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  1. #1
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    Army Pipers' Uniform RRS

    In 2006 the various regiments of infantry in Scotland (both regular and reserve) became battalions of a new uber-Regiment, the Royal Regiment Of Scotland.

    This continued a process, began in 1881, of amalgamating old regiments into fewer new ones, old traditional uniforms lost at each stage, the process culminating in 2006. At that time the entirety of the Scottish infantry were put into a single generic kit, all battalions to now wear the same tartan, sporran, cap badge, collar badges, etc.

    One would have thought that the pipers of the various battalions would have likewise been put into a regiment-wide generic kit. It would have been logical for the pipers to wear the Royal Stewart tartan, because 1) it's a Royal regiment and 2) more of the antecedent regiments' pipers wore Royal Stewart than any other single tartan.

    The Pipes & Drums of any of the battlions, performing with the Military Band, would have looked more or less like this:





    That is, wearing the same footwear, sporrans, doublets, etc as the rest of the Regiment but wearing the Royal Stewart tartan and of course the plain Glengarries.

    This is what apparently happened with Pipes & Drums of 7SCOTS the 51st Highland (pictured above).

    The Pipes & Drums of the first, second, third, and fourth battalions managed to retain the traditional uniform of their antecedent regiments, with all the wonderful traditional elements such as the squared spats of the Black Watch (now 3SCOTS) and the Red Erskine kilts and plaids of the pipers of the Royal Highland Fusiliers (now 2SCOTS).

    The traditional distinctive pipers' dress is best seen in Full Dress.

    Here is 1SCOTS, the Royal Scots Borderers, formed in 2006 from The Royal Scots and The Kings Own Scottish Borderers:





    The pipers wear Royal Stewart kilts and plaids while the drummers and Drum Major wear Hunting Stewart trews.

    Here is 2SCOTS, the Royal Highland Fusiliers. Here you can see the piper in antecedent dress while the other soldiers are in the generic Royal Regiment Of Scotland kit. The most distinctive element is the Red Erskine kilt, plaid, bagcover, and drone ribbons.



    Note also the RRS spats have black buttons, the spats which are part of antecedent dress have white buttons.



    Here are the Pipes & Drums of 3SCOTS, the Black Watch. Some of the distinctions are the Red Hackle, the square-toe spats, the pipers in Royal Stewart kilts and plaids, the pipes dressed in Black Watch bag-covers and drone ribbons in both tartans.
    Their pipers are unusual for Scottish battalions in that they wear the Feather Bonnet.



    And here the Pipes & Drums of 4SCOTS, The Highlanders.

    A quite different appearance due to the Cameron of Erracht kilts and plaids. Tartans of various antecedent regiments dress the pipes.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 12th June 18 at 03:45 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  3. #2
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    Now the photos above show the pipers of each battalion in No1A Ceremonial dress.

    But the RRS has over a dozen orders of dress.

    Taking one battalion, 1SCOTS, let's look and some of those.

    Here is the No1 dress with long tartan hose and buckled brogues. AFAIK pipers would wear this order when piping in the Officers Mess.



    No2A Ceremonial dress has a khaki serge tunic replace the Archer Green doublet of No1 dress. (British "khaki" is more or less equivalent to US "olive drab" while British "stone" is more or less like US "khaki".)

    The dirk, dirk belt, and crossbelt are worn but not the plaid.



    No2B Non Ceremonial dress leaves off the crossbelt, uses a plain brown leather sporran, Lovat hose, and ordinary brogues.



    Now wait a minute... the tartan has changed! Yes it has. In orders of dress that use spats and coloured hose-tops the rules of antecedent dress are followed, while in orders of dress that use selfcoloured Lovat hose and brogues the dress of the RRS is followed.

    Staying in numerical order here in No8 dress



    Here is No13A Barrack Dress which as you see employs a jumper.



    The Pipe Major and Pipe Sergeant of 1SCOTS in No14B Shirt Sleeve Order Barrack Dress



    Next is something different! The Pipes & Drums of 1SCOTS wearing a mix of military and civilian attire.

