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Old 21-02-21, 03:05 PM
Colin S Colin S is offline
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Default Commando instructors at Achnacarry

I can remember reading somewhere that the instructing staff at the Commando Basic Training Centre at Achnacarry Castle in Scotland during WWII wore a Cameron of Erracht tartan patch without badge on their green berets. James Dunning, in his book, ‘It had to be tough’, says the staff wore their cap badges on a Cameron of Lochiel tartan patch.

Can anyone help with more definite information and sources/photos?

Thanks.
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Old 21-02-21, 03:43 PM
Mike B Mike B is offline
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Jimmy Dunning was correct, but NOT all instructors wore the backing patch.
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Old 21-02-21, 04:32 PM
Colin S Colin S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B View Post
Jimmy Dunning was correct, but NOT all instructors wore the backing patch.
Thank you for that information. Do you know which instructors and why some and not others? Any other published sources?

Do you know if there a difference between Cameron of Erracht tartan and that of Cameron of Lochiel or is it essentially the same?
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Old 21-02-21, 05:13 PM
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Irv Irv is offline
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I have a green beret give to me by an achnacarry RM instructor. It have just got the RM cap badge. If that helps any.

Regards
Irv
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Old 21-02-21, 06:43 PM
cavalryman cavalryman is offline
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Default Tartan

Hi Colin, You can look up the tartans in this index.

https://www.houseoftartan.co.uk/house/tfinder.htm

regards John
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Old 21-02-21, 06:52 PM
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Mike H Mike H is online now
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Totally different colours ,although the actual pattern is similar.
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Old 21-02-21, 07:15 PM
Mike B Mike B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin S View Post
Thank you for that information. Do you know which instructors and why some and not others? Any other published sources?

Do you know if there a difference between Cameron of Erracht tartan and that of Cameron of Lochiel or is it essentially the same?
It always appears a matter of personal choice regarding wear of the backing - but certainly Cameron of Lochiel sanctioned wear of the backing given use of his estate at Achnacarry as the Commando Basic Training Centre - Could be either a square or disc = generally about 2-inches from memory.

Different tartans as fellow contributors have stated.
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Old 21-02-21, 08:00 PM
Royal Royal is offline
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It was the Erracht patch that was worn (same as the Cameron Highlanders) - according to the last Lochiel who very kindly showed me round the house and in particular the remaining artwork painted on the walls of what was the mess when I visited about 20 years ago.
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Old 21-02-21, 09:01 PM
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Didn't someone post a photo of commando training instructors in Scotland with tartan backings a good few years ago now I seem to remember.
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Old 21-02-21, 10:21 PM
Colin S Colin S is offline
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Thank you to all those who have added their assistance - the Forum is always such a knowledgeable source. Having looked at the tartan chart, I am sure that I saw an illustration of a round patch of the Erracht Regimental tartan being labelled as an Achnacarry instructor’s beret emblem (but, despite racking my pea brain, cannot remember where that was...) This would concur with what Lochiel said to Royal - as he’s the Head of the Cameron Clan presumably he can use any one of the Cameron tartans. It may be that Jimmy Dunning just presumed it was Cameron of Lochiel tartan because he was based at Lochiel’s castle

But..I have now found a thread on the Forum called “Commando pic - Reconnaissance Regiment?” Which shows a letter from Mountbatten quoting the tartan as being Lochiel - I attach the letter for ease of reference.

Nothing in the world of badge collecting turns out to be straightforward....

Last edited by Colin S; 21-02-21 at 11:05 PM.
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