The history of Mess silver

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by shafted, Jul 7, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. any history buffs out there who can enlighten me on all silver history.
  2. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    There's a lot of it.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Most of it was stolen off the poor people of the Empire
  4. How did poor people afford silver in the first place?
  5. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Or the French, or the Dutch, or the Spanish

    er basically we nicked most of it.
  6. After the British Army had finished with them they where all poor
  7. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    They dug it up of course.
  8. They should have joined up then.
  9. I reckon it depends on what the items are and the fact that they are normally donated to the corps/regt/sqn/troop by some one related or connected to the unit.

    Also I would imagine it would it would be in silver as it is a precious metal and the most affordable yet still being special.

    I know of a model Sherman tank in a collection ,made by the men of metal factory that was liberated in WW2 .
    The men built it and donated it with thanks to the Regt
  10. You should see the silver War elephant the QRL have got, weighs a couple of hundredweight
  11. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    You don't visit many Messes do you?
  12. only my own
  13. As far as I can tell...... Mess silver has it's roots in the formation of regiments in the begining. During the 17th and into the 18th Century the Regiment was the property of the man who paid for it to be raised. As such said man was a bit on the rich side. Said diamond geezer was expected to dine his dependants in some style, with silver and gold plate, cutlery etc etc on the table.

    This use of the term "Dependants" means those men who suported and expected to be supported by said rich bugger. The Officers who would have been selected by the rather rich newly minted Colonel were his dependants, in the sense that their position depended upon the Colonel.

    The continined fine dinning came both out of the Colonel's deep pocket and the increasing number of Officer Messes and their subs. As the regiments became more stable, with fewer disbandments after a quick war the Mess would attract gifts to remember events and battles.

    Pretty vague ish but that covers it.....
  14. They paid subs to make a racket? We always did it for free...
  15. Why not visit ANY infantry or cavalry regiments' museum - you'll see first hand who presented silver, how some pieces were acquired and who paid for the rest. The museum's curator, I'm sure, will be delighted to elaborate - he may even have an example of an old mess bill handy to show how much each member was levied for some of the items!