This is the present cap badge of one of our oldest and most distinguished, Regiments, the Gordon Highlanders.
Background to the Gordon Highlanders.
The regiment was set up because of the growing threat of war with France in 1794. Their heroic suffering in the Peninsular War is well recorded. The regiment were poorly kitted out, some with no boots, as they made their way through Spain to the coast at Corunna. Here, in winter conditions, they waited, either for the ships to take them home or for the French. Both appeared at the same time and the Gordan had to fight a rear guard action. The conditions were so bad that many of their families travelling with them died.
After the Napoleonic Wars ended, the Gordan Highlanders seemed to become a largely ignored regiment, serving in many parts of the British Empire, including the West Indies.
The sad thing is that up to half of the Regiment died, succumbing to various tropical disease and of their accompanying families, nearly all died.
During the Indian Mutiny, their role was to protect the north west frontier.
- Throughout the C19th and C20th, disease accounted for a large number of deaths in the military. Lessons were learnt that helped improve the health of the whole nation and improve conditions for servicemen.
- An intriguing connection, Edinburgh’s first photographer, 1830 – 1840, set up shop and went up to the castle to photograph the troops. The resident brigade were the Gordon Highlanders and became possibly the first Regiment to have been photographed in the British Army…..
- Take a look at our Artefacts, Objects and Documents theme for more cap badges
- Consider the work of Florence Nightingale during the Crimean war and of Joseph Lister in our People and Personalities and Science and Innovation section
- Follow Major Events to find out more about the wars the Gordon Highlanders fought in