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gordon92

Comparison: Balmorals and Tam O’Shanters

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PhilB

Is the TOS a resurrection of the Scottish blue bonnet of medieval times?

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gordon92
4 hours ago, depaor01 said:

OK. In the interest of quantifying the extent of reuse of WWI uniforms in the Auxiliary RIC, and the fact these are 1921 vintage so within CWGC timeframe, here we go...  If mods decide that it isn't appropriate feel free to move elsewhere.

 

Credit: South Dublin Libraries. Permission to reuse for education and research only.

 

Original site for this image: http://source.southdublinlibraries.ie/handle/10599/9127

Great photos, Dave.  These RIC men appear to be wearing Balmoral bonnets.  It would be interesting to discover the rationale for this headgear selection.  A cousin to the the Balmoral is the Irish caubeen; it is quite similar but does not have the toori on top.

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gordon92
3 hours ago, 4thGordons said:

Here's a relatively random selection - but with lots of Gordons.  The odd South African and Canadian too perhaps. Showing styles, affectations in wear and also covers. And a couple like the first one because I just like them!

Fantastic collection of photos, Chris.  Lots of Tams showing various styles of wearing the bonnet and some Balmorals also.  There are a few Scottish Horse soldiers wearing the Balmorals.  I think the men in the Band photo are probably 6th HLI but cannot see th cap badges clear enough to be sure.

20 minutes ago, PhilB said:

Is the TOS a resurrection of the Scottish blue bonnet of medieval times?

I would say that the Balmoral is the direct descendant of the ancient Blue Bonnet.

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Steven Broomfield

Can we coin the phrase 'ToS porn'?

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depaor01
15 minutes ago, Steven Broomfield said:

Can we coin the phrase 'ToS porn'?

I was thinking of Tam O'Geddon myself. 

Dave 

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depaor01
1 hour ago, gordon92 said:

Great photos, Dave.  These RIC men appear to be wearing Balmoral bonnets.  It would be interesting to discover the rationale for this headgear selection.  A cousin to the the Balmoral is the Irish caubeen; it is quite similar but does not have the toori on top.

Thanks for that gordon92.

I believe there was no rationale at all for the selection of the Auxiliary RIC kit. It was an emergency force equipped with mixtures of RIC and Khaki WWI kit in varying combinations. Hence the local "Black and Tan" nickname. 

Dave 

 

Edited by depaor01

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daggers

I hesitate to correct one of our more learned pals' efforts, or rather the published Osprey piece he appended in #9, but the Liverpool Scottish were 10th KLR, not 8th as shown.  I am sure Ian Riley must be away or asleep or he would have jumped in sooner.

D

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MBrockway
1 hour ago, daggers said:

I hesitate to correct one of our more learned pals' efforts, or rather the published Osprey piece he appended in #9, but the Liverpool Scottish were 10th KLR, not 8th as shown.  I am sure Ian Riley must be away or asleep or he would have jumped in sooner.

D

 

daggers - I hang my head in shame for not noticing that myself.

 

Here's some splendid early WW2 photos of Tom McCormack, 5 Troop (Liverpool Scottish), No 2 Commando wearing both versions of his Liverpool Scottish headgear.  The glengarry was worn with their Forbes kilts, the Balmoral when in battledress trousers.

 

Out of period, but I'm sure the Mods will indulge me since they show the changes in the cut and style by mid century and echo what's shown in the plate in Post #9.

 

5af7724b17565_KenMcAllistercompanioncomparisonphoto.JPG.6d93789b14a57167e3049304954da40f.JPG

 

... and here are Syd Murdoch and Bill Hughes, also 5 Troop (Liverpool Scottish), No 2 Commando from the same period ...

5af77231c27f9_SydMURDOCHBillHUGHES-5Troop2CommandoDumfries1941-grouppicture01.jpg.4ea101f12591f531054aaa384fd229f5.jpg

 

All three were billeted with my family in Ayr in 1941-42 from where they left for the St Nazaire Raid.

