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Remembered Today:

2nd Battalion of the Black Watch


Dan Morton
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When was the 2nd battalion of the Black Watch in Mesopotamia? There is a photo in one of the Osprey magazines indicating "The Black Watch entering Beirut, 10 October 1918." Maybe it is correct, but so many of the references in the Ospreys are hooey, I'm always suspicious.

I'd like to know their period(s) of service in Mesopotamia (from and to dates) and, if anyone has any, could you post or e-mail me photos of active service uniforms and field equipment worn? I'm thinking they would have worn KD shirts with kilts, hodden grey(?), tin hats and hessian covers, 1908 webbing or 1914 or maybe a bit of both? Would they have worn topeys ever?

All the best,

Dan

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Dan

From "The Black Watch, The Black Watch Photographic Archive"

"On the outbreak of war, the 2nd Battalion was in India but was soon moved to France and took part in the battles of Neuve Chapelle, Festubert and Loos-amongst others. Then, in December 1915 it was despatched as reinforcements for the Mesopotamia Expedition. There, after incurring heavy losses fighting the Turks, the Battalion was the first unit to enter Bagdad when it was captured in March 1917. It was here from Samarra railway station shown in the photograph, that it took the trophy. the Bagdad Bell. which was to remain with the battalion for the remainder of its existence."

The picture mentioned is so indistinct that it would be useless for your purposes.

Then

"After the collapse of Turkish resistance in Mesopotamia the 2nd Battalion joined General Allenby's forces in time to take part in his brilliant victory at Megiddo on the 19th September 1918. taken around midday, this photograph shows the troops on the objective at khez Zerkiyeh having only 2 men killed and accounting for a thousand Turkish Prisoners"

I will post this picture later when I have managed to scan it in. Although it won't show the detail you can see that the men are in shirt sleeves with kilts and aprons, and steel helmets. The officers are dressed similarly except they have breeches. I hope that the information above will at least help with your timings.

No doubt a Black watch expert will be along soon.

post-16112-1219392628.jpg

The picture above shows a squad from the 3rd battalion at Nigg bay in Scotland. The 3rd was principally a training unit which supplied recruits to the other battalions. This picture taken in May 1916 shows men destined for the 2nd in Mesopotamia, hence the Pith Helmets.(Now, which one is Laurel and which one is Hardy?)

regards

Ian

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Grand, Ian! Exactly the info I was seeking and I look forward to seeing your scanned photo. FYI - this is background info and research photos for a figure being done by another miniature figure sculptor and as a commission for a collector. If the sculptor goes thru with the project and completes it, the result will be a 15 inch figure of 2nd Bn, Black Watch in typical field uniform in Mesopotamia. Fun, huh? ;)

All the best,

Dan

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Dan,

The picture I mentioned is reproduced below. It will give your friend an idea but it won't furnish any detail. It sounds like a great project.

One of the Black Watch experts such as Tom McCluskey, Black Jock, Black Watch, Gnr Ktcha, Dundee's own may be able to furnish something better to work from. I know that Tom is in France for a few days but perhaps a PM to one of the others may be helpful?

post-16112-1219406141.jpg

regards

Ian

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