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Rewe-Netherexe

Is this Queen's Own Cameron Highlander uniform?

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Rewe-Netherexe

I am researching the men named from WW1 on our local war memorial in Devon, UK. One of them, Lance Corporal William Isaac Poole served & died as 2079 with the 7th Dragoon Guards. His brother John Howard Poole also fell (13588, Dorsetshire Regiment, 5th Battalion).

 
I have made contact with relatives in Canada who have sent this photo that they understand is of William Isaac, but I have been unable to identify the (presumably dress) uniform as Dragoons.
 
According to York Army Museum, they think it MAY be Queen's Own Cameron Highlander dress uniform but are not sure. The collar badges & belt buckle do look to my very inexpert eye to be a possible match. However, I would value any feedback about this photo - is it QOCH, can anything be deduced about rank or other information about the wearer or location? And is that a feather in his cap or a markon the photo?
 
If QOCH then presumably it is NOT William Isaac Poole wearing it, unless it was borrowed - though it does seem to fit perfectly. In either of these cases we will presumably never know for sure who this is looking so good …
 
1472232420_WillPooleLRm-2.jpg.f446a46a442563c15bb64bfa67fba64c.jpg
 
Here is a close-up showing sporran badge,sword 'case' & belt buckle with, I hope, slightly improved clarity:
 
1140413096_WillPooleLRm.jpg.49681c88df05cf950fddff8129c42201.jpg
 
With thanks in anticipation,   Paul
 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

Yes, he is a piper of the Queen’s Own (Cameron) Highlanders around the time of the 2nd Anglo/Boer War.  It’s often forgotten now, but at first only the pipers of the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) wore a feather bonnet and other regiment’s pipers had just a glengarry and black cock feathers as seen here.  It was only by intercedence of King George V that Scots Guards adopted bonnets, followed subsequently by other regiments. His two good conduct badges (stripes) indicate 5-6 years regular army service without blemish.  He wears the special pipers sporran with silver bound top and three knobs brought into use in the 1850s, the pipe major had a yet more elaborate type where the cantle was decorated with silver metal all around its circumference, and you can see that in the coloured image.
 

B32FBD8A-7282-434B-AC18-6B15DD3DEFB2.jpeg

BE6D321A-5E6A-47D4-B8CF-8E06ECBE4712.jpeg

A47A2FEE-6464-4CF6-9C71-458A79A9E601.jpeg

6457DF4F-1CB8-478D-9144-C26FE5802F96.jpeg

B7189244-6363-45A3-88C7-F0D2EE614869.jpeg

DC737E0B-518F-47FA-AE0A-4DA94156C466.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Rewe-Netherexe

Thank you so much for your rapid and detailed response @FROGSMILE . This rules out William Isaac Poole, born 1890 and (as far as I know), a resident of Devon until he joined up in 1908.

 

I suppose it is conceivable that it is an ancestor of his with Scottish (and musical) roots?

 

The plot thickens ...

 

Paul

 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Rewe-Netherexe said:

Thank you so much for your rapid and detailed response @FROGSMILE . This rules out William Isaac Poole, born 1890 and (as far as I know), a resident of Devon until he joined up in 1908.

 

I suppose it is conceivable that it is an ancestor of his with Scottish (and musical) roots?

 

The plot thickens ...

 

Paul

 


Yes, he could be an ancestor, although it would be fairly unusual (but not impossible) for a piper to not be a Scotsman, so it would suggest at least that one branch of his family tree came from Scotland.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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TullochArd
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Yes, he is a piper of the Queen’s Own (Cameron) Highlanders around the time of the 2nd Anglo/Boer War.  It’s often forgotten now, but at first only the pipers of the Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) wore a feather bonnet and other regiment’s pipers had just a glengarry and black cock feathers as seen here.  It was only by intercedence of King George V that Scots Guards adopted bonnets, followed subsequently by other regiments. His two good conduct badges (stripes) indicate 5-6 years regular army service without blemish.  He wears the special pipers sporran with silver bound top and three knobs brought into use in the 1850s, the pipe major had a yet more elaborate type where the cantle was decorated with silver metal all around its circumference, and you can see that in the coloured image.
 

