CE029 Mounted Black Watch Officer
In an infantry regiment of this period only a few of the battalion officers would be mounted; The Colonel, his Second-in-Command and the Regimental Adjutant. All others marched on foot alongside their men.
It should be noted that kilt-wearing was not a good choice while horse riding; therefore tartan trews, in the Regimental tartan, was adopted.
The ceremonial uniforms worn by these ‘parading figures’ are those that were in use from 1908, when the MK? Lee Enfield rifle was introduced, up until 1939 when WW2 began.
The Black Watch’s origins go all the way back to 1725, ten years after the first failed Jacobite rebellion of 1715. King George I (‘German Geordie’) authorized the formation of six “watch” companies to patrol the wild Highlands of Scotland.
These troops were to be employed in disarming rebel Highlanders, preventing sheep stealing and cattle rustling and bring Highland fugitives to justice.
Because the “watch” themselves were fellow Highlanders, many belonging to the Clan Campbell, they wore the dark plaid of the Campbells and thus gained the nickname “The Black Watch”.