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2nd Seaforth Highlanders kit


Andrew Upton
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I have a set of Seaforth garter flashes somewhere, I will look them out. The Great War brogues had the square toe of the period infantry boots. Later production (I believe I have notes stating that the pattern was changed post WW2, from memory 1946) have decorative 'perforations' in the uppers as per civilian and Officer pattern Highland shoes. During the South African War an earlier style was worn, a much simpler shoe pattern, and I once did some repair work on an 1900 dated pair, which I have some photos of somewhere. These may also just have made it into the Great War.

Spats will be difficult, not least because of the small shoe/boot sizes prevelant during the Great War. I have the pair shown in the earlier posting and I will give some measurements to allow these to be reproduced,

Thankls for this TM - between Joes posts and that I should have more than enough to sort myself out with garter flashes :)

On the spats front, in one of your previous threads you wrote - "The shoe's dated 1913. The Spat is made of Khaki drill" - is that the same khaki drill tropical tunics and such were made out? In which case, I might be able to make myself a pair out of material reclaimed from other sources or new made stuff (one seems a bit dark compared to originals, the other a little light, but better than white either way!).

Any detailed pictures showing the material and construction better would be much appreciated - the next step would probably be acquiring/borrowing a vintage white spat in my size to pattern the size off, and then try to construct it in materials more appropriate for what I want. :unsure:

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Andrew,

I have two pairs of WWI gaiters--Seaforth and Gordon's. Both are ~ 9 1/2" at the back and about ~8 1/2 at the buttons.

The back has a stiffener so sew a narrow tube along the back seam and another at the the edge of the gaiter where the button holes are.

The stiffener was whale-bone

From the standing orders of the 2nd Bt Seaforth's 1912: Gaiters will be made with 8 buttons. The edge of the gaiter will be 2 inches from toe of the shoe. The top of the gaiter in front will expose at least 3 dice of the hosetops. Whale-bone will......

Good luck on the Whale-bone!!!

Joe Sweeney

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On the spats front, in one of your previous threads you wrote - "The shoe's dated 1913. The Spat is made of Khaki drill" - is that the same khaki drill tropical tunics and such were made out? In which case, I might be able to make myself a pair out of material reclaimed from other sources or new made stuff (one seems a bit dark compared to originals, the other a little light, but better than white either way!).

I have a set of modern ones, un-whitened (ie no blanco/whitener) which are sort of a light natural linen coloured.

I have been threatening for a while to soak them in a tray of strong coffee and see what that does to them... I suspect the outcome may well be close enough for display (my case) or re-enactment.

If I get time this weekend I will give it a go!

Chris

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Andrew,

This maybe of help to you. This is a 1916 dated kilt (Not Harry Mountains).

This is configured per the 1912 standing orders for the 2nd Bn.

photo13a.jpg

Two leather straps at both ends.

The buttons are a later adaption for wear with bracses and not part of the issue kilt.

Pleats should be boxed and the Seaforth's kilt was the only one on inventory (Pattern 8048/1914 24-Apr-14 which updated a 1906 pattern by changing the measurements)

that had elastic band (broken on this example) near the bottom of the pleats (the elastic band apperas to have been introduced in 1906)

There would also be a silver safety pin 3 1/2" long fixed point down on the edge of the white stripe running perpendicularly near the edge of the apron and equidistant above and below the horizontal red stripe.

Joe Sweeney

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You can source much from any of the many Pipe Band suppliers.

When I was in a Pipe Band we had Seaforth kit, and I think my kilt must have been armoured from the weight of it (dated 1943 but still in good condition!!). That's when you admire the courage of the Scots. Wearing a kilt with thistles and midges!!

Garter flashes were not multiple fold, but then it might have been for military, you'd have to check.

You should be able to get a suitable kilt pin, worn as per previous poster advised. You'd need a skean dhu and the spats should be available in a cream linen so those you have should fairly easily be dyed. Then its sewing the buttons on with khaki thread. You might need an old fashioned Victorian boot button hook!!

The sporran might be expensive but a two black tassell with Seaforth stag head should be possible.

I think Highland brogues will also be difficult with plain or patent toe cap, as all now are the perforated pattern with the long laces. I always did mine with 4 crossover twists at the front then a crossover and four more twists at the rear, just above the spats and then double bow halfway up the shin.

Good luck!!

By the way, that is a superb colour photo of the 3 Seaforth men. I've never seen one so clear and in colour.

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Many thanks yet again Joe, the pictures and information are once again excellent, and continually help clarify what I need to look out for :)

I have a set of modern ones, un-whitened (ie no blanco/whitener) which are sort of a light natural linen coloured.

