A DRESS OF WAR MEMORIES. ~ Interesting History of the Costume Worn by Harry Lauder.

December 26, 1908

Interesting History of the Costume
Worn by Harry Lauder.

There is an interesting story connected with the big fur shako or Schotch bonnet which is worn by Harry Lauder, the Scotch comedian, who will be at Convention hall Sunday and Monday. this bonnet is worn by Mr. Lauder as a part of his makeup while singing, "When I Get Back Again to Bonnie Scotland," the song which King Edward requested him to sing at a recent "Command."

The bonnet was presented to Lauder by Private Alexander Dow, who is one of the survivors of the "Noble Six Hundred," who fought and bled for England's glory at Balaklava. Private Dow, who is now almost 80 years of age, was one of the brave Ninety-third Highlanders who formed the "Thin Red Line," who were only distinguised from their red-coated fellow fighters by the small blue hackle which adorned their bonnets.

The rest of Mr. Lauder's costume when singing this song was presented to him by the First battalion of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, and constitutes their full dress regimentals -- all save the tiny dagger or skean, which peeps out of the right stocking. This little weapon, which is also of historical and sentimental value, was a gift from Pip Major MacKay of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanderrs, and was obtained by him on the battlefield of Mager-Fontein during the Boer war.

This blood-stained little souvenir of carnage was found clasped in the hand of an officer of the "Black Watch" -- the Forty-second Highlanders -- who evidently had used it well in the defense of the life he could not save, in a hand-to-hand conflict with some Boer warrior enemy.