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Quiz about The Black Watch
Quiz about The Black Watch

The Black Watch Trivia Quiz


A quiz on the history and traditions of the British Army's Black Watch.

A multiple-choice quiz by Fifiona81. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Fifiona81
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
382,082
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
388
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 136 (3/10), Guest 120 (8/10), Guest 108 (2/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. The Black Watch has been a part of British military history since the mid-18th century. In which constituent country of the United Kingdom did it originate? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. British, Dutch and Hanoverian forces were defeated by the French at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. This was the first major military action in which the Black Watch (43rd Highland Regiment of Foot) were involved and took place during which war? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In 1758 the Black Watch was deployed in North America as part of the British forces involved in the French and Indian War. It suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Carillon - an attempt by the British to gain control of the French controlled Fort Carillon on Lake Champlain. By what name is the fort now better known? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. The Black Watch adopted the red hackle - one of the most distinctive parts of their uniform - in 1795. But what exactly is a hackle? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The first soldier of the Black Watch to be awarded the Victoria Cross was Lieutenant Francis Farquharson. He won this honour in March 1858 for his "conspicuous bravery" during the capture of which Indian city that had been besieged the previous year? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. During which conflict did a battalion of the Black Watch take part in the Siege of Kut, the Fall of Baghdad and the Battle of Megiddo? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The 1st, 4th and 6th battalions of the Black Watch were all sent to France in 1939 during the early stages of the Second World War, but evacuated from Dunkirk less than nine months later. True or False?


Question 8 of 10
8. Which British castle is the home of the Black Watch and includes the regimental headquarters and a museum dedicated to its history? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In 2006, a reorganisation of the British Army resulted in the amalgamation of the Black Watch with other historic regiments. Black Watch then became the third battalion of which new regiment? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Which member of the Royal Family served as Colonel-in-Chief of the Black Watch from 1937 until 2002? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jul 16 2024 : Guest 136: 3/10
Jul 09 2024 : Guest 120: 8/10
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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Black Watch has been a part of British military history since the mid-18th century. In which constituent country of the United Kingdom did it originate?

Answer: Scotland

The 'Black Watch' was originally an informal term used to describe independent militias raised in the Scottish Highlands in 1725 by General George Wade. The aim of these forces was to be on the "watch" for crime and the "black" part of their description is likely to have come from the dark blue and green tartan used in their uniforms.

While these Independent Highland Companies went on to become part of the official British Army in 1739 as the 43rd (and later 42nd) Highland Regiment of Foot, General Wade also got a promotion. He became a Field Marshal in 1743, was installed as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in 1745 and even (briefly) given his own verse in the National Anthem!
2. British, Dutch and Hanoverian forces were defeated by the French at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. This was the first major military action in which the Black Watch (43rd Highland Regiment of Foot) were involved and took place during which war?

Answer: War of the Austrian Succession

The War of the Austrian Succession involved most of Europe - with (primarily) Britain, Austria, the Netherlands and Hanover fighting France, Spain and Prussia over (nominally) the rights of a woman, the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa, to inherit control of the dominions of the House of Habsburg. In reality of course the war was caused by a much wider range of political and economic issues.

Although the Black Watch's first major involvement in this war won then some plaudits for their bravery and unique style of fighting, the end result was a painful defeat. Overall, it is estimated that around 2,500 Allied soldiers were killed with a further 8,500 wounded or captured, while France gained control of significant portions of northern Europe.

The War of the Spanish Succession took place between 1701 and 1714; the War of the Polish Succession from 1733 to 1738 involved most of Europe (but not Britain); and the War of the Bavarian Succession (1778-1779) featured Austria versus Prussia and Saxony.
3. In 1758 the Black Watch was deployed in North America as part of the British forces involved in the French and Indian War. It suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Carillon - an attempt by the British to gain control of the French controlled Fort Carillon on Lake Champlain. By what name is the fort now better known?

Answer: Fort Ticonderoga

The Battle of Carillon is also known as the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga - both names come from the fort at the centre of the battle, as Fort Carillon was renamed Fort Ticonderoga after it was finally taken by the British. The "1758" part of the name is a necessary qualifier given the number of later battles that took place at and around the fort, including two notable engagements of the American War of Independence. The fort is located in what is now New York State.

The Black Watch were deployed in North America from 1756 to 1767 and were involved in a variety of well-known battles and events including the surrender of Montreal in 1760 and the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763 (part of Pontiac's Rebellion). However, it was the Battle of Carillon where the regiment suffered its greatest losses - around half of its men were casualties of the battle, with around 300 killed and a further 300 injured.

The remains of Fort William Henry were used by the British forces as an encampment ahead of the Battle of Carillon. Fort McHenry is a coastal fort in Maryland known for inspiring the US national anthem and Fort Sumter in South Carolina was the scene for the first shots of the US Civil War.
4. The Black Watch adopted the red hackle - one of the most distinctive parts of their uniform - in 1795. But what exactly is a hackle?

Answer: A feather plume attached to military headwear

A hackle (sometimes referred to as a heckle in Scotland) is a long feather plume attached to military hats and particularly used by the British Army to distinguish different regiments. The Black Watch were granted exclusive use of red feathers for their hackle in the 1820s, but white, blue and green hackles are quite common and some regiments have mixed colour hackles that include some red. Unfortunately there is no single verifiable story regarding how the Black Watch came to use a red hackle - as given their name you'd probably expect them to have a black one!

The hackle can be attached to all sorts of different types of military uniform headwear. It is often seen on black busby hats (the tall and furry ones), berets and Scottish Tam O'Shanters.

