am not talking about the caped crusader from Gotham City here, but am reading a book about the Glider Pilot Regimnet in WW2, and the author is saying about his Batman back in Battalion etc etc, got me thinking, when did the army stop using Batmen?seemed to be quite a big thing in the older days!or does it still go on?
I think it died in WW2.

Grandad polar came from Gotham (village) and one of our ancestors was Nelsons Batman (and lived in Gotham after leaving Nelson).. soz trivia
Brize norton had a batting service untill about 1996. Did a course there and got shoes and Trousers done with a cup of tea brought in in the morning. Finished not long after that. Never had it in the Army, wrong Regt I suppose.....
Bro-in-law was one for quite a bit of his 22. (May have had a different official title, though). He was Coldstreams and he was definitely batting in the early 90's. I think he was looking after a Major.
Its probably still around in the Household Division?

Years ago our C/SGT told us they were called Batman because when the RSM was away on excercise and missing female company, they would bum them. How I laughed until I was chosen to become RSM's Bat(ty) Man. :oops:

Joking aside heres where the name comes from:

A batman (or batwoman) is a soldier or airman assigned to a commissioned officer as a personal servant.

The term is derived from the obsolete bat, packsaddle (from French bât, from Old French bast, from Late Latin bastum) + man.

A batman's duties often include:

acting as a "runner" to convey orders from the officer to subordinates
maintaining the officer's uniform and personal equipment as a valet
driving the officer's vehicle, sometimes under combat conditions
other miscellaneous tasks the officer does not have time or inclination to do
The action of serving as a batman was referred to as "batting".

In armies where officers typically came from the upper class, it was not unusual for a former batman to follow the officer into civilian life as a domestic servant.


Book Reviewer
My man always insists that he is my Gentlemen's Personal Gentlemen...

What's that Jeeves? Gussy Fink-Nottle and Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright are here? Jolly Good, send them into the parlour and offer them a turkish and a W&S there's a chap, what!
I remember a Guards Sgt Major with a Batman in the early 90s also. Did his kit, made his tea etc.. But probably called a 'Personal Orderley' or something.

50 Hong Kong Workshop used to 'assign' a Batman to newly arrived Sultbertuns. Of course it was a wind up. They would introduce him as Corporal Titmarsh, or something, when it was really one of the SNCOs acting it up. The young officers took it all in, but became a bit worried when the Batman proceded to doss down on the deck next to their bed, farting, coughing and smoking all night, and cracking cans of beer in the earlier hours. This would last for a few days (and sleepness nights) until they gave the joke away. :D

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