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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

9th HLI v Black Watch kilts...

Andre Chissel

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Dear all,

I have read about the differences between the Government tartan of the 9th HLI (Box pleat) and the Government tartan of the Black Watch (Cane or knife or barrel pleat) but when I look at soldiers of the two Regiments during the first world war posing for their cabinet photos with their Mother, I am afraid I do not see any pleats at all.

Such a kilt from either Regiment when seen from the front appears as a continuous otherwise 'flat' sheet of material (to me anyway).

I am guessing that the pleats of a wartime or military kilt only occur at the rear !

My question is this - given that one is box and the other is knife, how can you tell which is which if all you have is a front view ? Are there any other differences apart from the lettering on the scroll which will enable one to tell the difference ?

Thanks in advance




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The modern kilt, by that I mean the style made popular following the lifting of the prohibition of wearing kilts after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, is always flat fronted for men whether military or civilian, the pleats being at the rear, Womens tartan skirts sometimes follow this, however they sometimes have the pleats all around.

As to the difference from the front, sorry don't know.


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As both the Black Watch and 9th HLI used the same Government tartan, there would be no difference in the front view of the kilts.

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