The 79th Regiment on Foot, the Cameron Highlanders, was raised in 1793 by Alan Cameron of Erracht, they were with the 78th i the Netherlands, under the command of the Duke of York. On 10 July 1795, the 79th sailed for the West Indies. In the space of two years yellow fever and malaria killed 267 men, the regiment so reduced returned to Britain. By 1799 the regiment fought in the Netherlands, in Egypt (1801) where with the 92th Gordon Highlanders they gained the distinction of being entitled to wear the badge of the Sphinx superscribed with the legend “Egypt”, at the siege of Copenhagen (1807), again in Egypt (1808), than in Portugal. The regiment was al La Corunna, after the Walcheren expeditionreturned to Spain all through the Peninsula campaign, then at Quatre-Bras and Watrloo; and served in Paris with the Army of Occupation until 1818.
Ot the many battle honours of the 79th Cameron Highlanders, probably the best known is “Waterloo". The 79th arrived on the field of battle on 17th June 1815, having fought for the best part of previous day at Quatre-Bras where they had lost almost half of their fighting strenght dead or wounded. The morning of the 18th, after a miserable night in the fields, the regiment were placed in the centre of the Allied line. The Camerons were first involved in the battle in the early afternoon, they engaged the french with a heavy and effective volley of fire followed by a bayonet charge.The franch cavalry launched a determined attack and the 79th formed a defensive square. As the franch attacked, Piper Kenneth MacKay, weary, mud-stained but showing no fear, moved outside the protection of the square and began playng the traditional tune, COGADH NO SITH (war or peace). The 79th being one of only four regiments specifically mentioned by the Duke of Wellington in his Waterloo despach. For his bravery, Kenneth MacKay was presented with a set of silver mounted pipes by the king.
BONNET – blue knitted hummle bonnet with diced band in white red and green covered by black ostrich feathers, black ribbon cockade witha silver metal Sphinx badge inscribrd with battle honour “EGYPT”. Distinctive feathers (fixed behind the cockade) white over red (Battalion Companies).
JACKET – red with dark green collar, cuffs and shoulder straps, white turnback all bordered with regimental lace (white with two reg stripes at rhe edge one yellow stripe in the middle), laces of same colours at the breast of the jacket, white wool tuft at the end of the shoulder straps.
FILLEADH BEG (KILT) – Cameron of Erracht settspecifically designed for the regiment by Mrs Marjory Cameron of Lochiel, mother of Alan Cameron of Erracht
MOGGANS (FOOTLESS HOSETOP) – diced white ans red, red garters.
SHOES – black leather
GAITERS – dark gray wiyh tin buttons.
KNAPSACK – black leather with white leather slings, white regimental number and gray rolled overcoat.
HAVERSACK – unbleached canvas with tin buttons.
WATER CANTEEN – iron ringed gray painted wood with natural leather sling, brass buckle.
CLYMOR (BROADSWORD) – brass hilt black leather scabbard with brass point. White leather shoulder belt and brass plate.
SPORRAN – black leather with white over black horse hair, 5 white over red tassels
Sculpted by Maurizio Bruno
Historica Notes and translation: Marco Lambertucci