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Uniform/Traditions Question....

#1
Corps/Regimental Uniforms and Traditions

Each regiment has its own variations on dress (especially the cavalry) and I was just curious, what different uniforms & embellishments, odd quirks and traditions do the different corps and regiments have? I would be grateful for your help!
 
#2
Two I can think of off-hand

Royal Welch Fusiliers wore a black ribbon on the back of their collars. I don't know why.

The Gloucesters had a cap badge on the front and back of their caps to commemorate the Battle of Alexandria in Egypt in 1801 where they fought off a French attack from the front and rear simultaneously.

I don't know whether these traditions are carried on by their successor regiments, the Royal Welsh Regiment and the Rifles*.

I'm sure there's more.

*EDIT:
On the 1st February 2007 RGBWLI merged with the DDLI to become 1 Rifles. The regular battalions of the Rifles will wear the Back Badge with ceremonial dress, and officers and warrant officers will also wear it on side hats. The RGBWLI TA companies [based in Gloucester and Reading] will continue to wear the Back Badge on their berets, as will the ACF detachments based in Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Bristol and Wiltshire. The Back Badge will also be worn by the Band and Bugles of The Rifles on the ‘shako’.
http://www.glosters.org/bbadge.htm
 
#3
WelshFusiliers is easy. They used to wear there hair in a tarred pig tail which left a black mark on the back of their uniform. When they got told to get their haircut and the pig tail was abolished they wanted to reproduce the black mark. Quite eccentric butthe Regimental system is what makes us what we are. Up to now anyway!!
 
#4
big_mad_ejit said:
Royal Welch Fusiliers wore a black ribbon on the back of their collars. I don't know why.
The ribbon represents that used to wrap the que-tail (or pigtail if you will) worn by soldiers during the 18th century and into the early years of the 19th. The soldiers of the Royal Welch Fusiliers (or rather its antecedent regiment) were on baord ship at the time, and were therefore the last British Army regiment to receive the order. The regiment was granted the right to wear the collar ribbon to commemorate this fact.

Another interesting regimental quirk (and I hope I have the right regiment):

The officers of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers wear the cross-belt of their Sam Browne's back-to-front to commemorate the time that King Alfonso XIII of Spain visited the regiment in his capacity as Colonel-in-Chief, and wore his cross-belt back-to-front in error; not wishing to embarrass him, the officers of the regiment reversed theirs.
 
#5
Soldiers of this regiment were distinguishable by the unique feature of the "flash", consisting of five overlapping black silk ribbons (seven inches long for soldiers and nine inches long for officers) on the back of the uniform jacket at neck level. This is a legacy of the days when it was normal for soldiers to wear pigtails. In 1808, this practice was discontinued, but the RWF were serving in America when the order to discontinue the use of the flash was issued. Upon their return they decided to retain the ribbons with which the pigtail was tied, and were granted this special concession by the King. The Army Board attempted to remove the flash during the First World War citing the grounds that it would help the Germans identify which unit was facing them. The King refused, stating that "The enemy will never see the backs of the Royal Welch Fusiliers".
 
#6
The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding) was the only Regiment to carry Honorary Colours as well as the Queen's Colours on parade. I'll let you work out why.
 
#7
The Black Watch didn't wear a cap badge on their TOS (Don't know about other headdress) but sinply wore the red hackle.

There is a book
"Badge Backings and Specila Embellishments f the Britis Army" produced by The Ulster Defence Regiment Benevolent Fund. which describes a myriad of regimental 'peculiarities' of dress.
According to this "a bunch of 5 black ribbon tails is worn at the back of the collar.This had originall been a bow of broad ribbon worn with the greased pigtail to protect the uniform jacket.
 
#8
I RRF & decentdants of 5RNF carry three colours on St Georges day, the 3rd one being the drummers colour, something to do with the battle of Wilhelstahl iirc & a young drummer capturing or retreiving a colour..
 
#9
RHF carried three Colours on parade one being presented for their contribution at the battle of Assaye.
Gloucesters wore two badges as folklaw states they were attacked from the rear when in line and the order rear rank about face was given hence badge on rear of beret.
 
#10
STAFFORDS wear a patch of "Holland Cloth" behind the cap badge as a reminder that they were stationed in the West Indies for so long (1707 - 1764) that they ran out of uniforms and red cloth and adopted replacements from sugar sacking known as Holland Cloth.
 
#11
Gloucesters wore two badges as folklaw states they were attacked from the rear when in line and the order rear rank about face was given hence badge on rear of beret.

It's not FolkLORE it's regimental history. The army is very strict about allowinany variation in dress and this would have been well researched.
 
