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The SLI and the reversed Red Sash

exspy

LE
That's a nice photo and probably a historical one, marking what is most probably a unique occasion.
It seems that there was a reception at the Palace for representatives of each of the infantry regiments about to be amalgamated under the 1957 reforms.

Pity the photo is indistinct but I guess that's the limitations of colour printing in magazines at that time. Apart from the SLI chap (obviously) the only regimental rep I can identify is the Royal Scots Fusilier (wearing Glengarry), back row left of the kilted soldier who is centre of pic.
I'd hazard a guess that the chap in the centre is Highland Light Infantry but there are two others in Highland bonnets who could be.

I think you're on to something. The label on the photograph is 'Merger 1959 [sic].' Thirty regiments were amalgamated down to 15, and there are 30 soldiers in the photo; 15 to the left and 15 to the right. I don't think it would have been too difficult to align the 15 on each side with their amalgamation counterpart.

In which case, you correctly identified the representatives from the Royal Scots Fusiliers and the Highland Light Infantry.

As you mentioned, it's too bad the photograph is so indistinct that individual regiments for the majority of the remainder cannot be identified.

Cheers,
Dan.
 
I think you're on to something. The label on the photograph is 'Merger 1959 [sic].'
Yes, I'd put the photo down as no later than mid-1958, before the first of mergers took place.
The timings of each merger was often dependent on the regular battalions finishing their tours in various parts of the Empire.

At the time, apart from furore and even hostility surrounding the HLI/RSF amalgamation, it was generally considered that the mergers were well thought out and attempts were made to retain previous identities, for example in the use of supernumerary titles and retaining dress distinctions.

Looking back, it's easy to see the logic used, of course the intra-county mergers were obvious but outside of that, generally neighbouring counties were chosen (Somerset and Cornwall doesn't have a common border of course, but they had the shared Light Infantry heritage) so somehow, it all seemed to make sense.

This newsreel gives a good example of two fine county regiments going through the ceremony of amalgamation.

The Merging of the Regiment
 

exspy

LE
This newsreel gives a good example of two fine county regiments going through the ceremony of amalgamation.

Great newsreel. Lots of info and detail. Thanks for posting it.

55-year old Corporal Whiffin with 36-years service. Priceless. And lots and lots of young National Servicemen.

Cheers,
Dan.
 
Great newsreel. Lots of info and detail. Thanks for posting it.

55-year old Corporal Whiffin with 36-years service. Priceless. And lots and lots of young National Servicemen.

Cheers,
Dan.
I wonder if Cpl Whiffin had been up and down the ranks a little in his time.
 
55-year old Corporal Whiffin with 36-years service. Priceless. And lots and lots of young National Servicemen.
I'm sure that in the days before manning controls, most county regiments had their Cpl Whiffins,- Privates or JNCOs as Mail Clerks, Regimental Cooks, Orderlies and so on, who had served well past pension qualifying service.
Invariably, despite their lack of progression, they were contented souls who found comfort in the regimental family and were likely to be horrified at the prospect of civilian life
They were institutions within the battalion but were themselves institutionalised ?
-some had perhaps never known a real home or weren't attracted to civilian life - I recall at lease one Polish long-serving private who had simply swapped one army for another (unlike today, it wasn't easy for Poles to assimilate post-war, many were held in refugee-like camps)

I imagine that in some cases, it was possible for such soldiers to become In-pensioners at Chelsea straight from serving.
Here's the story (told in 1958 ) of one such regimental doyen.
>>

44 Years in the Ranks

The oldest private soldier in the British Army, Rifleman Bernard Challis, aged 61, of the King's Royal Rifle Corps, was never happier than when he climbed out of the aircraft that brought him from England to Tripoli.

Once more he was to serve with the 1st Battalion of the Regiment which he first joined in 1918. Rifleman Challis, who has nearly 44 years' continuous service—he joined up on 10 August, 1914—now has one more ambition: to be allowed to carry on long enough to earn a second clasp to his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. He would be entitled to this in 1968.

Many a soldier has left the Army in a fit of pique—and lived to regret it. With Rifleman Challis it was the reverse. Disappointed and angry at being turned down by the City of London Police Force because he had contracted trench foot in France, he re-enlisted in the Army (on his release leave) and has always been glad he did so. Rifleman Challis—known throughout the King's Royal Rifle Corps as Bert—gave up clerking in a London office to join the Rangers (12th London Regiment) a few days after the outbreak of World War One and fought with them in France until being invalided home.

Then he was posted to the Finsbury Rifles (11th London Regiment) and took part in Field-Marshal Lord Allenby's campaign in Palestine where he was wounded. He first joined the King's Royal Rifle Corps on a four-year engagement in 1918 and became a corporal but reverted voluntarily to rifleman when he reengaged for another seven years with the Colours and five on the Reserve.

From Germany, where he served with the first British Army of the Rhine, Rifleman Challis went to India and Burma. While in the Far East he completed his 12-year engagement and by a further extension was able to qualify for a pension. Since then, with the exception of the 1939-45 period, he has never signed on for more than a year at a time and has consistently refused promotion.

When World War Two broke out, Rifleman Challis was in Cairo and moved into the Western Desert with his battalion almost immediately. He remained with them until captured by the Germans near Bir-Hakim in 1942 and spent the rest of the war in prison camps in Italy and Germany. Because of his age—he was almost 49 when released by the Americans —Rifleman Challis was rarely given heavy work but he missed his daily two pints of beer. "It's these two pints a day that has kept me so fit," he says.

