|Class and type||Stone frigate|
HMS Scotia is one of the newest Royal Naval Reserve units, 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 on board the sailing frigate, HMS Unicorn, and then to Edinburgh on board 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 Royal Navy'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. It was as a direct result of these efforts in expansion that Scotia was awarded the "Director's Trophy" in 2001. Forth Division in Edinburgh closed in 2004.