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Black Watch Glengarry badge backing ?


Chris Foster
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Can anyone help me with this query.

Did the Black Watch glengarry have a rossette (beg pardon if thats not the correct name) as a backing to the badge or not.

Regards

Chris

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No, the badge is always attached directly to the main body of the glengarry, they never wore a cockade/ribbon behind the badge.

Regards,

Stewart

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No, the badge is always attached directly to the main body of the glengarry, they never wore a cockade/ribbon behind the badge.

Regards,

Stewart

True, as a matter of official policy. However, I have seen several exceptions to this rule on officers' glengarries. I am away from home right now, and I will see if I can locate an example or two when I return.

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The Black Watch did not generally have a rosette I believe. I once posted a useful diagram in this forum that had all the regimental glengarry patterns from a contemporarly periodical (although it had an error I recall), but I cannot now find it.

post-599-0-38805900-1359678867_thumb.jpg

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Pursuant to the discussion above, The Black Watch almost always mounted the cap badge on the glengarry without backing or rosette. Certainly the DRs for officers indicated such. However, as I think all realize, the DRs in practice did not foreclose all latitude for COs and individual officers to apply limited embellishments to items of dress. Below is such an example of a Black Watch glengarry with officer's badge circa 1881- 1901 affixed to a rosette. This fine example (that appears to be totally authentic) was offered for sale in 1994 by Bosley's.

f1afa0a80e1a.jpg

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Never seen anything like that being worn before. Of course an original glengarry with an original badge attached does not actually mean that this is how it was worn by a Battalion of the Black Watch. I would be more convinced if there were an actual photo of a serving soldier or officer wearing it. That said, I have come across similar strange items in Photos for example 2nd battalion pipers wearing kilt pins, something that most think the Black Watch would never wear!

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Never seen anything like that being worn before. Of course an original glengarry with an original badge attached does not actually mean that this is how it was worn by a Battalion of the Black Watch. I would be more convinced if there were an actual photo of a serving soldier or officer wearing it. That said, I have come across similar strange items in Photos for example 2nd battalion pipers wearing kilt pins, something that most think the Black Watch would never wear!

Concerning kilt pin, see photo below of 2nd Bn Bandsman Peshawar 1907.

Regarding dress in the British Army in general, perhaps the terms never and always should be used very cautiously.

0cefd0905760.jpg

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Concerning kilt pin, see photo below of 2nd Bn Bandsman Peshawar 1907.

I suspect that is because the 73rd Highlanders had perhaps worn kilt pins. The regiments that merged in 1881 often went out of their way to carry forward a dress idiosyncrasy from their previous identity.

Regarding dress in the British Army in general, perhaps the terms never and always should be used very cautiously.

Always the correct watchword to keep in mind at all times.

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I suspect that is because the 73rd Highlanders had perhaps worn kilt pins. The regiments that merged in 1881 often went out of their way to carry forward a dress idiosyncrasy from their previous identity.

The 73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot lost its Highland status in 1809 becoming the 73rd regiment of Foot that year and the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot in 1862. During the 1809-1881 period the 73rd dressed as a line regiment. While the kilt pin may have been a legacy item of the 73rd pre-1809, there would be no photographic evidence to research the hypothesis.

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The 73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot lost its Highland status in 1809 becoming the 73rd regiment of Foot that year and the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot in 1862. During the 1809-1881 period the 73rd dressed as a line regiment. While the kilt pin may have been a legacy item of the 73rd pre-1809, there would be no photographic evidence to research the hypothesis.

Yes that makes complete sense gordon92 and has me intrigued. It is very rare that such a dress idiosyncrasy exists for no reason and it would be interesting to enquire at some point with the Black Watch museum. Another possibility is a connection with one of the militia battalions. After 1881 the two regular battalions were often affiliated to one of the militia battalions in terms of providing its permanent staff (Adjt and QM etc). Also, in regiments where the regular battalions did not have many 'special badges', or dress distinctions, then an element of militia tradition would sometimes be adopted. This is much less likely with the Forty Twa, but might be feasible for the battalion formed by the old 73rd.

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Yes that makes complete sense gordon92 and has me intrigued. It is very rare that such a dress idiosyncrasy exists for no reason and it would be interesting to enquire at some point with the Black Watch museum. Another possibility is a connection with one of the militia battalions. After 1881 the two regular battalions were often affiliated to one of the militia battalions in terms of providing its permanent staff (Adjt and QM etc). Also, in regiments where the regular battalions did not have many 'special badges', or dress distinctions, then an element of militia tradition would sometimes be adopted. This is much less likely with the Forty Twa, but might be feasible for the battalion formed by the old 73rd.

You now have me intrigued on the kilt pin matter, FROGSMILE. Accordingly, I have sent an inquiry to Tommy Smyth, Archivist at The Black Watch Museum in Perth. He may have limited capability at the moment to look into the question as Balhousie Castle is presently a construction zone with the Museum undergoing expansion and refurbishment. We will see what is reported back by Tommy.

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You now have me intrigued on the kilt pin matter, FROGSMILE. Accordingly, I have sent an inquiry to Tommy Smyth, Archivist at The Black Watch Museum in Perth. He may have limited capability at the moment to look into the question as Balhousie Castle is presently a construction zone with the Museum undergoing expansion and refurbishment. We will see what is reported back by Tommy.

Yes, it will be interesting to learn the outcome. The Militia is often overlooked and yet it was much older than the Regular Army, often had units with long-standing Royal honour titles (albeit sometimes gained at the drinking table), and had 'names' rather than numbers well before Regular units did. It was particulary common for regiments with high numbers to adopt elements of Militia insignia or tradition, but even the older regiments did so in some cases. This was encouraged by the War Office, as it was a unifying factor and helped to dampen down the mutual suspicion that often existed between Regulars and Militia in the early period after the Cardwell/Childers Reforms were announced. As an example, the 23rd RWF had had long association with Wales, but never used the later famous 'Red Dragon' as one of its special devices until the unification with Militia in 1881.

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Getting back to the original question, and dealing with the period: "Did the Black Watch glengarry have a rosette?". I do not know of a dress regulation for a regular battalion authorising a backing behind the cap badge.

Aye,

Tom McC

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