Author Topic: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)  (Read 11425 times)

Offline RattlesnakeJack

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British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« on: August 19, 2004, 02:05:43 PM »
Having been directed over here from the Frontier Spot, by Gen. Lew, thought I would make a preliminary posting, showing my late-Victorian-era Highland officer khaki service uniform, which I will be wearing for the shooting events at the GAF Muster this Fall:

Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier

Offline Silver Creek Slim

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2004, 02:23:38 PM »
What clan do you represent?

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Offline Brazos Bucky Smith

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2004, 02:46:34 PM »
 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Impressive attire you have there Sir!  Quite impressive!  Tad bit warm on warm sunny days Old boy, wouldn't you say?


Looks like a re-enactment camp behind you?  What type of firearms does this form of dress require may I ask sir?

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Offline Silver Creek Slim

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2004, 03:02:09 PM »
A Claymore, of course!  ;D



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Offline Delmonico

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2004, 03:27:44 PM »
One of the early variations of the Enfield bolt gun shootin' that new-fangled cordite in a 303 would be correct if I am not mistaken.

Some sort of Webly DA in 45 would be the side arm I think.

Don't ya carry some sort of toadsticker in the sock.
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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #5 on: Today at 12:27:44 AM »

Offline Brazos Bucky Smith

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2004, 10:12:31 PM »
Slim ;)

that is a very fine sword 8), but the time period is a little off... ;)

I do have a replica of the William Wallace Sword up on the wall in my den. :D

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Offline RattlesnakeJack

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2004, 11:23:02 PM »
Howdy  again - thank'ee for the kind words ...

To answer the questions:

1.  Not a clan outfit, actually - rather, it is the khaki service uniform of a British Empire Highland Regiment officer.  Not really representative of any particular Regiment at present, since I currently have a bit of a "mix'n'match" situation with the accessories - particularly the sporran and hose.  The kilt is in "Government Sett" (commonly known as Black Watch Tartan.)  The era depicted is circa 1890 - 1900.

2.  Not too warm at all, really - it is tropical attire, after all.  The day that picture was taken (just this past weekend, actually) it got over 85°F, and I was quite comfortable.  The kilt is constructed of fairly heavy wool, but then a kilt is even "breezier" than shorts.

3.  The occasion was a multiple-era military re-enactment event, "Soldiers of the Two Millenia", sponsored by the Museum of the Regiments in Calgary - participants ranged from a group depicting the Roman Imperial XXIst Legion to a WWII Canadian unit.  Quite a weekend, actually.

4.  The weaponry (all of which an officer had to acquire privately at his own expense) includes:

  -  in the holster, I had my .455 Webley MkVI revolver ( which is a bit "late" really - i.e. that model is WWI vintage) -
 

  -  however, I had barely missed receiving my newly acquired pre-1899 Webley "WG Target Model" .450/.455 revolver in time for this event - just the sort of revolver an officer would own -


  -  the primary edged weapon of a Highland Officer was a basket-hilted sword such as you see me wearing in the picture - with the bright steel hilt painted black for field service, and the equally shiny steel scabbard camouflaged with a khaki cover:


  -  if you look closely at the original photo I posted, you'll note that I do have a sgian dhub tucked into my right sock - in this case a very serviceable - i.e. razor sharp - stag-handled item, rather than the fancy-dress toys you generally see with highland attire nowadays.

  -  although British officers traditionally did not carry or use rifles, that was beginning to change - again, an officer would likely have a fine-quality, privately purchased rifle, albeit likely of the latest military pattern.  In the time-frame depicted, that would either have been the "Rifle, Magazine, Lee-Metford" (introduced 1888) or the nearly identical, but for the type of rifling,  "Rifle, Magazine, Lee-Enfield" (1895) -  which is now often referred to as the "Long Lee-Enfield" to differentiate it from the "Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield" - the S.M.L.E. - adopted in 1904.  I just happen  ;D to have a very fine example of such a high-quality, commercially produced Long Lee-Enfield - which was a privately owned Canadian target rifle, very well preserved:

(I should perhaps mention that the Pattern 1903 bandolier in the above photo is "incorrect" for this rifle, actually.  This bandolier was specifically designed to carry .303 cartridges in 5-round "chargers" (i.e. stripper clips) - two chargers to each pocket - but the rifle in fact predates the charger-loading feature in the Lee-Enfield lineage - it has no "charger bridge" for such loading; rather, the rounds were simply pressed into the magaziine, through the open action, one at a time.  The rifle does feature a "cutoff plate" - a device which swings in to isolate the rounds in the loaded magazine - the idea being that the rifle would be single-loaded until the situation became really hot and heavy, then the 10-round magazine could then be brought into play. )
Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier

Offline Nine Toe Jim

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2004, 07:46:13 AM »
Rattlesnake. I'm impressed, I didn't know you had developed the Uniform. I'm assuming you'll be wearing it a future CAS matches?

