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Black Watch - Highlander - The Clans of Scotland.
The Black Watch
The Black Watch was raised in the wake of 1715 Jacobite rebellion, companies of trustworthy Highlanders were raised from local clans, Campbells, Grants, Frasers and Munros. Stationed in small detachments across the Highlands to prevent fighting between clans, deter raiding and assist in enforcing the laws against the carrying of weapons.
The title "The Black Watch" was derived from the dark colour of the clan tartan and the original role of the Regiment to "watch" the Highlands. The original uniform was a twelve yard long plaid of the dark tartan which is now so well known as The Black Watch tartan. It was in 1795 that The Black Watch is known to have adopted the Red Hackle in its bonnets, the most distinctive feature of the Regiments uniform.
The Blackwatch was first in action at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. The Black Watch gained great distinction but its conduct being described by a French officer as "Highland Furies who rushed in on us with more violence than ever did the sea driven by tempest". The Regiment was next engaged in the French-Indian War and especially at the Battle of Ticonderoga in 1758 where during the attack on the fort of that name more than half the men became casualties.
In the American war of Independance the Regiment took part in the successful action at Brooklyn, New York against George Washington's forces in 1776 ad undertook much skirmishing against the rebels during the remainder of that war. In 1786 the Blackwatch saw much action in India and Ceylon playing a prominent part in the capture of Mysore and Serinapatam.
The early 1800s were to be dominated by action against the French. The first campaign was in Egypt in 1801 at the Battle of Alexandria, capturing the Colour of Napoleon's "Invincible" Legion. For it s gallantry, the Regiment won the honour of bearing the Sphinx on its Colours and badge. No fewer than ten battle honours were awarded to the Regiment for its part in the continued fight against Napoleon's armies during the six years of the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal. During Napoleon's final campaign of 1815 the Blackwatch was present at Quatre Brasand the Battle of Waterloo.
During the Crimea war the war with Russia the Blackwatch formed part of the Highland Brigade Its most noticeable action was in the very first engagement at the battle of the Alma in September 1854. In India The Blackwatch was dispatched to quell the Indian Mutiny seeing action at Cawnpore and in 1858 the relief of Lucknow.
The Black Watch played an active part in Queen Victorias small Colonial Wars from the Frontier Wars, to the Ashanti Campaign in West Africa, Tel-el-kebir in Egypt to in 1884 fighting the Mahdi's fanatical tribesmen at El Teb and Tamai and in 1900 the Boer War in SOuth Africa.
During World War I the 25 battalions of Black Watch fought mainly in France and Flanders, except for 2nd Battalion which fought in Mesopotamia and Palestine, and the 10th Battalion which was in the Balkans. Only the 1st and 2nd battalions were regulars. The fearsome reputation of these kilted soldiers led to their acquiring the nickname "Ladies from Hell" from the German troops that faced them in the trenches. (Scottish troops wore kilts up until 1940).
Battalions of the Watch fought in almost every major action of the British in World War II, from Palestine to Dunkirk to Normandy.
Limited Edition Wooden Black Watch Highlander
Wooden Soldier Regimental Histories