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Remembered Today:

London Irish piper, 1919 - kilt question


Steven Broomfield
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Someone on a FB group connected to the London Irish Rifles has asked when LIR pipers first wore kilts. This photo shows one such, but was taken in 1919 a wartime photo taken at the liberation of Lille (October 1918) seems to show them in shorts.

 

The photo here is fascinating also - look at the cuff with the overseas chevrons! Is that usual?

 

LIR piper.jpg

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Interesting picture.  Three droned set of bagpipes, rather than two, when many of the Irish pipers were playing two droned sets at the time.

The ring caps indicate the instrument may have been made by Glens of Edinburgh.  

According to Dave Gallagher's (warpiper) website, they started wearing kilts in the latter part of WW1. 

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Thanks Mr Abbott.

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Unusual to see service chevrons overlaying his badge of appointment, I have never seen that before.  Also, in the absence of a pipes badge above the inverted chevrons it looks as if he has the typical, twin (side-by-side) stringed bugles, as used by rifle regiments only.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Again, thanks.

 

It struck me as a bit odd.

 

Do either of you have a photo of an Irish piper of the period that I could use in a response on the FB page?

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13 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

Again, thanks.

 

It struck me as a bit odd.

 

Do either of you have a photo of an Irish piper of the period that I could use in a response on the FB page?

 

Steven.......Dave Gallagher (based in St Louis, USA) has researched pipers of the Irish regiments and civilian Irish pipers/bands for many, many years and I am sure there is stuff that he has not yet uploaded onto his website.  Even if he doesn't know the answer himself, he may be able to point you in the right direction.

 

The most updated email address I have for him is :- [removed]

 

 

Edited by spof
Email address removed to prevent spammers getting it. Please use PMs to swap email addresses.
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A copy of this Piper's photograph appeared some time ago IIRC on the POSTCARDS thread.

The reverse of the card reads: Piper R Taylor, 56 Bromley Hall Road Poplar - with best wishes. It is not clear if Piper Taylor was the sender or the recipient.

The pipes he is holding could be Brian Borou pipes ( 4 drones and a chanter) which were used by the 1st battalion London Irish Pipers before WW1 and certainly up to 1915 and later The two droned "Irish War Pipes" were taken in to use by the 2nd battalion in 1915 and subsequently by the 1st battalion probably post war although it appears that both sets of pipes were in use for some years after WW1. 

The saffron kilt was adopted in 1915 when Pipers of the London Irish trained the first ten Pipers of the Irish Guards who were already wearing the kilt. 

There is an excellent book, The Pipes and Drums of The London Irish Rifles 1906 - 2006, by George Willis and George P Willis, available from The London Irish Rifles Regimental Museum: Connaught House, Flodden Road, Camberwell, London, SE5 9LL

Tel 020 7820 4040

Web www.londonirishrifles.com/museum

 

7 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Unusual to see service chevrons overlaying his badge of appointment, I have never seen that before.  Also, in the absence of a pipes badge above the inverted chevrons it looks as if he has the typical, twin (side-by-side) stringed bugles, as used by rifle regiments only.

As both sets of chevrons were to be worn on the lower right sleeve I'd guess he just made the best of it. 

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6 hours ago, squirrel said:

A copy of this Piper's photograph appeared some time ago IIRC on the POSTCARDS thread.

The reverse of the card reads: Piper R Taylor, 56 Bromley Hall Road Poplar - with best wishes. It is not clear if Piper Taylor was the sender or the recipient.

The pipes he is holding could be Brian Borou pipes ( 4 drones and a chanter) which were used by the 1st battalion London Irish Pipers before WW1 and certainly up to 1915 and later The two droned "Irish War Pipes" were taken in to use by the 2nd battalion in 1915 and subsequently by the 1st battalion probably post war although it appears that both sets of pipes were in use for some years after WW1. 

The saffron kilt was adopted in 1915 when Pipers of the London Irish trained the first ten Pipers of the Irish Guards who were already wearing the kilt. 

There is an excellent book, The Pipes and Drums of The London Irish Rifles 1906 - 2006, by George Willis and George P Willis, available from The London Irish Rifles Regimental Museum: Connaught House, Flodden Road, Camberwell, London, SE5 9LL

Tel 020 7820 4040

Web www.londonirishrifles.com/museum

 

 

I'm surprised the denizens of the D Coy FB page don't know all that!

8 hours ago, Ron Abbott said:

 

Steven.......Dave Gallagher (based in St Louis, USA) has researched pipers of the Irish regiments and civilian Irish pipers/bands for many, many years and I am sure there is stuff that he has not yet uploaded onto his website.  Even if he doesn't know the answer himself, he may be able to point you in the right direction.

 

The most updated email address I have for him is :- [removed]

 

 

 

Ta. I'll check it out.

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6 hours ago, squirrel said:

A copy of this Piper's photograph appeared some time ago IIRC on the POSTCARDS thread.

The reverse of the card reads: Piper R Taylor, 56 Bromley Hall Road Poplar - with best wishes. It is not clear if Piper Taylor was the sender or the recipient.

The pipes he is holding could be Brian Borou pipes ( 4 drones and a chanter) which were used by the 1st battalion London Irish Pipers before WW1 and certainly up to 1915 and later The two droned "Irish War Pipes" were taken in to use by the 2nd battalion in 1915 and subsequently by the 1st battalion probably post war although it appears that both sets of pipes were in use for some years after WW1. 

The saffron kilt was adopted in 1915 when Pipers of the London Irish trained the first ten Pipers of the Irish Guards who were already wearing the kilt. 

There is an excellent book, The Pipes and Drums of The London Irish Rifles 1906 - 2006, by George Willis and George P Willis, available from The London Irish Rifles Regimental Museum: Connaught House, Flodden Road, Camberwell, London, SE5 9LL

Tel 020 7820 4040

Web www.londonirishrifles.com/museum

 

As both sets of chevrons were to be worn on the lower right sleeve I'd guess he just made the best of it. 

 

 

Yes, Pipe-Major R Taylor.  Aad Boode has him listed in his publication.

 

You're right, they could well be a set of Brian Boru three droned bagpipes, the three drones in that photo certainly appear to be different lengths conforming to the Brian Boru pattern of tenor, baritone and bass drones.   Unfortunately I can't make out whether the chanter is 'keyed' or not.  (funnily enough I have a set of kitchen pipes which have a tenor/alto/bass drone).    

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18 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 

I'm surprised the denizens of the D Coy FB page don't know all that!

No surprise really as the London Irish Rifles Pipes and Drums are not part of D Company and haven't been since 1969 - The Pipes and Drums are managed and financed by the Regimental Association, the band themselves, and a contribution from D Company.

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