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  1. #1
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    Black Watch officer's in the Boer war

    Hello everyone,

    In doing a bit of research for an upcoming reenactment project on the Officer's of the Black Watch during the Boer wars. While I know it was common place for them to adopt rank and file valise equipment and carry rifles to make them less a target for the Boers. The question is on sporrans in home service kit(red coat) the gilt cantle is seen however in KD I'm finding it hard to get pictures of officers at all! One I have seen shows an officer seated wearing valise kit sword and what looks like and or's sporran.
    Screenshot_20200526-083913_Pinterest.jpg

    And myself part way there
    20200525_200422.jpg

    I look forward to any advice or info

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Many thanks Frank already been on those👍

  4. #4
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    If you don't mind my asking, where did you get the khaki spats?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    If you don't mind my asking, where did you get the khaki spats?
    Just cheap white ones off Ebay, originally tried to stain them with tea but that didn't go too well so to get a better result I sprayed them with khaki drab paint! I think it works quite well and like my own white pipers ones they are a bit stiffer than un blancoed/painted
    Last edited by rsvpiper; 26th May 20 at 05:11 AM.

  6. #6
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    Just a note about spats, oftentimes modern ones (whether made in Pakistan or wherever) aren't shaped like genuine MOD spats. Of course the spats in the Victorian kilted Scottish regiments varied from regiment to regiment, the Gordons wore taller spats than the others, and the Black Watch and sometimes the Cameron Highlanders wore square-toe spats. (Yes in the 20th century square-toe spats are unique to the Black Watch, yet Victorian photos exist showing the Camerons wearing them.)

    Hard to get Black Watch spats, so I made some. I took some nicely made spats I bought back around 1980 but never wore and cut them down. Here's the beginning









    Last edited by OC Richard; 26th May 20 at 05:38 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  7. The Following User Says 'Aye' to OC Richard For This Useful Post:


  8. #7
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    About Black Watch khaki spats, I've seen them both with the square toe and a standard rounded toe.

    About the Officer's sporran, as you probably know the Black Watch long has maintained fewer different styles of sporran than some of the other kilted regiments.

    There's the Other Ranks sporran with black leather cantle and matching black leather rim and cones, and the sporran worn by everyone else (Sergeants, pipers, Officers) which had a gilt cantle.

    It's complicated, because you have two issues going on

    1) in some regiments at some periods Officers wore Other Ranks sporrans in Service Dress (in the Camerons for example)

    2) I'm not sure when pipers, for example, switched from the Other Ranks sporran to the gilt cantle sporran.

    So here's a Boer era piper wearing the Other Ranks sporran. Is it because the piper is in Service Dress? Or is it because pipers hadn't switched to the gilt ones yet?



    With Officers it's only a matter of the first question, and your photo you posted appears to answer that: Officers appear to have worn Other Ranks sporrans on campaign. BTW is that Officer wearing the Slade Wallace braces with a Sam Browne waistbelt?

    Here's a modern replica of the Slade Wallace equipment, I would expect Officers to not wear those cartridge pouches



    Note the drummer in the photo above has the braces attached to adapter loops on the belt, like this original set shows



    I suspect an Officer would do that, in order to use the braces with the Sam Browne belt. Of course there are Sam Browne rigs with a pair of braces.

    Anyhow here's an exceptionally nice Officers sporran cantle; rare to see detail that crisp.

    Last edited by OC Richard; 26th May 20 at 06:04 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  9. #8
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    No I don't think he is its more likely Sam Brown cross straps, here's an example mind
    20200526_141800.jpg
    I'll more than likely go with Sam brown which is still correct, it's just the sporran I'm really struggling to confirm

  10. #9
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    Those look like Slade Wallace braces, don't they? Same shape, same style of buckles (double bar, double tongue). But in brown.

    I think the Slade Wallace was issued in natural buff leather, that Other Ranks pipeclayed, pipers blackened, and Officers may have dyed darker brown (of course being Officers their equipment may have been bespoke).
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  11. #10
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    Sorry yes Richard they are! In a rush I'd selected the wrong image🙄 this is the one I was meaning Screenshot_20200515-132016_Chrome.jpg
    From
    http://www.militarysunhelmets.com/20...rica-1899-1902

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