Origins Of Traditions

#1
Now every Regiment or Corps is steeped in traditions, some of them quite normal and some of them damn right bizarre. Be they quaint uniform variations or celebratory days.

My question is, what examples do we have of uni traditions/uniform difference carried on today and where did they originate from?

For example the Welsh and the black thing on their collars, the QRH tent hats or the Rifles drilling differently from the rest of the army.
 
#2
blonde_guy said:
Now every Regiment or Corps is steeped in traditions, some of them quite normal and some of them damn right bizarre. Be they quaint uniform variations or celebratory days.

My question is, what examples do we have of uni traditions/uniform difference carried on today and where did they originate from?

For example the Welsh and the black thing on their collars, the QRH tent hats or the Rifles drilling differently from the rest of the army.
I suggest that all the best traditions usually originate during or after a war, involve a huge amount of alcohol, a huge amount of fun and jokes, and someone who says "wouldn't it be a good idea if....."

:D

Litotes
 
#3
Some regiment wore Sam Browne's on wrong shoulder, as some Portuguese Prince turned up mis-dressed.

Might have gone out of fashion at the same time as Portuguese monarchy.
 
#4
The flash ('black thing on the collar') was Army-wide for tying up and keeping your greased pigtails off your back. Fashion back home changed and the rest of the Army gave it up but the RWF didn't get the word, as they'd been off fighting in North America for quite awhile!

Apparently there was a move to disband it on the pretext that it would make a good 'aiming mark' for the en around-about the Great War, but the King at the time said shitcan that, the en will not ever see the backs of the RWF running away! R WELSH took it up, along with the fusilier hackle, when the RWF and RRW were amalgamated.
 
#5
Good thread!
Can someone illuminate me on the origins of why the LI and subsequently The Rifles, don't give the loyal toast (I am aware that it is because our loyalty is unquestioned but I don't know when the honour was bestowed or why). Thanks. :)
 
#6
I Googled 'Light Infantry Loyal Toast' and found a wealth of info on that subject, inclluding:

14. The Light Infantry also have the distinction of not drinking the loyal toast. The privilege was conferred upon the 85th, later the 2nd Bn KSLl, by George IV after officers of the Regiment had dealt with rioters who insulted him in a theatre in Brighton. The custom in the Durham Light Infantry originated during their campaign in the West Indies in the 1700’s against the Caribs, when they were awarded the designation “ Faithful “ since then it was not considered necessary to demonstrate their loyalty by drinking the Loyal Toast.

http://www.lightinfantryreunited.co.uk/history.htm
 
#7
Another LI oddity, from the same site as above:

12. The Warrant Officers and Sergeants wear the red sash when on duty or parade tied to the right side, the opposite side to the rest of the Army, as they did in the Somerset Light Infantry. The true record giving the reason was destroyed at Azihghur in 1868 but it is said that the tradition stems from the Battle of Culloden, on 10 April 1746, when most of the officers were casualties and the sergeants took their places in charge of the troops.
 
#10
Simple answer to the RGJ "fast" drill...they where lightly armed and had to move around the battlefield at speed in a uniform and measured way...hence the fast pace in ranks.

They also used the bugle for commands...not sure if any other infantry regiment does??

Also the only regiment to carry their battle honours on there capbadge..I was told this was because they moved so fast standard "colours" would slow them down....
 
#11
The Blues and Royals may salute when no head dress is worn...originated when the Marquis of Granbry lost his wig in battle.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards drink the Loyal taost seated, to do with King George the third being too ill to stand, so they all sat.

The Queens Regiment has a tradition that when an officer first dines with the regiment, salt is taken from a special cellar containing fragments of the first colours...to remind them of there responsibilities to the regiment.

Devon and Dorsets (grandfather reg) drink a toast to the French Army after the Loyal toast. The regiment was given the Croix de Guerre after a battle at Bois de Butts.

The Royal Welch Fusiliers have to wear a leek on parade, and if a soldier has never eaten a leek, he must do so before being allowed to parade.

Sherwood Forresters fly a red jacket from there flag pole on the 16th of April to commemorate the day an officer climbed an enemy tower and tore down there flag, and not having a flag to replace it with, used his jaket.

Duke of Wellingtons carry 4 colours.

When tying the regimental tie, the yellow stripe on the Gordons tie must not form part of the knot. It is said the yellow shows cowdness. Unfortuantly, Prince Charles did not know this and when he posed for a painting to be presented to the regiment (he was the last C in C) he got it wrong and the tie had to be repainted at a later date.

The SAS has the tradition of recruiting every scumbag, wannabe, walt and weirdo, thus making it the biggest regiment in the British Army ;)...according to the stories in every pub up and down the country!
 
#12
2/51 said:
The Royal Welch Fusiliers have to wear a leek on parade, and if a soldier has never eaten a leek, he must do so before being allowed to parade.
Youngest of each Coy and every new officer must eat the leek and drink a fair old whack of beer from a trophy on dydd Dewi Sant (1st March).
 
#13
2/51 said:
Also the only regiment to carry their battle honours on there capbadge..I was told this was because they moved so fast standard "colours" would slow them down....
Royal Marines? Gibraltar on their capbadge, and the globe for the rest of it?

Not sure if they 'count' being not Army but surely they are a Regt all the same really...
 
#14
One of the Highland Regiments used to have finger-bowls in the Officers Mess during dinners. These were used to wash one's hands if food or wine had spilled on them.

According to legend, the bowls were removed after the officers were spotted passing their glasses over the bowls while giving the Royal Toast; they were in effect drinking to "the King across the water".
 
#15
Voltiguer said:
Royal Marines? Gibraltar on their capbadge, and the globe for the rest of it?

Not sure if they 'count' being not Army but surely they are a Regt all the same really...
But the RGJ have the battle honours written into the badge, thats the unique bit.
 
#16
Voltiguer said:
2/51 said:
The Royal Welch Fusiliers have to wear a leek on parade, and if a soldier has never eaten a leek, he must do so before being allowed to parade.
Youngest of each Coy and every new officer must eat the leek and drink a fair old whack of beer from a trophy on dydd Dewi Sant (1st March).
That'll be Dydd GWYL Dewi Sant. :wink:
 
#17
19 Regt RA wear the medal ribbon of the Croix de Guerre - battle honour from Bois de Buttes, WW1 I think.
I seem to recall that the Glosters' Loyal toast only involves the PMC and Mr Vice due to their being only two officers left.
The Black Watch officers (used to) parade for Crimean Long Reveille on the 15th of every month - all officers below field rank paraded for the Pipes and Drums early doors 9 I can't remember if this was a punishment for the Ps and Ds or the Officers!).

Whatever they are, I hope that the amalgamations/changes a la General Jackson do not mean that these traditions are lost.
 
#18
As for rank differences, you only have to look at the household division for the variations to the rest of the army.





Traditions are what make us what we are, without them, we would be nothing more than yanks.
 
#19
Gren said:
Traditions are what make us what we are, without them, we would be nothing more than yanks.
Excluding the RAF, of course, who don't have traditions, just bad habits.

The Woofers used to have the tradition of the Orderly Officer wearing his sword at formal dinners. This goes back to 1746 when the Worcestershire Regiment—stationed in North America—were attacked whilst at dinner in the mess by supposedly loyal indians. The colonel decreed that every officer would henceforth wear his sword at dinner. This was 'dumbed down' in about 1850 by another CO to just the 'Captain of the Week' and the 'Subaltern of the Day'. I think the Woofers were the only regiment to have that tradition officially recognised and I have no idea if the Mercs still do it.
 
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