Officer, The Black Watch, 1939

£8.00

42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot (The Black Watch) formed in 1881 became 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland [3 SCOTS] in 2006

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In 1725, following the Jacobite rebellion, George I authorised General George Wade to form six “watch” companies to patrol the Highlands, three from Clan Campbell, one each from Clan Fraser of Lovat, Clan Munro and Clan Grant. These to be “employed in disarming the Highlanders, preventing depredations, bringing criminals to justice, and hindering rebels and attainted persons from inhabiting that part of the kingdom.” Known in Gaelic as Am Freiceadan Dubh, “the dark” or “black watch”, in 1881 the 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment of Foot (The Black Watch) was created on amalgamation with the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot. In 2006 it became the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland [3 SCOTS]. The officer depicted here is wearing the levee dress of the Black Watch as it existed up to 1939, worn at levees and similar functions but not on parade. For all highland regiments the difference between this dress and that worn on parade were the heavy shoes and gaiters replacing light shoes with silver buckles. On parade this officer would wear a sporran with black horse-hair tassels in black patent-leather sockets. The red hackle of the Black Watch is a distinction awarded to the regiment as an honour for their gallantry at Geldermalsen in 1795, when they charged and recaptured from the French two of the British guns. This handsome ornament was coveted by some other regiments who shortly afterwards took to wearing it as well, and an order had to be issued confining it to the Black Watch.  The red hackle was worn by the bands of some other regiments.

Dimensions 24 × 37.5 cm