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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Cameron of erracht military kilt

    Hello,

    I'm new to the forum, but been following it for a while now.
    My major interest is world war two, and since some years i'm collecting ww2 military items in general.
    Since i went to normandy last year, i found out there were major battles fought between the germans and scottish regiments. So since then i'm searching for items from the scottish regiments. Military kilts are not so often offered on the well know military dealers sites, but some months ago I found a Cameron of erracht kilt on the Collectors Guild website, which is one of the best know trustable dealers in this field of collecting.

    My kilt weighs about 1,4kg (= appr. 50 Oz), construction looks good but i'm no expert.

    Now here are my questions:
    -I learned on this forum that the cameron kilt had box pleats, my kilt has knife pleats. So is this wrong or were there exceptions made? Maybe this kilt is not factory made but in the field or privatly? Also because i can not find any markings on it from a manufacturer or war department.
    -Where kilts made under the license of the war department (wd code)?
    -the tartan looks right to me, although it's faded and darker than pictures i've seen of it. So is this a real cameron of erracht tartan?
    -Can this kilt also be from an other era than ww2?

    below the text with that kilt from the Collectors guild and my pictures;

    Thanks in advance for the advice/answers!!! And a great forum this is!


    CAMERON OF ERRACHT TARTAN KILT.
    A wool, flat pleated kilt with a 33" waist and is 26.5" long. Two leather tabs with corresponding double prong buckles are visible to the front. There are at least three vertical tears along the pleats to the front, as well as, two repaired pleats and a large matched repair below the waist. The black tape at the waist shows wear and tearing due to usage. The kilt has a handwritten number "2285" to the inside cotton waistband. There has been some discoloration to the pattern, which is typical of wear.

    Here are some pictures of it:


  2. #2
    Join Date
    18th October 09
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    Well is sure doesn't look like a kilt of the Cameron Highlanders of Scotland, anyhow. About overseas/dominions regiments, there were so many of those, who knows?

    The tartan is very interesting, because the sett looks like Erracht, but the bands between the blue and the green, which are supposed to be black, look like a pale brown or rust. Is this simply fading? Are those rust-brown bands black on the inside? It's interesting how changing just one colour in a tartan can give it a very different overall look.

    Yes a Scottish military Cameron Highlanders kilt will be boxpleated and have grass-green binding around the top, and in addition should have the military two-prong buckles.

    As far as I know, the kilts of The Cameron Highlanders (79th Foot) have always been boxpleated. There's a painting of members of the 79th Foot in 1852 which clearly shows the box pleats, and this has been retained up to the present day, by the Pipes & Drums of the 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland. Every WWI and WWII Cameron Highlanders kilt I've ever seen was boxpleated.

    OK here are some photos, first, two closeups of the box pleats on Cameron Highlanders kilts





    I don't have a full back view photo of a Cameron Highlanders kilt, but here's an Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders kilt showing the pleating style, binding, and buckles which would be expected on a Cameron Highlanders kilt



    And about fading, here's a horribly faded kilt where you can clearly see how the black bands between the blue and green areas have faded to rust, precisely as on your kilt

    Last edited by OC Richard; 12th October 12 at 04:30 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  3. #3
    M. A. C. Newsome is offline
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    I've seen some older kilts fade in very interesting ways, so the color change here does not surprise me. (The last kilt OC Richard gave a picture of is a perfect example). However, from the photographs posted, your Cameron kilt appears to be made from a smooth worsted cloth, not the regimental cloth, which is a worsted/saxony blend and has a rather more "fuzzy" appearance. Plus, as you said, the pleating is not the same as the Cameron Highlanders. The other thing I noted is that there is no MoD label in the kilt -- which could simply mean that the lining was replaced at one time and whomever did it did not bother to replace the label. But it also could mean that this is not a military kilt at all, but rather a civilian kilt, or perhaps one made for a pipe band.

