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Everything posted by Coldstream2

  1. There is an internet site which has photographs of officers and men of the 2nd Bn HLI in Review Order (with shakos) and Walking Out dress (white shell jackets) taken at Aldershot just before the outbreak of war in August 1914. The site is British Light Infantry Regiments and is located at http://www.lightinfantry.org.uk/index.htm. When you arrive at the site's home page, click on "Highland LI" and when you bring it up, go to "photo album" and scroll down to the photographs which can be enlarged by clicking on them.
  2. The shako is an OR model. Field Officers had bands of gold lace 5/8th of an inch deep around the top which varied in number according to rank (3 for Colonels, 2 for Lieutenant Colonels, 1 for Majors). Officers also had cap lines attached which were worn differently by the two regular battalions. The Bugle Major of the 1st Bn, HLI, wore a Staff Sergeants' pattern shako with cap lines and a plume of green cocks' feathers instead of the OR ball tuft. The above information comes from the excellent book The Highland Light Infantry: The uniforms of the Regiment 1881 to 1914 by James B. McKay and Douglas N. Anderson (privately printed in 1977). If you can obtain a copy from a book dealer or Ebay, do so. It is a gold mine of information!
  3. The old 71st Regiment were converted to light infantry in 1809 (71st Highland Light Infantry) and as a consequence lost their highland dress. However, they retained their pipers and a Highland style headdress. This shako, with diced border, was in the style of the contemporary light infantry design. As different shakos were introduced into the army (bell crown, 2d Albert pattern, Quilted pattern, 1869-78 pattern) the HLI adopted them (in the Crimea, the 71st still had the bell crowned type shako and not the Albert pattern). The last pattern shako was the 1869-78 shako with diced band which the HLI (Officers and ORs) continued to wear until 1914. After the Great War, only officers continued to wear it for levees and court receptions. It should be noted that, from 1884 to 1906, the ball tuft was actually black. The green tuft was restored in 1906. The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) were the only other regiment to wear the shako.
  4. Coldstream2

    The Royal Marines

    I recall having seen a photograph of a guardsman wearing his bearskin and the 1902 service dress during, I believe, the 1912 coal strike. It was standard practice for troops prior to 1914 to wear the full dress headgear (Home Service helmet, Kilmarnock, feather bonnet, etc) with service dress when in aid of the civil power (strikes, riots, etc). Troops also wore their full dress headgear and service dress when changing station. .
  5. Coldstream2

    The Royal Marines

    Not being able to contact any survivor from the period, I can only surmise that, not having a jutting peak, the cap would be easily inserted into the haversack. I have seen photographs of the Guards with separate carrying bags for their peaked caps prior to 1914. I have not noticed line infantry with the same bag. During change of station prior to WW1, infantry wore their Review Order home service helmets while wearing their service dress. It would have been even more difficult to carry them in their haversack! Incidentally, when I was serving in the U.S. Army in the late 60s, I used to have a terrible time stowing my service cap (peaked) in my duffle bag. It would always get crushed! Had there been no peak, things would have been easier.
  6. Coldstream2

    The Royal Marines

    The Royal Marines actually retained the Brodrick cap into the late 20s. They were replaced by the peaked cap, the initial issue being Brodericks with peak added! For a cap which was supposedly despised, it was retained by the Jollies far longer than the army. The Army adopted the cap in November 1900. It was initially issued to the newly formed Irish Guards (Guards pattern with colored band - green for IG). The rest of the army had their patterns sealed in July 1902. The cap was phased out beginning in 1906 and was gradually replaced by the peaked cap which remains the #1 dress cap today. B.W. Cox and M. Prevezer, in an article on the Brodrick Cap appearing in the Winter 1982 number of the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, stated that "little contemporary evidence of its initial unpopularity has been found and certainly the relatively cheap cost of its manufacture made it popular with the authorities." Private Frank Richards of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, in Old Soldier Sahib (an account of his pre-WW1 service) , described the cap as similar to "a sailor's cap with a small piece of red in front [for "Royal" infantry regiments], over which was worn the regimental badge." Richards further commented that the cap "made them look like a lot of bloody German sailors, but we much preferred it to the peaked cap which followed it (italics mine)...They [the peaked cap] were rotten caps to carry in a man's haversack." The 17th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers were still wearing their Brodricks aboard ship enroute to France from India in the fall of 1914!!