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Remembered Today:

Hello, and looking for some Black Watch uniform advice


OCB

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Hi,

 

I am a Scot (from Wishaw originally) living in Belgium whose only military experience is a couple of year ATC in the early 80s.
I've always had an interest in WWI and that era - I had an aunt living with me who was born in 1893, and my maternal grand parents were born in 1900 and a lot of relatives of that time were still around when I was a kid in the 70s. The names on the local memorials were local names I knew from school, and were my relatives friends - which always stuck with me.

I now have 3 kids of my own, the oldest is nearly 9 and want to get him interested in the history around him - most definitely planning to take him to key battlefields and commemorations this year. Last weekend we drove over the canal just north of St Quitin for example, stopped at a small Commonwealth cemetery by hazard.

Early next month is Carnaval here, and an excuse for getting dressed up and party on the street of the small traditional Belgian towns. I proposed he get dressed up as a WW1 soldier - showed him some re-enactment costume photos (from a couple of UK vendors) and he's all for it. I'm chuffed with that as I think it'll get him more interested in history and get his face out his iPad and Nintendo. Certainly not cheap getting the re-enacment kit for a kid, but the "play" stuff looks awful.

I'm going to get him the typical tunic, trousers, boots, puttees, webbing and if I can get one in time, a brodie helmet (seems there's a lack of them right now? maybe I'm not looking in the right places). I'll have to get handy with a jig saw etc and make him a wooden Lee Enfield shaped "stick", nowadays in Belgium if you go out on the streets with anything that vaguely looks real - there's a good chance you'll get shot.

So he'll be sorted - with the exception of the Brodie for now.

 

However, I want to also make an effort and commemorate those who came over here from Scotland.

 

That's where I need the help please

Being a Scot, I want to get kitted out in what a Black Watch soldier would have worn around 1918.
I already have a Black Watch kilt (had it for years), and so far I believe I also need to get:

Tunic, adapted for kilt.
Daft question - what was worn under the tunic? Collarless smock type cotton shirt?
Webbing, gas mask case (won't have the money for gas mask!)
Kit remains a bit of grey area for me - but from what I understand, kit "issue" was not 100% clear cut
Tam o Shanter with (small) red hackle. It's not clear to me if there would be a Black Watch badge as well? Some did? Some didn't?
Brodie helmet (with hackle?) 
Boots. I'm not sure whether they should be brown or black? I believe brown?
Long socks - brown coloured. No idea where I can get them!
Garters - definitely need help there ?
Spats
I will skip the kilt apron for now

 

Appreciate any help with advice (uniform specifics and where to buy if possible). I'd like to remain as close to "authentic" 1918 Black Watch, but without going mad.

 

Cheers!

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16 hours ago, OCB said:

 

 

That's where I need the help please

Being a Scot, I want to get kitted out in what a Black Watch soldier would have worn around 1918.
I already have a Black Watch kilt (had it for years), and so far I believe I also need to get:

Tunic, adapted for kilt.
Daft question - what was worn under the tunic? Collarless smock type cotton shirt?
Webbing, gas mask case (won't have the money for gas mask!)
Kit remains a bit of grey area for me - but from what I understand, kit "issue" was not 100% clear cut
Tam o Shanter with (small) red hackle. It's not clear to me if there would be a Black Watch badge as well? Some did? Some didn't?
Brodie helmet (with hackle?) 
Boots. I'm not sure whether they should be brown or black? I believe brown?
Long socks - brown coloured. No idea where I can get them!
Garters - definitely need help there ?
Spats
I will skip the kilt apron for now

 

Appreciate any help with advice (uniform specifics and where to buy if possible). I'd like to remain as close to "authentic" 1918 Black Watch, but without going mad.

 

Cheers!

 

Best place for kids WW1 kit on a budget is probably Soldier of Fortune in the UK - kit is generally reasonably priced for the quality involved, especially if for children, which they already do a lot as standard:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/SearchResults.aspx?s=children's&cat=0

 

Their British WW1 section in general:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/shop-re-enactment-british-ww1-category,754

 

Points to note:

 

"Tunic, adapted for kilt." - this was officially abolished at the start of the war, though unofficially continued to a much lesser degree throughout the war. By 1918 it was more common simply to wear unaltered jackets, sometimes with the skirts pinned back to emulate the altered look a little. SoF has these, trousers, longer puttees and braces in kids sizes:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/childrens-british-ww1-sd-tunic-product,15725

