when did sargeant majors strips go out of fashion

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by MUTTSNUTTS, Sep 24, 2007.

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  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. 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. 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.
  12. Are we going to discuss WOIII's as well soon?!?!?
  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?

  15. oldbaldy

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

    From the same source as above: