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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    HLI Amalgamation

    YouTube threw this story at me yesterday.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejKzgyLLJHM
    I don't know who won the Kilt v. Trews battle. It's likely it happened again as more amalgamation happened. My question really lies in an observation in the film.
    Several years ago, I'd read a story about a WWII reenactor in England. He'd mentioned that he'd changed from British to American units because of the more "relaxed" marching style. My guess was he was addressing what I'd call arm swing or lack thereof in the American style.
    I noticed that the HLI are not going as high as the YT videos of current units show. It's much lower and similar to an American style. I even remember a video about a British Army disciplinary barracks where the squaddie was reminded the get his armswing to shoulder height. Has the British style changed over the years or did the HLI have different regimental style? I know the Legion has a different style/pace from the rest of the French military.

  2. #2
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    Light Infantry and Rifles drill differs from that of other units, and I assume that this applied to the HLI. Arms are only swung waist belt high and the marching pace is 140 paces per minute, in quick time, rather than the standard 116.

    I couldn't find any video of the HLI on parade but this clip shows the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) marching in quick time from about the 12.05 mark.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fSSoklfDyo
    Last edited by Bruce Scott; 28th May 20 at 07:54 PM.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Thumbs up remember ASSAYE

    As a former member of the R.H.F. which was the amalgamation of HLI and RSF the writer is correct in stating that Light Infantry march at a different pace than most other Regiments, especially when marching to the Pipes & Drums, which is a slower pace.
    Aye Yours.



    VINCERE-VEL-MORI

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rose View Post
    I don't know who won the Kilt v. Trews battle. It's likely it happened again as more amalgamation happened.
    In 1959 trews won. But the HLI had only became kilted in 1948 (both antecedent regiments had been de-kilted in 1809).

    In 1881 kilts were big winners, but in 1809 big losers.

    Because in 1809 six kilted Highland regiments (the 71st, 72nd, 73rd, 74th, 75th, and 91st) were de-kilted and put into the ordinary English/Lowland Scottish uniform (which at that time were the same, no tartan trousers etc). That left only five kilted Highland regiments (the 42nd, 78th, 79th, 92nd, and 93rd).

    But in 1881 most British infantry regiments were amalgamated in pairs.

    With the Highland regiments a kilted regiment was paired with non-kilted regiment, and the uniform of the kilted regiment was adopted for the entire new two-battalion regiment, regardless of which regiment was senior. Kilts, not seniority, won the day.

    The 1881 amalgamations:

    42nd + 73rd = The Black Watch (42nd kit)

    71st + 74th = HLI (both de-kilted in 1809, continued non-kilted due to their Light Infantry status, re-kilted 1948)

    72nd + 78th = The Seaforth Highlanders (78th kit)

    75th + 92nd = The Gordon Highlanders (92nd kit)

    91st + 93rd = The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (93rd kit)

    The 79th did not amalgamate and became The Cameron Highlanders.

    With the creation of The Royal Regiment Of Scotland, kilts had their ultimate victory, being adopted by Lowland and Highland soldiers alike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rose View Post

    ...the arm swing or lack thereof in the American style.

    Has the British style changed over the years...
    I noticed a similar thing when watching this video. It shows the 51st Highland Division's Victory Parade in Germany in 1945. These are experienced combat soldiers, needless to say, and they are not doing what we think of as a "British" arm swing, but something closer to the American style.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcA4ffFNiAk

    It would be interesting to hear from a WWII veteran about this, or watch videos from various periods to see when the "British" style was used and when the "American" style was used. All these years later, we may never know the "why".

    Another thing to note is the full beards worn by some of the pipers. I had a guy lecture me about beards in WWII

    BTW the pipe band I play in now marches to that same tune, The Atholl and Breadalbane Gathering. But we play it at modern competition speed, much slower than you hear in that film.
    Last edited by OC Richard; 29th May 20 at 01:23 PM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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