B32FBD8A-7282-434B-AC18-6B15DD3DEFB2.jpeg

BE6D321A-5E6A-47D4-B8CF-8E06ECBE4712.jpeg

A47A2FEE-6464-4CF6-9C71-458A79A9E601.jpeg

6457DF4F-1CB8-478D-9144-C26FE5802F96.jpeg

B7189244-6363-45A3-88C7-F0D2EE614869.jpeg

DC737E0B-518F-47FA-AE0A-4DA94156C466.jpeg

 

 

The photo is of a piper in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.  Loathe as I am to contradict my learned friend Frogsmile .......... but the pipers of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders did not wear Blackcock feathers.  They wore Eagle feathers - an item of dress carried forward to the pipers of the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons), The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons) and now to the current 4 SCOTS.  Interestingly the belt buckle worn in the OP also an officers' Dirk Belt buckle.  He also wears a 79th pattern dirk - outwardly similar to the issued item - but on closer examination far more ornate and unquestionably peculiar to this Regiment.

 

 

Cameron Pipers Dirk.jpg

Edited by TullochArd

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

Thank you for correcting me about the Eagle feathers, although I knew of that regimental practice it had slipped my memory.  Kicking myself because it’s pretty obvious from the images that I posted that they’re Eagle feathers!  
It seems that at that time the pipers used the same, or similar (perhaps lesser quality) dirk belt clasp/buckle as that used by officers.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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gordon92

I would refine the dating of the original photograph to 1903-1914, probably closer to 1903. It was not until 1903 in the Cameron Highlanders that the shoulder "wings" were added to the green frock worn by pipers on foreign service. This would, thus, make this man a piper of the 2nd Battalion who were on overseas service 1899-1914 not long after they were raised in 1897.

 

Mike

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Ron Abbott
Posted (edited)

The man is indeed a Piper in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.  The uniform including all the accoutrements and furniture are correct for the period  (early 1900s?) including the sporran pattern and cantle, the dirk, plaid brooch, belt buckle, collar badges etc. Note the tunic/frock for overseas service.

 

Are you aware that there were men surnamed Poole in the Cameron Highlanders in the late 1980s/early 1900s including 6319 Joseph Poole and 6341 James Poole (albeit that there are no indications that the former was a Piper and the latter would have been too old to be the man in the photo)?  

 

If that photo is from the early 1900s, then clearly it is not William isaac Poole.....considering he was apparently born in 1889/1890.

Edited by Ron Abbott

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, gordon92 said:

I would refine the dating of the original photograph to 1903-1914, probably closer to 1903. It was not until 1903 in the Cameron Highlanders that the shoulder "wings" were added to the green frock worn by pipers on foreign service. This would, thus, make this man a piper of the 2nd Battalion who were on overseas service 1899-1914 not long after they were raised in 1897.

 

Mike


Brilliant Mike, all that chimes with me.  It’s interesting what you say about pipers wings, as it was at the same time as festooned bugle cords were adopted by drummers.  It’s good to see you posting again.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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TullochArd

It looks likely this photo is not William Isaac Poole.  Apparently William Isaac Poole's pre-Great War Service Record survives and although I don't have the full access he apparently served Sep 1908 - Oct 10 in Egypt (4) and Oct 10 - Sep 14 India Frontier (6g).  Dates that tally precisely with 7DG 's movements (Egypt Sep 08 to Oct 10 and India, Secunderbad Oct 10 to Mar 14).  He was 7DG throughout.

 

However 2 Camerons (the fellow in the photo) were also in India (Bangalore and Poona) 1909 to 1914. 

 

A long forgotten chum perhaps?

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Rewe-Netherexe
6 hours ago, Ron Abbott said:

Are you aware that there were men surnamed Poole in the Cameron Highlanders in the late 1980s/early 1900s including 6319 Joseph Poole and 6341 James Poole (albeit that there are no indications that the former was a Piper and the latter would have been too old to be the man in the photo)? 

