2 RIFLES: Sjt instead of Sgt

#1
I received an Admin Instruction from 2 RIFLES today and in it were references to a Sjt *****. I know that the spelling 'Serjeant' originates from the predecessors of The Light Infantry but don't know why. Is there a specific reason or is just a custom developed over the years? Can any Light Infantry types provide an answer? There is no pressing need for me to know this, I am just curious!

Kind Regards

Berlin
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#2
2LI pre options used it as did one of the RGJ bns, in 1 LI pre options it was a g. That changed when the Yorkshire Maffia took over 1 during options.
 
#3
Taken from Wikipedia:

The serjeant that was a soldier was a man of what would be termed in modern society 'middle class' origins, fulfilling a slightly junior role to the knight in the medieval hierarchy. Serjeants could fight either as heavy to light cavalry, or as well-trained professional infantry, either spearmen or crossbowmen. Most notable medieval mercenaries fell into the 'serjeant' class, such as Flemish crossbowmen and spearmen, who were seen as reliable quality troops. The serjeant class were deemed to be 'worth half of a knight' in military value. The office originated in Medieval England to serve the Sovereign in a police role, much like a bailiff in more recent times. Indeed, the Serjeants at Arms constitute the oldest royal bodyguard in England, dating from the time of King Richard I (around 1189) as a formed body. The loyal toast is not drunk in Regimental messes in The Light Infantry. The Privilege was earned by the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment as an honour for defending Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny (1857-58). As a result of their actions at Lucknow, Queen Victoria ordered that they are titled and dress as a Light Infantry Regiment and were later to become the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
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#4
Was always used by 1 RGj, dates from when they were 43rd and 52nd (Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry). I did know why, but have forgotten. probably not due to them being hayseeds and farmers unable to spell.
 
#5
The mess at RMAS is the WOs' & Sjts' Mess.
 
#6
I believe the derivation of Sergeant (with the g) is from the french word for servant. So in a fit of snobbery the guards and LI decided that they weren't servants to anyone so changed used the Serjeant (with a j) version, which is much older and has more historical overtones. The fact that both are derived from the word serviens (latin for 'to serve') didn't seem to bother them too much.

I might be wrong though.

S_R
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
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#7
Filbert Fox said:
The mess at RMAS is the WOs' & Sjts' Mess.[/quote]

Reinforcing my comment about hayseeds etc. And being unable to spell.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#8
Obviously not all LI regiments and its probably a fashion thing amongst regiments such as Lance Sgt was up until the end of WW2?
In fact I'd be so bold as to guess it may even be a way of marking the differences between 2 Bns of the same regiment when one was the junior in number it may have chosen J over G as a mark of get this we may be the sprogs but are different so therefore posher!
 
#9
I was informed by a mate in the 1st RGJ, I was 2nd Bn myself, that it came from when the 1st Ox and Bucks was known as the Oxfordshire Bn and the 2nd as the Bucks. Only the first battalion used the J untill they amalgamated. Never understood it myself. They also kept the tradition of having the word 'letter' in front of thr thier coy, ie Letter A Coy.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
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#10
Pull-up-a-sandbag said:
I was informed by a mate in the 1st RGJ, I was 2nd Bn myself, that it came from when the 1st Ox and Bucks was known as the Oxfordshire Bn and the 2nd as the Bucks. Only the first battalion used the J untill they amalgamated. Never understood it myself. They also kept the tradition of having the word 'letter' in front of thr thier coy, ie Letter A Coy.
Yes, I remember that from a mate in !RGJ when we were at School of Inf. He was quite proud of that, being 'A'coy himself. I told him it was to help them spell by stressing it was the letter 'A' as opposed to the definitive article.
 

ugly

LE
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#11
Werent they the 42nd and 53rd? At what point did they become Light, before or after amalgamation as O&B?
The J may have come from a founding/raising Colonel from many years before!
 
#12
They were the 43rd Oxfordshire LI and the 52nd Bucks LI. They were converted to LI in 1800/1801 under John Moore. They were the fierst LI regt hence thier cap badge was just the plain bugle horn without embellishment. Thier history is closely linked to the RB and the 60th Rifles due to thier time in the Light Div during the Perninsula War. Both regts had been raised for the war in America, the 43rd were originally the Monmouths.
 

ugly

LE
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#13
OK so when did either start to use J vice G and as I said before it tneds to be fashion such as red trousers in No2 dress for donkey walloppers. Still at least its recognisable unlike CoH!
 
#14
Many thanks for all the replies. It sounds like it is a tradition the origins of which no one really knows.

Slightly off thread: Pull-Up-A-Sandbag, you will probably know my father-in-law. Won't be more specific here but he finished as QM(T) and comes from Dublin!

Kind Regards

Berlin
 
#15
Recently discussed here, try searching for "Serjeant".

All the Rifle Bns now use the J.

BB
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
It would have been one of the items discussed by the dress and customs committee that met before the ctual formation of the regiment.
Despite having founding members with a long history it is a new regiment so had the chance to pick and choose what customs it would take from the founders.
 
#17
Ugly, In one of the books I've got it sez the J was adopted after Waterloo but it doesnt give a specific reason why though it may be due to the part they played in destroying the old guard towards the end of the day.
Berlin- Do you mean Tommy? great bloke, a real character.
 
#18
Pull-up-a-sandbag said:
Ugly, In one of the books I've got it sez the J was adopted after Waterloo but it doesnt give a specific reason why though it may be due to the part they played in destroying the old guard towards the end of the day.
Berlin- Do you mean Tommy? great bloke, a real character.


Yes, the very same!
 
#19
Berlin 104- Great to hear he's still alive and kicking, tell him the gunnery god sends his regards, he advised me not to go to Lulworth as an AIG but Iwent, he was a great bloke!
 
#20
The abbreviation 'sjt' seems to have been the army official one in WW2, at least it appears on all the artillery establishments that way and these all went thru a War Office process. So the real question may be when and why was 'sgt' adopted instead of 'sjt'.
 

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