After reporting once again to the Green Jackets' Depot at Winchester in 1945, Rifleman Challis was re-appointed Quartermaster's storeman, a job he has held since 1932. Six years ago he re-joined the 2nd Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps in Germany and served with them until they disbanded last year. He was then given the option of where to go and chose the 1st Battalion in Tripoli. Rifleman Challis has twice been presented to the present Queen—once at the bi-centenary parade of the Regiment in 1955 and again when he represented the King's Royal Rifle Corps at the Jubilee of the Union Jack Club in London in 1954. He was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1953. Rifleman Challis is a bachelor. "The Army is my first and only love."
>>
 
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exspy

LE
44 Years in the Ranks

The oldest private soldier in the British Army, Rifleman Bernard Challis, aged 61, of the King's Royal Rifle Corps, was never happier than when he climbed out of the aircraft that brought him from England to Tripoli.

Great post, but I'll see your 44 years and raise to 50. Private Arthur Carter, KSLI.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo but I think it was scanned from a printed page.

carter.jpg

Private Arthur (Nick) Carter served in the KSLI for 50 years from 1901-1951. He saw active service during the Boer War in South Africa and also in France during the First World War. On his left arm he is wearing ten good conduct stripes, the most ever awarded to anyone in the British Army. When he was discharged in 1951 he was the oldest serving soldier and had remained a private soldier from his own choice. Talking to Private Carter is the Earl of Povis, who was Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. To his left is Major General Grover, and on the far right is Lt. Col. Shaw-Ball. After Private Carter was discharged, he lived in a rented room opposite his old Barracks.
 
Great post, but I'll see your 44 years and raise to 50. Private Arthur Carter, KSLI.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo but I think it was scanned from a printed page.

Private Arthur (Nick) Carter served in the KSLI for 50 years from 1901-1951. He saw active service during the Boer War in South Africa and also in France during the First World War. On his left arm he is wearing ten good conduct stripes, the most ever awarded to anyone in the British Army. When he was discharged in 1951 he was the oldest serving soldier and had remained a private soldier from his own choice. Talking to Private Carter is the Earl of Povis, who was Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. To his left is Major General Grover, and on the far right is Lt. Col. Shaw-Ball. After Private Carter was discharged, he lived in a rented room opposite his old Barracks.

Did he get an RSM’s pension?
 
Royal Lincolnshire Regiment
Northamptonshire Regiment
3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot)

⇧⇧⇧ 2nd East Anglian Regiment (10th/48th Foot) although this merger in 1960 seems not to have carried the numbers forward.

They took a bit of a la di da name though...
2nd East Anglian Regiment (Duchess of Gloucester's Own Royal Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
Essex Regiment
3rd East Anglian Regiment (16th/44th Foot)
Is why the Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire regiments weren’t the 3rd East Anglian Regt but of course, nobody loves a smartarrse. :)
 
Great post, but I'll see your 44 years and raise to 50. Private Arthur Carter, KSLI.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo but I think it was scanned from a printed page.

Private Arthur (Nick) Carter served in the KSLI for 50 years from 1901-1951. He saw active service during the Boer War in South Africa and also in France during the First World War. On his left arm he is wearing ten good conduct stripes, the most ever awarded to anyone in the British Army. When he was discharged in 1951 he was the oldest serving soldier and had remained a private soldier from his own choice. Talking to Private Carter is the Earl of Povis, who was Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. To his left is Major General Grover, and on the far right is Lt. Col. Shaw-Ball. After Private Carter was discharged, he lived in a rented room opposite his old Barracks.
 
I sometimes (but not often) wonder what became of Cpl Egg&Cheese RCT, who was in charge of the Aldershot Garrison Rubbish Collection truck in the early 70's. He had two rows of medal ribands, mostly from WW2, and was a cantankerous, gripey, bent-over sort of brute. He'd found his niche, but didn't seem satisfied about it to the young British Buller Bks soldier.

I also wish, seeing the photographs above, that I'd kept my various Hats Silly, and Hats Chip. Would have cost me, though.
 
Great post, but I'll see your 44 years and raise to 50. Private Arthur Carter, KSLI.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo but I think it was scanned from a printed page.

Private Arthur (Nick) Carter served in the KSLI for 50 years from 1901-1951. He saw active service during the Boer War in South Africa and also in France during the First World War. On his left arm he is wearing ten good conduct stripes, the most ever awarded to anyone in the British Army. When he was discharged in 1951 he was the oldest serving soldier and had remained a private soldier from his own choice. Talking to Private Carter is the Earl of Povis, who was Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. To his left is Major General Grover, and on the far right is Lt. Col. Shaw-Ball. After Private Carter was discharged, he lived in a rented room opposite his old Barracks.
Must have had a hell of a rack!
 
These images are from Ordnance Store Corps, Burscough 1896, and those wearing a sash are wearing them from their left shoulder. Any clues as to why?

1604424759940.png


1604424781969.png



1604424869066.png
 

exspy

LE
These images are from Ordnance Store Corps, Burscough 1896, and those wearing a sash are wearing them from their left shoulder. Any clues as to why?
Great photos and thanks for posting them. I would think the reason the soldiers wearing sashes are wearing them over the left shoulder is because they are officers. But, as always, I stand to be corrected.

Cheers,
Dan.
 

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