Name: Hamish "Digger" Graham
Regiment: 42nd (Royal Highlanders) Regiment of Foot
AKA: The 42nd Highlanders, The Black Watch, The Forty Twa, the Ladies from Hell
Motto: "No One Provokes Me With Impunity"
Scotland the Brave
Personality: Hamish is a simple soldier. He is disciplined and hardened to the rigors of campaign life. When in the company of peers, he does not hold his tongue. He speaks his mind. When in the company of officers, he stands rigidly at attention and only responds when questioned. Hamish is not the type to go running out in front of the regiment and commit some heroic deed. Although, you won't find him shirking away from a fight either. He prefers to hide in the middle. Hamish is focused on the work at hand, enjoys his free time and knows how to find the bottom of a bottle of whiskey or rum. It is common amongst all soldiers to avoid taking on responsibility (promotions) or to volunteer for anything. Following with that, Hamish has avoided promotion to Corporal for the past 19 years.
Weapons/equipment: As with all soldiers of the 42nd Royal Highlanders, the Black Watch, or the Forty Twa from that beloved nation of Scotland, Hamish carries the following items: issued backpack, sleeping roll, canteen, British Land Pattern Musket (a.k.a. Brown Bess) in .71 caliber, and cartridge pouch.
Skills: nil other than being a soldier
History: Hamish Graham was born and raised near Glasgow, Scotland. His father farmed the land and mother cared for the family house. It was a humble peasant upbringing, but the family rarely went for wanting much.
At the age of 16 (1790), Hamish was recruited into the 42nd Regiment of Foot as there were no prospects for him in the Highlands. The Regiment had just returned to Glasgow from their deployments abroad. Initially, Hamish served as a drummer boy, but age 18 was granted a position in the Fusilier company of the regiment.
On March 21, 1801 Hamish was with the 42nd Regiment at Alexandria, Eqypt. The Black Watch served under Lieutenant General Sir Ralph Abercromby, KB and Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, KB which instilled a sense of price and euphoria among the Scottish Regiment for for both officers were of their own, as well as a skilled tacticians.
During the engagement on the morning of the 21st, the French drove in the picketes, to which Hamish was part of and the 42nd succeeded in seizing the colors of one of the attacking French Regiments. This attack was repulsed. During the 2nd Attack by French Dragoons, the Black Watch suffered 13 casualties from Cavalry sabers. During this encounter, Lieutenant General Abercromby suffered a fatal wound while fighting with French Dragoons. He was later evacuated to the HMS Foudroyant, an 80-gun third rate ship anchored off shore where he succumbed to his injuries on the 28th of March.
The British army of 14,000 troops succeeded in pushing back a more seasoned French force of 20,000 into the walls of Alexandria. From the 17th of August until the 2nd of September, Hamish Graham and the 42nd Regiment of Foot laid siege to the city of Alexandria. For Hamish, he would pick up the sobriquet, "Digger" for the numerous graves he would dig that summer planting both his brothers from Scotland and the filthy Frenchmen the slaughtered.
In May 1802, the Regiment marched to Ashford and were reviewed by King George III. He had only favorable remarks to make. Soon afterward, Hamish and the 42nd were marching to Edinburgh. The locals all came out to cheer on the Highlanders during their march north. When they were close to Edinburgh, thousands came out and celebrated in the return of the Scottish Rgiment.
The regiment remained in Edinburgh until the spring of 1803, at which time they deployed to Weely Barracks in Essex. Then in November, the 1st Battalion, 42nd Regiment were sent to Gibralter. The 2nd Battalion, 42nd Regiment remained at Weely barracks. The 1st Battalion had 850 soldiers on Gibralter from 1803 - 1806 and suffered 31 deaths before they were ordered to Portugal.
The 42nd Regiment missed the battle of Vimiera, 18 August 1808, but joined Sir John Moore's Army shortly after this. Moore split up his army in October, 1808 sending four divisions along different roads into Spain. The 42nd marched with Lieutenant General Hope toward Madrid and Espinar along with three other regiments and a brigade of Artillery.
In November, the four regiments were to link up at Salamanca. In December, General Moore learned of a French army nearby and attempted to march toward it. Hope's division was still 4 days march from Salamanca. Moore received word that the French numbered 100,000 troops to his 18,000. Moore ordered a retreat. On the 24th of December, he decided to turn north and link up with General Baird, which would bring their total strength to over 24,000. Then he learned the French in Northern Spain totaled 40,000 troops. During the time period of Dec 08 to Jan 09, General Moore reversed his orders several times and created a massive threat to the integrity of his army. Morale plummeted and soldiers resorted to looting food and supplies from the locals. The soldiers began to hate General Moore and the civilians hated the British Army.
