Discussion in 'Officers' started by hammockhead, Dec 2, 2005.

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  1. A question for you pongo types - are there regiments that wear their swords at the trail, or are they always hooked up in Army drill?

  2. I stand to be corrected, but I believe that the officers of the Royal Green Jackets and the Light Infantry may wear their swords at the trail.
  3. Gunners too.....?
  4. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "at the trail" but if I'm guessing correctly then most infantry officers (or people entitlesd to wear swords) would have it hooked up, whereas any kind of mounted service would have a much looser arrangement which means that, unless the scabbard is physically held, it will be bouncing along the ground.

    To my mind that's kinda different to holding a rifle or smg at the trail but I hope I'm on the right track?
  5. Generally correct there. Foot regiments usually wear their swords suspended from a Sam Browne belt with frog attached (unless in Blues when there are different arrangements dependant on rank).

    Mounted units (or those infantry units who tradition adopted cavalry style uniforms) wear their swords attached to slings worn from a belt under the tunic - these cannot be hooked up and must be carried in the left hand.

    This ain't the final solution - as always there are a myriad of regimental variations (Jocks, cav in Sam Brownes, etc.)
  6. Just to further clarify the issue:

    The Infantry Patten Sword is generally worn suspended from a frog attachment

    While the Mounted units generally wear a Sabre which has two rings to suspend it with

    Edited to add * This is of course a basic guide - Other types of Swords exsist..
  7. Not all cav carry a sabre some still use the heavy draggon type with a straight edge and the scabbards we get are always the ones for mounted i.e 2 rings at top, when occasionally the scabbard with ring at top and one bit further down is isssued the scabbard still has to be carried in the left hand.
  8. at the trail? I don't know of any that allow the sword to actually 'drag' on the ground, but some, when the sword is in a two ring scabbard attached to long slings, carry the sword in the left hand rather than 'hooking it up' to a clip.
  9. So I imagine even the cavalry sword belts must come with a hook for the scabbard for when the sword is drawn - would this be under the tunic as well?

    I am trying to convince some mates that naval officers are not the only ones who have to carry their swords.

  10. I can confirm that RGJ officers carry their swords. We do not have any means of 'hooking' it up but I have heard that some officers of limited stature employ a single roller skate to prevent undignified showers of sparks when doubling past to 'Road to the Isles'.
  11. Officers/RSMs of the Scottish Div 'carry' their scabbards in No1 Dress ceremonial.
  12. As 4T mentioned earlier: the 15 Regiments of the Royal Regiment of Artillery (RHA and RA) carry their swords with the scabbard toe forward and the handguard facing downwards with the pommel of the sword facing the rear and being uppermost.

    Majority of the Cav officers are the same. Loads of exceptions of course. It is a pain in the arrse at formal garden parties where you want to carry a pimms in one hand and a G&T in the other. Good however for marching with: you do not have to wave your arms about and allows you to control the scabbard so it doesn't bash your shins.
  13. You have to look back in history to find the origins of why we all carried swords differently. For a start can I clear something up? Sabres were done away with in 1908 and the cavalry was re-issued with the 1908 pattern sword. Of course there are always exceptions in the army (as someone has already pointed out) but although I know that dragoon pattern swords are still carried by some heavy units I don't know of anyone still carrying a sabre.

    Infantry need to have their swords carried in such a way that it is paractical to draw the sword on the ground and use it without the scabbard flailing about and getting in the way - hence the fact that their scabbards are fastened high.

    Cavalry, horse artillery and mounted infantry have an arrangement of straps (not a belt) which fit over the shoulder but when mounted the scabbard is unhooked and slid into a leather cup on the saddle.

    Light infantry 'swords' are actually a misnomer. They are long bayonets (originally a plug fitting), although modern uniform criteria may mean that a standard sword is now carried by officers - I'm not sure about that.

    The idea of weapons at the 'trail' is traditionally a light infantry method of holding the rifle in a practical fashion for their rapid cross country movement on foot. Usually this was to hold the rifle at the balance point in a full grip which meant that it was pointing straight ahead at arms length. If an officer held an infantry sword in the same fashion I can imagine that it could be called 'at the trail'. I just haven't come across it before.

    The Sam Browne belt didn't come into existence until the late 1850's (I think) and was originally a double vertical arrangement to hold both pistol and sword. 'Sam Browne' is the man accredited with reducing the harness to a single cross strap. That is usually for hanging a sword from.

    This is one of those lovely questions which throws up all sorts of alternatives, showing the rich pageantry of the history of the army.
  14. Not exactly. The term 'sword' is applied to both the bayonet and the ceremonial sword in RGJ circles. The former refers to the length of the bayonet required to increase the reach of the Baker Rifle to that of the standard line infantry musket (presumably the French one at that!). We now use the term instead of 'bayonet'. I do not know if Sir John Moore's officers ever carried the same long bayonet as a sword (I think it unlikely because, although long, I believe it was still shorter than the standard infantry sword of the day) but we now use a 'Rifle' pattern sword which differs only slightly in size and weight to that of the modern line infantry sword.
  15. Close enough - I claim my £5. Now what about the original question of carrying the 'sword' at the trail?