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Updated 04/08/2016


Cameron of Erracht

As you may or may not know, the band wears the Cameron of Erracht tartan in honor of its founder Tony Smith who was a Cameron Cadet.  In history and heraldry, a cadet branch consists of the male-line descendants of a monarch or patriarch's younger sons (cadets). In the ruling dynasties and noble families of much of Europe and Asia, the family's major assets—realm, titles, fiefs, property and income—have historically been passed from a father to his firstborn son in what is known as primogeniture; younger sons—cadets—inherited less wealth and authority to pass to future generations of descendants.

Anyway, the Camerons of Erracht were a minor noble Scottish family and a branch of the Clan Cameron. In Scottish Gaelic they are known as the Sliochd Eoghain ic Eoghian (the children of Ewen, son of Ewen). Erracht is an area roughly 12 by 16 miles near the present day town of Fort William, in Scotland's West Highlands.

The origins of Clan Cameron are uncertain and there are several theories. One manuscript of the clan says that the Camerons were originally descended from the son of the royal family of Denmark who assisted the restoration of King Fergus II of Scotland, and that their progenitor was called Cameron from his crooked nose.  The Collins Scottish Clan Encyclopedia states that a more likely origin is that Donal Dubh, the first chief of Clan Cameron was descended either from the Macgillonies or the medieval family of Cameron of Ballegarno in Fife.  Sometime around the beginning of the 15th century (or possibly earlier) the Camerons established themselves as a Highland clan in the western end of the Great Glen in Lochaber.

There are four basic tartans which are utilized by the Clan Cameron, each of which is usually found available in "modern" (bright and lively colors), "weathered" (softer hues) and "ancient" (supposedly more authentic colors) variations:

Basic Cameron    Cameron of Lochiel   Hunting Cameron   Cameron of Erracht

Attached (PDF) is a detailed history of the Cameron of Erracht tartan.

The tartan was worn by the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders; a line infantry regiment of the British Army formed in 1793. In 1961 the regiment was amalgamated with the Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, The Duke of Albany's) to form the Queen's Own Highlanders, which later merged with the Royal Scots, the King's Own Scottish Borderers, the Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment), the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The regiment's lineage is now continued by the 4th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  The tartan was last worn in battle during WWII at the Battle of Dunkirk.