 

Thanks for this Ron. I had tried to search but did not know where to look apart from war dead on CWGC site. WIlliam Isaac & John Poole's father was called James Poole - born 1864 (& died 1965!) but was born and always lived in Devon as far as I can see.

 

Also, many thanks for all the really interesting & helpful feedback so far from all contributors.

 

Paul

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gordon92
19 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


Brilliant Mike, all that chimes with me.  It’s interesting what you say about pipers wings, as it was at the same time as festooned bugle cords were adopted by drummers.  It’s good to see you posting again.

 

On 30/07/2020 at 12:01, FROGSMILE said:

 

B7189244-6363-45A3-88C7-F0D2EE614869.jpeg

 

 

It is good to be back, Frogsmile. The image you posted of the 3 pipers is quite interesting on a number of counts. It is undoubtedly from the mid-1950s in either Korea or Aden where the 1st Battalion was stationed.  It shows them wearing Number 1 dress tropical coatees and Royal Stewart tartan which Cameron pipers wore dutifully if not enthusiastically from 1943. The pipers on the left still wear the old 79th pattern circlet plaid brooch retained by both pipers and bandsman; I had not realized that this distinction continued this late into the Regiment's lifetime. For reasons unknown to me, the pipe major always used the standard Cameron plaid brooch. The P/M on the right is the much venerated Evan MacRae, BEM and Highland Society of London Gold Medalist.  He joined the Camerons as a boy soldier in the 1930s and fought with the 1st Camerons in India and Burma. He became pipe major after the War at the Depot and then with the 1st Battalion. After retirement he was a competition piper and piping instructor. Where did you find this great photo?

 

Mike

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FROGSMILE
15 hours ago, gordon92 said:

 

 

It is good to be back, Frogsmile. The image you posted of the 3 pipers is quite interesting on a number of counts. It is undoubtedly from the mid-1950s in either Korea or Aden where the 1st Battalion was stationed.  It shows them wearing Number 1 dress tropical coatees and Royal Stewart tartan which Cameron pipers wore dutifully if not enthusiastically from 1943. The pipers on the left still wear the old 79th pattern circlet plaid brooch retained by both pipers and bandsman; I had not realized that this distinction continued this late into the Regiment's lifetime. For reasons unknown to me, the pipe major always used the standard Cameron plaid brooch. The P/M on the right is the much venerated Evan MacRae, BEM and Highland Society of London Gold Medalist.  He joined the Camerons as a boy soldier in the 1930s and fought with the 1st Camerons in India and Burma. He became pipe major after the War at the Depot and then with the 1st Battalion. After retirement he was a competition piper and piping instructor. Where did you find this great photo?

 

Mike


I’m sorry, but I cannot recall where the photo of PM Macrae came from.  
 

I know that British military terminology can sometimes seem impenetrable from across the Atlantic, but for reference the white doublet was No3 dress (Scottish Pattern) at that time and the term “coatee” is/was only used for a jacket with tails.

 

Here’s a photo of Piper William Campbell from a similar era to that of the OP photo.

 

 

BB7BB900-E3C2-4B5A-8FBB-D16BD2E9A751.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Donald D
23 hours ago, gordon92 said:

 

 

It is good to be back, Frogsmile. The image you posted of the 3 pipers is quite interesting on a number of counts. It is undoubtedly from the mid-1950s in either Korea or Aden where the 1st Battalion was stationed.  It shows them wearing Number 1 dress tropical coatees and Royal Stewart tartan which Cameron pipers wore dutifully if not enthusiastically from 1943. The pipers on the left still wear the old 79th pattern circlet plaid brooch retained by both pipers and bandsman; I had not realized that this distinction continued this late into the Regiment's lifetime. For reasons unknown to me, the pipe major always used the standard Cameron plaid brooch. The P/M on the right is the much venerated Evan MacRae, BEM and Highland Society of London Gold Medalist.  He joined the Camerons as a boy soldier in the 1930s and fought with the 1st Camerons in India and Burma. He became pipe major after the War at the Depot and then with the 1st Battalion. After retirement he was a competition piper and piping instructor. Where did you find this great photo?

