Comments on Tartan & Emerald Green Vol 2 South Africa

Go down

Comments on Tartan & Emerald Green Vol 2 South Africa

Post  Admin on Sun 20 Apr 2008, 2:44 am

The following comments come from Alastair Campbell, thank you. The italics are my responses.

Private, Kimberley Scottish, 1891

Your note is at variance with Tylden who says they wore kilt and scarlet doublet.
They did indeed wear kilt and doublet, but an initial and then undress uniform is the one shown.

“On the left front is a square of black material that has the unit badge attached.” Throughout, you give various descriptions of the cockade worn behind the badge; I suggest better and more accurate description is “ a black silk ribbon cockade”. This derives from the black, Hanoverian as opposed to the Jacobite white cockade.

“Fixed behind the square is a plume of curved cock’s feathers”. It is, actually a blackcock’s tail; the blackcock a relative of the grouse now, alas, seldom seen.

Where do you get the colour of the jacket from?

“ . . . belt with white metal round clasp.” - usually referred to as a ‘Union locket’ I think.

Spats are NOT worn with boots; they are tight fitting and are worn over shoes or ‘brogues, Highland’ to use official description. A repeated error. Trews also constantly worn by Highland regiments and that long before Lowland Regiments were clothed in tartan.

Do we know that officer’s tunic is blue rather than green?

With Gordon trews the usual thing is for yellow stripe to be in front centre of leg.

The illustration is taken from a photograph in the Kimberley Regiment history by HH Curson, and his description of same. The points regarding nomenclature are errors on my part. Blue is the colour of undress jackets throughout the Empire and hence for the officers of this unit.

Lance Corporal, Scottish Company, Kimberley Rifles, 1896

With Gordon trews the usual thing is for yellow stripe to be in front centre of leg.

Is there not white piping down the front of the tunic?

Sergeant, 'C' (Caledonian) Company, Natal Royal Regiment, 1892

I take it this is from the group photo in the History of the RDLI.

I spent a long time looking at this; I could make out no difference in tone of the cuffs and the rest of the tunic.

If they are in fact the same this could well be a scarlet serge tunic with dark blue collar.

The photograph has collar dogs which you have omitted.

I am very doubtful about this and wonder if it is not a regular nco from the KOSB attached for instruction - I believe they were stationed in South Africa at the time.

This may indeed be the case, and I am in error.


Private, Scottish Company, Cape Rifle Corps, 1865

I take it this is an intelligent interpretation of the description given in the JSAHR article on Captain Grainger?

My only comment is on the ‘Rob Roy’ banding to the cap; I wonder whether this is in fact this should not be normal dicing - or have you seen a photograph?

This uniform is speculative based on the available information and the pattern worn by the encompassing Cape Royal Rifle Corps.

Officer, Scotch Volunteer Rifle Corps, 1861 - Captain Grainger

Infuriatingly I cannot lay hands on the relevant copy of the JSAHR - obviously put aside somewhere safe! I did, however spend some time studying it and sketching it.

There should be a badge on the cross-belt. There is a photo described as being the Cape Royal Rifles Pouch, which looks very much like the badge on Grainger’s cross-belt.

The collar dogs have been omitted.

While your description of the cuffs would make sense I could not make out any of the black braiding which you describe; I will look again when I lay hands on the photo. I may just have left them out to do later.

It looked to me very much as if his plaid is in fact a different Campbell tartan with the yellow and white stripes omitted. This would tie in with this uniform including personal items of wear. His dirk, anyway is almost bound to bic?

“ . . . belt with brass round clasp.” Union locket

“The kilt is made from Gordon tartan” - for some unknown reason, ORs have yellow vertical stripe centred on kilt; officers have blue tract. You have shown officer’s kilt.

Black sporran with plain, black, patent leather cantle with brass rim and two white tails . .

‘Hose‘ not ‘Hoses’. Spats not ‘gaiters’. Shoes not boots see above. Strap under spat white not black ?

It is something of a moot point whether boots or shoes are worn. In recent times shoes are the chosen footwear but in colonial times perhaps ankle length shoes were more common. As to straps white is worn in most Imperial regiments but I wonder if the same is for colonial forces who had to deal with less than parade ground conditions. Black seems a probable alternative, as does plain brown leather, but I concede that I may be wrong in depicting a colour apart from white.

I wish to thank Mr Campbell for his comments, more of which I hope to receive. They will correct my mistakes and make these CDs more historically accurate documents.


Posts : 126
Join date : 2008-03-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comments on Tartan & Emerald Green Vol 2 South Africa

Post  wfrad on Sun 20 Apr 2008, 6:17 am

Not having the picture to go by, I would assume that the uniform regulations would mirrow (at that period) the British.
Spats were known to be worn over boots on campaign despite regulations, for example if shoes were holed, if you had boots they were worn.
Also Kharki drill was worn by british regular regiments in the 1880's.
If the original photo is from a campaign its possible to have odd mix and match.
If the original photo is from the parade ground or barracks it's not very likely.
You both could be correct!


Posts : 1164
Join date : 2008-04-16
Location : Durham UK

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum