Canes, sticks and whips

Regarding my last I meant the 250th not the 200th doh!! And the riding pics are not in there, so I must have seen them somewhere else.

However on page 26/27 of said book is a photograph of Winston Churchill and the Class of 1894.

The Major in the centre of the picture is clearly holding a metal topped riding cane, whilst in Blues, so this trend obviously predates the loss of the sword. Can anyone predate this out of interest?
 
The carriage of whips amongst mounted officers is pretty self explanatory.

Canes are the remnant of the spontoon that all junior infantry officers used to carry. This was ostensibly used for dressing the ranks, but was pretty much just a badge of rank in reality.
 

DPM

Old-Salt
up_periscope said:
Why do so many ICSC(L) officers carry sticks/canes? I seem to see an inordinate number of them around Shrivenham at the moment - is this new Majors jockeying for position or what? The senior Majors & Lt Cols on ACSC don't bother, so why ICSC(L)?
Standards! ;)

Harrumph... I wonder how many of those senior majors and Lt Cols would have had a go at their lads for not wearing a beret or not saluting when they were back in Bn?

dpm
 

lastresort

Old-Salt
Having taken a cold shower and recovered from my (largely) unfounded excitement at the title of this post...

I have recently inherited my grandfather's swagger stick. (So recently, in fact, that I have yet to see it). Last used circa 1947 as he left the Royal Artillery, immediately returned to box and hence perfectly preserved.

Hence my humble question: In the event that I demonstrate the requisite qualities to make it to RMAS for a short course myself later this year, should the stick accompany me? Or is it best left until rare no. 2 occasions after RMAS? Or is it simply a relic never to be used again?

Older members of the Clan Lastresort would I think be delighted were it to go with me.

Thoughts please, ladies and gentlemen.
 
Harry Paget Flashman said:
The carriage of whips amongst mounted officers is pretty self explanatory.

Canes are the remnant of the spontoon that all junior infantry officers used to carry. This was ostensibly used for dressing the ranks, but was pretty much just a badge of rank in reality.
Ahem... Spontoons were the "Badge of Office" of the Serjeants, as they, not the junior officers, were responsible for dressing the ranks. If you want to see a fine statue of such, have a look at the Serjeant of the 23rd Foot on the Waterloo Memorial opposite Aspley House, as seen on the photo:

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server.php?show=conProperty.410

In my time, I have seen numerous photos/postcards of late Victorian soldiers posing with a riding whip (Cav & Arty) or a silver-topped cane, which were de rigeur for walking out dress. However, officers' swagger sticks seem to be a different matter...

Perhaps they came into their own during kit ispections, to save the officer from sullying his fingers by actually touching "offensive articles"? Or, thrashing recaltricant bearers or orderlies perhaps? :threaten:
 
up_periscope said:
Why do so many ICSC(L) officers carry sticks/canes? I seem to see an inordinate number of them around Shrivenham at the moment - is this new Majors jockeying for position or what? The senior Majors & Lt Cols on ACSC don't bother, so why ICSC(L)?
Probably for the same reason the ACSC officers don't wear headdress - they never go outside! The ICSC(L) officers are doing what they are meant to do, not following some common expedient.

DPM said:
Standards! ;)

Harrumph... I wonder how many of those senior majors and Lt Cols would have had a go at their lads for not wearing a beret or not saluting when they were back in Bn?

dpm
And they are very happy to get all iffy when Johnny Cash is played too loud, too late!
 

Manninagh

Old-Salt
Canes/crops/swagger sticks are useful for ensuring that one's hands stay out of one's pockets (today's Subalterns please note) when in barracks.

A stout walking stick seems more appropriate for S95, although for Royal Irish officers a blackthorn stick fulfills both duties. Also useful for practising golf swings for those of the V-neck pullover and BMW persuasion.

I have seen HRH with a cromach in the past when visiting troops in the field, but perhaps it was a Highland regiment.
 
Solon_of_Athens said:
up_periscope said:
Why do so many ICSC(L) officers carry sticks/canes? I seem to see an inordinate number of them around Shrivenham at the moment - is this new Majors jockeying for position or what? The senior Majors & Lt Cols on ACSC don't bother, so why ICSC(L)?
Probably for the same reason the ACSC officers don't wear headdress - they never go outside! The ICSC(L) officers are doing what they are meant to do, not following some common expedient.

DPM said:
Standards! ;)

Harrumph... I wonder how many of those senior majors and Lt Cols would have had a go at their lads for not wearing a beret or not saluting when they were back in Bn?

dpm
And they are very happy to get all iffy when Johnny Cash is played too loud, too late!
I suspect we would all get a bit iffy if Johnny Cash was played in such a manner!!!

Litotes
 
lastresort said:
Having taken a cold shower and recovered from my (largely) unfounded excitement at the title of this post...

I have recently inherited my grandfather's swagger stick. (So recently, in fact, that I have yet to see it). Last used circa 1947 as he left the Royal Artillery, immediately returned to box and hence perfectly preserved.

Hence my humble question: In the event that I demonstrate the requisite qualities to make it to RMAS for a short course myself later this year, should the stick accompany me? Or is it best left until rare no. 2 occasions after RMAS? Or is it simply a relic never to be used again?

Older members of the Clan Lastresort would I think be delighted were it to go with me.

Thoughts please, ladies and gentlemen.
Don't take your stick to RMAS unless you intend to sit on it.

Do take your stick everywhere else, especially when charging the enemy with barbed wire wrapped around your helmet or if you have an Adj who forbids it.
 

WincoSlayer

Clanker
Blokeonabike said:
It all depends on ones Regiment. Ask your Adjutant if in doubt.
I was expecting a more outlandishly sexist approach from you, BOAB. Gone soft in your old age, or just pre-leave delerious ?
 
Petriburg said:
Ahem... Spontoons were the "Badge of Office" of the Serjeants, as they, not the junior officers, were responsible for dressing the ranks.
Ahem yourself ......... If you go back as far as the early 1700s you'll find Junior Infantry Officers carried 'em too.
 

HE117

LE
I was issued with a swagger stick at Sandbags...

We only ever carried them when "walking out" in uniform, usually to the Cambridge Hospital for doctor's appointments. Apart from that they were usually used to jam your door open!

When did they stop issuing them?
 

jonny3979

War Hero
HE117 said:
When did they stop issuing them?
You have to purchase said bit of wood from the initial outfitting allowance these days my friend. Wasn't it always that way though?

Jonny
 

HE117

LE
My point was that a rattan was considered an essential part of uniform and was part of an officer cadet's uniform in the early seventies. I handed it back in on commissioning, but didn't buy one as they seem to have fallen out of use..

I suspect they went out of fashion in the "real" army around the end of the sixties...
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
My father had to carry one (rattan cane) in the early 80's in the upside down gin bottle in Hong Kong. I don't know if it was just one of CBF's pecadilos but you don't see them being used much these days - pity really!
 
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