I have been threatening for a while to soak them in a tray of strong coffee and see what that does to them... I suspect the outcome may well be close enough for display (my case) or re-enactment.

If I get time this weekend I will give it a go!

Chris

Please do post the results if you do it - I have just invested in a cheap grouping listed on Ebay that contained what I hope will be an old pair of white military spats in my size if I've got it right and an old glengarry I can hopefully cannabalise the silk badge backing on to use on my good example. If the spats are my size, I can look into dying or colouring them, if not I can use them as the basis for a pattern to make a pair in something more colour correct.

You can source much from any of the many Pipe Band suppliers.

When I was in a Pipe Band we had Seaforth kit, and I think my kilt must have been armoured from the weight of it (dated 1943 but still in good condition!!). That's when you admire the courage of the Scots. Wearing a kilt with thistles and midges!!

Garter flashes were not multiple fold, but then it might have been for military, you'd have to check.

You should be able to get a suitable kilt pin, worn as per previous poster advised. You'd need a skean dhu and the spats should be available in a cream linen so those you have should fairly easily be dyed. Then its sewing the buttons on with khaki thread. You might need an old fashioned Victorian boot button hook!!

The sporran might be expensive but a two black tassell with Seaforth stag head should be possible.

I think Highland brogues will also be difficult with plain or patent toe cap, as all now are the perforated pattern with the long laces. I always did mine with 4 crossover twists at the front then a crossover and four more twists at the rear, just above the spats and then double bow halfway up the shin.

Good luck!!

By the way, that is a superb colour photo of the 3 Seaforth men. I've never seen one so clear and in colour.

Thanks for the additional information, although I should point out that it isn't a colour photograph, but one that was originally in black and white that Chris has superbly rendered into colour (there's a big thread somewhere with many more examples!).

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Andrew,

This maybe more of an hindrance than help as I don't know if your going for genuine kit or reproduction. But anyhow here goes , you may have come across this site in your website travels. What Price Glory http://www.whatpriceglory.com/scot.htm

I'm no expert on the subject so I don't know how good their products are but it might be worth a look .

Regards

Chris

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If you can find some let me know....even repros....I have been looking for ages. Give up bidding on them when they go over 150pounds! just can't do it!! I think I am going to have to dye a white set here soon.

I don't know if these would be of use, but I found this pair whilst searching on Ebay, and whilst from the measurements I asked for it seems they're too short length-wise to cover my UK size 10 feet and still have the regulation 2 inches of toe showing they might be good for a static display:

http://cgi.ebay.com/WW1-Officer-Spats_W0QQ...%3A1%7C294%3A50

Hi

Gaiters on Ebay Item Nos-220424793624

Hose Item No 260419874218.

Hope it`s a help Gary.

Thanks for that, the gaiters look to be far too small again for me, but the hose are certainly right and gone on the growing favourites list :)

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This maybe more of an hindrance than help as I don't know if your going for genuine kit or reproduction. But anyhow here goes , you may have come across this site in your website travels. What Price Glory http://www.whatpriceglory.com/scot.htm

I'm no expert on the subject so I don't know how good their products are but it might be worth a look .

Either genuine or good reproduction is fine in my book. As regards WPG, I found several reviews of their kilts whilst searching on the web,including one of their Seaforth kilts, and they seem to be generally very good with a few small niggles (eg the colours they use in them are somewhat muted compared to originals, and the buckles they use to secure them are apparently pretty poor although easily replaced with something better).

At the moment, as I'm in no rush to get everything, I'm holding out for an ex-military kilt if possible, since I require a pretty small size and when such sizes do appear they often go quite cheaply as no one else can fit them! :lol: If I get to the point where it's the only major thing missing and I still can't find an original, then I'll probably go for a reproduction.

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I don't know if these would be of use, but I found this pair whilst searching on Ebay, and whilst from the measurements I asked for it seems they're too short length-wise to cover my UK size 10 feet and still have the regulation 2 inches of toe showing they might be good for a static display:

http://cgi.ebay.com/WW1-Officer-Spats_W0QQ...%3A1%7C294%3A50

Thanks for that, the gaiters look to be far too small again for me, but the hose are certainly right and gone on the growing favourites list :)

Thanks for this - sorry about the delay. Did you see what these went for Andrew? (not me!)

However I did just snag a pair (for 1/3rd of the price). They too may be a little small for use but will definitely work for display.

I'll post a picture when they arrive!

Chris

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Thanks for this - sorry about the delay. Did you see what these went for Andrew? (not me!)

However I did just snag a pair (for 1/3rd of the price). They too may be a little small for use but will definitely work for display.