 

Tom died of wounds in a German hospital a fortnight after the raid, while Syd and Bill spent the rest of the war as POW's.

 

There's more on this here: Operation Chariot 76th Anniversary on Skindles (Pals who've opted out of Skindles may not be able to reach this ... and the whole topic will disappear as it ages anyway)

 

Technically the Liverpool Scottish were QOCH by this time, but I certainly should have spotted the howler in Mike Chappell's caption  :blush:

 

Mark

 

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gordon92
17 hours ago, MBrockway said:

... and here are Syd Murdoch and Bill Hughes, also 5 Troop (Liverpool Scottish), No 2 Commando from the same period ...

5af77231c27f9_SydMURDOCHBillHUGHES-5Troop2CommandoDumfries1941-grouppicture01.jpg.4ea101f12591f531054aaa384fd229f5.jpg

 

Mark....Many thanks for posting the link to the thread on the St Nazaire raid.  I had not previously seen it.

 

In your above photo, Syd Murdoch definite wears a Balmoral.  The man below him has on a TOS; notice the wider headband and larger diameter crown that is only slightly reduced from the Great War headdress.  It is noteworthy that all wear their bonnets cocked to their right, quite in contrast to the vanilla symmetric style prevalent in recent years.

 

Mike

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MBrockway

My pleasure Mike.  5 Troop (Liverpool Scottish), No 2 Commando also hold the distinction of being the last British Army unit to go into battle in the kilt.  There are a few individuals in the kilt later in the war, like Lord Lovat's piper Piper Bill Millin landing on D-Day, and some Canadian units may have been in action in the kilt later than Operation Chariot, but Donald Roy's 5 Troop was the last complete British unit to hold this honour.

 

Mark

 

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gordon92
On 5/12/2018 at 12:41, 4thGordons said:

4.jpg.f63fcee360d69df706a7647035bc6bf7.jpg

                                                                                                                                                      South African?

 

Chris.......Missed this photo my first time through along with your tentative identification.  Yes, I believe this man is a soldier of the 4th South African Infantry (S. African Scottish).  The Springbok badge is visible.  This unit was composed of volunteers from the Cape Town Highlanders and Transvaal Scottish.  The Transvaal Scottish wore a diced Balmoral, and this man looks like he retained that bonnet while serving with the S. African Brigade in France.

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PhilB

As Wiki says "The Balmoral was sometimes simply described as synonymous with the tam o' shanter", could someone explain the essential difference?:(

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gordon92
44 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

My pleasure Mike.  5 Troop (Liverpool Scottish), No 2 Commando also hold the distinction of being the last British Army unit to go into battle in the kilt.  There are a few individuals in the kilt later in the war, like Lord Lovat's piper Piper Bill Millin landing on D-Day, and some Canadian units may have been in action in the kilt later than Operation Chariot, but Donald Roy's 5 Troop was the last complete British unit to hold this honour.

 

Mark

 

Mark....You have corrected my misimpression that the last unit to wear the kilt in action was the 1st Camerons at LaBaseee and Dunkirk in May 1940.  Yet, over a year and a half later we have the Liverpool Scottish at St. Nazaire in kilts!

 

Mike

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gordon92
19 minutes ago, PhilB said:

As Wiki says "The Balmoral was sometimes simply described as synonymous with the tam o' shanter", could someone explain the essential difference?:(

PhilB.......The most significant difference was the structure and manufacturing process.  The Balmoral had a one piece body.  The body of the TOS was two pieces, the crown and sidewalls allowing for a more efficient bulk manufacturing process.  See post #1 of this thread for more details.

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mudcatsgt

It was mentioned that Joe Sweeney wrote an article in a French military magazine about the Scottish headwear.  He mentioned No 279 (thinking Militaria International), but that doesn't seem to be listed in the contents.  Does anyone know the magazine and/or issue number? 
Thanks

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Lantokay

Hi everyone. I've joined the forum hoping that you guys might be able to help me identify the beret worn by my great grandmother in the following photos. The pictures were taken in Exeter prison, Devon, England in 1917. Great grandmother Edith May had stolen a pair of shoes and a silk dress in the town of Devonport, nr. Plymouth, Devon, England. She was homeless at the time. She was sentenced to 6 weeks hard labour in Exeter prison.

