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Tom Wilkie, 1st Black Watch


Ian Robertson
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Hello, I wonder if some one can help me. I am currently involved in researching my great uncle , Tom Wilkie, army history. I have a picture of him which I have attached. It was probably taken in his barracks at Aldershot sometime just before the out break of the war in the summer of 1914. He was in the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch and as you can see he was at this time a lance corporal. I know that this is probably basic stuff but what does the badge above the L/Cpl cheveron on his right sleeve signify? Also am I correcting in thinking that the inverted chevron low above his left cuff indicates service of two years? I would be very grateful for any help.

Thanks in anticipation

Ian

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Ian,

Great picture. Looks like he is a battalion scout. What looks like an inverted stripe is a good conduct chevron. What is noticeable about this picture is it looks like he is wearing Black Watch tartan trews, very common as a 'barrack' dress in the highland regiments - it kept the kilt in good order.

Aye

Tom McC

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post-16112-1163118691.jpg

Hello, I wonder if some one can help me. I am currently involved in researching my great uncle , Tom Wilkie, army history. I have a picture of him which I have attached. It was probably taken in his barracks at Aldershot sometime just before the out break of the war in the summer of 1914. He was in the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch and as you can see he was at this time a lance corporal. I know that this is probably basic stuff but what does the badge above the L/Cpl cheveron on his right sleeve signify? Also am I correcting in thinking that the inverted chevron low above his left cuff indicates service of two years? I would be very grateful for any help.

Thanks in anticipation

Ian

Can't see from here.But if the badge was bigger maybe I would be able to help.

Luc

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Tom,

Many thanks for this information which confirmed what I had been told about him and made my day. Tom and his young sister (my grandmother) were close and she often used to talk about him. When she died in 1977 my father inherited some of the memorobilia but I was given Tom's photo album from which the attached photograph was taken. There was a theory that he had been a Scout/ runner. Apparently, when he was killed and his belongings were returned to my Great Grandfather in Dundee they included a revolver which, it was said, had been given to Tom by his officer. My Great Grandfather went, with the revolver, to live with my Grandmother and her family in the mid thirties but she was uneasy with the thought of having the gun in the house and she got her half brother to chuck it in the local quarry!!!

The picture of Tom has been cropped to fit on the site. The original shows all his hit stowed on the shelves above him which includes Busby, Kilt, Sporran, Spats, Bayonette and a bag stencilled with his company letter and his service number, 2098.It is the only one in the album of him but it does includes pictures of two of his comrades in similar poses and I am hoping to identify them by using their service numbers. There are also several studio pictures of some of his comrades in full dress uniform and a few from the batallion camp in 1914.

Many thanks again for your help, there is a fair bet that you will probably come across me on other threads as I struggle to work out the identity of the other soldiers!

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Hello,

What a great photo. What company was he in? I will check my Black Watch Chronicle 1913 to see if he is mentioned for anything. Are there any other named photo's in the album, or any photo's of members of A company?

Regards,

Stewart

PS I have a Bn Scout badge which I can scan for you, if you would like to see one?

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Hi gnr. ktrha

The letter of his company is obscured by his busby slightly but it looks as if he was in C Coy. He didn't mark the back of any of his photos with any info so the chances of working out who most of them are is not great. There are, however, two taken in similar poses, Private 2223 who was in Coy A and private 2484 who was in B Coy. I downloaded their medal cards this morning and it looks as if they are John Smith(!) and George Green respectively. On neither of their cards does it say that they were KIA or discharged. John Smith was later a serjeant but according to the card George Green remained a private.

I would like very much to see amore detailed picture of the Scouts badge, thanks for your help

post-16112-1163163843.jpg

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Ian,

Whilst Stewart is getting a picture of the badge, here is a link to Rank at a glance, which has a drawing of the Scout badge:

http://www.diggerhistory.info/images/rank/Page30.jpg

Also, would you like the readout from the Soldiers Died in the Great War CD? What is interesting about the other two photos is that these soldiers are wearing 'Blue Patrols' [note collar badges and cuffs]. Black Watch often wore this for walking out.

These are excellent photos, it could be worth sending copies to Balhousie Castle (Tom Smyth).

Stewart

Do you have a picture of a 4th Black Watch TF shoulder title please?

T

4

RH

Aye

Tom McC

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Tom,

Many thanks for the offer of the readout from SDGW which would be great. I have pictures of Tom's grave etc but I know nothing about John Smith and George Green so any help would be appreciated.

I know that individual soldiers' records were damaged by the blitz and that less than half remain and those that remain are not availble on line. Is it possible to find out whether a particular soldier's record still exists before visting the archive

regards

Ian

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The fleur-de-lys badge is the Scout badge. I believe this version to be the small variety of the First Class [or Battalion] badge, made in gilding metal and in worsted. This one may be a wartime worsted one ..... there were lots of varieties, some unofficially produced.

