Origins of the red sash for ROS

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by Recce19, Dec 7, 2011.

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  1. Any pointers on the origin of the ROS wearing a red sash and what it says in dress regs.

    Ta very much! :grin:
  2. I'm surprised to learn that they (I'm assuming you are referring to the RA) now do.

    The Gunners were, to their credit, always very keen on tradition and formerly, would never have worn the Infantry Sergeants' Sash (for that is what it is) as a duty sash.

    Perhaps times have changed, from the days of "We're different, so we don't do what others do" to "That looks good, we'll have some of that"
  3. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    I remember Gunner ROS wearing the red sash in the 1970s so it's definitely not a new thing.
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  4. I was told, (over 30 years ago), that the sash had the same number of tassles as there were members of the troop, so that the sergeant could count off the troop on parade even if he was unable to read, write or count to any great number. It dates back to the army in India when not many soldiers were educated. I cannot say how accurate this information is, but it makes sense to me.
  5. Perhaps it's possible to get a time-line on this then, certainly 34RA didn't in the mid-sixties; and I'm fairly certain that 12RA didn't then, either.
  6. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    12 certainly were by 1975.
  7. I believe, but may be wrong here, that it was simply to indicate who is on duty, there was a day when everyone wore battle dress on duty or on normal working, The ROS generally cuts about the place, unlike the guard commander stuck in the guard room, so was useful to know the duty scapegoat.
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  8. Yep, that's why I put it in the Gunners forum. :wink:

    I was hoping for a bit of clarification of where it came from and when it originated. Looks like it isn't as simple as I first thought!
  9. That's my take on it as well, wh, but have an infanteer foaming at the mouth, that only infantry units wear the red sash, as it's a battle honour!
  10. OK,

    Ask him what battle honour, bet he can't answer

    I did hear a story once that the red sash was originally worn only by the provost staff, again to signify their responsibility, which was were the Red Cap colour came from. Its my understanding that red sashes were worn by duty provost staff as well which translated to duty staff

    I shall do a little digging
  11. Well, you can tell him he's wrong on two counts;

    1. Not only infantry- RAPTC and SASC Sgt's/WOs are entitled to wear it as a dress accutremont also.

    2. It's not a battle honour (despite what the old Somerset Light Infantry might claim as their reason for reversing it!)

    I guess no one should be too upset whatever item units choose to signify being ROS, but I guess also that there is a difference between what you can do, and what dress tradition dictates. It used to be a rule of thumb that the extra wide stripe on No 1 Dress trousers/overalls of RA,RMP and other descendents of mounted regts/corps, and the infantry sergeants' sash were mutually exclusive.

    But it would be interesting to learn what RA Dress Regs say on the matter. And of course what individual RA regiments wore as ROS waaay back.
  12. Ok, ref the RMP comment, a bit more clarification

    So that basically rules out what I said earlier, however I did find this on another arrse thread

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  13. .
    Don't the Gunners wear it in lieu of their old blue lanyard the RE stole?

    I'll get me coat ... with a blue lanyard attached.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Thanks wh, do you have the link to the 2nd quote please?
  15. From "Military Customs" written by Maj. T Edwards in 1950 published by Gale & Polden.

    The original purpose of a sash was for the carrying of a wounded officer of the field. To which end they were usually made of silk, being strong as well as light, and full enough to enclose the human form. Taken from page 85.

    The wearing of red sashes was in abeyance during WW2 1939-45, but was reintroduced in May 1947 for officers and Warrant Officers Class 1 by Army Order 54 of of 1947, and for Warrant Officers Class 2 and NCOs down to, and including, the rank of Sergeant of the Foot Guards, Infantry of the Line (except Rifle Regiments) and the Parachute Regiment in November, 1948. Page 89

    However, I had heard the same story as Scoobydont?