The pipes and drums of the Black Watch

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The War of the Austrian Succession brought The Black Watch its first Battle Honor, at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. Shortly afterward, it distinguished itself at the Battle of Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War.
At 7:30 p.m. March 11, the Santa Fe Concert Association presents the pipes and drums of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Scottish Regiment, at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco St., Santa Fe.
Although The Black Watch participated in many battles during the Revolutionary War, it clams no honor for these engagements against its American cousins. The red tackle or plume, which the Regiment considers a Battle Honor, was awarded in 1795. During the 19th century, The Black Watch served all over the world. The Regiment raised 27 battalions for service on all fronts during World War I. Its Battle Honors for the Great War include the Marne, Ypres and the Somme.
The Regiment’s service since World War I has sent it to Borneo, Korea (where it fought with the U.S. Marine Corps at “The Hook”), several tours in Germany and, most recently, Hong Kong.
Today,The Black Watch continues to serve as a fully operational Battalion in the modern British Army.
The red hackle worn on the bonnets of The Black Watch was adopted in 1795. In the Regiment, the red hackle is more than a trophy; it represents an honor and on most headdresses is worn in lieu of a regimental badge.
The scarlet doublets (Highland jackets decorated with white “Crown and Inch” lace, Inverness skirt flaps and wings) worn by the drummers of The Black Watch have remained virtually the same since 1914.
Both pipers and drummers wear a regimental pattern white hair sporran (Highland purse) with five black hair tassels.
The regimental dance team, which is drawn from the Pipe Band, wears modified Pipers and Drummers uniforms.
The Black Watch has long been known as a family regiment. Many members of the Pipes and Drums have fathers, grandfathers, uncles, or brothers who served in the past, or are currently in the regiment.
Today, the operational role of the Pipes and Drums is that of Machine Gun Platoon, an elite unit within the Regiment. All its members are fully trained machine gunners who won first place in a 1994 competition among infantry battalions.
Tickets, $20-$75, are available at ticketssantafe.org. Half-price tickets for students are available.