 

Mike

Evan MacRae became a Customs and Excise Officer, working at Gladstone Dock Liverpool. A great friend and work colleague of my Uncle Alan.

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gordon92
8 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


I’m sorry, but I cannot recall where the photo of PM Macrae came from.  
 

I know that British military terminology can sometimes seem impenetrable from across the Atlantic, but for reference the white doublet was No3 dress (Scottish Pattern) at that time and the term “coatee” is/was only used for a jacket with tails.

 

Here’s a photo of Piper William Campbell from a similar era to that of the OP photo.

 

Frogsmile,

 

Thank you for posting that excellent photo of Piper Campbell.

 

You are, of course, correct that ceremonial tropical dress is number 3, my mistake.  I would point out that from the 1950s through 1981 the Highland Brigade and later the Highland regiments of the Scottish Division did wear coatees in #1 and #3 dress.  The two Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders seen in the first image below are in piper green coatees.  The yellow slash on the tail is visible, the last vestige of the facing colour (outside of Mess Dress). During this same period the Lowland regiments dressed in blue doublets. The #3 dress white coatee can be seen in the second image below of The Black Watch in Cyprus 1960.  The tail is difficult to see but is discernible on the first man in the front rank. The ceremonial dress was standardized in 1981 with all regiments of the Scottish Division, Highland and Lowland, adopting archer green doublets (a rather uninspiring shade compared to the previous piper green imo) for #1 dress.  Hope this is of interest.

 

Mike

ASH 1950s.jpg

20200801_141415.jpg

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gordon92
53 minutes ago, Donald D said:

Evan MacRae became a Customs and Excise Officer, working at Gladstone Dock Liverpool. A great friend and work colleague of my Uncle Alan.

Many thanks, Donald D, for this additional information on Evan MacRae.  My familiarity with him was through my late friend David Murray who served with Evan in the 1st Camerons through WW2 and thereafter.

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FROGSMILE
50 minutes ago, gordon92 said:

 

Frogsmile,

 

Thank you for posting that excellent photo of Piper Campbell.

 

You are, of course, correct that ceremonial tropical dress is number 3, my mistake.  I would point out that from the 1950s through 1981 the Highland Brigade and later the Highland regiments of the Scottish Division did wear coatees in #1 and #3 dress.  The two Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders seen in the first image below are in piper green coatees.  The yellow slash on the tail is visible, the last vestige of the facing colour (outside of Mess Dress). During this same period the Lowland regiments dressed in blue doublets. The #3 dress white coatee can be seen in the second image below of The Black Watch in Cyprus 1960.  The tail is difficult to see but is discernible on the first man in the front rank. The ceremonial dress was standardized in 1981 with all regiments of the Scottish Division, Highland and Lowland, adopting archer green doublets (a rather uninspiring shade compared to the previous piper green imo) for #1 dress.  Hope this is of interest.

 

Mike

 


Hello Mike, mea culpa, you’re quite right, I’d totally forgotten until you just pointed it out, about that brief resurrection of a coatee in the British Army’s wardrobe.  Excellent images and thank you for reminding me.  I think that they are quite attractive garments.  It’s interesting that the Cameron’s Corporal in the colour photo is an SAS veteran. 

 

 

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Ron Abbott
3 hours ago, Donald D said:

Evan MacRae became a Customs and Excise Officer, working at Gladstone Dock Liverpool. A great friend and work colleague of my Uncle Alan.

 

 

He was also Pipe-Major of the Liverpool Scottish from 1961 to 1967.  

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gordon92
19 hours ago, Ron Abbott said:

 

 

He was also Pipe-Major of the Liverpool Scottish from 1961 to 1967.  

I was wondering where Evan MacRae had gone after the 1961 amalgamation.  Thanks for mentioning, Ron.

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