The chevron, point-up, lower left sleeve is the Good Conduct badge for 2 year's service.

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Good photoes . the first pic shows A coy and the 2nd, looks like B coy , he has marksmans crossed rifles badge ,left forarm and it`s a Feather Bonnet, not a busby . I hope you don`t mind my corection

H

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Hello,

Here is the badge. I will check the Chronicle for info tonight. Do you have any other group photo's of the Black Watch? I am looking for one of a pte who at this time would have the 1911 Durbar medal and QSA. He was at Edinburgh and Aldershot in 1913-14. I've got a small newspaper photo of him, but keep on looking at all battalion photo's to see if i can spot him :blink:

Tom, I do have a 4th Bn title, are you needing a photo. I have an example of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 6/7th part of a 4/5th, 2 V RH and HCB titles.

Regards,

Stewart

post-3488-1163189877.jpg

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Hector,

No problem: I knew it probably wasn't called a busby, I just wasn't sure what the correct name for it is. I appreciate the information and I would prefer to be corrected rather than continue to call it the wrong thing

Stewart

thanks for posting the picture of the badge. I have several photographs, a couple show individuals in the photogaphers studio and others are various group shots but none of them have any names attached. What is the best way to let you have a look? I could post them all in this thread but I don't want to bore the backside off everyone else.

Ian

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Ian,

Whilst Stewart is getting a picture of the badge, here is a link to Rank at a glance, which has a drawing of the Scout badge:

http://www.diggerhistory.info/images/rank/Page30.jpg

Also, would you like the readout from the Soldiers Died in the Great War CD? What is interesting about the other two photos is that these soldiers are wearing 'Blue Patrols' [note collar badges and cuffs]. Black Watch often wore this for walking out.

These are excellent photos, it could be worth sending copies to Balhousie Castle (Tom Smyth).

Stewart

Do you have a picture of a 4th Black Watch TF shoulder title please?

T

4

RH

Aye

Tom McC

A few points. 'Rank at a Glance' is riddled with errors, mostly anachronisms.

I think the Scout badge being worn is the small variety: the large one was for tunic only, and backed with a black felt.

As for 'blue patrols', they are a mystery, as I have never found reference in RACD, in PVCN, or Clothing Regs for their issue, yet, as you say, they were indeed worn [and by many units, and in many countries]. Can it be that they were unofficial but of a standard pattern [ie provided regimentally, or by the soldier?]. Hard evidence of an official issue would be most welcome.

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Stewart,

If you could please send on a copy of a 4th, 5th, and the bit of 4/5th it would be much appreciated. I am currently doing a lot of research into these battalions. Pushing my pulheems now, but do you also have a picture of a 4th Bn TF Cap badge, again if you do this would be very much appreciated. I will PM you an email, and in advance many thanks. I won't be around tomorrow as I am at the Mother In Laws for Remembrance Sunday service.

Grumpy,

You tend to see a lot of pictures of the Artillery and for some reason the Black Watch wearing patrol jackets (with the tartan trews). Not too sure, but this may have come about from their time in India. I haven't seen anything to suggest they were issued. Anecdotal, legacy-evidence (not standing up in a court of law now :D ) for the Black Watch anyway, would suggest that it kept the other dress requirements in good order and protected the legs after 1800 hrs. I think the chaps may have had to purchase the jackets from the regimental tailor(s) and also I believe the trews may have been made from the recovered tartan from unserviceable kilts.

Aye

Tom McC

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Hello Ian,

This thread would be as good as any a place to show the photo's, I'm sure there will be a good few members of the forum who would like to see them, there are not too many un official soldiers photo's of the Black Watch from this period. The ones you have shown so far have been great.

Tom, I will get those photo's of the S/Titles to you sometime this week.

Regards,

Stewart

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Tom,

Thanks for that info. I actually know quite a bit about Tom Wilkie including where he is buried etc, but about the othersin his album I don't know anything. The only two who's names I have managed to work out are privates John Smith and George Green.Following your suggestion I have decided to get in touch with the Black Watch museum. Following your comments regarding "Blue Patrols" I,ve had a look through the rest of Tom's album and I can't see any other evidence of this although there is a reasonably eclectic mix of uniform combinations despite the fact that the photos come from a narrow period 1913-14. Interestingly in the book " The Black Watch, The Black Watch Photographic Archive" copy right The Black Watch Regimental Trustees, first published in 2000, there is a picture on page 21 which shows members of the sergeants mess of the 1st Batallion in Egypt in the 1880's. Part of the text says ""It would have been a colourful array with the white shell jackets, scarlet tunics, blue patrols and the green doublet worn by the pipe major."

regards

Ian

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