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/childrens-british-ww1-sd-trousers-product,15726

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/childrens-ww1-putties-product,11060

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/childrens-ww1-elastic-white-braces-product,15819

 

"Daft question - what was worn under the tunic? Collarless smock type cotton shirt?" - the standard British shirt was collarless grey wool/flannel. Sof have these, but not child sized:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/ww1-greyback-flannel-shirt-product,12199

 

"Webbing, gas mask case (won't have the money for gas mask!)" - SoF actually have a simplified version of the 1908 equipment aimed at children, and various masks:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/childrens-1908-british-ww1-webbing-set-product,15730

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/ww1-smoke-ph-hood-bag-product,12262

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/british-army-ww1-ph-hood-p-helmet-product,12520

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/ww1-small-box-respirator-bag-british-gas-mask-bag-only-product,12451

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/british-sbr-small-box-respirator-and-bag-ww1-gas-mask-product,12559

 

Tam, though not specifically childrens, might be too big: :

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/tam-o-shanter-bonnet-product,14391

 

Brodie, though again not specifically childrens, might be too big:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/ww1-british-mk1-brodie-helmet-product,13900

 

They do however have small sized trench caps for kids:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/childrens-british-ww1-trench-cap-product,15727

 

Boots - brown or black is fine, they do black down to a UK size 7, brown to a 6:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/british-ww1-b5-boots-brown-ankle-boot-product,12445

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/british-b5-boot-black-product,17037

 

"Long socks" - known as hose tops. Worn with normal socks:

 

http://www.sofmilitary.co.uk/hose-tops-product,9155

 

Garters and short puttees to be worn with hose tops - I believe modern Black Watch would suffice (but double check first) and short puttees are available on Ebay easily, eg:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tartanista-Plain-Tartan-Royal-Stewart-Black-Watch-Many-More-Kilt-Sock-Flashes/173083199722?var=471829026140&epid=1628708645&hash=item284c9008ea:g:Lj0AAOSwODFaUqiu

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Original-Pair-of-Vintage-Royal-Marines-Commando-Khaki-Wool-Puttees-1960s/272871308240?hash=item3f8865bbd0:g:l-wAAOSwk6pZgzg

 

Edited by Andrew Upton
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Thanks - Soldier of Fortune UK + The History Bunker were the 2 sites I'd already "discovered", and been calling/mailing both.
I will be getting the order on this weekend, certainly for my boy.

 

As an aside, I contacted the Black Watch museum - got this as a reply, thought it would interest those on here

 

Tam O’Shanter [Tammy]

Red Hackle ONLY worn in 1914 with the addition of a brass button.  This was born until 1916 until the introduction of the Brodie Steel Helmet.  Hackle only [that is identification enough for the Black Watch].

Shirt

Collarless 3-button Victorian grayback shirt, blue cotton in the summer and flannel in the winter.  Below the 3-button was a white panel where the regimental number was written.

Khaki sleeveless, ‘V’ neck jumper [tank top]

Jacket

Until 1915 Highland design with the round cutaway jacket, to accommodate the kilt and sporran.  Then the same square cut design the same as the rest of the British Army.

Kilt

The kilt was worn until 1916 and no sporrans were worn in the trenches.  Parade only.  In 1916 kilts were changed to trews as the introduction of Mustard Gas and burning of the skin, trews gave a certain amount of protection.  [Along with the change of jacket]

Hose

Knee length Khaki socks

Flashes

[Garters] were worn with a double single-layer red flashes.

Putties

Long putties (9 feet) and would be wound from the ankle upwards to about 4 inches form the knee NOT downwards [Cavalry].

Boots

These were brown (Black for UK service only) Some may have crept over

In Winter

Khaki balaclava, gloves and scarves, knitted by the solders or sent over from friends and family.

Sites to visit

www.sofmilitary.co.uk   go to the re-enactment section and then British WW1.

Hope this has been of some help and an image of how you get on would be interesting.

Best wishes

Jan Radford

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10 hours ago, OCB said:

Thanks - Soldier of Fortune UK + The History Bunker were the 2 sites I'd already "discovered", and been calling/mailing both.
I will be getting the order on this weekend, certainly for my boy.

 

Avoid THB like the plague, grossly overpriced and very poor quality kit for the most part.

 

Edited by Andrew Upton
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So if not Soldier of Fortune - then where?

He's not going to be re-enacting in the kit - so I don't need battle worthy spec - but I would expect for the price that it would be decent quality.

 

 

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