The Gordons

Pipes and Drums c1954

The artist Conrad Leigh painted a set of postcards of Scottish regimental bands whose date is obscure but based on the uniforms worn by the regiment formed up in the background on the right of the picture it would seem to be early 1950s. Immediately after the war the parade uniform for most soldiers was khaki battledress but with the Coronation of 1952 the need for smarter dress was realised. The full dress was worn by the pipes, drums and band but the rest of the regiment was kitted out with the new piper green no1 dress and blue Tam o' Shanter bonnet.

All ranks of the Gordons, including the pipes and drums, now wore white and red check hose instead of the former black and red. Since 1881 the black and red had been worn by the Gordons as well as the Black Watch and the Cameron Highlanders, while the white and red had been worn by the Seaforths and Argyll and Sutherlands. The photo of Piper and Drummer 1953 shows the Gordons and Camerons wearing the black and red. It would seem that the black and red had disappeared from all kilted regiments in 1954.

The Drum-Major is still in scarlet doublet and feather bonnet but there were small changes from the 1895 Simkin painting. He now wears white leather gauntlets, and his sword is slung from a shoulder belt rather than the waist-belt. The waist-belt is now gold laced like the former dress belt of the officers. His mace is ornamented in gilt or brass instead of the usual silver.

There are three ranks of pipers behind the Drum-major with the Pipe-Major on the left of the picture. The differences between the Pipe-Major's uniform and the other pipers is evident here. He has gold lace on his doublet instead of white. His sporran has a brass cantle instead of the black and silver metal cantles of the other pipers. He also has a crimson sash on his left shoulder, just visible, and gold chevrons on his right sleeve. There is no sign of the large Gordons badge on his upper sleeve as seen in the 1903 Pipe-Major photo.

Regimental Band | Regimental details


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by Stephen Luscombe