New member here ...

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by Mick Stewart, Dec 15, 2021.

  1. Mick Stewart

    Mick Stewart Faugh a Ballagh

    ... have been meaning to sign up but never quite found the time. I'm glad to have finally signed up as there is some excellent information here on subjects I have long been interested in:

    Irish regimental pipe bands
    WWII London Irish Rifles
    2-drone Irish warpipes
    Caubeens

    .. and WWII re-enacting (addicted collector and reenactor since 1982).

    Can't wait to settle in, sit down with a cup of coffee and go through the hundreds of threads that are here.

    Mick
     
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  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  3. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Welcome aboard Mick.
     
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  4. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Mick,

    My father did some LIR re-enacting from 1939-46, from Liverpool Street station to Villach station, and he would be pleased that there are still men and women around who retain interest.

    A couple of photos upfront:

    1) 1938 caubeen style (just taken out of the boxes) - Jack Macnamara MP (5th from the left) was a key instigator in the introduction of the caubeen into the LIR. He was killed in Italy 77 years ago this week.

    FullSizeRender (12).jpg


    2) The pipers wandering into Tunis in May 1943.

    large_NA_002801_1 (2).jpg

    best wishes

    Quis Separabit
    Faugh a Ballagh !
     
  5. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello and welcome to the forum Mick.

    Lesley
     
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  6. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    G’day Mick, Welcome to the forum.
     
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  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Hello good evening & welcome.
     
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  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Welcome to the forum
     
    Mick Stewart likes this.
  9. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the site
     
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  10. Mick Stewart

    Mick Stewart Faugh a Ballagh

    Wow - thank you everyone for the greetings!
     
  11. Mick Stewart

    Mick Stewart Faugh a Ballagh


    Richard,

    Incredible photos. I have the LIR book by Willis and I remember the pipers photo - however, its so good to see it again. Had a laugh at the reenacting quip (the men who reenacted for real, for everything) :) Props to Jack MacNamara for introducing a fine piece of headgear, nothing looks like a well worn caubeen with a hackle behind the cap badge.

    Best.

    Mick
     
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  12. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    A late but hearty welcome to the merry band sir!
     
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  13. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Mick,

    Nice.

    Yes, I'm in regular contact with George Willis jnr who is my "go-to" expert on piping matters. I think I've spotted you on Twitter so you know all the various on line links that you can explore.

    Last one here is a photo of a group of lads who had spent 6 months battling through the Tunisian Djebels, then 2 weeks fighting in the Sicilian mountains facing extreme heat and vicious mosquitos, and then spent 60 days flogging up the Adriatic coast from Termoli to the Moro river.... before being dumped in the middle of an inhospitable field in the middle of the Apennine mountains in the middle of December (the state of their boots !).. how the lads wore their caubeens certainly gives an insight into their emotions. 17 months of bitter fighting lay ahead of them before they could finally relax.

    group4.jpg

    yours
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2021
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  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Welcome to the forum
     
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  15. Mick Stewart

    Mick Stewart Faugh a Ballagh


    Richard,

    INCREDIBLE photo! One question I need to ask: are the caubeens green? I remember reading something somewhere about the lack of green wool material and QMs using British WWII greatcoat material to make them. I also read (I'm surmising) that British WWII General Service (GS) Caps ("cap, ridiculous") was used as well. When we got our pipe band off the ground we used the darker brown GS caps with blue hackles until a source was found for RIR caubeens. I wish I knew the sources I read that from ... I'll recheck the Willis book. I did have a book on the 38th Brigade but after the hurricane a few years back a selection of things went missing.

    This pic is absolutely magnificent, you set it up nicely with the battalion's history since North Africa - Sicily to the upper reaches of Italy. They wear those caubeens at a rakish angle because they've earned the right: can't imagine the daily horrors of war from one extreme in the desert heat to another in the freezing alpine. Looking at the photo everyone's in BD, can see two sets what are probably denim's and a leather jerkin. God love 'em Richard, none like 'em.

    Best.

    Mick
     
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  16. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Mick,

    Thank you again. Hijacking your "welcome thread" perhaps but a bit more in answer.

    The precise colour of the individual caubeen during the war time period would depend on when/how they were sourced. As you know, the Skins and the Faughs came late to the party so they had all sorts of versions. As you also will know, the hackles' colours were St Patrick's blue for Officers/WOs and green for the rest.

    Here's a link to a summarised write up about the various origins:
    The Caubeen – London Irish Rifles Association

    “The London Irish have always worn this form of headdress. About January 1944, the 2nd Inniskillings, then in the 5th Div, began wearing a similar hat made out of Italian great coats. It was not a very becoming colour, but it was the only material that was available. It was distinctive and it was national. It was based on the type of hat worn for years for by the pipers of Irish Regiments. The 6th Skins at once started copying the 2nd Skins lead.”

    “About February 1944, the attention was directed within the Brigade to an Army Council Instruction (ACI) altering the type of headdress that was to be worn in the British army. This headdress was to take the place of the ‘fore and aft’ cap. Entering into the detail who was to wear what and when, this ACI referred to the Irish Regiments in detail.”

    “The Royal Inniskillings and the Royal Irish Fusiliers were to wear an article called ‘bonnet drab’. Enquiries were made to find out what a ‘bonnet drab’ was, and it became apparent that it was precisely the same article of headdress as was at present worn by the pipers of all three battalions. It gradually became know as the ‘caubeen’ for short!”

    “The Faughs were the only battalion at that time who had not started to make their own version of the caubeen and they did not want to be left out. There was a strong feeling throughout the Brigade that this ACI ordered exactly what everybody wanted to do, and Ordnance supplied these bonnet drabs for the entire Brigade without a murmur.”


    I also attach a (I think accurate) colourisation of ye olde man in Italy when he was a WOII.

    best wishes

    IMG_1870.PNG
     
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  17. Mick Stewart

    Mick Stewart Faugh a Ballagh

    Richard,

    THANKS so much. Definitely bottle green / rifle green (which certainly match the cuff rank). The Italian greatcoats had a beautiful grey hue to them (if memory serves) so as a headdress color that would have looked phenom as well. The dark green caubeen simply has a splash to it that no other forms of headdress possess. Great pic of your father!
     
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