Origin of Sergeants Mess

Discussion in 'Seniors' started by Irish_Gunner, May 27, 2010.

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  1. I have been trying to find out about the history and origins of the Sgts Mess but can't find much info. Does anyone know when the Sergeants Mess as it would be recognised today first appeared.
  2. I think I once read somewhere that back in the distant past, some regiments ran out of commissions to sell so started selling sergeant's stripe. These "gentlemen rankers" couldn't be seen to be living with the "riffraff", so sergeant's messes were formed to give them a place to live.
  3. 4 SCOTS - as successors to the Seaforth Highlanders - have the oldest Sergeants Mess in the British Army.
  4. Not being funny but surely the Seaforths (either from 72nd or 78th Foot roots) are a relatively new creation? So how do they come to have the oldest Sgts Mess? Especially when the Black Watch (42nd/43rd) have a gentleman ranker tradition from inception and the Royal Scots predate the other Scottish and English Regiments massively?
  5. I attended the Royal Scots 350th Anniversary celebration in Musselburgh in 83/84? and was given the impression that they were the oldest infantry regiment?
    Excellent piss up by the way.
  6. I am sure it was. And they certainly were.

    1RS (to which 1 SCOTS are the linear successors) was undoubtedly the premier line regiment in the British Army. Not quite the same as having the oldest Sgts mess, however.
  7. I'm sorry if I am being obtuse Hackle but the Seaforth's sprang into being in the 1770s. By then there were a lot of regiments. Did the Seaforths quickly decide that they would differentiate themselves from the other pushes by instituting a sergeants mess? Finding this difficult to believe...
  8. You might equally argue Cuddles that there was no BAFF at Tangier 1689 ... or at Oudenarde 1708 ... or at Waterloo 1815 ... and of course (as ever) you would be right.

    Nevertheless, BAFF is here now and so it is with the Sgts Mess, first introduced in the Seaforth. The fighting army has always been led from the North or from Ireland.
  9. Find it hard to believe that there was no sergeants mess at Tangier - I'm sure Kirke's Lambs looked after themselves well! I don't disbelieve you I just find it strange that the Royals, the queens and such earlier and established units had no sergeants mess.
  10. Bone of contention twixt Seaforth and KOSB - the old 25th Foot - as to who had the oldest Sergeants' Mess.
  11. I thought Gentleman rankers served and drilled in the ranks but lived and messed with the officers untill a vacancy for a commision came up
  12. Like TA Officer Cadets! :)
  13. I am led to believe that Gundolf, the Kings Engineer, of 1077 AD was in the habit of having a few bevies on a Friday night with his senior construction artisans, whilst building Rochester castle some ten years later. This is arguably the start of the fine tradition of the British army's Sergeants Mess.

    On a pedantic note, may I respectfully point out that the sgts mess is actually the Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess.
  14. Not in the Foot Guards it's not. It's the Sergeants Mess
  15. I was once referred to as a "gentleman ranker". I assumed it was army rhyming slang.