    It's common for army pipe bands to maintain civilian kit, which is worn when competing at civilian pipe band competitions.

    Note the civilian shirts, waistcoats, hose, flashes, and Ghillies worn with the military Glengarries, kilts, and pipe-dressing.

    The sporrans are the typical civilian pipe band style with RRS badges stuck on.



    Last edited by OC Richard; 12th June 18 at 03:23 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  5. #3
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    Thank you Richard, an informative thread as usual, and one that I will Subscribe to, to read again.

    Did you notice in the OP (Original Post), in the first photo of 2SCOTS the second last soldier has a prosthesis for at least the lower part of his right leg. At a guess, he has been through a probably difficult and painful rehabilitation, and it's good to see him able to turn out in full kit.
    Grizzled Ian
    XMTS teaches much about formal kilt wear, but otherwise,
    ... the kilt is clothes, what you wear with it should be what you find best suits you and your lifestyle. (Anne the Pleater)
    "Sometimes, it is better not to know the facts" (Father Bill)

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  7. #4
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    Good eye there, yes it's great to see that man standing with his regiment despite his injuries, a true Hero.

    Staying with 2SCOTS, here is the Pipes, Drums, & Bugles in No1A Ceremonial where you can see that the drummers are in Highland Dress like the pipers (except that the drummers, like other Highland drummers, wear the Feather Bonnet). However the Drum Major is wearing the antecedent regiment's colourful uniform complete with bearskin headdress



    Here in No13A Barrack Dress with jumpers, RRS kilts, Lovat hose, plain brown leather sporrans. The Red Erskine bag-covers make their battalion clear.



    Here are two of the pipers in the civilian kit the Pipes, Drums, & Bugles wear when competing in civilian pipe band contests.
    The shirts, waistcoats, sporrans, hose, and Ghillies are civilian while their Glengarries, ties, kilts, and pipe dressings are regimental.



    Now to 3SCOTS, the Black Watch. Here are their pipers in No1A Ceremonial



    Here's the Pipes and Drums in No14A Shirt Sleeve Order Ceremonial. Note the differences between No14A and No14B seen with 1SCOTS in a post above.



    And the Pipes and Drums of 3SCOTS in their civilian kit, worn when competing at civilian contests. Due to switching to the RRS kilts, their kilts and bag-covers now match!

    Last edited by OC Richard; 12th June 18 at 03:53 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  9. #5
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    Now to 4SCOTS, The Highlanders.

    Five 18th century Highland regiments are represented in their lineage:

    72nd (Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders)
    75th (Abercromby's Highlanders)
    78th (Ross-shire Buffs)
    79th (Cameron Highlanders)
    92nd (Gordon Highlanders)

    Here is the Pipe Major in No1 dress with long diced hose and buckled brogues. The piper's uniform, in the main, follows that of the old 79th Foot (Cameron Highlanders) with Cameron of Erracht kilt and plaid. As is usual with Pipe Majors the bag-cover is velvet rather than the tartan wool worn by the other pipers.



    Unlike the other battalions discussed above, they do not switch into RRS kilts when in other forms of dress, but retain their Cameron of Erracht kilts even in civilian dress.

    Here is the Pipes & Drums of 4SCOTS competing at a civilian pipe band competition



    Here you can clearly see how the Pipe Major's kilt is made from different fabric than the other pipers.
    They are wearing civilian shirts, waistcoats, sporrans, bobble-top hose, and Ghillies but retaining their regimental Glengarries, ties, kilts, and flashes.



    An example of the latitude possible when band members are competing in solo competition is this drummer in tattersall shirt, tweed waistcoat, Evening Dress civilian sporran, and brown Ghillies!

    Last edited by OC Richard; 12th June 18 at 04:31 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  11. #6
    Terry Searl is offline This person has opted out of remaining active
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    Looked Twice

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzled Ian View Post
    Thank you Richard, an informative thread as usual, and one that I will Subscribe to, to read again.

