26th Regiment of Foot

Officer, Other Ranks and Piper 1866

There is plenty of evidence that the Cameronians had a piper after they were converted to a rifle regiment in 1881 but not so much proof before that date when they were the 26th. This painting shows that they did indeed have at least one piper. In 1854 pipers were allowed on the establishment of the Army, one pipe-major and five pipers for each regiment but also up to six 'acting pipers' would be allowed if maintained by the officers. In 1855 the doublet was taken into wear by Highland regiments but the Cameronians continued to dress in the English way. The piper in this picture, however wears a doublet and full highland dress. We are used to seeing pipers in a green doublet but I am not at all certain that the piper here is wearing green. Green doublets did not have the regimental facing colour but this man has pale cuffs which suggests that they are yellow, so the coat must be red. I am unable to give a description of the colours of his tartan or bonnet plume but assume that the diced band round the hat is white, red and yellow.

The man on the left is a sergeant in full marching order with red tunic and no visible Scottish element to his dress. The private next to him is wearing a waist-length shell jacket with a Kilmarnock cap with diced band. The officer also has the diced band, worn on his forage cap. He has a blue frock coat with crimson sash on his left shoulder.

Regimental details | Band


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by Stephen Luscombe