Piper, 2nd Battalion 1890

Pipers were introduced to the Royal Scots in 1881. His glengarry was plain blue, not diced, with a red tourie on top and a blackcock's feather above the badge. The tartan kilt and plaid were of Royal Stewart sett for the 2nd Battalion only, and Hunting Stewart for the 1st Battalion. The rest of the regiment wore government tartan like the Black Watch, also called 'McChilders' after the unpopular Secretary of State for War who pushed through the Cardwell reforms. The tartan, seen here, was changed in 1892 when the 2nd Battalion went to India. They worried that the red colour would fade in the sun, so chose to change to Hunting Stewart like the 1st Battalion. It was not until 1933 that pipers of both battalions were to wear Royal Stewart tartan again.

The belts are of polished, or patent black leather, the waist-belt to carry the dirk, and the shoulder-belt, or baldrick, as purely ornamental. The doublet was green with white piping. The artist, Simkin, has given this piper, a double shoulder wing but photos show only one wing. The collar badges are of brass, as are the buttons.

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by Stephen Luscombe