I'll post a picture when they arrive!

Chris

I did see the end price, rather dear for what must have been a cheap item originally!

This possibly the other pair you mention?

http://cgi.ebay.com/WWI-CANADIAN-HIGHLAND-...%3A1%7C294%3A50

I'm using the picture of the leather as a model to get some modern copies done so I can convert a white pair of spats to something more correct for field use.

Did you get the coffee staining of your white pair done? I'm looking into seeing what effect Tarrago shoe dye No.4/Doe will have have on them, since the colour chart on the web shows this as an excellent match to Tocemmas mint 1914 pair.

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I did not stain a white pair -- need them for best dress!

The khaki spats arrived today.

Here is a pic of the leather straps - if you need more let me know - the spats are marked with a size 8 and would be ok for my foot but there is no way they will reach around my calf to button!

Still the mannequin will have skinny ankles! The leather for these straps is very very thin and pliable far softer than I would have expected.

post-14525-1244743738.jpg

The Spats themselves have a slightly more greenish tinge to them (which I have seen with other Canadian Scots stuff (for example a kilt apron I own) - they are in very very good condition and I suspect that they are not WWI vintage possibly even post WWII but I am not sure why they might be around then.

post-14525-1244743709.jpg

Chris

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  • 1 month later...

Any breakthroughs on your kit yet, Andrew?

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This afternoon I was able to pick up the following glengarry from one of the Bristol militaria dealers for £20, which seemed to me a bargain price, especially as it's my size as well:

aVAslhJ.jpg

gx1iqMS9.jpg

aVAsKe9.jpg

I have long been interested in putting together the relevant kit for WW1 living history that a relative of mine who died during the war would probably have been wearing - he was Private Isaac Shortman, 681, of the 2nd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders. A coal miner before the war, he seems to have been a regular at the outbreak of war, being shipped out to France on August 23rd 1914 with the rest of the 2nd Battalion. Seven weeks later he was killed in action on the 13th of October during the assault on the village of Meteren, where he lies buried to this day.

Scottish kit has always been a bit of a minefield to me when compared to standard British kit, so I am keen to get it right first time! From what I've seen Joe Sweeney and other write in the past, the glengarry I have is almost certainly of Great War vintage as it has the leather edging at the bottom, see post 12 of -

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...mp;hl=glengarry

The same thread would also seem to confirm that the glengarry I have is suitable for Seaforth Highlanders (although mine has no backing material for a badge, and the 2 holes punched about 1 1/2 inches apart for a badge seem to preclude it having been badged to the Seaforths originally, which seem to have used badges with four lugs closely spaced on two rows).

So my main question really is - what would a pre-war regular Private of the 2nd Bn Seaforth Highlanders have been wearing on the Western Front between August and October of 1914, from top to toe? At the moment, I'm presuming (from my limited knowledge) diced glengarry as I now have, with backing material and badge as per the example linked earlier, cut-away SD jacket with rifle patches and pleated breast pockets, kilt and cover (details on what specific kilt are hazy - I know there are variations in pattern and indeed pleats!). Footware - khaki spats over the low shoes/boots/brogues (not certain of the right term)? When did boots and low puttees appear? Would he have been wearing the diced socks I think, if so what do they look like? All topped off with 1908 webbing and a pre-war MkIII SMLE with all the bells and whistles?

Anything anyone can help me with/correct/build up the detail much appreciated, especially any pictures of originals so I know what to look out for!

With thanks in advance.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybrook100/3354883220/ Found this it shows a postcard, displaying the complete uniform. But it was too big to upload onto this site, hope it helps.

carl.

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybrook100/3354883220/ Found this it shows a postcard, displaying the complete uniform. But it was too big to upload onto this site, hope it helps.

carl.

Thanks for that, very interesting.

Any breakthroughs on your kit yet, Andrew?

I've acquired a few bits, and have been meaning to get a few pictures done - it might take a while as I'm still sorting out wet kit from this weekends Festival of History, which includes a rather severe tent "malfunction" from early Sunday evening! :(

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Hi,

I think that the spats with the detachable straps are Lowland spats, wheras those with stitched in straps are Highland. All the WW1 photos I have examined of Highlanders wearing spats clearly show the stitched in variety. The only exception I have seen are worn by the 9th Royal Scots....Highlanders in a Lowland regiment. Does any other member have a comment on this?

Cheers

Owain.

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Hi,

I think that the spats with the detachable straps are Lowland spats, wheras those with stitched in straps are Highland. All the WW1 photos I have examined of Highlanders wearing spats clearly show the stitched in variety. The only exception I have seen are worn by the 9th Royal Scots....Highlanders in a Lowland regiment. Does any other member have a comment on this?