    Did you notice in the OP (Original Post), in the first photo of 2SCOTS the second last soldier has a prosthesis for at least the lower part of his right leg. At a guess, he has been through a probably difficult and painful rehabilitation, and it's good to see him able to turn out in full kit.
    Well spotted!! I had to look twice before I saw it ......and good on the soldier for not letting his injury hold him back......a brave fellow indeed!

  12. #7
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    Thumbs up Brilliant!

    GREAT read! And good eye, Ian ;)
    BEAT ARMY
    Devil Doc, USN

  13. #8
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    This thread has been very informative! Thank you for taking the time to post, Richard.
    "Touch not the cat bot a glove."

  14. #9
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    Thank You, OC Richard, it's very informative and longwaiting post..
    Please take into account, that now the pipers are keepers of traditions of old Highland regiments...
    just look on photo of PM Martin Macdonald, 4 SCOTS (The Highlanders):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    He proudly wears :
    - Kilt, plaid, hoses, dirk, crossbelt and eagle feather of 79th Cameron Highlanders;
    - plaid brooch, bagpipes cord, shoulder boards and sporran of Gordon Highlanders,
    - badges on the crossbelt are: "Duke of Albany Own Highlanders" star of 72nd Highlanders on top and badge of Gordon Highlanders in the middle;
    - bagpipes ribbons of 72nd Highlanders in Prince Charles Edward Stewart tartan and Seaforth Highlanders in MacKenzie tartan;
    - belt buckle and green flashes of Seaforth Highlanders;
    - Elefant collar badges of 78th (Ross-Shire Buffs) Highlanders!

  15. #10
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    Great post, and it goes to show what care and attention to detail the army has spent trying to maintain as many traditional distinctions as possible.

    This process began in 1881 when all but the 79th suffered amalgamation.

    With the Highland regiments, regiments which had lost their Highland Dress in 1809 were paired with regiments which had retained it, and in each case both battalions of the new amalgamated regiment were put into the full Highland uniform of the kilted regiment.

    The 42nd (kilted) with the 73rd (de-kilted 1809) becoming the (kilted) Black Watch 1881.

    The 78th (kilted) with the 72nd (de-kilted 1809) becoming the (kilted) Seaforth Highlanders 1881.

    The 92nd (kilted) with the 75th (de-kilted 1809) becoming the (kilted) Gordon Highlanders in 1881.

    The 93rd (kilted) with the 91st (de-kilted 1809) becoming the (kilted) Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in 1881.

    The exception being the pairing of two de-kilted Highland regiments, the 71st and 74th, which continued being un-kilted after 1881, indeed not regaining Highland Dress until the mid-20th century. One does wonder why one of those wasn't paired with the (kilted) 79th Highlanders.

    These 1881 amalgamations are why the pipers of the 1st Battalion The Seaforth Highlanders wore a rear drone ribbon of Prince Charles Edward Stuart tartan- it was the tartan of the old 72nd Highlanders, which had been taken out of Highland Dress in 1809 only to have it partially restored in 1823 in the form of Prince Charles Edward Stuart tartan trousers.

    In like manner when the Queens Own Highlanders were amalgamated with the Gordon Highlanders in 1994 the pipers of the new regiment (The Highlanders) wore Gordon bag-covers with their Cameron Of Erracht kilts and plaids. The pipers' kit included Seaforth MacKenzie tartan as well, in the pipes' drone-ribbons.

    Piper of the 1st Battalion The Seaforth Highlanders (continuing the old 72nd Foot) pre-1960 showing the rear drone ribbon in Prince Charles Edward Stuart tartan



    Pipe Major of the Queens Own Highlanders (1960-1994) showing kilt and plaid of Cameron Of Erracht tartan (continuing the old 79th Foot), bag-cover and front ribbon of MacKenzie Seaforth (continuing the old 78th Foot), and rear ribbon of Prince Charles Edward Stuart tartan (continuing the old 72nd Foot).



    Piper of The Highlanders (post-1994) showing kilt and plaid of Cameron Of Erracht tartan, bag-cover, cords, and rear ribbon of Gordon tartan, and front ribbon of MacKenzie Seaforth tartan



    You can see the rear Gordon tartan ribbons better here

    Last edited by OC Richard; 15th June 18 at 07:20 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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