I've been researching the uniforms of the Yukon Field Force that was formed to protect the Goldfields. There is not verymuch as far as resources go but I've managed to find a book called "Guarding the Goldfields" and await it's arrival.

I've added a couple of pics I've managed to scrounge.

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Offline Nine Toe Jim

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2004, 08:00:27 AM »
Sorry had to do this in two parts

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Offline RattlesnakeJack

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2004, 05:45:36 PM »
... I didn't know you had developed the Uniform....

Nine Toe, You Ol' Reprobate:

Either you just haven't been reading any of my postings on variuous sites, let alone my private e-mails, or ... (Oh No!  Could it be?)  your "Oldtimers' Disease" has progressed much further than we thought ....   (Madalean: if  - as I sadly fear - you are having to read this posting for the old feller, I suspect that it is time to take him for another visit to the D...O...C...T...O...R .....) ::)

Yes, I will hopefully be wearing this getup at future CAS events, though first I must complete the pair of flap holsters I am making to accomodate my 1875 Remington revolvers.  I am still planning on attending the Grand Army of the Frontier Muster in Kansas in early November, and this attire will be just the ticket for that event.  In fact, it is a "one pistol" match (à la militaire), and will be shot under NCOWS rules, so I will be able to use one of my .455 Webley DA revolvers.  By the way, your GAF enlistment doesn't seem to have "taken" - at least you still don't show up on the Roster of Members at the GAF website.  I'm still quite serious about trying to talk you into attending Muster with me, y'know!

A Yukon Field Force uniform is a grand outfit to develop!  I do have some material on them -  here is the uniform illustration from the section on the Royal Canadian Regiment (which formed the largest componenet of the YFF) in Military Uniforms In Canada, 1665 - 1970, published by the Canadian War Museum (each unit or uniform-type featured in this volume has a full-page plate depicting a member of the unit in uniform, plus one page of text about the unit and its history, and another page about its uniform and equipment, including what is depicted in the plate... 



I happen to have that image scanned and uploaded to my website, for earlier postings.  Unfortunately, my scanner is acting up on me today - I think I may have to reload the software or something - so I can't scan anything else for you at present.  But being the incredibly nice guy that I am, here is the part of the text which deals with the uniform and equipment used during their involvement in the YFF - laboriously typed out just for you!  -

"One of the more original uniforms worn by the regiment was that adopted by the Yukon Field Force in 1898.  A private in this dress is depicted  in the illustration.  The basic uniform was the standard scarlet infantry frock with blue collar, cuffs and shoulder-straps.  The base of the collar and the shoulder-straps were piped with white, and the pointed cuffs were trimmed with a crow's-foot of white braid.  The frock had two breast pockets, and closed with five regimental buttons.

Blue trousers were tucked  well down into high beef-boots that laced all the way down the front.

The white helmet, with brass spike and helmet plate, was worn on special occasions.  In addition, the troops were issued a tan felt hat, creased down the centre, looped up on the left side and fitted with a puggree.

The recently adopted Oliver-pattern-equipment and a single ammunition pouch in the centre of the waistbelt was worn on the expedition.  A small kit bag was worn high on the back to supplement the small valise.  The unit was armed with the long Lee-Enfield magazine rifle.

A special issue of winter clothing included a fur cap of Yukon pattern, a dark-grey pea jacket with detachable fur collar, knee-length woollen stockings and buckskin-covered woollen mitts.  For extreme northern temperatures the men wore practical caribou-skin parkas and mukluks.

Duck fatigue dress was worn on long hot arctic summer days as the force toiled up the northern waterways to the base camp at Fort Selkirk.  Yet, even during this vigorous overland trek, the men were not allowed to forget that they were soldiers.  On 24 May 1898, the Yukon Field Force paraded in scarlet and blue frocks, and white helmets, to celebrate Her Majesty's birthday."


