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The Cameron Highlanders.


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The regiment was raised as the 79th Regiment of Foot (Cameronian Volunteers) on August 17, 1793 at Fort William from among the members of the Clan Cameron by Sir Allan Cameron of Erracht. Originally on the Irish establishment, it became part of the British Army in 1804, and in 1806 it was renamed as the 79th Regiment of Foot (Cameronian Highlanders). It was one of a number of regiments raised at the beginning of the French Revolutionary War.

There had been 2 previous regiments bearing the number "79" the first from 1758-63 and the second from 1778-84, they were English regiments & none of the three "79th Regiments"were in any way connected.

Embodied at Stirling in January 1794, the 79th Cameron Highlanders took part in the Flanders campaign & went to Martinique in 1795. Suffering few battle casualties in either campaign, they suffered so many by disese that the regiment was reduced to a cadre, returning to Scotland in 1798 - the rest of its personnel were sent to the 42nd Highlanders.

Brought back up to strength by recruiting, the 79th returned to Flanders, coming back to Scotland in 1799.

Sailing for Cadiz in 1800 they were diverted to Alexandria in Egypt.

In 1804 the Regimental title was changed to The 79th (Cameron Highlanders) Regiment of Foot, asecond battalion being raised in 1805 & remained on Home Duty, being disbanded in 1815.

In 1807 the 1st Battalion were part of the expedition against Copenhagen before sailing to Portugal. Following the retreat to Corruna, they returned to England, & again went to Portugal in 1810.

In 1813, they fought in the Pyrenees, before returning to England.

In 1815, the 1st Bn went to Belgium, at the start of "The 100 Days Campaign" & fought at Quatre Bras & at Waterloo where they suffered 479 casualties out of a strength of 776 officers and men. 3 years later the regiment returned from France, its future posting including Ireland , Canada and Gibraltar.

During the Crimean War they fought at Alma and Sevastopol, returning to England in 1856.

In 1857 they went to Calcutta to fight in the Indian Mutiny, serving at the siege and capture of Lucknow & other operations & remaining in India until 1871 when it returned to Britain.

In 1873 the regiment became "Royal" & the title was changed to The 79th (Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders) Regiment.

In 1874, a detachment of 130 volunteers served with the 42nd Highlanders (Black Watch) during the Ashanti War on the Gold Coast.

1879 found the regiment in Gibraltar

In 1881 under "The Cardwell Reforms", all single battalion infantry regiments were to amalgamate to form regiments consisting of 2 battalions, but the 79th was the only regiment not to, remaining a single battalion regiment as The 1st Battalion The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.

In 1882 it went to Egypt, fighting in the battle of Tel-el-Kebir & in the subsequent Nile Campaign, in 1885 it took part in the fighting on the Egypt / Sudan border, leaving in 1886 but returning in 1898 as part of the expedition to re-conquer the Sudan, and fought at Omdurman.

It fought in the Anglo - Boer War baing at the capture of Pretoria.

At the end of the war it served in Ireland Kingdom and served in Ireland .

In 1897 the regiment had at last received a 2nd Battalion, which served overseas in the Mediterranean , South Africa , China and India.

The regiment raised 14 battalions in total during WWI & fought in varous thetres.

After WWI the regiment reverted to its peacetime strength, both battalions serving in various stations across the world.

During WWII the regiment again raised more battalions & served in various theatres.

In 1948 it was reduced to one regular battalion which served in Malaya , Korea and Aden & in 1961 was amalgamated with The Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's) to form the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons).

That regiment has since amalgamated on 17/9/1994 with the Gordon Highlanders to form The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons), which in turn amalgamated on 28/3/2006 into a new regiment, forming The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The Cameron Highlanders white metal badge wthout the scroll "CAMERON". Pre 1897, according to one source, John Gaylor claims that it was worn until 1912, & perhaps beyond. He states that an officer wore the officers quality badge without the scroll as late as the 1960's. (Page 46).

Bloomer states that the badge was worn pre-1881 (Page 225).

Gaylor states that there is a brass pattern of this badge in the Scottsh United Services Museum & that it is a WWI brass economy badge, Kipling & King state that this pattern badge in brass is a Victorian period badge worn on the ostrich feather bonnet.

Perhaps a WWI brass economy badge was produced using with an obsolete pattern die?

Edited by leigh kitchen
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The vWWII palstic economy badge, in silver - grey plastic with a silver spray paint finish.

Kipling & King show it as K&K 2258, Militaria Magazine issue 12 states that contract dates were 27/7/45 - 5/9/45, 21,936 made, all by Alfred Stanley & Sons of Walsall:

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  • 9 months later...
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Cantle badges, the smaller of the two was also a cap badge, worn whth the regimental number "79" above, this one has had its east/ west fitting replaced with a brooch fitting, now broken.

The larger badge has a wide "slider" fitting, about 3" long.

The cantle badges are about 1 3/4" in width, the "cap" badges about 2 1/4".

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Pipe Major of 1st Bn The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders.

The tartan is "Royal Stuart", badges of rank & appointment are worn on the right lower sleeve, reimental insigna on the cantle of the sporran & the glengary - I thnk this photo was taken during the 1960's, the period of Training Brigade badges being worn in general by the regiment.

(An Arthur Dixon card "PSO/83906").

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