when did sargeant majors strips go out of fashion

#1
watching an old tv series the other day and the sargeant major in it had four stripes i just wonder when and why this went out of style for the favoured crown or coat of arms for rsm's

mts nts
 
#2
Oops...read the thread wrong...though this was about stripping Sgt Majors
 
#3
MUTTSNUTTS said:
watching an old tv series the other day and the sargeant major in it had four stripes i just wonder when and why this went out of style for the favoured crown or coat of arms for rsm's

mts nts
Something new on me that one. Never knew that WO2s had a 4 stripe rank badge.

Any spotters umm I mean history buffs out there with some more knowledge?
 
#4
My Regiment (QDG) have 4 stripes and crown for SQMS. Who is addressed as "Sgt Major" Never known for WO2 to have 4 stripes!
 
#5
The original badge of rank for a Sergeant Major, when it was not a Warranted rank was 4 stripes worn on the sleeve. This is back when Colour Sergeant was a design featuring a pair of crossed flags.

Its really a Napoleonic thing, and i'd hazard a guess that the originator of this thread saw it in Sharpe. :D
 
#6
Found this which explains a few things:

The chevrons worn by many non-commissioned officers are based on heraldic devices and their current use for NCOs originates from the time of the Napoleonic Wars in 1802. As today, sergeants wore three chevrons, point downwards, on the upper arm, and corporals wore two, with sergeant-majors and quarter-master-sergeants then having four. Lance corporal, at the time not a rank but an appointment historically known as chosen man and carrying extra pay for privates holding it, were given a single chevron a few years later, and later in the century the lance-sergeant appeared, wearing three chevrons.

The Royal Artillery had the special rank of bombardier below the corporal, and both he and the acting bombardier wore one chevron. The Royal Engineers and Army Ordnance Corps also had an additional rank of second corporal, who wore one chevron. On full-dress tunics, badges in white or gold lace were worn only on the right arm, but on service dress jackets, badges in worsted embroidery were worn on both arms. In February 1918 the acting bombardier was renamed lance-bombardier, and the full bombardier gained a second chevron in 1920 replacing the rank of corporal in the RA. Second corporals also disappeared at that time (second corporal had been an actual rank, whereas lance-corporal was a private acting in the rank of corporal).

The pre-war infantry rank of Colour Sergeant had generally given way to the ranks of company sergeant-major and quartermaster-sergeant in 1914 when the four-company organisation was introduced. Both of these ranks, their squadron and battery equivalents, and staff-sergeants in other arms, wore three chevrons and a crown, although in 1915 company, battery, squadron and troop sergeant-majors became warrant officers class II (by Army Order 70) and thereafter wore a single large crown, without any chevrons, on each forearm. Note the designation of Warrant officer classes was in Roman rather than Arabic numerals until the latter half of the 20th century.

Regimental quartermaster-sergeants wore four chevrons on the lower sleeve, point upwards, with a star above, but adopted the crown when they too became warrant officers class II in 1915. In their case, however, the crown was surrounded by a wreath. Regimental sergeant-majors, who before the Boer War had worn four chevrons with a crown, were given in 1902 the badge of a single large crown on the lower arm, but adopted a small version of the Royal arms in its place in 1915 when they became warrant officers class I.
 
#7
This is a worrisome thread, there are some odd ranks out there, Corporal of Horse. Lance Sergeant FFS
 
#8
Thanks greg873.

As some clever dead bloke once said
"you learn something new every day".
 
#9
Lance Sergeant is a guards thing, and is still in use I believe? Not sure about corporal of Horse?
 
#10
Corporal of Horse is still in use.
 
#11
smudge67 said:
Lance Sergeant is a guards thing, and is still in use I believe? Not sure about corporal of Horse?
The Household Cavalry still have Corporal of Horse. I seem to recall that when I was with the Royal Hiorse Guards they had a Provost Corporal Major who wore 4 inverted stripes and a crown. I think the crown suoperseded the four stripes when Warrant ranks were introduced so that WO2 is the rank and CSM/BSM/TSM/SSM etc are appointments.
 
#13
OK slightly off topic, but I've been wondering about rank nicknames. ie. why Lance Jack, Full Screw etc.

I'm not a complete tw@t and can see the obvious, but why Jack? why Screw?
 
#14
Can anyone link to or give Regs reference for use of ‘Lance’ appointments during war-time? i.e. The by-the-book Unit or ‘local’ use for field designations to maintain the command structure as casualties occur. Expect it would be the same/similar criteria for ‘Acting’ among Commissioned ranks?

No.9
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#15
No.9 said:
Can anyone link to or give Regs reference for use of ‘Lance’ appointments during war-time? i.e. The by-the-book Unit or ‘local’ use for field designations to maintain the command structure as casualties occur. Expect it would be the same/similar criteria for ‘Acting’ among Commissioned ranks?