As an aside, the wide leather belt with a diagonal shoulder strap that is often seen in military and police uniforms is called a Sam Browne belt and a sheath for a sword (of any shape) is generally known as a scabbard.
5. The first soldier of the Black Watch to be awarded the Victoria Cross was Lieutenant Francis Farquharson. He won this honour in March 1858 for his "conspicuous bravery" during the capture of which Indian city that had been besieged the previous year?

Answer: Lucknow

The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration that can be awarded to members of the UK armed forces and is given (as inscribed on the medal) "for valour", in particular valour "in the presence of the enemy".

Lieutenant Farquharson won his Victoria Cross - the first one to be awarded to a member of Black Watch - for his role in the attack on Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 to 1859. Lucknow's most famous role in the Rebellion was probably the siege of its British Residency in 1857. The British Army liberated their garrison towards the end of the year and retreated from the city; the action involving Lieutenant Farquharson and the Black Watch was the retaking of the city the following year.

Farquharson gained promotion to the rank of Major later in his career and his Victoria Cross medal was put on display at the Black Watch Museum.
6. During which conflict did a battalion of the Black Watch take part in the Siege of Kut, the Fall of Baghdad and the Battle of Megiddo?

Answer: First World War

The 2nd Battalion of the Black Watch spent much of the First World War on operations in what was then Mesopotamia and Palestine. The Siege of Kut by Ottoman forces took place between December 1915 and April 1916 and the resulting failed relief efforts caused the loss of around 30,000 Allied casualties. The Fall of Baghdad was a more successful operation, also fought against the Ottomans, which resulted in the capture of the city by British forces in March 1917. The Battle of Megiddo took place in September 1918; it was the final major offensive of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and resulted in a decisive Allied victory.

The other battalions of the Black Watch fought in France, seeing action in many of the major battles including those at Neuve Chapelle, Loos, the Somme, Arras and Ypres. Overall, the First World War cost the lives of around 8,000 Black Watch soldiers.

The Black Watch also took part in all of the incorrect options - the Crimean War, the Mahdist War in Sudan and the Second Boer War in South Africa.
7. The 1st, 4th and 6th battalions of the Black Watch were all sent to France in 1939 during the early stages of the Second World War, but evacuated from Dunkirk less than nine months later. True or False?

Answer: False

Although all three of the listed battalions of the Black Watch formed part of the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1939, only the 4th and 6th Battalions were successfully evacuated from Dunkirk. The British and their allies had been driven to the northern French coastline by German forces and left with no option but to retreat back across the channel to Britain. Evacuations took place from several French ports, but the Dunkirk evacuation (otherwise known as Operation Dynamo) was the most famous of these and managed to turn a humiliating defeat into a miraculous success in the eyes of the British public.

The 1st Battalion of the Black Watch were serving with the 51st Highland Infantry Division, which was unable to evacuate and forced to surrender to German forces led by Erwin Rommel at the French town of Saint-Valery-en-Caux in June 1940.
8. Which British castle is the home of the Black Watch and includes the regimental headquarters and a museum dedicated to its history?

Answer: Balhousie Castle

Balhousie Castle in Perth, Scotland is a largely Victorian building, but parts of it are believed to be from the 17th century and the history of the site is likely to date back to the 12th century. It was first used by the army during the Second World War and became home to the Black Watch in the 1960s. However, it wasn't until 2008 that an appeal was launched to actually purchase the estate and secure it as a permanent home for both the regiment and its museum.

The Black Watch Museum tells the story of the regiment from its early days in the 18th century right through to its involvement in modern-day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was also one of several locations around Britain to house the 'Weeping Window' exhibition of ceramic poppies, which was originally displayed to dramatic effect at the Tower of London in 2014.

Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle are both homes of Queen Elizabeth II (her official country residence and a privately owned retreat respectively). Hillsborough Castle is an official government residence located near Lisburn in Northern Ireland.
9. In 2006, a reorganisation of the British Army resulted in the amalgamation of the Black Watch with other historic regiments. Black Watch then became the third battalion of which new regiment?

Answer: Royal Regiment of Scotland

The formation of the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006 could have ended over 200 years of military history when it subsumed the Black Watch along with other famous Scottish regiments including the Royal Scots and the Royal Highland Fusiliers. However, the names and identities of the former regiments were retained as battalions in the new entity, with the Black Watch becoming the third battalion.

A change in name and structure wasn't a completely new idea for the Black Watch though - they were officially the 42nd Regiment of Foot for over 100 years until they were renamed The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) in 1881 and then The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) in 1931.

The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, the King's Royal Hussars and the Light Dragoons were all regiments formed during a previous round of amalgamation and reorganisation in 1992.
10. Which member of the Royal Family served as Colonel-in-Chief of the Black Watch from 1937 until 2002?

Answer: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

The Black Watch only had three Colonel-in-Chiefs during their history. King George V became the first holder of the ceremonial position in 1912. The year after his death in 1936, Queen Elizabeth (later to become Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) took on the position and held it for 65 years until her death in 2002. Her grandson, Prince Charles, then became the regiment's final Colonel-in-Chief before it was amalgamated into the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006 - whose first Colonel-in-Chief was Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was a particularly appropriate choice for Colonel-in-Chief of the Black Watch as her family came from its traditional recruiting grounds in Scotland and several of her brothers served with the Black Watch during the First World War. Her elder brother, Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, was killed at the Battle of Loos in 1915.
Source: Author Fifiona81

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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