    In any case, it is obviously an older kilt, and I personally think the unusual fading of the tartan is quite attractive.

  4. #4
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    I'm glad these questions have been asked, because I have been curious about them too. I see a lot of kilts sold on eBay saying that they are military kilts, but with all sorts of confusing characteristics like this. I can't remember why I got this impression (perhaps I read it somewhere), but I have been led to believe that officers could choose to have their kilts made privately, as long as they used the correct tartan. But this may have resulted in kilts seeing some level of military service, though not necessarily fitting in with the usual labeling and detail requirements that we expect. Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

  5. #5
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    I really like the look of the faded bottom, too. Good to see a well worn, well loved kilt.

  6. #6
    macwilkin is offline
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    Dominion Scottish regiments

    Well is sure doesn't look like a kilt of the Cameron Highlanders of Scotland, anyhow. About overseas/dominions regiments, there were so many of those, who knows?
    The STA maintains a fairly comprehensive list here:

    http://www.tartansauthority.com/tart...ental-tartans/

    Although I do note that the list does not mention:

    The Cameron Highlanders of Western Australia
    The Queensland Cameron Highlanders
    The Cameron Highlanders of Canada
    The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa

    T.

  7. #7
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    Berend,

    Chances are what you have is an officer's kilt, which would have been tailored for the officer as opposed to being an issued kilt w/ the bright green binding/trim around the top. Note the black binding/trim around the top, this is again a feature found (previsouly) only on officer's kilts, also the differnce in material as opposed to an OR's issued kilt, both in colour being darker than usual and in hand, would also indicate an officer's kilt. The tartan is indeed Cameron of Erracht, and although now faded it is the darker sett that was worn by the officers andwas a finer wool.

    As to the pleasting, being knife pleasted would again indicate it being an officer's kilt as they had more latitude in their uniforms being tailored as they were.

    I have 4x Cameron military kilts, 2x issued and 2x officers, and several pairs of trews bot6h officer and OR. Both officer's kilts are knife pleated where as both OR are MBP'd, and all the officers kit is the darker tartan and softer wool, whereas the OR's what OC Richard shows pictures of.

    And before anyone suggests that the 2x near identical kilts I have to yours may not be military, yes, both the officer kilts are marked on the inside for the officers they were tailored for, providing name, rank, and date.

    So yes, I would wager that what you have is an officers kilt in Cameron of Erracht tartan for the QOCH, or one of the affiliated Dominion regiments.

    Christian
    Last edited by acolander; 12th October 12 at 09:11 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    I'm glad these questions have been asked, because I have been curious about them too. I see a lot of kilts sold on eBay saying that they are military kilts, but with all sorts of confusing characteristics like this. I can't remember why I got this impression (perhaps I read it somewhere), but I have been led to believe that officers could choose to have their kilts made privately, as long as they used the correct tartan. But this may have resulted in kilts seeing some level of military service, though not necessarily fitting in with the usual labeling and detail requirements that we expect. Can anyone tell me if this is correct?
    Tobus, you are correct.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Thanks for THE replys so far! About it being an officers kilt, this could very well be so. Officers were indeed alowed to make alterations in there clothing... THE problem is that i've never seen such a kilt. Christian is it possible to see some of yours? Or photo's off officers whearing them?

    It's true that THE binding is black, THE buckles are two-sprong and on closer inspection i've seen that repairs are being made with THE thicker quality wool (military grade like Mac newsome said). There is also a number written in THE lining, 2285, this could be THE registration number of THE officer. Is there a change i could find out to whom this belongs?

    Would there be differences in THE kilts worn by THE different regiments of cameron highlanders? And in this case i mean THE non-officers kilts?

    Is it also possible to determin this kilt is pre 1945?

    I will place some extra photos soon!

    Your imput is very appreciated!
    regards Rene from holland

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. A. C. Newsome View Post
    In any case, it is obviously an older kilt, and I personally think the unusual fading of the tartan is quite attractive.
    I agree!

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