Piper, The Royal Highland Regiment (Black Watch), 1856


Uniforms of the Scottish Regiments 1730-1959

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Since 2006: The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Here a piper of the Black Watch in the uniform adopted after the Crimean War, based on a photograph. His tartan coat was common among regimental pipers then. After the War army dress changed. That of the Highlander became more elaborate. Wings and epaulettes vanished from the shoulders but the new doublet sprouted the clumsy and ornate Inverness flaps below. The flaps covered pockets, but others were ornamental. The rest of the army wore double-breasted tunics. By 1860 doublets and tunics had become single-breasted. Pipers of the Black Watch wore the kilt and shoulder plaid of Royal Stuart tartan, and wore the regimental tartan for a time after the War. He is wearing square buttons worn by the regiment for a short time and carries a claymore. This piper wears his hose turned down over the garter in the modern fashion. He wears a shoulder plaid, not a belted plaid, and his Crimean medal and beard show him to be a veteran of that campaign. The wearing of beards was normal in the Crimea, and by special dispensation those who had taken part were permitted to retain them should they wish, although they soon disappeared. Like the drums and fifes, the pipes have always been part of the regiment, and have piped it into battle. It did so on many occasions in the last war: a story which can be matched in the history of most regiments is that of the 92nd in 1813. They were being attacked by four times their number of French and had lost 400 men when they were at last relieved. At that moment the pipe-major struck up Haughs of Cromdale and this so elevated the Highlanders that they attacked and drove the enemy back for a mile.

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Dimensions24 × 37.5 cm