Colonel John Tiltman wears a very strange uniform in this picture, dated 1919. enter image description here

The original webpage where I saw the picture is http://www.colossus-computer.com/colossus1.html.

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    Are you sure it's a "uniform"? Looks like a custom jobbie pants with regular uniform coat to me. – Bryce May 12 '13 at 9:34
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    Why the downvote? – Felix Goldberg May 12 '13 at 20:49
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    @Bryce: What are jobbie pants? Google doesn't seem to know... – Felix Goldberg May 13 '13 at 7:43
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    I meant "custom job" - i.e. bespoke pants with a uniform coat. – Bryce May 13 '13 at 19:45
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    @Bryce: Were officers allowed to wear such an outfit? Sounds a bit weird to me.. – Felix Goldberg May 13 '13 at 19:52

The Colonel was of Scottish descent and served with the King's Own Scottish Borderers in WW I (according to Wikipedia). The trouser pattern in question could well exhibit the unit's (mainly green-and-blue) tartan. Also, the cape he wears appears very similar to those exhibited at the King's Own Scottish Borderers Regimental Museum's web site. And as for him wearing trousers instead of a Scottish kilt I'd say: maybe it's some (Scottish) Winter uniform :)

(source: wikimedia.org)

P.S. Nice web site about the Colossus computer, BTW.


Not all Scots ran around in kilts - that is very much a Highland tradition. The KOSB being borderers and lowlanders in general did not see the kilt as part of their own tradition, and thus Tartan Trews were worn - and looked very sharp if I may say so. The pipers of the regiment did wear the Royal Stewart in a Kilt, bit other ranks wore Leslie Tartan Trews (in honor of the Earl Leslie that formed the original 25 regiment of foot in 1689).

Sadly the KOSB were both downsized an amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland, and most traditions and certainly the uniform were lost to time. You can still vist the KOSB museum in Berwick on Tweed.

Source: a 5th generation borderer!


The King's Own Scottish Borderers (formed in Edinburgh in 1689) were a Lowland Scots regiment one of the original truly Scottish regiments formed before the union of Scotland with England (unlike the much younger and junior Highland regiments who were never part of the Scottish establishment) and as such wore trews instead of kilts.

  • Could you please elaborate on "as such". Isn't it also a truly Scottish tradition to wear kilts, or would that be frowned upon by some? – Drux Aug 2 '13 at 5:48
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    This looks like a very informative and interesting answer. Sufficiently interesting that I'd like to learn more. If only it had sources/citations...... – Mark C. Wallace Aug 2 '13 at 11:29
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    Drux, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_kilt -- kilts aren't that old. "The earliest written source that definitely describes the belted plaid or great kilt comes from 1594." The kilt we think of today is even more recent. Also, the Great Kilt (according to that Wikipedia article) was more associated with Highland Scots. – litlnemo May 16 '14 at 6:11

The original Scottish Regiments: Hepburns Regiment which became 1st of Foot (later The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment), The Earl of Mar's Regiment which became the 21st of Foot (later The Royal Scots Fusiliers), Leven's or The Edinburgh Regiment which became the 25th of Foot (later The King's Own Scottish Borderers), and The Cameronian Regiment which became the 26th of Foot (later The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)). Were all formed before the Union of Scotland and England all fought against The Stuart cause, they held the predominantly Jacobite and Catholic Highlanders and Catholicism in contempt regarding the Highlanders mode of dress as barbaric and uncivilized. The original Scottish Regiments were dressed very similar to their English contemporaries and carried on that tradition until the 1880s. They did, however have Pipers from their earliest days and always used Scottish drum beats.

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    Welcome to History.stackexchange.com. The site encourages proper sentence and paragraph structure, and in this light your answer could use a little tidying up. If you went a bit further and provided a web-site link for one or more of the regiments you refer to, I would gladly up-vote you for enhancing the answer to this question. – Pieter Geerkens Nov 2 '13 at 2:30

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