#12
gallowglass said:
big_mad_ejit said:
Royal Welch Fusiliers wore a black ribbon on the back of their collars. I don't know why.
The ribbon represents that used to wrap the que-tail (or pigtail if you will) worn by soldiers during the 18th century and into the early years of the 19th. The soldiers of the Royal Welch Fusiliers (or rather its antecedent regiment) were on baord ship at the time, and were therefore the last British Army regiment to receive the order. The regiment was granted the right to wear the collar ribbon to commemorate this fact.
Actually, the RWF didn't have an antecedent regiment (they were the 23rd Foot) though they went through a variation or two on the name before it settled down. The new Regiment is The Royal Welsh; the Royal Welsh Regiment was the TA amalgamation of 3 RWF and 2 RRW which existed from 1999 to 2006, thus neatly removing the option for the new Regiment to use the name.

The distinction, along with the White Hackle, the Wreath of Immortelles presented for Isandlwana/ Rorke's Drift and the green patch behind the capbadge carried forward to The Royal Welsh.
 
#13
Middlesex Yeomanry of old, used to wear a crown above their tapes. so, a lance jack on his No2s had two tapes and a crown, as did a Cpl, but a Sgt had 3 and a crown, and a SSgt, 4 tapes (yes fore) and a crown. F***ing confusing believe me.
Now they are a TA unit and it has sort of been embellished into traditional dress now.
 
#14
craftsmanx said:
The Black Watch didn't wear a cap badge on their TOS (Don't know about other headdress) but sinply wore the red hackle.

There is a book
"Badge Backings and Specila Embellishments f the Britis Army" produced by The Ulster Defence Regiment Benevolent Fund. which describes a myriad of regimental 'peculiarities' of dress.
According to this "a bunch of 5 black ribbon tails is worn at the back of the collar.This had originall been a bow of broad ribbon worn with the greased pigtail to protect the uniform jacket.
My bold

Now I asked about this only the other day and didnt really get an answer( to be fair I was hijacking the thread completely)

however seeing as this is more relevant and brought up by someone else can it please be explained????

Red
 
#15
At 100 Regiment RA(v) dinner nights the ROS used to read out Pt 1 Orders after dinner.

Never thuoght PtI's funny before but the chap I heard had us all in stitches. Doubtless an ex 100 Rgt Officer could explain why.
 
#16
Slightly off-thread, but I had observed that RAF aircrew always seem to wear their free issue ugly-watch with Mess Dress.

Perhaps Flying Pay is inadequate to afford a decent one?
 

Alsacien

LE
Moderator
#17
craftsmanx said:
Gloucesters wore two badges as folklaw states they were attacked from the rear when in line and the order rear rank about face was given hence badge on rear of beret.

It's not FolkLORE it's regimental history. The army is very strict about allowinany variation in dress and this would have been well researched.
Talking of which - the regimental museum in Gloucester docks is in a celler partly - anyone know if its OK?
 
#18
gallowglass said:
Another interesting regimental quirk (and I hope I have the right regiment):

The officers of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers wear the cross-belt of their Sam Browne's back-to-front to commemorate the time that King Alfonso XIII of Spain visited the regiment in his capacity as Colonel-in-Chief, and wore his cross-belt back-to-front in error; not wishing to embarrass him, the officers of the regiment reversed theirs.
Thanks to a message from very-old-git I am correcting the above by saying that it is not the officers of the RRF who wear the cross-belt of their Sam Browne's reversed, but the officers of the Queen's Royal Lancers.

I came across this information in a issue of Regiment magazine - can anyone assure me that this is correct?

*God, I hope I have this right now :roll:
 
#19
red_phos said:
craftsmanx said:
The Black Watch didn't wear a cap badge on their TOS (Don't know about other headdress) but sinply wore the red hackle.

There is a book
"Badge Backings and Specila Embellishments f the Britis Army" produced by The Ulster Defence Regiment Benevolent Fund. which describes a myriad of regimental 'peculiarities' of dress.
According to this "a bunch of 5 black ribbon tails is worn at the back of the collar.This had originall been a bow of broad ribbon worn with the greased pigtail to protect the uniform jacket.
My bold

Now I asked about this only the other day and didnt really get an answer( to be fair I was hijacking the thread completely)

however seeing as this is more relevant and brought up by someone else can it please be explained????

Red

From what I can make out as The Black Watch were the only regiment in the British Army allowed to wear the Red Hackle they wore just that on their TOS while still wearing the regimental badge on Glengarrys and feather bonnet.
 
#20
Again, moving sideways slightly, which is normal for crab air. ALL crab air officers and seniors wear basically the same mess dress with the same lining, save for one, 600 (City of London) Squadron (has the same emblems as the dustbin lorries) who wear mess dress with maroon lining, and have their own cumberband. Always SOMEONE being different. It is also the only squadron in crab air with 2 badges.
 

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