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Slow March - Now what was that all about?

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
The Slow March reduces the act of walking to such a pace that Guards Officers can understand it.
 
It was the newly constructed footbridge over the lake in St James's Park. In addition to putting maximum weight on the bridge, I would think that the test include marching a load of times without breaking step in order to build up resonance (if that's the right word) It's likely they would have come from Wellington Barracks, just across the road from the park.

I think they've got as many bodies as possible on the bridge to check the deflection. There's some sort of frame in the water behind the boat - they could be measuring from that.

On a larger scale, something similar on the Millau viaduct in France using trucks.
millau-viaduct / Technology involved in its construction
 
Closing down parade for RAF Wildenrath, having rehearsed everything in quick time, at the last minute some self abuse artist decided that we would do everything in slow time, with a change into quick time once passed the saluting dias. Oh what a happy bunch of bunnies we were, well not really.
 
I think they've got as many bodies as possible on the bridge to check the deflection. There's some sort of frame in the water behind the boat - they could be measuring from that.
Yes, here's a contemporary write-up;

<<
COLDSTREAM WERE THE FIRST ACROSS

NULLI SECUNDUS” (Second to None), the motto of the Coldstream Guards, took on a new and novel meaning when 300 men of the 2nd Battalion were the first to cross the newly completed bridge in St. James’s Park, London, before it was opened to the public.

The object of the exercise was to make what the Ministry of Works engineers called a “live load test” to try the strength of the new bridge. It could have been loaded with weights but the Ministry considered that 300 Guardsmen, each weighing about12-stone, would provide a more realistic and certainly less expensive test.

For nearly an hour the Coldstreamers marched, countermarched, double-marched and executed traditionally crashing halts on the pre-stressed concrete.

Three engineers from the Ministry of Works crouched in a small rowing boat under the central span of the bridge and busied themselves with chart sand instruments to gauge reactions on their stress-testing instruments.

The impact of some 22 tons of Coldstreamers on the bridge caused anxiety to onlookers but none to the men from the Ministry of Works who expressed themselves entirely satisfied.

The new bridge will have heavy demands made on it. As well as providing a much needed shortcut across the lake, it will attract lunch-time loiterers and on occasions serve as a grandstand for adjacent events.

This was not the first time that Guardsmen had been used for an experiment of this nature. Some years ago a battalion of Guards was marched to the House of Commons to test the efficiency of the machinery which controls temperature and humidity.
>>
BridgePic.jpg
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
National Service had nothing to do with it! We had a mong at RMAS who just couldn't march properly. He left in the end. He was sh1t anyway but an awfully decent guy.

A significant proportion of any PQO course could fit that description
 
Morning @Roadster280,
Always found that hilarious. Even funnier watching SUS, being rifted to scoff, scoff-hall at other end of camp ie. Distance and gradient important. After a long rift, R.P. lets gets him marking time, then shit-loads of change steps, about turns then "FORWARD!", bellowed down lug--hole. Alway got them stumbling/falling.
Your moral holds but I always thought. He could be in for a 'nothing' reason and thank fck it's not me.






Not for me to say R.P.s, bunch of cvnts. Job description, individual character etc. Some enjoyed the power and were really 'disliked'. Though for balance, not all of them.
On arriving at Verden in February 1976, i was immediately conscripted into the RP staff, (Sgt Dave B****) where I stayed for 6 months, as i had already done my 4 years , 3 in a previous unit, i got my first tape, back in my trade as an E.D, ( One of Sgt George H*****S crew) it took a good few weeks before i was absolved of my crimes, and accepted back into the Sqn family.
 
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That's Hammersmith Bridge.

Edit to add it was the target of an IRA bomb attack some years back.
Three IRA bomb attacks; they seem to have a grudge against it.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
The guy who shot it certainly takes his social distancing seriously.

Were they very small soldiers or just far away?

They were rather large and fearsome. A great pleasure to meet them.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Surprised there hasn't been a legionnaire (French, obviously, not British or Spanish) along to pass comment on their parade marching pace, in the same realm as our slow march.

I forget where I read a quote from Lord Alanbrooke about seeing a body of the FFL heaving into view and marvelling about how the impression it would give as a relieving force would be a massive morale boost, or to an enemy force of "Oh fúck, they're just going to keep coming."
 
Totally off topic, but doesn't that picture some up a certain era? You have the 300 guardsmen in fine array lined up on the bridge on a foggy London morning, a few looking over and no doubt making ribald comments about the blokes below.

And who are the blokes below? Why of course, they are men from the ministry, boffins. You can tell they are boffins from their dress, tweed suits and perhaps a mackintosh, horn-rimmed spectacles, a comb-over hairstyle or two and almost certainly galoshes, one of them must be wearing galoshes.

There they are using some oddly fangled equipment as they test whether the bridge can hold said 300 guardsmen without pitching them all into the drink, and how better to do that by making them all stand there as the boffins do their calculations, no doubt on jotters, with a fountain pen, while one of them holds the row boat in place with his hand.

Not a hi-vis jacket to be seen, not a health and safety audit taken, no tape sealing off the area, no life jackets, just a bit of practical common-sense physics, all done in a jiffy and everyone back to the lab or barracks for elevenses.
 
change step? I never saw the use really.


It was vital on the parade ground - if you did too many left turns in a row then the platoon would end up out of Sync with the CSM - they would be marching "right, left, right, left" to his "eft, igt, eft, igt" - thus the platoon needed regular recalibrating to put them back in time

a bit like how the transmission gets wound up on a 4WD.
 
Totally off topic, but doesn't that picture some up a certain era? You have the 300 guardsmen in fine array lined up on the bridge on a foggy London morning, a few looking over and no doubt making ribald comments about the blokes below.

And who are the blokes below? Why of course, they are men from the ministry, boffins. You can tell they are boffins from their dress, tweed suits and perhaps a mackintosh, horn-rimmed spectacles, a comb-over hairstyle or two and almost certainly galoshes, one of them must be wearing galoshes.

There they are using some oddly fangled equipment as they test whether the bridge can hold said 300 guardsmen without pitching them all into the drink, and how better to do that by making them all stand there as the boffins do their calculations, no doubt on jotters, with a fountain pen, while one of them holds the row boat in place with his hand.

Not a hi-vis jacket to be seen, not a health and safety audit taken, no tape sealing off the area, no life jackets, just a bit of practical common-sense physics, all done in a jiffy and everyone back to the lab or barracks for elevenses.

Brought back memories of testing the new Wembly stadium way back when.

 
1602936945694.png


Looking tidy for Dunkirk.....
 
Brought back memories of testing the new Wembly stadium way back when.

Brilliant, I mean how else are you going to test the strength of a concrete stand other than getting a thousand or so of the feckers who built it to jump up and down on it (I loved the way a few of them got into the spirit of the thing and flung their caps in the air as they cheered)?

If it holds up, job jobbed, if it doesn't and it collapses killing a few dozen Paddy navvies, well it's just back to the old drawing board to tweak the calculations, isn't it?
 
The slow march did have a battlefield purpose. British forces marching at the standard pace length and standard paces per minute, French bombardiers could use this to predict where they'd be at a certain time, aim the guns and cause chaos. Throwing in a slow march every few paces threw their calculations and made them miss more
 

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