Appearance: Hamish Graham, to his friends is known only as "Digger" stands 5' 7" tall and weighs 160 Lbs. He wears a sculpted brown beard and mustache that stands out from his chest. His steel gray eyes appear cold. He wears the standard uniform and equipment of a soldier in the Light Company of the 42nd (Royal Highlanders) Regiment of Foot in the King's Army.
Line Company Uniforms
Grenadier Company uniforms
Light/Fusilier Company Uniforms
The number 42 is on the buttons of the uniforms of the Officers and men. The coats are lapeled to the waist with the color of the facings of the regiment, crimson red. The officers of grenadiers wear an epaulette on each shoulder. Soldiers of the battalion wear one on the right shoulder. They are either of embroidery or lace, with gold or silver fringe. The waistcoats to be plain, without either embroidery or lace. The swords of the regiment are uniform, Basket-hilt broadswords in the case of the Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch) and the sword-knots of the whole crimson and gold in stripes. The hilts of the swords are either gilt or silver, according to the color of the buttons on the uniforms. The hats are laced either with gold or silver, as hereafter specified, and to be cocked uniformly. The Royal Highlanders (The Black Watch), on the whole, wear highland bonnets.
The highland bonnet is one of the least standard items of the uniform. The bonnets are simple dark blue wool, with a red and white bands around the bottom portion of the bonnet. Instead of the bonnet standing up strait, it was cocked to the left as if it was laying on the soldier's heads. The diced tall bonnets were more popular with the officers, suggesting that this practice was due more to fashion considerations than anything else. The men wore tufts of black bearskin in the bonnets, and the officers wore a black ostrich feather.
The sashes are a crimson silk, and worn around the waist. The King's arms are engraved on the gorgets; also the number of the regiment. They are either gilt or silver, according to the color of the buttons on the uniforms. The Officers of the grenadiers wear black bear-skin caps and have fuzils, shoulder-belts, and pouches. The shoulder belts are white or buff, according to the color of their waistcoats. The belts and other accoutrements of the Black Watch are black. The entire regiment wear black linen gaiters, with black buttons, and small stiff tops, black garters, and uniform buckles over red and white checkered stockings.
The coats of the Corporals have a silk epaulette on the right shoulder. The coats of the grenadiers have the usual round of wings of red cloth on the point of the shoulder, with six loops of the same sort of lace as on the buttonholes, and a border round the bottom. The men's coats to be looped with worsted lace, but no border. The ground of the lace is white, with colored stripes. The waistcoat has white buttons. The breadth of the lace which is to make the loop round the buttonhole, to be about half an inch. Four loops are on the sleeves, and four on the pockets, with two on each side of the slit behind. The 42nd's lace are looped into the "bastion" shape.
The breadth of all the lapels are three inches, and reach down to the waist, and not to be wider at top than at the bottom. The sleeves of the coats have a small round cuff, without any slit, and are made so that they may be unbuttoned and let down. Everyone has cross pockets, but no flaps to those of the waistcoat. The cuffs of the sleeve, which turns up, are three inches and a half deep. The flap on the pocket of the coat is sewn down, and the pocket is cut in the lining of the coat.
The breadth of the shoulder-belts is two inches and three quarters; that of the waist-belt is two inches. Again, the 42nd wear accoutrements of black.
Unique to the 42nd
The Black Watch, when it was first formed, was given the dark green and black tartan that bears its name. In 1746, a red over-stripe was added to the pattern. During the period of the American Revolution, there was some variation between the tartans. According to Osprey Military's 18th Century Highlanders, "..plaids were made from undifferentiated Government set, while the same set with the red overstripe was used for kilts."
In North America, the Black Watch frequently forsook the plaid for the 'little kilt' commonly seen today. Due more to fashion considerations than anything else, or took to wearing breeches in the wilderness, saving the kilt for special occasions.
Prior to 1769, the regiment wore red waistcoats. After the 1768 Warrant, white waistcoats were issued.
Sporrans were changed from badger-skin to goat-skin or buff leather in 1769. This is the item adorned with hair hanging from the waist over the soldier's kilt.