artillery, named the Anstruther No 7 Battery of the 1st Fife Brigade of Garrison Artillery, although made up entirely of university students and staff. In 1883 the Battery changed its name to University Company 1st Fife VA and the Senatus Academicus pledged £20 per year to the Battery. Throughout its early history the Battery followed an annual training programme including an annual camp, an annual dinner and a church service and parade in St Salvator's Quad. In conjunction with the Battery, in 1906 the University formed a Military Education Committee (MEC) to commence a course in Military Education In 1908 the concept of the Officers' Training Corps was formed and St Andrews, being the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the UK was naturally interested in this. A Military Education Committee was required to constitute the new Unit, and as St Andrews already had one set up they were able to complete the whole range of business in one afternoon, forming St Andrews University OTC. Such business included deciding on the uniform. The cap badge was decided to be the University shield surmounted by the King's Crown. Whilst this is no longer the cap badge it is now seen in A Squadron mess as the squadron crest.

During the Great War, 415 former members of the University Company served in the army. The contingent continued to train throughout the war, although with depleted numbers. In 1916 the medical students began to train independently and were recognised as a sub-unit of the contingent. Sadly 78 members of the corps lost their lives, their names are remembered on a memorial board in the A Squadron Mess.

Following the formation of Dundee University from University College Dundee, a part of the University of St Andrews, the OTC became St Andrews and Dundee University OTC. With the Addition of Stirling University the OTC was renamed Tayforth Universities OTC, as St Andrews, Dundee and Stirling Universities OTC was considered a bit of a mouthful. The name Tayforth was chosen as Dundee is situated on the River Tay and Stirling on the River Forth. The concern was that St Andrews, as the senior university may not agree with this name, however as the River Tay and the River Forth are the boundaries of the Kingdom of Fife, within which St Andrews is located, it was approved by the MEC.[2]

In May 1976, the Old Wyvernians formed as a non-regimental association for the former officer cadets of St Andrews University OTC. The inaugural meeting of the Tayforth Regimental Association was held on 16 June 1984, and was the first of its kind. Whilst other OTC's followed suit The Tayforth Regimental Association is the oldest of its kind.[3]


  1. ^ "ARRSEpedia Entry for Tayforth UOTC". Archived from the original on 9 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Blair, JSG (2003). Tayforth Universities O.T.C. A History.
  3. ^ "Old Wyvernians History". Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.