The Atholl Bonnet – Highland Style
The Atholl Bonnet - In the early to mid 19th century the classic Atholl bonnet was developed from the original Scottish blue bonnet. This now classic pattern was worn by estate workers and local ghillies including Willie Duff Atholl man and featured in the Victorian photographs and watercolours of Kenneth MacLeay ' The Highlanders of Scotland ' series commissioned by Queen Victoria.
The Atholl bonnet is slightly higher at the front than the back of the bonnet with a dark navy crown, red torrie – Red, white and green dice. The four back ribbons ( two large and two small ) finish in a back rosette knot. The side of the bonnet has a cockade to attach the bonnet badge.
A similar style was developed in the late 19th century to be worn by the Lovat Scouts regiment in dark blue with a matching diced band, toorie and two back ribbon tails. Instead of a side rosette the Lovat Scouts wear the regimental badge direct onto the diced band. The Lovat Scouts (from 1903 to 1908 Lovat’s Scouts Imperial Yeomanry) were a British Army unit first formed during the Second Boer War as a Scottish Highland yeomanry regiment of the British Army. They were the first known military unit to wear a ghillie suit and in 1916 formally became the British Army’s first sniper unit, then known as “sharpshooters”. The regiment has gone through a number of changes and evolutions over the decades. For many years prior to the ending of the Scottish infantry division, it was embodied as the Orkney element of a rifle company as part of the 2nd Battalion, 51st Highland Volunteers.
The Scottish Horse regiment also developed their own version of the Atholl bonnet in 1900. The Scottish Horse was a Yeomanry regiment of the British Army's Territorial Army raised in 1900 for service in the Second Boer War. It saw heavy fighting in both the First World War, as the 13th Battalion, Black Watch, and in the Second World War, as part of the Royal Artillery. It amalgamated with the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry to form the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse in 1956. The lineage is maintained by "C" Fife and Forfar Yeomanry/Scottish Horse Squadron of The Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry based in Cupar in Fife.