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WW2 1940 Gordon Highlanders Tam O’ Shanter

Article about: Another local pick up A ww2 tam o shanter made by A&J gelfer of Glasgow in 1940. This was sourced not too far away from me. The seller told me “ It's from a farm at Rothienorman. We fo

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    Default WW2 1940 Gordon Highlanders Tam O’ Shanter

    Another local pick up

    A ww2 tam o shanter made by A&J gelfer of Glasgow in 1940.

    This was sourced not too far away from me. The seller told me
    “ It's from a farm at Rothienorman. We found it in the farm servants feeing kist which basically contained all of his clothes dating to before and after the war. The farming family were Ogg but the old man I bought from only remembered the farm servant as Mr O”

    So unfortunately I don’t know who owned the hat directly but we do know at least his peacetime profession. I have cleaned it a little bit as there was some spider egg sack remains. On top of that there are a few moth nips but nothing too extreme. I am rather happy the Gordon highlanders cap badge is confirmed to have been with the hat since the war. I feel a lot of these hats got chopped and changed after the war. The fact the date is present is also nice as it confirms it’s a war time example and not post war as these sorta hats don’t really go through much changes.

    If you know your Scottish headgear then you may wonder why it’s lacking a tartan backing behind the Badge. I too wondered this and my dad said well sometimes the soldiers just didn’t do it or the fact may be since those backing tartans were sometimes not directly stitched rather pinned in place by the badge it may of just fallen off at some point. I don’t intend to source a replacement as I don’t wish to modify this piece.

    It’s a pretty well constructed piece and certainly feels high quality. With all British headwear it has a certain smell to it I doubt reproductions will ever match!

    One thing to note is the only other ww2 Scottish regiment cap I have is also A&J gelfer ( from a guy in Dundee) so it seems logical I am more likely to end up with a Scottish gelfer hats than English companies for locally sourced headgear.

    Hopefully this is something interesting to you guys. With my dad and relatives having served with the Gordon highlanders I feel more inclined to collect these items!

    Cheers
    John

    WW2 1940 Gordon Highlanders Tam O’ ShanterWW2 1940 Gordon Highlanders Tam O’ ShanterWW2 1940 Gordon Highlanders Tam O’ ShanterWW2 1940 Gordon Highlanders Tam O’ ShanterWW2 1940 Gordon Highlanders Tam O’ Shanter

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    Great find!

    Yes, originally and until fairly recently ('90s I think) the TOS (aka Tam O'Shanter Bonnet) was manufactured and issued without the regimental tartan patch which was added by the various regimental tailors so wartime expediency meant that new conscripts would not have had the luxury of regimental tairloring which was understandably a fairly low priority and if the tartan patch was added (in many cases it was not, for field use anyway) it would have been done by the soldier himself and probably as you say only held in place by the badge. The cap badge looks to be a very tidy example in fairly mint condition.

    The Gordon Highlanders are reputed to have hung onto the stirrup straps of the Royal Scots Greys (now the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards) in the charge at Waterloo immortalised in the Lady Butler painting 'Scotland Forever' although contemporary history has it that The Greys had actually charged through the Gordons line when the horses bolted and that The Gordons, many of whom were injured or killed by the horses were in fact trying to stop them. Personally I prefer the first version

    You will of course know this but for others interested The Gordons were first amalgamated with The Queens Own Highlanders (Seaforths and Camerons) to become The Highlanders (Seaforths, Gordons and Camerons) before being absorbed into The Royal Regiment of Scotland as 4th Bn (4SCOTS).

    From the circumstances of the find with the original owner named as Mr 'O' and reference to the family name Ogg I think you have a good starting point for research there. Especially with the online resources available today.

    Let us know if you give it a try.

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 05-09-2021 at 07:36 PM.
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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    Thanks for your comment Mark! I will give it a bash to see if I can match a name given location and a potential last name to work with.


    I am quite lucky , ogg isn’t a common last name and there are less than 10 matches for the Gordon highlanders in ww2. I may filter through them at some point and see where they resided

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    Great looking cap.
    You can tell by the verdigris stain the emblem has been on there for some time!

    Congrats on that addition!

    Semper Fi
    phil

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    Nice cap. Love that dirty lived in look.

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    A great find John, and one with local interest too!
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

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    Quote by Jb4046 View Post
    Thanks for your comment Mark! I will give it a bash to see if I can match a name given location and a potential last name to work with.


    I am quite lucky , ogg isn’t a common last name and there are less than 10 matches for the Gordon highlanders in ww2. I may filter through them at some point and see where they resided
    According to a survey in Military Trader Magazine, the majority of military collectors today are over 61 years old, with very few being under 30. I am happy we have younger collectors like you to keep our hobby going and, more importantly, preserve Scotland's military history. I am also really glad spiders do not eat wool...

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    Quote by Reid10 View Post
    I am also really glad spiders do not eat wool...
    Maybe not... but Moths do!
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

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