Pipe-Major and Drum-Major 1863

The first time that a Scottish piper was introduced into the Scots Guards was when the Highland Company was formed in 1704 but that was short-lived. The modern-day pipers of the regiment have their origin date as 1853 when Pipe-Major Murdoch Macpherson was brought in from the Black Watch and appointed to the 2nd Battalion. The second pipe-major, appointed to the 1st Battalion, was the tartan-clad gentleman seen in this photograph. He is Ewan Henderson from the 92nd Highlanders. An Army Order of 1856 authorised five extra pipers to each battalion.

The full dress of these pipers included a kilt but Henderson is wearing trews in this picture. The tartan is the Royal Stewart sett which is basically red with dark green and white stripes. The shoulder plaid has a silver brooch of regimental pattern. The doublet was dark blue instead of the usual green. All lace and rank chevrons were silver. The gauntlet cuff has silver buttons and braid loops. The collar has no badge but a button with a silver braid loop like the cuffs. Pipers had a similar doublet but the lace on the collar and down the front was, for them, silver braid. His black leather waist-belt, with silver buckle, carries a sgian dudh (pronounced skian du). In full dress he would have a black shoulder belt. The blue glengarry has a silver badge on a black silk ribbon.

On the right of the picture, the drum-major leans against the wall, wearing his full dress tunic with a peaked forage cap. The lace is gold and one wing can be seen with closely placed gold lace all around. He has a sword with a gold cord knot and his sleeve has four broad gold rank chevrons. The lace across his chest is in threes and he has a thistle badge on his collar like the officers. His cap has no chin strap, a distinction of the Scots Guards which probably dates from around this period.

Regimental Band | Regimental details


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by Stephen Luscombe