Captain Edmund Blackadder

#1
Probably a stupid question to ask but........

I was watching Blackadder Goes Forth the other night and had noticed he had no rank on his shoulders as it was worn on his sleeves. Now, my understanding was that officers wore their rank (pre-CS95) on their shoulders to signify the burden of responsibilty. There is probably a very simple reason for him to have them on his sleeves so please forgive my ignorance.
 
#2
You might have put this in Military History forum, it would have stopped me calling you a cnut for asking it. Cnut. (i dont know the answer btw)
 
#4
Ranks on the cuff were only worn from 1902 to 1920.

From 1902, a complex system of markings with bars and loops in thin drab braid above the cuff (known irreverently as the asparagus bed) was used at first, but this was replaced in the same year by a combination of narrow rings of worsted braid around the cuff, with the full-dress style shoulder badges on a three-pointed cuff flap. Based on equivalent naval ranks, Colonels had four rings of braid, Lieutenant-Colonels and majors three, captains two and subalterns one. In the case of Scottish regiments, the rings were around the top of the gauntlet-style cuff and the badges on the cuff itself. General officers still wore their badges on the shoulder strap.

During World War I, some officers took to wearing similar jackets to the men, with the rank badges on the shoulder, as the cuff badges made them too conspicuous to snipers. This practice was frowned on outside the trenches but was given official sanction in 1917 as an optional alternative, being made permanent in 1920, when the cuff badges were abolished.


Rank Insignia
 
#5
As long as you can hang your head and see your screen, Officers used to wear their rank on their sleeves, like Capt. Blackadder. My understanding is that it was moved to the shoulders in an attempt to prevent snipers seeing it, and removing the officers from the chain of command. Warrant Officers can only wonder...
 
#8
Spotter alert....

As the WFR were one of the first regiments to adopt the shoulder ranks, to this day they tailor their CS95 etc to have ranks on the shoulders, not the chest....

Told to me by a WFR subbie who had got his mummy to sew epaulettes on the shoulders of his CS95 smocks and shirts......
 
#9
Percy said:
Ranks on the cuff were only worn from 1902 to 1920.

From 1902, a complex system of markings with bars and loops in thin drab braid above the cuff (known irreverently as the asparagus bed) was used at first, but this was replaced in the same year by a combination of narrow rings of worsted braid around the cuff, with the full-dress style shoulder badges on a three-pointed cuff flap. Based on equivalent naval ranks, Colonels had four rings of braid, Lieutenant-Colonels and majors three, captains two and subalterns one. In the case of Scottish regiments, the rings were around the top of the gauntlet-style cuff and the badges on the cuff itself. General officers still wore their badges on the shoulder strap.

During World War I, some officers took to wearing similar jackets to the men, with the rank badges on the shoulder, as the cuff badges made them too conspicuous to snipers. This practice was frowned on outside the trenches but was given official sanction in 1917 as an optional alternative, being made permanent in 1920, when the cuff badges were abolished.


Rank Insignia
I concur with Percy.
For even more inane detail, See here
 
#10
The practice of wearing rank on the shoulder was called "wearing a wind-up tunic". It was considered that you had the wind up and were potentially not as courageous as officers sporting full on targetting details!
 
#11
It is interesting to note that in the Peninsular War of .....................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 

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