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"Bagpipes: Tartan or uniform color?" Topic

24 Posts

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1,131 hits since 24 Nov 2006
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sneakgun24 Nov 2006 7:15 a.m. PST

Were the bagpipes that were carried into battle, were they tartan or uniform colored?


14th Brooklyn24 Nov 2006 7:30 a.m. PST

I think that would be dependant on the unit and the piper.

My guess would be that these were regular bagpipes. Now I have ones that had a tan coloured bag, but also some that were dark blue or red with golden tassles.

Usually only the scarf that connects the horns (sory for this but I do not know the official term) has the Tartan pattern of the unit.



Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2006 7:42 a.m. PST

That is the most important WW2 question to appear here in a long time.

I would say that it would be in the Regimental pattern.
The racket, excuse me, stirring martial airs, have already attracted Jerry's attention, so why bother to drab it down? Jerry KNOWS where the piper is already.

Plynkes Inactive Member24 Nov 2006 8:06 a.m. PST

Is there a 1 Special Service Brigade Tartan then John?

I suppose it would be Clan Fraser in the case of those particular boys on Sword Beach.

I met Bill Millan several times as a child on trips to Normandy, unfortunately I never thought to ask him what tartan it was on his bagpipes.

I was more interested in the strange French flavours of chewing gum you could get, and the fact that the local shops would sell fireworks to eight-year-olds.

Highland Guerilla Inactive Member24 Nov 2006 9:15 a.m. PST

Try this,

Personal logo Gungnir Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2006 9:19 a.m. PST

Can't make out a tartan on any of the oics I could find, so I'ld go for plain.

willthepiper24 Nov 2006 10:10 a.m. PST

In World War II, the bag cover was usually (but not always) tartan. The tartan would be as appropriate to the regiment, but note that it was not always the same as the regimental tartan. For example, bag covers for the Gordons would be in the Gordon tartan, but in the Black Watch, they would be in Royal Stewart.

The cover could also be in a solid colour (probably easier to paint!).

Plynkes Inactive Member24 Nov 2006 10:47 a.m. PST

That would be Millin, not Millan. Grrr. You'd think I could get that right.

Anyway, here's what appear to his pipes:

Millin: Blue Bonnets!

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2006 2:40 p.m. PST

Obviously, this is a Flames of War question, because there is a "Bagpiper Rule" which gives Highlanders (in Afrika) super powers, among which is the ability to fire lightning bolts out of their arse when ariused. (See the chimp version of "Braveheart" for details.)
Since the Normandy version of FoW has not hit the streets, we only have to worry about any Highlnders at Alamein or Gazala or Tobruk.

So, I stanf by "regimental pattern".

14th Brooklyn24 Nov 2006 4:13 p.m. PST


well under the rules we use a a bagpiper gives his troops a morale bonus if the are withing a certain range and I would never thouch FoW!



Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2006 6:56 p.m. PST

Burkhard, don't you realize that your rules don't matter? Flames of War are the only ones that matter.

Carlos Marighela Inactive Member24 Nov 2006 10:57 p.m. PST

"I was more interested in the strange French flavours of chewing gum you could get……."

Now, that has me curious. Truffle flavoured gum? Bouillabaise? Escargot? Calvados sweeties? Surely not absinthe flavoured bullseyes ?

14th Brooklyn25 Nov 2006 1:56 a.m. PST

Burkhard, don't you realize that your rules don't matter? Flames of War are the only ones that matter.


I really do not want to live in a world where that were true!!! grin



Plynkes Inactive Member25 Nov 2006 2:55 a.m. PST

I've no idea what flavour they were, but they came in different colours to the ones at home. You could get pink-flavoured gum for one thing, which was nice.

At home in those days all you could get was Spearmint, Doublemint and Juicy Fruit, so it was a whole new world.

14th Brooklyn25 Nov 2006 3:07 a.m. PST

I've no idea what flavour they were, but they came in different colours to the ones at home.


at first I thought you were still talking bagpipes there! evil grin



AndrewGPaul Inactive Member25 Nov 2006 9:42 a.m. PST

there is a "Bagpiper Rule" which gives Highlanders (in Afrika) super powers,

Actually, they make the company 2iC slightly more survivable. That's it. Of course, that's hardly worthy of a frothing rant, so I apologise :)

chronoglide Inactive Member25 Nov 2006 12:24 p.m. PST

What does Pink-flavoured gum taste of? Prawn cocktail and battery acid…?
As long as they're not wheat-coloured I don't mind

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member25 Nov 2006 5:52 p.m. PST

I thought the Pink thread had been removed. I'm not sure I want a Pink-flavored anything.

John, how are you going to paint the tartan shoulder flashes on your FoW Heelanders?


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2006 6:01 p.m. PST

The same way I paint my 28mm tartasn. I put the real thing in a 1:64 scale reductor and hit "REVERSE". I just need to calibrate it for 15mm.
Since I get my tartans direct from that shop in Aberdeen, it's rather expensive. But, kilts are cheaper than full plaids, though, and flashes I can get from scraps.

Michael Dorosh Inactive Member01 Feb 2007 9:26 p.m. PST

Be aware, as always, of regimental quiffs. The Calgary Highlanders, for example, used Royal Stewart bag covers despite not being a royal regiment. They had arrived in the UK in September 1940 with pipers clad in Royal Stewart and immediately told to cut it out! They kept the bagcovers for "tradition".

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP31 Oct 2016 9:49 p.m. PST

Willthepiper has the Black Watch details the wrong way around above. Piper's pipe bag covers were/are the Black Watch tartan but their KILTS and plaids were/are Royal Stuart/Stewart. Pipe Major had a bag cover in dark blue. Pipe majors in general usually have a solid-colored velvet bag cover to mark their status.

Most Scottish pipers had bag covers in the regimental tartan, which USUALLY was also their kilt tartan. But not always. Scots Guards also wear Royal Stuart kilts but BW tartan bag covers (except the PM, with dark blue). Lowland regiments where the pipers wear Royal Stuart also have Royal Stuart pipe bag covers. The Camerons uniquely have had dark green pipe bag covers since around the 1840s, probably due to it being their original facing color as the 79th Foot. ALTHO' there are photos of some Cameron pipers with Cameron of Erracht (the regimental tartan) pipe bag covers in WWII, at least. So this might have varied by battalion in a few cases. This topic has been hotly discussed on at least one piping forum I belong to.

Worth noting: the Cameron Highlanders were also authorized by royal warrant to change their pipe band into Royal Stuart tartan in 1943 as a 150th anniversary honor, but no such garb was issued to the regiment until after the war.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP01 Nov 2016 10:52 p.m. PST

Oops, to clarify the above post:

The reference to Scots Guards in Royal Stuart kilts is in reference to their *pipers,* not the rank and file.

The Cameron *pipers* were granted the Royal Stuart tartan in 1943; the drummers and band continued to wear the regimental sett.

manchesterreg Inactive Member05 Nov 2016 1:21 a.m. PST

My Grandfather was Pipe Major for the Gordon Highlanders and was captured in 1940, in his notes he made from after the war, he lamented the change in colour from Tartan to Khaki of the Hide Bag. I think he meant though that the bag was covered by a khaki cover, rather than a khaki hide bag replacing the Tartan one.

spontoon21 Jan 2017 2:32 p.m. PST

Would airborne pipers have camo pattern pipe bag covers?

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