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Object: Gordon Highlanders uniform

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Title Gordon Highlanders uniform
Production Hebbert & Co. Ltd. (tailor), 1880s-1950s, London
Materials wool, metal
Classification dress uniforms, military uniforms, jackets, kilts
Dimensions Centre Back: 680mm (Height)
Credit line Gift of Mrs Beatrice Simpkins, 1971
Registration number PC001695

This is a sergeant's dress uniform of the famous British regiment raised in Scotland - the Gordon Highlanders. The kilt (which is actually a later replacement) is made from the Gordon tartan and is worn with a red regimental tunic (jacket or coatee).

The yellow cuffs and collar of the tunic are called 'facings'. Yellow is the colour which denotes Scottish regiments. The tunic is similar to the standard British Army tunic of the period, but was shorter at the front by an inch or so to expose more of the kilt. Sergeants wore the same uniform as the privates or rank and file, but from higher quality materials.

The 'Redcoats'

 

Red tunics were worn throughout the British Army from the middle of the 17th century, and made an impressive sight. Soldiers became known for their striking scarlet clothing, and were called 'Redcoats'. Throughout the British Empire the colour red came to symbolise steadfastness, loyalty and determination.

 

This tunic looks smart, but would have been restrictive in battle.  However, many believed in the Victorian period that posture and tight-fitting colourful clothing were elements that marked a soldier. Smartness was allied to discipline.

 

This particular uniform was worn by Sergeant John Smith Jackson (1870-1963), who later emigrated to New Zealand. 

Related information

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