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Request assistance in identifying British Scottish Unit


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I have found an old photo for which I need help, please.  This is a UK Scottish unit on parade, and the photographer is identified as being in Hong Kong.  I assume this is a Hong Kong occupying unit in the pre-WW2 era.  Unfortunately, the badges on the pith helmets are not really clear, and I can find no Scottish regimental crests which look like them in shape.  Does anyone have any ideas as to unit identification and time period?  Thanks in advance for any assistance.

UK Hong Kong Unit.png

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11 hours ago, Hugh said:

Some one more knowledgeable may be able to tell something from the sporrans and hose tops.  There were some differences among regiments.  

 

H

And the number of 'tails' on the officer's sporran?  I think they differed by regiment.

Further, the flash on the helmets appears to be a dark triangle with an even darker narrow strip across the bottom.  Presumably unique to this unit.

This site IDs some Scottish flashes in the comments section.  Most appear to have been squares [not triangles] of tartan.

http://www.militarysunhelmets.com/2012/helmet-flashes-in-the-british-army   The author of the site is Stuart Bates, an acknowledged expert on nineteenth century headdress.

Edited by peter monahan
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17 hours ago, OvBacon said:

Any better quality on the picture... 

Sorry, no-- That's as good as it gets.

 

6 hours ago, peter monahan said:

And the number of 'tails' on the officer's sporran?  I think they differed by regiment.

Further, the flash on the helmets appears to be a dark triangle with an even darker narrow strip across the bottom.  Presumably unique to this unit.

This site IDs some Scottish flashes in the comments section.  Most appear to have been squares [not triangles] of tartan.

http://www.militarysunhelmets.com/2012/helmet-flashes-in-the-british-army   The author of the site is Stuart Bates, an acknowledged expert on nineteenth century headdress.

Thanks-- I had checked that site for assistance before coming onto GMIC with the request-- Nothing Triangular shown which isn't a tartan design.

 

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I have a couple of possibilities for you, if this photo was actually taken in Hong Kong. My first step was to establish whether Google Image Search could find any other example of this photo with a caption. It couldn't. Next, I asked myself the question 'which Highland regiments were garrisoned in HK, in the inter was years'? Wikipedia, with the usual caveats about it as a reliable source, lists all the units who have been based in HK for a tour,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Forces_Overseas_Hong_Kong

The list shows that the only kilt-wearing regiment were the 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders (1937–38). However, I also stumbled across a post on this forum,

https://gwulo.com/atom/30818

which shows a photo of a group of soldiers from 2nd (Scottish) Coy. HKVDC (Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps), with the following post describing the sporrans as being Gordon Highlander pattern. To my eye, the sporrans are the ones worn in your photo so, as the Gordon Highlanders never served in HK, it suggests that your photo is of an inspection of the 2nd (Scottish) Coy. HKVDC.

In order to date the photo, it might be worth trying to identify the inspecting officer, who is a member of the general staff and may be Commander British Troops in China, with, inevitably, Wikipedia having a list of them,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commander_British_Forces_in_Hong_Kong

For what it is worth, based on the pictorial evidence in the link below, I wouldn't discount it being Major-General Edward Grasett, perhaps inspecting the HKVDC on taking command.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Edward_Grasett

Edited by Trooper_D
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Thanks, Trooper D-- much more information than I had before.  This is simply not my area of expertise, so I really appreciate the help. The photo is definitely embossed (name of photographer-- nearly illegible) and Hong Kong (very legible), so I suspect it was definitely taken in HK or somewhere else nearby.  I will keep looking, but I suspect you have hit pretty close to the target.

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20 hours ago, Doc said:

Thanks, Trooper D-- much more information than I had before.  

My pleasure, Doc. As an additional data point, you might want to consider the image below, which comes from an Osprey Publishing book on Hong Kong during WW2 (click on the source reference to see it online at Google Books). You will note the triangular flashes on their helmets!

2020-04-19_15-25-03.thumb.jpg.25daa62bdfb9eb9c16930639d8d1e84a.jpg

Benjamin Lai, 'Hong Kong 1941–45: First strike in the Pacific War'. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014, p. 50

 

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21 hours ago, Doc said:

Thanks, Trooper D-- much more information than I had before.  

My pleasure, Doc. As an additional data point, you might want to consider the image below, which comes from an Osprey Publishing book on Hong Kong during WW2 (click on the source reference to see it online at Google Books). You will note the triangular flashes on their helmets!

2020-04-19_15-25-03.thumb.jpg.25daa62bdfb9eb9c16930639d8d1e84a.jpg

Benjamin Lai, 'Hong Kong 1941–45: First strike in the Pacific War'. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014, p. 50

Edited to add: This Facebook posting confirms that the Scottish Company adopted a uniform based on the Gordon Highlanders

https://www.facebook.com/commonwealthforces/posts/courtesy-of-ron-abbott2nd-scottish-company-the-hong-kong-volunteer-defence-corps/1092477694167295/

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