I think it's a military beret, but would appreciate some more expert opinions! Also, would the coat possibly be military issue?

The photos come from the Devon County Archives: a large volume of photos of prisoners in Exeter prison from late 19th century to early 20th century.

EMW1.jpg

EMW2.jpg

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FROGSMILE

Her dress is civilian rather than prison uniform, which suggests a police station photo rather than a prison one, as the latter were more usually taken in utilitarian prison clothing with the prison number written on.  Perhaps Exeter prison took the photo immediately on arrival from court at that time.

The knitted bonnet is typical of the boiled and felted wool type made in the town of Kilmarnock for generations.  

A similar style of bonnet was made in Wales and called a Monmouth Hat (there were various sizes and styles), but the tuft on top, known as a ‘toorie’, indicates that it is most likely the Scottish type.  This is not unusual as women’s bonnets made in Scotland were commonly marketed across Britain and Ireland.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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MBrockway

100% agree with Frogsmile - I see no military uniform elements anywhere in her dress.

 

Stewarton, five miles from Kilmarnock, is still known as Bonnet Toun.

 

Mark

Edited by MBrockway

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Neill Gilhooley

Lantokay, interesting pictures - and a serious looking hair pin - best of luck with your research.

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Steven Broomfield
47 minutes ago, Neill Gilhooley said:

Lantokay, interesting pictures - and a serious looking hair pin - best of luck with your research.

 

Looks like it goes through her head. Not surprised she looks a bit ... shall we say ... dour.

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Pete Marshall
Posted (edited)

Hello there...

 

@gordon92 thank you for your very informative post.  This has been very helpful to me.  I’m just doing some research as we are getting a batch of officer’s balmorals made for a company sized representation of 1st Bn KOSB in 3rd Div.  Albeit WW2.

 

I have been to the Regimental museum and studied all the period photos I can find including examining an officer’s balmoral from display at the museum (made by Wm Anderson).  The balmoral has long ribbons on the back.

 

It is evident from wartime photos of KOSB (various Bns like 4th, 5th and 6th in 1943) that balmorals had ribbons.  It seems to have been a standard thing for KOSB.  There are also post war photos and post war footage from 1946/47 which show the ribbons on the balmorals.

 

There is also some picture evidence of officer’s without ribbons and just a false bow.  I suppose it is possible that that had a balmoral purchased from another tailor which was not to KOSB regulation.  This may have been fairly common with CANLOAN officers and replacements etc.  Or that in some cases the ribbons were tucked inside the bonnet...

 

Do you have any specific information on the use of ribboned balmorals by KOSB?  I do not wish to hijack or clutter your thread with WW2 chatter but it would be very helpful.  I have attached some photos of the museum balmoral and also some photos of KOSB officers in the ribboned balmorals.

 

Kind regards,

 

Pete

B69E2FD8-A36C-4492-B995-40ACE2A393B0.jpeg

3B7FC56C-0EA3-47B0-8C53-FFE785AF1AAA.jpeg

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493EF46A-5551-4FBD-9EDA-7732C693CDB5.jpeg

465542AA-47D0-4573-B6A9-63E2B0604B70.jpeg

33A9D3D5-C72F-4F4D-871B-92E942AC76CC.jpeg

A1C662A2-34BB-44CF-AAEE-D18BA8A88C4B.jpeg

8C8B3D63-0AF4-4B7A-91F9-65A8E3F18AEA.jpeg

92DC45A4-F6F5-420C-A0AC-89F2744A7646.jpeg

E9398951-85CE-4C6E-AEE6-2B37CA2F40A1.jpeg

4B97783F-6F3B-4AED-8E3C-6C7A4F66D223.jpeg

Edited by Pete Marshall
Correcting some typos

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