The regiment, formed from the amalgamation in 1881 of the old 71st and 74th Foot, both raised as Highland regiments in 1777 and 1787, is now The Highlanders, 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland [2 SCOTS]. Here is an officer of the Highland Light Infantry, below field rank, dressed for mounted duties as would be performed by the adjutant of a battalion. An officer holding a staff appointment would be similarly dressed. He does not wear the kilt so wears the shoulder plaid. Dismounted officers of the regiment would be similarly dressed but without the sabretache, which was discontinued in 1897. Mounted officers of Highland regiments would be dressed like this with a Highland bonnet in place of the shako. Being a Lowland regiment despite its name and recruited from Lowlanders, the Highland Light Infantry did not wear the kilt in 1897. In 1809 both regiments lost their kilts and were dressed as ordinary infantry, the 74th getting half-way back to Highland status in 1845. Several Highland regiments lost their kilts in 1809, because many Englishmen had to be recruited to keep up their numbers, and the wearing of the kilt was not an attraction for them. However, the kilt was finally restored to them in 1948. It was removed again in 1960, when they amalgamated with the Royal Scots Fusiliers to form the Royal Highland Fusiliers. The shako this officer wears was almost the universal infantry head dress before 1878, when it was replaced by the spiked helmet. But it was retained by the Highland Light Infantry and the Cameronians: majors wore a band of gold lace round the top and lieutenant-colonels two bands. The sword, with its cross-bar hilt was peculiar to the Highland Light Infantry in all orders of dress except levee dress, and to the Royal Scots Fusiliers in undress.
Officer, The Highland Light Infantry, 1897
The 71st and 74th Regiments of Foot merged in 1881 to form The Highland Light Infantry which became The Highlanders, 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland [2 SCOTS] in 2006
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