from Vestiarium Scoticum
The Vestiarium Scoticum was published in Edinburgh in 1842 and purported to reproduce an ancient manuscript on the clan tartans of Scotland, complete with colour illustrations. Shortly after its publication, the book was denounced as a forgery and the Stuart brothers compilers - who claimed to be Bonnie Prince Charlie’s grandsons - were also imposters. A number of modern tartans have been added to the Fraser collection.
Clan Plant Badge
When the wearing of tartan was outlawed after the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, clansmen wore their clan’s plant badge as an act of defiance and identification. Frasers still wear sprigs of yew in their bonnets.
In January, 1900, Simon Joseph Fraser, the 16th Lord Lovat, formed the Lovat Scouts from men were born and raised in Highland glens, who had spent their working lives on Highland Estates, much the same as the enemy they were raised to fight - the Boers.
They were able to penetrate enemy lines, to scout out information about the Boers, whose tactics made them an unseen, silent and deadly foe. The Lovat Scouts soon acquired a reputation for being skilled marksmen who were also accomplished in field craft and military tactics. And though they also had a reputation for bravery, they also practised discretion: "He who shoots and runs away, lives to shoot another day," was an unwritten motto.
And the 17th Lord Lovat picked up his father’s vision. In August, 1939, as war approached, he was mobilised as a captain in the Lovat Scouts. And in 1940 he volunteered to join one of the new commando units.
On the 6th of June 1944 the Fraser’s extraordinary military history came full circle when Lord Lovat landed on Sword Beach during the invasion of Normandy at the head of his Commando Brigade.
The first Frasers came from Normandy and Lovat had come back to where the Frasers began. Against specific orders, Lord Lovat instructed his personal piper, 21 year old Bill Millin, to pipe the commandos ashore. Millin played "Hielan' Laddie" and "The Road to the Isles" which should have made him an obvious target. But German soldiers later said they didn’t shoot because they thought he was mad.
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