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3 Gordon Highlanders, circa 1914? Are they bandsmen?

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FROGSMILE

I think it is worth remembering that these men are allegedly fishermen and not regular soldiers steeped in the arcane rituals of military full dress, and almost certainly unfamiliar with the finer detail of plaids and such like.

If Territorials, or even former militia, it seems likely that they would rarely have worn full dress other than perhaps for parade at an annual summer camp (they would no doubt have been able to smoke a herring for you though). For drill nights and weekend training such men wore undress frocks and, increasingly after 1908, khaki service dress (SD).

You make good points Ron, and had these been regulars I would have agreed with you, but apparently they are not, they are fishermen swept up in the patriotic fervour and febrile atmosphere at the beginning of the war "in defence of small nations".

P.S. During my own service I have seen Territorials with 12+ years service commit howling errors with dress, one even putting his Sam Browne on the wrong way around.

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Ron Abbott

I think it is worth remembering that these men are allegedly fishermen and not regular soldiers steeped in the arcane rituals of military full dress, and almost certainly unfamiliar with the finer detail of plaids and such like.

If Territorials, or even former militia, it seems likely that they would rarely have worn full dress other than perhaps for parade at an annual summer camp (they would no doubt have been able to smoke a herring for you though). For drill nights and weekend training such men wore undress frocks and, increasingly after 1908, khaki service dress (SD).

You make good points Ron, and had these been regulars I would have agreed with you, but apparently they are not, they are fishermen swept up in the patriotic fervour and febrile atmosphere at the beginning of the war "in defence of small nations".

P.S. During my own service I have seen Territorials with 12+ years service commit howling errors with dress, one even putting his Sam Browne on the wrong way around.

LOL....fair point.

Plaids are not easy to put on right, even after many times; which is why pipers often 'buddy up' in putting them on and why I noticed immediately that the plaids in the photos were only 'half way' there....

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Schiellj

I realize this thread is quite old but in my research a person shared a photo that we believe might be my great grandfather.

John Henry McKenzie of South Africa (4th SAI). 

7A15A414-8889-4C21-AFF6-31E67662B9F9.png

8AE43CE7-4C19-4C27-BB37-D67655298AF1.png

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gordon92
On 3/6/2018 at 17:53, Schiellj said:

I realize this thread is quite old but in my research a person shared a photo that we believe might be my great grandfather.

John Henry McKenzie of South Africa (4th SAI). 

 

The second photo shows a soldier in the full dress uniform of the Gordon Highlanders.  The Cape Town Highlanders wore a uniform very similar to the Gordons.  Indeed, the 4th S. African Infantry was composed partly of volunteers from the Cape Town Highlanders.  Possible that this is a pre-war photo of your ggf?

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Schiellj

I’m not sure but I had assumed it was from after he enlisted since it was taken in Scotland. I don’t know much about his service details. I recovered his British war medal and Vicotry Medal that both say J H McKenzie 4th SAI. I believe his father was born in Aberdeen so it is possible he went there before enlisting. 

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, Schiellj said:

I’m not sure but I had assumed it was from after he enlisted since it was taken in Scotland. I don’t know much about his service details. I recovered his British war medal and Vicotry Medal that both say J H McKenzie 4th SAI. I believe his father was born in Aberdeen so it is possible he went there before enlisting. 

 

Perhaps he had completed a short engagement (7-years) with the Gordon's in Britain and then joined the Capetown Highlanders after emigrating to SA.

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Schiellj

He was born in Johannesburg in 1897 (though he admitted he lied about his age to join the fight). He moved to Coventry after WWI where he married my great grandmother and raised their family.

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FROGSMILE
4 hours ago, Schiellj said:

He was born in Johannesburg in 1897 (though he admitted he lied about his age to join the fight). He moved to Coventry after WWI where he married my great grandmother and raised their family.

 

Presumably then he must have enlisted with the Gordon’s in Scotland after wartime service with the 4th SAI.  It’s an unusual course to take as most emigration’s post war were the other way around, from a war weary and economically diminished Britain to the promise of a new life in the Dominions and Colonies.

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gordon92
13 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

 

Presumably then he must have enlisted with the Gordon’s in Scotland after wartime service with the 4th SAI.  It’s an unusual course to take as most emigration’s post war were the other way around, from a war weary and economically diminished Britain to the promise of a new life in the Dominions and Colonies.

