highland-regiment

Piper George Clark at Vimiera by J. B. MacDonald

Piper George Clark of the 71st Highland Light Infantry was severely wounded at Vimeiro but nevertheless played ‘Up them Waur and aa, Wullie’ to encourage his comrades. Many details in this print show that the artist attempted to make an accurate rendering. The French infantry wear the long white linen overcoats, the men of the 71st are depicted wearing bluish trousers possibly intended to indicate trews. Inspection reports of early 1809 confirm the bonnets and trews and also mention ‘Russia Duck Pantaloons’ that would have been white. Clark, however, is shown with blue cuffs and collar instead of the 71st’s buff. [René Chartrand, ‘Vimeiro 1808: Wellesley’s first victory in the Peninsular’]

Clark received a gift of silver-mounted pipes from the Highland Society for his courage.

Here he is with his silver pipes

The pipes were engraved “To George Clarke, piper of the 71st, as a mark of the Society’s approbation of his spirited and laudable conduct at the Battle of Veimeria Aug 21st 1808, in continuing to play upon his pipes to animate the men, after being himself severely wounded.“ 

Coloured print of the Anecdote of the bravery of the Scots piper at the Battle of Vimeiro

Published by Orme on 1st January 1816, showing Piper George Clark of the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot.

Print after Manskirch

While quite inaccurate compared to Atkinson’s print (of MacDonald’s painting?) insofar as the uniform of the 71st, it is nevertheless a very good depiction of the Highland regimental dress and equipment during the Napoleonic Wars. The blue facings and dark tartan suggest the 42nd Foot (the Royal Highland Regiment) is the unit depicted. [René Chartrand, ‘Vimeiro 1808: Wellesley’s first victory in the Peninsular’]

Also, the caption seems to say ‘the 11th Highland Regiment,’ which is confusing me because as far as I was aware, the 11th - Colquhoun Grant’s regiment at the time - (a) was the Devonshire Regiment and (b) did not arrive in the Peninsula until August 1809.

Any help from military history people would be appreciated