I've got some other relevant material about the YFF, the uniform (including the particular standard pattern of tunic/frock they would have worn), the Oliver Pattern equipment and such - but will have to dig it out and get it to you directly, once I get time and the @#$%^&*! scanner is working again - though I do already have some of it scanned, I believe.  In the meantime, here are a couple of period photos:



Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #10 on: Today at 12:27:44 AM »

Offline Gen Lew Wallace

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2004, 09:04:00 PM »
Here's a salute to our brothers-in-arms from the north.  :salute:
:)
Retired USAF, 20 years defending my beloved nation
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"This is my native state.  I will not leave it to serve the South.  Down the street yonder is the old cemetery, and my father lies there going to dust.  If I fight, I tell you, it shall be for his bones." -Lew Wallace, after the 1860 election

Offline Nine Toe Jim

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2004, 07:36:52 AM »
Well thank you for the salute Gen Lew.

Rattlesnake? Rattlesnake? I seem to know that name from somewhere. Oh yes, Rattlesnake Jack. that's right (sorry it's the OldTimers disease again) I'm looking forward to seeing you next year in all your finery. Thanks for the colour plate. It's the best reference photo I've seen yet. Still awaiting the book I ordered last week on the force. I've contacted a re-enactment group in Saskatchewan to find out where they get their tunics from as they look very similar to the YFF. The hat is easy. The Aussies still use them. The NWMP even used them before the stetson was adopted.
I also noticed in some of the reference pics that some of the YFF wore the Strathcona Boots. I have a pair of these but they have to be broken in. I still walk funny in them. (Then again maybe I walk funny normally). Anyway I rave on. I'll let you know how the reference book stacks up.

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Offline ColonelFlashman

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2004, 03:31:34 PM »
If either of you Northern Neighbors from the Great White North could help me out w/ locating a "White Cod Line Lanyard" for my Pistole, I'd be rather appreciative.
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Offline Nine Toe Jim

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2004, 06:00:01 PM »
Well Col Flashman,

I've yet to run across one myself but I'll sure keep an eye out for you. I'll see if I can find some sources for you. Rattlesnake Jack may have a couple of leads.

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Offline trooper

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2004, 04:30:23 PM »
Hello from Peterborough England, yours is an impression I have not seen used before and i just wanted to say good luck with it and I think your standard of authenticity is outstanding and well put together.  If I can be of any help with looking for items to help you out feel free to ask military shops over here are quite often well stocked with victorian bits and bobs, medals are one of their strong points and the price is probably less than you would pay over there, anyway if we can help then feel free to drop me a line. All the best for Christmas and ther new year Trooper

Offline US Scout

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2004, 04:37:26 PM »
Nine Toe Jim,

Based on your reply to Rattlesnake Jack, may I correctly assume that you will be joining us at next year's GAF Muster?

It would be great to have more of our Canadian members (as well as those from other countries) attend the Muster. 

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Offline RattlesnakeJack

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2004, 11:30:11 PM »
US Scout:

I'll keep working on Nine Toe to try to convince him to attend Muster next fall ...  He seems to be a hard fellow to pin down on such things, but I'm hoping a full year of lead time may help!  He is putting a lot of effort into creating his Yukon Field Force impression, so I'm hoping he is going to want to show it off at appropriate venues ...
Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier

Offline Nine Toe Jim

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2004, 05:54:03 AM »
I figure it this way,

If Rattlesnake would swing by here and pick me up I might be able to make it. HAW  ;D

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Offline RattlesnakeJack

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2004, 09:58:41 PM »
Nine Toe is such a droll fellow!!  (He lives about two-thirds of the distance to Hudson's Bay from here - 'twould about double the distance to Kansas to "drop by" and pick him up!) 

Nine Toe - I still figger we could meet somewhere and then travel together from there! 
Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier

Offline RattlesnakeJack

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Re: British Empire Military (Highland) Attire ....(pic)
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2004, 10:25:11 PM »
Trooper:

I wasn't sure if your comments were made in reference to my outfit - if so, thank you!

I did make it to the Grand Army of the Frontier Muster mentioned in my earlier posts, and here are a few images from that visit:

Engaging the Queen's enemies...






At the banquet ....

Rattlesnake Jack Robson, Scout, Rocky Mountain Rangers, North West Canada, 1885
Major John M. Robson, Royal Scots of Canada, 1883-1901
Sgt. John Robson, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, 1885
Bvt. Col, Commanding International Dept. and Div.  of Canada, Grand Army of the Frontier

 

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