Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxiliar

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Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxiliar

Postby jf42 » 07 Feb 2017 13:03

Rank and Badges, Dates of Formation, Naval and Military Distinctions, Precedence, Salutes, Colours, and Small Arms, in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxiliary Forces. (1886)

Is anyone familiar with this work. It isn't in the British Library catalogue. I am curious as to the quality of the information it contains- particularly distinctions- given the variable quality of similar compilations of the 1880s and 1890s. Is it based on official publications?
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Re: Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxi

Postby grumpy » 07 Feb 2017 16:28

If the author is O L Perry, the book is good ............ from memory I only found trifling errors in the badges section, and am not qualified to judge the remainder.
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Re: Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxi

Postby grumpy » 07 Feb 2017 16:47

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Re: Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxi

Postby Peter » 08 Feb 2017 08:50

Jf,

With my (absence of) knowledge on this subject, it is the most comprehensive and detailed account of rank and badges I’ve come across.

I can’t gainsay Grumpy. I introduced it to Frogsmile who subsequently acquired a copy.

Like Grumpy’s linked copy, mine is 1887 (with no indication of an earlier edition).

Regards,
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Re: Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxi

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Feb 2017 23:55

I second Peter's comments JF, although I would add that a former Serviceman's understanding of unit structures and common military functions is a boon in truly interpreting and understanding its contents. Nevertheless, strongly recommended.
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Re: Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxi

Postby jf42 » 10 Feb 2017 14:57

Thank you, gentlemen. Perversely, perhaps, I am looking for errors, in a survey of popular misconceptions that had their origin in publications of this period. I suspect that Perry confined himself to describing distinctions as they appeared in Dress Regulations rather than branching out into explaining their origins, and so will not contribute to my thesis.
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Re: Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxi

Postby grumpy » 10 Feb 2017 15:43

jf42 wrote:Thank you, gentlemen. Perversely, perhaps, I am looking for errors, in a survey of popular misconceptions that had their origin in publications of this period. I suspect that Perry confined himself to describing distinctions as they appeared in Dress Regulations rather than branching out into explaining their origins, and so will not contribute to my thesis.


You intrigue me.

Please can you give a taster of a popular misconception even if only because I might be under illusions myself!
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Re: Rank and Badges..in Her Majesty's Army and Navy and Auxi

Postby jf42 » 11 Feb 2017 21:38

grumpy wrote:
jf42 wrote:Thank you, gentlemen. Perversely, perhaps, I am looking for errors, in a survey of popular misconceptions that had their origin in publications of this period. I suspect that Perry confined himself to describing distinctions as they appeared in Dress Regulations rather than branching out into explaining their origins, and so will not contribute to my thesis.


You intrigue me.

Please can you give a taster of a popular misconception even if only because I might be under illusions myself!


Well, as some long suffering members of the Forum already know, I have developed an interest in certain regimental distinctions ( cap or other) and the traditional explanations of their origin. In most cases there is a gap between the stated date of origin and the first notice of the distinction.

The majority are said to commemorate exploits in the field and are often described as being won or awarded for this battle or that exploit. Some are even described as battle honours (mostly from a period before such awards existed) and a few did indeed become attached to battle honours awarded retrospectively. With the Childers regimental reforms of 1881, the distinctions were incorporated (or in some cases, resurfaced) in the new cap badges or other regimental emblems, and the stories of their origins enshrined in the regimental histories that proliferated around that time.

In the main, however, the distinctions in question turn out to have been ornaments adopted unilaterally by the regiment and authorised or acknowledged retrospectively. In some cases, the claimed link with an exploit proves to be tenuous. That's not to say that the regiment did not distinguish itself on the day in question, but notions of the said distinction being adopted, for instance, as a trophy on the field, or awarded like a laurel wreath borne by a messenger arriving hot foot from the King, tend not to stand up to scrutiny.

In some cases, we are talking only about a minor degree of exaggeration. In other cases, the origins are more mundane but explanations have become garbled and don't match facts. Some, as far as I can see, remain a mystery- the 16th Lancers retaining scarlet jackets, for example.

Some examples for your consideration: (my interest lies principally with the infantry)

5th Northumberland Regiment- White plume/Red-tipped white plume/ bearskin caps and 'Fusiliers' title
9th Norfolk Regiment - 'Britannia' badge
23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers -'The Flash' collar ornament
28th North Gloucesters- 'Back Number'
34th Cumberland Regiment- 'Arroyo Dos Molinos' honour and red and white plume (tuft)
35th Royal Sussex- 'Rousillon plume'
42nd Royal Highland Regiment- 'Red Hackle'
46th South Devons/ DCLI- 'Red Feather' (tuft)
49th/Royal Berkshires- 'Brandywine Distinction' or 'Brandywine Flash' (badge backing)
63rd/ Manchesters- 'Fleur de Lis' badge (& 'Bloodsuckers' nickname)

Nicknames! now there's a rich vein of conjecture and fiction...
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