Cheers

Owain.

Owain,

I don't think the straps were particular to a type of Regiment.

There were three types of straps in use prior to and during WWI. Can't remember the order off hand of pattern and timeframe, but two types of button straps--one with buff leather, one with chrome tanned leather, and then sewn cloth.

Issue was not particular to any type of regiment as far as I can make-out. I have a pair of the beutton chrome tanned leather to the 6th Gordon's--with the Gordons penchant to re-sew black buttons on the gaiters.

Joe Sweeney

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I don't think the straps were particular to a type of Regiment.

There were three types of straps in use prior to and during WWI. Can't remember the order off hand of pattern and timeframe, but two types of button straps--one with buff leather, one with chrome tanned leather, and then sewn cloth.

Issue was not particular to any type of regiment as far as I can make-out. I have a pair of the beutton chrome tanned leather to the 6th Gordon's--with the Gordons penchant to re-sew black buttons on the gaiters.

Phew, good to hear, as I'm about to start work on making a white pair khaki, and one of the changes I'm planning to do is remove the cloth straps and use buttoned on leather ones instead.

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I hope you don't mind but I've decided to putting together a 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders display as well! Not to be a complete rip-off, I'll be doing a pre-war set-up circa 1908 while the battalion was in India, so there'll be khaki drill with 1903 bandolier equipment.

I've just got done dying the white gaiters with some Rit fabric dye, color "Taupe" looks pretty close to British drab. They're drying now ... we'll see how they look when I get home tonight!

Oh yeah, I'm basing the whole thing off this figure:

http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90694

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I hope you don't mind but I've decided to putting together a 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders display as well! Not to be a complete rip-off, I'll be doing a pre-war set-up circa 1908 while the battalian was in India, so there'll be khaki drill with 1903 bandolier equipment.

I've just got done dying the white gaiters with some Rit fabric dye, color "Taupe" looks pretty close to British drab. They're drying now ... we'll see how they look when I get home tonight!

Oh yeah, I'm basing the whole thing off this figure:

http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90694

It's a disgrace, will inform the Mods immediately :lol:

Will be interested to see the results of the dying - I've heard a tea and salt mixture also gives good khaki results for white kit, might see about trying that on mine.

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Here's the result of the dyeing. The camera flash makes them look a tad bit lighter than they are. They're closer to the color of khaki drill than British drab, in fact they appear to have turned out the same exact color as the British tropical khaki drill tunics that WPG sells, which will be great since I'll be picking one of those up as well.

6576_250380235081_525160081_8253401_2177

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Matt Richards' date='Aug 7 2009, 06:46 AM' post='1239165']

Here's the result of the dyeing. The camera flash makes them look a tad bit lighter than they are. They're closer to the color of khaki drill than British drab, in fact they appear to have turned out the same exact color as the British tropical khaki drill tunics that WPG sells, which will be great since I'll be picking one of those up as well.

6576_250380235081_525160081_8253401_2177

You've put me in a bit of a fix now - I was originally aiming to colour mine to match the unissued pair shown below, and to that end I bought some No.4 Terrago Colour Dye which seemed to be a good colour match:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...amp;hl=highland

However, the pair you've done are an almost spot on match (darker would be perfect) for this other pair:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...15&hl=boots

How difficult was it to get the good results with the Rit? A link to the instructions below seems to make it look quite complicated, and I was wondering if they had to be followed so closely.

https://www.bargainbox.com.au/product_info....products_id=601

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It wasn't too difficult! I filled up a big plastic container with boiling water from the bathtub tap and added some salt (I didn't have a whole cup of salt, so I just gave it a generous sprinkle, maybe 1/4 cup at most). I tossed the wet gaiters in and stirred the water around with a large dowel for 45 minutes. A problem I ran into is that the cloth likes to float, so I dumped handfuls of change on them to keep them weighted down in the water, but still swirling and shifting them so that I got even coverage. I started with them toe-side down and halfway through, flipped them over. At the end of 45 minutes, I pulled, them out, rinsed them under the tap with warm water until the water ran clear, and set them to air dry.

The label of "Taupe" on the bottle was a bit more green, like the first gaiters picture you posted. I wonder if they'd actually get that color if you let them stew in the dye a little longer.

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Thanks for that Matt, will probably try and do the same then now I've got some successful results to base it on!

You might want to change the buttons for something that better matches their new khaki background, like the originals - and you need a bigger pair of boots if you're going to expose the regulation two-inches of toe (although period photo's seem to show more than two inches was quite common).

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