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a readjusted vision of those far-off days when the lord supplied his quota
of men for state service, and when the chief of the clan had a willing
supply of fighters among his vassals. The Highland regiments, as a
matter of fact, retain various traces of those origins — in the use of
family crests on buttons and bonnets, and the appearance of a captain's
arms or crest on the banner of the piper of his company.
It is certain that the real impetus to the writing, or rather compil-
ing of, regimental history which we have witnessed during recent years
originated mainly with the introduction on July i, 1881, of the system
of linked territorial battalions which restored, to take an appropriate
example, the 75th Foot to its native heath after a spell of life as a
sort of nondescript Dorset corps. It was instinctively felt, as it were,
that the army was getting back to its first inspirations, and the occasion
was seized upon to show what these had been and how far they had been
preserved. Thus we have had a constant supply of regimental histories,
replacing, or attempting to replace, the mechanically produced primers
of Richard Cannon. Side by side, we have had a great quarry opened in
Mr. Charles Dalton's Historical Army Lists, begun with enthusiastic
laboriousness in 1892 and still " in progress," as the British Museum cata-
logue would say. A spacious background showing the political and tacti-
cal side of soldiering is being supplied in the monumental History of the
British Army, begun in 1899 by the Hon. J. W. Fortescue, who had
trained himself for the task by producing a history of the 17th Lancers
four years previously. We have had elaborate histories of the volunteers,
such a busy soldier as Sir James Grierson having found time to produce
an exhaustive work on the Scots force from 1859 to 1908, a striking com-
ment on the change of attitude which has taken place since " Geoffrey
Chaw Sir" and " Hans Whole-Being" (Sir George Reid) collaborated
on Ye Nobeli Cheesemonger (1861), in which we were shown Captain
Stevenson, of the ist Aberdeen Rifle Volunteers, being hoisted on to
the pedestal of the deposed Duke of Gordon in Castle Street, Aberdeen.
If it were necessary to labour the point that enthusiasm is evoked
by the historic side of soldiering, it is to be found in the fact that every
regimental history is heavily subsidised in one way or another — ^just
like the present book. Even works of a more general character are
produced at a financial loss : the present writer knows of one particular
instance in which the publication of an admirable book on regimental

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