Origins of the red sash for ROS

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

Ta very much! :grin:
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"
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
I remember Gunner ROS wearing the red sash in the 1970s so it's definitely not a new thing.
 
#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.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
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.
 
#8
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"
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
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.
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
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!
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

During the Peninsula War from 1809-14, Duke of Wellington asked for a Provost Marshal to be appointed to hang looters; by the end of the Peninsular War the Provost Marshal controlled 24 Assistant Provost Marshals. Members of this Staff Corps of Cavalry were identified by a red scarf tied around the right shoulder; whilst some consider this to have been the origin of the famous 'Red Cap' of the Royal Military Police and its forebears, it was more likely a precursor of the 'MP' armband (and now the Tactical Recognition Flash), which identifies the modern Military Policeman or Policewoman.

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

Further to other replies. The sash previously worn by Pikemen was then warn by Sergeants and Warrant Officers when on duty as a badge of authority and also a rallying point.

Officers wore a sash over their shoulder into which their sword was placed - this was later replaced by the Sam Browne belt.

The red sash was traditionally Infantry or teeth arms, worn by artillery and engineers as well.

Later Corps adopted a sash in their own colours and this is the format worn today by the duty Sgt. Black was RCT, Cypress Green Int, Blue RAF etc

In the LI the sash is worn on the same side as the officer as during the battle of the Alma all the officers in the DLI (Durhams) were killed or wounded and the SNCO's took over command.
This tradition was retained after amalgamation.
 
#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.
 
#14
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
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?
 
#16
Prior to regular service with the Gunners I served in a very proud TA Infantry Bn. I was told there (Thirty years plus ago) that originally the Sash was to identify the Sergeant resposnsible for safety and carriage of the Colour both in barracks and in battle. This had been diluted down over time to the point where the sash was used to indicate that the wearer was the Bn Orderly Sergeant. (ie duty Sergeant or as you or I would know it ROS).

As a young Gunner I could never understand why the ROS wore a sash when I had repeatedly been told that our colours were the Guns. That is until I lost interest and discovered beer and German wimmin! As I say this was old sweat to TA sprog and I have no historical or literary evidence to support said theory.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
In my (Scottish) Infantry Company in the late 70's early 80's the Company Orderly Sergeant (COS) (a Corporal) wore a scarlet sash as his badge of office. In the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) all seniors wore a red sash in ceremonial dress although I don't remember them wearing them in combats or barrack dress and I know of at least one RAMC drill bod who wears a dull cherry sash.
 
#18
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
Further to other replies. The sash previously worn by Pikemen was then warn by Sergeants and Warrant Officers when on duty as a badge of authority and also a rallying point.

Officers wore a sash over their shoulder into which their sword was placed - this was later replaced by the Sam Browne belt.

The red sash was traditionally Infantry or teeth arms, worn by artillery and engineers as well.

Later Corps adopted a sash in their own colours and this is the format worn today by the duty Sgt. Black was RCT, Cypress Green Int, Blue RAF etc

In the LI the sash is worn on the same side as the officer as during the battle of the Alma all the officers in the DLI (Durhams) were killed or wounded and the SNCO's took over command.
This tradition was retained after amalgamation
.
Well, that's pure invention for starters- The DLI alway wore their sash in the conventional manner right up to their merger with the other light infantry regiments. It was the SLI (later SCLI) who wore their sash on the opposite side, and from them was the custom carried over into the LI.

The business about teeth arms is a bit creative, too. see dkh51250's mention of the Army Order No54 (above)
 
#20

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