No.9
From the same source as above:

The familiar chevrons worn by sergeants and corporals date back to 1802. As today, sergeants wore three chevrons, point downwards, on the upper arm, and corporals wore two, with sergeant-majors and quarter-master-sergeants then having four. A few years later, lance-corporals were allowed one chevron, and later in the century the lance-sergeant appeared, also wearing three chevrons. The Royal Artillery had the special rank of bombardier below the corporal, and both he and the acting bombardier wore one chevron. The Royal Engineers and Army Ordnance Corps also had an additional rank of second corporal, who wore one chevron. On full-dress tunics, badges in white or gold lace were worn only on the right arm, but on service dress jackets, badges in worsted embroidery were worn on both arms.

In February 1918 the acting bombardier was renamed lance-bombardier, and the full bombardier gained a second chevron in 1920 when the rank of corporal in the RA was abolished. Second corporals also disappeared at that time.

The pre-war infantry rank of colour-sergeant had generally given way to the ranks of company sergeant-major and quartermaster-sergeant in 1914 when the four-company organisation was introduced. Both of these ranks, their squadron and battery equivalents, and staff-sergeants in other arms, wore three chevrons and a crown, although in 1915 company, battery, squadron and troop sergeant-majors became warrant officers class II (by Army Order 70) and thereafter wore a single large crown, without any chevrons, on each forearm.

Regimental quartermaster-sergeants wore four chevrons on the lower sleeve, point upwards, with a star above, but adopted the crown when they too became warrant officers class II in 1915. In their case, however, the crown was surrounded by a wreath. Regimental sergeant-majors, who before the Boer War had worn four chevrons with a crown, were given in 1902 the badge of a single large crown on the lower arm, but adopted a small version of the Royal arms in its place in 1915 when they were designated warrant officers class I.

There were also certain senior grades of warrant officer, peculiar to the specialist branches, which ranked above regimental sergeant-majors. These were the conductors of the Army Ordnance Corps and the first-class staff sergeant-majors of the Army Service Corps and the Army Pay Corps. They also wore a large crown, surrounded by a wreath, on the lower arm, although in 1918 this was replaced by the Royal Arms within a wreath. The RA also had its Master Gunners in three classes, but these were technical specialists and not normally seen in the field.

The grades of lance-sergeant and lance-corporal were not strictly ranks, but were appointments, held by selected corporals and privates, and usually carrying extra pay. The appointment was made by the man's commanding officer and could be taken away by him for disciplinary reasons, unlike full sergeants and corporals who could only be demoted by order of a court martial. It is only since 1961 that lance-corporal has been a separate rank in its own right, and the appointment of lance-sergeant was discontinued in 1946.

Readers of contemporary Great War material may have been puzzled by the spelling 'serjeant' which is sometimes seen. This was in fact the 'official' spelling, even during and after the Second World War (though not in the RAF), and appeared in such publications as King's Regulations and the Pay Warrant, which defined the various ranks. In common usage the modern spelling 'sergeant' was already more usual, as for instance in the volumes of the Official History which began to appear in the 1920s.
http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/thegreatwar/articles/standto!/N45insigniabritisharmy.htm
 
#16
Social_Handgrenade said:
OK slightly off topic, but I've been wondering about rank nicknames. ie. why Lance Jack, Full Screw etc.

I'm not a complete tw@t and can see the obvious, but why Jack? why Screw?
Lance Jack is apparently because the newly promoted squaddie can now be a bit Jack,

No idea on Full Screw.
 
#17
Praetorian said:
Are we going to discuss WOIII's as well soon?!?!?
If you insist. The rather short-lived rank of WOIII had a bare crown (like a current WOII) as rank insignia. WOIIs insignia was changed to a crown in wreath in order to differentiate between the two.


T_T
 
#18
MUTTSNUTTS said:
watching an old tv series the other day and the sargeant major in it had four stripes i just wonder when and why this went out of style for the favoured crown or coat of arms for rsm's

mts nts
Says something about the educational standards of recruits today when they can't even count up to four.

That's one, two, three, lots.
 
#19
PassingBells said:
MUTTSNUTTS said:
watching an old tv series the other day and the sargeant major in it had four stripes i just wonder when and why this went out of style for the favoured crown or coat of arms for rsm's
mts nts
Says something about the educational standards of recruits today when they can't even count up to four.

That's one, two, three, lots.

It's RSM not rsm and and an RSM doesn't wear a crown he wears the Royal Coat of Arms, a WOII wears a crown when in a CSM/SSM/BSM type appointment. If you're going to contribute to a military site please take the time to at least research a few basics such as what's a Pte/Spr/Gnr/Cfn/Rfn/Sig/Gdsmn/ etc etc.
Thank you.
 
#20
Thanks for your reply baldy, what I’m after is the Reg dealing with authority and criteria to promote in the field. Yes I do appreciate ‘orders’ can include temporary conferring of limited/specific authority, and that field Lance rank holds within the Unit only, but there must be a ruling on Lance (where this is not a formal part of establishment) as it entailed extra pay. The article you refer to also gives Lance Sergeants being dropped after the war. Hence if they were regulated out they must have been regulated in?

No.9
 

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