Dispel the myth!

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by Irish_Cream, Feb 6, 2009.

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  1. Always knew they were lies, but good to finally read the "full" story as it were...

    Taken from Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=47624456771&ref=nf

    There has long been a tale about Gunners wearinga white lanyard for cowardice, allegedly for deserting their guns. Of course, this story is nothing more than a piece of leg pulling, the information that follows is historical facts.

    Lanyards associated with dress came into use in the late 19th Century, when field guns such as the 12 and 15 pounders used ammunition which had fuses set with a fuse key. The key was a simple device, and every man had one, attached to a lanyard worn aroundhis neck. The key itself was kept in the breast pocket until needed. The lanyard was simply a piece of strong cord, but it was gradually turned into something more decorative, smartened up with 'Blanco', and braided, taking its present form. Prior to the South African War, Gunners were issued with steel folding hoof picks, carried on the saddle or in the jacket. In about 1903 these were withdrawn and replaced by jack-knifes, which were carried in the left breast pocket of the service dress attached to a lanyard over the left shoulder.

    In the war years that followed, the lanyard could be used as an emergency firing lanyard forthose guns which had a trigger mechanism, allowing the gunner to stand clear of the gun's recoil.

    The question of which shoulder bore the lanjard dependson the date. There is no certainty about this, but the change from the left shoulder to the right probably took place at the time of the Great War, when the bandolier was introduced, because it was worn over the left shoulder. But there are some who insist that 1924 was the date of change, when the sloping of rifles over the left shoulderwould soil the white lanyard.

    Eventually, in 1933, the end of lanyard was simply tucked into the breast pocket without the jack-knife, though many may remember that it was often kept in place with the soldiers pay book! On the demise of Battledress, the lanyard dissappeared for a short tie, but returned as part of the dress of the Royal Regiment Of Artillery in 1973. It may surprise some readers that this particular piece of leg pulling is repeated in various forms. The Gold stripes in the Gunners Stable belt stem - like the blue scarlet - from the colours of the uniform at the same time the stable belt was introduced.

    It was not a question, as the jokers would have it, of yellow stripes for cowardice! Equally silly is the suggestion that the Gunners grenade has seven flames as opposed to the sappers nine because we lost 2 guns at the same point in history! For those still plagued by jokers, the simplist answer to this kind of leg pulling is to invite the joker to present his evidence. No change to any of the army's dress regulations can take place without a formal order, and let us be realistic! it is ludicrus to suppose that the Army Board in its wisdom would countanance the idea of a 'Badge of shame' to be worn by any branch of the service. It would garuntee that no one would ever join it! And since no such evidence exists, the jokers story falls flat on its face. One might even ask why other arms and corps wear lanyards - they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

    Quote by Brigadier KA Timbers,
    Royal Artillery Institution
  2. Gunner's Quadrant submitted a similar piece in the sticky section here 4 years ago. Thanks anyway though for letting us know about our history. I'd never have known that a lanyard was for firing a gun, even after going through L118 CES's for the last 20 odd years. I always wondered what a Lanyard, gun, firing was for.
  3. 4 years is a long time, you could have forgotten.

    good to see you haven't. anymore sarcasm, anyone?
  4. I thought the Royal Signals cap badge had the crown seperated from the rest of the badge after the screw up with the crystals during Op Market Garden led to them losing the wreath surrounding Mercury... Op is that another of these myths?
  5. You have usefully comnbined two parts of the story to exonerate the Gunners. The Royal Engineers have lanyard because they manned the guns deserted by the RHA. In addition the Gold band in the RHA stable belt was actually Yellow until recently as a sign of cowardice that they had to bear for 100 years.

    Even if this isn't true its great to wind up Gunners - they are well renowned for their sense of humour!
  6. Trying sooo hard not to bite!!!!!!!!!! AGGGHHHHHHHHH :x :x :x
  7. Irish_Cream

    I was always led to believe that the 16/5 Lancers were so titled, rather than the normal 5/16 Lancers, because the 5th had mutinied and as a result been disbanded/amalgamated with the 16th but they would not take precedence in the unit title. so a badge of shame sanctioned at the highest level.

    Fully prepared to be put back in my box by someone who knows a great deal more about the Regimental history of the 16/5 Lancers, but it is a good story.
  8. GunnersQuadrant

    GunnersQuadrant LE Moderator

    5 years ago to be exact.

  9. Being an EX Sapper, I won't comment on the actual history then . . . .
  10. The RAOC had to wear their mistake in their badge they sent 12 pounder balls for six pounder guns, which is why they had small cannon and big balls on their badge
  11. In 1951 the blue lanyard was introduced into the Corps to “brighten up the battledress” again following the trend in other branches in the army. About the same time the blue beret from the No 1 Dress became the universal headgear worn with battledress.

    A damn shame but the above is fact :(

    Still shouldn’t stop any fine upstanding gentlemen of the Corps taking the p*ss out of any dropshort willing to take the bait though, and sooooooooo many love to nibble :wink:
  12. Nothing to do with the fact that had they been in proportion the cannon balls would be microscopic then hey :wink:
  13. Oh Dear, if that dissapoints you, this will drive you to suicide.

    The blue of number one dress was a decision partially due to cost, red for example was too expensive, the dark midnight blue already sported by many existing regiments and corps dating back to the days of red coats and formed squares, was adopted across the board, these existing Regiments and Corps were predominantly the supportive arms descended from the original board of ordinance.

    Now here's the bit you sappers are going to bite at

    The reason blue was adopted was down to that most wonderful group, the Royal Regiment of Artillery, who wore dark blue instead of the Infantry red as it hid the dirt well, red uniforms got far too dirty with all that powder during battle, so the beret adorned by so many regiments has a direct link to us Gunners, remember that next time you pop it on :twisted:
  14. Upset about what, Royal Military Artificers wore blue tunics circa 1780 so a dark blue beret wasn’t such a shocker all those years later

    By the way don’t you suppose ‘Sapping’ and other fortification/construction tasks was relatively dirty work :roll:

    I have just posted when the lanyard was introduced, although god knows how many dropshorts I have wound up over the years and not once have any of them been able to tell me to:

    “f*ck off wedge, it was introduced in 1951 bla bla bla”. :D :D

    I suppose simple research to refute something that has been getting under some peoples skin for years is beyond a certain Corps BARB level :wink:
  15. Perhaps the Sappers heroically took the signals laurel wreath to surround their badge? Discuss...Or alternatively, ignore the proponents of such dross and get a life.
    Nice to be back!!