WO's & Sgt's Mess v's Sgt's Mess. What the correct titl

No idea if this has been raised before, but can anyone tell me which is the correct title. It would appear that different units are taking a different approach. QR's would indicate that "Sgt's Mess" is the correct title. Any ideas?
GasmaskWilf said:
No idea if this has been raised before, but can anyone tell me which is the correct title. It would appear that different units are taking a different approach. QR's would indicate that "Sgt's Mess" is the correct title. Any ideas?
There should be no mention of WOs.
Sgt's mess is the mess of one particular sgt
Correct is Sgts' Mess.

Although, from what I sometimes read here, it could just as well be called a doss house. How has a might institution fallen!
The reason for this is that "Warrant Officer" is a recent invention.

An example of ranks that could be held in the dim, distant past were:

Private, Fuslieer, Marine and so on (ie no rank).

The legendary senior Private, Fusileer, Marine and so on (not a rank really, a mark of respect - the title for this varied depending on the regiment involved).

Corporal or equivelent title (for example The Light Division had a "Chosen Man" or something like that)

Sergeant (one rank, many appointments - such as Colour Sergeant (who looked after the colours), Sergeant Major (the senior Sergeant), Quartermaster Sergeant (who attended a lot of tea & toast; oh and helped run the stores) and there are other many other variants that I cannot be bothered to list.

Officers (all sorts, based loosely on what we have now).

So as previously stated, I belong to the Sergeants' Mess... (You will find a few signs that mention Warrant Officers, but the correct (traditional) title is as above,
The first regiment to form a Sergeants' Mess (and I know this will provoke some argument, especially from the Highlanders) was the 25th of Foot, The King's Own Scottish Borderers. The KOSB, on the introduction of Warrant rank, changed the title of their mess to Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess. 1KOSB WOs' & Sgts' Mess member's mail boxes, traditionally positioned in the vestibule of that superb establishment, were presented by the first Warrant Officers Class III appointed in that battalion.

Title aside members of that regiment always referred to their mess as the Sergeants' Mess. Damn fine one too. Dripping with tradition, superb functions, wonderful hospitality. Happy memories. I recall a conversation with a Coldstream Guards Sergeant Major describing a formal function he attended in that mess "Made ours seem like a bloody all ranks dance."

Long may Sergeants' Messes continue to exist. They certainly are the power houses of infantry units, maintaining standards, continuity and traditions.
Not 100% on this one so I'll probably get both barrels back, but here goes!

Apparently on the invention of the Warrant Officer rank they were not permitted to join the Commissioned Officers' Mess and being too few of them to create a Warrant Officers' Mess they were invited to join the Sgts' Mess.
And to date they are only there by "invitation" only.

But just try telling the RSM to get out of your mess. :lol:

Now I'm donning my tin lid getting into the bottom of my slit trench and waiting for the incoming.

The name is "The Sgts' Mess"
General Order 87 of June 1879 introduced Conductors AOC & ASC. The first Warrant Officers to receive Warrants from the Sovereign (Navy or Army) All other Warrant Officers followed this order. Warrant Officers Class One came into being on the introduction of Warrant Officers Class Two in 1915. It was at this stage forward that only W.O.1's were permitted to wear Officers Service Dress and Sam Browns.(As they had before) While W.O.II's were to wear Other-Ranks Uniform.

A further series of Orders, dealt with administration details:

G.O.95 of July 1879 - Warrant Officers

2. When their numbers are not sufficient to enable them to form a separate Mess for themselves they will be at liberty to become honorary members of Serjeants' Messes. A note to this effect sould be made to Sec. 7,para. 85, of the "Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Army, 1873."
As far as I know, there has never been a separately formed Warrant Officers Mess in the Army.
Mike_2817 said:
As far as I know, there has never been a separately formed Warrant Officers Mess in the Army.
When Rheindahles was at it's most bloated facing the Red Menace a particularly obnoxious Conductor RAOC tried for this. There was the order quoted plus some Officers" Messes were Colonel and above etc. Luckily, he was so much disliked that those eligible to have a say ignored him.
The correct title is 'The Sergeants' Mess'

In a battalion there are only two members who aren't Sergeants, one is the Band Master, the other is the Drum Major. Everyone else is a Sergeant!
RSM, RQMS, TQMS, CSM, Drill Sergeant, CQMS, QMSI, Mess Sgt, etc. However, some hangers-on will have a funny title:- Master Chef, .....

Then just to confuse matters, the Guards fill their Sgts Mess up with Corporals, but the Horse Guards don't have any Sergeants and only have Corporals in their Sgts Mess.

Try explaining that one to an American.

Apparently, once upon a time, what are now called LE Officers also stayed in the Sgts Mess in Guards Battalions. So, in theory, if the QM was a Lt Col, you could have ranks from Full Screw to Lt Col sharing the same bar!


That would p*ss some of them off today. All that brown nosing and you can't get in the Occifers Mess.
I know lets have a 2Lt, Lt, Capt and Majors Mess
You are right of course it should just be The Sergeants Mess.
Seaforth Highlanders 78th of Foot founded 1778 sold all the commissions in the new regt so Mackenzie then sold Sergeants' stripes to young gentlemen. Of course being polite and well mannered chaps they couldn't share barracks with riffraff so they were given a separate Mess called the Sergeants' Mess.

So there Buster Dog! 1 HLDRS as latest incarnation of Seaforth then Queen's Own Highlanders have the oldest Sgts' Mess in the British Army and hence the world......it is also why ours is always called the Sgts' Mess and never the WOs' and Sgts' Mess. See http://www.cabarfeidh.com/mess.htm
Cabar. I knew I'd get a bite from an old Seaforth. It's been a bone of contention since ...oh! the 25th's centenary, that must've been around the time the old 78th were formed!

Cuidich 'N Righ
QO HLDRS not Seaforth......just coz you are old does not mean you are right........:cool:

How goes the war against 1 SCOTS(RRS) ?
Cabar. Sadly the fight against extinction is not going well. Incidentally the Seaforth were my second choice.
Met an old highland gentleman (former Seaforth Highlander) in 1971 at Redford Barracks who remembered doing his recruit training at Fort George in the late 1890s when most of the instruction was in the Gaelic! Now THAT's old!
And very odd for the poor Elgin/Doric speaking recruits too....QO HLDRS were the main Gaelic speaking unit. Many a time though we got bollocked for using Gaelic on the net. What with the Gurkhas the local Chinese Police and us all gibbering in non-English on the net in Hong Kong no wonder the local Staff Officer Comds got ratty.....!

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