This makes sense.  Taking note of the khaki spats in the photo of post #53, he was probably wearing his post-war service dress uniform when the jacket was swapped in the photographer's studio for the full dress doublet and plaid.  The white buff belt looks dirty and was also likely provided by the photographer.

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FROGSMILE
13 hours ago, gordon92 said:

This makes sense.  Taking note of the khaki spats in the photo of post #53, he was probably wearing his post-war service dress uniform when the jacket was swapped in the photographer's studio for the full dress doublet and plaid.  The white buff belt looks dirty and was also likely provided by the photographer.

 

Certainly not up to the pre-war standard expected of a regular.  I’m fairly sure the belt is 1903 pattern Slade Wallace in brown leather, but yet to be waxed.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Ron Abbott
On 3/8/2018 at 07:02, gordon92 said:

 

The second photo shows a soldier in the full dress uniform of the Gordon Highlanders.  The Cape Town Highlanders wore a uniform very similar to the Gordons.  Indeed, the 4th S. African Infantry was composed partly of volunteers from the Cape Town Highlanders.  Possible that this is a pre-war photo of your ggf?

 

I know it's not relevant in this case, but just for your info......the 2nd (Scottish) Company of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, albeit post-WW1, also wore uniforms that were closely modelled on those of the Gordon Highlanders.  Gordon tartan, Gordon Highlander pattern sporrans (both officers and rank and file), black button spats etc.  

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gordon92
9 hours ago, Ron Abbott said:

 

I know it's not relevant in this case, but just for your info......the 2nd (Scottish) Company of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, albeit post-WW1, also wore uniforms that were closely modelled on those of the Gordon Highlanders.  Gordon tartan, Gordon Highlander pattern sporrans (both officers and rank and file), black button spats etc.  

Good to know.  I was not previously aware of this point.

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Schiellj

So I received some more family relics and this was among them... 

30DA4B3C-E665-4103-85E6-9420238B326E.jpeg

00E614C4-53D4-4D29-BAA5-40E8E3172002.jpeg

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

That is undoubtedly a Gordon Highlanders bonnet badge that he wears, which seems to confirm our conjecture about a post war enlistment with that regiment.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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gordon92
13 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

That is undoubtedly a Gordon Highlanders bonnet badge that he wears, which seems to confirm our conjecture about a post war enlistment with that regiment.

....and the sporran is correct for the Gordon Highlanders.

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
On 12/07/2018 at 23:12, gordon92 said:

....and the sporran is correct for the Gordon Highlanders.

 

Yes, and it seems that love drew him further than gunpowder could blow him!

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Schiellj

Thanks for the responses. Is there any possibility this could be his son who was in the Gordon Highlanders in the 1950s?  I’ll attach a couple photos. 

D5C866BD-57F0-49B0-9880-11917F2C2B78.jpeg

B8EF4438-D5F2-4A66-B3E2-866A8542CCFF.jpeg

5 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

 

Yes, and it seems that love drew him further than gunpowder could blow him!

Ahhhh I love that 😊

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

Yes the young soldier is also a member of the Gordon Highlanders.  It seems to have become the family regiment, something that is quite common with father following son sometimes for several generations.  The McKenzie name is certainly there.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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gordon92
On 14/07/2018 at 04:09, FROGSMILE said:

 

Yes, and it seems that love drew him further than gunpowder could blow him!

LOL!

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gordon92
On 14/07/2018 at 09:10, Schiellj said:

Thanks for the responses. Is there any possibility this could be his son who was in the Gordon Highlanders in the 1950s?  I’ll attach a couple photos. 

D5C866BD-57F0-49B0-9880-11917F2C2B78.jpeg

B8EF4438-D5F2-4A66-B3E2-866A8542CCFF.jpeg

Ahhhh I love that 😊

I would rate the first photo as 1952 (or even a year or 2 earlier).  After 1952 the hair sporrans were replaced by leather ones.  The Balmoral bonnets seen in this photo began to be issued in 1949 and 1950 to the Scottish regiments.  The Lowland regiments had tails on their bonnets while the Highland regiments did not.

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Schiellj

Thank you very much for all your help guys and for letting me derail your post a bit.  I appreciate it a lot. I have had so much trouble researching JH. I still have yet to find any documents on his post WWI service. Also I’m trying to get everything figured out so I can send George’s Gordon’s patch and his tie along with some other things to my cousin in France with my g-grandpa JH’s medals. I just want to make sure I know what was g-grandpa’s that was handed down and what was Uncle George’s while I still have it all in my possession. Thank you again. 

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