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Remembered Today:

Black Watch Pipe Band?


rgalley
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I attach a heavily retouched photopraph which has just come my way. It is a cutting from an unknown magazine and I have no date for it.

I believe the photograph shows pipes and drums of a Black Watch battalion on the march, but would welcome confirmation, or otherwise. Of note is the mix of long puttees, short puttees, spats, glengarrys, Tam o'Shanters and Balmorals.

I do not know where the photo was taken, but it's got an almost Mediterranean look to it, although this could have more to do with the age of the image and the amount of retouching it's received prior to printing. I did wonder if it could it be 2nd Battalion in Mesopatamia, but not sure that the civilians are dressed correctly for that region??

I am assuming the goat belongs to the ladies in the picture, rather than the soldiers!!

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Piper,

Once in Balmorals or Tam O'Shanters, it would not be unusual (when in barracks, or away from the front) for the pipers of The Black Watch to don their Glengarry bonnets - which is what you see in this photo.

As you have mentioned, it has been that heavily touched up that it is difficult to discern what they are wearing round their ankles, but I would assume puttees by now.

I don't think it is in Mesopotamia, as the women, regardless of their religious belief have no headcover - which would be unusual. Plus they look kind of European. So does the order of dress of the men.

The drums look like the old-fashioned German-style ones.

The photo makes it look like the soldiers are wearing collar badges (this could be an artist's whim). Could possibly be the 14th (Fife & Forfar Yeomanry) Bn, The Black Watch arriving at Marseille?

Giveaways could be the coverall-type 'pinafore' that the ladies are wearing, the style of bell on the goat's neck and the width of the road.

I realise that the above is not an answer but hopefully it will add to the solution.

Aye

Tom McC

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The goat must be a clue, especially as Tom points out it has something round the neck. Or does it belong to the ladies on a shopping expedition?

Daggers

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I am confused now, I thought perhaps the location may have been someplace furth of Britain. I discovered yesterday in the Peoples Journal (Dundee edition) for Saturday 24 July 1915 a photo of the 3/4th Black Watch at the Bridge of Earn with a pet goat belonging to the Battalion cooks. Could it be here? as the wee lass on the right has fair hair.

Tom

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Tom,

Might be one of the lines of the 7th, who often wore the 'Thain of Fife' collar badge in Service Dress (that is if they really have collar badges). The women don't look like fisherwomen of Angus (Arbroath/Auchmithie), who as you know would wear dark wide skirts with a number of folds at the bottom. Are they not found to be attired as French women?

Aye

Tom McC

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Tom,

Might be one of the lines of the 7th, who often wore the 'Thain of Fife' collar badge in Service Dress (that is if they really have collar badges). The women don't look like fisherwomen of Angus (Arbroath/Auchmithie), who as you know would wear dark wide skirts with a number of folds at the bottom. Are they not found to be attired as French women?

Aye

Tom McC

I beleive you are correct. The 3/4 pipers don't have brass cantles to their sporrans, only the senior ranks. Neither did they wear collar badges. The P/M does'nt look like McLeod and is not wearing an Imperial Service badge.

Tom

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My take on this picture is France or Belgium, and it is a regimental mascot. But it is speculative....

Ian

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  • 3 weeks later...

My sincere thanks to all of you who have contributed to the debate so far, I do appreciate it.

A further speculative thought (please do pardon my ignorance) ... is it possible that the men are from one of Commonwealth kilted units? (e.g. Canadian, South African)

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