Officer, London Scottish, 1890


7th Middlesex (London Scottish) Volunteer Rifle Corps of 1890, a territorial unit, is today ‘A’ (London Scottish) Company of the London Regiment

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The London Scottish became a Territorial battalion of the Gordon Highlanders, but it did not wear the Gordon uniform and retained its own picturesque and unique outfit.  The regiment was raised by Lord Elcho in 1859 and was dressed from the first in the Bodden Grey. This colour is slightly more purple than the original, chosen by Lord Elcho because he thought it more suitable for fighting than red, an opinion in which he was many years ahead of his time. At first only one company wore Highland dress, and the remainder of the regiment wore a dress in the same Bodden Grey – resembling that of the infantry at that time, but in 1868 the whole regiment became kilted, and remained so thereafter. In 1890, the date of the uniform depicted here, the official name of the regiment was the 7th Middlesex (London Scottish) Volunteer Rifle Corps, and as in other Volunteer Rifle Corps the officers wore a shoulder belt over the left shoulder, in this case a brown leather one with a pattern of stitching on it. In 1908 they ceased to be Volunteer Rifles and became a battalion of the Territorial Army and in consequence ceased, in 1910, to wear the shoulder belt, and adopted instead a cross belt with a belt plate, worn over the right shoulder, from which the sword was slung, exactly as in other Highland regiments. The Inverness flaps, introduced after the Crimean War, can be clearly seen in here. There is no doubt that Lord Elcho’s Bodden Grey was a very smart and practical material for uniform and antedated by forty years the introduction of khaki for service at home. Formerly a regiment, the unit is now ‘A’ (London Scottish) Company of the London Regiment.

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Dimensions 24 × 37.5 cm